Whether you like jaw-dropping artefacts from the continent’s Greek and Roman days, the trappings of the region’s monarchies or relics that are a bit more recent, Europe is teeming with history.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best places and cities to sightsee on the continent if you’re searching for a slice of history with your holiday.
Situated in Rome, this age-old temple was originally a pagan worship site designed to celebrate all gods. Now, it is used as a Catholic church and is dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs.
Supported by gorgeous Corinthian columns, one of the Pantheon’s most appealing features is the way it has been preserved. Despite being built between 118 and 125 AD, it is almost entirely intact and provides a fascinating look back at how religion in Italy and beyond has evolved over the centuries.
The Acropolis of Athens
As one of the world’s oldest cities, Athens is full to the brim with relics from the past – and is not to be missed by history buffs.
Some of Athens’ major historical sites are centred on the Acropolis, a citadel towering above the city on a high hill. It plays home to a number of historically significant sites, including the old Parthenon temple. Don’t miss the Erechtheum, which is dedicated to the god Poseidon and the goddess Athena.
The sights of Paris
Dotted all over the French capital are blasts from the past, often taking the form of stunning buildings and imposing architecture.
The Palace of Versailles was the home of the French monarchy for over a century, and the beautiful gardens are a reminder of the opulence and luxury on offer for aristocrats in years gone by.
And don’t miss the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece complete with stained glass and naturalist sculptures.
Upper Middle Rhine Valley
Nestled in the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, this stretch of river has long been used as a travel route for those moving between northern and southern Europe.
Now protected with UNESCO World Heritage Status, the valley is full of pieces of history. Over a period of about a millennium, 40 fortresses and castles were built on the hills around the valley to protect the local area.
The area has influenced the history of culture, too. As the constructions went to rack and ruin over time, Romantic poets and writers were strongly influenced by the sight of old buildings standing tall over scenes of natural beauty and the area became a source of creative inspiration.
The second world war was one of the defining moments of modern European history. Located in southern Poland, the camps Auschwitz I and the nearby Auschwitz II–Birkenau have been preserved as memorials to the victims of the Holocaust.
While a trip to the camps can be a sobering experience, they serve as a reminder of Europe’s darker history and are well worth a visit.
Do you want to see these historical sights for yourself? If you are planning a holiday in Europe and need a UK EHIC card, get in touch today.