Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths until it was conquered in 554. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Franks in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.
The origins of Ravenna are uncertain. The first settlement is variously attributed to (and then has seen the co presence of) the Thessalians, the Etruscans and the Umbrians, afterwards its territory was settled also by the Senones, especially the southern countryside of the city (that wasn't part of the lagoon), the Ager Decimanus. Ravenna consisted of houses built on piles on a series of small islands in a marshy lagoon – a situation similar to Venice several centuries later. The Romans ignored it during their conquest of the Po River Delta, but later accepted it into the Roman Republic as a federated town in 89 BC. In 49 BC, it was the location where Julius Caesar gathered his forces before crossing the Rubicon. Later, after his battle against Mark Antony in 31 BC, Emperor Augustus founded the military harbour of Classe.This harbour, protected at first by its own walls, was an important station of the Roman Imperial Fleet. Nowadays the city is landlocked, but Ravenna remained an important seaport on the Adriatic until the early Middle Ages. During the German campaigns, Thusnelda, widow of Arminius, and Marbod, King of the Marcomanni, were confined at Ravenna.
The late 400s saw the dissolution of Roman authority in the west, and the last person to hold the title of emperor in the West was deposed in 476 by the general Odoacer. Odoacer ruled as King of Italy for 13 years, but in 489 the Eastern Emperor Zeno sent the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great to re-take the Italian peninsula. After losing the Battle of Verona, Odoacer retreated to Ravenna, where he withstood a siege of three years by Theodoric, until the taking of Rimini deprived Ravenna of supplies. Theodoric took Ravenna in 493, supposedly slew Odoacer with his own hands, and Ravenna became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. Theodoric, following his imperial predecessors, also built many splendid buildings in and around Ravenna, including his palace church Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, an Arian cathedral (now Santo Spirito) and Baptistery, and his own Mausoleum just outside the walls.
From 540 to 600, Ravenna's bishops embarked upon a notable building program of churches in Ravenna and in and around the port city of Classe. Surviving monuments include the Basilica of San Vitale and the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, as well as the partially surviving San Michele in Africisco.
Following the conquests of Belisarius for the Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, Ravenna became the seat of the Byzantine governor of Italy, the Exarch, and was known as the Exarchate of Ravenna. It was at this time that the Ravenna Cosmography was written.
Under Byzantine rule, the archbishop of Ravenna was temporarily granted autocephaly from the Roman Church by the emperor, in 666, but this was soon revoked. Nevertheless, the archbishop of Ravenna held the second place in Italy after the pope, and played an important role in many theological controversies during this period.
King Pepin of France attacked the Lombards under orders of Pope Stephen II. Ravenna then gradually came under the direct authority of the popes, although this was contested by the archbishops at various times. Pope Adrian I authorized Charlemagne to take away anything from Ravenna that he liked, and an unknown quantity of Roman columns, mosaics, statues, and other portable items were taken north to enrich his capital of Aachen.
In 1198 Ravenna led a league of Romagna cities against the Emperor, and the Pope was able to subdue it. After the war of 1218 the Traversari family was able to impose its rule in the city, which lasted until 1240. After a short period under an Imperial vicar, Ravenna was returned to the Papal States in 1248 and again to the Traversari until, in 1275, the Da Polenta established their long-lasting seigniory. One of the most illustrious residents of Ravenna at this time was the exiled poet Dante. The last of the Da Polenta, Ostasio III, was ousted by the Republic of Venice in 1440, and the city was annexed to the Venetian territories.
After the Venetian withdrawal, Ravenna was again ruled by legates of the Pope as part of the Papal States. The city was damaged in a tremendous flood in May 1636. Over the next 300 years, a network of canals diverted nearby rivers and drained nearby swamps, thus reducing the possibility of flooding and creating a large belt of agricultural land around the city.
- The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe is an important monument of Byzantine art. When the UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, it cited this basilica as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration". The imposing brick structure was erected at the beginning of 6th century by order of Bishop Ursicinus, using money from the Greek banker Iulianus Argentarius. It was certainly located next to a Christian cemetery, and quite possibly on top of a pre-existing pagan one, as some of the ancient tombstones were re-used in its construction. Sant'Apollinare in Classe was consecrated on May 9, 549 by Bishop Maximian and dedicated to Saint Apollinaris, first bishop of Ravenna and Classe. The Basilica is thus contemporary with the Basilica of San Vitale of Ravenna. In 856, the relics of Saint Apollinaris were transferred from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe to the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna.
- The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo was erected by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric as his palace chapel, during the first quarter of the 6th century (as attested in the Liber Pontificalis). This Arian church was originally dedicated in 504 CE to Christ the Redeemer. It was reconsecrated in 561, under the rule of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, under the new name "Sanctus Martinus in Coelo Aureo" ("Saint Martin in Golden Heaven"). Suppressing the Arian cult, the church was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, a foe of Arianism. According to legend, Pope Gregory the Great ordered that the mosaics in the church to be blackened, as their golden glory distracted worshippers from the prayers. The basilica was renamed again in 856, when relics of Saint Apollinaris were transferred from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe because of the threat posed by frequent raids of Adriatic pirates. Its apse and atrium underwent modernization at various times, beginning in the 6th century with the destruction of mosaics whose themes were too overtly Arian or which expressed the king's glory, but the mosaics of the lateral walls, twenty-four columns with simplified Corinthian capitals, and an Ambo are preserved. On some columns parts (arms and hands) of figures once representing praying Goths and Theodoric's court, deleted in Byzantine times, can be seen. Renovations (and alterations) were done to the mosaics in the mid-19th century by Felice Kibel. The present apse is a reconstruction after being damaged during World War I.
- The Mausoleum of Theodoric is an ancient monument just outside Ravenna, Italy. It was built in 520 AD by Theodoric the Great as his future tomb. The current structure of the mausoleum is divided into two decagonal orders, one above the other; both are made of Istria stone. Its roof is a single 300–ton Istrian stone, 10 meters in diameter. A niche leads down to a room that was probably a chapel for funeral liturgies; a stair leads to the upper floor. Located in the centre of the floor is a circular porphyry stone grave, in which Theodoric was buried. His remains were removed during Byzantine rule, when the mausoleum was turned into a Christian oratory. In the late 19th century, silting from a nearby rivulet that had partly submerged the mausoleum was drained and excavated. It was inscribed with seven other "Early Christian Monuments and Mosaics of Ravenna" buildings as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996. According to the ICOMOS evaluation, "the significance of the mausoleum lies in its Gothic style and decoration, which owe nothing to Roman or Byzantine art, although it makes use of the Roman stone construction technique of opus quadratum, which had been abandoned four centuries before" and in the fact that "it is the only surviving example of a tomb of a king of this period."
