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Paris

About Paris

Information Paris Paris in short Paris can be seen as th most interesting city of Europe and probably even as one of the most amazing citys worldwide. People from all over the world travel to Paris to discover and experience this fairy-like city. Paris is the city of love, inspiration, art and fashion. The night scene, the Eiffel tower and the warm atmosphere will make you feel directly at home. Paris has a lot of interesting architecture and museums to offer, and is also a Walhalla for shopaholics. A city as Paris is one that everyone should visit and experience. Good to know Size 105.4 km2 Location Ile-de-France, Northern France Language French Money Euro Fly time +/- one or two hours from Central Europe Time difference None in Central Europe. One hour earlier in Great Brittain. Read more fast facts about Paris Climate in Paris Paris is beautiful in every single season. The continental climate in Paris is characterized by warm and sunny summers, moderate winters and has no extreme temperatures. The average temperature in July is about 25C. In winter the temperature drops until an average temperature of in January. Popular Districts St.-Germain-d(art, galleries and fashion) Quartier Latin (university La Sorbonne, academic centre, multicultural) ©ra and Beaubourg (budgetshopping) Montmartre (northern Paris, hills) Le Marais and Bastille (architecture) Champs-Ely and Ile St. Louis (Island, historic centre of Paris, Notre Dame) Invalides (Eiffeltower)

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London

About London

London was founded as a communication center by the Romans shortly after they invaded Britain in 43 AD. Londinium, as it was called then, was a little village on the Thames., on the route to the provincial capital in eastern England. The Romans built a bridge across Thames on that route, the first bridge on the Thames near the little village. London had narrow, congested streets lined with tiny shops and houses built of wood and plaster back then. Even the London Bridge, which was considerably more than just a river crossing, had this tendency of narrow, crowded spaces. Therefore, a new stone bridge was built in 1176 to replace the old one. The city of London grew, and so did its population; by 1600 there were 200.000 souls, by the end of the 17th century shot up to 575.000, surpassing Paris as the largest city in Europe. Thus, London became the biggest city in Europe. It also became a cultural center , the center of the English cultural Renaissance, with major figures as Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare. London was Britain's economic powerhouse and the center of a burgeoning empire. The city continued to grow and develop to what we see today, always combining the past with the present. In fact, that's what I think of when I think of London: a perfect binding of the past and the present. I think of the Big Ben, the Houses of parliament, 10 Downing Street, the Tower Bridge, the Great Fire, Barbican Arts Center, parks, Nelson's statue in Trafalgar square, the wax museum, Buckingham palace, the double deckers, the black cabs and, last but not the least, rain. The Houses of Parliament, also called the Palace of Westminster, range along the Thames with Victoria Tower at one end and Big Ben, the famous bell in the Clock Tower, at the other. Westminster Abbey, built in Gothic style, has been the scene of the coronation of sovereigns from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace was made the official residence of the Sovereign by Queen Victoria. The Royal Guards change at 11.30 every day much to the delight of the tourists. Sir Christopher Wren's baroque masterpiece known as St. Paul's Cathedral was built after the Great Fire in 1066. The Duke of Wellington, Wren himself and Nelson are buried here. Lord Nelson's statue dominates Trafalgar Square, a big square in the center of London named in commemoration of a great English naval victory. People and especially pigeons gather here to see the fountains, the big lions and the statue of the victorious Admiral. The National Gallery, situated on the north side of Trafalgar Square, houses one of the richest collection of paintings, most Renaissance and Impressionist works. Madame Tussaud's exhibits wax models instead, models of famous historical characters, film and sports starts, Royalty statesmen. A more conventional museum is the British Museum, which shows the works of man from prehistoric times to the present day. There are permanent displays of antiquities from Egypt, Western Asia, Greece and Rome. It also includes one of the most famous libraries in the world. But there isn't much excitement in the British Museum, for fun and entertainment one could always go to the Barbican Arts Center, a good example of modern architecture. And after the sunset, there are dozens of theatres just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus (West End theatres), and so is the world famous Covent Garden, home of the Royal Opera. For those who like discos and nightclubs, they can find them near Leicester Square, open till late. The conclusion remains the same.. London is a perfect binding of the past and the present, a city with so many places to visit that one couldn't find the time to view them all. Samuel Johnson was right when he said that when someone is tired of London he is tired of life.

