California tourist attractions

California tourist attractions

California is a state in the Western region of the United States. It borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; it has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west. With over 38.9 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous U.S. state, the third-largest U.S. state by area, and the most populated subnational entity in North America.

The Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas in California are the nation’s second and fifth-most populous urban regions respectively. Greater Los Angeles has over 18.7 million residents and the San Francisco Bay Area has over 9.6 million residents.Los Angeles is the state’s most populous city and the nation’s second-most populous city. San Francisco is the second-most densely populated major city in the country. Los Angeles County is the country’s most populous county, and San Bernardino County is the nation’s largest county by area. Sacramento is the state’s capital city.

1.San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km) strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, California—the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula—to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. It also carries pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and is designated as part of U.S. Bicycle Route 95. Recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Wonders of the Modern World, the bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and California.

The idea of a fixed link between San Francisco and Marin had gained increasing popularity during the late 19th century, but it was not until the early 20th century that such a link became feasible. Joseph Strauss served as chief engineer for the project, with Leon Moisseiff, Irving Morrow and Charles Ellis making significant contributions to its design. The bridge opened to the public in 1937 and has undergone various retrofits and other improvement projects in the decades since.

One of the most beautiful cities in America, San Francisco should be on everyone’s must-see list. The ocean and hills provide a stunning natural setting, but the quaint neighborhoods, historic sites, green spaces, inspiring cultural institutions, and relaxed attitude are what truly make this city special.

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is one of the key sights and what many people call to mind when they think of the San Francisco, and even California. The orange frame against the blue water of San Francisco Bay, or rising out of the fog that often covers the area is an unforgettable sight. You can appreciate the bridge from afar or, for a more personal experience, drive over it, walk on it, or even bike across it.

2.Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite National Parkis a national park in California.It is bordered on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers 759,620 acres (1,187 sq mi; 3,074 km2)in four counties – centered in Tuolumne and Mariposa, extending north and east to Mono and south to Madera. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada.
Its geology is characterized by granite and remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its unique slopes, which increased the steepness of stream and river beds, forming deep, narrow canyons. About one million years ago glaciers formed at higher elevations. They moved downslope, cutting and sculpting the U-shaped Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite National Park in Northern California is one of the United States’ most scenic and most visited national parks. The mountains, valleys, rivers, and spectacular waterfalls have drawn tourists, artists, and athletes here for decades. For nature lovers, a visit here is one of the best things to do in California.
Most of the key sights and things to do in Yosemite National Park are in Yosemite Valley. Carved by glaciers during the last ice age, the granite walls and huge waterfalls are some of the most outstanding features in the park. This is where you’ll find the big name attractions, like Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitan.

3.Disneyland

Disneyland

Disneyland is a theme park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It was the first theme park opened by The Walt Disney Company and the only one designed and constructed under the direct supervision of Walt Disney, and opened on July 17, 1955.
Disney initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain fans who wished to visit; however, he soon realized that the proposed site was too small for the ideas that he had. After hiring the Stanford Research Institute to perform a feasibility study determining an appropriate site for his project, Disney bought a 160-acre (65 ha) site near Anaheim in 1953. The park was designed by a creative team hand-picked by Walt from internal and outside talent. They founded WED Enterprises, the precursor to today’s Walt Disney Imagineering. Construction began in 1954 and the park was unveiled during a special televised press event on the ABC Television Network on July 17, 1955. Since its opening, Disneyland has undergone expansions and major renovations, including the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966, Bear Country in 1972, Mickey’s Toontown in 1993, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. Additionally, Disney California Adventure Park opened in 2001 on the site of Disneyland’s original parking lot.
Disneyland, located in Anaheim, is California’s premier family destination and one of the top family vacation destinations in the US. This massive amusement park is home to all kinds of rides, games, shows, and entertainment, complete with restaurants and hotels. The park is a combination of theme rides and recreated worlds and cultures. You can find shows and other entertainment designed for both children and adults.
Long line ups and wait times have been reduced somewhat by the invention of FastPass+, which gives you the ability to book specific ride times, a hug with a character, and entertainment events. However, when kids are out of school, either for the summer, Christmas, spring break, or any other holiday, you can be sure that the park will be very busy.

4.Death Valley National Park

View from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California–Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park boundaries include Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley, the southern section of Eureka Valley and most of Saline Valley.
The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons and mountains.
Death Valley is the largest national park in the contiguous United States, as well as the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States. It contains Badwater Basin, the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and lowest in North America at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. More than 93% of the park is a designated wilderness area.
Death Valley National Park contains some of California’s most inhospitable terrain, with extreme heat that has left this desert area strangely beautiful. Salt fields, dry parched land, sand dunes, mountains, unique rock formations, and a lake that lies below sea level create a unique landscape in this remote valley.
Some of the easiest to reach highlights in Death Valley are the sand dunes near Stove Pipe Wells, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and Dantes View. These and others are all easy to reach with a regular vehicle. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can head out to more remote places like The Race Track.

5.Big Sur

Big Sur

Big Sur (/ˈsɜːr/) is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of the U.S. state of California, between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States”, a sublime “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development”, and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation”. The views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for visitors from across the world. With 4.5 to 7 million visitors annually, it is among the top tourist destinations in the United States, comparable to Yosemite National Park, but with considerably fewer services, and less parking, roads, and related infrastructure.
This beautiful stretch along the Central Coast of California offers a chance to get back to nature. Camping and hiking at Garrapata State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are some of the best places for these pursuits.
Big Sur begins about four miles south of Carmel in Yankee Point and stretches along the Highway No. 1 as far as Salmon Cove, some 17 miles north of San Simeon. This scenic road offers splendid views over the picturesque coastline. To the east stretches a true wilderness – the Santa Lucia Mountains and Ventana Forests, with more than 220 miles of trails.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a great place for hikers, sunbathers, and those looking for a nature escape. The park has camping facilities and, for anyone looking for a little more comfort, the Big Sur Lodge offers a peaceful retreat in a superb location. One of the highlights in the park is Pfeiffer Falls, which is reached by the Valley View Trail. A branch off this trail leads to the Valley Overlook with views that extend to the ocean and the Big Sur River Valley.

6.Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe (/ˈtɑːhoʊ/; Washo: Dáʔaw) is a freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the Western United States, straddling the border between California and Nevada. Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m) above sea level, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. and at 122,160,280 acre⋅ft (150.7 km3) it trails only the five Great Lakes as the largest by volume in the United States. Its depth is 1,645 ft (501 m), making it the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake in Oregon (1,949 ft or 594 m).
The lake was formed about two million years ago as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin, and its modern extent was shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe; its English name is derived from its Washo name, Dáʔaw. More than 75% of the lake’s watershed is national forest land, covered by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the United States Forest Service.
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and scenery enjoyed throughout the year. Snow and ski resorts are a significant part of the area’s economy and reputation. The Nevada side also offers several lakeside casino resorts, with highways providing year-round access to the entire area.
Stunning Lake Tahoe lies high in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is a popular year-round vacation destination in California. Lake Tahoe is about more than just the lake, it’s the forests and mountains, small towns, and multitude of activities the area offers.
The blue lake, with its turquoise coves and surrounding mountains, is a summer playground for boaters, beach goers, campers, and nature lovers. The beautiful beaches and shallow coves are some of the main draws for families visiting the area in summer. Places like D.H. Bliss State Park and Kings Beach State Recreation Area are popular beaching destinations around Lake Tahoe.

7.Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is an American national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California. The park was established on September 25, 1890, and today protects 404,064 acres (631 sq mi; 163,519 ha; 1,635 km2)[2] of forested mountainous terrain. Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of, and contiguous with, Kings Canyon National Park; both parks are administered by the National Park Service together as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. UNESCO designated the areas as Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
The park is notable for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth by volume. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park’s General Grant Grove, home of the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias. The park’s giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres (316 sq mi; 81,921 ha; 819 km2) of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The parks preserve a landscape that was first cultivated by the Monache tribe, the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement.Home to the largest trees on Earth, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are bucket-list destinations. The sequoias here are the largest living things in the world, and many of them are more than 2,000 years old, with some even more than 3,000 years old.

These adjacent parks cover an area of mountains with majestic granite peaks, deep gorges, lakes, rivers, and forests, but they are quite different from each other. If you are planning on visiting both parks, you will need at least a couple of days.
Although both parks are home to the giant sequoias, Sequoia National Park is arguably the best place to visit these ancient wonders. Easy walking trails, many of them paved, meander through the trees and provide easy access to the major sites. This park is also home to Mt. Whitney, which at 14,495 feet is the highest mountain in the US (apart from Alaska).
You can find some beautiful campgrounds in Sequoia National Park, many of which are well positioned for visiting the trees and other attractions, like Moro Rock, and the famous giant sequoia known as General Sherman Tree.

Bucharest tourist attractions

Bucharest tourist attractions

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. It is described as the cultural, financial, entertainment, and media centre in the country with a significant influence in Eastern Europe as well. In geopolitical regards, Bucharest has been and still is an important capital of a state situated in Central and Eastern Europe, where noteworthy summits had taken place (for example the 2008 Bucharest summit). It is also a city with a significant influence in terms of education, tourism, research, technology, health care, art, fashion, sports, and politics. Bucharest is a major economic center in Romania, with a diverse and growing economy that includes industries such as IT, finance, and manufacturing. The city has also seen significant investment in infrastructure, with new roads, bridges, and public transportation systems being built to improve connectivity and mobility. It is located in the south-east of Romania, on the banks of the Dâmbovița river, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the border with Bulgaria. It is also one of the most populated cities of the European Union (EU) within city limits and the most populated capital in Eastern Europe. It was the capital of Wallachia from 1659 to 1859 and the capital of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (Romanian United Principalities, later the Kingdom of Romania) from 1859 to 1881.

1.Palace of the Parliament

Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament (Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului), also known as the House of the Republic or People’s House/People’s Palace , is the seat of the Parliament of Romania, located atop Dealul Spirii in Bucharest, the national capital. The Palace reaches a height of 84 m (276 ft), has a floor area of 365,000 m2 (3,930,000 sq ft) and a volume of 2,550,000 m3 (90,000,000 cu ft). The Palace of the Parliament is one of the heaviest buildings in the world, weighing about 4,098,500,000 kilograms (9.04 billion pounds; 4.10 million tonnes), also being the second largest administrative building in the world. (The Great Pyramid of Giza at about 5.75 million tons is about 40% heavier.) The building was designed and supervised by chief architect Anca Petrescu, with a team of approximately 700 architects, and constructed over a period of 13 years (1984–97) in modernist Neoclassical architectural forms and styles, with socialist realism in mind. The Palace was ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918–1989), the president of Communist Romania and the second of two long-ruling heads of state in the country since World War II, during a period in which the personality cult of political worship and adoration increased considerably for him and his family.
The Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) is one of the top tourist attractions in Bucharest. It is the world’s second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon), an architectural colossus that also claims the title as the heaviest building in the world.
Boasting more than 3,000 rooms over 330,000 square meters and constructed with marble and steel, it was originally called the People’s House by its visionary, the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who used it as his family’s residence and as the seat of his government.
To complete it, Ceausescu razed places of worship, workshops, factories, parks, part of the Old Town, and entire neighborhoods. More than 20,000 workers and 700 architects worked on the opulent Neoclassical-style palace over a span of 13 years, from 1985 to 1997, during which time the majority of Romanians faced poverty.

2.Romanian Athenaeum

Romanian Athenaeum

The Romanian Athenaeum (Romanian: Ateneul Român) is a concert hall in the center of Bucharest, Romania, and a landmark of the Romanian capital city. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city’s most prestigious concert hall and home of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and of the George Enescu Festival.
. The 19th-century building, designed by French architect Albert Galleron, resembles an ancient Greek temple with a 41-meter-high dome and a peristyle of six Ionic columns.
The interiors feature a lobby of intricately painted gold-leaf ceilings, cascading balconies, and spiral marbled staircases. The 652-seat auditorium is known for its excellent acoustics and its fine art. A 70-meter-long and three-meter-high fresco that winds its way around the circular hall proudly depicts scenes from Romania’s history.

In 1865, cultural and scientific personalities such as Constantin Esarcu, V. A. Urechia, and Nicolae Creţulescu founded the Romanian Athenaeum Cultural Society. To serve its purposes, the Romanian Athenaeum, a building dedicated to art and science, would be erected in Bucharest.
The building was designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, built on a property that had belonged to the Văcărescu family and inaugurated in 1888, although work continued until 1897. A portion of the construction funds was raised by public subscription in a 28-year-long effort, of which the slogan is still remembered today: “Donate one leu for the Ateneu!”

3.Stavropoleos Church

Stavropoleos Church

Stavropoleos Monastery (Romanian: Mănăstirea Stavropoleos), also known as Stavropoleos Church (Romanian: Biserica Stavropoleos) during the last century when the monastery was dissolved, is an Eastern Orthodox monastery for nuns in central Bucharest, Romania. Its church is built in Brâncovenesc style. The patrons of the church (the saints to whom the church is dedicated) are St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The name Stavropoleos is the genitive case of Stavropolis (Greek, “The city of the Cross”). One of the monastery’s constant interests is Byzantine music, expressed through its choir and the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania.
Tiny, peaceful, and beautiful, the Stavropoleos Church (Manastirea Stavropoleos) was built in 1724 by a Greek monk, Ioanikie Stratonikeas. With its intricately carved entrance lined with columns, this Brâncovenesc-style church stands apart as a unique landmark in Bucharest.
The Orthodox church features fine stone and wood carvings and a combination of Romanian and Byzantine elements. It is surrounded by a garden courtyard filled with 18th-century tombstones.
Inside, several frescoes and wood icons can be admired. The church complex once included an inn and a monastery but both were destroyed. The church itself was restored several times after damage from earthquakes, and is noted for its unique library that houses a large collection of books related to Byzantine music.

4.Revolution Square

Revolution Square

Plaza de la Revolución (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈplasa ðe la reβoluˈsjon]), “Revolution Square”, is a municipality (or borough) and a square in Havana, Cuba.
The municipality, one of the 15 forming the city, stretches from the square down to the sea at the Malecón and includes the Vedado district.
Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei) earned its name after setting the scene of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s final minutes of power in Romania. On December 21, 1989, a coup d’état ensued here with the help of a crowd of more than 100,000, forcing the leader of the communist party to flee and changing the course of the country’s history.
Until that date, the central square was known as Palace Square, due to its proximity to the Royal Palace, which is the current home to the National Museum of Art.

5.Arcul de Triumf

The Arch of Triumph

Arcul de Triumf este un monument situat în partea de nord a Bucureștiului, în sectorul 1, la intersecția șoselei Kiseleff cu bulevardele Constantin Prezan, Alexandru Averescu și Alexandru Constantinescu. Monumentul, proiectat de Petre Antonescu, a fost construit în perioada 1921-1922, renovat în perioada 1935-1936, și din nou renovat începând din 2014. El comemorează participarea României în Primul Război Mondial.
Arcul de Triumf are 27 m înălțime, cu o singură deschidere și este de formă paralelipipedică. Machetele au fost executate de artiști plastici, iar pentru cioplirea marmurei de Rușchița, pe lângă sculptorii autohtoni, s-a apelat și la un număr de zece sculptori din Italia.
Finished in 1878, Bucharest’s first Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf) was made from wood and dedicated to the Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I. In 1936, it was reconstructed in granite and designed by architect Petre Antonescu at a height of 27 meters. The arch is adorned with sculptures created by the most notable Romanian sculptors, including Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea.
To this day it continues to serve its purpose of being the central point for military parades. Romanian soldiers march beneath it for big events, including each December 1st, which is the country’s national holiday.