- The Teatro Comunale Alighieri is an opera house located at 2 Via Mariani in Ravenna, Italy and designed by the Venetian architects, Tommaso Meduna and his brother, Giambattista who had designed the second La Fenice theatre after the fire of 1836 . The new Teatro Comunale Alighieri was inaugurated on 15 May 1852 with a production of Meyerbeer's Robert le diable, followed by Giovanni Pacini's Medea. It presently offers a program of up to six operas during the season which runs from November to April. For about 125 years following 1723, Ravenna had one main theatre for the presentation of opera, the Teatro Comunitativo located outside the centre of the city. It featured a lavishly decorated, U-shaped baroque auditorium with 97 boxes on four tiers. In the 50 years following 1802, it presented 170 operatic productions, 24 of which were by Rossini, 22 by Donizetti, and 10 by Verdi. However, the 1830s and 1840s revealed its inadequancy, and plans were made to build a new theatre in the heart of the city; the cornerstone of the replacement theatre was laid in 1840.
- The Basilica of San Vitale is a church in Ravenna, Italy and one of the most important examples of early Christian Byzantine art and architecture in western Europe. The building is styled an "ecclesiastical basilica" in the Roman Catholic Church, though it is not of architectural basilica form. It is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church was begun by Bishop Ecclesius in 527, when Ravenna was under the rule of the Ostrogoths and completed by the 27th Bishop of Ravenna, Maximian in 546 during the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. The architect of the church is unknown. The construction of the church was sponsored by a Greek banker, Julius Argentarius, of whom very little is known, except that he also sponsored the construction of the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe at around the same time. The final cost amounted to 26,000 solidi (gold pieces).
Reims, a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies 129 km (80 mi) east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire.
Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. The Cathedral of Reims (damaged by the Germans during the First World War but restored since) played the same role in France as Westminster Abbey has in the United Kingdom. It housed the Holy Ampulla (Sainte Ampoule) containing the Saint Chrême (chrism), allegedly brought by a white dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the anointing, the most important part of the coronation of French kings.
Some sources regard Reims as the effective capital of the province of Champagne, given its size as by far the largest city in the region.
Christianity had become established in the city by 260, at which period Saint Sixtus of Reims founded the Reims bishopric. The consul Jovinus, an influential supporter of the new faith, repelled the Alamanni who invaded Champagne in 336; but the Vandals captured the city in 406 and slew Bishop Nicasius; and in 451 Attila the Hun put Reims to fire and sword.
In 496 — ten years after Clovis, King of the Salian Franks, won his victory at Soissons (486) — Remigius, the bishop of Reims, baptized him using the oil of the sacred phial — purportedly brought from heaven by a dove for the baptism of Clovis and subsequently preserved in the Abbey of Saint-Remi. For centuries the events at the crowning of Clovis I became a symbol used by the monarchy to claim the divine right to rule.
Meetings of Pope Stephen II (752-757) with Pepin the Short, and of Pope Leo III (795-816) with Charlemagne (died 814), took place at Reims; and here Pope Stephen IV crowned Louis the Debonnaire in 816. Louis IV gave the city and countship of Reims to the archbishop Artaldus in 940. Louis VII (reigned 1137–1180) gave the title of duke and peer to William of Champagne, archbishop from 1176 to 1202, and the archbishops of Reims took precedence over the other ecclesiastical peers of the realm.
The archbishops held the important prerogative of the consecration of the kings of France — a privilege which they exercised (except in a few cases) from the time of Philippe II Augustus (anointed 1179, reigned 1180–1223) to that of Charles X (anointed 1825). Louis VII granted the city a communal charter in 1139. The Treaty of Troyes (1420) ceded it to the English, who had made a futile attempt to take it by siege in 1360; but French patriots expelled them on the approach of Joan of Arc, who in 1429 had Charles VII consecrated in the cathedral. Louis XI cruelly suppressed a revolt at Reims, caused in 1461 by the salt tax. During the French Wars of Religion the city sided with the Catholic League (1585), but submitted to Henri IV after the battle of Ivry (1590).
In the invasions of the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1814, anti-Napoleonic allied armies captured and re-captured Reims; in 1870–1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, the victorious Germans made it the seat of a governor-general and impoverished it with heavy requisitions.
|Palace of Tau|
In August 1909 Reims hosted the first international aviation meet, the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne. Major aviation personages such as Glenn Curtiss, Louis Blériot and Louis Paulhan participated.
Hostilities in World War I greatly damaged the city. German bombardment and a subsequent fire in 1914 did severe damage to the cathedral. The ruined cathedral became one of the central images of anti-German propaganda produced in France during the war, which presented it, along with the ruins of the Cloth Hall at Ypres and the University Library in Louvain, as evidence that German aggression targeted cultural landmarks of European civilization.
During World War II the city suffered additional damage. But in Reims, at 2:41 on the morning of 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. General Alfred Jodl, German Chief-of-Staff, signed the surrender at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) as the representative for German President Karl Dönitz.
|One of many Champagne Vineyards around Reims|
- Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned. It replaces an older church, destroyed by a fire in 1211, which was built on the site of the basilica where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remi, bishop of Reims, in AD 496. That original structure had been erected on the site of the Roman baths. As the cathedral it remains the seat of the Archdiocese of Reims. Excavations have shown that the present building occupies roughly the same site as the original cathedral, founded c.400 under the episcopacy of St Nicaise. That church was rebuilt during the Carolingian period and further extended in the 12th century. A major site for tourism in the Champagne region, it received half a million visitors in 2006.
- Porte Mars is an ancient Roman triumphal arch in Reims, France. It dates from the third century AD, and was the widest arch in the Roman world . The Arch is 32 metres long and 13 metres high. It was named after a nearby temple to Mars. The arch has many highly detailed carvings on its exterior and on the ceilings of its three passageways. Local folklore says that the inhabitants of Rheims built the arch in gratitude when the Romans brought major roads through their city. It served as a city gate until 1544. In 1817, the buildings around it were removed, bringing the arch into full view.
- The Palace of Tau. The archiepiscopal palace, built between 1498 and 1509, and in part rebuilt in 1675, served as the residence of the kings of France on the occasion of their coronations. The salon (salle du Tau), where the royal banquet took place, has an immense stone chimney that dates from the fifteenth century. The chapel of the archiepiscopal palace consists of two storeys, of which the upper still (as of 2009) serves as a place of worship. Both the chapel and the salle du Tau have decorative tapestries of the 17th century, known as the Perpersack tapestries, after the Flemish weaver who executed them. The palace opened to the public in 1972 as a museum containing such exhibits as statues formerly displayed by the cathedral, treasures of the cathedral from past centuries, and royal attire from coronations of French kings.
- Saint Remi Basilica, an easy one-mile walk from the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Reims, takes its name from the 5th-century Saint Remi — revered as the patron saint of the inhabitants of Reims for more than 15 centuries. The basilica almost approaches the cathedral in size. Adjacent to the basilica stands an important abbey, formerly known as the Royal Abbey of St Remi. The abbey sought to trace its heritage back to St Remi, while the present abbey building dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Saint Remi Basilica dates from the 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th centuries. Most of the construction of the church finished in the 11th century, with additions made later. The nave and transepts, Romanesque in style, date mainly from the earliest, the façade of the south transept from the latest of those periods, the choir and apse chapels from the 12th and 13th centuries. The 17th and 19th centuries saw further additions. The building suffered greatly in World War I, and the meticulous restoration work of architect Henri Deneux rebuilt it from its ruins over the following 40 years. As of 2009 it remains the seat of an active Catholic parish holding regular worship services and welcoming pilgrims. It has been classified as an historical monument since 1841 and is one of the pinnacles of the history of art and of the history of France.
