Fondaco dei Turchi in Venice

17 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

Fondaco dei Turchi © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

Fondaco dei Turchi © Didier Descouens/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Fondaco dei Turchi is a Veneto-Gothic style palazzo, later on named as the Turks’ Inn, on the Grand Canal of Venice, northeast Italy. It was described by Augustus Hare in the 19th century as “a Byzantine palace of the 9th century, and one of the earliest buildings, not ecclesiastical, in Venice. …. A few years ago it was one of the most unique and curious buildings in Europe, and the most important specimen of Italo-Byzantine architecture, but it was modernised and almost rebuilt by the … government in 1869″.   read more…

Palace of Laeken in Brussels

31 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palace of Laeken or Castle of Laeken is the official residence of the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Royal Family. It lies in the Brussels-Capital Region, 5 km (3 mi) north of the city centre, in Laeken (part of the City of Brussels), and sits in a large private park called the Royal Domain of Laeken. The palace was built between 1782 and 1784 for the Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands, and was originally named the Palace of Schonenberg. It was partly destroyed by fire in 1890, after which it was rebuilt and extended. Significant modifications were undertaken at the beginning of the 20th century during the reign of King Leopold II. Nowadays, it is often referred to as the Royal Palace of Laeken or Royal Castle of Laeken. The Palace of Laeken should not be confused with the Royal Palace of Brussels, in central Brussels, which is the official palace (not residence) of the King of the Belgians and from which state affairs are handled. It is served by Stuyvenbergh metro station on line 6 of the Brussels Metro.   read more…

Fiordland National Park in New Zealand

17 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is by far the largest of the 13 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,607 square kilometres (4,868 sq mi), and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation.   read more…

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

13 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  7 minutes

Golden Gate Park © Taras Bobrovytsky

Golden Gate Park © Taras Bobrovytsky

Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, United States, is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres (412 ha) of public grounds. It is administered by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, which began in 1871 to oversee the development of Golden Gate Park. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape to but 20 percent larger than Central Park in New York City, to which it is often compared. It is over three miles (4.8 km) long east to west, and about half a mile (0.8 km) north to south. With 24 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is the third most-visited city park in the United States after Central Park and the Lincoln Memorial.   read more…

Montacute House in South Somerset

8 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  20 minutes

Montacute House © DavidBrooks

Montacute House © DavidBrooks

Montacute House is a late Elizabethan mansion with a garden in Montacute, South Somerset. An example of English architecture during a period that was moving from the medieval Gothic to the Renaissance Classical, and one of few prodigy houses to survive almost unchanged from the Elizabethan era, the house has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was visited by 125,442 people in 2013. Designed by an unknown architect, possibly the mason William Arnold, the three-storey mansion, constructed of the local Ham Hill stone, was built in about 1598 by Sir Edward Phelips, Master of the Rolls and the prosecutor during the trial of the Gunpowder Plotters. Sir Edward Phelips’ descendants occupied the house until the early 20th century. For a brief period the house was let to tenants, one of whom was Lord Curzon, who lived at the house with his mistress, the novelist Elinor Glyn. In 1931, it was acquired by the National Trust. The house is maintained by the National Trust. Its Long Gallery, the longest in England, serves as a South-West outpost of the National Portrait Gallery displaying a skilful and well-studied range of old oils and watercolours. Montacute and its gardens have been a filming location for several films and a setting for television costume dramas and literary adaptations.   read more…

Chigi Palace in Rome

7 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com – jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

The Chigi Palace (Italian: Palazzo Chigi) is a palace and former noble residence in Rome which is the seat of the Council of Ministers and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy. Since 13 February 2021, the tenant of the Chigi Palace has been Prime Minister Mario Draghi. It is located in the Piazza Colonna, next to Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.   read more…

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin

17 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Castello del Valentino © panoramio.com - Michael Paraskevas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castello del Valentino © panoramio.com – Michael Paraskevas/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy are a group of buildings in Turin and the Metropolitan City of Turin, in Piedmont (northern Italy). It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1997. The House of Savoy is an ancient royal family, being founded in year 1003 in the Savoy region (now in Rhône-Alpes, France), later expanding so that by 1720 it reigned over the Kingdom of Sardinia in northwestern Italy. Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II. At this time, King Victor Emanuel III abdicated in favour of his son Umberto II but after an institutional referendum in 1946, the monarchy was abolished, a republic was established, and members of the House of Savoy were required to leave the country. After many decades of diplomacy, the family has since been allowed to return to Italy.   read more…

Palazzo Madama in Rome

15 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Fratello.Gracco/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Fratello.Gracco/cc-by-sa-4.0

Palazzo Madama in Rome is the seat of the Senate of the Italian Republic, the upper house of the Italian Parliament. After the extinction of the Medici in 1743, the palace was handed over to the House of Lorraine and, later, to Pope Benedict XIV, who made it the seat of the Papal Government. In 1849, Pius IX moved here the Ministries of Finances and of the Public Debt, as well as the Papal Post Offices. In 1871, after the conquest of Rome by the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, the palazzo became the seat of the Senate of the Kingdom of Italy.   read more…

Palazzo Montecitorio in Rome

12 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Chamber of Deputies © Quirinale.it

Chamber of Deputies © Quirinale.it

The Palazzo Montecitorio is a palace in Rome and the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. The palace’s name derives from the slight hill on which it is built, which was claimed to be the Mons Citatorius, the hill created in the process of clearing the Campus Martius in Roman times.   read more…

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