Who doesn’t think of Tuscany when they hear of hills and vineyards? The interesting thing is that it is not just the wineries that are built on the hills – the cities take advantage of the terrain. Siena is one of them – you could walk through the old town and enjoy the view of the sights from a distance.
Built in the 16th century as a memory of Kotor’s victory over the well-known Turkish admiral Hajrudin Barbarosa, it’s impressive that the Northern Gate is still in excellent condition. As typical for medieval times construction, next to the Kotor Northern Gate there is a moat with turquoise water. I chose this spot in the valley under Saint John’s Hill for my photo session because it offers a clear view to Kotor Fortress.
The entire complex of towers, gates, ramparts, etc., together with the Castle of San Giovanni and Kotor Old Town is part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1979. Unfortunately, Kotor Fortress has been damaged by several severe earthquakes but also because of erosion. If you plan to climb up St. John’s Hill in order to reach the Fortress, be very careful and watch your steps.
We visited this Adriatic Sea port right after New Year Eve, which explains the festive lights on the buildings. Consecrated in 1166, the Kotor Cathedral was built in honor of Saint Tryphon, who is considered by the locals as the patron and protector of the city. Before that, in the 10th century, an older church existed there. It has been keeping Saint Tryphon’s remains.
The Old Town of the university town Bamberg is the largest preserved historical city centre in Germany and is source of many myths and legends. Beside the impressive Bamberg Cathedral, the very famous „little Venice“ and all the small and crooked alleys, one of my favourite buildings is the Old Town Hall. But it is not just an ordinary Town Hall, as you find it in any other city, Bamberg’s Old Town Hall was built in the middle of the river Regnitz.
Ostrów Tumski, also called „Cathedral Island”, is the oldest part of Wrocław. If you visit it, you will indeed usually enter via a bridge but quickly realize that it is no longer an island. Today it’s “just” an old town district with a large number of religious buildings such as churches, the cathedral, the Archbishop’s palace and spiritual faculties.
The path from the Republic Square up to the St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle is known as the royal way of Prague. For centuries this was the way that had to be taken by the Bohemian kings to be crowned in St. Vitus Cathedral. Since in 1836 the last king was crowned in Bohemia, nowadays the Royal Way is just a tourist attraction – but one well worth seeing!
On the way back from the Frauenkirche to the opera I had already everything what I wanted captured on memory card and could slow down – until I turned around. Then I saw the dome of the Frauenkirche shine over the golden alleys of Dresden. So just one last photo before running back to the train station…
The Old Town Hall is for me the most remarkable building in Bamberg. It was built in the 15th century in the middle of the Regnitz River and for a long time marked the border between the clerical, bishop-led Bamberg and the civil town center. Not affected by the war it was solely the river that damaged the town hall several times.
When I prepared myself for the trip to Romania, I often stumbled upon the word “contrasts” connected to Bucharest. How often can you drink a (surprisingly expensive) beer in front of a ruin? This photo is taken right in the Old Town of Bucharest and I think you get a feeling for what I mean with “contrasts”. Just a few streets further they build a new 5-star Hotel.