In a city filled with incredible architectural masterpieces from Gaudi, there is another architect who often gets forgotten. And yet he is perhaps just as influential in terms of founding the Catalan art form of 'modernism'. His name is Lluís Domènech i Montaner and one of his best designs is the Palau de la Música Catalana. The Catalan style of architecture called 'modernism' was developed to support a new Catalan identity.
Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges is a medieval paradise replete with sweeping canals, quaint cobblestones alleyways, unique Gothic architecture and an utterly enchanting atmosphere. Bruges is truly one of my favourite cities to visit. It feels like you could walk endless along the streets and continuously find new discoveries. It’s a fairy-tale like village and I think far too many people just breeze through it on a day-trip from Brussels. I think to truly experience the city at it’s best you need to spend the night and dedicate a good 48 hours to explore every nook and cranny of the city.
The Grand Canal or Canalazzo is the heart of Venice. Ever since the founding days of the Venetian empire, this canal served as the major thoroughfare for the Venetian people. The most important historical palaces and famous Venetian buildings wrap around the edges of the canal. Once upon a time, the Grand Canal was the like the Rodeo Drive for Venetian aristocrats. The who's who of Europe could be seen relaxing in gondolas, wearing the newest and most extravagant fashions, cruising up and down the river.
The Heavenly Bodies collection at the Cloisters focuses on the quiet, reflective nature of faith. The outfits are more complicated, require more thought and observation, and due to the remote location, allows you to have a more personal experience with the objects.
Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria, and as of 2001, the entire town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been named the "City of Music" or the "The City of Dreams" and for good reason. Vienna is home to some of the most interesting architectural masterpieces in Europe.
St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the most astonishing churches in the world, and as such is filled with some of the most incredible pieces of art from across Europe. The best piece of art can be seen all over the walls. The stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral are some of the most transcendent works of art which blend religious history and powerful human emotion.
Park Guell is one of Antoni Gaudi's most imaginative and symbolic work of art which thanks to a failed housing project is now open to the public as a city park. Hidden in the north of Barcelona his version of nirvana.
St. Peter's Abbey and Cemetery is the oldest monastery in the German-speaking world and truly a place where time seems to stand still. Although the abbey itself is stunning, the most notable part of the church is its cemetery.
The Zwinger is one of those historic buildings that is so seamlessly incorporated into the fabric of the city. Yes, it is also a very popular tourist destination, but the people who live and work here, don't treat it with kid gloves. As if it's something precious and should only be viewed from a distance. They luncheon here, bring their children to play and dash through the archways on their morning run.
Known as the "Venice of the North", Bruges is a medieval paradise replete with sweeping canals, quaint cobblestones alleyways, unrivalled Gothic architecture and an utterly enchanting atmosphere.
One our first day in Prague we set out with our fantastic tour guide Barbora, from Prague Guides, who met us at our hotel and took us on a comprehensive tour of Prague from local's perspective. Prague Guides were so affordable and gave you an intimate and personalised experience that is unmatchable.
If there's one thing university students love, it's coffee and brunch. So, one a chilly morning upon our arrival in Glasgow, we headed out to the University District to eat and explore.
Prague has some of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and although most of them are off-limits to the public, there are tours during certain times of the day which allow bibliophiles to soak up all the history and literary treasures that lie inside these old buildings.
The Dresden Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady in one of the grandest buildings in all of Europe, but it is its destruction, and reconstruction is to me, what makes this church stand out. The interior and overall design aren't in my top ten but the story behind, literally, every stone, is one I will never forget.
The Schloßplatz, or Palace Square, is the main square in the old town district of Dresden. It is named the Palace Square since the former royal residence resides right on the edge of the plaza. A balcony down from the residence looks out over the area below so that the Royals could take a peek at the people of their city going about their lives. The Schloßplatz also houses the Catholic Church, the court houses of Saxony, the Georgentor, and Augustus Bridge the over the River Elbe. Like most other parts of the old city, the Palace Square the 15th-century designs of the square was destroyed in the WWII bombings. The building has been laboriously restored to their original historic design.
This building was always critical to the Catholic people of Dresden. After Augustus the II converted to the Protestant church, his son, seeing that the large Catholic population of his country needed a place of prayer, commission the construction of this church in 1738. Although like the rest of Dresden, the building was almost destroyed in WWII, the valuables such as the organ and altar pieces were saved and reintroduced into the restored church to bring together the original and restored church. The new church is built to the specs of the original using photography and first-hand experience to get all the details just right.
The walk takes about 30 minutes; it's a bit steep but walking through the woods and trees as you climb is a pleasantly quiet experience. We chose to walk down the hill and very much could see the appeal of wanting to take the stroll up and avoid the lines for the funicular. But it was rather rainy, and we figured it would be best to go with the funicular option.
The Strahov Monastery and the library stand as a jewel of the Baroque era. Even from afar their bright red-tiled roofs and copper spires, aged to a brilliant teal colour, contrast the grey skies. As you ascend the hill towards the main building, you first pass another piece of the Monastery's history; its brewery.
The Cathedral of St. Mungo was one of the sites I was the most excited to see when we planned our trip to visit Glasgow. Walking up to the church I was blown away by the size. It loomed before me; it’s thick black bricks etched onto the skyline. The Glasgow Cathedral is the best example of medieval architecture in Scotland to have survived mostly intact.