Wednesday, 30 January 2013



Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia. It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.

Though traces of Neolithic settlements can be found in the region, the earliest modern settlements on the site were Celtic Tarsatica (modern Trsat, now part of Rijeka) on the hill, and the tribe of mariners, the Liburni, in the natural harbour below. The city long retained its double character.

In the time of Augustus, the Romans rebuilt Tarsatica as a municipium (MacMullen 2000) on the right bank of the small river Rječina (whose name means "the big river") as Flumen. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica (Natural History iii.140).

From the 5th century onwards, the town was ruled successively by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, the Avars, the Franks, the Croats, the Hungarians and the Venetians before coming under the control of the Archduchy of Austria ruled by Austrian Habsburgs in 1466, where it remained for over 450 years except French rule between 1805 and 1813, until its occupation by Italian and Croat irregulars at the end of World War.

After the 4th century the city was rededicated to St. Vitus, the city's patron saint, as Terra Fluminis sancti Sancti Viti or in GermanSankt Veit am Pflaum. In medieval times Rijeka got its Croatian name, Rika svetoga Vida (" the river of St. Vitus").

Medieval Rijeka was a city surrounded by a wall and was thus a feudal stronghold. The fort was in the center of the city, at its highest point.

After coming under Austrian Rule in 1466, Sankt Veit am Pflaum grew as part of the Holy Roman Empire and was eventually turned into a free port in 1723. During the 18th and 19th centuries was passed among the Habsburgs' Austrian, Croatian, and Hungarian possessions until being attached to Hungary for the third and last time in 1870. The City of Rijeka was governed as a corpus separatum directly from Budapest by an appointed governor, as Hungary's only international port. There was competition between Austria's Port of Trieste and Hungary's Port of Fiume. In the early 19th century, the prominent economical and cultural leader of the city was Andrija Ljudevit Adamić.

Fiume also had a significant naval base, and in the mid-19th century it became the site of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy (K.u.K. Marine-Akademie), where the Austro-Hungarian Navy trained its officers.

Giovanni de Ciotta (mayor from 1872 to 1896) proved to be the most authoritative local political leader. Under his leadership, an impressive phase of expansion of the city started, marked by major port development, fueled by the general expansion of international trade and the city's connection (1873) to the Hungarian and Austrian railway networks. Modern industrial and commercial enterprises such as the Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Company "Adria", and the Papermill, situated in the Rječina canyon, producing worldwide known cigarette paper, became trademarks of the city.

The second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century (up to WWI) was a period of rapid economic growth and technological dynamism for Rijeka. The industrial development of the city included the first industrial scale oil refinery in Europe in 1882 and the first torpedo factory in the world in 1866, after Robert Whitehead, manager of the "Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano" (an Austrian engineering company engaged in providing engines for the Austro-Hungarian Navy), designed and successfully tested the world's first torpedo.

Rijeka also became a pioneering center for high-speed photography. The Austrian physicist dr. Peter Salcher working in Rijeka's Austro-Hungarian Marine Academy took the first photograph of a bullet flying at supersonic speed in 1886, devising a technique that was later used by Ernst Mach in his studies of supersonic motion.

Rijeka's port underwent a tremendous development fueled by heavy Hungarian investment, becoming the main maritime outlet for Hungary and the eastern part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the fifth port in the Mediterranean, after Marseilles, Genova, Naples and Trieste. The population grew rapidly from only 21,000 in 1880 to 50,000 in 1910. A lot of major civic buildings went up at that time, including the Governor's Palace designed by the Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann.

Apart from the rapid economic growth, the period encompassing the second half of the 19th century and up to World War I also saw a shift in the ethnic composition of the city. Kingdom of Hungary, which administered the city in that period, favored the Italian element in the city and encouraged the Italian immigration at the detriment of Croats, with whom Hungarians at the time had a difficult relationship and who claimed the city should be part of Croatia-Slavonia (while Hungarians considered the city to be a corpus separatum). Around the start of the 20th century, Hungarians had 10 secondary schools and 4 elementary schools in the city, Italians had 5 secondary and 21 elementary schools, while Croats had no schools at all. In 1910, there were 24,000 Italians, but only 13,000 Croats in Rijeka (in addition to the 6,500 Hungarians and several thousands of other nationalities, mostly Slovenians and Germans), giving the city a decidedly Italian character.

The future mayor of New York City, Fiorello La Guardia, lived in the city around the start of the 20th century, working at the U. S. consulate (1901-1906), and reportedly even played football for the local sports club.

Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary's disintegration in the closing weeks of World War I in the fall of 1918 led to the establishment of rival Croatian-Serbian and Italian administrations in the city; both Italy and the founders of the new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes(later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) claimed sovereignty based on their "irredentist" ("unredeemed") ethnic populations.

After a brief Serbian occupation, an international force of Italian, French, British and American troops occupied the city (November 1918) while its future was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference during the course of 1919.

Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city, 88% of total. Croats made up most of the remainder and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak. Andrea Ossoinack, who had been the last delegate from Fiume to the Hungarian Parliament, was admitted to the conference as a representative of Fiume, and essentially supported the Italian claims.

On 10 September 1919, the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed declaring the Austro-Hungarian monarchy dissolved. Negotiations over the future of the city were interrupted two days later when a force of Italian nationalist irregulars led by the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio seized control of the city by force; d'Annunzio eventually established a state, the Italian Regency of Carnaro.

The resumption of Italy's premiership by the liberal Giovanni Giolitti in June 1920 signaled a hardening of official attitudes to d'Annunzio'scoup. On 12 November, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, under which Rijeka was to be an independent state, the Free State of Fiume, under a regime acceptable to both. D'Annunzio's response was characteristically flamboyant and of doubtful judgment: his declaration of war against Italy invited the bombardment by Italian royal forces which led to his surrender of the city at the end of the year, after five days' resistance. Italian troops took over in January 1921. The election of an autonomist-led constituent assembly for the territory did not put an end to strife: a brief Italian nationalist seizure of power was ended by the intervention of an Italian royal commissioner, and a short-lived local Fascist takeover in March 1922 ended in a third Italian military occupation. Seven months later Italy herself fell under Fascist rule.

