Monuments of Bulgaria

Boyana Church

Property Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 under № 42. The Boyana     Church was built in three stages: in the late 10th and early 11th, the mid-13th, and the mid-19th centuries. The oldest section (the eastern church) is a small one-apse cross-vaulted church with inbuilt cruciform supports. It was built in the late 10th and early 11th century. The second section, which adjoins the eastern church, was commissioned by Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava and in the mid-13th century. This building belongs to the two-floor tomb-church type. It consists of a ground-floor family sepulchre with a semi-cylindrical vault and two arcosolia on the north and south walls, and an upper-floor family chapel identical in design to the eastern church. The exterior is decorated with ceramic ornaments. The last section was built on donations from the local community in the mid-19th century.

Buzludzha

Buzludzha (Bulgarian: Бузлуджа – from Turkish meaning „glacially/icy„) is a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria and is 1441 metres high (4728 ft). In 1868 it was the place of the final battle between Bulgarian rebels led by Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadzha[1] and the Ottoman Empire.

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Monuments of Greece

The Acropolis

The Acropolis is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words  (akron, „edge, extremity”) and  (polis, „city”). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as „The Acropolis” without qualification.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.

The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.

The entrance to the Acropolis was a monumental gateway called the Propelea To the south of the entrance is the tiny Temple of Athena Nike. At the centre of the Acropolis is the Parthenon or Temple of Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin). East of the entrance and north of the Parthenon is the temple known as theErechtheum .  South of the platform that forms the top of the Acropolis there are also the remains of an outdoor theatre called Theatre of Dionysus. A few hundred metres away, there is the now partially reconstructed Theatre of Herodes Atticus.

All the valuable ancient artifacts are situated in the Acropolis Museum, which resides on the southern slope of the same rock, 280 metres from the Parthenon.

Temple of Zeus, Olympia

The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, Greece, dedicated to the god Zeus. The temple, built between 472 and 456 BC, was the very model of the fully developed classical Greek temple of the Doric order.

Monuments of Turkey

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, or to give it its’ correct name, The Sultan Ahmed Mosque named after the 14th Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I who commissioned its construction.  Started in 1609 it took seven years to build and where it was normal to pay for such projects with the spoils of war, Ahmed had not gain any victories so had to pay for it from existing funds. The mosque was built on the site of the Palace of the Byzantine emperors which had to be demolished. The design of the Mosque incorporates both Ottoman and Byzantine architecture.

Hagia Sophia

Haghia Sophia is located in sultanahmet across from sultanahmet mosque.lt was origanally built as a church.Haghia Sophia was ocasinally damaged but was repaired and additions were built.Despite the changes, its essence remains untouched.For hundreds of years it has symbolized and been a reminder of the conguest of istanbul.

Topkapi Palace

 The Topkapi Palace situated in the heart of Istanbul was the official and primary residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire from 1465 to 1856. Construction began on the palace in 1459 by the Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated and captured the Byzantine city of Constantinople in 1453 and renamed the city Istanbul. The Palace was originally known as the New Palace to distinguish it from the previous residence it replaced as the main residence. It received the name ‘Topkapý’ (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after the Topkapý Gate and shore pavilion, although these no longer exist.

Ephesus

There is evidence that Ephesus was inhabited as long ago as 6000 BC. During the Classical Greek era, which covered the 4th and 5th centuries BC, it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, and in 546 BC it was occupied by the Persians, but because Ephesus did not join the Ionian Rebellion against the Persians, the city was spared from destruction.  After the defeat of the Persians it came under the guardianship of Athens, although Ephesus had rebelled against Athens in 412BC and supported Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.

Monuments of Spain

The Cave of Altamira

The Cave of Altamira is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. It was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered. When the discovery was first made public in 1880, it led to a bitter public controversy between experts which continued into the early 20th century, since many did not believe prehistoric man had the intellectual capacity to produce any kind of artistic expression. The acknowledgment of the authenticity of the paintings, which finally came in 1902, changed the perception of prehistoric human beings

Basilica–Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar

The Basilica–Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish: Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar) is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title Our Lady of the Pillar[1] praised as Mother of the Hispanic Peoples by Pope John Paul II.It is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history.[3]
Local traditions take the history of this basilica to the dawn of Christianity in Spain attributing to an apparition to Saint James the Great, the apostle who is believed by tradition to have brought Christianity to the country.This is the only reported apparition of Mary to have occurred before her believed Assumption.

Museo del Prado

The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is considered one the greatest museums of art in the world. The numerous works by Francisco de Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Diego Velázquez, El Greco, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch are some of the highlights of the collection.

Museo_del_Prado_(Madrid)_04

Mudéjar

Mudéjar (Spanish: [muˈðexar, muˈðehar], Portuguese: [muˈðɛʒaɾ], Catalan: Mudèjar [muˈðɛʒər], Arabic: مدجن‎ trans. Mudajjan, „tamed[1] „) is the name given to individual Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Iberia after the Christian Reconquista but were not converted to Christianity, unlike Moriscos who had converted. After centuries of intermarriage they were, in ethnic terms, for the most part largely indistinguishable from the wider Spanish population.[2]
Mudéjar also denotes a style of Iberian architecture and decoration, particularly of Aragon and Castile, of the 12th to 16th centuries, strongly influenced by Moorish taste and workmanship.