- Monument to the Black Army of Reims. The original monument was erected in 1924 where the Boulevard Henry Vasnier meets the Avenue du Général Giraud. The first stone was placed by André Maginot, Minister of War on 29 October 1922. This ceremony was also addressed by Blaise Diagne, the Senegalese political leader. On July 1924 the monument was inaugurated with a Military and Sports fete presided over by Édouard Daladier, the Minister of the colonies. General Louis Archinard was the president of the committee that supervised the erection of the monument, highlighting the role of African troops of the 1st Colonial Infantry Corps in the defense of Reims from the German Army in 1918. They were particularly renowned for their tenacious defence of Fort de la Pompelle. 10,000 people attended the fete which was held immediately following the inauguration. The original monument, consisting of five figures, was a replica of a similar monument erected in Bamako, Mali in January 1924. The monument was dismantled during the German occupation in September 1940. In September 1958, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Defence of Reims, a new monument was started. This was completed in time for a second inauguration ceremony on 6 October 1963, with Pierre Messmer, Minister of Armies, Jean Sainteny, Minister of veterans, Jacques Foccart, secretary general of the Communauté et les affaires africaines et malgaches, and General Georges Catroux, grand chancellor of the Légion d'honneur. In 2008, on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the defence of Reims, a major ceremony was held in remembrance of the Black Army of Reims, attended by Jean-Marie Bockel, Rama Yade and Adeline Hazan.
Saint Remi Basilica
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.
The eastern Armorican people of Redones founded Condate —an ancient Celtic word meaning confluent— at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers and made it the capital of a territory that extended to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. The name of the city of Redon also reflects that of the Redones. Early in the 1st century BCE, they adopted the Greek and Roman practice of issuing coinage, adapting the widely imitated gold staters of Philip II of Macedon, in the characteristic Celtic coin metal alloy called billion. Without inscriptions, as the Celtic practice was, the Redones coinage features a charioteer whose pony has a human head. Large hoards of their coins were unearthed in the "treasure of Amanlis" found in June 1835 and that of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, discovered in February 1941. The museum at Rennes contains a large representative collection.
The oldest known Rennais is Titus Flavius Postuminus, known to us from his steles found in Rennes in 1969. As indicated by his name, he would have been born under the Flavian dynasty, under the reign of Titus, i.e. between 79 and 81 AD. One of the steles tells us, in Latin, that he took charge over all the public affairs in the Civitas Riedonum. He was twice duumvir and flamen for life for Mars Mullo.
During the Roman era, the strategic position of the town contributed to its importance. To the west the principal Roman route, via Osismii, stretched from Condate to Vorgium (modern Carhaix).
In the year 275, the threat of barbarians led to the erection of a robust brick wall around Rennes. Rennes became known as the "red town".
During the Breton War of Succession, in 1356 and 1357, the city was laid siege to by Henry of Grosmont, the Duke of Lancaster, cousin of the English king, but Bertrand du Guesclin slipped into the city and took over the resistance, which would ultimately be victorious. After nearly a year, Lancaster abandoned the English siege in 1357.
In 1720, a big fire destroyed all timber framed houses in the northern part of the city. The rebuilding was made of stone, on a grid plan.
During World War II, Rennes suffered heavy damage from just three German aircraft which hit an ammunition train parked alongside French and English troop trains and near a refugee train on the yard: 1,000 died. The next day, 18 June 1940, German troops entered the city. Later, Rennes endured heavy bombings by the US and Royal Air Forces in March and May 1943, and again in June 1944, causing hundreds of deaths. Rennes contained a German transit POW camp and a POW hospital which contained many of the paratroopers captured on D-Day. Patton's army freed the capital of Brittany on 4 August, as retreating German troops blew up the bridges behind them, adding further damage. About 50,000 German prisoners were kept in four camps, in a city of only about 100,000 inhabitants at the time.
From 1954 onward, the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 220,000 inhabitants, helping it become the third fastest-growing city in France, after Toulouse and Montpellier (1999 census).
Rennes is particularly nice in early July, during the "Festival des Tombées de la Nuit". Its streets are then full of people enjoying the free street entertainment and eating or drinking at the terraces of the restaurants and cafés.
|Festival des Tombées de la Nuit|
La Visitation is a new shopping mall located in the center close to Place Sainte Anne. You'll find two main stores; H&M and Saturn and some others. This little shopping mall links the Place Ste Anne toPlace Hoche where is the law university.
If you're looking for high budget shopping mall, les Galleries Lafayette located in the center on the quais(docks), almost Place de la Republique, are made for you. You'll find food, clothes, games, make-up, furniture, perfume, ...
On the edge of the city you'll find other shopping malls where most of people buy food in big supermarkets. If this is what you're looking for, ask for centre Alma, centre commercial de Cleunay, Grand quartier, orcentre commercial de Cesson-Sevigne.
- Rennes Cathedral (cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Rennes) is a Roman Catholic cathedral. It is a monument historique since 1906. It is the seat of the Archbishops of Rennes, previously Bishops of Rennes. The site has been used for a cathedral more or less from the beginnings of the see in the 6th century. The earliest building was completely replaced by a Gothic cathedral in the 12th century, of which in 1490 the tower and the entire west front collapsed. The existing façade with its neoclassical granite towers in four stages was constructed over the next two centuries or so, with long gaps between the different stages: the lowest level was built between 1541 and 1543, the second from 1640 to 1654 (by Tugal Caris), and the fourth (by Pierre Corbineau) from 1654 to 1678. Yet another architect, François Hoguet, completed the towers, between 1679 and 1704, at their present height of 48 metres and added the device of Louis XVI between them. The nave and choir however had not been restored. During vespers on 11 February 1754 a great stone fell from the roof of the choir, and it was decided, before the entire body of the cathedral collapsed, to demolish all these parts and rebuild them. The demolition was carried out between 1756 and 1768, leaving only the towers and west front standing. Rebuilding began in 1787, shortly after which the French Revolution began and all work was suspended. It did not recommence until 1816, initially under the supervision of the architect Mathurin Crucy. He died in 1826; the work was continued under the local architect Louis Richelot, and finished in 1845.
- The Saint George Palace is an historic building in the city of Rennes. Formerly an abbey residence, it was built in 1670 to replace a much older abbey building that stood on the same site. The Benedictine Abbey of Saint George (Abbaye Saint-Georges de Rennes) was forced to close in 1792 during the French Revolution and the property was seized by the government. Since 1930 the building has been listed as a monument historique of France.
- Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes is a municipal museum of fine arts. Its collections range from ancient Egypt antiquities to the Modern art period and make the museum one of the most important in France outside Paris, notably for its paintings and drawings holdings. The museum was established in 1794 during the French Revolution like most of the main French museums. Its first collections were the confiscated artworks of the churches and public buildings of Rennes. However the majority of the present holdings come from the private collection of Christophe-Paul de Robien (1698–1756), a president of the Parlement de Bretagne, which was at the time of the Revolution one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It comprised drawings, prints, paintings, antiques and sculptures. The museum's collections continued to expand during the 19th and the 20th century thanks to donations and acquisitions. The building housing the museum was built between in 1847 and 1855 but it is only since 1911 that it is entirely devoted to the museum's collections. The building and the exposition rooms have been restored and modified several times.