A period of diplomatic acrimony closed with the Treaty of Rome (27 January 1924), which assigned Rijeka to Italy and Sušak to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration. Formal Italian annexation (16 March 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Italian government.

At the beginning of World War II Rijeka immediately found itself in an awkward position. The city was overwhelmingly Italian, but its immediate surroundings and the city of Sušak, just across the Rječina river (today a suburb of Rijeka proper) were inhabited almost exclusively by Croatians and part of a potentially hostile power – Yugoslavia. Once the Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Croatian areas surrounding the city were occupied by the Italian military, setting the stage for an intense and bloody insurgency which would last until the end of the war. Partisan activity included guerrilla-style attacks on isolated positions or supply columns, sabotage and killings of civilians believed to be connected to the Italian and (later) German authorities. This, in turn, was met by stiff retributions from the Italian and German military. On 14 July 1942, in reprisal for the killing of 4 Italian citizens by the Partisans, the Italian military killed 100 men from the suburban village of Podhum, resettling the remaining 800 people to concentration camps.

After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943, Rijeka and the surrounding territories were annexed by Germany, becoming part of the Adriatic Littoral Zone. The partisan activity continued and intensified. On 30 April 1944, in the nearby village of Lipa, German troops killed 263 civilians as a retaliation for the killings of several soldiers during a partisan attack.

Because of its industries (oil refinery, torpedo factory, shipyards) and its port facilities, the city was also a target of frequent (more than 30) Anglo-American air attacks, which caused widespread destruction and many hundreds of civilian deaths. Some of the worst bombardments happened on 12 January 1944 (attack on the refinery, part of the Oil Campaign), on 3–6 November 1944, when a series of attacks resulted in at least 125 deaths and between 15 and 25 February 1945 (200 dead, 300 wounded).

The area of Rijeka was heavily fortified even before World War II (the remains of these fortifications can be seen today on the city outskirts). This was the fortified border between Italy and Yugoslavia which, at that time, cut across the city area and its surroundings. When the Yugoslav troops started to approach the city in April 1945, one of the fiercest and largest battles in this area of Europe ensued. The 27000 German and additional Italian troops fought tenaciously from behind these fortifications (renamed "Ingridstellung" – Ingrid Line – by the Germans). Under the command of the German general Ludwig Kübler they inflicted many thousands of casualties on the attacking Yugoslav partisans, which were forced to charge uphill against well fortified positions to the north and east of the city. Ultimately the Germans were forced to retreat. Before leaving the city, in an act of wanton destruction (World War II was almost over), the German troops destroyed the harbour area and all the infrastructure with a number of huge explosive charges. The German attempt to break out of the partisan encirclement north-west of the city was however unsuccessful. Of the approximately 27000 German and other troops retreating from the city, 11000 were killed (many were executed after surrendering), while the remaining 16000 were taken prisoner. Yugoslav troops entered Rijeka on 3 May 1945.

The aftermath of the war saw the city's fate again resolved by a combination of force and diplomacy. This time the city of Rijeka became Yugoslav, a situation formalized by the Paris peace treaty between Italy and the wartime Allies on 10 February 1947. Once the change in sovereignty was formalized, 58,000 of the 66,000 Italian speakers chose exile (known in Italian as esuli or the exiled ones) rather than enduring oppression by the new Yugoslav communist authorities. The discrimination and persecution many of them experienced at the hands of the Yugoslav populace and officials in the last days of World War II and the first years of peace still remain painful memories. Summary executions of alleged fascists, Italian public servants, military officials and even ordinary civilians (at least 650 Italians were executed immediately after the war), forced most ethnic Italians to abandon Rijeka in order to avoid this type of ethnic cleansing.

In the immediate post-World War II period, the city was resettled by many immigrants from various parts of Yugoslavia, changing the city demographics once again, and a period of reconstruction began. During the period of the Yugoslav communist administration in the 1950s–1980s the city grew both demographically and economically, based on its traditional manufacturing industries, its maritime economy and its port, then the largest in Yugoslavia. However, many of these industries were mostly a product of a socialist planned economy and could not be sustained once the economy transitioned to a more market-oriented model in the early 1990s.

In 1991 the city once again changed hands, becoming part of Croatia, which broke off from Yugoslavia during the Croatian War of Independence. Since then, the city has somewhat stagnated both economically as well as demographically, with some of its largest industries and employers either going out of business (the Jugolinija shipping company, the torpedo factory, the paper mill and many other medium or small manufacturing and commercial companies) or struggling to stay economically viable (the city's landmark 3. Maj shipyards). A difficult and uncertain transition of the city's economy away from manufacturing and towards services and tourism is still in progress.

Wherever you go in modern day Rijeka, you will find a place to drink and relax. There are hundreds of bars and cafes across the city. There are three ships docked in the harbor (city center) with bars, casino, and a night club – Arca Fiumana, Marina club and Club Nina 2. There are numerous restaurants offering domestic and international food. Try some of their local fish specialties and also meat and vegetarian dishes as well as exotic specialties. If you didn’t walk into one of the more exclusive restaurants in Rijeka, such as Zlatna školjka, Kamov or Municipium, you will find the prices to be mostly moderate. Try Trattoria Riva's on the Riva, very popular with the locals and visitors alike.

