Tag Archives: Europe holidays

Windsor Castle: History and Plan

Windsor Castle, built by William the Conqueror in Berkshire County, is a worthy place to visit during a Europe tour. Since the reign of Henry I, it has been used as a residence by almost every English monarch. Its architecture combines features of the Victorian, Georgian and Gothic styles. The Thames river flows besides the complex, which occupies a total area of around 13 acres. Three sections namely the Upper, Lower and Middle Wards form the complex, and various structures are located in each section.

Windsor castle
Windsor castle

Upper Ward

Throne Room
Throne Room

It is in the shape of a rectangle, with a high and protective wall encircling a central park and many structures. The George IV Gate and royal apartments are in the south while the Edward III Tower is in the southwest of it. Adjoining the area are the North and the East terraces, facing the river and gardens, respectively. The majority of the area in this sector is occupied by the state apartments. Cellars and service chambers are on the ground floor while the first floor is the main part. Also, on the lower level is a storage space, divided into 13 bays by pillars of brick and stone.

Windsor Castle Bed Rooms
Windsor Castle Bed Rooms

The walls of the Great Hall of Edward III are decorated with intricate French tapestries and resplendent gold leaves. Inside the White, Green and Crimson drawing rooms are trophies and gilded wooden-panels, which depict weapons and battle scenes. The Presence and Audience chambers of the queen and the dining room of the king are gilded and have paintings in floral patterns. A lantern lights the State Dining Room, which has an ornate staircase. The roof of the Saint George Hall is decorated with bright shields. Columns of oak, inside the Lantern Lobby, form a vaulted ceiling looking like a lily.

Middle and Lower Wards

In the centre of the castle is the Middle Ward, built on the top of an artificial hill. The 9 metres high Round Tower, built in the 12th century, stands in the middle. Inside the tower is a room housing the Royal Archives, which are records kept by the monarchs. Below the round tower is a statue of Charles II, riding a horse. The Norman Gatehouse to the east of this sector was constructed in the 14th century and is heavily vaulted and decorated with lion masks and fine carvings. Facing the river and to the west of the middle section is the Lower Ward. In the northern part of this sector is the Saint George Chapel, built in the Perpendicular style of English Gothic architecture. The pillars where they meet the ceiling are decorated with various flags. On the western face is a huge Victorian-era door and a staircase.

An outwards projecting window, constructed by Henry III, and a Victorian stained-glass window are on its eastern face. To the east is the Lady Chapel, constructed by Henry III, with marble, bronze and glass artworks. In the western part of the ward is the Horseshoe Cloister, where officials of the chapel live. The Curfew Tower housing dungeons and bells is behind the cloister. Travellers availing international tour packages and coming here can also walk or relax in the Home and Windsor Great Parks.

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The Marvellous Titanic Belfast Monument and Museum

Belfast is replete with history and culture and serves as a worthwhile place to visit during UK tours. The city has a rich maritime history and many famous ships including Titanic, Britannic and Olympic were built here. Apart from cruise ships, many warships of the Royal Navy have also been constructed in the dockyards of the city. Several monuments have been dedicated to its maritime history, technology, labourers and even vessels. One such structure is called Titanic Belfast, which is dedicated to the ill-fated liner, which sank during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

The Monument

 

Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast is located on the shipyard belonging to Harland and Wolff, the company that built the unfortunate vessel. Its 130000 sq. feet space is occupied by galleries, function venues and community centres. The construction began in 2009 while the inauguration took place in 2012, making it a fairly new place of interest. The response that it has received from visitors was astonishing and beyond general expectations. Its unique design makes its shape not easily recognizable, and many interpretations on it have been made. Some say that the angular façade looks like the hull of a ship when viewed from the front. Others are of the opinion that it looks like an iceberg.

Exterior and Interior

Much of its exterior is covered with 3000 aluminium pieces, anodised with silver. Its height of 126 metres is equal to that of the hull of the shipwrecked vessel. Numerous galleries related to the design, sinking and legacy of the ship are housed in this eight-storey building. On the top storey is a huge conference and banquet hall, capable of accommodating 700 people at once. A bronze sculpture of a diving woman, representing hope and positivity is in front of the building. It was dedicated by the Protestant, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist churches, much before the opening of the monument.

