This bustling square located bang in the centre of Madrid is one of the city’s most famous sites. With its semi-circular shape, it is a junction for many of the city’s historical and busiest streets such as Mayor, Arenal, Alcalá and Preciados, as well as the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain.
Originally the site of one of the city’s gates, Puerta del Sol should be at the top of your list of places to visit. Sitting atop the Casa de Correos building, the current headquarters of the Madrid regional government, you’ll find the famous clock that all eyes turn to on the last day of the year. For over a century now tradition has it that people across the country usher in the New Year by eating 12 lucky grapes to the twelve chimes of midnight struck by this clock.
A stone slab on the pavement in front of the main entrance to the Casa de Correos marks Spain’s Kilometre 0, the starting point for all major radial roads in Spain. Across the square, at the beginning of Calle Alcalá, Madrid’s longest street, you’ll find the famous Oso y Madroño. The official symbol of the city, the statue of a bear nuzzling a strawberry tree is a popular meeting spot for Madrileños.
It was built by Henry II of Trastámara as a means of defence against his brother Peter I (Peter the Cruel). It lies on what was once an Arabian castle.
It has a Latin cross plan with three arms formed by square towers joined by quarter cylinders and finished off with crenellations. It comprises of 8 rooms and houses the three cultures museum. It lies next to the Roman bridge and has been the site of many a battle. It houses the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus (Al-Andalus Living Museum), by the Paradigma Cordoba Foundation.
This Baroque bell tower has an eight-sided floor plan and consists of four different sections, the first three made of stone and the upper one made of fired brick. There are three bells, two of which are liturgical and the third one tells the time; the decoration, executed by the artist, Joan Vila Cinca is particularly beautiful. At the very top of the bell tower, there is an angel that acts as a weathercock and two-time bells.
Inside, you can visit a small exhibition featuring the building, the bells, and the last clock that made them work, built in 1903. And from the top of the bell tower, visitors can have a splendid view of the city and its surroundings.
Square tower from the end of the 12th century, erected for the king of Aragon Alphonse II, surmounted in the 17th century by an octagonal tower intended to receive the communal drone and the clock.
42 meters high, 210 steps to climb to reach the summit and admire the panorama of the city and the surrounding causses.
Last climb, 1/2 hour before closing. Out of season open for groups by reservation.
The Castre Museum is located on the Suquet hill, dominating the city of Cannes. From the top of the medieval tower the views across the bay and the Lerins islands are fantastic and not to be missed!
Inside the castle and the nearby chapel is a brilliant collection of paintings, art and archaeological artefacts. The Castre Museum is home to a wide collection of antiquities, particularly from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The 11th-century Saint Anne Chapel houses a remarkable collection of musical instruments from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. A few rooms dedicated to 19th-century Provencal paintings of Riviera landscapes open out onto the courtyard and a square tower displaying spectacular views.
It is surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden with pine trees.
“Alghero Vecchia” is the charming old town, surrounded by seven great towers and the old walls that still stand at the sea edge and which date back to the Catalan-Aragonese conquests in the sixteenth century. The narrow cobbled streets and alleys of the Old Town are abuzz with people and activities until late at night. Summer and spring are the peak seasons when the whole city comes to life. The car-free zone of this historic centre is perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll where you can find perfect gifts in the many small shops, sample local produce in the bars and restaurants and visit the old churches. The fifteenth century palaces, the Civic Theatre with its neoclassic façade, the cathedral and the sixteenth century bell tower of Santa Maria are all representative of a long Sardinian legacy and even the houses of the centre of Alghero stood through the bombings of the Second World War. The outer wall of the Old Town is part of a long walkway which stretches from one end of Alghero to another and provides a fabulous panorama of the Riviera which is most appreciated at sunset when you can admire the silhouette of the headland of Capo Caccia
The Vieille-Ville is the largest historic town in Switzerland, and is dominated by St. Peter's Cathedral, the symbolic location of the Reformation. Climb the 157 steps to the top of the tower for a unique panorama of the city. Then take a stroll in the charming surrounding alleys and passageways, each telling its own story about Geneva's history.
The Eiffel tower history represents a part of national heritage. It's as been the symbol of France and Paris for decades. But when Gustave Eiffel achived its construction in 1889, the tower was only meant to be temporary in the Parisian landscape and was far from being the parisians' favourite landmark. Discover the evolution and the history of the Paris Eiffel Tower.The most popular tourist place in Paris has stretched to the Parisian skies for 127 years. Although now symbolic of France, it wasn’t meant to last. Without a doubt, the turning point in the Eiffel Tower history took place at the 1889 Universal Exposition. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, a competition was organized with the aim to “build on the Champ-de-Mars an iron tower with a square base, 125 meters wide and 300 meters high.” Out of the 107 proposals submitted, Gustave Eiffel’s was chosen. By his side were engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier as well as architect Stephen Sauvestre.
