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Vajdahunyadvr Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle
#About the Castle in the Public Park

Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyadvár Castle) is a beautiful castle located at a public park in Budapest, in Varosliget City Park. Today, it hosts the Hungarian Museum of Agriculture.

Actually, the beautiful castle is an open architectural museum, an architectural stunt by architect Ignác Alpár in 1896. In the eclectic castle, 21 different buildings were collected, taken from different regions and representing different periods and styles that characterize Hungarian building - from the Romanesque architecture, to Gothic architecture, and of the Renaissance-Baroque.

It seems that the main reason that this castle is known and loved around Budapest is that during winter the man-made lake nearby becomes an ice skating rink. During winter, many Budapest locals come here to enjoy the cold outdoor air, family time together or with friends, the rink is completely free.

For this reason, there is a skating club nearby, a bright colored building that was planned by Lechner Ödön. This is a long building, with glass windows and metal frames.

In the courtyard of the castle, there is a sculpture garden, with statues of the world's greatest people, and greatest Hungarians. But the interesting thing, is that with figures like Washington and Churchill, the most famous and beloved statue here is actually "Gallus Anonymous" - a clerk whose identity is unknown and sculpted as a figure wearing a hood without a face. This is the clerk of the court of the king of Hungary, Bella III, who wrote the history of his time, one of the most important in the history of Hungary. This is how Hungarians treat officials who do their work faithfully.

A Visit in the Beautiful Castle:


A View from Above:


In Winter:

Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
#The Mausoleum

In the vicinity of the Vatican, on the banks of the Tiber River, stands a huge and majestic fortress - Castel Sant'Angelo, meaning "Castle of the Holy Angel." It was originally built as a mausoleum by the royal emperor Hadrian and his family in 123 AD. The mausoleum of Sant'Angelo was built over the walls of Rome and had quite a few underground passages leading directly to the Vatican. Hadrian later ordered the construction of a bridge leading from the city to the building.

Later, the burial structure was given the name Sant'Angelo along with the adjacent bridge. There are chilling stories regarding the terrible crowds on the bridge, when people fell off and into the water below, and were killed.

After his death, as Emperor Hadrian had requested, his ashes, his wife's, and his adopted son's are buried in the treasury, the main room in the building. He was followed by other emperors, the last of whom was Caracalla, who was buried there in 217 AD.

In 1277 the fortress became church property and a papal fortress. By connecting the fortress to the Vatican (to the Church of St. Peter) in a fortified passage, it was used as a closed escape and thus served as a stronghold castle that managed to protect Rome and the Vatican during their many wars.

In 1688 Bernini upgraded the Sant'Angelo Bridge - he decorated the parapets with 12 statues of kings symbolizing the Passion of Christ.

Today you can see the National Museum of Museo Nazinale di Castel Sant'Angelo. It features sculptures, paintings and pottery. The weapon collection from the 15th to 19th centuries is particularly interesting, which certainly fits the theme of the fortress. During the summer months, lovely concerts are held here.

#The Flight of Pope Clement VII

The period following the appointment of Pope Clement was characterized by political unrest and instability in Italy, which influenced the messianic undertones (even among the Jewish community).

In 1527, a revolt took place within the Vatican due to the political intrigue caused by Pope Clement. That year, Cardinal Pompeo Colonna's troops occupied Rome and besieged the Vatican. Rome was already under attack and the smell of smoke had spread to many parts in the city. Clement realized that he had to flee for his life and so he began to urge his entourage. Carl V, the Holy Roman Emperor, arrived with his army of mercenaries to the gates of the Vatican and tried to assassinate him. Clement and his men began to escape through the secret passage that led to Castel Sant'Angelo. It is the very place where you are standing now. This secret passage, also known as Passetto (Fausto), was built in 1277. It was the fortress outside the Vatican walls. Pope Clement had managed to reach the bridge, which had been rising in the last few seconds and had managed to shut himself up in the fortress.

#The Passetto's Uses

The secret passage from the Vatican into the fortress, the Passetto, was not only an escape route in moments of crisis and war. It was also a path where beautiful girls from Rome were snuck out to spend time with the Church's leaders when they were not working. The fourth floor was set up especially for these purposes. Today one can still see the erotic paintings on the walls and on the floors.

Another attraction in this fortress is the conclave ceiling which creates an acoustic wonder: people can talk to each other without other people eavesdropping. It was an anti-wiretapping mechanism that was critical for the pope's court, where quite a few conspiracies took form.

This passage was neglected for years and no visitors were allowed. A little before the beginning of the 2000's renovations began and it was later opened to the general public. However, it is open only three weeks a year - from mid-August to early September, late in the evening.
An interesting detail about the transition: it is said that those who suffer from male impotence, should go through the passage 77 times in a row - 800 meters in each direction. Legend has it that whoever succeeds in finishing the entire course, over 61 kilometers, will regain his masculinity!
Vyšehrad Fortress
#About the Fortress, a Symbol of Czech Nationalism

On a hill above the eastern bank of the Vlatava River, sits the fortress of Vyšehrad, the "Upper-Fortress," or "citadel of the saints." This is the second fortress of Prague, which is unfairly less known than the more famous Prague Castle.