Monuments of Hungary

The Nine Holed Bridge

The Nine Holed Bridge (Hungarian Kilenclyukú híd) is the most identifiable symbol of the Hortobágy National Park, Hungary’s great plain. This Arch bridge is the longest road stone bridge in historic Hungary prior to 1921 when Hungary was reduced to one third of its former territory. The bridge was built between 1827 and 1833 in a Classical style.
The distance between the two abutments standing on either side of the river is 92.13 metres while the entire length of the stone bridge measures 167.3 metres. The entrance to the bridge on each side is broader, thus making the life of the herdsman easier as approaching animals being herded onto the bridge entered the funnel shaped opening of the bridge.

The Castle of Tata

The Castle – it had been built since the end of the 1300s, today it is one of the jewels of Tata. Its blooming can be dated to the reign of Zsigmond Luxemburg and Mátyás Hunyadi as the summer resort of the king. The walls of the castle reflect the marks of romantic style which is due to the Esterházy family used to live here. The building at the shore of Old Lake is a beautiful sight still today.

The Szeged Synagogue

The Szeged Synagogue (Hungarian: Szegedi zsinagóga) is a synagogue in Szeged, Hungary. It is a 1907 building designed by the Jewish Hungarian architect Lipót Baumhorn (1860–1932,), whose work is considered to contain the finest examples of the unique fin de siecle Hungarian blending of Art Nouveau and Historicist styles sometimes known as Magyar style.It served Szeged’s large Neolog community.

Heroes Square

Heroes Square (Hősök Tere) is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The square lies at the outbound end of Andrássy Avenue next to City Park (Városliget). It hosts the Museum of Fine Arts and the Műcsarnok. The square has played an important part in contemporary Hungarian history and has been a host to many political events, such as the reburial of Imre Nagy in 1989. The sculptures were made by sculptor Zala György from Lendava.

Monuments of Italy

The Verona Arena

The Verona Arena (Arena di Verona) is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy built in 1st century. It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium; Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo) is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone,it is the largest amphitheatre in the world, and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square (Italian: Piazza San Pietro, Latin: Forum Sancti Petri, pronounced) is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican

St. Peter’s Square (Italian: Piazza San Pietro, Latin: Forum Sancti Petri, pronounced [ˌpi̯aʦa san ˈpi̯ɛːtɾo]) is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo.
At the centre of the square is an Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Tuscan colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in „the maternal arms of Mother Church.” A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613.

Monuments of Poland

Old City of Zamość

Zamość was founded in the 16th century by Chancellor Jan Zamoysky on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea.

Built in the open country, Zamość was modelled on Italian theories of the ‘ideal city’ according to the plan of architect Bernando Morando, a native of Padua. It has retained its original layout, fortifications and a large number of buildings that combine Italian and central European architectural traditions.

The town’s layout was supposed to resemble the human body. The Zamoyski Palace was its head, while its backbone was Grodzka Street, intersecting Great Market Square from east to west. The side streets, such as Solna or Moranda, were meant to be the arms. Dating from the 16th century, Great Market Square is one of Europe’s magnificent city squares, complete with picturesque tenements and shady arcades.

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

The castle is considered World’s largest brick building made by human hands.

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork was built at the turn of the 14th century and is the largest Gothic fortress in Europe. It consists of three castles and occupies 20 ha. From 1309, it served as the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.

This piece of architecture is unique in the world, featuring as it does a number of technical solutions which were ahead of their times, in particular the design of vaults, gables and portals, and the use of sculptures and ornaments. The techniques employed at Malbork were later put to use in many castles of the Teutonic Order, as well as in dozens of other Gothic buildings across North Eastern Europe.

Centennial Hall in Wrocław

One of the 10 most important examples of 20th-century modernism according to the American Getty Foundation, the Centennial Hall is one of the major monuments of Wrocław.

‘The fact that the Centennial Hall made it to this list is a great honour. It is of no surprise to me, because it is a breakthrough facility in the history of architecture,’ said Marcin Szczelina, an  architectural critic, for Polska.pl. ‘A hundred years ago, its form, structure and materials used, broke the structural constrictions of the time. Even today, it is a subject of research on the architecture of that era,’ he adds.

Royal Salt Mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia

The deposits of rock salt in Wieliczka and Bochnia have been mined since the 13th century. The mines are the oldest of their type in the world.

The Wieliczka mine

It is the oldest operating salt mine in the world. It illustrates the historic stages of the development of mining techniques in Europe from the 13th to the 20th century. It encompasses 9 levels, 2040 chambers and 360 km of galleries that form a mysterious labyrinth. Unique altars, statues and whole underground chapels with reliefs and chandeliers sculpted in salt move visitors to an amazing, fairy-tale world. Especially renowned for its beauty is St Kinga’s Chapel, whose size – 54 metres long, 18 metres wide, 12 metres high – has earned it the nickname “underground salt church.”

The mine houses an underground post office, restaurant, cinema, tennis court, and sanatorium which offers allergy and asthma treatment. It is a venue for concerts, theatre performances, and balls. You will find here the world’s deepest lying (approx. 125 m) hotel and playground for children. Each year, the mine has over a million visitors from all around the world.