                                                        Rijeka’s Top 5:
  1. The St. Vitus Cathedral is Rijeka's Roman Catholic cathedral. The Church of St. Vitus was in Middle Ages a small and one-sided, romanesque church dedicated to the patron saint and protector of Rijeka. It had a semi-circular apse behind the altar, and covered porch. With the arrival of the Jesuits in Rijeka, the Cathedral as we see it today was founded in 1638. First, it became the Jesuits' church. When the town of Rijeka became the center of the diocese, and then in 1969 the center of the archbishopric and metropolit, the representative Jesuit's Church of St. Vitus became the Cathedral of Rijeka. It’s a rotunda, which is unusual in this part of Europe, with elements of baroque and Gothic, including fine baroque statuary inside. The cathedral is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 100 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2002.
  2. Tvornica "Torpedo" (the Torpedo factory). The first European prototypes of a self-propelled torpedo, created by Giovanni Luppis, a retired naval engineer from Rijeka. The remains of this factory still exist, including a well-preserved launch ramp used for testing self-propelled torpedoes on which in 1866 the first torpedo was tested.
  3. Old gate or Roman arch. At first it was thought that this was a Roman Triumphal Arch built by the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus but later it was discovered to be just a portal to the pretorium, the army command in late antiquity.
  4. City Tower, a symbol of Rijeka and a good example of a typical round tower access-point, which leads into the fortified town. Today it dominates the central part of Korzo and is often used as a meeting place for local people.
  5. Svetište Majke Božje Trsatske – the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat. Built 135 meters above the sea on the Trsat hill during the late Middle Ages, it represents the Guardian of Travelers, especially seamen, who bring offerings to her so she will guard them or help them in time of trouble or illness. It is home to the Gothic sculpture of the Madonna of Slunj and to works by the Baroque painter C. Tasce.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013



Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, 120 km (75 mi) north of Paris and 100 km (62 mi) south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy.

The first known settlement is Samarobriva ("Somme bridge"), the central settlement of the Ambiani, one of the principal tribes of Gaul, who were issuing coinage, probably from Amiens, in the 1st century BC. The Ambiani derive their name from the Gaulish word ambe meaning river – a reference to the Somme that flows through Amiens. The town was given the name Ambianum by the Romans, meaning settlement of the Ambiani people. By tradition, it was at the gates of Amiens that Saint Martin of Tours, at the time still a Roman soldier, shared his cloak with a naked beggar. The prosperity of the city made it a target for barbarian tribes such as the Alans, the Burgundians or the Vandals, who attacked the city several times.

During the 5th century, Chlodio rose to power among the Franks, and Merovech was elected in Amiens by his comrades in arms. Saint Honorius (Honoré) (d. 600 AD) became the seventh bishop of the city. Normans sacked the city 859 and again in 882. During the second sacking, the city's cathedral was burned. During the early part of the 10th century, Count Herbert de Vermandois united the regions of Amiens, Vexin, Laon, and Reims. In 1095, the people of Amiens began to form a rough municipal organization. In 1113 the city was recognized by the King of France; the city was joined to the Crown of France in 1185.

In 1264, Amiens was chosen as the seat of arbitrations when King Louis IX of France settled the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. The arbitrations led to Louis deciding on the Mise of Amiens – a one-sided settlement in favor of Henry. This decision almost immediately led to the outbreak of the Barons' War.

In 1435 the city was among the possessions granted to Philip the Good of Burgundy by the Congress of Arras. It was re-acquired again by King Louis XI in 1477 after the death of Charles the Bold. In 1597, Spanish soldiers disguised as peasants entered the city and mounted a surprise attack. After the six month Siege of Amiens, the forces of Henry IV regained control of the city and put an end to its autonomous rule.

During the 18th and 19th century, the textile tradition of Amiens became famous for its velours. The Cosserat family rose to prominence as one of the wealthiest of Amiens' textile manufacturing families. In 1789 the provinces of France were dismantled and the territory was organised into departments. Much of Picardy became the newly-created department of Somme, with Amiens as the departmental capital.

In November 1801, British and French delegates began discussing terms of peace at the Amiens Congress. On 25 March 1802, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the First French Republic signed the Treaty of Amiens, putting an end to the Second Coalition against France.

During the 19th century, Amiens began to feel the effects of the industrial revolution. The city walls were demolished, opening up space for large boulevards around the town centre. The Henriville neighborhood in the south of the city was developed around this time. In 1848, the first railway arrived in Amiens, linking the city to Boulogne-sur-Mer. After this time, the city began to grow beyond the river and into the surrounding hills. During the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, Somme was invaded by Prussian forces and Amiens was occupied.

Maison de Jules Verne
Early science fiction author Jules Verne took up residence in Amiens in 1871, having met his wife there at a wedding in 1856. He was later elected city councilman in 1888. In 1889, Jules Verne presided over the opening of the Amiens circus, including a courthouse, a police station and a museum dedicated to the history of Picardy.

Beginning in 1905, Victor Commont, called "the founding father of modern Prehistoric science," performed important archaeological work in the Picardy area.

At the start of the First World War, in August 1914, Amiens had been the Advance Base for the British Expeditionary Force. It was captured by the German Army on 31 August 1914, but recaptured by the French on 28 September. The proximity of Amiens to the Western Front and its importance as a rail hub, made it a vital British logistic centre, especially during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Amiens was one of the key objectives of the German Spring Offensive which was launched on 27 March 1918. The German 2nd Army pushed back the British 5th Army, who fought a series of defensive actions. Eventually, on 4 April, the Germans succeeded in capturing Villers-Bretonneux which overlooked Amiens, only for it to be retaken by an Australian counterattack that night. During the fighting, Amiens was bombarded by German artillery and aircraft; more than 2,000 buildings were destroyed. On 8 August 1918, a successful Allied counter stroke, the Battle of Amiens, was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive, which led directly to the Armistice with Germany that ended the war.

During the Battle of France in World War II, Amiens was captured by the German 1st Panzer Division on 20 May 1940, following two days of heavy air raids. It had been defended by a British Territorial Army battalion, the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment, who were almost all either killed or made prisoner. Of 581 men with the battalion, 70 survived to be captured and only three escaped back to the battalion HQ.

On 18 February 1944, British aircraft bombed the prison in Amiens as part of Operation Jericho. The raid was intended to aid the escape of members of the French Resistance and political prisoners being held there. In all, 258 prisoners escaped.

Prior to the Normandy landings, Allied aircraft concentrated on disabling communications in occupied France, and the railway junction at Longueau to the south east of Amiens was attacked by 200 Royal Air Force bombers on the night of the 12 and 13 June. There was much damage in the town itself. Amiens was liberated on 31 August 1944 by the 11th Armoured Division, part of 30th Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General Horrocks.

In the post war years, the city was rebuilt according to Pierre Dufau's plans, with a focus on widening the streets to ease traffic congestion. These newer structures were primarily built of brick, concrete and white stone with slate roofs. The architect Auguste Perret designed the Gare d'Amiens train station and nearby Tour Perret.

