Alcázar of Segovia in Castile and León

January 12th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage |

© Javicoves/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Javicoves/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Alcázar of Segovia (literally, “Segovia Fortress”) is a castle, located in Segovia in Castile and León, a World Heritage Site. Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains, it is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. It is currently used as a museum and a military archives building.   read more…

La Chaux-de-Fonds in Neuchâtel

January 5th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage |

Museum International d'Horlogerie © Schwizgebel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Museum International d’Horlogerie © Schwizgebel/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Chaux-de-Fonds is a Swiss city of the district of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel. It is located in the Jura mountains at an altitude of 1000 m, a few kilometres south of the French border. After Geneva and Lausanne, it is the third largest city located completely in the Romandie, the French-speaking part of the country, with a population of 40,000. In 2009, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle, its sister city, have jointly been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for their exceptional universal value. It is the tenth Swiss Site to be awarded World Heritage status, joining others such as the Old City of Bern, the Rhaetian Railway and the Abbey and Convent of St. Gallen.   read more…

Theme Week Potsdam – Cecilienhof Palace

November 13th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage |

© Gryffindor

© Gryffindor

Cecilienhof Palace is a palace in Potsdam, Brandenburg built from 1914 to 1917 in the layout of an English Tudor manor house. Cecilienhof was the last palace built by the House of Hohenzollern that ruled the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire until the end of World War I. Cecilienhof has been part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. Cecilienhof is located in the northern part of the large New Garden park, close to the shore of the Jungfernsee lake. The park was laid out from 1787 at the behest of King Frederick William II of Prussia, modelled on the Wörlitz Park in Anhalt-Dessau. Frederick William II also had the Marmorpalais (Marble Palace) built within the Neuer Garten, the first Brandenburg palace in the Neoclassical style erected according to plans designed by Carl von Gontard and Carl Gotthard Langhans, which was finished in 1793. Other structures within the park close to Schloss Cecilienhof include an orangery, an artificial grotto (Muschelgrotte), the “Gothic Library”, and the Dairy in the New Garden, also constructed for King Frederick William II. The park was largely redesigned as an English landscape garden according to plans by Peter Joseph Lenné from 1816 onwards, with lines of sight to nearby Pfaueninsel, Glienicke Palace, Babelsberg Palace, and the Church of the Redeemer.   read more…

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg

November 1st, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage |

Mirabell Palace and Gardens © Steveurkel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mirabell Palace and Gardens © Steveurkel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mirabell Palace is a historical building in the city of Salzburg. The palace with its gardens is a listed cultural heritage monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built about 1606 on the shore of the Salzach river north of the medieval city walls, at the behest of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau. The Archbishop suffered from gout and had a stroke the year before; to evade the narrow streets of the city, he decided to erect a pleasure palace for him and his mistress Salome Alt. Allegedly built within six months according to Italian and French models, it was initially named Altenau Castle. When Raitenau was deposed and arrested at Hohensalzburg Castle in 1612, his successor Mark Sittich von Hohenems expelled Salome Alt and her family from the premises. Mark Sittich gave the palace its current name from Italian: mirabile, bella: “amazing”, “wonderful”. It was rebuilt in a lavish Baroque style from 1721 to 1727, according to plans designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt.   read more…

Paphos, European Capital of Culture 2017

October 27th, 2017 | 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…

Theme Week Queensland – Fraser Island

October 9th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage |

© panoramio.com - Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Korkut Tas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fraser Island is located along the southeastern coast of the state of Queensland in Australia. It is approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. It is a locality within the Fraser Coast local government in the Wide Bay–Burnett region. Its length is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi). It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1,840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s sixth largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. Estimates of the number of visitors to the island each year range from 350,000 to 500,000. The chance of seeing a dingo in its natural setting is one of the main reasons people visit the island. The use of boardwalks and marked tracks by visitors is encouraged to reduce erosion. Fraser Island has over 100 freshwater lakes, as well as the second highest concentration of lakes in Australia after Tasmania. The freshwater lakes on Fraser Island are some of the cleanest lakes in the world. A popular tourist area is Lake McKenzie which is located inland from the small town of Eurong.   read more…

Theme Week Algeria – Algiers

September 30th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean |

Bologhine district © flickr.com - Damien Boilley/cc-by-2.0

Bologhine district © flickr.com – Damien Boilley/cc-by-2.0

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. The city’s population is at 3.5 million and the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 6.3 million. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria. Sometimes nicknamed El-Behdja or alternatively Alger la Blanche (“Algiers the White”) for the glistening white of its buildings as seen rising up from the sea, Algiers is situated on the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The modern part of the city is built on the level ground by the seashore; the old part, the ancient city of the deys, climbs the steep hill behind the modern town and is crowned by the casbah or citadel, 122 metres (400 ft) above the sea. The Casbah and the two quays form a triangle. Some 20 km (12 mi) to the west of Algiers are such seaside resorts as Sidi Fredj (ex-Sidi Ferruch), Palm Beach, Douaouda, Zéralda, and the Club of the Pines (residence of State); there are tourist complexes, Algerian and other restaurants, souvenir shops, supervised beaches, and other amenities. The city is also equipped with important hotel complexes such as the hotel Hilton, El-Aurassi or El Djazair. Algiers also has the first water park in the country. The tourism of Algiers is growing but is not as developed as that of the larger cities in Morocco or Tunisia. The districts of Algiers are:   read more…

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