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France. It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité. Work started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. Its many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, the steeple and the gargoyles. They can also discover the Notre-Dame treasury and have a go at climbing the towers to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. In 2013, Notre-Dame is celebrated its 850th anniversary. For this occasion, many events were organized and the cathedral renewed its bells with the arrival of eight new bells as well as a new great bell. Road distances from Paris in France are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral forecourt.
Southampton’s brand new visitor attraction. After a £3.1 million renovation, God’s House Tower will open later this year as art and heritage venue. Coming soon - inspirational art, stunning rooftop views, and 700 years of history!
The Pierhead helped Wales forge its identity through water and fire in the late nineteenth century; today its aim is to inform, involve and inspire a new generation to forge a Wales for the future.
It is an event and conference venue to complement the work of the Assembly. It is also a light touch exhibition to inform, involve and inspire visitors.
The Pierhead was originally built as offices for the Bute Docks Company, renamed the Cardiff Railway Company in 1897. The building took nearly three years to construct. The eye-catching gothic style was very typical and popular of the time.
Cabot Tower, set in the gorgeous parkland of Brandon Hill near Park Street in the West End, is a 105ft tower built in 1897 to commemorate John Cabot's famous voyage from Bristol and the continent of North America four hundred years earlier.
Brandon Hill is the oldest park in Bristol, where you can enjoy great views over the city and Harbourside area. Located just off Park Street in the West End, Brandon Hill features a children's play area, beautiful paths and a nature conservation area, and of course the icon of Bristol's skyline, Cabot Tower. Designed by the Bristol architect William Venn Gough and paid for by public subscription, the tower is built from red sandstone covered with cream Bath stone. Located in the centre of the park. It's free to climb up the steep, twisting steps of the tower, which is open daily.
City Hall stands in the heart of Cardiff. It is the centrepiece of one of the world’s finest civic centres, an area of impressive civic buildings, landscaped gardens and broad tree- lined avenues. Opened in 1906, after Cardiff was given its Royal Charter as a city in 1905, City Hall is predominately a venue for conferences, exhibitions and events but is also open to visitors to the city.
The impressive exterior of City Hall built in the English Renaissance style from Portland stone prepares the visitor for the highly decorative Edwardian interiors, including the magnificent Marble Hall lined by columns of Sienna marble mounted in bronze and the Council Chamber which has witnessed many passionate debates over the years. City Hall houses an extensive art collection, including ‘Winter’ by Joseph Farquharson, and is on display for visitors to see and enjoy. A booklet is available free of charge from the City Hall reception desk which gives full details of the collection. There is no charge for entry, but some of the rooms may not be available for viewing if they have been hired for a private function.
The Belfry of Tournai, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the oldest in Belgium. True watchtower since the 12th century, it overlooks the Grand Place of Tournai of its 72 meters high. After having climbed the 257 steps, the top of the Belfry offers you the most beautiful panorama of the city and its surroundings!
The Belfry has long played an important role in the city of Tournai: watchtower, prison, steeple, city hall ... It previously symbolized the communal freedoms and its bell, called "Bancloque", warned the population of the trials, executions, invasions or fires.
After being renovated for 10 years (1992-2002), the Belfry allows you to discover its history through didactic panels, the dungeon, the carillonneur's room and the carillon that resonates in the city every Sunday in summer.
So many adjectives that describe Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai, a true jewel of medieval architecture. The only Belgian Cathedral listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this masterpiece of Western art draws the scenery of the country for miles around. A must-visit in your discovery of Tournai!
134 m long including 58 m for the only choir, 67 m wide for the transept, 83 m high for the tallest tower. The proportions of Notre Dame Cathedral are gigantic. The nave and transept built in the 12th century are Romanesque. The choir, completed in 1254, is of Gothic style. This combination of stones gives it an undeniable originality and the 5 towers that dominate the city make it a unique building of its kind.
Discover an exceptional treasure room with the presence of major works: the two large reliquaries of Notre-Dame and Saint-Eleuthère, precious ivories, goldsmiths' pieces, a 14th century Arras tapestry.
Since 2006, a vast restoration project is at work: stabilization of the Gothic choir, replacement of roofs, cleaning stone walls, restoration of stained glass windows ... The building site is constantly evolving and completely renovated parts appear over the days.