On 2 June 1960, the new region of Picardy was formed from the departments of Aisne, Oise and Somme. In May 1968, students in Amiens joined in a large-scale strike that began in Paris. Factory and the railway workers in the city joined them a few days later. Amiens was paralyzed by fighting between conservatives and leftist groups. After President Charles de Gaulle's radio address on 31 May, his supporters demonstrated in the streets. The following October, the University of Amiens (Université d'Amiens) was founded on a campus in the southwestern suburbs of the city.

The city suffered the loss of many jobs as manufacturing plants in the region closed during the late 1970s and 1980s. Despite the hardships, the city made an effort to renovate the degraded area of St-Leu during this time.

The 1990s saw a great period of rebirth in the city. The St-Leu renovations were completed, and parts of the University were moved to the city center. The Vallée des Vignes neighborhood was developed in the south of the city, and large parts of the city center were converted to pedestrian areas. The Gare du Nord was renovated with a controversial new glass roof. The Tour Perret was renovated as well and a new cinema complex was built. The area around the train station began a reorganization.

During December, the town hosts the largest Christmas market in northern France. Amiens is known for a few local foods, including "macarons d'Amiens", small, round-shaped biscuit-type macaroons made from almond paste, fruit and honey, which were first recorded in 1855; "tuiles amienoises", chocolate and orange curved "tuiles" or biscuits; "pâté de canard d'Amiens" - duck pate in pastry, made since the 17th century; and "la ficelle Picarde", an oven-baked cheese-topped crêpe with ham and mushroom filling. The region is also known for "flamiche aux poireaux", a puff pastry tart made with leeks and cream.

                                                        Amiens’ Top 5:
  1. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, or simply Amiens Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and seat of the Bishop of Amiens. It is situated on a slight ridge overlooking the River Somme. The cathedral is the tallest complete cathedral in France, its stone-vaulted nave reaching a height of 42.30 metres (138.8 ft) (surpassed only by the incomplete Beauvais Cathedral). It also has the greatest interior volume of any French cathedral, estimated at 200,000 cubic metres (260,000 cu yd). The cathedral was built between 1220 and c.1270 and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. Although it has lost most of its original stained glass, Amiens Cathedral is renowned for the quality and quantity of early 13th century Gothic sculpture in the main west facade and the south transept portal, and a large quantity of polychrome sculpture from later periods inside the building.
  2. The Musée de Picardie is the main museum of Amiens and Picardy, at 48, rue de la République. Its collections stretch from prehistory to the 19th century and form one of the largest regional museums in France. Its building was purpose-built for a regional museum (one of France's first such buildings) between 1855 and 1867. The architects were Henri Parent and Arthur-Stanislas Diet. It was built thanks to militant action by the Société des Antiquaires de Picardie, keen to give the city somewhere to house the collections the society had gathered over decades.
  3. The Municipal Circus, also known as the "Cirque Jules Verne", is one of the few remaining permanent circuses (in French: "Cirque en dur") in the world, one of seven in France and is still in use today. Originally built from timber it is now a stone structure.
  4. Jules Verne's House. After major renovation works, the "House with the Tower" in Amiens, where Jules Verne lived from 1882 to 1900, once again offers visitors a space where the imaginary world and the daily life of the famous writer mix. This luxury 19th century mansion house witnessed the success of the writer, who wrote most of his "Extraordinary Voyages" there. Both imposing and modest, on four levels and through over 700 objects in the Amiens Metropole collection, the house reveals the personality, sources of inspiration and memories of Jules Verne. From the conservatory to the attic, relive the adventures of his heroes: Michel Strogoff, Phileas Fogg, Captain Nemo, etc.
  5. Citadelle de Doullens. The only currently standing Renaissance citadel, this is a masterpiece of military architecture from the end of the Middle Ages. It was especially created to be used by the growing artillery and served as a model for future Vauban citadels. It has conserved its remarkable sandstone ramparts, its circular galleries and its shooting chambers.

Monday, 7 January 2013



Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside ,England, United Kingdom along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. It is the fourth most populous British city, and third most populous in England.

Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.

Labelled the World Capital City of Pop by Guinness World Records, Liverpool has produced a wealth of musical talent since the mid-20th century. The popularity of The Beatles, Billy Fury, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the other groups from the Merseybeat era, and later bands such as Echo & the Bunnymen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination; tourism forms a significant part of the city's modern economy.

King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool, but by the middle of the 16th century the population was still only around 500. The original street plan of Liverpool is said to have been designed by King John near the same time it was granted a royal charter, making it a borough. The original seven streets were laid out in a H shape: Bank Street (now Water Street), Castle Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street (now High Street), Moor Street (now Tithebarn Street) and Whiteacre Street (now Old Hall Street).

In the 17th century there was slow progress in trade and population growth. Battles for the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship,Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. As trade from the West Indies surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, and as the River Dee silted up, Liverpool began to grow. The first commercial wet dock was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade helped the town to prosper and rapidly grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.

By the start of the 19th century, 40% of the world's trade was passing through Liverpool and the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool and Manchester became the first cities to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The population continued to rise rapidly, especially during the 1840s when Irish migrants began arriving by the hundreds of thousands as a result of the Great Famine. By 1851, approximately 25% of the city's population was Irish-born. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Liverpool was drawing immigrants from across Europe. This is evident from the diverse array of religious buildings located across the city, many of which are still in use today. The Deutsche Kirche Liverpool, Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas,Gustav Adolfus Kyrka, Princes Road Synagogue and St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church were all established in the late 1800s to serve Liverpool's growing German, Greek, Nordic, Jewish and Polish communities respectively.

The Housing Act 1919 resulted in mass council housing building across Liverpool during the 1920s and 1930s. Thousands of families were rehoused from the inner-city to new suburban housing estates, based on the pretext that this would improve their standard of living, though this is largely subjective. A large number of private homes were also built during this era. The process continued after the Second World War, with many more new housing estates being built in suburban areas, while some of the older inner city areas were also redeveloped for new homes. The Great Depression of the early 1930s saw unemployment in the city peak at around 30%.