- Les Champs Libres is a brand new building in which you'll find le musee de Bretagne, l'espace des Sciences and the bibliotheque municipale. It's a wonderful place where you can learn a lot about Rennes, about Brittany, and about sciences and history. There are a lot of exhibitions (temporary and permanent), forums, and debates. There's also an outside cafe overhanging Place Charles de Gaulle where you can meet people and talk about whatever you feel like. If you feel like reading newspapers, head to the room in front of you when you enter that building, choose your favourite one and sit with other peers. But if you want to have a nice look at the city centre, head to last floor of the public library and enjoy. Don't forget to be quiet or they'll remind you! If you don't feel like going to the movies, you can climb up to the planetarium (around 7€ for exposition and planetarium) and enjoy 1h30 of live "show" about space, stars, legends,... Check the schedule on their website for your favourite theme.
- The Parlement of Brittany (Fr: parlement de Bretagne) was a court of justice, under France’s Ancien Régime, with its seat at Rennes. The last building to house the parlement still stands and is now the Rennes Court of Appeal, the natural successor of the parlement. The current building was officially opened on January 16, 1655 by the oldest of the presidents of the parlement. The building has been recently restored, following severe fire damage on February 5, 1994, a consequence linked to the violent demonstrations of the local fishermen. Adapted to the requirements of the 21st century, the Court of Appeal of Rennes was able to resume the activities of the previous centuries. Other, newer buildings in the city are home to the various forms of justice (Law courts, civil courts etc.).
Many centuries later, around the middle of the 18th century, a small town started to grow around the farm of Reykjavik, thanks to Royal Treasurer Skuli Magnusson, known as the Father of Reykjavik, who established wool workshops at Reykjavik as part of his efforts to modernise the Icelandic economy. This led to the beginnings of urban development at Reykjavik. Reykjavik received its town charter in 1786.
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|The Blue Lagoon|
The northern lights are a breathtakingly beautiful natural phenomenon. They can frequently be seen in Iceland in the winter time (October - April) on cold, clear and crisp nights. According to scientists, general conditions for viewing the northern lights in 2011-2013 in Iceland are exceedingly good, although their visibility is always subject to weather conditions.Seeing the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is something that many people dream of achieving in their lifetime. It seems 2012 will be a good year to realise such a dream, as NASA scientists predict the brightest northern lights display for 50 years.
The event will be caused by the Solar Maximum - a period when the sun's magnetic field on the solar equator rotates at a slightly faster pace than at the solar poles. The cycle between Solar Maximums takes an average of 11 years. The last Solar Maximum was in 2000 and NASA has predicted that 2012 will bring the greatest seen since 1958.
Several northern lights tours are on offer from Reykjavik, either by bus, jeep or boat. Sightings can never be guaranteed, but tour operators take visitors to places where viewing chances are best and normally offer another tour free of charge should guests fail to see the lights on the first night.
- The Hallgrímskirkja. Or church of Hallgrímur is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in the country. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland's landscape. It took 38 years to build the church. Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986, the landmark tower being completed long before the church's actual completion. The crypt beneath the choir was consecrated in 1948, the steeple and wings were completed in 1974. The nave was consecrated in 1986. Situated in the centre of Reykjavík, it is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city.
- The National Museum of Iceland was established on 24 February 1863, with Jón Árnason the first curator of the Icelandic collection, previously kept in Danish museums. The second curator, Sigurður Guðmundsson, advocated the creation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was called theAntiquarian Collection until 1911. Before settling at its present location, at Suðurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík, in 1950, it was housed in various Reykjavík attics, finally the attic of the National Library building for forty years.
- Perlan. (English: The Pearl) Is a 25.7 metres (84.3 ft) high landmark building . It was originally designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson. Perlan is situated on the hill Öskjuhlíð where there had been hot water storage tanks for decades. In 1991 the tanks were updated and a hemispherical structure placed on top. This project was largely done at the behest of Davíð Oddsson, during his time as mayor of Reykjavík. Perlan has 10,000 cubic meters of exhibition space on the ground floor, known as the Winter Garden. It has hosted concerts by Icelandic artists such as GusGus and Emilíana Torrini as well as various expos and markets. There is a viewing deck on the fourth floor. It contains panoramic telescopes at each six corners of the deck with recorded descriptions in five different languages. The top floor houses a revolving restaurant.
- Reykjavik Art Museum. Founded in 1973, the museum possesses the largest art collection in Iceland and the most voluminous gallery space to be found amongst the country's galleries. In more than 3000 square meters of gallery space over twenty exhibitions are run every year, ranging from extensive exhibitions from the museum‘s collection to installations of contemporary art by young, international artists.
- The Blue Lagoon A geothermal spa, is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation. The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, approximately 39 km (24 miles) from Reykjavík
|Perlan (The Pearl)|
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 650,468 inhabitants ( 2012) Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltic Sea region. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the river Daugava.
The river Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium. A sheltered natural harbour 15 km (9.3 mi) upriver from the mouth of the Daugava—the site of today's Riga—has been recorded, as Duna Urbs, as early as the 2nd century. It was settled by the Livs, an ancient Finnic tribe.
The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia testifies to Riga having long been a trading centre by the 12th century, referring to it as portus antiquus (ancient port), and describes dwellings and warehouses used to store mostly corn, flax, and hides. German traders began visiting Riga, establishing a nearby outpost in 1158.
Along with German traders also arrived the monk Meinhard of Segeberg to convert the pagans to Christianity. (Catholic and Orthodox Christianity had already arrived in Latvia more than a century earlier, and many Latvians baptised) Meinhard settled among the Livs, building a castle and church at Ikšķile, upstream from Riga, and established his bishopric there. The Livs, however, continued to practice paganism and Meinhard died in Ikšķile in 1196, having failed his mission. In 1198 the Bishop Bertold arrived with a contingent of crusaders and commenced a campaign of forced Christianization. Bertold was killed soon afterwards and his forces defeated.
The Church mobilised to avenge. Pope Innocent III issued a bull declaring a crusade against the Livonians. Bishop Albert was proclaimed Bishop of Livonia by his uncle Hartwig of Uthlede, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and Hamburg in 1199. Albert landed in Riga in 1200 with 23 ships and 500 Westphalian crusaders. In 1201 he transferred the seat of the Livonian bishopric from Ikšķile to Riga, extorting agreement to do so from the elders of Riga by force.
1201 also marked the first arrival of German merchants in Novgorod, via the Dvina. To defend territory and trade, Albert established the Order of Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1202, open to nobles and merchants.
Albert had ensured Riga's commercial future by obtaining papal bulls which decreed that all German merchants had to carry on their Baltic trade through Riga. In 1211, Riga minted its first coinage, and Albert laid the cornerstone for the Riga Dom. Riga was not yet secure as an alliance of tribes failed to take Riga. In 1212, Albert led a campaign to compel Polotsk to grant German merchants free river passage. Polotsk conceded Kukenois (Koknese) and Jersika to Albert, also ending the Livs' tribute to Polotsk.
