Showing posts from July, 2017

Church of Saint Michael, Ghent, Belgium

The original church of Saint Michael dates from the 11th century. It was twice destroyed by fire in the 12th century and was later rebuilt in the late Gothic style, probably starting in 1140. This unfinished church was partially destroyed during a religious conflict in 1579. Reconstruction only started in 1623 and this time the intention was to give the church an impressive 134 metres tall spire tower, but a shortage of money left it unfinished at only 24 metres tall. The church houses a number of Rococo and Neoclassic statues as well as 18th century and Baroque paintings, the better known being the "Christ on the Cross" by Anthony Van Dyck. Opening hours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on Sundays; from Oct. to Mar. is only open on Sat. Entrance free Back to Ghent

Church of Saint Severin, Paris, France

This church, located in Quartier Latin, was built in the 14th century, in the Gothic Flamboyant style. A small Romanesque church was first built in the 11th century but had to be rebuilt in order to serve an expanding population. It is said that this first church replaced a small oratory erected in the 6th century on the site were the hermit Severin lived and was buried. An additional aisle was built in the 14th century to accommodate the students of Quartier Latin.  During the One Hundred Years War, the church was partially burnt and had to be rebuilt, being once again enlarged. The most striking feature of the church is the deambulatory, which resembles a forest. Other noticeable features are the rare stained glass windows from the 14th century, side by side with contemporary ones, and the oldest bell in Paris. Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.; 9 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. on Sundays Entrance free How to go: Cluny-La Sorbonne or Saint Michel- Notre Dame metro stations.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Greece

The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion is one of the most important in the world as it houses the remains of the Minoan Civilization, the first in Europe. The building was constructed in the 1930s, on the site of a Venetian Franciscan friary destroyed by an earthquake in 1856, and was closed for renovation between 2006 and 2013. It houses archaeological findings from all over Crete, the pride of the place being the Minoan treasures. It also includes interesting artefacts from other historical periods, covering 5500 years of history. Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm (between Nov. and Mar. closes at 3 pm and is opened between 11 am and 5 pm on Mondays) Entrance fee: €10 Heraklion

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium

Saint Bavo Cathedral dates back to 942 when it was known as Saint John the Baptist Church, built in the Romanesque style and of which some traces can still be found. However, since Ghent was one of the richest cities in Europe in the Middle Ages, from the 14th to 16th centuries the church was more or less permanently being rebuilt. The features that can be seen today are mainly from the mid-16th century. In 1559 the diocese of Ghent was created and the church became a cathedral. The highlight of the cathedral is the polyptych "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" from the 15th century, by famous Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck. During your visit to the cathedral, you'll have access to an audio guide that will explain you everything about the painting. For instance, in the mid-1930s, two of the panels were stolen and a 1 million Belgium francs ransom was asked for one, the other being returned as proof of possession. The ransom was going to be paid but before the thief could

Dom Under, Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht dates from 45 AD when the Romans built the castellum Trajectum, a defensive fortress in the northern border of the empire. In the Dom Under you can see excavations showing different periods of the city's history, from its beginnings as a Roman fortress. Opening hours: There are guided tours, from Tuesday to Sunday, every hour from 10.30 to 16.30. Until 19.30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The visit takes about 75 minutes and is not recommended for children under 8 years old. Entrance fee: €11 (book online here ) Back to Utrecht