With a limited amount of time to spend we decided to visit Pena Palace, the Castle of the Moors and the Palace of Sintra, also called Town Palace.
In 1748 construction started on a maritime fortress of tremendous proportions. Suomenlinna (roughly translated to “visitor”) covers nearly 200 acres of land across six islands off the coast of Helsinki, Finland. Actually built under Swedish rule, Suomenlinna and Finland were conquered in 1808 and became a part of Russia in 1809. It was not until over a century later that the Finnish people were given their independence and reclaimed the fortress as part of their capital city. Today it is among the more exceptional tourist destinations in Finland attracting approximately 700,000 locals and foreigners a year. And not just for the unique military architecture. Suomenlinna has plenty to keep you entertained from cafés and restaurants to a brewery and museums. [Read more…] about Suomenlinna :: Helsinki, Finland
First completed in 1265, Buda Castle (also called Royal Palace & Royal Castle) in Budapest is the historical castle complex of the Hungarian kings. Buda Castle is located on the southern edge of Castle Hill near the old Castle District famous for its medieval, Baroque and 19th century homes and buildings. The castle is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list that inscribed “Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue” and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The oldest section of the present day palace, Stephen’s Tower, was completed in the 14th century by Prince Stephen, younger brother of King Louis I of Hungary. During the long reign of King Sigismund of Hungary the castle was expanded into one of the largest Gothic palaces of the late Middle Ages. The final massive expansion of the castle occurred under King Matthias Corbinus in the late 1400s and stood until the medieval palace was destroyed during the siege of 1686. A new Baroque styled palace was built between 1714 and 1723 by King Charles III of Habsburg. This castle was also mostly destroyed by the great fire of 1810 as well as during an attack. [Read more…] about Buda Castle :: Budapest, Hungary
Although there are many in Greece, when someone mentions “The Acropolis” it is known that they are speaking of the Acropolis of Athens, the most famous in the world. Formally proclaimed the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list in 2007, the Acropolis was also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1987. A city on a flat topped rock that rises 490 feet above sea level in Athens, the Acropolis is loaded with amazing ancient monuments. Since 1975 a project has been underway to restore and reverse the centuries of decay, wear and tear and damage from misguided past restorations. All restorations are being made using as much original material as possible along with titanium dowels so that it is completely reversible if future experts decide to change things. [Read more…] about Acropolis of Athens :: Athens, Greece
Germany is full of amazing historical sites and the city of Potsdam is loaded with them. Sanssouci Palace, former summer home of Frederick the Great, is one of these architectural masterpieces. Often used as an example of buildings in Germany that rival the Palace of Versailles, this much smaller yet beautiful palace is built in the warmer Rococo style. Designed between 1745 and 1747 by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff to fulfill King Fredericks need for a private residence where he could relax away from the nearby Berlin court, the palace’s own name, a French phrase, even translates loosely to “carefree”. King Frederick was intimately involved in the palace design, so much so that its style is characterized as “Frederician Rococo”. [Read more…] about Sanssouci Palace :: Potsdam, Germany