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Sights in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and has a large variety of museums, churches, synagogues, and art galleries to walk through and explore.

  • Abba The Museum—a museum dedicated to Swedish pop sensations ABBA that has exhibits that highlight the band’s history from its beginnings to its breakup and enduring legacy with unique outfits worn during performances and original memorabilia along with interactive stations to sing, dance like an ABBA avatar, or perform on stage; Djurgardsv. 68
  • Fotografiska—a contemporary photography gallery in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Sodermalm waterfront with fine art photography by artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Anton Corbijn; Stadgardshammen 22
  • Grona Lund Tivoli—an amusement park with intense rides, gardens, arcades, and restaurants with the Power Tower, one of Europe’s tallest free-fall amusement park rides; Lilla Allmanna Grand 9
  • Historiska Museet (The Swedish History Museum)—a historical museum with Viking treasures and a gold room as well as other exhibitions that provide an overview of Sweden’s history; Narvav 13-17
  • Junibacken—a storybook park with a storybook house that resembles the house that Pippi Longstocking, the beloved children’s book character created by Astrid Lingren; Galarvarsv 8
  • Kungliga Slottet—a castle built on the ruins of Tre Kronor castle which burned down in 1697 with highlights including the Versailles-inspired Karl XVI Gallery and Queen Kristina’s silver throne in the Hall of State and 608 other rooms making it the world’s largest royal castle still used for its original purpose; Slottsbacken
  • Vasamuseet—the custom-designed home of the warship Vasa that sank soon after embarking on its maiden voyage in 1628 with most of the passengers aboard and was raised in 1961, reassembled, and restored with an entrance level that has a model of the ship and a theater showing a film that covers topics not seen in the exhibitions and four other levels of exhibits with salvaged artifacts, information about life on the ship, naval warfare, sculptures, and temporary exhibitions; Galarvarsvagen 14
  • Skansen—the world’s first open-air museum founded in 1891 by Arthur Hazelius to show how Swedes once lived with 150 traditional homes and exhibits including a glass-blowers’ cottage; the Nordic Zoo with elk, reindeer, brown bears, wolves, and native wildlife; staff in period costumes; a functional bakery; a bank and post office; a machine shop; botanical gardens; and Hazelius’s mansion with restaurants, cafes, and hot-dog stands throughout the park; Djugardsvagen
  • Moderna Museet—a modern art museum with a permanent collection that has paintings, sculptures, photography, video art, and installations by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Damien Hirst, Scandinavian and Russian artists, temporary exhibits, viewing rooms, children’s workshops, and hands-on events; Exercisplan 4
  • Millesgarden—the former home and studio of sculptor Carl Milles that includes a modern art gallery with rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, an outdoor sculpture garden, a museum shop, and a café; Herserudsvagen 32
  • Spritmuseum—the Museum of Spirits that is dedicated to the country’s relationship with alcohol and covers the history, manufacturing, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in addition to traditions, drinking songs, and food combinations; Djugardsvagen 38
  • Thielska Galleriet—an art gallery with a collection of works by late-19th-century and early 20th century Scandinavian artists such as Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, Ernst Josephson, and Bruno Lilijefors; Sjotullsbacken 8
  • Nordiska Museet—Sweden’s largest cultural history museum and one of its largest indoor spaces situated within a Renaissance-style castle with a collection featuring Sami objects, clothing, table settings, and the world’s largest collection of paintings by August Strindberg; Djugardsvagen 6-16
  • Medeltidsmuseet—a family-friendly museum built upon foundations from 1530 that provides visitors with the opportunity to explore reconstructions of typical homes, markets, and workshops from medieval Stockholm with hands-on and multimedia exhibits such as a 1520s-era ship, a display about Gallows Hill, and a gated tunnel; Stromparteren
  • Royal Armoury—this armory in the cellar vaults of Sweden’s palace has memorabilia from royal childhoods, coronations, weddings, and murders as well as coronation coaches and temporary exhibitions; Slottsbacken 3
  • Riddarholmskyran—a beautiful church built by Franciscan monks in the late 13th century that has served as the royal necropolis since the burial of Magnus Ladulas in 1290 and is home to the armor of the Seraphim knightly order with wall plates displaying the coats of arms of the knights; Riddarholmen
  • Nobelmuseet—a museum that provides an overview of the history of the Nobel Prizes and their recipients through displays, films, video interviews, and café chairs signed by the visiting prize recipients; Stortorget
  • Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde—a palace that belonged to Prins Eugen, a painter and prince, that includes a gallery of pieces by Eugen himself, Nordic paintings and sculptures by artists such as Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, and temporary exhibitions with the palace surrounded by gardens and a 1780s windmill; Prins Eugens vag 6
  • Medelhavsmuseet—an elegant museum with Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts and a gold room with a 4th century BC olive wreath made of gold as well as mummies and a café; Fredsgatan 2
  • Skogskyrkogarden (Woodland Cemetery)—a scenic graveyard designed by famed designers Gunnar Asplund and Sigrid Lewerentz that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and known for its functionalist buildings with Greta Garbo’s grave located within; Sockenvagen
  • Ekoparken (Royal National City Park)—the world’s first national urban park established in 1995 that stretches throughout Stockholm and into the suburbs of Solna and Lidingo and features rare plant and animal species with some that live nowhere else in Sweden
  • Kulturhuset—an arts center with galleries, workshops, a cinema, three restaurants, and libraries with international periodicals, newspapers, books, and graphic novels in a variety of languages as well as the City Theatre and Stockholm’s main visitor center; Sergels Torg
  • Hallwylska Museet—a palace completed in 1898 that was once home to an obsessive collector, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, who amassed a collection of kitchen utensils, Chinese pottery, 17th century paintings, silverware, and sculptures; Hamngatan 4
  • Ethnografiska Museet—a museum with displays on aspects of non-European cultures including temporary exhibitions and live performances with past exhibitions focusing on Afghan culture, gender norms in different cultures, and voodoo; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 34
  • Bonniers Konsthall—an art gallery with international contemporary art, a reading room, a café, art seminars, and artist conversation sessions; Torsgatan 19
  • Aquaria Vattenmuseum—this aquarium is dedicated to ecology and marine environmental issues and has seahorses, sharks, piranhas, and clownfish; Falkenbergsgatan 2
  • Nationalmuseum—Sweden’s largest art museum which is home to the country’s collection of painting, sculpture, drawings, decorative arts, and graphics from the Middle Ages to the present; Sodra Blasieholmshamnen
  • Tantolunden—one of Stockholm’s most extensive parks with an outdoor gym, play area, and walking paths; Zinkens Vag
  • Tekniska Museet—a technology-oriented museum with interactive science and technology exhibits, a room with kinetic experiments and stations to test balance, flexibility, and strength, a mining exhibit, a model railroad, inventions by women, and a climate-change game; Museivagen 7
  • Armemuseum—a museum dedicated to the drama of warfare with three floors of exhibitions featuring art, weaponry, and life-size reconstructions of horsemen, barracks, and starving civilians; Riddargatan 13
  • Wetterling Gallery—a gallery space with contemporary and multimedia art exhibitions; Kungstradgarden 3
  • Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet—a natural history museum founded in 1739 with interactive activities such as crawling through a human ear, sitting through forest fires, and mosquito chambers as well as displays of fossils, rocks, stuffed wildlife, marine life, and polar plants; Frescativagen 40
  • Sparvagsmuseet—a transport museum with 40 vehicles including antique horse-drawn carriages, vintage trams and busses, and a tunnelbana carriage; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Storkyrkan—Stockholm’s oldest building which was consecrated in 1306 and its cathedral with a Baroque exterior and a Gothic-Baroque interior with royal-box pews designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and a sculpture by German sculptor Berndt Notke entitled George and the Dragon; Trangsund 1
  • Dansmuseet—the Rolf de Mare Dance Museum that features traditional dance masks from Africa, India, and Tibet; stylish costumes from the Russian ballet; Chinese and Japanese theatre puppets; and a renowned collection of early 20th century Ballets Russes costumes; Drottninggatan 17
  • ArkDes—a museum next to Moderna Museet situated within a converted navy drill hall that focuses on architecture and design with a permanent exhibition that spans 1000 years of Swedish architecture and has an archive of 2.5 million documents, photographs, plans, drawings, and models; Exercisplan 4
  • Ostasiatiska Museet—a museum dedicated to Asian decorative arts with one of the world’s best collections of Chinese stoneware and porcelain from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties and the largest and oldest Asian library in Scandinavia; Tyghusplan
  • Strindbergsmuseet—the preserved apartment of writer and painter August Strindberg who lived in the residence for the last four years of his life with his closet, study, library with 3000 volumes, dining room, and temporary exhibits; Drottninggatan 85
  • Ulriksdals Slott—the 17th century palace home to King Gustaf VI Adolf and his family until 1973 and now has royal apartments including a drawing room, stables with Queen Kristina’s 17th century coronation carriage, and the orangery with Swedish sculptures and Mediterranean plants; Slottsallen
  • Kaknastornet—a 155-meter-tall building that houses the radio and TV broadcasting stations for the country and has a gift shop, visitor center, observation deck, restaurant, and café with views of the city and archipelago; Morka Kroken 28-30
  • Bergianska Tradgarden—a botanical garden that borders the university on one side and Brunnsviken lake on the other with rare Swedish plants, a café in the Orangeriet, and a greenhouse named after the water lily; Gustafsborgsvagen 4
  • Riddarhuset—a 17th century building situated between the Royal Palace and government buildings on the island of Riddarholm that acts as a shrine to the once powerful Swedish nobility; Riddarhustorget 10
  • Rosendals Slott—a palace that was once home to Karl XIV Johan in the 1820s and has luxurious furniture and an outdoor organic café set within gardens and greenhouses; Rosendalsvagen 49
  • Fjarilshuset—Haga Ocean—a butterfly house within a tropical environment with flying birds and butterflies, fish, and a large shark aquarium as well as temporary exhibits; Hagaparken
  • Cosmonova—a planetarium, IMAX, and 3D theater with themes such as mummies, dinosaurs, and prehistoric sea monsters; Frescativagen 40
  • Leksaksmuseet—a toy museum with all sorts of toys on display including model trains, airplanes, toy soldiers, toy robots, Barbie dolls, and stuffed animals; Tegelviksgatan 22
  • Postmuseum—a postal museum that covers almost 400 years of Swedish postal history with old mail carriages, postcards, and a children’s post office; Lilla Nygatan 6
  • Swedish Museum of Performing Arts—a dramatic arts museum with an expansive collection of set designs, costumes, and musical instruments; Sibyllegatan 2
  • Kungliga Myntkabinettet—the national museum of economy with treasures such as Viking silver, the world’s oldest coin (from 625 BC), the world’s largest coin (a copper plate weighing 19.7 kilograms), and the first banknote (issued in 1661); Slottsbacken 6
  • Sjohistoriska Museet—a museum with over 1500 mini boats, exhibits that delve into Swedish shipbuilding and life on deck, and children’s activities; Djugardsbrunnsvagen 24
  • Tobaks and Tandsticksmuseum—a museum that explores the history and culture of smoking and the manufacturing of Swedish matches
  • Skansen Akvariet—an aquarium with piranhas, lemurs, and pygmy marmosets (the smallest monkeys in the world)
  • Konstakademien—the Royal Academy of Fine Arts which is an art gallery with several annual exhibitions; Fredsgatan 2
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Sights in Oslo, Norway

