Tag: History

Amsterdam: canals

Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals, about 1500 bridges and 100 islands. The main canals are Herengracht (Patrician’s canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s canal) and Prinsengracht (Prince’s canal). They exist since the 17th century. The canal ring area of Amsterdam including these three channels has a status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amsterdam
The Dutch capital is often called the Venice of the North

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Vianden

Vianden is a castle built between 11th and 14th century on the foundation of a Roman fort. It is certainly one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the gothic period in Europe.

Vianden
Vianden castle

Several hundred years ago Luxembourg fell under Dutch rule. William I of the Netherlands was not interested in the castle and eventually he sold it to a local merchant. Since then no proper maintenance was done and the place was left in ruins. Only in the late 1970s the castle was restored and returned to its former glory.

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Kinderdijk

Around 17% of the land area of the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea or lakes. This was achived by building dams and windmills. The latter were used to pump the water (as well as to grind grain into flour and to saw wood).

In 1740s a system of 19 windmills was built in Kinderdijk in order to drain the polders. Today these windmills are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands.

Kinderdijk
The windmills of Kinderdijk

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Baarle-Nassau

Baarle-Nassau is a little town in the South of the Netherlands. What makes it special is that there are numerous little exclaves of Belgium just next to this town. The borderline is extremely complicated. At many places it is depicted on the ground, which allows you to take funny fotos.

Baarle-Nassau
The borderline goes through the church

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Eyjafjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull is a volcano that managed to cancel a lot of flights around the world in 2010. The eruptions started on April 10 and went on till the middle of May. Fortunately, nobody died although many people were evacuated and the local farmers had to restore their property.

Eyjafjallajökull misbehaved in 2010

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Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park (icelandic: Þingvellir) is famous for several reasons.

First of all, Thingvellir is associated with the national parliament of Iceland, which was established in 930 AD. Sessions were held at Thingvellier until the end of 18th century. The unique landscape was used as a natural amphitheater, which was perfect for public speeches. Just imagine that instead of sitting in a building the politicians just gathered together on the grass! Since 2004 Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site based on cultural criteria.

The natural amphitheater

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