6.National Museum of Art of Romania

National Museum of Art

The National Museum of Art of Romania (Romanian: Muzeul Național de Artă al României) is located in the Royal Palace in Revolution Square, central Bucharest. It features collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, as well as the international collection assembled by the Romanian royal family.
The exhibition “Shadows and Light” ran from 15 July to 2 October 2005. With four centuries of French art, it was the largest exhibition of French painting in Central and Eastern Europe since 1945. 77 works were exhibited, including masterpieces by painters such as Poussin, Chardin, Ingres, David, Delacroix, Corot, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, and Braque.
Housed in the former Royal Palace, the National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul National de Arta al României) is the country’s leading art museum and houses the world’s most complete collection of Romanian art, including medieval and modern art.
Established in 1948, the museum is also where the Royal Collection, including Romanian and European art dating back to the 15th century, can be admired. More than 100,000 works are in the various halls, including paintings by the country’s most celebrated artists, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, and Gheorghe Tattarescu.

7.Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum

Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum

The Village Museum or formally National Museum of the Village “Dimitrie Gusti” (Romanian: Muzeul Național al Satului “Dimitrie Gusti”) is an open-air ethnographic museum located in the King Michael I Park, Bucharest, Romania. The museum showcases traditional Romanian village life. The museum extends to over 100,000 m2,and contains 123 authentic peasant settlements, 363 monuments and over 50,000 artefacts from around Romania Structures in the museum ranged from the 17th to the 20th century, representative of different ethnographic regions including Banat, Transylvania, Moldavia, Maramures, Oltenia, Dobrogea, Muntenia
Founded in 1936, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum – usually shortened to simply the “Village Museum” (Muzeul Satului) – is a unique open-air
museum that stretches through leafy Herastrau Park and depicts the traditional way of life in Romania.
Visitors can wander through 300 traditional buildings, including peasant homes with steep roofs, thatched barns, heavy log cabins, various types of churches, workshops, and mills – all of which have been transported from towns across every region of Romania.

Athens tourist attractions

Athens tourist attractions

Athens romanized: Athína, pronounced Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanized: Athênai, pronounced is a major coastal urban area in the Mediterranean, and it is both the capital and the largest city of Greece. With its urban area’s population numbering over five million, it is also the fifth largest urban area in the European Union. Athens dominates and is the capital of the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years,and its earliest human presence beginning somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennia BC. The city was named after Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom.

Classical Athens was one of the most powerful city-states in ancient Greece. It was a centre for democracy, the arts, education and philosophy, and was highly influential throughout the European continent, particularly in Ancient Rome. For this reason, it is often regarded as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy in its own right independently from the rest of Greece.In modern times, Athens is a huge cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2023, Athens metropolitan area and its surrounding municipalities (consisting the regional area of Attica) has a population of approximately 4.0 million.

 

1.Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens, Greece, and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word Acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, “highest point, extremity”) and πόλις (polis, “city”). The term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece. During ancient times the Acropolis of Athens was also more properly known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

Make your way to the impressive Acropolis of Athens, the high hill centrally located in Athens that was built for religious and military reasons.On top of the Acropolis, which means “high city” is the beautiful Parthenon, and a few other historical temples and buildings including the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and Propylaea. Catch a glimpse of ancient Greece through the historic temples on top of the Acropolis, as you take in the recent renovations of the temples.A monument so grand, with equally stunning views of the city and sea, the lines can get extremely long. To avoid extra time waiting in line, score your Acropolis skip-the-line-tickets.

2.Parthenon

Parthenon in Athens

The Parthenon Greek: Παρθενώνας, romanized: Parthenónas [parθeˈnonas]) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena during the fifth century BC. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of classical Greek art, an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, democracy and Western civilization.
The Parthenon was built in thanksgiving for the Hellenic victory over Persian Empire invaders during the Greco-Persian Wars. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon also served as the city treasury.
Construction started in 447 BC when the Delian League was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC; work on the decoration continued until 432 BC. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the 6th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the Ottoman conquest in the mid-fifteenth century, it became a mosque. In the Morean War, a Venetian bomb landed on the Parthenon, which the Ottomans had used as a munitions dump, during the 1687 siege of the Acropolis. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon. From 1800 to 1803, the 7th Earl of Elgin took down some of the surviving sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or simply Greek Marbles, which, although he had the permission of the then Ottoman government, has subsequently become controversial.

On the beautiful Acropolis is the stunning Parthenon, the emblematic building atop the Acropolis.

Built to honor the Goddess Athena, after which the city was named, the Parthenon is said to date back to 447 BC! The Parthenon is not only a historical building, but also a symbol of democracy, the Western World, ancient Greece, and an example of classical Greek art.

The Parthenon was also built in celebration of the Hellenic victory over the Persian Empire during the Greco-Persian Wars. Throughout time, the Parthenon experienced multiple attacks and changes, one of those was being transformed into a mosque in 1458 under Muslim rule.

3.Erechtheion

Erechtheion in Athens

The Erechtheion latinized as Erechtheum Ancient Greek: Ἐρέχθειον, Greek: Ερέχθειο) or Temple of Athena Polias is an ancient Greek Ionic temple on the north side of the Acropolis, Athens, which was primarily dedicated to the goddess Athena.

The Ionic building, made to house the statue of Athena Polias, has in modern scholarship been called the Erechtheion (the sanctuary of Erechtheus or Poseidon) in the belief that it encompassed two buildings mentioned by the Greek-Roman geographer Pausanias: the Temple of Athena Polias and the Erechtheion. However, whether the Erechtheion referred to by Pausanias and other sources is indeed the Ionic temple or an entirely different building has become a point of contention in recent decades, with various scholars ruling out that Athena and Erechtheus were worshipped in a single building. Alternative suggested locations of the true Erechtheion include the structures on the Acropolis conventionally identified as the Arrephorion, the Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, the Sanctuary of Pandion, and the Dörpfeld foundations. However, while there is no consensus among scholars on this issue, the building continues to be referred to as the Erechtheion by convention.

While you’re exploring the Acropolis, direct your attention to the Erechtheion, another temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena, and one of the other most photographed temples beside the Parthenon.

Beautifully decorated with statues on its southern side on what is called the Porch of the Maidens, the temple was said to have been also used as a Byzantine church, as a palace during the Frankish period, and more!

4.Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum in Athens

The Acropolis Museum (Greek: Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, Mouseio Akropolis) is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. The Acropolis Museum also lies over the ruins of part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens.
The museum was founded in 2003 while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on 20 June 2009. More than 4,250 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres.
Take a deep journey through Athenian history at the Acropolis Museum, taking a glimpse at some of the collections of items found during excavations and archaeological sites on the Acropolis, and its surroundings.

Admire the details of the West pediment and West frieze of the Parthenon, check out the Gallery of the Acropolis Slopes, which looks into the artifacts discovered around the Acropolis slopes, and learn about the makeup of the rock itself. Walk over some of the glass panels to discover some of the archaeological excavations underneath you!

5.Ancient Agora

Ancient Agora in Athens

The ancient Agora of Athens (also called the Classical Agora) is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill. The Agora’s initial use was for a commercial, assembly, or residential gathering place.

A historic meeting place for the city council, the president of the council, and local people, the Ancient Agora was one of the first sites to witness examples of democracy.

Located northwest of the Acropolis, in the historic center of Athens, the Ancient Agora is a protected site that you can still see and admire, while learning about some of the other events that took place within its walls, from philosophy discussions and other important discourse.

6.Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus in Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus or Hephaisteion (also “Hephesteum” or “Hephaesteum”; Ancient Greek: Ἡφαιστεῖον, Greek: Ναός Ηφαίστου, and formerly called in error the Theseion or “Theseum”; Ancient Greek: Θησεῖον, Greek: Θησείο), is a well-preserved Greek temple dedicated to Hephaestus; it remains standing largely intact today. It is a Doric peripteral temple, and is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George Akamates. The building’s condition has been maintained due to its history of varied use.

When you’re strolling the Ancient Agora, you’ll notice the incredibly well-preserved Doric-style Temple of Hephaestus.

Hephaestus was known as the god of fire, and it’s said that his and Athena’s sculptures were inside the temple. Dating back to the 5th century, the Temple of Hephaestus forms part of the Golden Age of Athens.

7.National Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum (Greek: Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο, romanized: Ethnikó Archaiologikó Mouseío) in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of Greek Antiquity artifacts worldwide.It is situated in the Exarcheia area in central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street and Tositsas Street while its entrance is on the Patission Street adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic university.
Check out the wealth of archaeological information inside the National Archaeological Museum, known as the largest museum of its kind in Greece.
Dig through (pun intended) the museum’s collections and exhibits, covering everything from pieces of the Mycenaen civilization originating in the Bronze Age of ancient Greece, and a few neolithic items, to a browse through the largest sculpture collections in the world, and various pieces of metalwork.

Warsaw tourist attractions

Warsaw tourist attractions

Warsaw, officially the Capital City of Warsaw, is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the River Vistula in east-central Poland. Its population is officially estimated at 1.86 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 6th most-populous city in the European Union. The city area measures 517 km2 (200 sq mi) and comprises 18 districts, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100 km2 (2,355 sq mi). Warsaw is an “Alpha-” global city, a major cultural, political and economic hub, and the country’s seat of government. It is also capital of the Masovian Voivodeship.

Warsaw traces its origins to a small fishing town in Masovia. The city rose to prominence in the late 16th century, when Sigismund III decided to move the Polish capital and his royal court from Kraków. Warsaw served as the de facto capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1795, and subsequently as the seat of Napoleon’s Duchy of Warsaw. The 19th century and its Industrial Revolution brought a demographic boom which made it one of the largest and most densely populated cities in Europe. Known then for its elegant architecture and boulevards, Warsaw was bombed and besieged at the start of World War II in 1939.Much of the historic city was destroyed and its diverse population decimated by the Ghetto Uprising in 1943, the general Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and systematic razing.

1.Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Warsaw tourist attractions

Przedmieścia przy Bramie Krakowskiej zaczęły się tworzyć już w XIV w., natomiast przy nich w 1454 powstał kościół bernardynów. Wówczas teren przed murami zaczęto nazywać placem Bernardyńskim (dziś tak nazywa się plac na Czerniakowie). Drewniane domostwa budowali tutaj różnorodni rzemieślnicy, powstały cegielnie, ukształtowały się dwie odnogi placu, gdzie wschodnia prowadziła do najstarszej warszawskiej jurydyki należącej do proboszcza kolegiaty: Dziekanki. Tak zwany plac Bernardyński (lub Bernardyńskie Przedmieście) był wcześniej nazywany Czerskim Przedmieściem, a potem Krakowskim Przedmieściem, gdyż był początkiem traktu łączącego Warszawę pierwotnie z Czerskiem, a następnie z Krakowem[3]. Droga ta stała się też świetnym miejscem do budowy reprezentacyjnych pałaców magnaterii oraz rodziny królewskiej, było też znakomitym miejscem triumfalnych wjazdów do miasta (między innymi wjeżdżali tędy hetman Stefan Czarniecki czy Jan III Sobieski) oraz hołdów składanych przez Prusy Książęce i Inflanty. W I połowie XVII w. przybrała formę traktu od Kaplicy Moskiewskiej, będącej panteonem chwały oręża polskiego i tryumfów militarnych króla Zygmunta III Wazy do projektowanego „Forum Wazów”, z którego została zrealizowana jedynie kolumna króla Zygmunta.
A walk down Krakowskie Przedmiescie is a great way to experience Warsaw’s history. Situated at the end of the Royal Route, strollers will find the Presidential Palace and Warsaw University as well as Baroque churches.

The one-mile long street, one of Warsaw’s oldest, links the Old Town and the Royal Castle. Considered one of Warsaw’s most elegant streets, Krakowskie Przedmiescie dates back to the 15th century when it was a trade route. Travelers should be on the lookout for a 17th century statue of a Madonna and child that commemorates a Polish victory over Turkish forces in Vienna.

2.Copernicus Science Centre

Warsaw tourist attractions

Copernicus Science Centre (Polish: Centrum Nauki Kopernik) is a science museum standing on the bank of the Vistula River in Warsaw, Poland. It contains over 450 interactive exhibits that enable visitors to single-handedly carry out experiments and discover the laws of science for themselves. The centre is the largest institution of its type in Poland and one of the most advanced in Europe. In 2018, since its opening, it has been visited by over 8 million people.

The first module of the Centre building was opened on 5 November 2010 with five galleries (On the move, Humans and the environment, Roots of civilization, Lightzone, Bzzz!); the exhibit for teenagers – RE: generation was opened 3 March 2011; a planetarium The Heavens of Copernicus opened on 19 June, the Discovery Park on 15 July, chemistry laboratory – 18 October; biology laboratory – 15 November, robotics workshop – 6 December, and physics laboratory – 20 December.
Copernicus, who lived from 1473 to 1543, is one of the most famous scientists and mathematicians to come out of Poland. It was he who formulated the theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around.

It is fitting, therefore, that Poland honors him with the Copernicus Science Centre, with a planetarium exhibit devoted to space and how it impacts our lives. Travelers fluent in Polish may want to attend a lecture by one of Poland’s key scientists. Poland’s top science museum also offers hands-on experiments for budding scientists of all ages.

3.Palace of Culture and Science

Warsaw tourist attractions

The Palace of Culture and Science is a notable high-rise building in central Warsaw, Poland. With a total height of 237 metres (778 ft), it is the second tallest building in both Warsaw and Poland (after the Varso Tower), the sixth tallest building in the European Union and one of the tallest in Europe. At the time of its completion in 1955, the Palace was the eighth tallest building in the world, retaining the position until 1961; it was also briefly the tallest clock tower in the world, from 2000 until the 2002 installation of a clock mechanism on the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building in Tokyo, Japan.

Motivated by Polish historical architecture and American art deco high-rise buildings, the Palace of Culture and Science was designed by Soviet-Russian architect Lev Rudnev in “Seven Sisters” style and is informally referred to as the Eighth Sister.

The Palace of Culture and Science is a multi-functional building that houses everything from companies to entertainment venues. Built in the 1950s, the high-rise building – the tallest in Poland — features a spire that reaches into the sky. It was originally named for Joseph Stalin, but changed when the Soviet leader fell out of favor.

The building is sometimes referred to as Beijing, because its initials are PKIN, after the Chinese’s capital’s old name, Peking. As a concert venue, it’s hosted many international groups, including the Rolling Stones back in 1967. The Palace of Culture and Science is one of Warsaw’s top landmarks.

4.Wilanow Palace

Warsaw tourist attractions

Pałac w Wilanowie – barokowy pałac królewski znajdujący się w Warszawie, w dzielnicy Wilanów. Został wzniesiony w latach 1681–1696 dla króla Jana III Sobieskiego i Marii Kazimiery według projektu Augustyna Wincentego Locciego; skrzydła boczne dobudowano w latach 1723–1729. Siedziba Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie.

Pałac wraz z otaczającym parkiem oraz zabudowaniami zachował niezmienioną formę architektoniczną, walory historyczne i artystyczne. W 1994 wilanowski zespół pałacowy wraz z Morysinem został uznany za pomnik historii. Jest on miejscem wydarzeń kulturalnych, koncertów i spotkań. Obok pałacu znajduje się ogród.

Wilanow Palace is one of the most important monuments in Poland, representing what Poland was like before the 18th century. The palace was built as a home for King John III Sobieski. After his death the palace was owned by private families, each one changing the way the palace looked.

Unlike the rest of Warsaw, the royal palace survived WWII almost unscathed, and most of its furnishings and art were reinstalled after the war. Today, it is a museum that is home to the country’s artistic and royal heritage. The 17th century royal palace hosts several music festivals, including the summer concerts in the garden.

5.Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw tourist attractions

The Warsaw Rising Museum (Polish: Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego), in the Wola district of Warsaw, Poland, is dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The institution of the museum was established in 1983, but no construction work took place for many years. It opened on July 31, 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the uprising.

The museum sponsors research into the history of the uprising, and the history and possessions of the Polish Underground State. It collects and maintains hundreds of artifacts – ranging from weapons used by the insurgents to love letters – to present a full picture of the people involved. The museum’s stated goals include
the creation of an archive of historical information on the uprising and the recording of the stories and memories of living participants. Its director is Jan Ołdakowski, with historian Dariusz Gawin from the Polish Academy of Sciences as his deputy.

