5 Most Spectacular Wonders in Europe
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City - Italy
PhotoBy Jeremy Gillies
The building itself is truly impressive. The largest church in the world, it has a 218 meter long nave. The basilica's dome is the world's largest measuring 42m in diameter and reaching 138 meter high (more than 450ft). The interior, which includes 45 altars, is decorated by many famous artists. Some of the most important works in the church are the Pietà by Michelangelo, the papal altar by Bernini, the Throne of St. Peter - also by Bernini - and the Monument to the Stuarts by Canova.
The opulent interior can be visited daily for free although a strict dress code is enforced.
The Sistine Chapel is one place you can't miss!
Alhambra, Granada - Spain
Photo bySon of Groucho
This palace structure was started after the Reconquista, the reconquering of Spain performed by the Christian kings, started. This adds to its aura. While the illiterate Christians were advancing, Spain reached its highest cultural level ever, but under the Muslim rulers. The slender structure of Alhambra, the breathtaking details, the celebration of life, the mixture of nature in men's design, all underline what tragedy the return of Christianity in Spain was to be for centuries to come.
Alhambra was started as late as 13th century, but Alhambra consists of palaces built by several rulers, each had his own. The carrying idea behind several of the buildings of Alhambra is nothing less than an attempt to create a duplica of Paradise on earth. The romantic design is made up of a mixture of slender columnar arcades, fountains, and light-reflecting water basins. Most prominent is the Lion Court.
West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord
Photo By Sandro Mancuso
Photo By curiousl
Photo By kc camera
Situated in southwestern Norway, northeast of Bergen, Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, set 120km from one another, are part of the west Norwegian fjord landscape, which stretches from Stavanger in the south to Andalsnes, 500km to the northeast. The two fjords, among the world’s longest and deepest, are considered as archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere. Their exceptional natural beauty is derived from their narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1,400m from the Norwegian Sea and extend 500m below sea level. The sheer walls of the fjords have numerous waterfalls while free flowing rivers cross their deciduous and coniferous forests to glacial lakes, glaciers and rugged mountains. The landscape features a range of supporting natural phenomena, both terrestrial and marine such as submarine moraines and marine mammals.
Pompeii is a partly buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for over 1,500 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1599. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.
Acropolis and Parthenon, Greece
Photo by Jose Pires
The Parthenon of Athens has probably received more attention from archaeologists, historians, architects, painters and poets than any other structure on earth. Words and photographs however, can offer but slight tribute to this extraordinary creation. Iktinos and Kallicrates were responsible for its construction and architectural refinements.
The greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena, dominates the centre of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis. The most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, earliest cults and several decisive events in the city's history are all connected to this sacred precinct. The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries. The Acropolis of the fifth century BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age of Perikles.