World Heritage Sites in Europe
Europe is absolutely packed with World Heritage sites, which is largely due to the long and detailed history every country boasts. The most famous include cities such as Prague, the Tower of London and the Acropolis while sites which may surprise people include Auschwitz. Other not so well known sites include Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and Dubrovnik in Croatia. The list is endless and some of the best sites are those that are not so well known.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Dubrovnik is located in southern Croatia and is one of the most visited cities on the Adriatic coast. It boasts a number of historic sights as well as excellent restaurants and a number of traditional pubs. It has been a World Heritage site since 1979.
Salzburg, Austria: The Old Town in Salzburg is famous for its baroque architecture and is regarded as having one of the best-preserved centers in the country. It is surrounded by an alpine backdrop which adds to its beauty and was the setting for The Sound of Music. It is also noted for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Prague, Czech Republic: Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and has been the center of the country for over 1100 years. It is located on the banks of the River Vltava and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It suffered badly during WWII but escaped complete destruction and managed to rebuild those buildings that were lost.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland: This notorious concentration camp is today a reminder of the atrocities that the Jews faced under the Nazis during WWII. There are memorials and exhibits detailing the pain and torture most of the inhabitants went through. While it is not a cheerful attraction, it is nevertheless very popular and as such, it has been listed as a World Heritage site.
Bruges, Belgium : Bruges is located in northwest Belgium and is the capital of the province of West Flanders. It is a historic city with many fascinating sights to see. It is an economically important city because of its port and because it is home to the College of Europe.
Cologne Cathedral, Germany: This cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and is a famous symbol of Christianity. The building itself is Gothic in style and is one of the most famous landmarks in Germany. It is one of the largest churches in the world and in the late 1800s was actually the tallest building in the world.
Acropolis - Athens, Greece: The Acropolis is famed throughout the world and dates back over 2,500 years. It is actually a flat-topped rock which is said to have once housed the 12 Olympians and is also the home of the temple of Athena, Parthenon.
The Tower of London, England: This historic tower is located in central London and is actually a set of buildings housed within a moat. It has been a fortress, a royal palace and a prison as well as a zoo and the Royal Mint. Since 1303, it has been the home of the Crown Jewels and sees thousands of tourists every year.
Piazza del Duomo, Italy: This square lies in the heart of Pisa and houses four religious buildings: the Duomo, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto. As well as this, it is famed for being the main hub for medieval art in the world.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg: Luxembourg City is actually a commune which has city status. It is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and is home to the Luxembourg Castle, which dates back to the country’s beginnings. The city itself was established by the Franks in the early Middle Ages and today is visited by thousands of tourists every year, despite its small size.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: The Giant’s Causeway consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking columns which are the result of a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. It is located in Northern Ireland, on the northeast coast and is not only a World Heritage site, but was also classed as a National Nature Reserve in 1987.