During the Second World War there were 80 air-raids on Merseyside, killing 2,500 people and causing damage to almost half the homes in the metropolitan area. Significant rebuilding followed the war, including massive housing estates and the Seaforth Dock, the largest dock project in Britain. Much of the immediate reconstruction of the city centre has been deeply unpopular, and was as flawed as much town planning renewal in the 1950s and 1960s – the portions of the city's heritage that survived German bombing could not withstand the efforts of urban renewal. Since 1952 Liverpool has been twinned with Cologne, Germany, a city which also experienced severe aerial bombing during the war.

Like most British cities and industrialised towns, Liverpool became home to a significant number of Commonwealth immigrants after World War II, mostly settling in older inner city areas such as Toxteth. However, a significant West Indian black community had existed in the city as long ago as the first two decades of the 20th century.

At the end of the 20th century Liverpool was concentrating on regeneration, a process which still continues today. Previously part of Lancashire, and a county borough from 1889, Liverpool became in 1974 a metropolitan borough within the newly created metropolitan county of Merseyside.

Capitalising on the popularity of 1960s rock groups, such as The Beatles, as well as the city's world-class art galleries, museums and landmarks, tourism has also become a significant factor in Liverpool's economy. As expected, there are many dedicated Beatles tours available in and around Liverpool highlighting important sites in the history of the iconic band, including visits to Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, The Cavern, The Casbah, and all the Beatles childhood homes and schools.

In 2004, property developer Grosvenor started the Paradise Project, a £920 m development centred on Paradise Street, which involved the most significant changes to Liverpool's city centre since the post-war reconstruction. Renamed 'Liverpool ONE', the centre opened in May 2008.

Spearheaded by the multi-billion Liverpool ONE development, regeneration has continued on an unprecedented scale through to the start of the early 2010s in Liverpool. Some of the most significant regeneration projects to have taken place in the city include the new Commercial District, King's Dock, Mann Island, the Lime Street Gateway, the Baltic Triangle, RopeWalks and the Edge Lane Gateway. 

All projects could however soon be eclipsed by the Liverpool Waters scheme which if built will cost in the region of £5.5billion and be one of the largest megaprojects in the UK's history. Liverpool Waters is a mixed use development which will contain one of Europe's largest skyscraper clusters. The project received outline planning permission in 2012, despite fierce opposition from the likes of UNESCO who claim it will have a damaging effect on Liverpool's World Heritage status.

Liverpool has a thriving and varied nightlife, with the majority of the city's late night bars, pubs, nightclubs, live music venues and comedy clubs being located in a number of distinct districts. A 2011 TripAdvisor poll voted Liverpool as having the best nightlife of any UK city, ahead of Manchester, Leeds and even London. Concert Square, St. Peter's Square and the adjoining Seel, Duke and Hardman Streets are home to some of Liverpool's largest and most famed nightclubs as well as countless other smaller establishments and chain bars. The Albert Dock and Lark Lane in Aigburth also contain an abundance of bars and late night venues.

                                                        Liverpool’s Top 5:
  1. Liverpool Cathedral is the Church of England cathedral of the Diocese of Liverpool, built on St James's Mount and is the seat of the Bishop of Liverpool. Its official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool but it is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin. The total external length of the building, including the Lady Chapel, is 189 metres (620 ft) making it the second longest cathedral in the world; its internal length is 146 metres (479 ft). In terms of overall volume, Liverpool Cathedral ranks as the fifth-largest cathedral in the world and contests the title of largest Anglican church building alongside the incomplete Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. With a height of 100.8 metres (331 ft) it is also one of the world's tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool. The cathedral has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The Anglican cathedral is one of two in the city. The other, the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool, is situated approximately half a mile to the north. 
  2. The Albert Dock is a complex of dock buildings and warehouses. Designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, it was opened in 1846, and was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, with no structural wood. As a result, it was the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world. At the time of its construction the Albert Dock was considered a revolutionary docking system because ships were loaded and unloaded directly from/to the warehouses. Today the Albert Dock is a major tourist attraction in the city and the most visited multi-use attraction in the United Kingdom, outside of London. It is a vital component of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City and the docking complex and warehouses also comprise the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK.
  3. The Cavern Club is a rock and roll club in Liverpool. Opened on Wednesday 16 January 1957, the club had its first performance by The Beatles on 9 February 1961; Brian Epstein first saw them performing there on 9 November 1961. In the decades that followed, a wide variety of popular acts appeared at the club, including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, Elton John, Queen, The Who and John Lee Hooker.  The club closed in March 1973, and was filled in during construction work on the Merseyrail underground rail loop. In 1984 the club was re-built with many of the same bricks that had been used in the original club. Despite being a world-famous tourist spot, the club continues to function primarily as a live music venue. 
  4. Liverpool Town Hall stands in High Street at its junction with Dale Street, Castle Street, and Water Street. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, described in the National Heritage List for England as "one of the finest surviving 18th-century town halls". The Buildings of England series refers to its "magnificent scale", and considers it to be "probably the grandest ...suite of civic rooms in the country", and "an outstanding and complete example of late Georgian decoration". The town hall was built between 1749 and 1754 to a design by John Wood the Elder replacing an earlier town hall nearby. An extension to the north designed by James Wyatt was added in 1785. Following a fire in 1795 the hall was largely rebuilt and a dome designed by Wyatt was built. Minor alterations have subsequently been made.
  5. The Royal Liver Building is a Grade I listed building sited at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building is one of Liverpool's Three Graces, which line the city's waterfront. It is also part of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. Opened in 1911, the building is the purpose-built home of the Royal Liver Assurance group, which had been set up in the city in 1850 to provide locals with assistance related to losing a wage-earning relative. One of the first buildings in the world to be built using reinforced concrete, the Royal Liver Building stands at 90 m (300 ft) tall and was formerly the tallest storied building in Europe. Today the Royal Liver Building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of Liverpool and is home to two fabled Liver Birds that watch over the city and the sea. Legend has it that were these two birds to fly away, then the city would cease to exist.