According to the legend, the Holy Princess Libushe was ordered to construct the fortress, after seeing a vision of a huge city that would be established one day on the hill of Vyšehrad.

This fortress was built in the 11th century, only 70 years after the fortress of Prague was erected. King Vratslav II, a Prince of Bohemia who belonged to the Przemysl dynasty, built it in 1085 and turned it into the new fortress of Prague. Only forty years later his successor left the fortress of Vyšehrad and returned to Prague Castle.

Since then, the complex has been a symbol of Czech nationalism. Over the centuries, many buildings were built there, many of which were destroyed in wars. During the 17th century, the Vyšehrad Fortress was renovated, after the Austrian Habsburgs took control of the Czech lands following the Thirty Years War. Later, it served as a training center for the Austro-Hungarian army. It was not until 1883 that the hill became an official part of Prague. This is even though it was the most settled part of the city.

Today, the complex is a park full of trees and beautiful green gardens. In the fortress itself you can find several walls, fortifications and churches, the St. Pauls and St. Peters Churches, and the St. Martin's Rotunda, which is a Romanesque and cylindrical structure. On the hill there is also the cemetery of the nation's greats, where many of the most important Czechs are buried.

#About the Story of the Pillar Broken by Satan

If you walk on the hill, behind the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, you will see a Roman pillar divided into three parts. The local legend tells of Satan, who spoke with the father of the young priest who was delivering a sermon at the time.

After the devil bragged to the father that he could win the young priest's soul, if he wanted to, the father offered the devil a bet, of which he advised St. Peter himself-if the devil could bring the Roman pillar from the Church of Saint Peter before his son finished the sermon, the devil could take the soul of the son, the young priest carrying the sermon in the church. The devil went to fetch the heavy pillar and, after discovering that he was late to arrive, and the priest finished the sermon, the devil in anger broke the pillar on the floor. On the wall inside the church, by the way, a large mural is drawn, showing the devil figure from the legend of the broken pillar.

A Closer Look at the Vishrad Fortress:


A View from Above:

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
#About the Castle

Look around you - you're standing in the largest manned castle in the world. Windsor Castle is one of the main residences of the British Royal family. The castle has been used by the royal family for nearly 1,000 years and they usually spend their time here during Easter and the Royal Ascot Week (the week when horse races are held) and sometimes on weekends.

The castle was originally built for William, King of England, and its purpose was to protect the city of London. However the appearance of the castle was slightly different back then. Most of the current palace was built by King George IV (1820), who added much of its height.

The rooms are open to visitors if you desire a look inside the palace. Make sure not to skip the main attraction of the palace - Queen Mary's dollhouse.

#About Queen Mary's Dollhouse

Even if you are not a puppeteer or a fan of dolls, the dollhouse it still a fascinating site. Queen Mary's dollhouse was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Queen Mary, the wife of King George V. The dollhouse was exhibited at the British Empire exhibition (a colonial exhibition that took place in 1924 at Wembley) and was later moved to here, the Castle of Windsor.

The dollhouse is built in a ratio of 12 to 1, which means that the furniture and products that characterize the house are also small in proportion. The most impressive fact is these furniture pieces and appliances were built by the same companies that made them the usual size and all of them are active - the lamps, the electrical appliances and even the water pipes have water.

The dollhouse also has tiny books, including special editions of rare works and the original text. Some artists (including Arthur Conan Doyle and Somerset Maugham) were asked to write stories especially for the dollhouse.

#The Queen Victoria

Victoria was the granddaughter of King George III, who fought against the fathers of the nation during the American War of Independence. Although most of us could only fantasize over such a respectable role, Victoria did not want to inherit the role of Queen and shed many tears when she realized that one day she would ascend the throne.

In 1837, at the age of 18, Victoria was crowned queen. Two years later she received an offer of marriage to her cousin Albert, a German prince of Saxony-Coburg-Gotha. He became her husband and helped her control the kingdom fearlessly during her early years.

The Queen's reign is named after her: "The Victorian period" - it is characterized as a period of industrial revolution, a period in which there were many developments in the fields of society, economy and technology. In was in her time that the British Empire was considered the strongest empire in the world.

After 21 years of marriage, the prince passed away and queen fell into depression. She shut herself up in her castle, dressed in black clothes, for almost 30 years. The Queen insisted that Albert's rooms remain untouched, left as they were when he was alive, including the water brought to him each morning. The royal subjects, who did everything to please her, devised a system of mourning customs that suited her life. It was only at her 50th birthday that she finally set a celebration, at a fancy banquet to which 50 European kings and princes were invited.

