Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley – Château d’Amboise

22 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

The royal Château at Amboise is a château located in Amboise, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. Built on a promontory overlooking the Loire River to control a strategic ford that was replaced in the Middle Ages by a bridge and the château began its life in the eleventh century, when the notorious Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, rebuilt the stronghold in stone.   read more…

Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley – Château de Chambord

21 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.   read more…

Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley

20 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker

Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker

The Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire), spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. It comprises an area of approximately 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). It is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, artichoke, asparagus and cherry fields which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture and wines, the valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period.   read more…

The Sea Cloud I

18 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Tall ships, Cruise Ships

Sea Cloud I in Hamburg © Tvabutzku1234

Sea Cloud I in Hamburg © Tvabutzku1234

Sea Cloud was built in Kiel, Germany as a Barque for E. F. Hutton & Co.. She was launched in 1931 as the Hussar II; at the time of her construction, she was the largest private yacht in the world. In 1935, United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph E. Davies obtained the ship after marrying Hutton’s ex-wife Marjorie Merriweather Post. Davies renamed the ship Sea Cloud. As a man with political influence, Davies entertained many high profile people on the ship, including Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. The ship even served as an informal embassy, as Soviet and United States officials stayed and met on the vessel.   read more…

Rhodes, the sunny island

18 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Maltan Knights Castle in Rhodes City © Polimerek

Maltan Knights Castle in Rhodes City © Polimerek

Rhodes is a Greek island approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) southwest of Turkey in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes peripheral unit, which is part of the South Aegean Periphery. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 54,000 inhabitants. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. The major industry is tourism.   read more…

Saint-Tropez

17 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: French Riviera, General

Saint_Tropez church © MartinPutz

Saint_Tropez church © MartinPutz

Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez. It is located on the French Riviera, and it is known today for its famous and extremely wealthy summertime guests. It has been dubbed the ‘playground to jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires’, and it is most-enduringly known as the place where the iconic Brigitte Bardot was “discovered” and for its role in the liberation of southern France during World War II. The inhabitants (around 6,000) of Saint-Tropez are called Tropéziens, and the town is familiarly called “St-Trop”.   read more…

Augsburg, the Fugger city

15 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Fuggerei, the world';s first ever build social housing project © Wolfgang B. Kleiner / context medien und verlag Augsburg

Fuggerei, the world’;s first ever build social housing project © Wolfgang B. Kleiner / context medien und verlag Augsburg

Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria in Germany. It is a University town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population exceeding 264,000 citizens. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany’s third oldest city.   read more…

Romantic Road, from the river Main to the Alps

14 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions

Romantic Road map - Photo: mario

Romantic Road map - Photo: mario

The Romantic Road (German: Romantische Straße) is the term for a theme route coined by travel agents in the 1950s to describe the 350 kilometres (220 mi) of highway in southern Germany (in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg), between Würzburg and Füssen. In medieval times it used to be a trade route, connecting the center of Germany with the South. Today this region is thought by many international travellers to possess “quintessentially” German scenery and culture, specifically in towns and cities such as Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The route is also known for passing a lot of castles, such as Burg Harburg and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. The Romantic Road is marked with brown signs along the road.   read more…

Theme Week Swiss – Davos, the highest located town in Europe

13 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Lights on the Parsenn ski area © MadGeographer

Lights on the Parsenn ski area © MadGeographer

Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 (2009). Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range. At 1,560 meters (5,118 ft), it is the highest city in Europe.   read more…

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