Riga's merchant citizenry chafed and sought greater autonomy from the Church. In 1221 they acquired the right to independently self-administer Riga and adopted a city constitution.
That same year Albert was compelled to recognize Danish rule over lands they had conquered in Estonia and Livonia. Albert had sought the aid of King Valdemar of Denmark to protect Riga and Livonian lands against Liv insurrection when reinforcements could not reach Riga. The Danes landed in Livonia, built a fortress at Reval (Tallinn), and set about conquering Estonian and Livonian lands. The Germans attempted, but failed, to assassinate Valdemar. Albert was able to reach an accommodation a year later, however, and in 1222 Valdemar returned all Livonian lands and possessions to Albert's control.
Albert's difficulties with Riga's citizenry continued; with papal intervention, a settlement was reached in 1225 whereby they no longer had to pay tax to the Bishop of Riga, and Riga's citizens acquired the right to elect their magistrates and town councilors. In 1226, Albert consecrated the Dom Cathedral, built St. James's Church, and founding a parochial school at the Church of St. George.
Albert died in January 1229. He failed his aspiration to be anointed archbishop but the German hegemony he established over the Baltics would last for seven centuries.
Riga remained the largest city in Sweden until 1710, a period during which the city retained a great deal of autonomous self-government. In that year, in the course of the Great Northern War, Russia under Tsar Peter the Great besieged plague-stricken Riga. Along with the other Livonian towns and gentry, Riga capitulated to Russia, but largely retained their privileges. Riga was made the capital of the Governorate of Riga (later: Livonia). Sweden's northern dominance had ended, and Russia's emergence as the strongest Northern power was formalised through the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. Riga became an industrialised port city of the Russian empire, in which it remained until World War I. By 1900, Riga was the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and Saint Petersburg in terms of the number of industrial workers and number of theatres.
Between World War I and World War II (1918–1940), Riga and Latvia shifted their focus from Russia to the countries of Western Europe. The United Kingdom and Germany replaced Russia as Latvia's major trade partners.
During World War II, Latvia was occupied first by the Soviet Union in June 1940 and then by Nazi Germany in 1941–1944. The Baltic Germans were forcibly repatriated to Germany. The city's Jewish community was forced into the Riga Ghetto and a concentration camp was constructed in Kaiserwald. On 25 October 1941, the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto. By 1942, most of Latvia's Jews (about 24,000) were killed on 30 November and 8 December 1941 in the Rumbula massacre.
Riga was recaptured by the Soviet Red Army on 13 October 1944. In the following years the massive influx of labourers, administrators, military personnel and their dependents from Russia and other Soviet republics started.
Alberta and Strelnieku Streets comprise the biggest gallery of Art Nouveau architecture in Riga. Many buildings have still not been renovated and you can still venture into the beautiful although neglected hallways. Of particular interest are freshly renovated buildings of the Stockholm School of Economics and Law, as well as the head office of the Latvian anti-corruption police KNAB.
- Riga Cathedral is the Evangelical Lutheran cathedral in Riga, Latvia. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Riga. It is often known in English as the Riga Dom Cathedral (although it has no dome, the nickname comes from the Latvian Doms and German Dom meaning "cathedral"). It is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Latvia, and is featured in or the subject of paintings, photographs and television travelogues. Built near the River Daugava in 1211 by Livonian Bishop Albert of Riga, it is considered the largest medieval church in the Baltic states. It has undergone many modifications in the course of its history. David Caspari was rector of the cathedral school in the late 17th century. His son Georg Caspari also served at the cathedral.
- The Freedom Monument is a memorial honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42-metre (138 ft) high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga. The sculptures and bas-reliefs of the monument, arranged in thirteen groups, depict Latvian culture and history. The core of the monument is composed of tetragonal shapes on top of each other, decreasing in size towards the top, completed by a 19-metre (62 ft) high travertine column bearing the copper figure of Liberty lifting three gilded stars. The concept for the monument first emerged in the early 1920s when the Latvian Prime Minister, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, ordered rules to be drawn up for a contest for designs of a "memorial column". After several contests the monument was finally built at the beginning of the 1930s according to the scheme "Shine like a star!" submitted by Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle. Construction works were financed by private donations.
- St. Peter's Church is a Lutheran church dedicated to Saint Peter. It is a parish church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. First mention of the St. Peter's Church is in records dating to 1209. The church was a masonry construction and therefore undamaged by a city fire in Riga that year. The history of the church can be divided into three distinct periods: two associated with Gothic and Romanesque building styles, the third with the early Baroque period. The middle section of the church was built during the 13th century, which encompasses the first period. The only remnants of this period are located in the outer nave walls and on the inside of a few pillars in the nave, around which larger pillars were later built.
- The Latvian National Opera. (LNO, Latvijas Nacionālā Opera), Riga, is the national opera of Latvia. The opera company includes theLatvian National Ballet (LNB), LNO Chorus, and LNO Orchestra. Riga already had a German-speaking theatre, which also offered opera and ballet, from 1782, and this was housed in the Riga City Theatre from 1863. The first attempt to create a Latvian national opera was 1893, when Jēkabs Ozols' Spoku stunda ("The Ghostly Hour") was performed. The Latvian opera (Latviešu Opera) was founded in 1912 by Pāvuls Jurjāns, though almost immediately, during the First World War, the opera troupe was evacuated to Russia. In 1918, the opera restarted (Latvju Opera) led by Jāzeps Vītols, the founder of the Latvian Academy of Music. The debut performance, on January 23, 1919, was of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. From 1944, following the occupation of Latvia by Russia, and incorporation into the Soviet Union, the Latvian National Opera became the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theater. In 1990, the theater was renamed the Latvian National Opera, but almost immediately the building was closed till 1995 for renovation and the company moved to temporary premises. For the reopening in 1995, the first opera was Jānis Mediņš’ Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night). The National Opera House was constructed in 1863 by the St. Petersburg architect Ludwig Bohnstedt, for the then German-speaking City Theatre, and has been refurbished several times; 1882-1887 (following a fire in 1882), 1957–1958, 1991-1995 (following independence). A modern annex was added in 2001 with a 300-seat New Hall.
- Riga Castle is a castle on the banks of River Daugava. The castle was founded in 1330. This structure was thoroughly rebuilt between 1497 and 1515. Upon the castle's seizure by the Swedes, they constructed spacious annexes in 1641. The fortress was continually augmented and reconstructed between the 17th and 19th centuries. Sometime in the 1930s, some renovation work was done by architect Eižens Laube. The Latvian government declared the castle its residence in 1938. Today it is the official residence of the President of Latvia as well as home to several museums.
Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia. It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Rome is a city and special comune ("Roma Capitale") in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and the capital of Lazio. With 2.8 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi), it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. Between 3.2 and 3.8 million people live in the Rome urban and metropolitan area.The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy. Rome is referred to as "The Eternal City," a notion expressed by ancient Roman poets and writers.
After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. The current version of St Peter's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Raphael resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
|The Sistine Chapel|
There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from at least 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites. Evidence of stone tools, pottery and stone weapons attest to at least 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations supports the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. While some archaeologists argue that Rome was indeed founded in the middle of the 8th century BC (the date of the tradition), the date is subject to controversy. However, the power of the well known tale of Rome's legendary foundation tends to deflect attention from its actual, and much more ancient, origins.