Exhibitions

 

The Boomtown gallery here educates visitors about the history of the city in the 20th century and displays actual drawings and models of the liner. Images and audio related to its construction can be seen and heard in the Shipyard section. The launching of the liner and all of its decks and cabins are displayed in separate galleries. One of its wooden decks has been created in The Maiden Voyage, which shows pictures taken by one of the passengers. Another section portrays events of that wretched night. Sounds of Morse code and survivors telling their experiences are interspersed with images of the wrecking. A huge iceberg has been made by piling up life jackets and photos of events are projected on it.

The after-events of that night are depicted in the Aftermath gallery. A life-size replica of one of the lifeboats aboard the ship dominates the entire area. On either sides of the boat are panels displaying enquiries made by the Americans and British. Information about legends and myths, associated with it, is provided in a separate gallery, with the iconic Celine Dion song playing in the background. The Beneath section has actual photos of the remains of the wreckage, buried more than 12000 feet under water. Europe holidays can be customised to visit this wonderful piece of architecture, brimming with information and interesting facts.

A Journey to the Topkapi Palace of Istanbul

The Ottoman Empire was amongst the largest and most influential kingdoms in the world. At the zenith of its power, it spread from South-eastern Europe to the Horn of Africa. It was founded in 1299 by Osman I, whose father had come to Anatolia from Merv in modern-day Turkmenistan to fight the Byzantine Empire. The two empires coexisted in Turkey till 1453, when the city of Constantinople fell and the Byzantine Empire ended. Upon its defeat, the city became the new capital of the Ottoman Turks and after the dissolution of the empire, it was renamed as Istanbul and was made the capital of the modern country. Istanbul is located in the northwest of the country, bordering Greece in the east, Bulgaria in the north, Mediterranean Sea in the south and Black Sea in the northeast. Tourists during their Turkey holidays can flock to the Topkapi Palace, which served as the centre of the Ottoman power for 400 years.

 

Topkapi Palace

 

Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Turkey. Its construction began in 1459 and in the past, as many as 4000 people lived inside the complex. Four main courtyards and several buildings are located inside its premises. The main gate, located to the south of the complex, is a high archway, which leads to a covered passage. Verses from the Quran, done in Turkish calligraphy, adorn the arch. A huge park is situated in the first courtyard, which is the largest of all such areas.

the Mint
The Mint

Surviving structures in the yard are the Mint, a Byzantine church and some fountains.

Gate of Salutation
Gate of Salutation

The Gate of Salutation leads people to the second courtyard. An inscription on the gate traces its history to 1542. Near the gate is a fountain, which was reportedly used by executioners to wash their hands and swords. Buildings, previously housing kitchens, hospital, bakery, divans and harems, surround the second yard. Some of the royal carriages are often displayed behind the gate. The imperial kitchen has three doors, 20 chimneys and a collection of 10700 Chinese crockery. More chambers housed stables, royal council, treasury and an arms collection.

Tower of Justice
Tower of Justice

The Tower of Justice is the tallest tower in the yard and the palace.

Gate of Felicity
Gate of Felicity

Apartments of servants are situated in the third courtyard, which is reached via the Gate of Felicity. Located here are the audience building, imperial wardrobe chamber, treasury, portrait gallery, library and a mosque. A chamber here apparently housed the robe, swords, bow, tooth and a hair strand of Mohammed. A large Harem occupied the private apartment of the sultan that had bathrooms and apartments for women. The third yard is deep inside the palace and has gardens and terraces. A room dedicated solely to circumcision is present here along with gazebos known as kiosks. Another building here served as a dispensary, where the physician saw patients on the second floor while the first floor was used as a drug and medicine store. Lush gardens surround the whole complex and a section of them faces the sea. Europe holidays can be planned to see this magnificent example of Turkish architecture.