The Houses of Parliament's iconic clock tower is one of London's most famous landmarks!
The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, commonly called Big Ben, are among London's most iconic landmarks and must-see London attractions. Technically, Big Ben is the name given to the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg). The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.
Elizabeth Tower stands at more than 96 metres tall, with 334 steps to climb up to the belfry and 399 steps to the Ayrton Light at the very top of the tower.
It is not possible for overseas visitors to tour the clock tower. Instead, join a talk on the Elizabeth Tower or take a tour of the Houses of Parliament next to The Elizabeth Tower. Alternatively, watch this behind-the-scenes video of Big Ben in action.
Built in the park belonging to Hainaut’s counts, on the site of the former château, the building nicknamed “el Catiau” towers over the city. From the garden, the view of Mons is simply stunning. From the top of the hill, you can imagine the history of this city, the trials that it has had to live through over the centuries, and its influence through time, until it became the capital of Hainaut. Next to the belfry, the Sainte-Calixte Chapel remains the city’s oldest religious monument. This Roman style chapel was built in 1051 and now houses a museum where you can learn about the history of the old château and the restoration undergone by the belfry.
Palazzo Vecchio offers Roman ruins, a Medieval fortress and amazing Renaissance chambers and paintings. A microcosm where art and history have been indissolubly bound for centuries.
Palazzo Vecchio is the main symbol of civil power for the city of Florence, whose original project is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. Construction on the solid fortress began in 1299 above the ruins of the destroyed Uberti Ghibelline towers, testimony of the final victory of the Guelph faction.
The entire construction also rests on top of the ancient theater of the Roman colony of Florentia (dating back to the first century A.D.), whose ruins can be admired in the underground level. This area can be visited with a separate ticket or a combination ticket which includes the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and the Archaeological site. The area is suggestive organized with information and an interesting film to help you understand exactly what you are looking at underground.
Look up at the magical city skyline for a moment during your weekend trip in Ghent: you can’t miss it. The Belfry is the middle tower in the famous row of three, between St Bavo’s Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Church. A fiery dragon, the proud symbol and mascot of Ghent, guards the historic heart of the city.
The Ghent Belfry symbolises the city’s prosperity and independence. The Cloth Hall, built onto the Belfry, was completed in 1907. The flamboyant Brabant Gothic style of the Cloth Hall is an ode to the industry to which Ghent owes so much. On the corner of the Cloth Hall is an old jailer’s house. Every Sunday morning you can hear the carillonneur at work between 11 am and 12 noon. And you can enjoy a carillon concert on the first Friday of each month from 8 to 9 pm. In the summer months, the concert takes place every Saturday night!
You can't miss it, right in the beautiful historic center of Middelburg. Here, the imposing Abbey Tower de Lange Jan rises proudly above the many monuments in Middelburg. You should not miss the climb.
It takes a bit of climbing, 207 steps to be precise, but the view is worth this effort. The tower of the Lange Jan is 90.5 meters long (belongs to the top 10 tallest towers in the Netherlands). On clear days you can even see the surrounding Zeeland islands from the Lange Jan.
Without doubt, the most popular landmark for all Mannheimers is the water tower "Wasserturm". No wonder it serves as the backdrop to so many wedding and holiday photos. Romantic and dreamy, it stands in one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau sites in Europe. Its fountains, promenades and arcades are a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike. You get the best view of the water tower from one of the surrounding cafés on the Friedrichsplatz. Sitting under the arcades sipping a cup of coffee is guaranteed to give you a Mediterranean feeling.
On summer evenings, you can marvel at the water fountain choreography. In the winter, the Christmas market around the Wasserturm is worth a visit too.
The best view of Mannheim can be enjoyed from the more than 200-metre-high telecommunications tower. Centrally located between the banks of the Neckar and the Luisenpark, it offers breathtaking views across the Rhine plain to the Odenwald forest. Enjoy the view over a meal in the revolving Skyline restaurant, which is suspended directly under the viewing platform. Alongside Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf, the telecommunications tower is one of the few of its kind in which you can enjoy a meal.
Mannheim and the region are particularly beautiful at sunset. The best way to enjoy the view is over a romantic candlelit dinner in the revolving restaurant.
Saint Mark’s Square is surely a place that can’t be missed, an exhibition of rare and unique beauty appear on a 360° view in front of the visitors, the Saint Mark’s Church, the bell tower, the “procuratie” and the Napoleonic wing, the clock tower and the two blacks.