Roman dominance expanded over most of Western Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean, though its influence through client states and the sheer power of its presence was wider than its formal borders. Its population surpassed one million inhabitants. For almost seven hundred years, Rome was the most politically important, richest, and largest city in the Western world. After the Empire started to decline and was split, it lost its capital status to Milan and then to Ravenna, and was surpassed in prestige by the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, whose Greek inhabitants continued through the centuries to call themselves Roman.
Rome remained the capital of the Papal States until its annexation by the Kingdom of Italy in 1870; the city became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages and the focus of struggles between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire starting with Charlemagne, who was crowned its first emperor in Rome in 800 by Pope Leo III. Apart from brief periods as an independent city during the Middle Ages, Rome kept its status as Papal capital and "holy city" for centuries, even when the Papacy briefly relocated to Avignon (1309–1377).
Rome became the focus of hopes of Italian reunification when the rest of Italy was reunited under the Kingdom of Italy with a temporary capital at Florence. In 1861, Rome was declared the capital of Italy even though it was still under the control of the Pope. During the 1860s, the last vestiges of the Papal States were under French protection, thanks to the foreign policy of Napoleon III. And it was only when this was lifted in 1870, owing to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, that Italian troops were able to capture Rome entering the city through a breach near Porta Pia. Afterwards, Pope Pius IX declared himself as prisoner in the Vatican, and in 1871 the capital of Italy was moved from Florence to Rome.
Rome grew momentously after the war, as one of the driving forces behind the "Italian economic miracle" of post-war reconstruction and modernisation. It became a fashionable city in the 1950s and early 1960s, the years of "la dolce vita" ("the sweet life"), with popular classic fims such as Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita being filmed in the city's iconic Cinecittà Studios. A new rising trend in population continued until the mid-1980s, when the comune had more than 2,800,000 residents; after that, population started to decline slowly as more residents moved to nearby suburbs.
Rome contains a vast and impressive collection of art, sculpture, fountains, mosaics, frescos, and paintings, from all different periods. Rome first became a major artistic centre during ancient Rome, with forms of important Roman art such as architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Metal-work, coin die and gem engraving, ivory carvings, figurine glass, pottery, and book illustrations are considered to be 'minor' forms of Roman artwork. Rome later became a major centre of Renaissance art, since the popes spent vast sums of money for the constructions of grandiose basilicas, palaces, piazzas and public buildings in general. The city was affected greatly by the baroque, and Rome became the home of numerous artists and architects, such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Carracci, Borromini and Cortona, to name a few. In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the city was one of the centres of the Grand Tour, when wealthy, young English and other European aristocrats visited the city to learn about ancient Roman culture, art, philosophy and architecture. Rome hosted a great number of neoclassical and rococo artists, such as Pannini and Bernardo Bellotto. Today, the city is a major artistic centre, with numerous art institutes and museums.
- The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. Designed principally by Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Bernini, St Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, Saint Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". In Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, was the first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.
- The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.
Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia). Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
- The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district. Standing 26 metres (85.3 feet) high and 20 metres (65.6 feet) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain at the junction of three roads (tre vie) marks the terminal point of the "modern" Acqua Vergine, the revived Aqua Virgo, one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city. The Roman custom of building a handsome fountain at the endpoint of an aqueduct that brought water to Rome was revived in the 15th century, with the Renaissance. In 1453, Pope Nicholas V finished mending the Acqua Vergine aqueduct and built a simple basin, designed by the humanist architect Leon Battista Alberti, to herald the water's arrival. In 1629 Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but when the Pope died, the project was abandoned. Though Bernini's project was never constructed, there are many Bernini touches in the fountain as it exists today. Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains, and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest to construct a new fountain in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei – but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732, and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Clement's death, when Pietro Bracci's Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche. Salvi died in 1751, with his work half-finished, but before he went he made sure a stubborn barber's unsightly sign would not spoil the ensemble, hiding it behind a sculpted vase, called by Romans the asso di coppe, the "Ace of Cups". The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, who substituted the present allegories for planned sculptures of Agrippa and "Trivia", the Roman virgin.
- The Pantheon was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria della Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.
- Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 1,100 m2(12,000 sq ft) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement in painting. The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored the old Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480. During this period a team of painters that included Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio created a series of frescoed panels depicting the life of Moses and the life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on 15 August 1483, Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Since the time of Sixtus IV, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected.
In the Province of South Holland Rotterdam is in the west of Netherland and the south of the Randstad. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant, multicultural cities; known for its university (Erasmus), cutting-edge architecture, lively cultural life, striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz.
Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, 'muddy' and a, 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').
The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.
The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper, inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m (147.64 ft).
During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on May 15, 1940, following Hitler's bombing Rotterdam on May 14 and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe; 900 civilians were killed and 80,000 made homeless. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later strikingly captured the event with his statue De Verwoeste Stad ('The Destroyed City'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.
There are about 12 larger and smaller open air markets dotted around Rotterdam. Most of them are enjoyable places to walk through. A nice place to visit is the inner City Market (Tue and Sat, in summer also on Sun a smaller version) which is a huge (about 450 stalls) open air food and hardware market. It's at the eastern end of the Hoogstraat on the Binnenrotte. Metro: Blaak. More exotic and colourful is the Afrikaanderplein Market (South of the river, Metro: Maashaven). This market is geared very much towards Rotterdam inhabitants of Antillian, South American or African descent (a lot of whom happen to live nearby). Wed and Sat, about 300 stalls.
Close to the Oude Haven area, the streets around the Pannenkoekstraat have recently emerged as a new center for shopping and going out. Amidst small boutiques, selling clothes and interior design by young, upcoming designers, you can find cocktailbars such as Level or Soho, which both attract large crowds. Espeically in the summer this is a great place for a mojito.
The most lively bar area in town is Eendrachtsplein/Nieuwe Binnenweg. Alternative, easy going and full of friendly, open-minded people. The cafés you should be looking for are Stalles, Parket and Rotown. This is the place to be for the more creative orientated people, musicians, designers and artschool students. Walk down de Nieuwe Binnenweg and arrive at Café Ari (Nieuwe Binnenweg/Mathenesserlaan) and Westerpaviljoen (grand café with the best terrace in the city). This is a good place to start the evening. Walk a little bit (3 minutes) down the Binnenweg again and go left at ‘s-Gravendijkwal (you'll see the flashy neon lights of sexclub OQ). Across the street you'll find Jazz Cafe Dizzy. A great place for a quality beer and some live jazz music. You can also eat at almost all places mentioned.
If you're into loud music, your best option would be to go to De Baroeg at the "Spinozaweg" in Rotterdam-Lombardijen. Loads of heavy metal acts play here each year. Should you not feel like making your way all the way into sub-urbia, you could also try your luck at the Rhythem on Oude Binnenweg. A popular hang out of alternative types.
