Matera in Southern Italy

October 12th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

Matera is a city in the province of Matera in the region of Basilicata, in Southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Matera and the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806. The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as la Città Sotterranea (“the Underground City”), Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its historical center “Sassi“, along with the Park of the Rupestrian Churches, is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993. On 17 October 2014, Matera was declared Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019 with the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv.   read more…

Leeuwarden in Friesland

April 16th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

© panoramio.com - L-BBE/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – L-BBE/cc-by-3.0

Leeuwarden is a city and municipality with a population of 108,000 in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital of the States of Friesland. The Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour), an ice skating tour of eleven cities in Friesland, started and finished in Leeuwarden.   read more…

Paphos, European Capital of Culture 2017

October 27th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

Sheriffing Paphos © panoramio.com - An. Antoniou/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sheriffing Paphos © panoramio.com – An. Antoniou/cc-by-sa-3.0

Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos, today at Kouklia, and New Paphos. The current city of Paphos lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km (30 mi) west of Limassol (the biggest port on the island), which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country’s second-largest airport. The city has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island. Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world’s heritage for its spectacular ancient remains, and was selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017, along with Aarhus.   read more…

Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017

August 18th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

Aarhus Theatre © Martin Steggman/cc-by-sa-4.0

Aarhus Theatre © Martin Steggman/cc-by-sa-4.0

Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus municipality. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, in the geographical centre of Denmark, 187 kilometres (116 mi) northwest of Copenhagen and 289 kilometres (180 mi) north of Hamburg, Germany. The inner urban area contains 269,000 inhabitants and the municipal population is 336,000. Aarhus is the central city in the East Jutland metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1.4 million. In 2017, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture along with Paphos in Cyprus.   read more…

Porto, capital of the north

August 30th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

Ribeira © Georges Jansoone

Ribeira © Georges Jansoone

Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits includes a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes. The urbanized area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.2 million in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. The Porto Metropolitan Area includes approximately 1.3 million people, and is recognized as a Gamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, being one of the four cities in the peninsula with global city status (the others being Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona).   read more…

Theme Week Cyprus – Paphos

August 28th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

© Anna Anichkova/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Anna Anichkova/cc-by-sa-3.0

Paphos is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city, New Paphos, lies on the Mediterranean coast, about 50 km (31.07 mi) west of Limassol (the biggest port on the island), which has an A6 highway connection. Paphos International Airport is the country’s second-largest airport. Paphos enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate, with the mildest temperatures on the island. Paphos has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2017, along with Aarhus. Near Palaepaphos (Old Paphos) at the seaside of Petra tou Romiou is the modern mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and the founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level, so that Old Paphos became the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world. In Greco-Roman times, Paphos was the island’s capital, and it is well known for the remains of the Roman governor’s palace, where extensive, fine mosaics are a major tourist attraction. Paul the Apostle visited the town during the first century AD. The town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world’s heritage.   read more…

Thessaloniki, Greece’s co-capital

August 8th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

White Tower © MaurusNR

White Tower © MaurusNR

Thessaloniki, historically also known as Thessalonica or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the periphery of Central Macedonia as well as the de facto administrative capital of the Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally “co-capital”, a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or “co-reigning” city of the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a population of 364,000, while its Urban Area had a population of 773,000. The Larger Urban Zone of Thessaloniki has an estimated 996,000 residents, while its area is 1,455.62 km² (562.02 sq mi). With a history of over 2,300 years, it is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Thessaloniki is Greece’s second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and the southeastern European hinterland. The city is renowned for its events and festivals, the most famous of which include the annual International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.   read more…

Essen, European Cultural Capital 2010

August 4th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

Ronald McDonald House by Friedensreich Hundertwasser © Thomas Schoch

Ronald McDonald House by Friedensreich Hundertwasser © Thomas Schoch

Essen is a city in the central part of the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Located on the River Ruhr, its population of approximately 579,000 makes it the 9th-largest city in Germany. For the year 2010, Essen was the European Capital of Culture on behalf of the whole Ruhr area.   read more…

Donostia-San Sebastián on the Bay of Biscay

July 11th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

De la Concha bay © Keta/cc-by-sa-2.5

De la Concha bay © Keta/cc-by-sa-2.5

San Sebastián (Spanish) or Donostia (Basque) is a coastal city and municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. It lies on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, 20 km (12 miles) from the French border. Capital city of Gipuzkoa, the municipality’s population is 186,000, with its metropolitan area reaching 437,000. Locals call themselves donostiarra, both in Spanish and Basque.   read more…

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