We all love to travel to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, to London to see the Buckingham Palace, Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and so on. These monuments have become so commonly known for tourist attraction spots. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful spots indeed. But here, we will take a look at some of the not-so-common tourist spots which are not as well-known as the above mentioned and yet, are in no way any inferior to them in their elegance, beauty and awe. Bibliotheque Nationale de France (National Library of France):
Starting off with this stunning view of Bibliotheque Nationale de France (National Library of France). It is one of the largest and most beautiful collection of printed materials in the world. Founded in 1368 by Charles V, it has been rebuilt and expanded in modern times. It now houses over ten million titles on arts, law, economics, languages, literature, humanities and more. Each year, around 150,000 documents are added to the collection through donations, acquisitions, and legal deposits. Exhibitions, lectures, symposiums etc are planned throughout the year. They are headed by librarians and personalities from the cultural world.
Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic:
You will not find any Prague tours that do not include a trip to the Charles Bridge. Hence, at times, crowds can sometimes consist of thousands. The bridge is almost 1600 feet in length and is adorned by 30 sculptures. It is especially beautiful at late nights or very early mornings when there are very few people. Although tram and car traffic was allowed in the past, in 1965 has been excluded from the Bridge. It is only accessible by pedestrians now. The towers at the both ends of the Bridge can be climbed for a splendid view of Prague. It has survived many floods including the August 2002 flood, the worst one which the country faced in 500 years.
Palais Garnier, also known as Paris Opera House is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular buildings of the world. Designed for operas as well as watching people, Palais Garnier is the most famous opera house in the world. It was commissioned by Napoleon III in 1861 and was designed by Charles Garnier. Interestingly, the Palais Opera is surrounded by banks so that the aristocrats could wear their jewels and they could be put away easily after the curtain fell. Those banks still surround the opera house but they are no longer open so late. When construction started in 1861, the workers discovered that the ground was a swampy lake. The water kept returning even after 8 months of draining. Architect Garnier then decided to use it as storage for water which will also give stability for such a massive building. This very lake and the famous Chandelier accident was used as inspiration for renowned play The Phantom of the Opera. The Grand Foyer of the Palais Garnier can easily rival the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles. It is indeed an architectural wonder.
The Chateau Nozet has belonged to the Comte Lafond and Ladoucette families since 1787 when the illegitimate daughter of Louis XV sold it to them. Baron Patrick de Ladoucette is the current owner, and he has done an immense job in bringing the deserved recognition to Pouilly-Fume. The winery of this Chateau is especially famous for its Sauvignon Blanc throughout France. The castle is surrounded by the best vineyards of the region. The castle’s towers and turrets can be seen from far and wide.
Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Famíliaa (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family): The mesmerizing La Sagrada Familia is a must for any tourist in Barcelona, Spain. It has been under construction for over a century and it is hoped to be completed by 2026 (hundredth anniversary of its architect Antonio Gaudi) which will make it one of the grandest building on Earth and the tallest building in Europe. It is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site There is so much symbolism in this cathedral. The pillars of the interior structures look like trees. One of the pillars has a turtle and another has a tortoise signifying balance between land and sea. Of its 18 towers, 12 of them represent the Apostles, four of them represent the Evangelist, one will be for the Virgin Mary. The last one, which is the highest one in the middle will represent Jesus Christ. The basilica can be seen from anywhere in the city and its glass mosaics at the highest points reflect the sun or moon to act as beacons for seafarers.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany:
Neuschwanstein Castle is among the most beautiful and popular castles in Germany. Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria (known as “fairytale King) as homage to the German composer Richard Wagner, we can call this castle the fairytale castle. Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was inspired by this very castle. Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Stone” which is derived from the name of one of Richard Wagner’s opera characters, Swan Knight. The castle is currently owned by the state of Bavaria and for the maintenance 14.5 million euros are spent anually. Offering a staggeringly beautiful view of the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is a must for tourists.
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland: One of Nature’s most phenomenal features is the aurora. Auroras are hauntingly beautiful light shows caused by the collision of electrically charged particles from the sun with gases like nitrogen and oxygen in our atmosphere. This particular photo is of the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, in Kangerlussac, Greenland. Auroras have stunning view because the absence of light pollution. Kangerlussac’s rough setting and accommodations, like a hotel, couple of cabins or rooms rented in villages, already gives it a natural charm. Throw in the auroras and it becomes a must for tourists.