- St. Lawrence Church is a Protestant church. It is the only remnant of the medieval city of Rotterdam. The church was built between 1449 and 1525. In 1621 a wooden spire was added to the tower, designed by Hendrick de Keyser. Poor quality of its wood caused the spire to be demolished in 1645. A stone cube was added to the tower, which proved too heavy for the foundation in 1650. New piles were driven under the tower and in 1655 the tower stood straight again. This basilica was the first all stone building in Rotterdam. Many important events took place here. The last priest of the Laurenkerk was Hubertus Duifhuis. The Reformation took place in 1572 and the Laurenskerk became a Protestant church. Ministers of the church include Laurens Johannes Jacobus van Oosterzee, Abraham Hellenbroek, Jan Scharp and J.R. Callenbach, who wrote a book about the history of the church a few years before the Rotterdam Blitz. The church is still used for worship of the Protestant Church.
- City Hall. Rotterdam City Hall was built in 1914 in a somewhat exuberant Art Deco style. It is nice to walk into the monumental main hall and see the statues. The courtyard is also worth a look. As the City Hall is still in use you are free to enter the public areas and have a look. The other halls will be off limits, unless you can persuade one of the guards to open the showpiece Burgerzaal for you. The City Hall also has a belltower with carillon which is often played, while the roof of the middel tower is made of gold.
- The Cube Houses were designed by Piet Blom, who saw his design as a tree and the entire complex as a forest. Blom wanted to develop a village within a large city; a safe haven where various different functions could take place. The Kijk-Kubus (Museum House) is a fully furnished show home in the Blaakse Bos, an unusual collection of cube-shaped homes. The interior was specially developed to give visitors an impression of how it’s possible to live in a cube house with sloping walls. Scale models, photo panels and a screen provide visitors with extra information.
- The World Museum in Rotterdam is the ultimate cultural meeting place, and a real delight for all the senses. The museum houses a permanent collection showcasing 1,800 exceptional pieces from across the globe. The museum also organises much-discussed themed exhibitions every year, publishes a free magazine and has a contemporary café with a sunny terrace beside the Maas River, serving international cuisine. The museum regularly organises international parties for the community of Rotterdam, Other activities include entertainment for all ages, presented in the theatre, including a variety of different film, lecture, dance, music and theatrical programmes.
The museum shop offers an international assortment of products and you can even book holidays at the travel agency, choosing from a great variety of cultural holidays.
- The Erasmusbrug ("Erasmus Bridge") is a cable-stayed bridge across the Nieuwe Maas river, linking the northern and southern halves of the city of Rotterdam. The Erasmusbrug was designed by Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996. The 802-metre-long (2,631 ft) bridge has a 139-metre-high (456 ft) asymmetrical pylon, earning the bridge its nickname of "The Swan". The southern span of the bridge has an 89-metre-long (292 ft) bascule bridge for ships that cannot pass under the bridge. The bascule bridge is the largest and heaviest in West Europe and has the largest panel of its type in the world. The bridge was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on September 6, 1996, having cost 165 million Dutch guilders (about 75 million euro) to construct.
It became part of the Byzantine empire, then in the sixth century part of the Exarchate of Ravenna and in 788 part of the Frankish empire. Then it came under the rule of different feudal lords for several centuries. From 1209 it was ruled by the Aquileian patriarch.
From 1283 to 1797 Rovinj was one of the most important towns of Istria under the Republic of Venice. The city was fortified by two rows of walls with three town gates. The remaining town walls date from this period. Close to the pier one can find the old town gate Balbi's Arch, dating from 1680, and a late-Renaissance clock tower. The city got its statutes in 1531.
The busiest area is the very centre of Rovinj, extending from the main bus station toward the old part of town. It is where most bars are located and where locals hang out.
Rovinj's waterfront, called Riva, runs alongside the Adriatic sea bay largely parallel to Carrera Street. It is lined with ice cream parlors, bars and restaurants.
Also in August, usually on the last weekend, the city hosts Rovinj Night, a popular open air summer celebration with local food offerings, beverage and sweet stands, live music over multiple stages and a large fireworks display at midnight.
- Saint Euphemia's basilica is a Baroque church located in the heart of the historic part of Rovinj, dominating the town. This three-nave church was built in 1736 over the remains of older, early Christian structures. Its façade dates from 1883. The relics of Saint Euphemia are preserved in a Roman sarcophagus from the sixth century (but adapted in the 15th century). The church contains several treasures and works of art: Gothic statues from the 15th century, paintings from the 16th and the 17th centuries: Last Supper and Christ in the Gethsemane. The bell tower resembles the tower of St Mark's Basilica in Venice. It was built during 1654–1680, to the plans by Antonio Manopola. On top of this 60 meter-high tower stands the statue of St. Euphemia, serving as a wind vane.
- The Rovinj islands and mainland. These natural sights have been described as "outstanding scenic wonders," because of the pristine beauty of the indented coastline and its forests, consisting of holm oak and Alpine pine trees. This area "of outstanding natural beauty" extends from St. Ivan promontory to Barbariga, including all the Rovinj islands and the mainland 500 metres from the shore line. The Rovinj archipelago consists of 19 islands.
- Grisia. Grisia Street is a beautiful street with cascading steps that leads up to the plateau of the parish church of St. Euphemia. It belongs to the most recognizable trademarks of the old town of Rovinj. The street is picturesquely cobbled with winding stone staircase. It is unique for its one-day art competition exhibition, which has been organized in Grisia continuously since August 1967 by the Rovinj Heritage Museum.
The exhibition was created at the initiative of members of the Art Colony who aim to contribute to the spreading of visual arts and the revitalization of the town by gathering artists and displaying their works out in the open. A great number of artists display their works on Grisia attracting the attention of visitors and tourists. Artists such as Mascarelli, Bassani, Matić, Milić, Škrnjug, Šumonja, Vuličević and many others participated in this street exhibition numerous times.
- The Castle on St. Andrew's Island. A Benedictine monastery founded in the 6th century. In the 15th century the Franciscans expanded and enlarged it. Baron Hütterott renovated it at the end of the 19th century. Today, the castle has been turned into a hotel and is decorated by works of the official painter of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, Alexander Kircher.
- Dvigrad. the remains of a mediaeval town. During Illyrian times, two colonies existed which later, in early mediaeval times, became two towns, Parentino and Moncastello. The former quickly became extinct, whereas the latter, in the ownership of the Aquileian patriarch, developed further under the name of Duecastelli. Lateron, like the most part of the Istrian coast, Dvigrad fell under Venetian power. In the mid 17th century malaria and the plague were rifie in Istria, which didn't spare the citizens of Dvigrad either. Thus, in 1631 most of the 700 hundred inhabitants left the town, and the remaining three families left in 1714, when the church of St.Sophia was abandoned as well. The relics and the pulpit from the 14th century were transferred into the church of St. Silvester in Kanfanara, where the inhabitants of Dvigrad had moved as well. The town is very well maintained, since it hadn't been destroyed in the wars that were ravaging through Istria, but rather because it was abandoned by the inhabitants of the town. The town gates still exist, as well as two circles of the town walls, some of the defense towers are maintained, as well as the most part of the 200 houses. The St. Sophia Church was an early Christian church with three naves which dominated the town and which was built on solid rock. Unfortunately, because the church wasn't being maintained, it decayed in the 19th century. Until recently, the town has been abandoned to snakes, the macchia, the north-eastern wind and to the ravages of time, but lately it is undergoing restoration, so that Dvigrad has become a must for everybody who finds oneself closeby. It is only a 20 minute car ride away from Rovinj.