Exploring the Beautiful Schengen Region of Europe

The European continent comprises some of the most beautiful countries of the world, which receive millions of visitors every year. Travelling business of these countries adds to around half of the global tourism market as they are among the highly-frequented destinations. Visitors coming to Europe get to see the rich blend of diverse cultures and splendidly-maintained infrastructure of its nations. The different set of countries in this continent have their own identity and heritage, which offer a unique experience to travellers. Sought-after destinations like United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy are known to receive hordes of vacationers every year through various European tours. Traveling to these locations has now been facilitated through the perks and privileges defined for the Schengen Area – a distinct territorial division in the UK.

Schengen Area

Schengen Area
Schengen Area

Schengen Area is the name given to the area, which covers around 25 European nations sharing internal borders. Passport and some other internal border formalities have been abrogated within these nations; thus, easing the process of traveling. This area, which shares a common visa policy, has derived its name from the famous Schengen Agreement. The benefit of this agreement is that these destinations are now able to eliminate internal border controls and can pay more attention to the external borders shared with other areas. This policy has facilitated the flow of goods, commerce and information within these nations.

The Visa Policy

For traveling within the member countries, a Schengen Visa is required, which has made intercontinental movement less bureaucratic and hassle free. The holder of the visa is allowed to travel to any of its member countries under a single visa, without any need of obtaining separate and individual visas for these nation. This policy is highly convenient for people who take frequent visits to a number of European countries at the same time. It is a visitor provision, which issued to the members of other countries, who require it before they enter any of these European nations. There are certain guidelines and requirements, which must be fulfilled to use this provision.

The purpose of traveling must be logical, such as business, leisure or tourism, and travelers are advised to make a well-planned journey, which falls within the defined time frame. In case the visit is extended, people need to obtain an extension, which is a hard task and may force them to cancel or cut short their trip. The maximum period allowed to stay under the visa provision is for about 90 days in six months. An application guide is required to be applied while filling up other formalities to obtain the visa. The Schengen agreement includes all European Union members and three non-EU members. In all, 15 nations out of this have implemented common border control.

It should be remembered that visitors are only allowed to travel under this provision, and not to live or work permanently in any part of Europe. The application procedure has a refund policy applicable within 30 days of the date of purchase. Europe holiday packages coupled with these legal provisions have become quite popular among vacationers planning to visit these destinations.

Discover Rome: The Italian Capital City

Italy is a country in Europe that earns global recognition for its varied aspects. Tourism has been an integral part of the booming economy of this nation since olden times. In ancient and medieval times, the country was visited by people for the purpose of trade and conquests. As the 17th and 18th centuries arrived, it became a destination frequented by European aristocrats for the purpose of leisure. As the country developed with the passing years, its historic sites and natural sights were discovered by explorers from all over the world. This is how it emerged as a popular tourist destination and garnered attention for various factors. In present times, it is counted amongst the top five most-visited countries and receives a great influx of travelers from all across the globe. Italy tours are mostly focused on its arts, cuisine, heritage, culture and fashion, which fascinate people with their sheer richness.

There are several famous cities in Italy that have their own specialities and distinctness. While Milan is amongst the chief fashion capitals of the globe, Venice is a city of romance. Florence earns fame for its artistic and architectural achievements, whereas Pisa is recognised for its unique leaning tower. Bologna, Genoa, Naples and Turin are other significant cities, which are continuously frequented by tourists. However, it is Rome – the capital city of the country, which defines tourism in the true sense. Europe tour packages to this part of the world are incomplete without a visit to this impressive destination.

The Cityscape

Rome is the official national capital of Italy that has a splendid heritage spanning across two millennia. Founded in 8th century BC, it is often regarded as an eternal city. The entire Roman cityscape is dotted with architectural masterpieces, lush parks and gardens, iconic fountains, ancient statues, imposing obelisks, old catacombs and famous bridges. These constructions belong to different periods and are significant reminders of its glorious past.