The museum is a member organisation of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.
Warsaw was famous for withstanding the Nazis during World War II. The Jewish ghetto, where Jews were confined by the Nazis, was the largest in Europe. The uprising, however, was not limited to Jews alone. Indeed, the whole city joined the fight in 1944.
The Warsaw Uprising Museum opened in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the uprising. Visitors will find a day-by-day account of the uprising which began on August 1 and ended on October 2. They’ll also find an exhibit dedicated to children who participated in the uprising; a replica of the sewers the insurgents used to get around, and an observation tower with great views of Warsaw.

6.Royal Castle

Warsaw tourist attractions

The Royal Castle in Warsaw (Polish: Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) is a state museum and a national historical monument, which formerly served as the official royal residence of several Polish monarchs. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the royal court were located in the Castle from the 16th century until the final partition of Poland in 1795. Situated in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town, the Royal Castle holds a significant collection of Polish and European art.

The Royal Castle witnessed many notable events in Poland’s history; the Constitution of 3 May 1791, first of its type in Europe and the world’s second-oldest codified national constitution, was drafted here by the Four-Year Parliament.[2] The edifice was redesigned into a neoclassical style following the partitions of Poland. Under the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939), it was the seat of the Polish head of state and president. The Second World War brought complete destruction to the building; in September 1939 it was targeted and ignited by Luftwaffe fighter aircraft, and then detonated by the Nazis after the failed Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

The Royal Castle served as the home and officials of Polish rulers for centuries. It is located on Castle Square at the entrance to Old Town. The castle dates back to the 14th century when it was the official residence of the Dukes of Masovia.

It was conquered many times by invaders from afar, but bounced back to be the place where the first constitution in Europe was drafted in 1791. This impressive structure, with a tower in the middle, is a museum today, though official state meetings are sometimes held here. The castle’s design was the inspiration of many other Warsaw buildings.

7.Lazienki Park

Warsaw tourist attractions

Łazienki Park or Royal Baths Park (Polish: Park Łazienkowski, Łazienki Królewskie) is the largest park in Warsaw, Poland, occupying 76 hectares of the city center.

The park-and-palace complex lies in Warsaw’s central district (Śródmieście) on Ujazdów Avenue, which is part of the Royal Route linking the Royal Castle with Wilanów Palace to the south. North of Łazienki Park, on the other side of Agrykola Street, stands Ujazdów Castle.

Originally designed in the 17th century as a baths park for nobleman Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, in the 18th century Łazienki was transformed by Poland’s last monarch, Stanislaus II Augustus, into a setting for palaces, villas, classicist follies, and monuments. In 1918 it was officially designated a public park.

Łazienki is visited by tourists from all over Poland and the world, and serves as a venue for music, the arts, and culture. The park is also home to peacocks and a large number of squirrels.

Lazienki Park, also known as Royal Baths Park, is the largest park in Warsaw. Designed as a park in the 17th century, it eventually was turned into a place for villas, monuments and palaces.

The Palace on the Isle is the foremost building in the park, located on the Royal Route in central Warsaw. This palace today is a treasure trove of paintings collected by Polish royalty and statues of the country’s greatest rulers.

Also located on the isle is a Greco-Roman amphitheatre that dates back to 1793. More palaces and an 18th century orangery can be found in the park.

Bologna tourist attractions

Bologna tourist attractions

Bologna Emilian: Bulåggna is a city in and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy, of which it is also its largest. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, with about 400,000 inhabitants and 150 different nationalities.Its metropolitan area is home to more than 1,000,000 people. It is known as the Fat City for its rich cuisine, and the Red City for its red tiled rooftops and, more recently, its leftist politics. It is also called the Learned City because it is home to the oldest university in the world.

Originally Etruscan, the city has been an important urban center for centuries, first under the Etruscans (who called it Felsina), then under the Celts as Bona, later under the Romans (Bonōnia), then again in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality and later signoria, when it was among the largest European cities by population. Famous for its towers, churches and lengthy porticoes, Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s. Home to the oldest university in continuous operation, the University of Bologna, established in AD 1088, the city has a large student population that gives it a cosmopolitan character. In 2000, it was declared European capital of culture and in 2006, a UNESCO “City of Music” and became part of the Creative Cities Network. In 2021, UNESCO recognized the lengthy porticoes of the city as a World Heritage Site.

1.Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno

Piazza Maggiore (Piâza Mażåur in the Bolognese language) is a central square in Bologna, region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The appearance in the 21st century, generally reflects the layout from the 15th century. The Northwest corner opens into Piazza del Nettuno with its Fontana del Nettuno, while the Northeast corner opens into the narrower Piazza Re Enzo, running along the flanks of the Palazzo Re Enzo that merges with the Palazzo del Podestà. Flanking the Piazza del Nettuno is the Biblioteca Salaborsa.
It may seem as though everyone in Bologna were meeting friends at the same time in these two adjoining squares in the heart of the city. Conversation and laughter blend with the sound of water splashing in the magnificent Neptune Fountain, which gives Piazza del Nettuno its name.

Created by Giambologna in the 16th century, it is one of the finest fountains of its period. Nearly every major attraction in the city is within a few minutes’ walk, as are the most important streets – among them the busy shopping street, Via dell’Indipendenza, and Via Galleria with its many old aristocratic mansions.

Elegantly arcaded Via dell’Archiginnasio runs alongside the great Basilica of San Petronius; its still unfinished facade dominates one side of Piazza Maggiore. On the north side is the former Palazzo del Podestà (Governors Palace) with a tower, Torre dell’Arengo, dating from 1259. Under its vaulted dome, people whispering on one side can be heard by those on the opposite corner.

2.San Petronio (Basilica of St. Petronius)

San Petronio (Basilica of St. Petronius)

The Basilica of San Petronio is a minor basilica and church of the Archdiocese of Bologna located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. It dominates Piazza Maggiore. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, who was the bishop of Bologna in the fifth century. Construction began in 1390 and its main facade has remained unfinished since. The building was transferred from the city to the diocese in 1929; the basilica was finally consecrated in 1954. It has been the seat of the relics of Bologna’s patron saint only since 2000; until then they were preserved in the Santo Stefano church of Bologna.
When construction of the massive church that dominates one side of Piazza Maggiore began in 1390, it was designed to be even bigger than St. Peter’s in Rome, but never quite made it. In fact, it was never finished, and the facade remains incomplete. In the tiny museum at the back of the church, you can see the designs that were submitted for the facade, including those by the great architect Andrea Palladio.
The interior, which was finished, is often referred to as the epitome of Gothic architecture in Italy, and each of the side chapels seems like a small church. Look for the strange line cutting across the floor of the nave; it is a meridian line.

3.Santo Stefano (St. Stephen Basilica)

 

Santo Stefano (St. Stephen Basilica)

The basilica of Santo Stefano (Italian: Basilica di Santo Stefano) encompasses a complex of religious edifices in the city of Bologna, Italy. Located on Piazza Santo Stefano, it is locally known as Sette Chiese (“Seven Churches”) and Santa Gerusalemme(“Holy Jerusalem”). It has the dignity of minor basilica.

According to tradition Saint Petronius, a bishop of the city during the 5th century, built the basilica over a temple of the goddess Isis. The saint wished to have a building that recalled the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The different parts of the complex include:

Church of Saint Stephen or of the Holy Crucifix (8th century, presbytery reshaped in 17th century), with the Crypt
Church of the Holy Sepulchre (according to tradition: 5th century)
Church of the Saints Vitale and Agricola (4th century, rebuilt first in the 12th century)
Courtyard of Pilate (“Santo Giardino”, 13th century)
Church of the Trinity or of the Martyrium (13th century)
Chapel of the Bandage (“Cappella della Benda”) dedicated to the strip of cloth worn around the head by the Virgin Mary as a sign of mourning.

While Bologna has no shortage of interesting and art-filled churches, Santo Stefano is the oldest and the most atmospheric. The complex of eight buildings could be called the cradle of faith in Bologna, built by the Benedictines between the 10th and 13th centuries to house the remains of Bologna’s early martyrs, Saints Vitale and Agricola.

Chiesa del Crocifisso, the principal church, has a 12th-century external pulpit and a crypt dating to 1019; octagonal Santo Sepolcro opens onto a pillared courtyard adjoining a two-story cloister. In the simple third church, look for the capitals of various styles recycled from previous Roman and Byzantine buildings and for the 6th-century mosaic floors.

4.Sanctuary and Portico of the Madonna di San Luca

Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is a basilica church in Bologna, northern Italy, sited atop a forested hill, Colle or Monte della Guardia, some 300 metres above the city plain, just south-west of the historical centre of the city.
While a road now leads up to the sanctuary, it is also possible to reach it along a 3.8 km monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674–1793. It was meant to protect the icon as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the centre of Bologna to the Sanctuary goes along this path. Originally the arches held icons or chapels erected by the patron family.
The basilica stands atop a hill that commands views across the city and the Po Valley landscape, its classical interior highlighted by the striking floor of inlaid black, white, and red marble floor. The chancel is lined in equally striking variegated black and white marble.
But what distinguishes this basilica from all the others in Italy is the 3.8-kilometer covered arcade that connects the sanctuary to the city. This monumental structure is the longest portico in the world, with 666 arches, and was built between 1674 and 1793 to protect the Byzantine Madonna with Child icon in its annual procession into Bologna. The icon, said to have been painted by Saint Luke, has traveled this route to Bologna’s Cathedral of San Pietro since 1433, when it was brought from a hilltop convent in the hope of a miracle to stop harvest-threatening rains.

5.Enjoy Bolognese Food

Tagliatelle al ragu

Perhaps Bologna’s greatest appeal to tourists, and the source of its fame throughout Italy, is its reputation as a culinary center. It’s known for tortellini, tagliatelle, and other pastas, and its classic dish, tagliatelle al ragu, is known elsewhere simply as tagliatelle Bolognese. Cured meats are a local specialty, and this region is the home of the incomparable Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
You can experience and savor Bologna’s culinary heritage. A good place to begin is in its markets and food shops. The narrow streets of the Quadrilatero, an area between Piazza Maggiore, via Rizzoli, via Castiglione, and via Farini, has been a market since Roman times, filled with little shops and outdoor stands selling all kinds of food, from garden produce, cheese, and fish to freshly made pastas and baked goods.
Opportunities to learn from Bolognese chefs and home cooks abound, from group classes to individual lessons on forming perfect tortellini. Another thing to do is join a specialized tour led by a local foodie. These will likely include visits to food markets and a number of traditional food shops, including a bakery, chocolatier, salumeria (deli), pasta maker, and gelato shop where you can sample some of Bologna’s specialties.

6.Bologna’s Portici

Beautiful porticoes in Bologna

The Porticoes of Bologna are an important cultural and architectural heritage of Bologna, Italy and represent a symbol of the city together with the numerous towers.No other city in the world has as many porticoes as Bologna: all together, they cover more than 38 kilometres (24 mi) only in the historic centre, but can reach up to 53 kilometres (33 mi) if those outside the medieval city walls are also considered.
On account of their cultural and artistic significance, in 2021 the porticoes of Bologna have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors to Bologna can’t help strolling under the portici, the arcades that line so many of its streets. They are a welcome relief from the summer sun and shelter from the rain, as well as providing extra space to shops, which often display goods under them.
They began in the 11th century as overhanging upper stories of buildings in the growing city center, adding more living and storage space over the shops and businesses on the street level. As they became larger, they needed support beams and posts, and gradually the arcades grew. In the 13th century, new arcades were required to be tall enough for a rider to pass through on horseback, a rule that led to the elegant arched arcades we see today.

7.San Domenico (St. Dominic Church)

San Domenico (St. Dominic Church)

The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the major churches in Bologna, Italy. The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), are buried inside the exquisite shrine Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell’Arca and the young Michelangelo.
At the death in 1221 of Saint Dominic, in this convent of the order he founded, work began on the church that took several centuries to complete. The marble tomb that enshrines his remains is reason enough to visit, carved in minute details by the greatest artists of the day, including Michelangelo and Nicola Pisano. The church’s art treasures don’t end here.

The outstanding wood inlay by intarsia master fra’ Damiano da Bergamo in the choir was hailed by Renaissance contemporaries as the eighth wonder of the world. Each first and second Saturday of the month, at 10.30am and 3.30pm, free guided tours are offered to the chapels, choir, Inquisition rooms, St. Dominic’s cell, and other places not usually open to the public.

Prague tourist attractions

Prague tourist attractions

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, and the historical capital of Bohemia. On the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people. The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague is a political, cultural, and economic hub of central Europe, with a rich history and Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectures. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably Charles IV (r. 1346–1378).
It was an important city to the Habsburg monarchy and Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and the Protestant Reformations, the Thirty Years’ War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia between the World Wars and the post-war Communist era.

Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the historic center of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theaters, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. It is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.

1.Walk the Grounds of Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague 1 within Prague, Czech Republic, built in the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world,occupying an area of almost 70,000 square metres (750,000 square feet), at about 570 metres (1,870 feet) in length and an average of about 130 metres (430 feet) wide. The castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague, attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually.
Located in Prague’s Hradcany neighborhood, Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), once the home of Bohemia’s kings, is today the official residence of the Czech Republic’s President and one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions.
Originally built as a walled fortress around AD 870, the castle has changed dramatically over the years and contains examples of most of the leading architectural styles of the last millennium. Within the castle walls are a number of Prague’s most popular tourist sites, including St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Basilica, the Powder Tower, the Old Royal Palace, and the Golden Lane.
The largest castle complex in the world, this vast fortress requires considerable time to tour, but it’s time well spent (particularly rewarding are the excellent views over the Vltava River with the old town and its many beautiful spires in the background).

2.Stroll across Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge is a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the early 15th century.The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge built 1158–1172 that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský most), but has been referred to as “Charles Bridge” since 1870.

As the only means of crossing the river Vltava until 1841, Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. This land connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

The bridge is 516 metres (1,693 ft) long and nearly 10 metres (33 ft) wide. Following the example of the Stone Bridge in Regensburg, it was built as a bow bridge with 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two on the Lesser Quarter side (including the Malá Strana Bridge Tower) and one on the Old Town side, the Old Town Bridge Tower. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700, but now all have been replaced by replicas.

One of the most recognizable old bridges in Europe, magnificent Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) boasts 32 unique points of interest along its 621-meter span. Built in 1357, the bridge has long been the subject of a great deal of superstition, including the builders having laid the initial bridge stone on the 9th of July at exactly 5:31am, a precise set of numbers (135797531) believed to give the structure additional strength. For added good measure, it was constructed in perfect alignment with the tomb of St. Vitus and the setting sun on the equinox.

The bridge is particularly famous for its many fine old statues. Among the most important are those of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and John of Nepomuk, the country’s most revered saint, unveiled in 1683 (a more recent superstition involves rubbing the plaque at the base of the statue for the granting of a wish).

3.Discover Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square colloquially Václavák [ˈvaːtslavaːk]) is one of the main city squares and the centre of the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague, Czech Republic. Many historical events occurred there, and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings. It is also the place with the busiest pedestrian traffic in the whole country. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site.

Formerly known as Koňský trh (Horse Market), for its periodic accommodation of horse markets during the Middle Ages, it was renamed Svatováclavské náměstí (English: Saint Wenceslas square) in 1848 on the proposal of Karel Havlíček Borovský.
A highlight of Prague’s New Town (Nové Mesto) district-an area that grew out of the city’s need to expand as it prospered-is the wonderful Wenceslas Square (Václavské námestí), home to the National Museum and numerous other architectural treasures.
Named after the patron saint of Bohemia, whose statue can be seen here, Wenceslas Square was created in the 14th century during the reign of Charles IV as a horse market and has since become one of the city’s most important public spaces, still used for demonstrations and celebrations alike.

4.Explore the Treasures at the National Museum

The National Museum

The National Museum muzeum is a Czech museum institution intended to systematically establish, prepare, and publicly exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. It was founded in 1818 by Kašpar Maria Šternberg. Historian František Palackýwas also strongly involved in the foundation of the museum.

