5 Best Historical Destinations In Europe

From philosophical Antique Greece and Rome to the Rebirth and then to the tragic world wars and the ironically peaceful Cold War, the Old Continent has been through a long and arduous history. Relive the significant periods in European history with these five historical destinations.

Ancient Greece – Acropolis, Greece

Atop the limestone Attica plateau overlooking Athens lies the ancient citadel of Acropolis. The Greek Antiquity’s significant and irreplaceable heritage is showcased in the ruins of the Doric-style Athenian temple Parthenon, the Ionic-style Temple of Athena Nike, the sacred Ionic temple Erechtheion, and the Acropolis entryway Propylaia. There is also the Acropolis Museum dedicated to the archeological discoveries on and around the citadel.

Roman Empire – Colosseum, Italy

Officially the Flavian Amphitheater, despite retaining only a third of its original structure, the Colosseum remains to be an iconic representation of the Roman Empire that made Rome the largest city in the world at its peak. Four centuries of use saw gladiatorial combats, hunts, wild animal fights, mock naval battles with an audience of more than 50,000 until it was reduced into a quarry for building other infrastructures such as the St. Peter Cathedral, St. John Lateran Cathedral, and the Palazzo Venezia.

Renaissance – Amboise, France

At the heart of what has become the definition of European culture is the period of rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature, and art we know as Renaissance. One of the greatest personas in this era, Leonardo Da Vinci, spent his last final years in Château du Clos Lucé, a manor in Ambroise in Loire Valley where the pinnacle of French Renaissance architecture is found.

The Holocaust – Auschwitz, Poland

The great horror of the persecution and, ultimately, systemic murder of European Jews and other groups of people Hitler and the Nazis deemed “undesirables”, including the handicapped, homosexuals, POWs, and gypsies, can still be felt in the bone-chilling atmosphere when you set foot in the what was the largest German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centers. If you prefer a lesser evil reminder of the genocide, you can opt to visit the house where  Jewish teenage girl Anne Frank lived in hiding with her family and relatives which she often referred to in her posthumously published Diary of A Young Girl.

Cold War – Berlin Wall, Germany

Compared to the destructive World War II, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States was a relatively peaceful rivalry.  When WWII ended, Berlin was split into half, the eastern half to the Soviets and the western to the other Allies. Ultimately, a makeshift barbed wire and concrete block wall divided the capitalist and socialist sides of the city. The fall of the wall signified the beginning of the reunification of East and West Germany and the thawing of the Cold War. You can also visit historical destinations from the Middle Ages with its rise in Christianity and Islam and the Age of Exploration with its rise of monarchies.