Oslo has a rich maritime and cultural history and is particularly known for its Viking heritage. It has interesting museums and cultural attractions to explore with a sampling of these sights below.

  • Ekebergparken—a public park that looks out over the city and Oslofjord with artwork from the collection of art collector and developer Christian Ringnes with pieces by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abramovic, Jenny Holzer, and Tony Oursler; Kongsveien 23
  • Astrup Fearnley Museet—a private contemporary art museum designed by Renzo Piano with a glass sail-like roof and a collection including works by Jeff Koons, Tom Sachs, Cindy Sherman, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer, and Damien Hirst with the most famous piece being Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles; Strandpromenaden 2
  • Ibsen Museet—a house-museum with Henrik Ibsen’s former apartment that was his final residence featuring his study in the condition he left it and the bedroom where he said his last words; Henrik Ibsens Gate 26
  • Nasjonalgalleriet—an art gallery with the country’s largest collection of traditional and modern art with works by Edvard Munch including The Scream, European art by artists such as Gauguin and El Greco, and 19th century Norwegian artists such as JC Dahl and Christian Krohg; Universitetsgata 13
  • Vigelandsanlegget—an outdoor showcase of work by Norway’s beloved sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, with 212 granite and bronze pieces depicting lovers, elderly couples, crying babies, and beggars; Nobels Gate 32
  • Akerhus Festning—a fortress on the eastern side of the harbor built in 1299 to protect Oslo from outside threats and over the years it has been enlarged, modified, and tightened up its defenses and now includes a medieval castle, a fortress, and other buildings including active military installations
  • Rod Bianco—a gallery featuring boundary-pushing artwork from Norwegian and international contemporary artists; Waldemar Thranes Gate 84c
  • Vikingshipshuset—a museum with nicely restored Viking ships discovered in Oslofjord in the late 19th century with three ships displayed with few artifacts remaining; Huk Aveny 35
  • Polarship Fram Museum—a museum dedicated to an iconic ship from polar exploration, the 39-meter Fram, where visitors can explore the decks, bunk rooms, and exhibits with artifacts, maps, and pictures; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Munchmuseet—a museum dedicated to Edvard Munch with the largest collection of his work in the world including 28,000 items such as 1,100 paintings and 4,500 watercolors; Toyengata 53
  • Henie-Onstad Art Centre—a private art museum that has works by Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso; impressionist, abstract, expressionist, and contemporary Norwegian pieces; and the largest collection of Kurt Schwitters’ work made while he lived in Norway during World War II; Hovikodden
  • Norsk Folkemuseum—Norway’s largest outdoor museum with over 140 buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries gathered from around the country, rebuilt, and organized according to regional origin; farm animals; horse and cart rides; an Old Town section with a reproduction of an early 20th century Norwegian town with a village shop and old gas station; and an exhibition hall with comprehensive displays on Norwegian folk art, historic toys, national costumes, domestic and farming tools and appliances, and visiting exhibits and information on the life and culture of the Sami; Museumsveien 10
  • Royal Palace—the Norwegian royal family’s residence built for the French king Karl Johan that was not continuously occupied until King Haakon VII and Queen Maud assumed rule in 1905 and has been modernized by the current king, King Harald V; Slottsparken 1
  • Historisk Museum—three museums altogether that includes the National Antiquities Collection which has displays of Viking-era coins, jewelry, and ornaments; the only complete Viking helmet; the 9th century Hoen treasure which is the largest find in Scandinavia; and a section on medieval religious art; an Arctic exhibit; a collection of ancient Norwegian coins; and the Ethnographic Museum with rotating exhibits on Asia, Africa, and the Americas; Frederiks gate 2
  • Vigeland Museum—a museum which was built by Oslo in the 1920s as a home and studio for Gustav Vigeland in exchange for the donation of much of his work and contains statuary and monuments to public figures as well as plaster molds, woodblock prints, and sketches; Nobelsgata 32
  • Nobels Fredssenter (Nobel Peace Center)—this museum is dedicated to winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and has digital displays providing information on the lives and accomplishments of the winners, changing exhibitions on aspects of the prize and its winners, a theater that shows films on the history of the prize and its winners, and a gift shop; Radhusplassen 1
  • Oslo Cathedral—a cathedral dating back to 1697 with elaborate stained-glass windows by Emanuel Vigeland and a painted ceiling completed between 1936 and 1950 as well as a large altarpiece that is a 1748 model of The Last Supper and the Crucifixion; Stortovet 1
  • Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park—a sculpture park designed by Renzo Piano that features international contemporary art by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Ugo Rondinone, Franz West, and Ellsworth Kelly; Tjuvholmen
  • Norwegian Resistance Museum—a museum that is adjacent to a memorial for resistance fighters executed during World War II and focuses on German occupation in Norway with artifacts including underground newspapers, maps, photographs, and a wired set of dentures to receive radio broadcasts
  • Natural History Museum—a museum with a zoological collection that is filled with stuffed native wildlife, the geological-paleontological collection, and greenhouses; Sars gate 1
  • Botanical Garden—the oldest botanical garden in Norway with a scenic arboretum, a scent garden, a mountain landscape, and specimens from the Oslo fjords including four nearly extinct specimens as well as woven sculptures by Tom Hare; Sars gate 1
  • Radhus—a twin-towered town hall that is home to the city’s political administration and filled with tributes to Norwegian cultural and working life; Fridtjof Nansens plass
  • Kon-Tiki Museum—a museum dedicated to the raft Kon-Tiki which Thor Heyerdahl used to sail from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 and the totora-reed Ra-II built for a 1970 Atlantic crossing by Heyerdahl; Bygdoynesveien 36
  • Norwegian Maritime Museum—a museum that depicts Norway’s relationship with the sea including its fishing and whaling industries, the seismic fleet which searches for oil and gas, shipbuilding, wreck salvaging, and pleasure craft; Bygdoynnesveien 37
  • 1857—an artist-run space in a former timber yard that is known for its collaborative curated efforts between Norwegian artists and those from Europe and beyond; Toyenbekken 12
  • Queen Sonja Art Stable—a public gallery space that was once a storage space for 50 years and was reopened as a gallery by Queen Sonja on her 80th birthday and hosts yearly exhibitions and a photograph collection collected by Queen Maud
  • Oslo City Museum—a museum situated within the 18th century Frogner Manor that adds perspective to traditional Norwegian life in the 18th century and has exhibitions about Oslo’s urban history; Frognerveien 67
  • Nasjonalbiblioteket—a modern library that has historic documents from Norway’s cultural history from 13th century manuscripts to magazines, films, and Norwegian musical scores; Henrik Ibsens Gate 110

Sights in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the lively capital of the Netherlands and has a rich and vibrant history. It has many museums, interesting architecture, beautiful parks, and plenty more to explore.