The Church, a Romanic Byzantine style was born initially as a mausoleum of the Patron Saint, it has 5 domes, marbles and mosaics to embellish the façade, inside, decorations and wall of golden leaf mosaics represents tales of the Patron Saint.
The bell tower is the highest point of the city, 98.6 meters tall, from the top there is a unique and breathtaking view of the isle, it was originally built as a watchtower and a lighthouse in the IX century.
Finally the clock tower, also a renaissance style palace, its arcade allow to enter into the square from the “Mercerie” so called because during the Republic there where many shops selling precious merchandise coming from distant ports. Today the Mercerie are site for various commercial activities, mostly murano glass shops and most modern cloth and gift shops.
Arnsberg's historic heartbeats at the Old Market Square with its belfry, Old Town Hall (1710), "The Crimea" and Maximilianbrunnen (1779).
The Madonna in the niche at the town hall has survived many city fires and bears witness to an eventful history. On the side of the town hall is the symbol of Cologne rule in Arnsberg. The wonderfully renovated patrician building "Zur Krim" is reminiscent of a dark chapter in legal history, because the witch judge of Arnsberg once lived in it.
The bell tower - the symbol of the city - forms the "parlor" Arnsberg with the old town hall (1710) and the Maximilianbrunnen, framed by patrician and half-timbered houses. The bell tower was part of the former city fortifications in Arnsberg and is one of the oldest buildings in Arnsberg. He found a first written mention in a document by Count Gottfried III. from the year 1236, in which it was about the expansion of the city area towards the monastery Wedinghausen. With the execution of this plan, the tower lost its function as a defensive tower and served only as an inner-city gate. For centuries, the top of the tower consisted of a tent-like roof with four small corner towers. It was only around 1723 that the tower received its baroque onion dome after a city fire, which was preserved until 1945.
The Main Tower, designed by the architect's office Schweger und Partner and completed in 2000, invites the general public to visit its rooftop observation platform, where they are met by a spectacular panoramic view of Frankfurt and the surrounding region some 200 metres above the city streets. A highlight for every urban explorer!
Marienplatz is the central square in Old Town, Munich’s urban heart and the central point of the pedestrian zone. To the north is the magnificent neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (“New Town Hall”), to the east the Altes Rathaus (“Old Town Hall”), and the passageway to Tal and the Viktualienmarkt (farmers’ market). To the south, the square is bordered by stores, office buildings, and restaurants. To the west, the pedestrian zone opens to Kaufingerstraße, which ends at the Karlstor (gate) located at the square known by locals as Stachus.
Marienplatz has been the center of Munich since it was founded in 1158 and is the heart of the city. In the first few centuries, the approximately 100 x 50 meter large area was used as the central marketplace, which is attested to today by the fish fountain on the northeast corner of Marienplatz. In 1638 Elector Maximilian I had the Mariensäule (Mary’s Column) erected in gratitude for the city being spared during the Thirty Years’ War; Marienplatz takes its name from the Mariensäule. The column is used as a reference point in land surveying as the topological center of Bavaria. Today Marienplatz is a center for festivities and political, cultural, or sports events. During Advent, Munich’s oldest traditional Christmas market (“Christkindlmarkt”) takes place here.
The Neue Rathaus (New Town Hall) is a magnificent neo-gothic building from the turn of the century which architecturally dominates the north side of Munich’s Marienplatz.
The almost 100-meter-long (300 feet) main facade on Marienplatz is richly ornamented in neo-gothic style and shows almost the entire line of the house of Wittelsbach in Bavaria. The Glockenspiel in the tower balcony of the Neues Rathaus is also world famous and worth seeing. Since 1908, figurines representing stories from Munich’s history twirl on two levels daily at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. (the 5:00 p.m. show is omitted from November through February). In addition to the well-known coopers dancers, the Münchner Kindl (symbol of the city’s coat of arms), and the angel of peace also make an appearance in the almost 12-minute-long spectacle.
At the top of the 85-meter-high (255 feet) tower on the city hall is an observation deck that can be accessed with an elevator and offers a grandiose view of the roofs of the city, even as far as the Alps in nice weather. In the generous and richly painted cellar vault of the Neues Rathaus is the Ratskeller, a traditional Munich restaurant since 1867.
The Blackpool Tower is a true British institution. It is the iconic feature of Blackpool’s famous seafront and continues to bring as much joy to visitors as it did when it was first constructed in 1894.
Few attractions prove that #BlackpoolHasItAll quite like The Blackpool Tower, with stunning attractions for all the family to enjoy. Best of all, with amazing deals like our Blackpool Resort Pass and special midweek offers for mothers and toddlers, enjoying the perfect day out has never been more affordable.
