For about 4000 years of so, the tallest man made structure was the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, with an original height of 481 feet. A few European cathedrals eventually topped out a bit higher than the pyramid, but they also didn’t reach heights much above 500 feet. Even the Washington Monument built in 1884 was only 555 feet high and only held the tallest structure title for 5 years. Then, in 1889, Gustave Eiffel built his tower as the entrance for the Paris World’s Fair, and in one fell swoop, almost doubled the height of the tallest building in the world with his tower topping out at 986 feet. The Eiffel Tower has since become one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and the defining icon for the City of Lights. For me, the Eiffel Tower is entwined with some of my best memories of visits to Paris over the past 17 years. Continue reading “My Memories of the Eiffel Tower”
Germany’s Romantic Road goes from Wurzburg in the north to Fussen in the south. One of the most picturesque towns on the route has to be Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is a well preserved medieval town that time forgot, and now has become a destination for tourists from all over the world. Spend a day in romantic Rothenburg and experience its charms. Continue reading “Romantic Rothenburg – A Town That’s Just Too Cute”
Germany is famous for it’s many castles, but none inspire the imagination more than Neuschwanstein , the fantasy creation of King Ludwig II in the Bavarian region of Southern Germany. This castle, his boyhood castle home of Hohenschwangau, and one of his other fantastic constructions, Linderhof Palace, are all in close proximity of each other, and are an easy visit from the nearby town of Fussen, Germany. Continue reading “Castle Hopping in Southern Germany-Exploring “Mad” King Ludwig’s Legacy”
A short tram ride from the hustle and bustle of Munich’s central train station takes you to the palatial summer residence of the Wittelsbach’s, Bavaria’s ruling family for over 700 years. Touring the palace and outbuildings is interesting, but strolling through the 500 acre wooded gardens makes it hard to believe that a city of 1.5 million residents surrounds this peaceful enclave. Consider visiting the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens if you have one day in Munich and you are looking for something different to do.
Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat is a beautiful Romanesque style church in the town by the same name in the Limousin region of central France. It is one of 78 structures in France protected under the UNESCO “Routes of the Santiago de Compestela”. France has four historic “Ways of St. James” as the early Christian pilgrimage roads leading to the town of Santiago de Compestela in northern Spain were called. Santiago de Compestela was believed to be the burial site of St. James, and thus became a pilgrimage destination.