  • Allard Pierson Museum—a former National Bank that is now home to a museum with archaeological treasures from the University of Amsterdam’s collection from the early development of Western civilization with Roman and Egyptian artifacts and Near Eastern cultures (Anatolia, Persia, and Palestine); Oude Turfmarkt 127
  • Amsterdam Museum—a museum housed in a rambling series of buildings with the Schuttersgalerij (Civil Guards Gallery) filled with portraits of city militias and 21st century versions of civil guards’ paintings; Kalverstraat 92 and Sint Luciensteeg 27
  • Amsterdam Pipe Museum—a museum that illustrates the history of tobacco trading and smoking in Amsterdam with a large collection of items such as prehistoric pipes, smoking gear from around the world, pipe making tools, tobacco wrappers, and vignettes; Prinsengracht 488
  • Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest)—a nearly 2,500-acre and 124 miles of foot, bike, and bridle paths crossed by 116 bridge crossings in Amsterdam’s largest park that has large recreational fields, a boating lake, the Olympic Bosbaan rowing course, playgrounds, and water-play areas as well as a goat farm; Bosbaanweg 5, Amstelveen
  • Anne Frank House—the home where Anne Frank and her family as well as the Van Pels family and a dentist moved into and hid in a maze of rooms in the back; Prinsengracht 263-267
  • Artis (Amsterdam Zoo)—a zoo founded in 1838 that has more than 900 species of animals, over 200 species of trees, a butterfly pavilion, and an insectarium as well as the Micropia, the world’s first museum devoted to microbes; Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
  • Beurs van Berlage (Berlage’s Stock Exchange)—Amsterdam’s first modern building and the country’s most significant piece of 20th century architecture that was once a stock exchange and now has room for conferences, collaborative workspaces, exhibitions, and events; Damrak 243
  • Bijbels Museum (Bible Museum)—a beautiful museum with a large collection of Bibles, exhibits on archaeological finds from the Middle East, and models of ancient temples; Herengracht 366-368
  • Centrale Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Central Amsterdam Public Library)—the country’s largest public library with a large theater, seminar and conference rooms, an art space, and a large music library as well as an incredible international magazine selection, a restaurant on the 7th floor, and over 1000 desks available for study and going online; Oosterdokskade 143
  • Cobra Museum of Art—an art museum with hundreds of pieces by the avant-garde CoBra movement including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics as well as temporary modern art exhibitions; Sandbergplein 1, Amstelveen
  • Eye Film Institute Netherlands—a futuristic-looking waterfront structure that has film archives, four huge screening rooms that show classic and modern films, a permanent display with historical objects and interactive elements from cinema, and a public library; IJpromenade 1
  • Heineken Experience—a museum dedicated to the Heineken beer label that is an interactive visitor center with tours of the former brewery including its vast copper vats and multimedia exhibits and a 4D virtual reality ride that simulates the brewing and bottling process; Stadhouderskade 78
  • Het Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum)—this former arsenal for the Admiralty of Amsterdam became the home of the Maritime Museum in the 1970s with a glass and steel roof and an interior that has one-room exhibitions each with different themes and items such as maritime objects, paintings, a significant globe collection, nautical instruments, yacht models, and ship decorations and two family-oriented wings with interactive activities such as a sea voyage and an exhibition about whales; Kattenburgerplein 1
  • Homomonument—the world’s first monument to persecuted gays and lesbians that was designed by Karin Daan and unveiled in 1987 and features three huge pink granite triangles that represent the past, present, and future and the points of the triangles pointing to the Anne Frank House, the National Monument on Dam Square, and the COC Center (a gay and lesbian organization founded in 1946); Westermarkt
  • Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam—a botanical garden originally configured as a medicinal garden in 1638 by the Amsterdam City Council before the collection expanded to include exotic plants from the East India Company’s foreign expeditions with 4,000 species of plants in the ornamental gardens, a three-climate greenhouse, and a butterfly house as well as an orangery with a café terrace; Plantage Middenlaan 2a
  • Huis Marseille (Marseille House)—a contemporary photography museum located in a 17th century canal house and the neighboring house that was once owned by a wealthy merchant and now has 13 exhibition rooms that show various genres of photography and thousands of photography books in the library; Keizersgracht 401
  • Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)—the most famous of Amsterdam’s drawbridges that provides wonderful views of the Amstel and surrounding area and is illuminated at night; between Kerkstraat and Nieuwe Kerkstraat
  • Museum Het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House Museum)—a grand home owned by Rembrandt until his bankruptcy in 1656 with a restored interior that has reception rooms filled with elegant furniture and artwork and a small etching studio with a printing press and a line hung with drying prints (the museum owns 260 of the 290 etchings Rembrandt made); Jodenbreestraat 4
  • Museum Van Loon—formerly the home of one of Rembrandt’s most successful students, Ferdinand Bol, this house and its neighbor were remodeled in the 18th century by Abraham van Hagan and his wife Caterina Trapp, and was occupied by the prominent Van Loon family from 1886 to 1960 before a major restoration returned it to its 18th century incarnation and turned it into a museum with elegant salons filled with Van Loon portraits and possessions; Keizersgracht 672
  • NEMO Science Center—a copper-clad building opened in 1997 that was designed by world-famous architect Renzo Piano in a curved shape resembling a ship’s bow rising out of the water and featuring a rooftop café and terrace with the major highlight being five floors of hands-on and high-tech scientific activities for children such as bubbles on the ground floor and experiments in the Wonder Lab; Oosterdok 2
  • Rijksmuseum—one of the world’s top art museums with works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Vermeer and 7,500 other works of art such as Delftware, detailed dollhouses, and the Asian Pavilion; Museumstraat 1
  • Van Gogh Museum—a museum that has the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s masterpieces and traces his life history with additional pieces by Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, and Bernard; Museumplein 6
  • Hermitage Amsterdam—a branch of St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum that shows the relationship between Russia and the Netherlands with temporary exhibitions displaying works from the Hermitage’s collection and a portrait gallery of 17th century Dutch luminaries; Amstel 51
  • A’Dam Tower—a 22-story building with excellent panoramic rooftop views of the city, a four-person swing over the edge, a green-screen for photos, a bar, two nightclubs, a revolving restaurant, and a stylish hotel; Overhoeksplein 1
  • Royal Palace—originally a town hall, this building became a palace in the 19th century with marblework inside including a floor with maps of the world, 51 chandeliers, damasks, gilded clocks, and paintings by Ferdinand Bol and Jacob de Wit; Dam
  • Stedelijk Museum—a museum featuring the collection of its curator Willem Sandberg with a rotating selection of works by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Van Gogh, Rothko, De Kooning, and Warhol with activities for children in the family zone; Museumplein 10
  • Museum Willet-Holthuysen—a canal house built in 1687 and remodeled in 1739 that is named after Louisa Willet-Holthuysen who inherited the home from her merchant father and lived there with her husband; she sold the house to the city in 1895 and inside are displays featuring part of the family’s 275-piece Meissen table service and a French-style garden; Herengracht 605
  • Joods Historisch Museum—a restored complex of four Ashkenazi synagogues from the 17th and 18th centuries with displays highlighting the growth of Jewish enterprise and how it contributed to the Dutch economy and the history of Jews in the Netherlands; Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1
  • Verzetsmuseum—a museum that illustrates German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II through letters, artifacts, and personal stories showing resistance and at times collaboration with Nazi forces with a section on what was then the Dutch East Indies and is now Indonesia; Plantage Kerklaan 61
  • Micropia—the world’s first microbe museum with hands-on exhibits and microscopes to look through with facts on living organisms and how they exist on everyday objects as well as information on viruses; Artisplein, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
  • Tropenmuseum—a three story collection of artifacts from former colonies including Indonesian shadow puppets and dioramas of tropical life with a hands-on children’s section, a music section, a gift shop, and a café; Linnaeusstraat 2
  • Foam—a prominent photography gallery with spacious galleries featuring skylights and large windows showcasing major annual exhibitions; Keizersgracht 609
  • Nieuwe Kerk—a 15th century late-Gothic basilica with an interior featuring a grand carved oak chancel, a bronze choir screen, a large organ, and large stained-glass windows that is typically used for art exhibitions and concerts; Dam
  • Westergasfabriek—a late 19th century Dutch Renaissance complex that was the western gasworks for the city until 1967 before it was restored into a cultural and recreational park with spacious lawns, a wading pool, bike paths, and buildings housing creative businesses such as advertising agencies and TV production studios with regular festivals, events, dining, and entertainment; Pazzanistraat
  • Het Grachtenhuis—an interactive museum with multimedia exhibits that explore how the canals and houses that line the city’s Canal Ring were built; Herengracht 386
  • Hollandsche Schouwburg—a theater opened in 1892 that was a cultural hub until World War II when Germans turned it first into a theater solely for Jews and then a detention center for Jews scheduled for deportation to death camps; inside are glass panels engraved with the names of deported Jewish families and an exhibit hall with photos and artifacts of Jewish life before and during the war; Plantage Middenlaan 24
  • Amsterdam Tulip Museum—a small museum that provides an overview of the country’s favorite flower through exhibits, timelines, and English films about the history of tulips with a collection of tulip vases and a gift shop; Prinsengracht 116
  • Stadsarchief—a striped building dating back to 1923 that was a former bank and is now home to Amsterdam city archives with displays including the 1942 police report on the theft of Anne Frank’s bike and a letter from Charles Darwin to Artis Royal Zoo; Vijzelstraat 32
  • Huis Marseille—a curated photography museum with traveling shows with varying themes such as portraiture, nature, or regional photography and exhibitions over several floors; Keizersgracht 401
  • Amstelpark—a park created in 1972 for a flower show that occurs throughout the country every ten years with creative garden layouts featuring a variety of flower species, a petting zoo, miniature golf, and a playground; Europaboulevard
  • Hortus Botanicus—a botanical garden since 1638 that flourished as tropical seeds and plants were smuggled by Dutch trading ships and from there coffee, pineapple, cinnamon, and palm-oil plants were distributed; it now features 4,000 species of plants kept in a seed house and a three-climate greenhouse and a butterfly house; Plantage Middenlaan 2a
  • Geelvinck Pianola Museum—a museum featuring a collection of pianolas dating back to the early 1900s, 30,000 music rolls, and a player pipe organ; Westerstraat 106
  • Multatuli Museum—the former home of novelist Eduard Douwes Dekker who is best known for Max Havelaar, a novel about colonialists in the Dutch East Indies, that is now a museum that describes his life and work; Korsjespoortsteeg 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sights in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and has an interesting history explored through museums and art galleries.