For a truly spectacular view of Blackpool, you need to head to the top of the tower. At 518ft tall, you’ll be pleased to know that there are lifts to the summit, where superb panoramic views await.
Here, you can gaze out at the beautiful Irish Sea and get a unique bird’s-eye view of Blackpool itself, while on clear days you can see as far as North Wales, the Lake District and the Isle of Man. The brave amongst you can also try out the glass floor, where you can peek straight down to the streets below.
The Old Town is where life started on what used to be an island secured by medieval walls. The city had seven gates, three of which have been preserved to this day: The Gate of St. Benedict, The Portica and The Gate of the Holy Cross. The first archeological traces of life date back to the Bronze Age, and the old city started developing in the 3rd century. The limited space conditioned the construction of narrow houses, narrow streets and small squares. It's an unique place to visit.
The town clock and a small fountain are located on the main town square. The town clock once represented the tower on the south corner of the former town walls. Built in the 12th century, the tower was extended several times. The town clock with its Venetian lion, the symbol of Serenissima dating back to mid-19th century, was situated on the town gate fort near the Califfi Palace.
Clifford's Tower stands as a proud symbol of the power of England's medieval kings. Originally built by William the Conqueror to subdue the rebels of the north, it was twice burned to the ground, before being rebuilt by Henry III in the 13th century. The tower takes its name from one grisly incident in its long history when Roger de Clifford was executed for treason against Edward II and hanged in chains from the tower walls. With sweeping panoramic views of York and the surrounding countryside, it isn't hard to see why Clifford's Tower played such a crucial role in the control of northern England.
City Tower, a symbol of Rijeka and a good example of a typical round tower access-point, which lead into the fortified town. Today it dominates the central part of Korzo, although during its lifetime it was overtopped by more recently constructed buildings.
It was built in the Middle Ages, probably on the foundations of the Late Antique littoral town gates. Some baroque phases of its construction can be seen on the lower part of the front of the Tower, which are characterised by a richly decorated portal, an imperial coat of arms carved out of stone and relief of the Austrian emperors Leopold and Charles VI. Rijeka paid them special respect due to the maritime orientation they introduced into the state policies of the Austrian court. The Tower’s superstructure, on which a city clock has been situated since the 17th century, has been remodelled several times; most significantly at the turn of the 18th century under the guidance of municipal engineer A. Gnamb, the last time was at the end of the 19th century, based on a design by F. Bazarig.
Passing under the round City Tower, the former main medieval town entrance that gave access to the coast, you enter the centre of Rijeka’s Old Town.
Located in the modern-day Ivan Kobler Square, there was once a more compact municipal centre called Placa, which served the significantly smaller fortified medieval town. The most knowledgeable historical interpretations of Rijeka Town present it as vertically elongated, framed to the north and south by the City Tower and the Town Hall, and to the east and west by chains of houses.
The northern part of Rijeka was dominated by the lord's castle, the eastern part featured the main commoners’ church with a cemetery, to the west there was a spacious cloistered enclosure, and here, in the south quarter, near the embankment and the beach market under the town walls, there was the vibrant heart of the Town. There, the citizens of Rijeka would meet to listen to the proclamations of the Town Crier, seal contracts and buy and sell on the open market or in stores situated in the ground floors of houses. Only traces of those houses remain now, with several old walls integrated into more modern buildings, a baroque lintel with the former owner’s coat of arms and an arched underground corn house. In the near past was the former town “Greenmarket” where fruit and vegetables were sold.
Fortress Kamerlengo is situated at the west end of Trogir islet, built by Venetians in Xlll - XV century as a naval base for their navy forces in this part of Adriatic. It is named by town Magistrate Camerarius. Nowadays, the fortress is a multimedia centre with open-air cinema and stage for various cultural events.
Lotrščak Tower is Zagreb’s fortified tower. It was a part of the southern gate and town defences against the Turks, built in 1266.
Today, it is one of the last remaining fortifications and one of Zagreb monuments. But wait – there’s more, inside the Grič cannon fires every day exactly at noon.
It has been doing that for the last hundred years, as a commemoration of Zagreb’s victory over the Turks. It has become somewhat a tradition, as locals set their watches according to the shot.
The tower was overlooking Zagreb defences for years in the past. As a matter of fact, it got its name by the bell, lat. campana latrunculorum (thief’s bell), which rang every night before the gates closed.
Today, it is overlooking Zagreb and offers spectacular views from its top. We highly recommend it to all who can climb its narrow steps.