The National Museum houses nearly 14 million itemsfrom the areas of natural history, history, arts, music and librarianship, which are located in dozens of museum buildings. The main building of the National Museum has been renovated in 2011–2019, and permanent exhibitions are gradually being opened from Spring 2020.
Fresh from a seven-year-long renovation, the National Museum (Národní Muzeum) in Prague is spread across a number of locations and houses numerous important collections representing a variety of fields, with literally millions of items covering mineralogy, zoology, anthropology, and archaeology, as well as the arts and music. The entomology collection alone numbers more than five million specimens. The oldest museum in the Czech Republic, it was established in the early 1800s before moving to its current location in 1891.
A particularly enjoyable highlight is the archaeology exhibit with its extensive collection of 1st-and 2nd-century Roman artifacts, along with numerous Bronze and Early Iron age finds. (For a comprehensive list of all locations and collections, visit the National Museum’s website, below.)
Another museum to include on your must-visit list is the excellent National Technical Museum (Národní technické museum), which documents the many technological advances the country has contributed to, including displays of machinery and equipment built here over the years, from automobiles to aircraft.

5.St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert (Czech: metropolitní katedrála svatého Víta, Václava a Vojtěcha) is a Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, and is still commonly named only as St. Vitus Cathedral (Czech: katedrála svatého Víta).

This cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture, and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Cathedral dimensions are 124 m × 60 m (407 ft × 197 ft), the main tower is 102.8 m (337 ft) high, front towers 82 m (269 ft), arch height 33.2 m (109 ft)
Situated within the grounds of Prague Castle, the Roman Catholic St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrala St. Vita) is the Czech Republic’s largest and most important Christian church. Seat of the Archbishop of Prague, it’s also home to the tombs of numerous saints and three Bohemian kings.
Founded on the site of a Romanesque rotunda built in AD 925, the cathedral was started in 1344 and took more than 525 years to complete, resulting in a mix of modern Neo-Gothic and 14th-century Gothic styles, along with Baroque and Renaissance influences (be sure to keep an eye out for the impressive gargoyles adorning the exterior of the cathedral).
Interior highlights include stunning stained glass windows depicting the Holy Trinity, a mosaic from 1370 (The Last Judgment), and the St. Wenceslas Chapel (Svatovaclavska kaple) with its spectacular jewel-encrusted altar with more than 1,300 precious stones.

6.Enjoy Free Art at the Municipal House

The Municipal House

Municipal House (Czech: Obecní dům) is a civic building that houses Smetana Hall, a celebrated concert venue, in Prague, Czech Republic. It is located on Náměstí Republiky next to the Powder Gate in the centre of the city.
The Prague Municipal House (Obecní dum) is widely considered one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau in the city. Built in 1912, this splendid civic building is also home to one of Prague’s most important (and largest) concert venues, Smetana Hall, and boasts numerous striking features, from its sumptuous façade with a large mural on the arch above the second floor balcony, to the large dome that rests behind and above the arch.

The interior is equally impressive and includes many fine stained glass windows and important paintings. While English language guided tours are available (including a chance to see otherwise closed ceremonial rooms), one of the best ways to enjoy this landmark is to take in a concert or sample its café, restaurants, and luxury boutique shops.
The Royal Court palace used to be located on the site of the Municipal House. This complex was built around 1380 by King Wenceslas IV, and from 1383 until 1485, the Kings of Bohemia lived in the property. After 1485, it was abandoned. It was demolished in the early 20th century.
Construction of the current building started in 1905. It was designed by Osvald Polívka and Antonín Balšánek. It opened in 1912.
The Municipal House was the location of the Czechoslovak declaration of independence in 1918.
The roof of the building was the location for the INXS music video for their 1987 hit New Sensation.

7.Spend a Day at the Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo

Prague Zoological Garden (Czech: Zoologická zahrada hl. m. Prahy) is a zoo in Prague, Czech Republic. It was opened in 1931 with the goal to “advance the study of zoology, protect wildlife, and educate the public” in the district of Troja in the north of Prague. In 2013, the zoo occupied 58 hectares (140 acres) with 50 hectares (120 acres) in use for exhibits, and housed around 5,000 animals from 676 species, including 132 species listed as threatened.
The zoo is rated as the seventh best zoo in the world by Forbes Travel Guide in 2007,and is rated as the fifth best in the world by TripAdvisor.
The zoo has contributed significantly to saving Przewalski’s horse; for many years, it was the leading breeder of the subspecies. The zoo director is Miroslav Bobek.
Opened in 1931, the superb Prague Zoo (Zoologická zahrada hl. m. Prahy) is not only one of the top tourist attractions in the city, it also ranks among the world’s top zoological parks.
Located in the Troja suburbs just a short distance north of the city center, this 140-acre attraction is an especially fun outing for those traveling with kids. Highlights for younger children include a fun petting zoo, which offers pony rides and opportunities to feed the animals, and a large adventure playground.
Along with its more than 4,200 animals representing some 650 species-including many considered close to extinction-the zoo is notable for its role in saving the native (and endangered) Przewalski’s horse.

Pisa tourist attractions

Pisa tourist attractions

Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city contains more than twenty other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and bridges across the Arno. Much of the city’s architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics.

The city is also home to the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century, the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founded by Napoleon in 1810, and its offshoot, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies.

The most believed hypothesis is that the origin of the name Pisa comes from Etruscan and means ‘mouth’, as Pisa is at the mouth of the Arno river.
Although throughout history there have been several uncertainties about the origin of the city of Pisa, excavations made in the 1980s and 1990s found numerous archaeological remains, including the fifth century BC tomb of an Etruscan prince, proving the Etruscan origin of the city, and its role as a maritime city, showing that it also maintained trade relations with other Mediterranean civilizations.
Ancient Roman authors referred to Pisa as an old city. Virgil, in his Aeneid, states that Pisa was already a great center by the times described; and gives the epithet of Alphēae to the city because it was said to have been founded by colonists from Pisa in Elis, near which the Alpheius river flowed. The Virgilian commentator Servius wrote that the Teuti founded the town 13 centuries before the start of the common era.

1.The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply, the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of Pisa Cathedral. It is known for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is one of three structures in the Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), which includes the cathedral and Pisa Baptistry.
The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183 feet 3 inches) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 m (185 ft 11 in) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 tonnes (16,000 short tons).The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.
The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure’s weight. It worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990, the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.

Every child has heard of it, and every visitor to Pisa probably heads first to what is undoubtedly the world’s most famous tower: La Torre Pendente, the leaning campanile standing next to the cathedral.

The foundation stone was laid in 1173, when Pisa was Italy’s most powerful maritime republic, and its loggia-like tiers were modeled after the cathedral facade. Even before the third story was completed, the tower had already begun to sink alarmingly on its south side. When counterweighting the north side and slightly increasing the height of the south walls proved ineffective, construction was halted.

Almost 100 years later, work resumed, attempting to counteract the tilt by angling the upper stories more towards the vertical. The open bell-chamber was added to the white marble tower in 1350-72, by Tommaso Pisano.

2.Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta (basilica di Santa Maria Assunta) is a basilica church on the island of Torcello, Venice, northern Italy. It is a notable example of Late Paleochristian architecture, one of the most ancient religious edifices in the Veneto, and containing the earliest mosaics in the area of Venice.
According to an ancient inscription, it was founded by the exarch Isaac of Ravenna in 639, when Torcello was still a rival to the young nearby settlement at Venice.
The original church is believed to have had a nave with one aisle on each side and a single apse on the eastern wall of the cathedral. It’s difficult to tell what the original church was like because very little of it survived the subsequent renovations. Much of the plan of the original church survives as its present form is very similar to the original but the only physical parts that survive are the central apse wall and part of the baptistery that survives as part of the façade of the current church.
The first of two major renovations occurred in 864 under the direction of Bishop Adeodatus II. In this renovation, the two aisle apses that appear today were built. Also, the synthronon that fills the central apse was created and the crypt was placed under it. After this renovation, the cathedral would have resembled the current cathedral more than the original church would have but it is not until after the second and final major renovation that the cathedral appears very similar to its current design.

The definitive example of the Pisan architectural style, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a five-aisled Romanesque basilica of white marble designed by Pisan architect Buscheto. Begun in 1063, after Pisa’s naval victory over the Saracens, it was consecrated (still unfinished) in 1118, and towards the end of that century, a new west front was added and the main apse was completed.

3.Campo Santo (Sacred Field)

Campo Santo (Sacred Field)

The Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumentale (“monumental cemetery”) or Camposanto Vecchio (“old cemetery”), is a historical edifice at the northern edge of the Cathedral Square in Pisa, Italy.
“Campo Santo” can be literally translated as “holy field”, because it is said to have been built around a shipload of sacred soil from Golgotha, brought back to Pisa from the Third Crusade by Ubaldo Lanfranchi, archbishop of Pisa in the 12th century. A legend claims that bodies buried in that ground will rot in just 24 hours. The burial ground lies over the ruins of the old baptistery of the church of Santa Reparata, the church that once stood where the cathedral now stands.
The term “monumental” serves to differentiate it from the later-established urban cemetery in Pisa.
According to local legend, Archbishop Ubaldo dei Lanfranchi returned from the Fourth Crusade with several shiploads of earth from Golgotha, so that the citizens of Pisa could be buried in sacred soil. The construction of the Camposanto (Sacred Field) to hold it began in 1278, a large rectangular cloister whose gallery of arches decorated with Gothic tracery open into the courtyard.
On the floor of the cloister are the graves of Pisan patricians, and around the sides are Roman sarcophagi. The walls were covered with 14th- and 15th-century frescoes, but a fire caused by artillery bombardment in 1944 melted the lead roof, either destroying or badly damaging the frescoes.

4.Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

One of the best designed and curated museums in Tuscany is also one of the least-visited places on the Campo dei Miracoli, which is a shame because it adds enormously to an understanding of the art and craftsmanship of that era. And it has an added bonus for those who do explore it: a superb view of the Leaning Tower from the huge second-floor windows.
The cathedral’s museum houses its considerable treasury, which includes priceless masterworks of silversmiths, rich embroideries, tombs, sculpture, and paintings. Many of the sculptures once decorated various buildings of the complex, but were brought indoors for protection many years ago – before they were subject to modern atmospheric pollution, so they are in such good condition that they seem to have been created yesterday instead of centuries ago.
The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) in Florence, Italy is a museum containing many of the original works of art created for Florence Cathedral, including the adjacent Florence Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. Most of the exterior sculptures have been removed from these cathedral buildings, usually replaced by replica pieces, with the museum conserving the originals.
The museum is located just east of the Duomo, near its apse. It occupies the area where much of the sculpture it houses was originally carved, as well as pieces such as Michelangelo’s David, which was commissioned for the cathedral (this is now in the Galleria dell’Accademia).It opened as a museum in 1891, and now houses what has been called “one of the world’s most important collections of sculpture.

5. Murale Tuttomondo

Murale Tuttomondo by Keith Haring

Tuttomondo (English: All World) is a mural created by American artist Keith Haring in 1989. Located on the rear wall of the Sant’Antonio Abate church in Pisa, it is one of the last public murals executed before his death from AIDS-related complications in 1990. It is also one of the few outdoor public works created by Haring for permanent display.
In 1989, after a chance encounter with a student from Pisa, artist Keith Haring was commissioned to paint a mural on the rear wall of Sant’Antonio Abate church. The resulting Tuttomondo (all the world) is one of the largest murals in Europe, at 180 square meters, and took Haring a week to complete.
Tuttomondo is one of only a few outdoor works created by Haring for permanent public display, and he later called it one of his most important. It was also to be one of his last. He completed only one other mural before his death in 1990 at age 31.
Thirty figures, painted in bright colors and in Haring’s cartoon style, seem to tumble across the wall. Women, men, children, a dolphin, a bat, and other animals mix together in an exuberant dance. Haring’s message of harmony and love between humans, animals, and nature is as relevant today as it was in 1989.

6.Arsenals & Museum of Ancient Ships

Guelfa Tower

The Museum of Ancient Ships is a museum in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. The museum exhibits ancient ships and artifacts. The exhibition space is within the ancient halls of the Medici Arsenals.
The Arsenals were built between 1548 and 1588 by Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to strengthen his naval power and revive the glory days of Pisa’s Maritime Republic. The large arcaded sheds were used to build 50-meter-long galleys, warships that were launched directly into the Arno.
The arsenals were built inside the Cittadella, which dates to 1160, but has only the San’Agnese tower still intact. The tall Guelfa Tower (which you can climb for sweeping views across Pisa and the Arno) was built in the early 1400s and rebuilt after World War II damage.
After 1543, the Cittadella was used as artillery barracks and later converted into stables for the Dragon knights, who protected Pisa from Barbary pirates. Today, the arsenal serves as a fitting home for the Museum of Ancient Ships, displaying the exceptional finds from excavations in 1998.
In that year, a construction project unearthed more than 30 ancient ships dating from between the 2nd century BC and the 5th century AD – from the Etruscans to the collapse of the Roman Empire. The grand rooms and aisles built for the Grand Duke’s ships, now display the restored Roman ships and the artifacts found with them, telling of voyages, routes, daily life on board, and shipwrecks.

7.Santa Maria della Spina

Santa Maria della Spina

Santa Maria della Spina is a small church in the Italian city of Pisa. The church, erected around 1230 in the Pisan Gothic style, and enlarged after 1325, was originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo for the newer bridge that existed nearby, collapsed in the 15th century, and was never rebuilt.
The name of della Spina (“of the thorn”) derives from the presence of a thorn, putatively part of the crown of thorns placed on Christ during his Passion and Crucifixion. The relic was brought to this church in 1333. In 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous infiltration of water from the Arno river. The church was altered in the process, however, and John Ruskin, who visited Pisa in 1872, was outraged about the restoration. The church no longer houses the “thorn”, it is now on display in the Chiesa di Santa Chiara on Via Roma.
The church of Santa Maria della Spina has always been administered by the city,except for short interruptions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it fell to the responsibility of the local hospital.
The Church of Santa Maria della Spina, on the left bank of the Arno, is perhaps the best known of Pisa’s smaller churches and certainly one of its loveliest. Originally a small oratory sitting right on the river, it suffered severe foundation damage, and in 1871 it was pulled down stone by stone and rebuilt higher up.
The richly ornate Gothic church owes its name to its possession of a thorn (spina) from Christ’s crown of thorns, brought to Pisa from the Holy Land. The west front has two doorways and three distinctive gables, each with a small rose window. On the south side of the church, a series of arches enclose doorways and windows, and higher up, a niche with figures of Christ and the Apostles.

Sofia Tourist attractions

Sofia Tourist attractions

Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in the Sofia Valley at the foot of the Vitosha mountain in the western parts of the country. The city is built west of the Iskar river, and has many mineral springs, such as the Sofia Central Mineral Baths. It has a humid continental climate. Being in the centre of the Balkans, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea.
The city’s landmarks reflect more than 2,000 years of history, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupation. Medieval Boyana Church has 13th-century frescoes. Built by the Romans in the 4th century, St. George Rotunda Church has medieval and Ottoman decoration dating to the 10th century.

Known as Serdica in Antiquity and Sredets in the Middle Ages, Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC. The recorded history of the city begins with the attestation of the conquest of Serdica by the Roman Republic in 29 BC from the Celtic tribe Serdi. During the decline of the Roman Empire, the city was raided by Huns, Visigoths, Avars and Slavs. In 809, Serdica was incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire by Khan Krum and became known as Sredets. In 1018, the Byzantines ended Bulgarian rule until 1194, when it was reincorporated by the reborn Bulgarian Empire. Sredets became a major administrative, economic, cultural and literary hub until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1382. From 1530 to 1836, Sofia was the regional capital of Rumelia Eyalet, the Ottoman Empire’s key province in Europe. Bulgarian rule was restored in 1878. Sofia was selected as the capital of the Third Bulgarian State in the next year, ushering a period of intense demographic and economic growth.

1.Neo-Byzantine designed St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia

St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Bulgarian: Храм-паметник “Свети Александър Невски”, Hram-pametnik “Sveti Aleksandar Nevski”) is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and it is one of the 50 largest Christian church buildings by volume in the world. It is one of Sofia’s symbols and primary tourist attractions.St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3,170 square metres (34,100 sq ft) and can hold 5,000 people inside. It is among the 10 largest Eastern Orthodox church buildings. It is the largest cathedral in the Balkans. It is believed that up until the year 2000 it was the largest finished Orthodox cathedral.
Considered to be one of the most emblematic sites in Sofia, and one of the most important Orthodox churches in Bulgaria, the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a sight to step in and see for yourself.