The Queen suffered a stroke in 1901 and passed away. After years of dressing in black (due to mourning), she was buried at her request wearing a white dress and her wedding veil. She was buried beside the love of her life, Prince Albert, in Frogmore Garden on the castle grounds.

A Closer Look:



Belvedere Castle
Belvedere Castle
#About the Castle

If you are walking around Central Park and looking for places to see in this large park, the Belvedere Castle is located at the center of the park and is worth a visit. The castle has an impressive facade as if it was taken from a fairytale. It is located on a large rocky area in Central Park called Vista Rock. The name of the castle means "beautiful view" in Italian, and just like the name, it is exactly what can be seen from there - at the exact location of the castle and thanks to the castle's balconies, you can overlook beautiful panoramic views that will spread out in front of you.

The castle, which is the tallest building in the park, was planned by architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, together with Frederick Law Olmsted, and headed to plan the park in 1865. It is interesting that there was no particular reason for its establishment, it was just built...

The structure of the Belvedere Castle is built from the rocks of Manhattan, which were carved during the construction of Central Park and coated with gray granite stone. In order to save on construction costs, two decorated wooden pavilions were built near it, but in 1900 the wooden pavilions were demolished for their abandoned standing.

At the head of the castle tower, you can see an anemometer and a weather lamp, used by the forecasting station located in the castle. Since 1919 the castle has served as an observation post in the service of forecasting the weather of New York. Today, only an automatic measurement station is located in the castle. Weather forecasting service offices themselves had already moved to the Rockefeller Center in the 1960's.
When the castle closed its doors to the public, it suffered from vandalism and a lot of damage was done to it. This is how it stood until 1983, when the building was renovated and the wooden entrance renewed, according to the original plans.

Belvedere Castle is not only used as a lookout. It is also a visitor's center and information center, and a place where historical artifacts are displayed, and rental of equipment for nature exploration, equipment that enables self-exploration of the park, using microscopes and telescopes in place.

Characteristics that stand out you can see in the castle are the strong stone facade, the large turret, and the flag. From time to time events go on here of all different themes, like bird-watching activities, lectures on astronomy, book readings, and more.

A Closer Look from Within the Castle:

Tower of London
Tower of London
#About the Tower

The Tower of London is a majestic castle, located on the north bank of the Thames in central London. It was established in 1066 as part of the conquest of England by the Normans. The fortress is a complex of several buildings surrounded by two ring-shaped defensive walls.

The innermost ward contains the White Tower and is the earliest phase of the castle, and gave the castle its name “Tower of London". It was built by William the Conqueror around 1078. Inside the tower you will find St. John's Chapel, a collection of weapons and medieval armor, and a reminder of a terrorist attack that took place here in 1974. At the entrance of the citadel courtyard you can see the "Bloody Tower”, where it is presumed that King Edward V and his brother Duke of York were murdered.

Next to the "Bloody Tower" is the Wakefield Tower where the crown jewels were kept. In the Jewel House building you will find the Crown Jewels exhibition and on the ground floor you will see the Armor garments, noble and gallantry symbols, jewelry and crowns.

In the Middle Ages the Tower of London served as a prison. In this prison those opposed to the crown were arrested and beheaded. Over time, the Tower of London gained a reputation for the torture and death that took place within its walls. Seven people were executed at the Tower, and for 400 years there were more than 100 executions. Among the prisoners was Queen Elizabeth I, who managed to escape the execution.

The tower served as the residence of the British monarchs. The truth is that the control of the fortress in that era was critical for anyone who had aspirations of ruling the country. However, it was much more than a house, for it had many uses-starting from a gun warehouse, a treasure house, a zoo, through the residence of the Royal Coin, a public documents office and the home of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.

Today, the Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction. It is crowded by visitors who come to watch the towers, the guards with the red uniforms and the crowns.

Every evening at 9:00 pm, you can watch the "ceremony of the keys," performed by the guards. During the ceremony the gates of the fortress are locked. This ceremony has been done for 700 years!

#Terror in the Tower

There are some chilling stories to tell about the Tower of London. The truth is, however, that it is not surprising considering what went on inside these walls. For hundreds of years, torture, murders, executions, suicides, and mourning have taken place here. To this day, it seems like a soft sobbing resonates throughout this vast structure, probably to remind us that the past is still a part of our present.

Ghost stories are an inseparable part of life for anyone who grew up in England. 40% of the city's inhabitants believe in ghosts and one in seven people can swear they saw one. Historically, the Tower London is one of the most prominent places for such stories.

For the record, 2,900 prisoners were held here over the years serving as a prison. These people were from all ranks and social classes. If you look in the direction of the White Tower where the torture chamber was built, know that quite a few people have died there in agony. The guards of the fortress, who used to patrol around, once testified to shouts being heard piercing the from the door of the White Tower. They assumed it was Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. Queen Anne Boleyn’s fate was sealed when she was executed on the grounds of adultery and treason against the king.

A Closer Look at the Tower:


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.