Mediterranean Europe is famous not just for its sunny skies and frothy waves, but also for a long and rich cultural heritage that displays various colors. This region has witnessed the birth and rise of several civilizations and has inspired some breathtaking artworks and mesmerizing poetry. The creations of these artists and bards have left an indelible mark on the cultural fabric of the region and the locals still celebrate all the creative forms of expression. Needless to say, this region is embellished with some fascinating architecture as well as the intriguing relics from the golden chapters of history. Here are some of the lesser known cultural gems of Mediterranean Europe that exhibit this awe-inspiring heritage in an impressive manner.
The capital city of Malta, Valletta is known for the old world charm that is exuded by every inch of the landscape. This tiny city is replete with historical artifacts and is adorned by some spectacular buildings from the 16th century. The Grand Master’s Palace is one such monument that exhibits ancient armors and weapons, while the St. John’s Co Cathedral emanates a golden glow against the backdrop of an azure sky. If you wish to dig deeper into the history of this region, then head over to the National Museum of Archaeology and the National War Museum. The mighty City Gate and the adjoining Parliament Building are also worth a visit.
San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian is a charming city that is known for its energetic nightlife, delectable local cuisine, and idyllic scenery. The Playa de la Concha is a gorgeous golden beach that is every sunbather’s delight while the Parque de Cristina Enea is known for the verdant lawns and the beautiful birds that reside on the premises. The view from the peak of Monte Igueldo will leave you mesmerized while the unique design of the Kursaal, the building that serves as the cultural center of the town, will offer a glimpse at the creative genius of Spanish architects. Equally spectacular is the majestic architecture of the Hotel Maria Cristina and the Iglesia de San Vicente, two of the most striking landmarks of the region.
A town where time seems to have stopped, Syracuse is the perfect destination to witness the eternal beauty of Sicily. This city is a delightful fusion of ancient Greek ruins, quaint cafes, and medieval streets, and is grazed by the waves of the sparkling blue sea. The Parco Archeologico della Neapolis is home to a gigantic amphitheater from the 5th century BC while the Cathedral of Syracuse is a shining example of the magnificent local architecture. The Museo Archeologico Paolo Orsi holds a collection of artifacts that span the period from the formative years of the city to the Late Roman Era. Meanwhile, the Piazza del Duomo is flanked by majestic buildings on all sides and is the best place to soak in the local culture.
The sturdy stone walls that surround Dubrovnik offer a throwback to the ancient times when the city was a fortified town. These walls are in fact a maze of towers, forts, and gates that have retained their grandeur in the face of time. The interiors also hold several historical wonders such as the glorious Sponza Palace and the elegant Dubrovnik Cathedral. The limestone paved street called Stradun is the lifeline of the city and is lined with beautiful sculptures and fountains while the Rector’s Palace displays some fine Gothic architecture. The red roofed houses that stand along the sparkling coast provide a unique rustic vibe to everyone who decide to spend their vacation in Croatia.
These alluring cities may not be as popular with the tourists but they depict the true grandeur as well as the rustic elegance of medieval Europe. They are the best places to immerse in the authentic culture of the region and to saunter through the lanes of history. So if you wish to admire the untarnished treasures of Mediterranean Europe then a visit to these amazing destinations is a must.