The cathedral was built as a symbol for those who perished during the Russian-Turkish War of 1878-1879, which helped to liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.

Be amazed by the beautiful gold-covered domes, and take in the other lavish materials used to give the church its fine details, from Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, and Indian alabaster.

2.Spend the day at the markets of Sofia

best markets in Sofia

Check out the incredible markets that dot the downtown area, and make it a true joy to experience local everyday life in Sofia.
Visit Zhenski Pazar Market, also known as the Women’s Market, known to be the oldest market in Sofia, dating back to the early 20th century.
Find stalls of fresh and local produce brought by local farmers, and smell and taste the authenticity of local dishes sold at the market. It’s a great foodie spot.
Near the famed, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the Alexander Nevsky Antiques Market, which is an open-air flea market where visitors can expect everything from soviet union memorabilia, to home goods, and other random yet intriguing second-hand goods.
Other markets to visit include the Sofia Central Market Hall and the Bitaka Flea Market.

3.Sofia’s largest museum

National History Museum, Sofia

The National Historical Museum (Национален исторически музей, Natsionalen istoricheski muzey) in Sofia is Bulgaria’s largest museum. It was founded on 5 May 1973. A new representative exhibition was opened in the building of the Court of Justice on 2 March 1984, to commemorate the 13th centenary of the Bulgarian state. The museum was moved in 2000 to one of the major buildings in the complex serving as official residence of the President, Vice President and Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.[1], and currently contains over 650,000 objects connected to archaeology, fine arts, history and ethnography, although only 10% of them are permanently exhibited.
The museum includes a cloakroom, cafe, library and souvenir shop. It undertakes professional conservation and restoration of historical monuments, authenticity investigations and expert valuation. Its collections comprise materials dating from prehistoric ages till the present.
With over 650,000 exhibits, the National History Museum welcomes visitors to learn more about the fascinating and deep history of Bulgaria, and the capital city Sofia.
From the Bronze Age, and the Middle Ages, all the way to showcasing war relics like uniforms, to everyday textiles, maps, pieces of furniture, and more – the museum will definitely keep all of its visitors for a while as they navigate the different eras of Bulgaria.
Those interested in archaeology will need to visit the archaeological and historical rooms to examine the incredible amount of items found during excavations throughout the country.

4.Visit the Sofia Zoo

Sofia Zoo, Bulgaria

Sofia Zoo in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, was founded by royal decree on 1 May 1888, and is the oldest and largest zoological garden in Southeast Europe. It covers 36 hectares (89 acres) and, in March 2006, housed 4,850 animals representing 840 species
Spend an afternoon learning about and observing the grand variety of animals that call the Sofia Zoo home, located 12 minutes south of Sofia city center.
With over 2,000 varieties of animals and around 280 represented species, both local and international, children and adult animal enthusiasts will enjoy learning more about each animal, its habitats, and what each animal eats.
Visitors can expect to see animals like otters, goats, lions, bears, lamas, birds of various varieties, and so much more.
Lately, the zoo has opened a new section to the zoo that showcases the study of trees and other wooded plants.

nitially, the zoo was located in the park of the former royal palace, with the primary attraction being a Eurasian black vulture caught in Bulgaria and exhibited in a cage in the garden. Later, pheasants and deer were added to the collection, but since the exhibits and facilities of the time proved inadequate to accommodate a pair of brown bears, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria ordered a grant of land to be awarded to Sofia Zoo on the grounds of the former botanical garden, then in the outskirts of the city.

5.Explore the National Palace of Culture

National Palace of Culture, Sofia

The National Palace of Culture (Национален дворец на културата, Natsionalen dvorets na kulturata; abbreviated as НДК, NDK), located in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the largest, multifunctional conference and exhibition centre in Southeast Europe. It was opened in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria’s 1300th anniversary.

The centre was initiated at the suggestion of Lyudmila Zhivkova, daughter of the communist leader of the former People’s Republic of Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov. The project was designed by a team of Bulgarian and foreign architects led by Alexander Georgiev Barov (1931–1999) along with Ivan Kanazirev. The landscaping of Bulgaria Square in front of the National Palace of Culture was designed by another team of architects and landscape engineers, led by Atanas Agura. Internally, the building exhibits a unified style, employing an octagonal motif and heavy, dark colours. Large bright murals depicting historical figures and events cover the main wall of many of the smaller halls.
The National Palace of Culture (NDK) is the largest convention center not only in Bulgaria but in the whole of the southeastern region of Europe.
Built in 1981, the National Palace of Culture estimates that it hosts 300 events per year. It’s located in the heart of Sofia, making it very accessible to visitors.
Most famous for hosting a myriad of events from concerts, to conventions, conferences, exhibitions, festivals, and more, the National Palace of Culture covers approximately 123,000 square meters and towers around 8 stories high.

6.Splish splash at Vazrajdane Aqua Park

Vazrajdane Aqua Park, Sofia

Sofia’s very first Aquapark opened in 2020. The brand new swimming complex in the zone B5 to the east of the city, offers 5 outdoor swimming pools, three of which are suitable for children, one pool 140cm deep and one with a hydromassage system. The large green outdoor area with sunbeds and umbrellas (included in the price) offers plenty of outdoor space for safe social distancing.
There is an outdoor bar / cafe restaurant offering
Among the other attractions are an indoor swimming pool and spa centre working year round offering water aerobics, different types of sauna (Finnish and infra red), salt rooms, spa treatments including massage and underwater massage treatments.
Prices for the aquapark are split weekdays before 15:00 18 leva after 15:00 12leva; weekends (& holidays) 24leva / 17leva

Welcoming guests with a refreshing afternoon plan, Vazrajdane Aqua Park, located in the heart of the city, is easily accessed via public transportation on train or bus and it’s one of the best things to do in Sofia with kids.
Stretching over 6,600 square meters and situated inside the extensive Vazrajdane Park, this aqua park offers an incredible amount of relaxing opportunities, as well as exciting and entertaining options.
Fit for everyone in your group, enjoy a large indoor swimming pool and sauna park, as well as fun outdoor swimming pools with twisty slides.
Parents can enjoy the swim-up bar, as well as catching some sun rays on the sunbeds, and enjoy lunch at the restaurant on-site. Indulge further in relaxation with a massage, salt room, tangent baths, and so much more.

7.Roam the streets of Plovdiv – Bulgaria’s second-largest city

Plovdiv tours from Sofia

Known as the cultural capital of Bulgaria, Plovdiv is the city famously built around the 7 hills and is recognized nationally and internationally as the oldest continually inhabited European city.In 2019, Plovdiv received the title of European Capital of Culture.Check out the picturesque Ancient Theater, delivering incredible views of the city, made out of marble. Walk through the artsy neighborhood of Kapana, and get a view of the city’s best art pieces inside the abundance of galleries.

We love walking in Plovdiv and have repeatedly recommended that you explore the small intersections. Especially in the center, you may find yourself in Kapana, but there is nowhere to get lost. In the City under the hills, wherever you look, you will come across ancient buildings, quiet courtyards and hidden secrets. And if you need a guide to our favorite Plovdiv streets, look no further. We have selected 6 of them to go around with a camera in your hand and admire the typical atmosphere of the oldest city in Europe.

Well, we have to start with Main Street. Walking in the center is a must, especially on weekends. The street is named Knyaz Alexander Battenberg I, but everyone just calls it Glavnata. Because of its length, it is conditionally divided into two parts – the Small and the Big Main Street. Along with it, besides being able to see the preserved authentic look of buildings from different Bulgarian eras, you will find numerous places for entertainment, food, and drinks. Be sure to look up and don’t miss a single detail, because sometimes the most interesting elements are high above our heads.

Marseille tourist attractions

Marseille tourist attractions

Marseille, a port city in southern France, has been a crossroads of immigration and trade since its founding by the Greeks circa 600 B.C. At its heart is the Vieux-Port (Old Port), where fishmongers sell their catch along the boat-lined quay. Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is a Romanesque-Byzantine church. Modern landmarks include Le Corbusier’s influential Cité Radieuse complex and Zaha Hadid’s CMA CGM Tower.

Marseille is the second most populous city in France, with 870,321 inhabitants in 2020 (Jan. census) over a municipal territory of 241 km2 (93 sq mi). Together with its suburbs and exurbs, the Marseille metropolitan area, which extends over 3,972 km2 (1,534 sq mi), had a population of 1,879,601 at the Jan. 2020 census, the third most populated in France after those of Paris and Lyon. The cities of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and 90 suburban municipalities have formed since 2016 the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, an indirectly elected metropolitan authority now in charge of wider metropolitan issues, with a population of 1,903,173 at the Jan. 2020 census.

Founded c. 600 BC by Greek settlers from Phocaea, Marseille is the oldest city in France, as well as one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements. It was known to the ancient Greeks as Massalia (Greek: Μασσαλία, romanized: Massalía) and to Romans as Massilia. The name Massalia probably derives from μᾶζα (mass, lump, barley-cake), the “lump” being the La Garde rock. Marseille has been a trading port since ancient times. In particular, it experienced a considerable commercial boom during the colonial period and especially during the 19th century, becoming a prosperous industrial and trading city. Nowadays the Old Port still lies at the heart of the city, where the manufacture of Marseille soap began some six centuries ago. Overlooking the port is the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde or “Bonne-mère” for the people of Marseille, a Romano-Byzantine church and the symbol of the city. Inherited from this past, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) and the maritime economy are major poles of regional and national activity and Marseille remains the first French port, the second Mediterranean port and the fifth European port. Since its origins, Marseille’s openness to the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cosmopolitan city marked by cultural and economic exchanges with Southern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In Europe, the city has the third largest Jewish community after London and Paris.

1.Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

La basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde ou plus simplement Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, souvent surnommée « la Bonne Mère » (en provençal Nòstra Dòna de la Gàrdia/Nouesto-Damo de la Gardi), est une basilique mineure de l’Église catholique datée du XIXe siècle. Emblème de Marseille, dédiée à Notre-Dame de la Garde (protectrice de Marseille avec saint Victor), elle domine la ville et la mer Méditerranée depuis le sommet de la colline Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (site classé depuis 19171).

Elle se situe à cheval sur les quartiers du Roucas-Blanc et de Vauban, sur un piton calcaire de 149 m d’altitude surélevé de 13 m grâce aux murs et soubassements d’un ancien fort. Construite par l’architecte protestant Henri-Jacques Espérandieu dans le style romano-byzantin et consacrée le 5 juin 1864, elle remplace une chapelle du même nom édifiée en 1214 et reconstruite au XVe siècle. Bâtie sur les bases d’un fort du XVIe siècle construit par François Ier en 1536 pour résister au siège de Charles Quint, la basilique comporte deux parties : une église basse, ou crypte, creusée dans le roc et de style roman, et au-dessus une église haute de style romano-byzantin décorée de mosaïques. Au sommet d’un clocher carré de 41 mètres de haut surmonté lui-même d’une tourelle de 12,5 mètres qui lui sert de piédestal, se dresse une statue monumentale de 11,2 mètres de la Vierge à l’Enfant réalisée en cuivre doré à la feuille.

Perched on a hilltop above the harbor, this spectacular church is the most important landmark in Marseille. The site was used in ancient times as an observation point, and during the Middle Ages, was the location of a pilgrimage chapel.

Today, the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde is a beacon for the faithful, with an enormous gilded Madonna crowning the belfry. Built between 1853 and 1897, the church features an opulent Neo-Byzantine interior of light and dark marble arches supporting gilded mosaic cupolas. The lavish design has a mesmerizing effect.

After seeing the interior, visitors can spend time on the outdoor terrace that offers breathtaking views. The panoramas extend from the red-tile rooftops of Marseille’s buildings to the Vieux Port (historic harbor), all the way to the Frioul Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

2.Abbaye Saint-Victor

Abbaye Saint-Victor

The Abbey of Saint-Victor is a former abbey that was founded during the late Roman period in Marseille in the south of France, named after the local soldier saint and martyr, Victor of Marseilles.
History

The crypts of the abbey contains artefacts indicating the presence of a quarry that was active during the Greek period and later became a necropolis from 2 BC onward until Christian times.

In 415, Christian monk and theologian John Cassian, having come from the monasteries of Egypt, founded two monasteries at Marseille— the Abbey of Saint Victor for men in the south of the Vieux-Port, as well as the Abbey of Saint Sauveur the other for women in the south of Place de Lenche. The Abbey of Saint Victor was later affected during the fifth century by the Semipelagian heresy, which began with some of Cassian’s writings.Both monasteries suffered from invasions by the Vikings and Saracens, and were destroyed in 838 by a Saracen fleet, when the then-abbess Saint Eusebia was also martyred with 39 nuns. In 923, the Abbey of Saint-Victor was destroyed again by the Saracens.

A short walk from the Vieux Port, the Abbaye Saint-Victor is another must-see tourist sight with splendid harbor views.

The Abbaye Saint-Victor was founded in the 5th century and incorporates the original basilica, which makes it one of the oldest buildings in Marseille that is still intact. The basilica, along with its crypt, is considered a gem of Early Christian architecture and art.

Most of the abbey was rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries during the Romanesque era. With its crenellated walls and towers, the foreboding exterior has the feel of a medieval fortress.

3.Explore the Vieux Port

Vieux Port (Old Harbor)

The Old Port of Marseille (French: Vieux-Port de Marseille, [vjøpɔʁ də maʁsɛj]) is at the end of the Canebière, the major street of Marseille. It has been the natural harbour of the city since antiquity and is now the main popular place in Marseille. It became mainly pedestrian in 2013.

The Vieux Port represents the birthplace of Marseille. This is where the city began as a Greek port around 600 BCE. Surrounded by serene blue waters, the Old Port is located in the west of Marseille near La Canebière boulevard.

A stroll around this bustling harbor immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of a thriving Mediterranean port. The waterfront is a focal point for tourists, and many say it’s one of the best places to visit in Marseille for authentic local cuisine. Seafood restaurants specialize in bouillabaisse, the flavorful seafood stew that is the city’s signature dish.

On the east side of the harbor, the Quai des Belges hosts a fish market every morning. Once an important commercial port, the Vieux Port is now used primarily by fishing boats and sports craft.

4.Enjoy Nature Walks and Scenic Boat Tours at Calanques National Park

Sailboats at the Calanques

Calanques National Park (French: Parc national des Calanques) is a French national park located on the Mediterranean coast in Bouches-du-Rhône, Southern France. It was established in 2012 and extends over 520 km2 (201 sq mi), of which 85 km2 (33 sq mi) is land, while the remaining is marine area. It includes parts of the Massif des Calanques stretching between Marseille’s southern arrondissements, Cassis and La Ciotat.Some of the park’s best known features include the Calanque de Sormiou, Calanque de Morgiou, Calanque de Port-Miou, Calanque de Sugiton, Calanque d’en Vau and Cosquer Cave.

Between Marseille and the quaint fishing village of Cassis is the Parc National des Calanques, a splendid nature site where the Mediterranean meets the Massif des Calanques mountain range.

The landscape is distinguished by majestic limestone rock walls with fjord-like coves (“calanque” translates to “cove”) filled with pools of saltwater in mesmerizing turquoise hues.

Outdoor sports enthusiasts will find many things to do at Calanques National Park, such as swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking. An excellent system of trails allows visitors to appreciate the pristine landscape and gorgeous coastal views.

5.Château d’If

Château d'If

The Château d’If (French pronunciation: [ʃɑto dif]) is a fortress located on the Île d’If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago, situated about 1.5 kilometres (7⁄8 mile) offshore from Marseille in southeastern France. Built in the 16th century, it later served as a prison until the end of the 19th century. The fortress was demilitarized and opened to the public in 1890. It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas’s adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo. It is one of the most visited sites in the city of Marseille (nearly 100,000 visitors per year).

A short ferry ride away from the Vieux Port of Marseille, the Château d’If is located on the Île d’If in the Frioul Islands archipelago, a nature conservation area that includes the tiny islands of If, Pomègues, Ratonneau, and Tiboulen.

