A Journey Through Western Culture And History

Europe is the birthplace of western civilisation. The Occidental culture as we know it, with its social normal, its ethical values, its belief and political systems, its specific architecture and its historic dates, is the result of the marriage of European regions. Through time, wars and royal agreements have created a sense of common knowledge across Europe, a sense that goes beyond borders and languages. Despite its nearly 30 countries, there is only one European heart that beats in unison. Europe is a world that was built on cooperation and exchange. Picture an amazing ride through a culture and history that echo still in most of us, like a distant music.

A Little Taste Of Flavours

If you decide to take an European tour holiday, do plan some time to appreciate the distinctive and diverse tastes of Europe. European cuisine is the reflection of the richness of its countries, cultures, and landscapes, that we all know and cherish. From the dryness of the mountains to the green valleys, Europe offers a variety of oils, dairy products, juicy and colourful vegetables, amazing sweets, that now belong to everyday gourmet life. Maybe a holiday discovery of Europe is the perfect occasion to enjoy the true taste of European specialties in their country of origin. Enjoy a bite of Europe with these three favourites.

Italy

It’s difficult not to think about pasta and pizza when you are thinking about Italy. The Italian food is the number one comfort food in the world and with good reason: Who doesn’t love a dish of pasta with parmesan and a glass of prosecco? If you love olive oil, keep your eyes open for the Liguria production that offers a gold-coloured liquid with a complex flavour. No Italian tour is complete without visiting Bologna, the town where the Bolognese sauce was first created. Of course, they call it only tomato sauce over there.

Austria

You have certainly heard of the Viennese hot chocolate, that is served with whipped cream. Vienna is famous for its rich coffeehouse culture that has seen some of the famous artists of the past centuries stopping by for a slice of cake and a coffee. If you have the occasion to visit Vienna, do stop at the Café Schwarzenberg, which is the oldest coffee shop on the ring road. Opened in 1861, under a different name – Café Hochleitner – this coffee house has seen many local celebrities through the years. You will find delicious typical Austrian desserts but also Austrian dishes, such as the famous dumpling soup. It’s hard to resist sitting in the middle of a historic kitchen like here!

Enjoy a Viennese hot drink

Bulgaria

Bulgaria offers a diverse that mixes plenty of typical Turkish and Greek specialties with an almost Russian flavour. You will be surprised to find out that you have probably come across most of the Bulgarian specialties in a form or another. Grilled meat, for instance, is very appreciated in Bulgaria, and you will have no difficulty to recognize the kebapche that includes grilled minced meat just like your standard bbq party. Except that in Bulgaria, they really know how to grill properly. You can often get a Bulgarian moussaka on the side – similar to its Greek neighbour but involving potatoes in the recipe. Among the common tips for Bulgarian men, it’s said that you can’t marry a woman who can’t cook a perfect moussaka.

A Tour Of Famous Landscapes

Maybe you are a traveller who loves to experience the architectural culture. Here again, you will be surprised by how many world monuments are actually European. Most architectural styles have first appeared throughout the European history, from a simple Georgian townhouse to the Disney castle – believe it or not but its cousin exists in real life and has been built in long before Walt Disney was born. In short, if you are looking for a way to satisfy your love of architectural design, you’ll be amazed by the diversity that rich cultural exchanges can create.

Germany’s Best Castle

Neuschwanstein castle was built in the 19th century as a Romanesque Revival palace in Bavaria. It’s said to serve as inspiration for the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland, so you have probably come across Neuschwanstein architecture without even noticing it. You may even recognise the high tower coming on top of the palace roof as the same tower in which the prince finds Sleeping Beauty. The similarities are easy to spot, but there’s nothing that replaces the feeling of seeing the original in Bavaria. It is not pink – it wasn’t built as a princess palace – but it is truly magnificent.

France’s Favourite Tower

You have probably come across hundreds of reproductions of the Eiffel Tower, so it may seem unnecessary to visit the original. But it’s good to know that when the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889, it was intended to remain only for the duration of an exhibition. There were even talks about destroying it 20 years later, but it was saved when it was repurposed as a giant radio antenna. It’s odd to imagine that this great symbol of Paris was never intended to stay, and was often threatened to be taken down. Surprisingly, the famous iron tower was intended for Barcelona at first. But Spain rejected the project.

Russia’s Colourful Cathedral

When travellers consider the many wars and battles that have torn history, it is impossible not to think about the colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, in Moscow, that was commissioned to commemorate a military victory. The palette of colours and shapes of the chapels is unmatched anywhere else in the world. If you are looking for a magnificent display of faith, the blue, red, yellow, green, golden and white patterns of St. Basil’s are one of the best examples you could find. Built in the 16th century, it’s splendour continues to attract tourists and architecture enthusiasts who love the symbolic symmetry of the building. Since then, you have probably come across buildings that try to reproduce the artistic display of geometric patterns and shapes without truly matching it.

St. Basil’s cathedral by Erik Charlton

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