Sunday, 6 January 2013



Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula. Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. Pula has also been Istria's administrative center since ancient Roman times.

Evidence of presence of Homo erectus at 1 million years ago have been found in the cave of Šandalja near Pula. Pottery from the Neolithic period (6000–2000 BC), indicating human settlement, have been found around Pula. In the Bronze Age (1800–1000 BC), a new type of settlement appeared in Istria, called 'gradine', or Hill-top fortificatations. Many late Bronze Age bone objects, such as tools for smoothing, for drilling, sewing needles, as well as bronze spiral pendants, have found in the area around Pula. The type of materials found in Bronze Age sites in Istria connects these with sites around the Danube. The inhabitants of Istria in the Bronze Age are known as Proto Illyrians.

The foundation of the settlement based on archaeological evidence dates to ca. the 10th century BC. Greek pottery and a part of a statue of Apollo have been found, attesting to the presence of the Greek culture.

Greek tradition attributed the foundation of Polai to the Colchians, mentioned in the context of the story of Jason and Medea, who had stolen the golden fleece. The Colchians, who had chased Jason into the northern Adriatic, were unable to catch him and ended up settling in a place they called Polai, signifying "city of refuge".

In classical antiquity, it was inhabited by the Histri, a Venetic or Illyrian tribe recorded by Strabo in the 1st century AD The Istrian peninsula was conquered by the Romans in 177 BC, starting a period of Romanization. The town was elevated to colonial rank between 46–45 BC as the tenth region of the Roman Empire, under Julius Caesar. During that time the town grew and had at its zenith a population of about 30,000. It became a significant Roman port with a large surrounding area under its jurisdiction. During the civil war of 42 BC of the triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus against Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius, the town took the side of Cassius, since the town had been founded by Cassius Longinus, brother of Cassius. After Octavian's victory, the town was demolished. It was soon rebuilt at the request of Octavian's daughter Iulia and was then called Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola Pollentia Herculanea'. Great classical constructions were built of which a few remain. A great amphitheatre, Pula Arena was constructed between 27 BC – 68 AD, much of it still standing to this day. The Romans also supplied the city with a water supply and sewage systems. They fortified the city with a wall with ten gates. A few of these gates still remain: the triumphal Arch of the Sergii, the Gate of Hercules (in which the names of the founders of the city are engraved) and the Twin Gates. During the reign of emperor Septimius Severus the name of the town was changed into "Res Publica Polensis". In 354 AD the town was the site of Gallus Caesar's execution. In 425 AD the town became the centre of a bishopric, attested by the remains of foundations of a few religious buildings.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city and region were attacked by the Ostrogoths, Pula being virtually destroyed by Odoacer, a Germanic foederati general in 476 AD The town was ruled by the Ostrogoths from 493 to 538 AD. When their rule ended, Pula came under the rule of the Exarchate of Ravenna (540–751). During this period Pula prospered and became the major port of the Byzantine fleet and integral part of the Byzantine Empire. The Basilica of Saint Mary Formosa was built in the 6th century.

From 788 on Pula was ruled by the Frankish kingdom under Charlemagne, with the introduction of the feudal system. Pula became the seat of the elective counts of Istria until 1077. The town was taken in 1148 by the Venetians and in 1150 Pula swore allegiance to the Republic of Venice, thus becoming a Venetian possession. For centuries thereafter, the city's fate and fortunes were tied to those of Venetian power. It was conquered by the Pisans in 1192 but soon reconquered by the Venetians.

In 1238 Pope Gregory IX formed an alliance between Genoa and Venice against the Empire, and consequently against Pisa too. As Pula had sided with the Pisans, the city was sacked by the Venetians in 1243. It was destroyed again in 1267 and again in 1397 when the Genoese defeated the Venetians in a naval battle.

The Venetians took over Pula again in 1331 and would rule the city until 1797. During the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, Pula was attacked and occupied by the Genoese, the Hungarian army and the Habsburgs; several outlying medieval settlements and towns were destroyed. In addition to war, the plague, malaria and typhoid ravaged the city. By the 1750s there were only 3,000 inhabitants left in ancient city, an area now covered with weeds and ivy.

With the collapse of the Venetian Republic in 1797 following military defeat at the hands of Napoleon, the city became part of the Habsburg Monarchy. It was invaded again in 1805 after the French had defeated the Austrians. It was included in the French Empire of Napoleon as part of the Kingdom of Italy, then placed directly under the French Empire's Illyrian Provinces.

In 1813, Pula and Istria were restored to the Austrian Empire (later the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and became part of the Austrian Littoral crown land. During this period Pula regained prosperity. From 1859 Pula's large natural harbour became Austria's main naval base and a major shipbuilding centre.

Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Pula and the whole of Istria – except the territory of Kastav – were given to Italy under the peace treaty. Pula became the capital of the Province of Pola. The decline in population after World War I was mainly due to economic difficulties caused by the large-scale reduction of the Austro-Hungarian military and bureaucratic facilities and the dismissal of workers from its shipyard.

Under the Italian Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, non-Italians, especially Slavic residents, faced huge political and cultural repression and many fled the city and Istria altogether.

The Nazi German army entered to fill the vacuum left by retreating Italian soldiers. The whole city became part of “Küstenland”, the occupied zone under the Third Reich. During German military rule (1943–1945), Pula was integrated into the Operational Zone Adriatic Coast, a German occupation zone. 

The city then saw a very difficult period: arrests, deportations and executions of people suspected of helping the Partisans' guerilla struggle. The city was subjected to repeated Allied air raids during the Second World War (Pula was a German u-boat base from 1942–1944).

For two years after 1945, Pula was administered by the Allied Forces. Istria was partitioned into occupation zones until the region became officially united with the rest of Croatia within the SFR Yugoslavia on 15 September 1947, pursuant to the terms of the Paris Peace Treaties.

Subsequently, the city's Croatian name, 'Pula', became the official name, while the former Italian one was 'Pola'. Since the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1992, Pula and Istria have become part of the modern-day Republic of Croatia.