  • Arheoloski Muzej (Archaeological Museum)—a museum with exhibits that focus on prehistory to the Tartar invasion with artifacts such as the Vucedol Dove, a three-legged ceramic vessel shaped like a bird that dates back to the 4th millennium BC, and a linen piece that has the longest known text in ancient Etruscan writing; Trg Nikole Subica Zrinskog 19
  • Botanicki Vrt (Botanical Garden)—this garden was founded in 1889 as research grounds for the faculty of biology at Zagreb University and features an arboretum with English landscaping, an artificial lake, and an ornamental Japanese bridge; Marulicev trg 9a
  • Crkva Svete Katarine (St. Catherine’s Church)—this church built for the Jesuits between 1620 and 1632 has one nave, six side chapels, and a shrine with the vaults and walls decorated with pink and white stucco from 1732 and hung with 18th century illusionist paintings; Katarinin trg BB
  • Crkva Svetog Marka (St. Mark’s Church) – an old church built in the 13th century that was once the parish church of Gradec with a Baroque bell tower added in the 17th century, a steeply pitched roof decorated in multi-colored tiles to depict the coats of arms of Zagreb on the right and the kingdoms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia on the left, and in the 20th century wall paintings by Jozo Kljakovic; Trg Svetog Marka 5
  • Dvor Trakoscan (Trakoscan Castle)—a heavily visited castle that was originally built in the 14th century and remodeled in the mid-19th century by Juraj VI Draskovic whose family had owned the castle for 300 years and lived there until 1944; the interior has wood-paneled rooms in different architectural themes filled with period furniture and family portraits; located 3 miles northwest of the village of Bednja, Trakoscan 1
  • Entomoloska Zbirka (Entomological Collection)—a museum with 50,000 insect specimens; Franjevacki trg 6/I, Varazdin
  • Galerija Starih I Novih Majstora (Gallery of Old and Modern Masters)—an art museum located in the 18th century rococo Palaca Sermage (Sermage Palace) with traditional paintings by Croatian and European artists; Trg Milijenka Stancica 3, Varazdin
  • Museum of Broken Relationships—a unique museum centered around mementos of relationships that have ended with donations from around the world with featured stories including a broken toaster and sad notes; Cirilometodska 2
  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art—a gallery of paintings within the naïve art genre that was popular during the 1960s and 1970s but has declined since with works by artists such as Generalic, Mraz, Rabuzin, and Smajic; Cirilometodska 3
  • Croatian Association of Artists—a gallery designed by Ivan Mestrovic with a rotating program of exhibitions and events throughout the year that was once a mosque; Mestrovic Pavilion, Trg Zrtava Fasizma 16
  • Museum of Contemporary Art—an art museum designed by famed architect Igor Franic that has solo and themed shows as well as a permanent collection featuring 620 works by 240 artists half of which are Croatian; Avenija Dubrovnik 17
  • Maksimir Park—a wooded park that is 18 hectares that was the first public promenade in southeastern Europe and has English garden-like landscaping with alleys, lawns, and artificial lakes as well as the Bellevue Pavilion which is often photographed and a house resembling a Swiss cottage; Maksimirski perivoj bb
  • Museum Mimara—a private art collection donated by Ante Topic Mimara consisting of Ptolemaic glassware from Alexandria, delicate jade and ivory Qing dynasty ornaments, 14th century wooden crosses decorated with semi-precious stones, and a European painting collection with works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Bosch, Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, and Degas; Rooseveltov trg 5
  • Croatian State Archives—an Art Deco building with wise owls on the corners of the roof that was built in 1913 to house the royal library and land archives and is now home to the state archives and a reading room with chandeliers and a painting depicting influential Croatian figures; Marulicev trg 21
  • Galerija Klovicevi Dvori—an art gallery housed within a former Jesuit monastery that has a large roster of temporary exhibitions throughout the year with past exhibitions including pieces by Picasso and Chagall; Jezuitski trg 4
  • Lauba—a private art collection within a former textile-weaving mill that displays Croatian contemporary art from the 1950s to the present with rotating works and regularly scheduled programs including free creative workshops for children; Baruna Filipovica 23a
  • City Museum—this museum situated within the 17th century Convent of St. Claire has exhibits that illustrate the history of Zagreb with archaeological finds from the restoration of the building in the 1990s, old city plans, lithographs, documents, altar and stone masonry from the Cathedral and St. Mark’s, and socialist era paraphernalia; Opaticka 20
  • Museum of Illusion—an interesting museum with sensory activities, a slanted room, a mirror of truth, and over 70 other exhibits, hologram pictures, puzzles, and educational games; Ilica 72
  • Mestrovic Atelier—the former home of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most recognized artist, who lived in the house from 1922 to 1942; inside the home is a collection of sculptures, drawings, lithographs, and furniture; Mletacka 8
  • Art Pavilion—an art-nouveau pavilion that has rotating exhibitions of contemporary art; Trg Kralja Tomislava 22
  • Gallery of Modern Art—a gallery with works by Croatian artists from the past 200 years including 19th and 20th century artists such as Bukovac, Mihanovic, and Racic; Andrije Hebranga 1
  • Stone Gate—a shrine that was once the eastern gate to the medieval Gradec Town and has a painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus by an unknown 17th century artist; Kamenita
  • Zagreb 80s Museum—a four-room museum that illustrates Zagreb in the 1980s with reconstructions of typical lounge and kitchen interiors from the decade, a room with games with a Commodore 64 and Atari, and memorabilia; Radiceva 34, 1st floor
  • Zagreb 360 Observation Deck—an outdoor deck atop Zagreb’s tallest high-rise located on the 16th floor that provides panoramic views of the city and the street below; Ilica 1a, 16th floor
  • Ethnographic Museum—a museum located in a domed 1903 building with a collection of 70,000 items and 2,750 on display including jewelry; ceramics; musical instruments; tools; weapons; and folk costumes such as gold-embroidered scarves from Slavonia and lace from the island of Pag along with artifacts from South America, Ethiopia, China, Japan, and Australia; Mazuranicev trg 14
  • Museum of Arts and Crafts—a museum that explores craftwork from the Middle Ages to the present with ornate walnut furniture, rococo ornaments, liturgical vestments, and votive images and a collection of black and white photographs depicting Croatia until the 1950s; Trg Republike Hrvatske 10
  • Technical Museum Nikola Tesla—a science museum with steam-engine locomotives, scale models of satellites, a replica of a mine, and exhibits on agriculture, geology, energy, and transportation as well as a planetarium; Savska 18
  • Art Park—a small park that holds activities from June to October such as live-music sessions, film screenings, and mural painting sessions; off Tomiceva
  • Backo Mini Express—a model railroad displayed across 75 square meters—the largest in southeastern Europe—that runs across 1050 meters of railway lines and well-crafted scenery; Gunduliceva 4
  • Galerija Greta—a storefront gallery in an old textile shop that has rotating exhibitions with different art forms such as sound installations and video to sculpture and fine art; Ilica 92
  • Zoo Zagreb—a zoo with animals such as seals, sea lions, otters, and piranhas; Maksimir Park
  • Croatian Natural History Museum—a museum with prehistoric tools and bones excavated from the Krapina cave and exhibits that illustrate the evolution of animal and plant life in Croatia with temporary exhibits focusing on different regions; Demetrova 1

