STEEPLES & SPIRES
You will visit the following 16 places:
Stockholm - Sweden's capital and largest city, and the most populous city in the Nordic region. Without a doubt, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows into the brackish Baltic Sea, and passes the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets. The city is a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. Today, the area is an atmospheric mixture of buildings surrounded on all sides by a latticework of medieval lanes and alleyways.
Gothenburg is the second-largest and a major city in Sweden, situated off the Göta älv river on the country's west coast. The City of Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. An important seaport, it's famed for its Dutch-style canals and leafy boulevards like the Avenyn, the city's main thoroughfare, lined with many cafes and shops.
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia, a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltics, and an important seaport, situated on the mouth of the Daugava. With 706,413 inhabitants (2010) it is the largest city of the Baltic states. Riga's territory covers 18.60 square miles and lies between 1 and 10 metres (3.3 and 33 ft) above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain. Riga's historical centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is particularly notable for its extensive Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) architecture, which UNESCO considers to be unparalleled anywhere in the world.
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural, and research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities, Helsinki was ranked the most liveable city in the world, in 2011. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time to visit is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine.
Kristiansand, historically Christiansand, is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway. Tourism is important in Kristiansand, and the summer season is the most popular for tourists. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park is the largest zoo in Norway. It receives over 900,000 visitors every year. Markens Street is the main pedestrian street in downtown Kristiansand. Bystranda is a city beach located in Kvadraturen; in addition, Hamresanden beach is the longest beach in Kristiansand. Hamresanden Camping is a popular family camp during the summer season. The city hosts a free concert in downtown Kristiansand once every week in the summer. Outside the city is the industry park Sørlandsparken, which has Sørlandssenteret, the largest mall in Norway.
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In Russian literature, informal documents and discourse, the word "Saint" is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg". The city is often described as the most Westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. Talking of churches, Church of the Savior on the Blood is said to be the most beautiful church in St. Petersburg. Built of beautiful mosaic and stonework, the church gives you an indication of how ancient Russia looked like. The church is built at an equally historic spot. This is where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in the year 1881.
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) with a population of 412,144. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tallinn is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. Tallinn is a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku, Finland.
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of London and 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority. Just over a quarter of the jobs available in the city are in the health and education sector. A further 19 per cent are property and other business and the third largest sector is wholesale and retail, which accounts for 16.2 percent. Between 1995 and 2004, the number of jobs in Southampton has increased by 18.5 per cent. Southampton has always been a port, and the docks have long been a major employer in the city. In particular, it is a port for cruise ships; its heyday was the first half of the 20th century, and in particular the inter-war years, when it handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK. Today it remains home to luxury cruise ships, as well as being the largest freight port on the Channel coast and fourth largest UK port by tonnage, with several container terminals. Unlike some other ports, such as Liverpool, London, and Bristol, where industry and docks have largely moved out of the city centres leaving room for redevelopment, Southampton retains much of its inner-city industry.
Warnemünde is a seaside resort and a district of the city of Rostock in Mecklenburg, Germany. It is located on the Baltic Sea and, as the name implies, at the estuary of the river Warnow. Founded in about 1200, Warnemünde was for centuries a small fishing village with minor importance for the economic and cultural development of the region. Today, it's known for its long beachfront and marina, a cruise-ship stop.
Hamburg, a major port city in Germany, is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It has a well-deserved reputation as Germany's Gateway to the World. It is the country's biggest port and the second-busiest in Europe. Hamburg is proud of its status as a "Free and Hanseatic City" and thus shares the same status as a province, making up one of Germany's 16 federal-states or Bundesländer. The city is also a notable tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors; it ranked 16th in the world for livability.
Belgium’s second largest and international port city with history dating to the Middle Ages, Antwerp is a major destination in Belgium in the region of Flanders. It has a beautiful historic city center, and is world-renowned for its fashion industry. Renowned for being the "world's leading diamond city", more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. Due to its long and culturally rich history, the city of Antwerp houses many interesting historical buildings from different historical periods, as well as a lot of interesting museums. Recently it has become a trendy city, attracting a lot of Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors.
Oslo is a county and municipality, as well as the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III "Hardraade" of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The Danish–Norwegian king Christian IV moved the city, rebuilding it closer to Akershus fortress, as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to be a metropolis with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet still small enough to be intimate, safe and easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. This is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with cold electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You'll feel you've seen it all in a day, but could keep on discovering more for months. Copenhagen is considered a very liveable place because of its cleanliness. It’s considered as one of the very environmentally friendly cities because its harbour can be swum in and about a third of the city’s people use bicycles as their means of transportation. In their downtown area, the places to visit and to be entertained at are the Tivoli gardens and the Town Hall Square. If you want the very cultural and scenic areas the places to see are the Marble church, the Rosenborg castle, and the Christiansborg.
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031, but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 11,836,970, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. In 2009 and 2010, the city has been ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three "European cities of the future" according to a research published by Financial Times and among the top ten cities in the world in which to live according to the British review Monocle. The city is the home of the most visited art museum in the world; ''the Louvre'' as well as the ''Musée d'Orsay'' noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the ''Musée National d'Art Moderne'' a museum of modern and contemporary art. The notable architectural landmarks of Paris include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2014 Paris received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. It is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France's major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
The Convent Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. Amsterdam derives its name from the city’s origin as “Dam” of river “Amstel”. In the past, the name was "Amstelredamme" which later changed as “Amsterdam”. The city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million international travellers annually. The city is colloquially known as ''Venice of the North'' because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here; whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city!