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Amsterdam

Houses line the central canals of Amsterdam's city center. A bicycle is the best way to get around the city. When we got to our lodgings a canal house in the medieval city center we found that the past still seemed tangibly and reassuringly present. Friends of ours, Kiki Amsberg and Joost Smiers, she a journalist, he a political scientist, are a couple who for more than 30 years lived in back-to-back, his-and-hers houses that share a courtyard and look out on different canals. After all that time, they had decided to move in together, so they offered us the smaller of their homes. Thus we had a classic canal house, built circa 1600, to ourselves. Each room looked out onto the medieval and ruminative Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. Walk a few blocks and yoube smack in the Red Light District, but at this end of the canal all was tranquil. Each day we ate breakfast croissants and coffee from the bakery around the corner in our kitchen. With low ceilings, enormous beams and Delft tiles lining the hearth, it seemed almost unchanged from the period when the house was built. Rembrandt lived in this part of the city, and it occurred to me one morning, mid-croissant, that the artist could conceivably have known the occupant and sat in this very kitchen. As it turned out, the antique facade of the neighborhood the Binnenstad, or Inner City belied vigorous change. Small boats on a canal. Amsterdam has long had a bit of a split personality issue because the section called Amsterdam North sits across the harbor from the rest of the city. Municipal planners have worked for years to bring Noord into the fold, and that seems to be bearing results. The main barrier, besides the water, has always been Central Station. Planners have now reworked the traffic on the northern side of the train station and installed an airport-like plaza of shops. But the most significant change is a tunnel paneled with blue-and-white Dutch tiles depicting old nautical scenes. It ushers pedestrians and cyclists past the mess of the train station and delivers them right to the waterfront and the free ferries. Not many tourists visited Noord until 2012, when the EYE Film Institute opened on the waterfront just opposite Central Station, looking like an intergalactic cruiser out of It has since become a cultural anchor in the area. In June, the 22-story building beside it, once the headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell, opened to the public. Inside are a hotel, performance studios and artist lofts, but we skipped all that, forking out 12.50 euros (about $14) a person to be rocketed 300 feet up to an observation platform called the Dam Lookout. It was the most expensive elevator ride of my life, but the sweeping, cleansing views, miles in every direction, were worth it. There are many new restaurants dotting the waterfront, further cementing the connection between the two parts of the city. Photo

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Athens

About Athens

If you have ever voted, served on a jury, watched a movie, read a novel, spoken English, had a rational thought, or gazed at the night sky in silent wonder, then you can thank the Ancient Greeks. They brought us democracy, science, philosophy, written contracts, taxes, writing, and schools. But the apex of their civilization, sandwiched between two wars, lasted just 24 years in human history, a lightning flash across the summer sky. For much of its history, Athens was either preparing for war, at war, or recovering from war. But in the window between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, from 454 to 430 B.C., the city was at peace, and it flourished. The Athenians were œnot very numerous, not very powerful, not very organized, as the classicist Humphrey Kito noted, but they nevertheless œhad a totally new conception of what human life was for, and showed for the first time what the human mind was for. Like Silicon Valley today, ancient Athens during this brief period became a talent magnet, attracting smart, ambitious people. A city with a population equivalent to that of Wichita, Kansas, it was an unlikely candidate for greatness: Other Greek city-states were larger (Syracuse) or wealthier (Corinth) or mightier (Sparta). Yet Athens produced more brilliant mindsfrom Socrates to Aristotle than any other place the world has seen before or since. Only Renaissance Florence came close.

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