Colosseum
Colosseum

Colosseum – the universal symbol of Rome – is an ancient amphitheatre, which belonged to the Roman Empire. It was used as a venue for gladiatorial fights, mock sea battles, animal hunts and classical drama performances. This site has an honourable mention in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Pantheon
Pantheon

Another well-preserved building of ancient Rome is the Pantheon, which is known for its classic Corinthian pillars.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is a historical plaza, which was the nucleus of the urban life in olden times.

Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese

Beautiful landscaped parks and gardens in the city include Villa Borghese and Villa Ada, which have several monuments and notable structures within their precincts.

Villa Ada
Villa Ada

The Trevi Fountain is a remarkable site in Rome that exemplifies the Baroque style of architecture.

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain

It has been extensively mentioned in popular culture and is one of the most recognized fountains across the globe. The city also earns fame for its statutes, which are generally referred to as the talking statues of Rome. Ancient obelisks built by the Egyptians and Romans also adorn the cityscape. The Tiber River of the city has several historical and modern bridges built across it that serve as major landmarks.

Holidays to the Greek Heritage City of Corfu

Greece is a European country, which lies in the south of the continent. It is formally known as the Hellenic Republic, because of its title since ancient times – Hellas. The country rests at the intersection of three continents, namely Asia, Europe and Africa, which affect it in their own different ways. High mountains dominate the topography of this nation while expansive seas encompass it. This place is famous for its deep-rooted heritage, which evolved with the changing periods of its timeline. Ruled by the ancient Aegean civilization, Roman empire and Ottomans, it has witnessed several battles along with the rise and fall of various kingdoms. The most notable ruler of Greece was Alexander the Great, who had one of the largest empires in the ancient world during 4th century BC. Greece holidays are mostly concentrated around its historic landmarks and places, which reflect its deep-rooted heritage and have their names inscribed on the reputed World Heritage List by UNESCO.

The entire nation is dotted with ancient and medieval structures, which have religious, historical and cultural significance. While the Acropolis of Athens is a remarkable ancient citadel, the Pantheon is a renowned Greek temple within its precincts.

Temple of Hephaestus
Temple of Hephaestus

The Temple of Hephaestus is a notable Doric peripteral temple, whereas the Agora of Athens is an old city quarter. An entire portion of a city in Greece has been named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Known as Corfu, this city lies on the Ionian Islands and serves as their capital. Those interested in exploring the glorious past of this city can opt for world tour packages to the country that can be found and compared online.

The Historic Island of Corfu

 

Island of Corfu
Island of Corfu

Situated on is namesake island in Greece, Corfu is a city known for its notable historic associations. It has been a significant catalyst in shaping the history of the country since the 8th century. Owing to the presence of two prominent citadels, Corfu earns the name of Kastropolis, which means citadel city. It was ruled by the Venetians, British and French, who left their influence in the form of beautiful buildings. The presence of Neoclassical, Venetian and British buildings in the old town of this city lent it a honorary mention on the World Heritage List.

Situated within fortified walls, the old town of Corfu is dotted with heritage houses and religious buildings of the olden era. The Esplanade is an open parade ground, which was built under the patronage of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Old Fortress Corfu
Old Fortress Corfu

Another famous site is that of the Old Fortress, which is segregated from the town with the help of a moat and houses the Church of Saint George within its precincts. The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George is a 19th century edifice, which encompasses the Museum of Asian Arts. Exquisite Asian porcelain items, traditional Japanese prints, Tibetan temple arts and Indian sculptures are preserved here with utmost care.

 

Tourists coming here should not miss out on exploring its rich traditions in fine arts. The city is famous for its musical heritage, which can be studied at the Museum of the Philharmonic Society of Corfu.

Beatific Lake Garda in Italy

Lake Garda
Lake Garda

Travellers who are planning international holidays from India, and wish to explore a serene and secluded yet happening destination, Lake Garda of Italy would be an ideal choice. As wide as 50 kilometres, this lake is the largest of its kind in Italy. Located amidst scenic panorama with the majestic Alps in vicinity, Lake Garda has a majestic setting. This beatific destination offers breath-taking views of the city on one side and is a must visit. There are more than one thousand hotels and camp sites in this area making it an evolved tourist ecosystem.

