Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany and a second most popular theme park resort in Europe. Having 4.5 million visitors in 2011, it is the most popular seasonal theme park in the world and the second most visited theme park in Europe after Disneyland Paris. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in the south-west of Germany between Freiburg and Strasbourg, France. It is usually open from just before Easter until the beginning of November (summer season) and from the end of November to the second week in January (winter season).
The park is split into sixteen different areas, mostly named after European countries or regions. Besides Enchanted Forest, Adventure Land, Children’s World or Viking Land there are Italy (since 1982), The Netherlands (1984), United Kingdom (1988), France (1989), Austria (1992), Scandinavia (1992), Schwitzerland (1993), Spain (1994), Germany (1996), Russia (1998), Greece (2000), Portugal (2005) and Iceland (2009). The park mascot is a grey mouse named “Euromaus” although there are over a dozen other characters that “live” at the park.
Europa-Park is run by the Mack family which have produced vehicles since 1780, circus wagons since 1880 and rollercoasters since 1921. The park was opened in 1975 to act as a showcase for many of their different ride models. The amusement ride company is now called Mack Rides.
Europa-Park host dozens of events throughout the summer season. The biggest of these include the Midsummer Party, when the theme park hosts a fireworks display and is open until midnight. Horror Nights – starring Marc Terenzi, takes place through October evenings and features a range of halloween horror mazes, rides and shows. For the last week of the main season, the park hosts a daily firework show and music production.
Europa-Park has opened for winter since 2001, and it is widely believed the park will gradually extend opening so that it is opened year round. A small number of rides, including Wodan and Silver Star are closed at winter due to the weather, although from the 2012-2013 winter season, Blue Fire was added to available attractions – so long as weather permits. Such a philosophy of only operating certain rides during winter is commonplace amongst most theme parks in Europe, as temperatures can often dip below freezing. Most water rides are also closed, including Poseidon, Fjord Rafting, Tirol Log Flume and Atlantica Super Splash. The park does compensate for the loss of these rides however, with additional experiences such as the Bellevue Observation Wheel, Snow Tubing and Skiing. Show times are also extended and the park is fully decorated.
Europa-Park Resort is home to five resort hotels. For guests on a lower budget, the resort also has a large Camp Resort, where guests can stay in a Tipi, Chuck Wagon or Log Cabin provided they bring their own sleeping bag. Camping and caravaning is also provided for, next to the Camp Resort.
The present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was designed by William Wilkins from 1832–8. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins’s building was often criticised for its perceived aesthetic deficiencies and lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897. The Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain.
Unlike comparable museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and by private donations, which comprise two thirds of the collection. The resulting collection is small in size, compared with many European national galleries, but encyclopaedic in scope; most major developments in Western painting “from Giotto to Cézanne” are represented with important works. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case.
The Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, with their 16th-century cathedrals, were dismantled to make room for the military school and Palace of Congresses. The Little Nicholas Palace and the old Saviour Cathedral were pulled down as well. The residence of the Soviet government was closed to tourists until 1955. It was not until the Khrushchev Thaw that the Kremlin was reopened to foreign visitors. The Kremlin Museums were established in 1961 and the complex was among the first Soviet patrimonies inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1990.
Although the current director of the Kremlin Museums, Elena Gagarina (Yuri Gagarin‘s daughter) advocates a full-scale restoration of the destroyed cloisters, recent developments have been confined to expensive restoration of the original interiors of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which were altered during Stalin’s rule. The Patriarch of Moscow has a suite of rooms in the Kremlin, but divine service in the Kremlin cathedrals is held irregularly, because they are still administered as museums.