Ruse (also transliterated as Rousse or Russe) is the fifth-largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is located in the northeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Romanian city of Giurgiu, 300 km (186 mi) from the capital Sofia and 200 km (124 mi) from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. It is the most significant Bulgarian river port, serving an important part of the international trade of the country.
Ruse is known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, which attracts many tourists. It is often called the Little Vienna. The Ruse-Giurgiu Friendship Bridge, the only one in the shared Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube, crosses the river here.
The fortress was located on the main road between Singidunum (modern Belgrade) and the Danube Delta and was destroyed in the 6th century by Avar and Slavic raids. Hungarian historian Felix Philipp Kanitz was the first to identify Sexaginta Prista with Ruse, but the Škorpil brothers demonstrated the link later through studying inscriptions, coins, graves, and objects of daily life. An inscription from the reign of Diocletian proves that the city was rebuilt as a praesidium (a large fortification) after it was destroyed by the Goths in 250 CE.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, during the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire, a fortified settlement called Rusi (also Golyamo Yorgovo), first mentioned in 1380, emerged near the ruins of the Roman town. It later strengthened its position as an important trade centre with the lands on the opposite side of the Danube, until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1388. Scholars suggest that the city on the river bank derived its present name from the Cherven fortress through the root rous, which is present in many Slavic languages and is a cognate of French rouge and Latin rusos.
During Ottoman rule, the invaders destroyed the town, reacting to a 1595 unsuccessful liberation attempt by a joint Vlach-Bulgarian army, led by Michael the Brave. After its rebuilding in the following years, Ruse was dubbed Rusçuk (Turkish for "little Ruse") and had again expanded into a large fortress by the 18th century. It later grew into one of the most important Ottoman towns on the Danube and an administrative centre of Tuna Vilayet, which extended from Varna and Tulcea to Sofia and Niš.
After it was liberated from the Ottoman Empire on 20 February 1878, Ruse was one of the key cultural and economic centres of the country. Intensive building during the period changed the city's architectural appearance to a typical Central European one.
|The Pantheon of National Revival Heroes|
The return of Southern Dobruja to Bulgaria in September 1940 fostered good conditions for restoration of the city's leading role. It became a provincial centre, and economic activity revived. The construction of the Ruse-Giurgiu bridge in 1954 and the fast industrialization gave a new push to development. Ruse emerged again as an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational hub. Engineering, chemical, and light industries expanded; a large harbor was built; and the city became a university centre. At the 1985 census, a population of more than 186,000 was reported.
In the early 1980s, Ruse entered a dark period of its history. The Verachim factory was built in Giurgiu, which polluted the air between 1980 and 1987, impacting the city's development. Population decreased, and 15,000 people moved out between 1985 and 1992. Fortunately, in 1987, the Romanian factory ceased the pollution, under pressure from environmental organizations on both Bulgarian and Romanian communist leadership. Organizations, such as Ekoglasnost, provoked nationwide demonstrations and strongly influenced the change to democracy.
During the 1990s, the economic crisis in Bulgaria affected Ruse. Most big companies suffered a decline and unemployment increased, which led to renewed emigration waves. Since 2000, the city has been continually regaining its former leading status.
Famous for its rich salads required at every meal, Bulgarian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of dairy products and the variety of Bulgarian wines and local alcoholic drinks such as rakia, mastika and menta. Bulgarian cuisine features also a variety of hot and cold soups, an example of a cold soup being tarator. There are many different Bulgarian pastries as well such as banitsa.
Traditionally Bulgarians have consumed a notable quantity of yoghurt per head and is noted historically for the production of high quality yoghurt, including using a unique variety of micro-organism calledLactobacillus bulgaricus in the manufacturing process. It has even been claimed that yoghurt originates from Bulgaria. Though this cannot be substantiated, Bulgaria has been part of a region that has cultivated and consumed yoghurt from as far back as 3000 BC.
- The St Paul of the Cross Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Ruse. It is the cathedral church of the Nikopol diocese and it is dedicated to Saint Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists. Built in 1890 to the designs of the Italian architect Valentino, the cathedral is a rare example of Gothic Revival architecture (and Brick Gothic in particular) in the country. The interior is decorated with sculptures and stained glass windows.
- The Monument of Liberty, was built at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi. As time went by, it gained significance as one of the city's symbols, and now forms a part of her coat of arms. The structure is a pyramidal one. The statue on top represents a female figure, who is holding a sword in her left hand, while pointing with her right hand to the direction from where the national liberators arrived. One of the two bronze lions at the base is tearing the yoke chains with his mouth, whilst the other defends the Shield of Freedom. There are reliefs of resistance scenes on the pedestal. Two cannons are placed at the rear. The exact year of opening is not known for certain — 1906, 1908, and 1909 have been suggested, based on labels, photographs, and the Encyclopedia of fine arts in Bulgaria. All sources cite the date 11 August, though. The booklet The revoulutionaries' monument in Rousse claims to have proven that the correct year is 1909.
- The Old High School of Music is a currently abandoned historic building in Ruse, Bulgaria, located at 33 Borisova Street, which is to become a private cultural and arts centre. The building was constructed in 1900–1901 by Ruse's Protestant community to be used by the German Protestant school, as well as to accommodate its boarding house, kindergarten and orphanage. Funds (a total of 320,000 German gold marks) were secured by the local pastor Theodor Wandemann. The four-storey edifice was designed by the architect Udo Ribau and the construction was supervised by the engineers Todor Tonev and Merbach. The architectural style is eclectic, combining Neoclassical and Gothic Revival elements and Northern European influences.
- The Pantheon of National Revival Heroes is a Bulgarian national monument and an ossuary. 39 famous Bulgarians are buried in it, including Lyuben Karavelov, Zahari Stoyanov, Stefan Karadzha, Panayot Hitov, Tonka Obretenova, Nikola Obretenov, Panayot Volov, Angel Kanchev, etc.; 453 more people—participants in Botev's detachment, the Chervena Voda detachment, in the April uprising, and other revolutionaries have been honoured by writing their names in the interior. An eternal fire burns in the middle under the gold-plated dome. The Pantheon is one of the '100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria'. In order to build the Pantheon in 1977, the "All Saints" church in the old Rousse cemetery was demolished. The new building was open for visitors on 28 February 1978. After a public discussion in 2001, the Patheon was "Christianised" by placing a cross on top of its dome. The "St Paisius of Hilendar" chapel, as well as a museum exposition, were founded then.
- Roman fortress Sexaginta Prista. The castle and the fleet station called Sexsaginta Prista were built under the Roman Emperor Vespasianus (69 - 79 A.D.) The castle was on the main road from where Belgrade is today to the delta of the Danube River. No systematic excavations have been made on the site where the castle used to be. However, some rescue excavations have been made on spots jeopardised by modern city development. It is through them that the northeastern battle tower, a part of the northern wall and the remains of four buildings have been investigated. The tower is rectangle, its inner sizes 4,00 Х 3,80 m and its walls 2,70 m thick. 50 m of the northern wall are preserved. Its width is between 2,75 and 3,00 m.