 

Apart from beholding scenic surroundings, tourists can indulge in adventurous activities here. Tourists can enjoy a boat ride in the pristine water of the wide lake to Malcesine, Sirmone or Riva. They can take leisurely strolls along the twisty stone-paved lanes near the water body. Tourists can also enjoy a ride in the ropeway of the cable car, which goes to Monte Baldo – another exquisite destination.

 

Located near the city of Munich, this water front adorns a number of small towns, which are worth visiting, at its edges. Some of these towns are popular tourist attractions, such as Malcesine in the east, Desenzano in the south, Limone in the west and Limone at the northern edge. This destination is properly connected and easily accessible. It is situated between the cities of Venice and Milan, and is within a fifteen-minute drive of the city of Verona. Two of the cities on Lake Garda- Pescheira and Desenzano have direct connections with Milan.

 

Mount Baldo and Malcesine

Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo

 

Travellers can enjoy a ride in the cable car, which runs from Malcesine to Mount Baldo. The cable car travels from a height of over 100 metres up to more than 1770 metres offering spellbinding views en route. Mount Baldo offers picturesque vistas that captivate the onlookers. On the way back, tourists interested in History can take an excursion at Castle Scaligero, which was constructed by erstwhile rulers of Verona in the early years of 13th century.

 

Castle Scaligero
Castle Scaligero

Desenzano, Sirmione and Limone

 

Sirmione
Sirmione

Sirmione is another prominent location at this destination that offers a heated swimming pool where tourists can take refreshing dips. Great dining and wining options are also available here. Located at the north eastern part of the water front is another vibrant place called Limone, which offers mesmerising views of rocky cliffs and lively shopping areas.

Limone
Limone

However, Desenzano is the perfect place for shopaholics, offering a wide range of branded and local items. Natural vistas, urban markets, scrumptious culinary delights and adventurous activities– Lake Garda offers it all, and so it is one of the most frequented destinations in Europe.

Desenzano
Desenzano

People from all parts of the world flock here in thousands and spend memorable vacations. This destination attracts all- nature lovers, adventurers, families, honeymooners and youngsters making it one of the prominent attractions of Europe tours.

Natural Beauty To Be Seen With Switzerland Holiday Packages

Switzerland
Switzerland

Travelers wondering which place to go in the upcoming vacation season can visit Switzerland in Europe to make their trip filled with excitement, fun and adventure. It is an ideal place to spend honeymoon or a vacation with friends and family. The mesmerising and tranquil view on offer here, comprising green trees grown against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and water bodies makes it a paradise for nature lovers. Visitors can go for a walk along the vineyards of Morges and cherish the panoramic view of Lake Geneva on the way. The deep blue water of this lake surrounded by the mountain ranges and covered with lush green vegetation gives photographic opportunities to vacationers. A stroll through the wooded hills and historic old towns of this place makes the journey all the more romantic. Switzerland holiday packages have lot more to offer to people with different tastes. For sports enthusiasts, the region offers numerous recreational activities, such as skiing, hiking, bungee jumping, paragliding and river rafting for an adrenaline rush.

This nation has its own charm, authenticity and culture that drive visitors towards it. There is a unique blend of glorious past and modern marvels that add to the richness of this place. The Chillon Castle, St. Maria Himmelfahrt Cathedral and Rhaetisches Museum are some of the many famous tourist attractions in Switzerland. Take a walk to the historic past of this country by visiting 2000 years old towns like Obere Gasse, Chur and Arcas Square. Countless art galleries and museums are also available from where travellers can explore more about its history. Tourists can also witness the simple lifestyle of village folks and their native way of living. Further, there are several international boutiques, trendy cafe and shopping malls to liven up the spirits of those who have chosen this country for a visit from the world tour packages.