The spectacular scenery features protected coves, turquoise waters, pristine beaches, sandy creeks, and impressive limestone cliffs. Thanks to the Mediterranean sunshine, the light creates a serene shimmering effect on the water, and a microclimate allows rare floral species to thrive here.

6.Musée d’Histoire de Marseille

Marseille History Museum | trabantos / Shutterstock.com

Le musée d’Histoire de Marseille est un musée consacré à l’histoire de la ville de Marseille. Fondé en 1983, il a été entièrement rénové et a rouvert le 14 septembre 2013 à l’occasion de Marseille-Provence 2013.

Installé dans le Centre Bourse, à proximité du Vieux-Port, le musée d’histoire de Marseille abrite le site du Port antique, une exposition permanente de 3 500 m2, un espace d’exposition temporaire, un centre de documentation et un auditorium2, ce qui en fait le plus important musée d’histoire urbaine en France

In Le Panier quarter, just a few steps away from the Vieux Port, the Musée d’Histoire de Marseille tells the story of Marseille from its Gallo-Greek origins through the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum offers an impressive collection of artifacts, covering 2,600 years of history.

The historical evolution of France’s oldest city comes to life in this sleek modern museum’s bright spacious rooms. The collections contain 4,000 items and hundreds of multimedia exhibits.

7.La Vieille Charité

La Vieille Charité

La Vieille Charité is a former almshouse, now functioning as a museum and cultural centre, situated in the heart of the old Panier quarter of Marseille in the south of France. Constructed between 1671, and 1749, in the Baroque style to the designs of the architect Pierre Puget, it comprises four ranges of arcaded galleries in three storeys surrounding a space with a central chapel surmounted by an ovoid dome.

The chapel and the hospice were classified as a historic monument by order of January 29, 1951.

La Vieille Charité is located on the Place des Moulins that lies at the highest point in Le Panier.

The building was created in 1640 when the Town Council of Marseille decided to give impoverished residents decent accommodations, in compliance with a royal policy of “enclosing the poor.”

In 1749, a three-floor public hospital with four wings was added to the building. There is a chapel at the center courtyard of the hospital complex. Built from 1679 to 1707, the chapel is a wonderful example of Italian Baroque architecture.

Moscow Tourist attractions

Moscow Tourist attractions

Moscow, on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia’s symbolic center. It’s home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum’s comprehensive collection and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.

Moscow (/ˈmɒskoʊ/ MOS-koh, US chiefly /ˈmɒskaʊ/ MOS-kow;Russian: Москва, tr. Moskva, IPA: [mɐskˈva) is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 13.0 million residents within the city limits,over 18.8 million residents in the urban area, and over 21.5 million residents in the metropolitan area. The city covers an area of 2,511 square kilometers (970 sq mi), while the urban area covers 5,891 square kilometers (2,275 sq mi), and the metropolitan area covers over 26,000 square kilometers (10,000 sq mi). Moscow is among the world’s largest cities, being the most populous city entirely in Europe, the largest urban and metropolitan area in Europe,and the largest city by land area on the European continent.

First documented in 1147, Moscow grew to become a prosperous and powerful city that served as the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. When the Tsardom of Russia was proclaimed, Moscow remained the political and economic center for most of its history. Under the reign of Peter the Great, the Russian capital was moved to the newly founded city of Saint Petersburg in 1712, diminishing Moscow’s influence. Following the Russian Revolution and the establishment of the Russian SFSR, the capital was moved back to Moscow in 1918, where it later became the political center of the Soviet Union.In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Moscow remained the capital city of the newly established Russian Federation.

1.Marvel at the Size of the Kremlin

Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin (Russian: Московский Кремль, romanized: Moskovskiy Kreml’, IPA: [mɐˈskofskʲɪj ˈkrʲemlʲ]), also simply known as the Kremlin, is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow. It is the best known of the kremlins (Russian citadels), and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. In addition, within the complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the residence of the Russian emperor in Moscow. The complex now serves as the official residence of the Russian president and as a museum with almost three million visitors in 2017. The Kremlin overlooks the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and Alexander Garden to the west.

The name kremlin means “fortress inside a city”,and is often also used metonymically to refer to the Russian government. It previously referred to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its leaders. The term “Kremlinology” refers to the study of Soviet and Russian politics.

The Kremlin is open to the public and offers supervised tours.

Moscow’s most recognizable structure is without a doubt the Kremlin, a 15th-century fortified complex that covers an area of 275,000 square meters surrounded by walls built in the 1400s.

The Grand Kremlin Palace -which has over 700 rooms- was once home to the Tsar family and is now the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation, although most heads of state choose to reside elsewhere.

The massive complex also includes many other buildings, some of which are open to the public and can be visited regularly. Aside from three cathedrals (including one where the Tsars were once crowned) and a number of towers, the Kremlin is also home to the Armory building, a museum holding everything from the royal crown and imperial carriages to the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible and Fabergé eggs.

2.Catch a Performance at the Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi Theatre (Russian: Большо́й теа́тр, tr. Bol’shoy teatr, IPA: [bɐlʲˈʂoj tʲɪˈat(ə)r], lit. ‘Big Theater’) is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, originally designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds ballet and opera performances. Before the October Revolution it was a part of the Imperial Theatres of the Russian Empire along with Maly Theatre (Small Theatre) in Moscow and a few theatres in Saint Petersburg (Hermitage Theatre, Bolshoi (Kamenny) Theatre, later Mariinsky Theatre and others).

The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are among the oldest and best known ballet and opera companies in the world. It is by far the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers. The theatre is the parent company of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a leading school of ballet. It has a branch at the Bolshoi Theater School in Joinville, Brazil.

The main building of the theatre, rebuilt and renovated several times during its history, is a landmark of Moscow and Russia (its iconic neoclassical façade is depicted on the Russian 100-ruble banknote). On 28 October 2011, the Bolshoi re-opened after an extensive six-year renovation. The official cost of the renovation is 21 billion rubles ($688 million). However, other Russian authorities and other people connected to it claimed much more public money was spent. The renovation included restoring acoustics to the original quality (which had been lost during the Soviet Era), as well as restoring the original Imperial decor of the Bolshoi.

Presently Bolshoi Theatre is under US and EU sanctions and banned from performing in these countries.
The Bolshoi Theater is home to the largest and one of the oldest ballet and opera companies in the world. While the theater has undergone several major renovations over the past century-including a recent one in 2011 to restore some of the imperial architectural details-it still retains all of its Neoclassical grandeur.

The Bolshoi Theater you see today opened in 1824, after several older versions burned down. Inside, red velvet, a three-tiered crystal chandelier, and gilt moldings give the place a Byzantine-Renassaince grandiose feel like no other.

3.Shop at the Luxurious GUM

GUM

Moscow’s oldest and most upscale shopping center is an architectural marvel. GUM (short for Glávnyj Universálnyj Magazín or “Main Universal Store”) was built in the late 1800s in neo-Russian style to showcase a beautiful mix of a steel skeleton and 20,000 panels of glass forming an arched roof.

This was a unique construction at the time, since the glass had to be strong enough to support the snow-heavy Russian winters. The building is just as impressive outside, with all three levels covered in marble and granite.

While GUM is no longer the largest shopping center in Moscow, it’s still by far the most beautiful. Home to brands like Gucci and Manolo Blahnik, this might not be the ideal destination for most budget-conscious visitors, but the beauty of the building itself is worth a visit.

On the third floor, there are also great dining options, including a Soviet-style canteen that serves traditional Russian food, and a stand selling ice cream made by hand using an original 1954 recipe originally approved by the Soviet government.

4.Make Your Way Into Lenin’s Mausoleum

Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin’s Mausoleum (from 1953 to 1961 Lenin’s and Stalin’s Mausoleum) (Russian: Мавзолей Ленина, tr. Mavzoley Lenina, IPA: [məvzɐˈlʲej ˈlʲenʲɪnə]), also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is a mausoleum located at Red Square in Moscow, Russia. It serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, whose preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime. The outdoor tribune over the mausoleum’s entrance was used by Soviet leaders to observe military parades. The structure, designed by Alexey Shchusev, incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums such as the Step Pyramid, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and, to some degree, the Temple of the Inscriptions.

Lenin’s Mausoleum, the final resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, occupies a central spot in Red Square. His body has been in the mausoleum since his death in 1924-and although the original plan was for him to be buried after a short period of public display for mourning, the plan quickly changed.

After over 100,000 visited the tomb over a period of six weeks, it was decided that a new sarcophagus and a more permanent display space could actually preserve Lenin’s body for much longer than expected-and Lenin’s Mausoleum was built.

5.Spend an Hour (or Three) at Red Square

St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square

Red Square (Russian: Красная площадь, romanized: Krasnaya ploshchad’, IPA: [ˈkrasnəjə ˈploɕːɪtʲ]) is one of the oldest and largest squares in Moscow, the capital of Russia. It is located in Moscow’s historic centre, in the eastern walls of the Kremlin. It is the city landmark of Moscow, with famous buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the GUM. In addition, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

The Red Square has an almost rectangular shape and is 70 meters wide and 330 meters long. It extends lengthways from northwest to southeast along part of the wall of the Kremlin that forms its boundary on the southwest side. In the northeast, the square is bounded by the GUM department store building and the old district of Kitay-gorod, in the northwest by the State Historical Museum and the Resurrection Gate and in the southeast by Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Tverskaya Street begins to the northwest of the square behind the building of the State Historical Museum, and to the southeast is the so-called Basilius slope, which leads to the Moskva River, which goes down and over a bridge to the Zamoskvorechye District. Two streets branch off to the northeast from Red Square: Nikolskaya Street, which is named after the Nikolaus Tower of the Kremlin, which is directly opposite, and the Ilyinka (Ильинка), both of which have existed since the 14th century and were once important arteries of old Moscow. Today the square itself, with the exception of the access road leading through it to the Savior Gate of the Kremlin, is a pedestrian zone.

All of Moscow’s main streets start at Red Square, so it’s easy to see why this is considered the heart of the city. A massive space of 330 meters by 70 meters, the square is flanked by the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, two cathedrals, and the State Historical Museum.

6.Ride the Stunning Moscow Metro

Komsomolskaya Station on the Moscow metro

The Moscow Metro is a metro system serving the Russian capital of Moscow as well as the neighbouring cities of Krasnogorsk, Reutov, Lyubertsy and Kotelniki in Moscow Oblast. Opened in 1935 with one 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) line and 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union.

As of 2023, the Moscow Metro, excluding the Moscow Central Circle, the Moscow Central Diameters and the Moscow Monorail, had 263 stations (300 with Moscow Central Circle and the Monorail) and its route length was 449.1 km (279.1 mi) (without Moscow Central Circle and the Monorail), making it the 10th-longest in the world and the longest outside China. It is the third metro system in the world (after Madrid and Beijing), which has two ring lines. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section 84 metres (276 ft) underground at the Park Pobedy station, one of the world’s deepest underground stations. It is the busiest metro system in Europe, the busiest in the world outside Asia, and is considered a tourist attraction in itself.

The Moscow Metro is a world leader in the frequency of train traffic—intervals during peak hours do not exceed 90 seconds. The Moscow Metro is also the first and only one in the world to switch to this schedule. In February 2023, Moscow was the first in the world to reduce the intervals of metro trains to 80 seconds.

Riding the Moscow metro is an experience all in itself, but even just heading underground to walk through the stations is something no visitor should miss. With 223 stations and 12 metro lines crosscutting through Moscow, however, this can be tricky, so visiting at least a few of the most impressive ones is a good start.

Arbatskaya station was designed by a skyscraper architect, so it’s no surprise that it features multicolored granite slabs and impressive bronze chandeliers.

7.Spend a rainy day at the Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery

The State Tretyakov Gallery is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, which is considered the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world.

The State Tretyakov Gallery (Russian: Государственная Третьяковская Галерея, romanized: Gosudarstvennaya Tretyakovskaya Galereya; abbreviated ГТГ, GTG) is an art gallery in Moscow, Russia, which is considered the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world.

The gallery’s history starts in 1856 when the Muscovite merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his day with the aim of creating a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art. In 1892, Tretyakov presented his already famous collection of approximately 2,000 works (1,362 paintings, 526 drawings, and 9 sculptures) to the Russian nation. The museum attracted 894,374 visitors in 2020 (down 68 percent from 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic). It was 13th on the list of most-visited art museums in the world in 2020.

The largest collection of Russian art in the world sits here, with over 180,000 paintings, sculptures, and religious art dating back to over a millennia ago. The gallery, built using beautiful red and white colors from classical Russian architecture, is located near the Kremlin and it was built in the early 20th century.

Significant art pieces include the Vladimir Mother of God; a Byzantine icon of the Virgin and child dating back to the 1100s; Andrei Rublev’s The Trinity icon from the 15th century; and several works by Ilya Repin, the most famous realist painter in Russia.

Venice tourist attractions

Venice tourist attractions

Venice, city, major seaport, and capital of both the provincia (province) of Venezia and the regione (region) of Veneto, northern Italy. An island city, it was once the centre of a maritime republic. It was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link to Asia. Venice is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la serenissima (“the most serene” or “sublime”). It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.

1.St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark's Basilica

The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark (Italian: Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco), commonly known as St Mark’s Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Marco; Venetian: Baxéłega de San Marco), is the cathedral church of the Patriarchate of Venice; it became the episcopal seat of the Patriarch of Venice in 1807, replacing the earlier cathedral of San Pietro di Castello. It is dedicated to and holds the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of the city.

The church is located on the eastern end of Saint Mark’s Square, the former political and religious centre of the Republic of Venice, and is attached to the Doge’s Palace. Prior to the fall of the republic in 1797, it was the chapel of the Doge and was subject to his jurisdiction, with the concurrence of the procurators of Saint Mark de supra for administrative and financial affairs.

The vast expanse of Venice’s largest square is brought together and made to seem almost intimate by the elegant uniformity of its architecture on three sides. But more than its architectural grace, St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is loved as Venice’s living room, the place everybody gathers, strolls, drinks coffee, stops to chat, meets friends and tour guides, or just passes through on the way to work or play.

Three sides are framed in arcades, beneath which are fashionable shops and even more fashionable cafés. The open end is bookmarked by the erratic, exotic curves, swirls, mosaics, and lacy stone filigree of St. Mark’s Basilica.

2.Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and Bridge of Sighs

Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) and Bridge of Sighs

The Doge’s Palace (/doʊ(d)ʒɪzˈpælɪs/; Italian: Palazzo Ducale; Venetian: Pałaso Dogal) is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice. It was built in 1340 and extended and modified in the following centuries. It became a museum in 1923 and is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

Visitors arriving in Venice once stepped ashore under the façade of this extraordinary palace. They couldn’t have failed to be impressed, both by its size and the finesse of its architecture.

If they were received inside by the Doges, the impression would only strengthen as they entered through the Porta della Carta, a perfect example of Venetian Gothic at its height, and ascended the monumental Scala dei Giganti and the gold-vaulted Scala d’Oro to be received in what many consider to be the palace’s most beautiful chamber, Sala del Collegio.

Even jaded 21st-century travelers gasp in awe at the palace’s grandeur and lavish decoration. You’ll see works by all the Venetian greats, including Tintoretto, whose Paradise is the largest oil painting in the world.

In 810, Doge Agnello Participazio moved the seat of government from the island of Malamocco to the area of the present-day Rialto, when it was decided a palatium duci (Latin for “ducal palace”) should be built. However, no trace remains of that 9th-century building as the palace was partially destroyed in the 10th century by a fire. The following reconstruction works were undertaken at the behest of Doge Sebastiano Ziani (1172–1178). A great reformer, he would drastically change the entire layout of the St. Mark’s Square. The new palace was built out of fortresses, one façade to the Piazzetta, the other overlooking the St. Mark’s Basin. Although only few traces remain of that palace, some Byzantine-Venetian architecture characteristics can still be seen at the ground floor, with the wall base in Istrian stone and some herring-bone pattern brick paving.

3.Canale Grande (Grand Canal)

Canale Grande (Grand Canal)

The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande [kaˌnal ˈɡrande]; Venetian: Canal Grando, anciently Canałasso [kanaˈɰaso]) is a channel in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city.

