Dam Square is Amsterdam’s beating heart. Nowadays Dam Square in contrast with the old days it is now a very peaceful square which is home to scores of pigeons and street performers.
Dam Square has had a turbulent history. Around 1270 a damn was constructed in this spot in the river Amstel. Dam Square was once the central marketplace of Amsterdam where literally everything under the moon was sold.
The Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam are also situated at Dam Square. Other nearby highlights are the red light district, the narrowest house in Amsterdam at Singel 7 and the shopping mall Magna Plaza.
Zypendaal House (Huis Zypendaal) is an old-style country house dating from 1762. The ground floor is open to the public. The costly furnishings and many souvenirs of the Brantsen family, the house's former residents, give the house a very intimate feel.
The first buildings to be built in Friesland using natural stone or bricks were stone refuge towers, known in Friesland as ‘stinzen’. ‘Stins’ means stone. These squat towers with rounded peaks served as a refuge for their owners, the farming gentry. These people were the rural aristocracy in Friesland, which had no earls or counts before 1500.
The Grand-Place is the central square of the City of Brussels. All over the world it is known for its decorative and aesthetic wealth. The Grand-Place is surrounded by the guild houses, the City Hall and the Maison du Roi.
The Grand-Place is considered as one of the most beautiful places of the world. The Grand-Place of Brussels was registered on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO in 1998.
Nowadays, numerous festive or cultural events are organized on the Grand-Place: the Flower carpet (77 x 24m, event organized every 2 years in mid-August and with more than 500.000 begonias; the Ommegang which commemorates the tribute created in 1549 during the coming of Charles the Fifth in Brussels to present it his son, the future Philippe II; the Christmas tree; the daily flower market; the procession of the Meyboom and concerts.
Begun in 1453 by Philippe Le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, it is one of the rare reminders of the flamboyant gothic style in Lille. On the ground floor, the Salle des Gardes (Guards room) houses the tourist office.
The Electoral Palace in Koblenz is one of the most important palatial buildings in the French early Classicism style in south-western Germany, and is one of the last residential palaces that was built in Germany shortly before the French revolution.
As the town residence of the Grand Duke, the grand-ducal palace has unquestionably one of the most beautiful façades in the city (Flemish Renaissance, 16th century). Majestical interior and splendid above stairs (with light design by Ingo Maurer) can be visited exclusively during summer.
The Lion's Castle has a picturesque location in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. From afar, it appears to visitors as a romantic knight’s castle from the Middle Ages. However, it was actually built between 1793 and 1801. Conceived as a pseudomedieval 'ancestral castle' by its commissioner, Landgrave Wilhelm IX of Hesse-Cassel, later Prince Elector Wilhelm I, Heinrich Christoph Jussow, the court’s master architect, realised the bold plans.
In addition to the palace, the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is also home to another treasure, the Ball House. Though the building's outward appearance is quite plain, the interior is all more impressive with its spacious, splendidly arranged ballroom and crystal chandeliers.
Transformed at the end of the 17th century by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte, the Palace of Tau still holds rooms that have retained their medieval aspect. This is the case with the Palatine Chapel (13th century) and the Tau Room, in which the coronation banquet was held. Decorating the walls are 15th century tapestries which tell the story of "Mighty King Clovis".
The royal treasury's most remarkable objects are Charlemagne's talisman (9th century) and Saint Remi's chalice (12th century). The Sainte-Ampoule, or "holy flask", contains the holy oil with which new kings were anointed during the coronation ceremony.
Visit a Buckingham Palace for a glimpse inside one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.
During the summer, you can tour the 19 spectacular State Rooms. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck.
Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.
Kensington Palace, a palace of secret stories and public lives, has been influenced by generations of royal women.
Experience life as an 18th-century royal courtier whilst making your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings from the Royal Collection. Victoria Revealed, set within the rooms Queen Victoria lived in as a child, is an exhibition that explores her life and reign as wife, mother, Queen and Empress.
