Lummus Park in Miami Beach

1 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  4 minutes

Lummus Park © Pietro/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lummus Park © Pietro/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lummus Park is a 74-acre (30 ha) public, urban park in Miami Beach (Miami-Dade, Florida), on the Atlantic Ocean. The park is on the eastern side of Ocean Drive, from 5th to 15th Streets. When redesigned and improved in the mid-1980s, it became part of the project for the redevelopment of what is now the Miami Beach Architectural District of South Beach.   read more…

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Appalachians

25 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Clingman's Dome Observation Tower, the highest point both in Tennessee and along the Appalachian Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Scott Basford

Clingman’s Dome Observation Tower, the highest point both in Tennessee and along the Appalachian Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Scott Basford

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in North Carolina and Tennessee. The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount Le Conte. The border between the two states runs northeast to southwest through the center of the park. The Appalachian Trail passes through the center of the park on its route from Georgia to Maine. With 14.1 million visitors in 2021, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States.   read more…

Royal Palace of Aranjuez

13 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

© José Luis Filpo Cabana/cc-by-3.0

© José Luis Filpo Cabana/cc-by-3.0

The Royal Palace of Aranjuez (Spanish: Palacio Real de Aranjuez) is a former Spanish royal residence. It is located 5 km south of Madrid in the town of Aranjuez, Spain. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid.   read more…

Piazza del Campo in Siena

1 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com - Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Palio di Siena on Piazza del Campo © flickr.com – Mirco/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piazza del Campo is the main public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza. At the northwest edge is the Fonte Gaia. The twice-a-year horse-race, Palio di Siena, is held around the edges of the piazza. The piazza is also the finish of the annual road cycling race Strade Bianche.   read more…

Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve in Brandenburg

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

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, often shortened to Schorfheide, is a biosphere reserve in the German State of Brandenburg near the Polish border. The reserve was established on 1 October 1990 following the German Reunification and is under the protection of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme. It stretches over the German districts of Barnim, Uckermark, Märkisch-Oderland and Oberhavel and incorporates an area of 1,291 square kilometres (498 sq mi). Notable towns are Eberswalde, Joachimsthal and Friedrichswalde. The core area of the reserve is formed by the Schorfheide forest, one of the largest cohesive woodlands in Germany.   read more…

Sir Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi

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

© Ismail.alghussein/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ismail.alghussein/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ṣīr Banī Yās is a natural island located 170 km (110 mi) southwest of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It lies 9 km (5.6 mi) offshore from Jebel Dhanna, which serves as a crossing point to other islands such as Dalma. Sir Bani Yas is 17.5 km (10.9 mi) from north to south and 9 km (5.6 mi) from east to west, making it the largest natural island in the United Arab Emirates. Located just off the shore of the western region of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas was originally home to Arabia‘s largest wildlife reserve. Spanning over 87 km² (34 sq mi), the reserve was established in 1977 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Thanks to decades of conservation work and ecological investment, it is now home to thousands of large free-roaming animals and several million trees and plants. A bird sanctuary as well as a wildlife reserve, Sir Bani Yas showcases nature through activities such as adventure safaris, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, hiking and snorkeling.   read more…

Schloss Wolfsgarten in Langen

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

© Hesse143/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Hesse143/cc-by-sa-3.0

Schloss Wolfsgarten is a former hunting seat of the ruling family of Hesse-Darmstadt, located in the German state of Hessen, approximately 15 kilometers south of Frankfurt am Main. The hunting lodge was established between 1722 and 1724 by Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt.   read more…

Castel del Monte in Apulia

8 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  13 minutes

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

© Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0

Castel del Monte (Italian for “Castle of the Mountain”; Barese: Castìdde du Monte) is a 13th-century citadel and castle situated on a hill in Andria in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. It was built during the 1240s by King Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily. In the 18th century, the castle’s interior marbles and remaining furnishings were removed. It has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and some considered it never to have been intended as a defensive fortress; however, archaeological work has suggested that it originally had a curtain wall. Described by the Enciclopedia Italiana as “the most fascinating castle built by Frederick II”, the site is protected as a World Heritage Site since 1996. It also appears on the Italian version of the one cent Euro coin.   read more…

Castle Ward in Northern Ireland

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

Palladian facade © Irishdeltaforce/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palladian facade © Irishdeltaforce/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castle Ward is an 18th-century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford, in County Down, Northern Ireland, in the townland of the same name. It overlooks Strangford Lough and is 7 miles from Downpatrick and 1.5 miles from Strangford. Castle Ward is open to the public and includes 332 hectares (820 acres) of landscaped gardens, a fortified tower house, Victorian laundry, theatre, restaurant, shop, saw mill and a working corn mill. It has a shore on Strangford Lough. From 1985 to 2010 it has also hosted Castleward Opera, an annual summer opera festival.   read more…

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