florence

Top 5 European Cities for History Lovers

All locations have a story, whether we have to dig to find it or just simply wonder at the structure in front of us. No matter where we go, we can find a piece of history.

There have been many influential people that have graced the earth who dominant eras, like the Romans, or they simply discovered something that continues to enlighten the modern era. Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Mozart and Vincent Van Gogh are a small part of the world’s history, a big aspect of Europes.

Discovering culture has helped many people find their own identity, their societies and a little aspect to relate to the important figures. So if you are looking to add a bit of history to your next holiday why don’t you consider these five locations.

Athens

Athens is a city of historic beauty offering a glimpse into a time over 2,500 years ago where the Romans and Greeks once fought for the land of one of Europe’s oldest cities.

acropolis

Locations within the Greek capital have become a known well-known attraction within the world and were dominant figures and cities in Ancient Europe. There is the Parthenon, Acropolis of Athens, Temple of Zeus, museums and the birthplace of the Olympic games, all sites to see within the central areas. A chance to time travel back and get a sense of what the previous era achieved and how they went about their life.

History plays an integral part in Greece’s tourist industry, but it is not the only thing that the City has to offer. The mix of modern and historic aspects blends well with the lively atmosphere.

Florence

It could have gone to Rome but with the Italian capital being rich with Roman artefacts and similar to Athens, I thought it would be worth going for something a little different. Florence has a rich and diverse history, particularly in the religion factor. Dante’s birthplace, the cradle of the Renaissance and the architecture that truly depicts early perceptions of Christ can be found within Florence.

florence

The oldest part of the city bears the imprint of these Roman origins as it originated as one of Julius Caesar’s colonies, with particularly strategic significance to the north of the Roman Empire due to its position on the coast. The medieval cathedral with its iconic red roof or the 13th century Palazzo Vecchio shows progress from the Romans and into an era dominated by the Catholic Church. Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Michaelangelo, Galleria dell’Accademia and Santa Croce are all worth a visit for people with an interest in historic events, particularly the Renaissance era.

Istanbul

Historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul has seen two significant periods within its early history after becoming key cities in the Greek and Roman empires.

A few walls and scribings of Lygos (founded by Thracian tribes between the 13th and 11th centuries BC) can now be found close to the Seraglio Point. After the Byzantium period, the city soon became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman’s eastern Europe in 330. That remained the case for over 1,000 years, however, it began to lose power when the Ottoman Empire came to fruition.

Istanbul

Following their arrival in 1453, the Ottomans quickly began to progress the city with a focus on developing the facilities that City would need and lacked in the Roman period. The building of the Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace were their showpieces, both of which are still standing today following their redevelopment over the years. Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Galata Tower and Rumelihisarı are all significant sites that can give historic fanatics a lesson or two.

Berlin

The history of the city is relatively new and most of the events that signify Berlin can be traced back only 100 years. But, what a history it is. The period after World War II is considered important as Germany was split into administrative zones between the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States and France. Berlin was split between the four, albeit it’s position within the Soviet Union sector.

Berlin

Tensions, which escalated in the coming years, led to the erection of the Berlin Wall and the segregation between East and West Germany. The wall, in parts, still stands as a reminder and although the City was practically rebuilt following the destruction in the Second World War by allied forces, there still remains a history to Berlin. Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Bode Museum, Checkpoint Charlie, Pergamon Museum and the Berlin Cathedral are all worthwhile stopping points when exploring the city.

Winchester

The surprising choice on the list but won’t disappoint any history lovers, particularly with a keen interest in the Roman, Viking or Medieval periods in British society. After the Roman conquest of Britain, the settlement, now Winchester, served as the capital of their Belgae empire.

winchester

The stone walls built around the city to protect its importance have now gone, and so did the Romans soon after they built their defences. The medieval period that followed bears resemblance in today’s’ society with the statues of Alfred the Great and the fantastic Winchester Castle.

From previous centuries to the present day, Winchester Cathedral has been a significant part of Winchester, and it remains one of the most interesting tourist attractions that should be on the list of anyone who visits Winchester.

The nearby Stonehenge is worth a visit, plus if you want to stay within Winchester then there is the Wolvesey Castle and the Great Hall to give you that medieval spirit. A super day or two can be worthwhile for any enthusiasts.

All five destinations can provide the ideal destination to experience a significant period in that cities history, whether it is within the last 100 years or centuries ago.

If you allow your imagination to grow when touring Europe then you could find yourself in Roman garbs or a medieval outfit when walking around the Coliseum or strolling Carcassonne in France.