The Kyffhäuser Monument

April 6th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

© Burghof Kyffhäuser/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Burghof Kyffhäuser/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Kyffhäuser Monument (German: Kyffhäuserdenkmal), also known as Barbarossa Monument (Barbarossadenkmal), is an Emperor William monument within the Kyffhäuser mountain range in Thuringia. It was erected in 1890–96 at the site of medieval Kyffhausen Castle near Bad Frankenhausen. The Kyffhäuser Monument is the third-largest monument in Germany, after the Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal) commemorating the 1813 Battle of Leipzig and the Emperor William Monument at Porta Westfalica, both of which also were designed by architect Bruno Schmitz (1858–1916).   read more…

The Białowieża National Park

April 4th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage |

Swamped forest © Lilly M/cc-by-sa-3.0

Swamped forest © Lilly M/cc-by-sa-3.0

Białowieża National Park is a National Park in Podlaskie Voivodeship, in Eastern Poland adjacent with the border with Belarus. The total area of the park is 152.2 square kilometres (58.8 sq mi). It is located 62 km (39 mi) southeast of Białystok (Poland). It is known for the protection of the best preserved part of the Białowieża Forest, Europe’s last temperate primaeval forest fragment that once stretched across the European Plain. It is home to the world’s largest population of European bison, the continent’s heaviest land animals. The border between the two countries runs through the forest, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is adjacent on the Belarus side of the border. There is a border crossing for hikers and cyclists within the forest. According to one study, the park brings in tourist revenues of about 72 million zlotys per year.   read more…

The Prater in Vienna

March 21st, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Prater und Stuwerviertel © flickr.com - flightlog/cc-by-2.0

Prater und Stuwerviertel © flickr.com – flightlog/cc-by-2.0

The Prater is a large public park in Vienna‘s 2nd district (Leopoldstadt). The Wurstelprater amusement park, often simply called “Prater”, lies in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel. The area that makes up the modern Prater was first mentioned in 1162, when Emperor Friedrich I gave the land to a noble family called de Prato. The word “Prater” was first used in 1403, originally referring to a small island in the Danube north of Freudenau, but was gradually extended to mean the neighbouring areas as well. The land changed hands frequently until it was bought by Emperor Maximilian II in 1560 to be a hunting ground. To deal with the problem of poachers, Emperor Rudolf II forbade entry to the Prater. On April 7, 1766, Emperor Joseph II declared the Prater to be free for public enjoyment, and allowed the establishment of coffee-houses and cafés, which led to the beginnings of the Wurstelprater. Throughout this time, hunting continued to take place in the Prater, ending only in 1920.   read more…

Les Invalides in Paris

March 14th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris |

Hôtel des Invalides, as seen from the Tour Montparnasse © Jens Peter Clausen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hôtel des Invalides, as seen from the Tour Montparnasse © Jens Peter Clausen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Les Invalides, commonly known as Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building’s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l’Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church with the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte.   read more…

The Breakers in Newport

February 23rd, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

The Breakers in Newport © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Breakers in Newport © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island on the Atlantic Ocean. The building became a National Historic Landmark in 1994, and is a contributing property to the Bellevue Avenue Historic District. It is owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is open for visitation on a year-round basis. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy architectural style based on the Italian Renaissance. Designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt, with interior decoration by Jules Allard and Sons and Ogden Codman, Jr., the 70-room mansion has a gross area of 125,339 square feet (11,644.4 m2) and 62,482 square feet (5,804.8 m2) of living area on five floors. The house was constructed between 1893 and 1895. The Ochre Point Avenue entrance is marked by sculpted iron gates and the 30-foot-high (9.1 m) walkway gates are part of a 12-foot-high (3.7 m) limestone-and-iron fence that borders the property on all but the ocean side. The footprint of the house covers approximately 1 acre (4,000 m2) of the 14 acres (5.7 ha) estate on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Breakers is one of the most visited house museums in America and in 2016 had 472,700 visitations.   read more…

Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum

January 17th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Sustainability, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Italian Gardens and Tropical House © Axel Mauruszat

Italian Gardens and Tropical House © Axel Mauruszat

The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum (German: Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem) is a botanical garden in Berlin, with an area of 43 hectares and around 22,000 different plant species. It was constructed between 1897 and 1910, under the guidance of architect Adolf Engler, in order to present exotic plants returned from German colonies. The garden is located in the Lichterfelde locality of the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. When it was founded, a part of it was located in Dahlem, a fact that is still reflected in its name. This part of Dahlem became part of Lichterfelde in 1938. Today, the garden is part of the Free University of Berlin. The Botanical Museum (Botanisches Museum), with a large herbarium (Herbarium Berolinense) and a large scientific library, is attached to the garden.   read more…

The Élysée Palace in Paris

January 1st, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris |

© Remi Mathis(cc-by-sa-3.0

© Remi Mathis(cc-by-sa-3.0

The Élysée Palace has been the official residence of the President of France since 1848. Dating to the early 18th century, it contains the office of the President and the meeting place of the Council of Ministers. It is located near the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the name Élysée deriving from Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. Important foreign visitors are hosted at the nearby Hôtel de Marigny, a palatial residence. The architect Armand-Claude Molet possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris (now the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré), and backing onto royal property, the Grand Cours through the Champs-Élysées. He sold this in 1718 to Louis Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, Count of Évreux (families: Dukes and Princes of Bouillon and Sedan: La Marck), with the agreement that Mollet would construct an hôtel particulier for the count, fronted by an entrance court and backed by a garden. The Hôtel d’Évreux was finished and decorated by 1722, and though it has undergone many modifications since, it remains a fine example of the French classical style. At the time of his death in 1753, Évreux was the owner of one of the most widely admired houses in Paris, and it was bought by King Louis XV as a residence for the Marquise de Pompadour, his mistress. In 1873, during the Third Republic, The Élysée became the official presidential residence.   read more…

The Palais Coburg in Vienna

December 25th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

© Diana Ringo/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

© Diana Ringo/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Palais Coburg, also known as Palais Saxe-Coburg, is a palace in Vienna. It was owned by the Kohary branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   read more…

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