One end of the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into the basin at San Marco; in between, it makes a large reverse-S shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3.8 km (2.4 mi) long, and 30 to 90 m (98 to 295 ft) wide, with an average depth of 5 metres (16 feet).

The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos; this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Centuries-old traditions, such as the Historical Regatta [it], are perpetuated every year along the Canal.

Sweeping through the heart of Venice in a giant reverse S curve, the Grand Canal is the principal boulevard through the city, connecting Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, and the arrival points of the rail station and bridge from the mainland.

Only four bridges cross its 3.8-kilometer length, but stripped-down gondolas called traghetti shuttle back and forth at several points between bridges. The Grand Canal was the address of choice for anyone who claimed any influence in Venice. Palaces of all the leading families open onto the canal, their showy Venetian Gothic and Early Renaissance facades facing the water, by which visitors arrived.

4.Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) and San Polo

 

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto; Venetian: Ponte de Rialto) is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. Connecting the sestieri (districts) of San Marco and San Polo, it has been rebuilt several times since its first construction as a pontoon bridge in 1173, and is now a significant tourist attraction in the city.

Once the only bridge across the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge marks the spot of the island’s first settlement, called Rivus Altus (high bank). Built in 1588, some 150 years after the collapse of a previous wooden bridge, this stone arch supports two busy streets and a double set of shops.

Along with serving as a busy crossing point midway along the canal, it is a favorite vantage point for tourists taking – or posing for – photos, and for watching the assortment of boats always passing under it.

The church of San Bartolomeo, close to the San Marco end of the bridge, was the church of the German merchants who lived and worked in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (German Commodity Exchange) bordering the canal here. It has an excellent altarpiece, The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, by Palma the Younger. The former exchange is now a popular place to go shopping.

5.Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower)

Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower)

The Clock Tower in Venice is an early Renaissance building on the north side of the Piazza San Marco, at the entrance to the Merceria. It comprises a tower, which contains the clock, and lower buildings on each side. It adjoins the eastern end of the Procuratie Vecchie. Both the tower and the clock date from the last decade of the 15th century, though the mechanism of the clock has subsequently been much altered. It was placed where the clock would be visible from the waters of the lagoon and give notice to everyone of the wealth and glory of Venice. The lower two floors of the tower make a monumental archway into the main street of the city, the Merceria, which linked the political and religious centre (the Piazza) with the commercial and financial centre (the Rialto). Today it is one of the 11 venues managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

To one side of the basilica, facing onto Piazza San Marco, is one of Venice’s most familiar icons, a clock tower surmounted by a pair of bronze Moors that strike the large bell each hour. The face of the clock shows phases of the moon and the zodiac in gilt on a blue background, and above the clock is a small balcony and a statue of the Virgin.

Above that, the winged Lion of St. Mark and a mosaic of gold stars against a blue background were added in 1755 by Giorgio Massari. The tower itself is from the 15th century and typical of Venetian Renaissance architecture. Through an arched gateway at its base runs one of Venice’s busiest streets, the narrow Calle Mercerei.

6.Campanile

The Campanile on St. Mark's Square

St Mark’s Campanile (Italian: Campanile di San Marco, Venetian: Canpanièl de San Marco) is the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. The current campanile is a reconstruction completed in 1912, the previous tower having collapsed in 1902. At 98.6 metres (323 ft) in height, it is the tallest structure in Venice and is colloquially termed “el paròn de casa” (the master of the house). It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.

Located in Saint Mark’s Square near the mouth of the Grand Canal, the campanile was initially intended as a watchtower to sight approaching ships and protect the entry to the city. It also served as a landmark to guide Venetian ships safely into harbour. Construction began in the early tenth century and continued sporadically over time as the tower was slowly raised in height. A belfry and a spire were first added in the twelfth century. In the fourteenth century the spire was gilded, making the tower visible to distant ships in the Adriatic. The campanile reached its full height in 1514 when the belfry and spire were completely rebuilt on the basis of an earlier Renaissance design by Giorgio Spavento. Historically, the bells served to regulate the civic and religious life of Venice, marking the beginning, pauses, and end of the work day; the convocation of government assemblies; and public executions.

The campanile stands alone in the square, near the front of St Mark’s Basilica. It has a simple form, recalling its early defensive function, the bulk of which is a square brick shaft with lesenes, 12 metres (39 ft) wide on each side and 50 metres (160 ft) tall. The belfry is topped by an attic with effigies of the Lion of St Mark and allegorical figures of Venice as Justice. The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire at the top of which there is a golden weather vane in the form of the archangel Gabriel.

Standing like a giant exclamation point above the expanse of Piazza San Marco, the Campanile is not the first to stand here. The original one, erected as a lighthouse in 1153, collapsed dramatically into the piazza in 1902, and was rebuilt on a firmer footing. Also rebuilt was the Loggetta at its base, a small marble loggia completed in 1540, where members of the Great Council assembled before meeting in the sessions.

In the loggia at the base, you can see Sansovino’s four bronze masterpieces between the columns, all of which were rescued from the rubble after the collapse. The Campanile has a grimmer side to its history: in the Middle Ages, prisoners, including renegade priests, were hoisted halfway up the outside in cages, where they hung suspended for weeks.

7.Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute (English: Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy.

It stands on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, at the Bacino di San Marco, making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague churches.

One of the most photographed churches in Venice, Santa Maria della Salute has a postcard setting, rising at the tip of a peninsula across from the Doge’s Palace.

The monumental Baroque church was built as thanks for the end of the plague of 1630. But the fragile land wouldn’t support its tremendous weight, so its architect, Baldassare Longhena, had more than a million timbers driven into the floor of the lagoon before he could erect the church.

The vaporetto landing is right in front of the church, and the highlight of its interior – apart from the magnificent dome – is the Sacristy, where you’ll find paintings that include Tintoretto’s Marriage at Cana.

Brussels tourist attractions

Brussels tourist attractions

Brussels is the most densely populated region in Belgium, and although it has the highest GDP per capita, it has the lowest available income per household. The Brussels Region covers 162 km2 (63 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of over 1.2 million. The five times larger metropolitan area of Brussels comprises over 2.5 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium.It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards the cities of Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven and the province of Walloon Brabant, in total home to over 5 million people.

Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and home to numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg). Because of this, its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussels.

As the economic capital of Belgium and a top financial centre of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, Brussels is classified as an Alpha global city. It is also a national and international hub for rail, road and air traffic, and are sometimes considered, together with Belgium, as the geographic, economic and cultural crossroads of Europe. The Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the largest and busiest in the country.

 

1.Saint-Michel Cathedral

Saint-Michel Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, usually shortened to the Cathedral of St. Gudula or St. Gudula by locals, is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in central Brussels, Belgium.

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula usually shortened to the Cathedral of St. Gudula or St. Gudula by locals, is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral in central Brussels, Belgium. It is dedicated to Saint Michael and Saint Gudula, the patron saints of the City of Brussels, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Brabantine Gothic architecture.

The Romanesque church’s construction began in the 11th century, replacing an earlier chapel, and was largely complete in its current Gothic form by the 16th, though its interior was frequently modified in the following centuries. The building includes late-Gothic and Baroque chapels, whilst its neo-Gothic decorative elements, including some of its stained glass windows in the aisles, date from restoration work in the 19th century. St. Gudula also stands out for its musical components, notably its two pipe organs and its immense church bells. The complex was designated a historic monument in 1936.

 

2.Visit Mannekin Pis

Brussels tourist attractions

Manneken Pis has been repeatedly stolen or damaged throughout its history. Since 1965, a replica has been displayed with the original stored in the Brussels City Museum. It is one of the best-known symbols of Brussels and Belgium, inspiring many imitations and similar statues. The figure is regularly dressed up and its wardrobe consists of around one thousand different costumes. Due to its self-derisive nature, it is also an example of belgitude (French; lit. ’Belgianness’), as well as of folk humour (zwanze) popular in Brussels.

Manneken Pis is a landmark 55.5 cm bronze fountain sculpture in central Brussels, Belgium, depicting a puer mingens; a naked little boy urinating into the fountain’s basin.

Along the Rue de l’Etuve is Brussels’ best-known landmark, the Manneken Pis, usually besieged by a throng of tourists.

Although he can be traced back to at least 1388, nothing much is known about the origin of the figure of a little boy urinating, popularly referred to as “the oldest citizen of Brussels.”

The Manneken is, however, surrounded by various legends. According to one, the fountain is a memorial to a courageous infant who averted a conflagration, according to another, it commemorates the son of a count who succumbed to a pressing urge while taking part in a procession.

 

3.Tour the Place Royale (Koningsplein)

 

The Place Royale is a historic neoclassical square in the Royal Quarter of Brussels, Belgium. Modelled after the so-called French royal square and built between 1775 and 1782, according to a plan of the architects Jean-Benoît-Vincent Barré and Gilles-Barnabé Guimard, to replace the former Palace of Coudenberg, it was part of an urban project including Brussels Park.

The Place Royale is one of oldest architecturally consistent and monumental public squares, as well as an excellent example of 18th-century urban architecture. Rectangular and symmetrical in shape, it measures 77 by 113 metres (253 by 371 ft)and is entirely paved. In its centre stands an equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon. It is also flanked by the Church of St. James on Coudenberg, as well as some of the main museums in the city.

A favorite attraction for photo-ops, the most important building on this square is the Royal Palace (Palais Royal), which is used by the Belgian royal family as an official residence.

The Belgian flag, flown from the roof, signals the sovereign’s presence, and a ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place every day at about 2:30pm.

From late July to late August, free guided tours of the palace’s interior, taking in the grand reception rooms and halls, are available.

Surrounding the palace are an ensemble of cultural buildings boasting Neoclassical facade.

 

4.Enter the Atomium

Brussels tourist attractions

The Atomium is a landmarkmodernist building in Brussels, Belgium, originally constructed as the centrepiece of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58). Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and the architects André and Jean Polak as a tribute to scientific progress, as well as to symbolise Belgian engineering skills at the timeit is located on the Heysel/Heizel Plateau in Laeken (northern part of the City of Brussels), where the exhibition took place. It is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, and serves as a museum, an art centre and a cultural destination.

The Atomium stands 102 metres (335 ft) tall, making it one of the tallest structures in Belgium. Its nine 18-metre-diameter (59 ft) stainless steel clad spheres are connected in the shape of a unit cell that could represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Steel tubes connecting the spheres enclose stairs, escalators and an elevator (in the central, vertical tube) to allow access to the six visitable spheres, which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant with a panoramic view of Brussels. The building was completely renovated between 2004 and 2006 by the companies Jacques Delens and BESIX

The Atomium is a landmark modernist building in Brussels, Belgium, originally constructed as the centrepiece of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.

Along with Manneken Pis, the Atomium is Brussels’ best-known landmark attraction, and although it’s a bit of a journey by tram to get out here, the bizarre 102-meter-high steel and aluminum structure, designed by the architect André Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, is the city’s most surreal sight.

The building represents a molecule of iron magnified 165 million times.

Today, visitors can enter the building to explore its sci-fi-style interiors. The lower spheres are home to a permanent exhibition on the history of the structure. The upper sphere has incredible panoramas across the city.

 

5. Coudenberg Palace Archaeological Site

 

The Palace of Coudenberg was a royal residence situated on the Coudenberg or Koudenberg, a small hill in what is today the Royal Quarter of Brussels, Belgium.

One of Brussels’ most unique things to do is explore this active archaeological site, which was rediscovered in the 1980s.

Coudenberg Palace has been excavated to reveal the cellars and tunnels of the former Palace of Brussels, as well as forgotten streets that had been buried beneath the city for centuries.

The foundations of the medieval palace have been cleared to allow tourists the opportunity to explore, and the museum has free audio guides that take you through the dig site.

For nearly 700 years, the Castle and then Palace of Coudenberg was the residence (and seat of power) of the counts, dukes, archdukes, kings, emperors or governors who, from the 12th century to the 18th century, exerted their sovereignty over the Duchy of Brabant and later over all or part of the Burgundian and then Spanish and Austrian Netherlands.

The palace was completely destroyed in an accidental fire which broke out on the night of 3 February 1731. Only the underground parts remain today. After several years of recent excavations, the archaeological vestiges of the palace and its foundations are open to the public.

 

6. Mont des Arts

 

The Mont des Arts or Kunstberg, meaning “Hill/Mount of the Arts”, is an urban complex and historic site in central Brussels, Belgium, including the Royal Library of Belgium, the National Archives of Belgium, the Square – Brussels Meeting Centre, and a public garden.

The Mont des Arts meaning “Hill/Mount of the Arts”, is an urban complex and historic site in central Brussels, Belgium, including the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR), the National Archives of Belgium, the Square – Brussels Meeting Centre, and a public garden.

This site is located between the Rue Montagne de la Cour/Hofbergstraat and the Place Royale/Koningsplein in its “upper” part, and the Boulevard de l’Empereur/Keizerslaan and the Place de l’Albertine/Albertinaplein in its “lower” part. It is served by Brussels Central Station.

The Mont des Arts was created between 1956 and 1958, occupying the elevated site between the Place Royale and the Place de l’Albertine.

The architecturally imposing complex of large buildings includes the Bibliothèque Albert I and the strikingly modern Palais de la Dynastie and Palais Congrès.

From the square between them is a fine view of the lower central city. The Bibliothèque Albert I was founded during the period of Burgundian rule and comprises more than three million volumes together with a valuable collection of manuscripts and several interesting museums.

 

7.Meunier Museum

Brussels tourist attractions

Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) had this beautiful house-cum-studio built towards the end of his life. Sheltering an extensive collection of over 700 works, the house was acquired by the Belgian state in 1936 and opened to the public in 1939. Attached to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, and subsequently renovated, it has since 1986 presented a selection of about 150 works and documents.

The house and studio of Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) is now home to a museum dedicated to his work.

Meunier was a Belgian artist who, in his later paintings and sculptural works, concentrated on a social realist style that was hugely influential on artists throughout the early years of the 20th century. His sculptures of industrial workers are particularly well known.

The museum displays a selection of approximately 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and plaster models from its collection of 700, providing an excellent grounding and introduction to Meunier’s work.

The building itself, which Meunier had built towards the end of his life, is a good example of Brussels’ vernacular terraced housing.

Barcelona tourist attractions

Barcelona tourist attractions

Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites.

Barcelona (/ˌbɑːrsəˈloʊnə/ BAR-sə-LOH-nə, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [baɾθeˈlona]) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After joining with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the confederation of the Crown of Aragon, Barcelona, which continued to be the capital of the Principality of Catalonia, became the most important city in the Crown of Aragon and the main economic and administrative centre of the Crown, only to be overtaken by Valencia, wrested from Arab domination by the Catalans, shortly before the dynastic union between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon in 1492.

 

1.Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, shortened as the Sagrada Família, is an unfinished church in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world.

Describing the Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”,and Paul Goldberger describes it as “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages”. The basilica is not the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, as that title belongs to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Barcelona Cathedral).

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família stands in the northern part of the city, dominating its surroundings with its 18 spindly towers soaring high above all the other buildings. One of Europe’s most unconventional churches, this amazing monument is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The renowned Catalan architect of modern times, Antoni Gaudí was commissioned in 1883 to design this Basilica as a neo-Gothic church. But instead of following the plans, he created a signature example of his famous surrealistic Art Nouveau architecture. He had no firm ideas in mind, preferring to alter and add to the plans as work progressed.

Although Gaudí had originally forecast between 10 and fifteen years, the church was never completed during his lifetime. Since 1926, several other architects have continued work on the Basilica based on Gaudí’s plans. In 2010, the main nave was completed, and the Basilica was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI (although construction is still ongoing and expected to be completed by 2026).

 

2.Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

The charming Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, has narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants. The Museu d’Història de Barcelona shows remains of the Roman city. Artisans sell leather and jewelry near the Cathedral of Barcelona, while flower stalls and street-food vendors line busy avenue La Rambla. The Plaça del Pi, named after the adjacent Gothic church, hosts a weekend art market.