Sights in Tirana, Albania

Tirana is the capital of the former Soviet-held Albania and has some interesting museums, a cemetery, and cultural attractions.

  • Bunk’Art—a former bunker that was transformed into a history and contemporary art museum with several floors of exhibits on the modern history of Albania and contemporary artwork and furnished rooms where political figures huddled waiting for invasion; Rr Fadil Deliu
  • National Gallery of Arts—a museum that illustrates the history of Albanian painting from the early 19th century to the present with temporary exhibitions, a collection of 19th century paintings depicting scenes from daily life in Albania, and communist statues; Blvd Deshmoret e Kombit
  • National History Museum—the largest Albanian museum with most of the country’s archaeological finds and a replica of Skanderbeg’s (an Albanian nobleman and military commander who served the Ottoman Empire between 1423-1443) sword as well as information on the history of Albania from ancient Illyria to the post-Communist era; Sheshi Skenderbej
  • Dajti National Park—the most accessible mountain in Albania with a cable car that takes 15 minutes to take visitors to the top of the mountain where there are beech and pine forests and picnic areas
  • Clock Tower—a 35-meter high clock tower completed by Ottoman architects in 1822 that was for many years the tallest building in Tirana and provides great views of Sheshi Skenderbej
  • Martyrs’ Cemetery—a cemetery at the top of Rr Elbasanit where 900 citizens who died in WWII were buried with scenic views of the city and surrounding mountains
  • Palace of Culture—a white stone complex with a theatre, shops, and art galleries; Sheshi Skenderbej

Shopping in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is home to some interesting markets, shopping complexes, galleries, and craft stores that appeal to all tastes and interests.

  • Katariina Kaik—a series of artisans’ studios with the works of 14 female designers with pieces such as ceramics, textiles, patchwork quilts, hats, jewelry, stained glass, and leather-bound books; off Vene 12
  • Masters’ Courtyard—a 13th century courtyard with a chocolatery/café, a guesthouse, and artisans’ stores that sell ceramics; glass; jewelry; knitwear; woodwork; and candles; Vene 6
  • Balti Jaama Turg—a market complex with niche food vendors in huts, a supermarket, food halls, green grocers, fashion retailers, and a gym; Kopli 1
  • Estonian Design House—a store with designs from over 100 Estonian designers selling shoes, lamps, furniture, ceramics, and sustainable clothing; Kalasdama 8
  • Kalev—a legendary sweet shop open since 1806 with chocolates and other confections; Roseni 7
  • Solaris Centre—a shopping complex with a supermarket, boutiques, a bookstore, restaurants, and cinemas; Estonia pst 9
  • Ivo Nikkolo—one of the first labels to come from independent Estonia that is known for its women’s clothing in casual and dresswear made with natural fabrics; Suur-Karja 14
  • Telliskivi Flea Market—a flea market with clothing, books, and household items; Telliskivi 60a
  • Nu Nordik—a boutique that sells unique household products, clothing, accessories, and jewelry with a Nordic aesthetic; Vabaduse valjak 8
  • Viru Keskus—a large shopping mall with over 100 stores including fashion boutiques, a bookstore, and a ticket agency; Viru valjak 4/6
  • Kaubamaja—an upscale clothing store with international and local labels such as Ivo Nikkolo, Bastion, and Monton; Gonsiori 2
  • Rae Antiik—an antique market with items such as samovars, military items, and Orthodox icons; Raekoja plats 11
  • Luhikese Jala Galerii—a small gallery with textiles, jewelry, glass art, and ceramics from local artists; Luhike jalg 6
  • Central Market—Tallinn’s largest market with vendors selling fresh produce and shops selling a variety of items including Soviet memorabilia; Keldrimae 9
  • Foorum Keskus—a high-end shopping avenue; Narva mnt 5
  • Zizi—a housewares store with Estonian-made linen napkins, place mats, tablecloths, and cushion covers; Vene 12

Sights in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is rich in culture and history. It was formerly occupied by Nazi and Soviet forces and only became an independent country in 1991.

  • Estonian Open-Air Museum—a sprawling complex with historic Estonian buildings, a chapel dating back to 1699, and an old wooden tavern serving traditional Estonian cuisine and activities such as weaving, blacksmithing, and cooking; Vabaohumuuseumi tee 12
  • Kumu—a futuristic-looking seven story building made of limestone, glass, and copper that contains the largest collection of Estonian art in the country and rotating contemporary exhibits as well as a permanent collection featuring works from the early 18th century to the end of World War II and art from the Soviet era; A. Weizenbergi 34
  • Lennusadam—a maritime museum honoring Estonia’s extensive history with the open seas that was designed in a concrete shell frame fashion and includes a walk-through 1930s naval submarine and ice-breaker and minehunter ships outside; Vesilennuki 6
  • Kadriorg Art Museum—a Baroque palace built by Peter the Great between 1718 and 1736 that has a branch of the Estonian Art Museum that is devoted to Dutch, German, and Italian paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries and Russian works from the 18th to early 20th centuries; A. Weizenbergi 37
  • Niguliste Museum—a deconsecrated church originally built in the 13th century but was damaged by Soviet bombers in 1944 and a fire in the 1980s but has since been restored and is now home to a branch of the Estonian Art Museum devoted to religious art with artifacts such as painted altarpieces, carved tombstones, and ecclesiastical silverware; Niguliste 3
  • Great Guild Hall—a building dating back to 1410 that was once home to the Great Guild and is now the Estonian History Museum with interactive displays on Estonia, coins dating back to Viking times, military artifacts, and Estonian cultural exhibits; Pikk 17
  • Nuku—a puppet museum which has a collection that introduces the art of puppeteers from different cultures and eras through interactive exhibits and workshops; Nunne 8
  • Tallinn Botanic Garden—a lush garden with 8,000 species of plants scattered between greenhouses, themed gardens, and arboretums; Kloostrimetsa tee 52
  • Tallinn Zoo—this zoo has the world’s largest collection of mountain goats and sheep plus 350 other species of animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, bears, lynx, owls, and eagles; Paldiski mnt 145
  • Kadriorg Park—a large park commissioned by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I after his conquest of Estonia that has oak, lilac, and horse chestnut trees; a formal pond; gardens; and a playground
  • Tallinn TV Tower—a 341-meter-tall tower opened in celebration of the 1980 Olympics that has great views from the 22nd floor, interactive displays in the space-age pods, and an adventure walk; Kloostrimetsa tee 58a
  • Museum of Occupations—a museum with displays that depict the struggles and hardships of 50 years of occupations briefly under the Nazis and then by Soviets with evocative videos, photos, and artifacts; Toompea 8
  • City Museum—the main branch of the City Museum (there are ten sites overall) is located in a 14th century merchant’s house and illustrates the city’s development from its early days with displays on Estonian language, everyday life, artifacts, and cultural development; Vene 17
  • Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral—a beautiful onion-domed Russian Orthodox cathedral completed in 1900 known for its icons and frescoes; Lossi plats 10
  • Town Council Pharmacy—the oldest continually operating pharmacy in Europe once run by the same family until 1913 and featuring painted beams and a small historical display; Raekoja plats 11
  • Mikkel Museum—a former kitchen in Kadriorg Palace that now has some of the Estonian Art Museum’s collection with a small collection of paintings and porcelain; A. Weizenbergi 28
  • Estonian Museum of Natural History—a natural history museum with over 300,000 examples of the country’s plants and animals with revolving exhibitions; Lai 29a
  • Maarjamae Palace—a limestone manor house built in 1874 for a Russian count that is now home to the Estonian Film Museum, a branch of the Estonian History Museum focusing on 20th century Estonia, and a Soviet sculpture graveyard; Pirita tee 56
  • Maarjamae War Memorial—a Soviet-era monument with a bowed obelisk set within a concrete plaza with part of the complex built in 1975 as a memorial to Red Army soldiers killed fighting the Nazis; Pirita tee
  • Tallinn Museum of Orders of Knighthood—a museum featuring one of Europe’s largest collections of medals and military insignia; Kuninga 3
  • Estonian National Library—one of independent Estonia’s first public buildings designed with dolomite limestone that has frequent exhibitions on the upper floors; Tonismagi 2
  • Children’s Museum Miaamilla in Kadriorg—a small museum and activity center for children between the ages of 3 and 11 with a child-size grocery store, activity room, and café; L. Koidula 21c, Kadriorg Park
  • Architecture Museum—a museum that displays building and town models and temporary exhibitions; Ahtri 2
  • House of Peter I—a cottage that Peter the Great and Catherine I occupied during their visits to Tallinn that is filled with portraits, furniture, and artifacts from the period; Maekalda 2
  • Draakoni Gallery—a commercial gallery that has small but interesting exhibitions of contemporary art including works from many local artists; Pikk 18