 

Aletsch Glacier

Aletsch Glacier
Aletsch Glacier

Boasting of a mesmerising scenery, the Aletsch Glacier lies between the cantons of Valais and Berne. It is one of the longest glacier in the Alps, which is famous for its breathtaking view. To explore the entire glacier, it is advisable to take a cable car up to the Bettmerhorn Mountain. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Aletsch Glacier region is a perfect choice to indulge in activities like extensive nature excursion, winter sports and hikes. Covered with 27 billion tons of ice, this region is a habitat for many rare flora and fauna. Close to this glacier is the Pro Natura Nature Reserve, which can also be visited.

Swiss National Park

Swiss National Park
Swiss National Park

Founded in 1914, Swiss National Park is one of the earliest national reserve in Europe. This natural habitat is visited by several tourists every year. Animals like bearded vulture, chamois, capricorn, stag, marmots, golden eagle and elks can be seen in this park. Spread across acres of land, the entire area is covered with alpine forest and alpine meadows, which adds to its beautiful scenery. Moreover, this national reserve is also apt for an adventurous bicycle race, owing to long trails and down hills. Switzerland is meant for globetrotters who are in search of something new and innovative. Trip to this place will surely be a rejuvenating experience for both body and mind.

Visit Vasa Museum in Sweden during Your Europe Holidays

A Scandinavian country in northern Europe, Sweden is among the largest countries by area in this continent. It shares its borders with Finland and Norway, and is well-connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel. The country boasts of snow-capped peaks, deep green forests, crystal clear lakes and some of the best beaches of this continent. If you are planning an international vacation, then you can choose from an array of Europe tours that includes a trip to this relatively peaceful country.

In general, the country is a relaxed and carefree place. The countrymen are of liberal attitude in almost every aspect of life, and visitors are left to do their own thing. The country boasts of many attractions including Kosterhavet, Marstrand, Vasa Museum, Liseberg, Skara Sommarland, Oresund Bridge, Abba Museum, Skansen Zoo and Ericsson Globe.

Vasa Museum

Also known as Vasamuseet in Swedish, Vasa Museum is a ship museum in Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. Located on the Djurgarden Island, the museum is a 17th century ship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 and salvaged in 1961. Opened for public view in 1988, it is one of the most visited sites in the country. Apart from regularly changing exhibitions, the place is abode to eleven permanent ones that showcase the time span in which the ship was built and the history of the ship.

The Vasa Museum is open on all days; however, tourists are advised to see its official website for opening hours as it changes according to seasons. The museum can be easily reached by metro rail, and the nearest metro station is Karlaplan, which is 10 minutes walk from this attraction. During your Europe holidays plan a trip to this one of its kind museum to explore the rich culture of the country. Many leading travel portals arrange special sightseeing facilities with reliable guides to make travellers tour hassle free.

 

Plan a Visit the Grand Picasso Museum in Barcelona During Your Europe Holidays

Barcelona, the second largest city of Spain, is a global city and one of the top tourist destinations of the European continent. This city, which is situated between Besòs and Llobregat rivers on the Mediterranean Coast, is the capital of Catalonia. This city has a glorious history and rich cultural heritage that can be seen in its famous architectural wonders, such as Palau Güell, Casa Vicens and Casa Batlló, which are UNESCO designated world heritage sites. Another such important attraction of this city is the Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso), which houses a collection of about 4249 works of the great Spanish painter, Pablo Ruiz Picasso. If you are an ardent art lover and planning a trip to Europe, then a visit to this museum can be a great experience. In case you have not decided how and where all to travel in this beautiful continent, then you can go for any of the Europe tour packages available on the Internet.

About the Museum

Situated on the Montcada Street, the Picasso Museum was the brainchild of the secretary and friend of Picasso – Jaume Sabartés. Originally, the museum was decided to be established in the birthplace of Picasso, which is Málaga; however, Picasso made the suggestion that Barcelona would be more appropriate as he had a long connection with this city.

When in the year 1963 the museum was established, it had 574 works of Picasso that were donated by Sabartés from his personal collection. The importance of the museum grew with time as more such donations were made. The interior of this building was renovated in 2003, and all artworks were rearranged. In 2005, this building was declared as a museum of national interest by the Government of Catalonia. During your Europe holidays, do try visiting this great museum to see masterpieces of a legendary artist, Pablo Picasso.