                                                        Pula’s Top 5:
  1. The Pula Cathedral or fully, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a co-cathedral in Pula, Croatia. Along with the Euphrasian Basilica it is one of the two official seats of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Poreč and Pula. The church is located on the south side of the Pula bay at the foot of the hill with the 17th century Venetian fort. The site of the present-day church has been used for religious worship since ancient Roman times and the first Christian churches on the site were built in the late 4th and early 5th century AD. These had gone through a series of enlargements and reconstructions over the ages. In 1242 the cathedral was heavily damaged in a Venetian raid and the ensuing fire. The damage was fully repaired in the 15th century when the building went through extensive reconstruction and the present-day sacristy was added. In 1707 the free-standing baroque-style bell tower was added, next to the 5th century baptistery in front of the basilica. The belltower was built using stones taken from the Roman-built Pula Arena. The present-day cathedral's classicist facade was built in 1712, at the time of bishop Bottari, when extensive works on the reconstruction of the basilica and the bell tower were launched and were eventually finished in 1924.
  2. Arch of the Sergii is an Ancient Roman triumphal arch. The arch commemorates three brothers of the Sergii family, specifically Lucius Sergius Lepidus, a tribune serving in the twenty-ninth legion that participated in the Battle of Actium and disbanded in 27 BC . This suggests an approximate date of construction : 29-27 BC. The arch stood behind the original naval gate of the early Roman colony. The Sergii were a powerful family of officials in the colony and retained their power for centuries. The honorary triumphal arch, originally a city gate, was erected as a symbol of the victory at Actium.
  3. The Communal Palace The local government of the City of Pula is situated at the northern end of the main square of the old part of the City, called the Forum Square. The spot occupied by the Palace has been used for the public buildings since the Roman times, when the place was used as a part of the triade of Roman temples, of which today only Temple of Augustus remains. Construction of the new city hall, at the site of the Temple of Diana, was begun in the end of 13th century, and was finished in 1296.
  4. The Archaeological Museum of Istria is situated in the park on a lower level than the Roman theatre and close to the Twin Gates. Its collection was started by Marshall Marmont in August 1802 when he collected the stone monuments from the temple of Roma and Augustus. The present-day museum was opened in 1949. It displays treasures from Pula and surroundings from prehistory until the Middle Ages.
  5. The Pula Arena is the name of the amphitheatre located in Pula. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and with all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved.  A rare example among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres, it is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia. The Arena was built between 27 BC - 68 AD, as the city of Pula became a regional centre of Roman rule, called Pietas Julia. The name was derived from the sand that, since antiquity, covered the inner space. It was built outside the town walls along the Via Flavia, the road from Pula to Aquileia and Rome. The amphitheatre was first built in timber during the reign of Augustus (2-14 AD). It was replaced by a small stone amphitheatre during the reign of emperor Claudius. In 79 AD it was enlarged to accommodate gladiator fights by Vespasian and to be completed in 81 AD under emperor Titus. This was confirmed by the discovery of a Vespasian coin in the malting.

Friday, 4 January 2013



Koblenz, also spelled Coblenz or Coblence, is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) and its monument (Emperor William I on horseback) are situated.

Around 1000 BC, early fortifications were erected on the Festung Ehrenbreitstein hill on the opposite side of the Moselle. In 55 BC, Roman troops commanded by Julius Caesar reached the Rhine and built a bridge between Koblenz and Andernach. About 9 BC, the "Castellum apud Confluentes", was one of the military posts established by Drusus.

Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The Romans built two castles as protection for the bridge, one in 9 AD and another in the 2nd century, the latter being destroyed by the Franks in 259. North of Koblenz was a temple of Mercury and Rosmerta (a Gallo-Roman deity), which remained in use up to the 5th century.

With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Franks and became a royal seat. After the division of Charlemagne's empire, it was included in the lands of his son Louis the Pious (814). In 837, it was assigned to Charles the Bald, and a few years later it was here that Carolingian heirs discussed what was to become the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which the city became part of Lotharingia under Lothair I. In 860 and 922, Koblenz was the scene of ecclesiastical synods. At the first synod, held in the Liebfrauenkirche, the reconciliation of Louis the German with his half-brother Charles the Bald took place. The town was sacked and destroyed by the Normans in 882. In 925, it became part of the eastern German Kingdom, later the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1018, the city was given by the emperor Henry II to the archbishop and prince elector of Trier after receiving a charter. It remained in the possession of his successors until the end of the 18th century, having been their main residence since the 17th century. Emperor Conrad II was elected here in 1138. In 1198, the battle between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV took place nearby. In 1216, prince-bishop Theoderich von Wied donated part of the lands of the basilica and the hospital to the Teutonic Knights, which later became the Deutsches Eck.

In 1249–1254, Koblenz was given new walls by Archbishop Arnold II of Isenburg; and it was partly to overawe the turbulent townsmen that successive archbishops built and strengthened the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein that still dominates the city.

The city was a member of the league of the Rhenish cities which rose in the 13th century. The Teutonic Knights founded the Bailiwick of Koblenz in or around 1231. Koblenz attained great prosperity and it continued to advance until the disaster of the Thirty Years' War brought about a rapid decline. After Philip Christopher, elector of Trier, surrendered Ehrenbreitstein to the French, the town received an imperial garrison in 1632. However, this force was soon expelled by the Swedes, who in their turn handed the city over again to the French. Imperial forces finally succeeded in retaking it by storm in 1636.

In 1688, Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombing the Old City (Altstadt) into ruins, destroying among other buildings the Old Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. The city was the residence of the archbishop-electors of Trier from 1690 to 1801.

Electoral Palace
In 1786, the last archbishop-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, greatly assisted the extension and improvement of the city, turning the Ehrenbreitstein into a magnificent baroque palace. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the city became, through the invitation of the archbishop-elector's chief minister, Ferdinand Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous points for French émigrés. The archbishop-elector approved of this because he was the uncle of the persecuted king of France, Louis XVI. Among the many royalist French refugees who flooded into the city were Louis XVI's two younger brothers, the Comte de Provence and the Comte d'Artois. In addition, Louis XVI's cousin, the Prince de Condé, arrived and formed an army of young aristocrats willing to fight the French Revolution and restore the Ancien Régime. The Army of Condé joined with an allied army of Prussian and Austrian soldiers led by Duke of Brunswick in an unsuccessful invasion of France in 1792. This drew down the wrath of the First French Republic on the archbishop-elector; in 1794, Coblenz was taken by the French Revolutionary army under Marceau (who was killed during the siege), and, after the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) it was made the capital of the new French départment of Rhin-et-Moselle. In 1814, it was occupied by the Russians. The Congress of Vienna assigned the city to Prussia, and in 1822, it was made the seat of government for the Prussian Rhine Province.