 

Sights in Valletta, Malta

Valletta is the capital of Malta and is a city with a rich cultural and military history. It is very religious with several churches and a basilica.

  • Barrakka Ta’ Fuq (Upper Barrakka Gardens)—a lookout point with a troupe of cats, greenery, and views of Grand Harbour and the Three Cities across the water; Castile Square
  • John’s Co-Cathedral—an impressive church designed by the architect Gerolamo Cassar between 1573 and 1578 with an interior renovated in the 17th century in a Maltese Baroque style with a painting of John the Baptist by Caravaggio, a long low nave with walls and pillars encrusted with rich ornamentation, marble floors, and a vault with paintings by Mattia Preti that depict events from the life of St. John the Baptist; Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Grand Master’s Palace—the former residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John and until 2015 the seat of Malta’s parliament is now home to a collection of over 5,000 suits of 16th to 18th century armor and weaponry including crossbows, muskets, swords, and pistols and the State Apartments with five rooms usually opened to the public; Pjazza San Gorg
  • National Museum of Archaeology—a museum housed within the Auberge de Provence that features exhibits that include artifacts such as stone tools dating back to 5200 BC, Phoenician amulets, and a temple model from Ta’Hagrat as well as model prehistoric figurines that were found within the area, pottery from the Bronze Age, animal figurines, and jewelry; Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Fort St. Elmo and National War Museum—this fort named after the patron saint of mariners was built in 1552 in only four months to guard the harbors on either side of the Sceberras Peninsula and was restored and reopened in 2015 with the addition of the National War Museum which covers Malta’s wartime history from 1565’s Great Siege when Turkish forces attacked the country to World War II with audiovisual displays and artifacts such as a biplane and the George Cross awarded to the country in 1942
  • City Gate—this city gate designed by Renzo Piano resembles the dimensions of the original 1633 entrance to the city giving visitors the feeling of crossing a real bridge with a frame designed to look like knights’ sabers
  • Parliament Building—this building completed by Renzo Piano in 2014 includes two massive stone volumes that are supported by stilts and photovoltaic panels on the roof which generate much of the energy required to ventilate the building and inside is the northern block which contains the parliament chamber and the southern block containing the offices of the members of parliament
  • Lascaris War Rooms—a mechanically ventilated underground tunnel complex that lies 40 meters below the Upper Barrakka Gardens that housed Great Britain’s secret command in Malta during WWII and remained in use until 1977 with a restoration completed in 2009 with the rooms laid out in their original configuration staffed by wax figures; Lascaris Ditch
  • Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck—a church honoring St. Paul who was shipwrecked in Malta in 60 AD and brought Christianity to the country with a 19th century façade and a 16th century interior with treasures such as a gilded statue of St. Paul carved in Rome in the 1650s, a golden reliquary containing bones from his wrist, and part of the column on which he was killed in Rome; Triq San Pawl
  • Carmelite Basilica—a basilica originally built in 1570 and expanded in the mid-19th century that was rebuilt between 1958-1981 after being damaged in World War II with a 42-meter-high dome and an interior with an early 17th century painting of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and red marble columns; Triq I-Arcisqof
  • Valletta Contemporary—a modern art gallery with a rotating roster of exhibitions and installations from local and international artists; 15-17 Triq il-Levant
  • MUZA—the current incarnation of Malta’s Museum of Fine Arts located in the Auberge d’Italie, a 16th-century building that was once home to Italian members of the Knights of St. John, with historic maps and paintings; Auberge d’Italie
  • Casa Rocca Piccola—a 16th century palazzo that is the family home of the 9th Marquis de Piro who currently lives there and allows visitors to see parts of his luxurious home and the family’s WWII air-raid shelters; 74 Triq ir-Repubblika
  • Malta Postal Museum—a small museum with a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the postal system of the Knights of St. John; 135 Triq-I-Arcisqof
  • Malta Contemporary Art—a space dedicated to photography, painting, mixed media, and other art exhibitions; Triq Felix
  • James’ Cavalier—a 16th century fortification transformed into an arts center with galleries, theater, and a cinema; Castille Place
  • Sacra Infermeria—located in the former 16th century hospital run by the Order of St. John, this museum has an exhibition about medieval medicine; Triq-it-Tramuntana
  • Prospettiva—an installation designed by a Maltese architect to celebrate Valletta’s distinction as the 2018 European City of Culture that merges the city’s five gates into a two-dimensional structure disassembled into planes; Glormu Cassar Avenue
  • Siege Bell Memorial—a memorial erected in 1992 that commemorates those who lost their lives during the war convoys between 1940 and 1943; St. Christopher Bastion
  • Toy Museum—a doll-sized museum with a large private collection of model toys such as tin cars from 1950s Japan, tin toys from 1912 Germany, Matchbox cars, farmyard animals, train sets, and dolls; 222 Triq-ir-Repubblika
  • Triton Fountain—a grand fountain sculpted by Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap in 1959 restored and reopened early in 2018
  • National Library—a library with a classical façade erected by the Knights of St. John with book-lined shelves and occasional temporary exhibitions
  • Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial—a monument to the 2,298 members of the Commonwealth Air Force who died in World War II with no known graves
  • War Memorial—a monument to the 600 Maltese and almost one million British servicemen who died in World War I

Sights in Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Vaduz is the capital city of the small principality of Liechtenstein. It seems to be a pretty place to explore with some museums, a privately owned castle, a winery, and a history of visitors admiring Liechtenstein’s beautifully designed postal stamps.

  • Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein Museum of Art)—a modern art museum with regularly rotating exhibitions of modern art by artists such as Peter Fischli, David Weiss, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Bill Bollinger, and Gunter Fruhtrunk as well as a café and bookshop; Stadtle 32
  • Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum (National Museum)—situated within a former tavern and customshouse, this museum has a collection that describes the geology, history, and folklore of Liechtenstein; Stadtle 43
  • Postmuseum—a small postal museum that depicts the principality’s history as a creator of well-designed limited-edition postage stamps; Stadtle 37
  • Cathedral of St. Florin—a picturesque cathedral with stained glass, statues, and gargoyles
  • Hofkellerei (Wine Cellars) of the Prince of Liechtenstein—a winery with high-quality wines to sample and a wine trail where 12 signs describe the wine’s age through words and illustrations; Furstliche Domane

Sights in Rome–sorry for the delay in posts!

