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Ethnographic Museum Budapest in the former Palace of Justice

The most famous building in Budapest, the Parliament, has the Danube on one side and the Kossuth square on the other. Just across this square there is another majestic building remembering by its style the Austro-Hungarian imperial age. This used to be the Ministry of Justice before communism and is now the Ethnographic Museum. It […]

Rathaus, the Town Hall of Vienna in Friedrich Schmidt Platz

In a capital of architectural class like Vienna, the town hall couldn’t be anything less than a work of art. The Rathaus, as it is known, looks like an aristocratic palace but is in fact much recent than its look. The reason is that its architect, baron Friedrich Schmidt deliberately chose a historic architectural style […]

Galleria Umberto Primo in Naples, how a mall looked in the 19th century

The king of Naples, Umberto I, built this gallery at the end of the 19th century, with the help of architect Emanuele Rocco. The gallery impresses through a high octagonal glass dome, like other similar shopping galleries in Milan and Venice. Built in four years, the gallery has the shape of a cross, with a […]

Dolmabahce Palace, the architectural treasure of the sultans

Dolmabahce Palace is the largest and most luxurious residence in Turkey: 15,000 square meters, 285 rooms, without counting baths, halls and annexes. In the palace the oriental opulence of the six sultans who have lived here (past rulers of the Ottoman Empire) meets Western sophistication. The palace looks more like an imperial residence of French […]

A glimpse inside the harem, the forbidden place of the Ottoman sultan

Though the Western world fantasizes about the erotic and mysterious nature of a harem, in the Ottoman world it was rather an elaborate institution than a place for orgiastic love. The relationships inside the harem (which translates “the forbidden place”) were rather ceremonial, with a numerous staff, of about 10 servants per room. Polygamy is […]

How Roman emperor Trajan conquered the Dacians, reconted by the column of Apollodorus of Damascus

The conquest of Dacia by the Romans was such an important event for the empire, that Trajan payed for a nonstop party of 123 days at the Colosseum. Following the Latin motto “bread and circus”, the show was on a grandiose scale: 10.000 gladiators fought 11.000 wild animals during it. To put it in today’s […]

Castel Nuovo, the emblem of Naples, once besieged by pirates, now a peaceful museum

A fortress was built in this spot starting 1279, at the orders of Charles I of Anjou by French architect Pierre de Chaule. Even closer to the see, in the Gulf of Naples, there already existed Castel dell Ovo, a smaller fortification with a panoramic view over the shore, and a more retreat Castel Capuano. […]

The castle of Vlad the Impaler in Bucharest

The most famous historic personality of Romanians, Vlad The Impaler, was very tied to Bucharest, today’s capital, which was first mentioned in a document during his reign, in 1459. The legendary king is usually associated to Transylvania, being born in Sighisoara, but he ruled a neighbor part of today Romania, Wallachia. Several castles, among which […]

Inside Romanian Atheneum, the most beautiful building in Bucharest

Though the term Atheneum usually refers to a library, the Romanian Atheneum is mainly a concert hall. Important personalities like Richard Strauss and Yehudi Menuhin have concerted here. The Atheneum was built by a French architect, with the help of some of the most important Romanian architects, after a national fund raising campaign. It stands […]

Contemporary Art Museum in a Baroque Palace in Timisoara

In Timișoara, the most Western city of Romania, contemporary art lives along with the atmosphere of a XVIII building. The most valuable exhibits are part of the painting collection by Corneliu Baba, which you can admire, but not take pictures of. The source of inspiration for this building’s architecture is the Kinsky Palace in Vienna. […]

Museums’ square in Vienna’s Maria Theresa Plaza

Half of millennium ago, on the place of Ringstrasse, the most important boulevard in Vienna, stood the mighty city walls that stopped the Ottoman army in its march to the heart of Europe. At the orders of the Hapsburg emperor Franz Josef, the remains of the walls were turned into a wide boulevard in the […]

Fairytale in the historic part of Budapest

The western part of today Budapest, Buda, was the capital of Hungary, mainly before the Ottoman conquest in the middle age. The city, which is about one third of Budapest was revitalized and reshaped by German settlers who gave it a Gothic look. It is still a pleasure to stroll through the narrow cobalt streets […]

Caserta, the Italian Versailles with bigger gardens

The king of Naples, Carlos Sebastian (Charles VII), wanted to underline his status as a descendant of Louis XIV (The Sun King) and ordered a palace that would compete with the famous French castle of Versailles. For this Charles VII picked a rural area 20 km away from Naples. The existing Royal Palace in Naples […]

Fontana di Trevi, the most romantic place in Rome

Along with Piazza di Spagna, the Colosseum, the Vatican or Victor Emmanuel Palace, Fontana di Trevi is a major tourist attraction that is not to be missed when in the eternal city of Rome. The name of Fontana di Trevi does not come from a specific character as one might think, but from two Italian […]

The lost perfection of the ancient sculpture

Strolling through the galleries of the Archeology Museum in Thessaloníki one can but wonder what happened with the art of carving in the period between Antiquity and Renaissance, when brilliant artists rediscovered the lines of the human body and the techniques necessary to reproduce movement and emotion in stone and marble. The level at which […]

BMW Museum, the technological pride of Bavaria

“Bayerische Motoren Werke” carries out the name of Bavaria in only three letters: BMW, one of the most renown car manufacturers of the world. To mark its status, the car maker even has its own museum opened in 1972 in the capital of the land (province) Bavaria, Munich. It was designed by architect Karl Schwanzer […]

Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, the National Library of Austria

The Hofburg Imperial Palace has witnessed history from the time of Habsburgs to modern era, but its cultural value overwhelms its past. When this place was first used by the monarchs of Vienna we do not know, but it was already a royal residence in the 13th century, expanding and being rebuilt constantly. The Hofsburg […]

The largest collection of Hungarian Art

The Hungarian National Gallery is found inside Buda Castle and holds a large collection of paintings and sculptures spanning from the medieval religious art, Gothic, Renaissance to modern experiments and contemporary art. The building that hosts this exhibition, the former royal palace, is even more impressive than the collection itself. Outside there is an equestrian […]

Traditional village in Bukovina. Crafted objects, folklore and customs at the Village Museum Suceava

Found near the fortress of king Stephen The Great, the Village Museum of Suceava holds a remarkable patrimony of vestiges of Moldavian peasant lifestyle from the area of Bukovina. On the alleys of this village museum you can stroll as if you were in a place untouched by modern technology, with wooden houses that have […]

How daily life of a medieval king looked like. The Visegrad Castle of the Hungarian monarchy

Found on the banks of the Danube, Visegrad was the most important political center of the middle age kingdom of Hungary. The hill castle was connected with the lower castle, a Roman relic that had access to the river. The castle was constructed by King Bela 4th of Hungary, it later became a royal residence […]

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