” The Acropolis ”

The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the world. Located on a limestone hill high above Athens, Greece, the Acropolis has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Over the centuries, the Acropolis was many things: a home to kings, a citadel, a mythical home of the gods, a religious center etc.

The Acropolis’ flat top is the result of thousands of years of construction beginning as far back as the Bronze Age.

The term “acropolis” means “high city” in Greek and can refer to one of many natural strongholds constructed on rocky, elevated ground in Greece, but the Acropolis of Athens is the best known.

Today, it is a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several temples, the most famous of which is the Parthenon.

Source: history.com

” Neuschwanstein Castle ”

Neuschwanstein Castle turns 150. On September 5, 1869, Bavaria’s fairytale king Ludwig II had the cornerstone laid for the most expensive building project of his time: Neuschwanstein Castle.

Name: Neuschwanstein Castle

Location: Hohenschwangau, Germany

Built year: 1886

Construction Started: 5 September 1869

Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival

Without a doubt, Neuschwanstein Castle represents one of the most popular and most visited castles in the Germany. It was built in the German region of Bavaria, near the town Fussen by the commission of the King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was known by his nickname “Fairytale King”. He has built this castle to be his residence, and to support the lifetime of work of the German composer Richard Wagner who promoted romanticized view on the medieval renaissance fashion.

Construction of Neuschwanstein Castle lasted for 25 years, and during that period King Ludwig II died and he was not able to see it finished. Construction started in 1868 by clearing the rocky perch on which castle would be built. With the finished road to the construction site, work on the foundation building started in 1869, and central throne room in 1872. After that Gateway building was finished and prepared for occupation (1873), topping of Palas was performed in 1880, interior decoration finished in 1884, castle was opened to the public in 1886 (less than 2 months after the death of King Ludwig II) and finally, castle was finished in 1892 with the completion of the Bower and Square tower.

Neuschwanstein Castle was one of the most expensive castles ever made in Europe, with the construction cost reaching 7 million marks. Its incredible luxury and complicated construction technique imediatley captured the attention of the public, and tourists from all around the world came visiting. This popularity naturally led to the apperiance of the castle in many movies and other art mediums, and the castle itself served as one of the most popular inspirations of “medieval fantasy castle”. This can most notably be seen in the Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, which was conceived with the Neuschwanstein Castle as its inspiration.

” Atlas ”

( Atlas holding a celestial sphere over the eastern entrance to the Austrian national library. In the past it was a roof element on the Hofburg Palace at Josefsplatz in 1010 Vienna )

ATLAS was the Titan god who bore the sky aloft. He personified the quality of endurance (atlaô).

Atlas was a leader of the Titanes (Titans) in their war against Zeus and after their defeat he was condemned to carry the heavens upon his shoulders. According to others he was instead appointed guardian of the pillars which held the earth and sky asunder. Atlas was also the god who instructed mankind in the art of astronomy, a tool which was used by sailors in navigation and farmers in measuring the seasons. These roles were often combined and Atlas becomes the god who turns the heaven on their axis, causing the stars to revolve.

[Stonehenge]

Stonehenge is a world-famous stone monument located near the town of Salisbury in Wiltshire County, England. Dating back approximately 3,500 years, these prehistoric statues are one of the most famous and mysterious attractions in the entire world. One of the most popular tourist attractions anywhere on earth, Stonehenge was reportedly built in three stages that totalled more than 30 million hours of work.

Although there are no written records on the construction of or motivation behind the creation of Stonehenge, speculation on the origins and purposes of these rock formations has continued for centuries. One school of thought is that it is a place of death, while others believe it has healing powers. Some theorise its purpose as one of human sacrifice while others surmise it has something to do with astronomy. Further still, many think of it as a place of worship while another widely held belief is that it acted as a solar calendar that was able to predict the sunrise, sunset, eclipse and moon activity.

Despite all the conjecture, Stonehenge continues to remain a mystery and a famous landmark to this day. With little information on how exactly these standing stones were placed there, the circular monument is said to date back as early as 3100 BC. Although the structure wasn’t complete at this time, work on the three phases of building had started and 1500 years later was finally complete. However there is evidence at the site that suggests the structure could date back as far as 6500 years.

Just how Stonehenge was built is equally mysterious with some believing supernatural forces must have contributed to the construction. With the stones being impossibly heavy, it’s hard to see how anyone could carry of move them into place. Archeologists have flocked to the site for centuries, trying to shed some light on how this amazing attraction came into being however the origins of Stonehenge continue to remain a mystery.

A must see on any visit to England, millions of tourists journey from all over the world to take in this mysterious yet mind-blowingly impressive wonder of the world. Depending on the time of day of your visit, you’ll notice the colours of the sarsen and bluestones and you are welcome to walk around the circle and lay on the green land to take in this amazing monument from every angle.

” Louvre Museum ”

The Louvre is the world’s largest museum and houses one of the most impressive art collections in history. The magnificent, baroque-style palace and museum — LeMusée du Louvre in French — sits along the banks of the Seine River in Paris.

The history of the Louvre began toward the end of 1.100 A.D. in the area where there was a fortress, which later was converted into the royal residence and the secondary residence of Charles V in the 14th century. In the Renaissance period the Louvre became the main seat of the kings of France, and was Catherine de’Medici who enlarged and transformed the building. The Louvre lost its function of royal residence at the time of Louis XIV, who moved his court to the new Palace of Versailles. Since 1793 at the Louvre was created the Muséum Central des Arts, renamed in 1803 the Musée Napoléon.

So, originally the building of the Louvre wasn’t a museum, but became a museum only during the Enlightenment, when artists and craftsmen spent their time admiring and copying the works of the ancients. In the late 18th century and right after the French Revolution, began the acquisition of a large number of works that added to the initial and casual collection of the kings of France, to which were added the works of art coming from the most important European art collections and which arrived in France as spoils of the successful military campaigns of Napoleon.

The Louvre Museum is the result of a long work, started two centuries ago, made of collecting and organizing works and finds in order to create the most completed overview ever of what man has created from the Neolithic to nowadays.

” Colosseum ”

Located just east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the Colosseum–officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater–with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.

[Austrian National Library , State Hall]

The State Hall, the heart of the Austrian National Library, is one of the most beautiful library halls in the world. It is the biggest Baroque library in Europe.

The former Court Library was created in the first half of the 18th century as a private wing of the Hofburg imperial residence. Emperor Karl VI. ordered its construction. The library was built by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach according to plans of his father, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

The impressive state hall of the library is almost 80 m long and 20 m high and is crowned by a dome that is magnificently decorated with frescoes by the court painter Daniel Gran. More than 200,000 volumes are exhibited here, among them the comprehensive library of Prince Eugene of Savoy as well as one of the largest collections of Martin Luther’s writings from the Reformation Era.