I apologize for the delay in a new post here, do not worry, this one was worth the wait! Below is just a sampling of the many remarkable sights in Rome and Vatican City. Enjoy!

  • Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace)—a monument of the Roman Imperial age that is located within a modern architectural landmark that is a rectangular glass and travertine structure designed by Richard Meier and dates back to 13 BC and was commissioned to celebrate the Pax Romana; Lungotevere in Augusta
  • Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine)—a grand arch erected in AD 315 to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge with rich marble decorations salvaged from earlier monuments; Piazza del Colosseo

 

  • Arco di Tito (Arch of Titus)—a triumphal arch erected in AD 81 to celebrate the sacking of Jerusalem ten years earlier after the first Jewish-Roman War with a great view of the Colosseum from the arch; east end of Via Sacra

 

  • Basilica di Massenzio (Basilica of Maxentius)—a basilica with only 1/3 of the original structure remaining with great arched vaults that was once a center of judicial and commercial activity; Via Sacra
  • Basilica di San Pietro—the world’s largest church built over the tomb of St. Peter that is the grandest Renaissance achievement covering 18,000 square yards and running 212 yards in length surrounded by a dome rising 435 feet and measuring 138 feet across its base; work was done on the basilica by five major Italian artists: Bramante, Raphael, Peruzzi, Antonio Sangallo the Younger, and Michelangelo and it was fully consecrated and completed in 1626; it includes the balcony where newly elected popes are announced and where popes stand to give their apostolic blessing on feast days and beautiful architectural design inside the basilica; located at Piazza di San Pietro
  • Bioparco—a remodeled eco-friendly zoo with plenty of room for the animals that mostly came from other zoos or were born from animals already in captivity with animals such as big cats, elephants, chimpanzees, and brown bears, a Reptile house, a picnic area, and a farm; Piazzale del Giardino Zoologico 1
  • Sistine Chapel—the renowned chapel originally commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV that Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo to fresco the more than 10,000 square feet ceiling for and its lower walls were decorated by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Signorelli, and Pinturicchio with scenes from the life of Moses on one wall and scenes from the life of Jesus on one wall; over 20 years later Michelangelo was asked by Farnese Pope Paul III to paint the Last Judgment on the wall over the altar whose depiction was considered controversial at the time because of its use of nudity; located at Vatican Palace, enter through the Musei Vaticani
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore—one of seven pilgrimage basilicas in the world founded in 432 AD and the site where Bernini, the famous architect, was buried; Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore 42
  • Pantheon—a temple dedicated to the seven planetary divinities and featuring a beautiful marble interior that is considered to be one of the most impressive Augustan Rome monuments; Piazza della Rotonda
  • Colosseum—one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome that was built to house the more than 50,000 spectators who watched violent gladiator battles; Piazza del Colosseo
  • Galleria Borghese—a museum set in Villa Borghese which has sculptures, reliefs, and ancient mosaics and paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 18th century with masterpieces by Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Raffaello, Tiziano, and Caravaggio among others; Piazzale del Museo Borghese
  • Palatine Hill—the commercial, political, and religious center of ancient Rome which features the Arch of Septimus Severus, Temple of Saturn, Arch of Titus, and House of the Vestals; Piazza Santa Maria Nova
  • Trevi Fountain—one of the most visited sites in Rome that has a story that whoever throws a coin into the fountain will someday return to Rome; Piazza di Trevi
  • Piazza Navona—a Baroque square that features Bernini’s Fountain of Rivers at its Center that faces Borromini’s church, Sant’ Agnese in Agone
  • Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo—a museum divided into four sections that depicts the history of Castel Sant’Angelo through vintage prints and scenic views; Lungotevere Castello 50
  • Welcome to Rome—a multimedia experience that takes visitors through the history of Rome by way of video projections on the walls, ceilings, and floor accompanied by a narrator and four exhibitions that immerse visitors in the history of Rome; Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 203
  • Estasi di Santa Teresa—a church known for its frescoes and Bernini’s sculptures and artwork; Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria
  • Centro Storico—a section of Rome with narrow streets that provide great examples of Roman classical and Baroque architecture
  • Palazzo Colonna-Galleria Colonna—a Baroque palace with an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the 14th to 18th centuries; Via della Pilotta 17
  • Abbazia di San Paolo Fuori le Mura—a basilica built under the edict of Constantine consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324 AD and continually restored and enlarged between 384 and 395 AD with Pietro Cavallini’s mosaics in the façade, the Vassalleto family’s cloister, Arnolfo di Cambio’s Gothic baldachin, and the candeladrum for the Paschal candle attributed to Nicola d’Angelo and Pietro Vassaletto and unfortunately was destroyed in a fire in 1823 but reconstructed with the elements that had survived the fire; Via Ostiense 186
  • Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano—the first Christian church that belongs to the Vatican with beautiful artwork inside; Piazza di Porta San Giovanni 4
  • Mausoleo di Santa Costanza—a church that was originally built as a mausoleum in the 4th century for Costanza, son of Constantine, and eventually became first a baptistery and then a church; Via Nomentana 349
  • Museo Nazionale Romano-Palazzo Massimo alle Terme—a palazzo built on the ruins of the Domitian theater with beautiful mosaics and Roman statuary; Largo di Villa Peretti 67
  • Spanish Steps—an elegant square surrounded by 18th century buildings and flowers that adorn the steps by Francesco de Sanctis consisting of 12 flights of varying width which descend to the Franciscan Church of Trinita dei Monti; Piazza di Spagna
  • Palazzo Doria Pamphilj—a beautiful palace owned by the Doria family that has paintings by artists such as Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, and Velasquez; Via del Corso 305
  • Domus Aurea—the former imperial estate of Nero built in 64 AD that has a series of pavilions and is set within a spacious garden with an artificial lake in the center; Via della Domus Aurea
  • Vatican Necropolis—an ancient Roman necropolis with chambers 10-15 feet wide that have frescoes and mosaics; Piazza San Pietro, beneath St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia—a 16th century palace that is home to ancient Roman and Etruscan sculpture and artifacts; Piazza di Villa Giulia
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo—a Renaissance church that has Baroque decorations and 18th and 19th century monuments; Piazza del Popolo 12
  • Colle del Gianicolo—a beautiful hill known for its great views of the city; Via Garibaldi, Salita di Sant’Onofrio
  • Case Romane del Celio—an ancient Roman apartment block converted into a museum in 2002 featuring an underground series of rooms that include painted figures, the confession altar of St. John and St. Paul who were executed under the edict of Julian the Apostate, and the antiquarium which has amphorae, pots, and ancient Roman bricks; Clivio di Scauro
  • Castel Sant’Angelo—one of Rome’s most prominent landmarks that was originally built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian and was completed around AD 140 initially consisting of a large square base topped by a marble cylinder upon which a ring of cypress trees was planted before it became a fortress for popes to take refuge during wars and sieges; it now includes a chamber where Hadrian’s ashes were kept, a courtyard that is the resting place of stone cannonballs, and the marble angel that stood above the castle; Lungotevere Castello 50
  • Catacombe di San Sebastiano (Catacombs of St. Sebastian)—a 4th century church named after the saint who was buried in the catacomb that burrows underground on four different levels and was the only early Christian cemetery to remain accessible during the Middle Ages as well as a site where well preserved pagan mausoleums were found in the early 20th century; Via Appia Antica 136
  • Centrale Montemartini—Rome’s first electricity plant that was reopened as a museum in 2005 and is home to Roman sculptures and mosaics set against machinery and pipes that are organized by the area where the pieces were found with a highlight of the collection being the 4th century AD mosaic of a hunting scene with a horseman driving his sword into a boar; Via Ostiense 106
  • Crypta Balbi—the fourth portion of the collections of the Museo Nazionale Romano that depicts several periods of Roman history with well-lit exhibits and written explanations; Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31
  • Fontana Della Barcaccia (Leaky Boat Fountain)—a half-sunken boat powered by Rome’s only surviving ancient aqueduct that was designed as a solution to low water pressure by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his father, Pietro, under the commission of Barberini Pope Urban VIII; Piazza di Spagna
  • Fontana delle Tartarughe—a 16th century fountain designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1581 and sculpted by Taddeo Landini featuring four bronze boys holding onto a dolphin spouting water into a shell and turtles in their hands drinking from the upper basin; Piazza Mattei