After World War I, France occupied the area once again. In retaliation against the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Koblenz since 1926. During World War II it was the location of the command of Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the seat of government of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Rhine Gorge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, with Koblenz marking the northern end.

The Romans brought the first wines to the region. Since then this old tradition has been maintained and has manifested into the wine town of Koblenz and about half a million wines. The wine growers can prove their fantastic talents in the Rhine and on the Moselle presenting the best of these two famous wine cultivation areas. 

During wine and wine growers festivals, directly on the wine grower’s premises, in one of the quaint taverns and in wine bars, restaurants and pubs along the banks of the river, you can enjoy a few “Schoppen” and delve into the world of the Bacchus.

The number of taverns, pubs and cafés has drastically increased in the old town and in the areas around Jesuit Square and Görres Square in the past few years. In addition to a large selection of venues with international food, the guest can also expect a large range of experience-oriented gastronomy with music and dance events, exhibitions and performances.

The Oberzentrum Koblenz offers varied shopping opportunities for residents, guests and the neighbouring towns and regions. Shoppers at the centre appreciate the wide range of goods and services on offer along with the overall shopping experience. The balanced mixture of specialist stores which have been in the old town, Schlossstraße and Oberer Löhr for years and the attractive department stores in Löhrstraße and in the Löhr-Center promises amusement and variety.

The shopping experience is extended throughout the year by numerous events in cooperation with the “Alle lieben Koblenz e.V.“ society, the “Schängelmarkt GmbH“ and the owner-operated Koblenz tourism board. Examples of this are the Sunday open days in March (Koblenz is blooming), September (Schängel Market) and October (Koblenz clinkers) and the Christmas market at the end of November.

The charm of the shopping town of Koblenz can be particularly experienced in the attractive pedestrian area in the historic old town near to the banks of the Moselle. Exclusive stores in narrow streets, little boutiques in romantic squares and cosy cafés with the backdrop of old patrician houses offer pure shopping experiences. Those who want to take time out from shopping will quickly find the way to the banks of the Rhine and Moselle or the German Corner.

                                                        Koblenz’s Top 5:
  1. The Basilica of St. Castor is the oldest church in Koblenz. It is located near Deutsches Eck at the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle. A fountain called Kastorbrunnen("Castor well") was built in front of the basilica during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.Pope John Paul II raised St. Castor to a basilica minor on 30 July 1991. This church is worth seeing for the historical events that have occurred in it, its extensive Romanesque construction and its largely traditional furnishings. Since 2002, the Basilica of St. Castor has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. In addition, it is a cultural property protected under the Hague Convention. The church of St. Castor was built between 817 and 836 by Hetto, the Archbishop of Trier with the support of Emperor Louis the Pious, just outside the city of Confluentes (the city founded by the Romans in the area) and dedicated on 12 November 836. As Koblenz had a Frankish royal court, Louis was in charge of the construction of the church and it was built as a Carolingian proprietary church. However, Louis did not come to Koblenz until after the consecration of the church. This points to the importance of the Archbishop in the building of the church, especially as the church was until the 13th century outside the city of Koblenz.
  2. The Electoral Palace (German: Kurfürstliche Schloss) was the residence of the last Archbishop and Elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, who commissioned the building of the castle by the end of the 18th Century. In the mid-19th Century, the Prussian Crown Prince (later Emperor William I) resided in the castle for a number of years as a Rhenish-Westphalian military governor. Today it is the location of various federal agencies. One of the most important castles of the French early classicism in southwestern Germany, and one of the last residence palaces built before the French Revolution in Germany. Since 2002, the Electoral Palace is part of the World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, acknowledged by UNESCO.
  3. William I monument The Teutonic Knights were given an area for their Deutschherrenhaus Balley right at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel, which became known as German Corner (Deutsches Eck).In 1897, a monument to German Emperor William I of Germany, mounted on a 14 meter high horse, was inaugurated there by his grandson William II. The architect was Bruno Schmitz, who was responsible for a number of nationalistic German monuments and memorials. The German Corner is since associated with this monument, the (re) foundation of the German Empire and the German refusal of any French claims to the area, as described in the song "Die Wacht am Rhein" together with the "Wacht am Rhein" called "Niederwalddenkmal" some 30 km upstream.
  4. Stolzenfels Castle Finished in 1259, Stolzenfels was used to protect the toll station at the Rhine, where the ships, back then were the main transport for goods, had to stop and pay toll. Over the years it was extended several times, occupied by French and Swedish troops in the Thirty Years' War and finally, in 1689, destroyed by the French during the Nine Years' War. For 150 years the ruins decayed, until in 1815 they were given as a present to Frederick William IV of Prussia by the city of Koblenz. Following the romantic traditions, the prince started to completely rebuild the castle after 1826 as a summer residence. Supported by famous neoclassic architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the castle was completely remodeled in the then fashionable neo-Gothic style, aiming to create a romantic place representing the idea of medieval knighthood - the architects even created a tournament site.
  5. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is a fortress on the mountain of the same name on the east bank of the Rhine opposite the town of Koblenz. It was built as the backbone of the regional fortification system, Festung Koblenz, by Prussia between 1817 and 1832 and guarded the middle Rhine region, an area that had been invaded by French troops repeatedly before. The fortress was never attacked. Early fortifications at the site can be dated back to about 1000 BC. At about AD 1000 Ehrenbert erected a castle. Its initial name "Burg Ehrenbertstein" became:Burg Ehrenbreitstein. The Archbishops of Trier expanded it with a supporting castle Burg Helferstein and guarded the Holy Tunic in it from 1657 to 1794.