For 2,000 years, the Gothic Quarter has been the spiritual and secular center of the city. Relics of ancient Roman buildings are still found here, but the Middle Ages are best represented by the historic monuments packed into this quarter.

Mainly built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia is the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Surrounding the cathedral is a maze of cobblestone streets and alleyways.

Tourists will enjoy wandering the narrow pedestrian lanes, and stopping to discover the neighborhood’s quaint boutiques and restaurants. By getting lost here, visitors become immersed in the magical ambience of a traffic-free medieval world.

Picturesque squares are enlivened by the sounds of people chatting and laughing or the strumming of Spanish classical guitar. Children often play a pickup game of soccer in the Gothic Quarter’s hidden corners, and local residents socialize at the sidewalk terraces of cafés that are tucked away in courtyards.

The quarter encompasses the oldest parts of the city of Barcelona, and includes the remains of the city’s Roman wall and several notable medieval landmarks. Much of the present-day fabric of the quarter, however, dates to the 19th and early 20th centuries. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area, along with the former Sinagoga Major.

The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.

 

3.Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera in reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance, is a Modernista building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912.

In the Eixample district off the elegant boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia, the UNESCO-listed Casa Milà is Antoni Gaudí’s most famous secular building. Casa Milà is also affectionately known as “La Pedrera,” which translates to “The Stone Quarry” because the building resembles an open quarry.

Built between 1906 and 1912, this flamboyant avant-garde dwelling looks more like a sculpture than a functional building. Every line of the natural stone facade is curved, with rounded windows and metal balcony railings twining around in plant-like shapes. Even the roof has an undulating form, complemented by the decorative chimneys.

The entrance to the building is on the Carrer de Provença, through a remarkable wrought-iron gate that leads to an inner courtyard. The building is supported by ribbed arches that were designed for load-bearing purposes, a feature that reveals Gaudí’s genius as a structural engineer.

In dit bouwwerk bevindt zich een museum, met wisselende exposities. Verder zijn een appartement op de vierde verdieping, de zolder (met een tentoonstelling over het werk van de architect) en het golvende dakterras te bezichtigen. De luchtkanalen en schoorstenen hebben grillige vormen die kenmerkend zijn voor het gebouw.

In Casa Milà bevindt zich de eerste parkeergarage van Barcelona. De bewoners konden per koets (en later per auto) naar hun eigen verdieping rijden. Pas later werden er liften geïnstalleerd.

In 1984 werd La Pedrera, samen met andere werken van Gaudí, erkend als werelderfgoed door de UNESCO.

Sinds 1986 is La Pedrera eigendom van de bank Caixa Catalunya (de huidige Catalunya Caixa), die voor aankoop en restauratie zo´n 7 miljard pesetas neertelde.

 

4.Barcelona’s Social Hub

Barcelona's Social Hub

La Rambla (Catalan pronunciation: [lə ˈramblə]) is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 km (0.75 mi) connecting the Plaça de Catalunya in its center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the neighbourhoods of the Barri Gòtic to the east and the El Raval to the west.

La Rambla can be crowded, especially during the height of the tourist season. Its popularity with tourists has affected the character of the street, which has shifted in composition to pavement cafes and souvenir kiosks. It has also suffered from the attention of pickpockets.

The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.

The heart of Barcelona’s social life is found on La Rambla, a wide tree-shaded avenue that divides the Old Town into two parts. La Rambla stretches from the Plaça de Catalunya, where the beautiful Romanesque 12th-century Convent of Santa Anna stands, all the way down to the port.

This street features expansive pedestrian sidewalks, lined with shops, restaurants, and outdoor cafés, making it one of the most popular hangouts in the city.

During the day, many locals are found here doing their everyday shopping at the Mercat de la Boqueria. At night, groups of friends and families take their evening paseo (stroll) on La Rambla to enjoy the fresh air and lively ambience. On some days, onlookers might be treated to live music, a mime show, or other impromptu street performances.

 

5.Bogatell Beach

Bogatell Beach

Playa de Bogatell is in the 14th place out of 53 beaches in the Barcelona region 2.8 km away from its center, the city of Barcelona. It is one of the beaches of Barcelona settlement, just 2.8 km from its center. The beach is located in an urban area.

One of the best beaches of Spain is found within the city limits of Barcelona. Locals flock to Bogatell Beach to sunbathe, socialize, relax, play volleyball, or go windsurfing. Other things to do include kitesurfing and kayaking.

The 600-meter-long beach features a sandy shoreline and excellent amenities: restrooms, showers, parking, a beachfront promenade, snack bars, and ice-cream shops. There are also multiple lifeguard towers to ensure beach safety.

 

6.Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia

Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, with the principal work done in the fourteenth century.

is de gotische kathedraal van Barcelona, gelegen aan de Plaça de la Seu. Zij is de hoofdkerk van het aartsbisdom Barcelona en is gewijd aan de heilige Eulalia van Mérida, die in 304 stierf als martelares en co-patrones van de stad is.

At the center of the Gothic Quarter on the Monte Tabor is the Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia). This medieval cathedral is a masterpiece of Catalan Gothic architecture with an ornately sculpted facade.

The sanctuary contains magnificent works of art, including the Altarpiece of the Transfiguration by Bernat Martorell, as well as other medieval altarpieces and a remarkable gilded, jewel-encrusted monstrance. The cathedral also has an exquisite Gothic choir and keystones that date to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Surprising many visitors, the cathedral’s cloister and garden shelter 13 live geese that symbolize the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia. The cloister’s pond provides habitat for the geese.

 

7.Parc Güell: Gaudí’s Surrealist Park

Parc Güell: Gaudí's Surrealist Park

Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell [ˈpaɾɡ ˈɡweʎ]; Spanish: Parque Güell) is a privatized park system composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Carmel Hill belongs to the mountain range of Collserola – the Parc del Carmel is located on the northern face. Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism.

Colorful, cheerful, and full of whimsy, this luxuriant 19-hectare hillside park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Created between 1900 and 1914, the Park Güell includes 12 acres of landscaped gardens featuring Surrealist architectural elements created by Antoni Gaudí and eight acres of pristine woodlands (pine forest and olive groves).

Splendid fountains, viaducts, grottoes, a colonnaded hall, winding staircases, and semi-closed conversation seats are scattered throughout the garden space. These creative structures are decorated with vibrant mosaics made of ceramic fragments.

There are picnic areas and a spectacular terrace that offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. Gaudí himself loved this area of the city (the Gràcia district), and his home was located here.

 

 

Florence tourist attractions

Florence tourist attractions

Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”

The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and UNESCO declared the Historic Centre of Florence a World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, Forbes ranked it as the most beautiful city in the world in 2010.

Florence plays an important role in Italian fashion, and is ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world by Global Language Monitor; furthermore, it is a major national economic centre, as well as a tourist and industrial hub.

 

1.Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo

Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi

Piazza Duomo and the group of buildings that form its cathedral complex gather some of Italy’s greatest artistic treasures into one relatively small area. As you tour the baptistery, the bell tower, the cathedral, and its museum, you’ll see some of the best-known masterpieces of art and architecture by the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance — Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Giotto, and Michelangelo.

Begin by walking around the square to admire the intricate inlaid marble exteriors, then step inside each one to look more closely at the stained-glass works of art that greet you wherever you look.

The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

The cathedral is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is Giuseppe Betori.

 

2.Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John)

Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John)

The Florence Baptistery, also known as the Baptistery of Saint John, is a religious building in Florence, Italy, and has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal baptistery stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza San Giovanni, across from Florence Cathedral and the Campanile di Giotto.

The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style. Although the Florentine style did not spread across Italy as widely as the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard styles, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis from which Francesco Talenti, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, and other master architects of their time created Renaissance architecture. In the case of the Florentine Romanesque, one can speak of “proto-renaissance”, but at the same time an extreme survival of the late antique architectural tradition in Italy, as in the cases of the Basilica of San Salvatore, Spoleto, the Temple of Clitumnus, and the church of Sant’Alessandro in Lucca.

The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of artistically important bronze doors with relief sculptures. The south doors were created by Andrea Pisano and the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti.Michelangelo dubbed the east doors the Gates of Paradise.

The Italian poet Dante Alighieri and many other notable Renaissance figures, including members of the Medici family, were baptized in this baptistery.

The building contains the monumental tomb of Antipope John XXIII, by Donatello.

 

3.Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is a square with a panoramic view of Florence, Italy, located in the Oltrarno district of the city.

So often misspelled as Piazzale Michelangelo that even city tourism material occasionally slips up, this terrace above the city is an obligatory stop for tour buses, and the spot from which all those postcard shots of the cathedral are taken. During busy tourist seasons, the best time to enjoy it in relative peace is late afternoon or early evening; it’s especially lovely at sunset.

Although you can get a 360-degree panorama of Florence from the dome of the cathedral, only from this terrace can you fully appreciate how Brunelleschi’s dome dominates the city center. Nor can any other height give you this sweeping city view that encompasses the Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce, and other landmarks.

This Florentine piazza was designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi and built in 1869 on a hill just south of the historic center, during the redevelopment of Oltrarno, the left (South) bank of the Arno river. In 1869, Florence was the capital of Italy and the whole city was involved in an urban renewal, the so-called “Risanamento” or the “Renovation” of the city’s neighborhoods. Lungarni (riverside walkways; “lungarno”, singular) were built on the riversides. On the right bank, the fourteenth-century city walls were removed and turned into the Viali di Circonvallazione, mimicking the French “boulevard” design, six lanes wide and lined with trees. On the left bank winding up the hill of San Miniato the Viale dei Colli was built, a tree-lined street over 8 kilometers long ending at the Piazzale Michelangelo which was built as a terrace with a panoramic view of the city.

 

4.Uffizi Palace and Gallery

Uffizi Palace and Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy.

The Uffizi Gallery (UK: /juːˈfɪtsi, ʊˈfiːtsi/; Italian: Galleria degli Uffizi, pronounced [ɡalleˈriːa deʎʎ ufˈfittsi]) is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

After the ruling House of Medici died out, their art collections were given to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865

Few would argue the Uffizi’s place among the handful of world’s top art museums. Its collections are simply staggering in their diversity and quality, and even if art is not your main interest, you should see the highlights of the paintings here.

You’ll come away understanding a lot more of how Florence’s 14th- to 16th-century painters changed the face of western art, as you see the transition from the stilted Byzantine images to the life-like figures and landscapes of the Renaissance artists.

 

5.Piazza della Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi

Piazza della Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi

The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria, is a building on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, adjoining the Uffizi Gallery. It consists of wide arches open to the street. The arches rest on clustered pilasters with Corinthian capitals. The wide arches appealed so much to the Florentines that Michelangelo proposed that they should be continued all around the Piazza della Signoria

The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria, is a building on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, adjoining the Uffizi Gallery. It consists of wide arches open to the street. The arches rest on clustered pilasters with Corinthian capitals.

This broad square has been the center of power in Florence since its 14th-century origins – and perhaps even before, as Etruscan and Roman remains have been found below its pavement. Today, it is the social center as well, a favorite meeting place filled with tourists and locals. At its center is the Neptune Fountain, at one side the Palazzo Vecchio, still housing the city’s government.

Against the wall of the Uffizi, which forms one end of the piazza, is the Loggia dei Lanzi, an outdoor sculpture gallery with several notable pieces. Most widely recognized of these is Benvenuto Cellini’s best-known work, Perseus with the Head of Medusa. In front of the Palazzo Vecchio is a copy of Michelangelo’s David.

 

6.Galleria dell’Accademia (Academy Gallery)

Galleria dell'Accademia (Academy Gallery)

The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or “Gallery of the Academy of Florence”, is an art museum in Florence, Italy. It is best known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture David. It also has other sculptures by Michelangelo and a large collection of paintings by Florentine artists, mostly from the period 1300–1600.

The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or “Gallery of the Academy of Florence”, is an art museum in Florence, Italy. It is best known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture David. It also has other sculptures by Michelangelo and a large collection of paintings by Florentine artists, mostly from the period 1300–1600 (the Trecento to the Late Renaissance). It is smaller and more specialized than the Uffizi, the main art museum in Florence. It adjoins the Accademia di Belle Arti or academy of fine arts of Florence, but despite the name has no other connection with it.

In 2016, it had 1.46 million visitors, making it the second-most-visited art museum in Italy, after the Uffizi (2.02 million).

Michelangelo’s best-known work, David, is copied all over Florence, but inside this art museum, you’ll find the original. Unfortunately, as a result of an attack on the sculpture, it is now behind glass, but it still never fails to inspire.

The David isn’t the only Michelangelo here, nor is it the only important masterpiece. In the sculptures shown in the same gallery, you can almost watch Michelangelo at work as you see the four unfinished slaves, meant for a tomb in Rome, seemingly in the process of being released from the marble.

 

7.Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Signoria)

Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Signoria)

Piazza della Signoria (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpjattsa della siɲɲoˈriːa]) is a w-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio. It is the main point of the origin and history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists, located near Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza del Duomo and gateway to Uffizi Gallery.

The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, which holds a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue, and the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi.

History, art, and power echo in the opulent rooms and grand galleries of this fortress-like palace in the center of Florence. From here, the city/republic was ruled, and its powerful Medici family commissioned the leading artists and architects of the day to design and decorate their offices and apartments.

Be sure to sign up early for one of the free tours, so you’ll get to see some of the secret passages the Medici used to move among the rooms; return in the evening (save your ticket) to climb to the roof for sunset views of the city.

historical places in Isfahan Iran

historical places in Isfahan Iran

we want to show you 7 historical places in Isfahan. Isfahan is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran and the world.

1-The first place to visit is the most beautiful and best church in Iran, the 400-year-old Vanak Church :

Places to Visit in Isfahan

This church is located in Jolfa neighborhood of Isfahan and is one of the Armenian churches of Isfahan. This church was built 400 years ago during the reign of Shah Abbas II The ticket price for foreign tourists is 100 thousand tomans or about 2 dollars and 50 cents.

2- One of the best places to visit in Isfahan is Naqsh Jahan Square:

Places to Visit in Isfahan

There are many places of interest in this square. One of them beautiful mosque. This is Imam Mosque or Shah Mosque. Let’s go see together. The ticket price for tourists is 100 thousand tomans or about 2 dollars and 50 cents. The price of each dollar in Iran today is 42 thousand tomans.

3-Imam Mosque or Shah Mosque :

Places to Visit in Isfahan

is the most important mosque of Safavid era in Isfahan. This mosque has great grandeur. If you are here you feel it. This mosque was built during the time of Shah Abbas and around 410 years ago.

4-One of the most beautiful and historical places in the city of Isfahan is Ali Qapo mansion:

This mansion is located in Naqsh Jahan square This mansion was built 400 years ago during the Safavid era. At that time, the king used this mansion to carry out state affairs The ticket price for tourists is 2 dollars and 50 cents. One of the must-see places in Isfahan is Naqsh Jahan Square. There is an old and historical market in this square. This is Isfahan market. You can see and buy souvenirs of Iran and the city of Isfahan, such as various types of copper dishes, inlay work, enamel work, tile making, and all kinds of delicious sweets such as Gaz.

5-One of the most unique places to visit in Isfahan is Chehl Seton Palace :

Places to Visit in Isfahan

This palace is close to Naqsh Jahan Square. Chehel soton Palace has an area of about 67 thousand square meters. This building was built during the time of Shah Abbas A.L. Shah Abbas was one of the greatest kings of Iran who built many buildings in Iran and the city of Isfahan This palace was used to receive special guests. the ticket price is 2 dollars and 50 cents.

6- The sixth historical place of Isfahan is thirty-three bridges :

Places to Visit in Isfahan

This bridge is located on the most beautiful river in Isfahan. This bridge is in the center of Isfahan city. It has 33 columns, 295 meters long and 14 meters wide. This bridge was built about 400 years ago. At that time, this bridge was used for important ceremonies and celebrations. Many tourists consider this bridge to be a masterpiece of world architecture and one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.

7-The last place is chahar bagh Street :

Places to Visit in Isfahan

An old and beautiful street in the center of Isfahan I suggest you come to this street at night and enjoy walking in it. Isfahan has many places to see, such as Minarjanban, Sheikh Lotfollah