  • Gagosian Gallery—a contemporary art gallery that opened in a former bank in 2007 that has been home to temporary exhibitions by major artists such as Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons; Via Francesco Crispi 16
  • Galleria d’ Arte Moderna—Rome’s modern art gallery situated within the 18th century Convent of the Discalced Carmelites and featuring Roman 19th and 20th century paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures including pieces by Giorgio de Chirico, Gino Severini, Scipione, Antonio Donghi, and Giacomo Manzu as well as rotating exhibits; Via Francesco Crispi 24
  • Giardini Vaticani (Vatican Gardens)—a 40-acre garden landscape on the Vatican hill with a formal Italian garden, a French flower garden, an English garden, and a small forest as well as a museum of coins and stamps made in the Vatican
  • Il Gesu—the mother church of the Jesuits that is considered to be the first fully Baroque church with a beautiful interior that was not decorated until 1684 with gold, lapis lazuli, gold and precious marbles, and a ceiling painted by Baciccia; Piazza del Ges, off Via del Plebiscito
  • Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini—an excavated ruin of two upscale urban homes that have well-preserved mosaics, inlaid marble floors, and staircases with multimedia displays and a guided voice that narrates visitors through the rooms pointing out interesting sights such as the heating system for the private baths, statue fragments, and porcelain; Via Foro Traiano 85
  • MAXXI—Museo Nazionale Delle Arti del XXI Secolo (National Museum of 21st Century Arts)—Italy’s first national museum devoted to contemporary art and architecture with glass ceilings and steel staircases and a rotating permanent collection including pieces by artists such as Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente, and Gerhard Richter; Via Guido Reni 4
  • Musei Capitolini—the world’s first public museum that features Roman art from ancient times to the Baroque period with a bronze sculpture of Marcus Aurelius, the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter, a painting gallery with Baroque masterpieces by Caravaggio and other artists, and busts of Roman emperors among other pieces; Piazza del Campidoglio
  • Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museums)—one of the largest museums in the world situated in Vatican City with highlights of the collection including an ancient sculpture collection which includes selections from Pope Julius II’s private art collection; statuary fragments; the Raphael Rooms where Pope Julius II moved into in 1507 that feature Raphael’s frescoes; and the picture gallery with primarily religious paintings arranged in chronological order; Viale Vaticano near intersection with Via Leone IV
  • Museo Napoleonico—a small museum in the Palazzo Primoli with a collection of Napoleon memorabilia including a bust by Canova of the general’s sister, Pauline Borghese; Palazzo Primoli, Piazza di Ponte Umberto I
  • Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia—the world’s most renowned collection of Etruscan art and artifacts housed in Villa Giulia which was built around 1551 for Pope Julius III and has a sunken sculpture garden, terra cotta statues such as the Apollo of Veio and the Sarcophagus of the Wedded Couple, and beautiful Etruscan jewelry; Piazzale Villa Giulia 9
  • Museo Palatino—a museum that depicts the history of Palatine Hill from Archaic times with models of early villages to Roman times with a video reconstruction of the hill on the ground floor, a collection of colored stones used in the decorations of the palace, terra-cotta moldings and sculptural decorations from various temples, and a selection of imperial portraits including one of Nero; northwest crest of Palatine Hill
  • Palazzo Altemps—part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this palazzo contains some of the finest ancient Roman statues in the world with a restored interior that showcases the collection of the Ludovisi family and exhibits that explain in English how and where Renaissance sculptors added missing pieces to classical works; Piazza Sant’Apollinare 46
  • Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Antica—one of Rome’s most magnificent Roman Baroque landmarks with a façade designed by Carlo Maderno and Gianlorenzo Bernini with a staircase leading up to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica whose collection includes Raphael’s La Fornarina, Guido Reni’s Beatrice Cenci beheaded in Rome for patricide in 1599, and Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes; the palace’s Gran Salone, a large ballroom with a ceiling painted in 1630 by Roman Baroque master Pietro da Cortona depicting the Glorification of Urban VIII’s Reign; Via Barberini 18
  • Palazzo Colonna—a palazzo that is considered to be Rome’s grandest private palazzo built by one of the richest families in Rome that is still home to some members of the Colonna family and features a family picture gallery which has the Sala Grande, an ancient red marble column, and a ceiling fresco of the Battle of Lepanto painted by Giovanni Coli and Filippo Gherardi in 1675; Via della Pilotta 17
  • Palazzo Doria Pamphilj—a family palace that has a graceful façade and galleries containing works by Velasquez and Caravaggio including John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, and Rest on the Flight to Egypt, and Velasquez’s Pope Innocent X considered by some historians to be one of the greatest portraits ever painted, and a Bernini bust of the pope; Via del Corso 305
  • Palazzo Farnese—the most spectacular Renaissance palace in Rome that is known for its Galleria Carracci whose ceiling epitomizes the essence of the Baroque age and contains works by Michelangelo in the frieze decorations and main window overlooking the piazza; French Embassy, Servizio Culturale, Piazza Farnese 67
  • Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme—part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this museum houses the ancient treasures of the archaeological collection and the coin collection with highlights such as the Dying Niobid and the Discobolus Lancelloti and ancient frescoes on display on the top floor to recreate the appearances of the houses they once decorated; Largo Villa Peretti 1
  • Palazzo Mattei di Glove—an opulent palazzo decorated in a turn of the 17th century style and designed by Carlo Maderno with a collection of sculpted busts, heroic statues, sculpted reliefs, and Paleo-Christian epigrams collected by Marchese Asdrubale Mattei; Via Michelangelo Caetani 32
  • Piazza del Popolo—a Roman landmark with an obelisk and twin churches that marks what was for centuries the northern entrance to the city and is named after the 15th century church of Santa Maria del Popolo which is located on the right side of the Porta del Popolo, the city gate, and is now a popular pedestrian area that has been the site of political rallies and a major New Year’s Eve alfresco party
  • Piazza di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)—one of Bernini’s grandest masterpieces where the pope makes his public appearances and is surrounded by a pair of quadruple colonnades topped with 140 statues of saints and martyrs and an 85-foot-high Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula in AD 37 and moved to its current location by Pope Sixtus V in 1586; west end of Via della Conciliazione
  • Pincio—a beautiful garden with off-white marble busts of Italian Risorgimento heroes and artists along the pathway; Piazzale Napoleone 1
  • Portico d’Ottavia—situated over the Jewish Ghetto, this portico enclosure with few surviving columns is picturesque with the old church of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria built into its ruins; Via Tribuna di Campitelli 6
  • San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane—a church designed by Borromini that is situated within a space no larger than the base of one of the piers of St. Peter’s Basilica with a coffered dome, a double-S curved façade, and subdued white stucco interior with a Baroque cloister; Via del Quirinale 23
  • San Clemente—an archaeological site that is the home of a 12th century church built over a 2nd century pagan temple to the god Mithras and 1st century Roman apartments; the upper church has an apse with a 12th century mosaic depicting Jesus on a cross that turns into a living tree and early Christian symbols decorating the 4th century marble choir screens; the 4th century church was used until 1084 when it was damaged beyond repair during a siege of the area by Norman prince Robert Guiscard but still has 11th century frescoes that show scenes from the life of St. Clement; Via San Giovanni in Laterano 108
  • San Giovanni in Laterano—the main cathedral in Rome that was built by Emperor Constantine 10 years before he built the church dedicated to Peter and is the ecclesiastical seat of the Pope with the current incarnation designed in the 16th and 17th century in a Baroque style by Borromini; Piazza di Porta San Giovanni
  • San Pietro in Vincoli—Michelangelo’s Moses was carved for this church that was designed to be the tomb of Pope Julius II but only three of the dozens of commissioned statues had been completed when Julius died and his successor abandoned the project; the church has the set of chains that bound St. Peter during his imprisonment by the Romans in Jerusalem and Rome in a bronze and crystal urn under the main altar; Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli
  • The Campidoglio—this plaza was transformed from an unkempt hill into a third palace with Renaissance style facades and a grand paved piazza that features newly excavated ancient sculptures installed in the palaces; Piazza di Campidoglio
  • Villa Borghese—Rome’s Central Park that was designed in its current form at the end of the 18th century in an 18th century English style by Scottish painter Jacob More with highlights including an amphitheater, Piazza di Siena, a botanical garden, the Temple of Aesculapius, Bioparco zoo, and the Villa Giulia museum as well as bikes, in-line skating, electric scooter rental concessions, and a children’s movie theater

 

 

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