Diana: Her Fashion Story - Kensington Palace’s newest exhibition - traces the evolution of Diana’s style; from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Highlights include the pink blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981 and the ink blue velvet gown, worn when the princess danced with John Travolta.
This palace, made of red sandstone, is one of the most significant and beautiful Renaissance buildings in Germany. Its unique features include the chapel (complete with Renaissance altar, pulpit and portal sculptures by Hans Juncker), the royal living quarters, the world's largest collection of architectural models made from cork, the state gallery with paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Palace Museum of Aschaffenburg that houses works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Christian Schad.
The Joan of Arc Historial, the largest site dedicated to the memory of Joan of Arc, is set in the heart of the Archbishop’s Palace of Rouen. Closely linked to Joan of Arc’s destiny, this site of exceptional architectural quality houses the remains of the room known as l’Officialité, the ‘Official Room’, where her sentence was pronounced in 1431, and where her rehabilitation trial took place in 1456.
Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture landscaped Parkland and stunning Formal Gardens, Blenheim Palace provides an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Explore over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and 90 acres of award-winning Formal Gardens. Ride the miniature train to The Pleasure Gardens, a dedicated family area that offers a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground. A year-round calendar of tours, exhibitions, experiences and events reveal the sheer splendour of Britain’s Greatest Palace.
Stuttgart's Palace Square is the vibrant heart of the city, but at the same time it's a place to linger, within easy walking distance of many of the city's attractions. Palace Square is therefore Stuttgart's hub and an integral part of any stroll through town. In 2006 pictures of Palace Square went round the world, when 60 000 fans turned it into a sea of black, red and gold flags at the public screenings during the football World Cup.
In 1756, the Leipzig merchant and City Architect Johann Caspar Richter commissioned the building of a summer palace - the Gohlis Palace. Richter's architecture, the building's interior design and the orangery wings enclosing the building at either end make the palace a sterling example of Saxon Baroque architecture.
At its heart Tyntesfield is a Victorian country house and estate, which serves as a backdrop to the remarkable story of four generations of the Gibbs family. Their tale charts the accumulation of wealth from the guano trade, transformation of a Georgian house to a Victorian Gothic masterpiece and the collection of over 50,000 objects.
The Castle you see today, in the heart of the capital city, is at once a Roman fort, an impressive castle and an extraordinary Victorian Gothic fantasy palace, created for one of the world’s richest men.
Discover the magic of the rococo at the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace – once a royal summer residence, today Berlin’s largest and most magnificent palace.
In the Neuer Flügel (New Wing), you can view the staterooms and the rococo ballroom known as the Goldene Galerie (Golden Gallery). The Silver Vault includes quite stunning tableware of gold, silver, glass and porcelain displayed on laid tables. Around 100 table services have survived intact, a vivid reminder of the magnificence of dining at court. The impressive display of the remaining pieces of the Prussian crown jewels, complete with the imperial insignias, as well as personal treasures, such as the elaborated designed, exquisite snuffboxes collected by Friedrich the Great, are also well worth seeing. The Porcelain Cabinet in the Old Palace offers a breathtaking collection of the finest blue-and-white porcelain decorating the entire room.
Place of exhibitions, concerts and cultural events in Le Mans. Backing onto the Roman ramparts, which were altered during the medieval period, is the Collégiale Saint-Pierre-la-Cour, once the chapel of the palace of the Comtes du Maine.
Born in Bourges some time around the year 1400, Jacques Coeur rapidly rose to the top of the social ladder. After his appointment as Finance Minister to the King and being made a nobleman, he began the construction of his Palace, which was finished around 1450.
This monument was unique in France for its time but illustrates well the original personality of its builder. It is a precursor of the mansions of the Renaissance period: the large main building is constructed against the Gallo-Roman wall. The galleries running around the courtyard link it to the chapel over the main doorway.
The façade on the street side and that of the main building are beautifully decorated with Jacques Coeur's royal emblem, together with a multitude of sculptures portraying religious themes, Jacques Coeur's travels or scenes of everyday life.