Historical Travel Sites in Europe

Heritage travel provides an immersive insight into our global past. When guided by an HISTORY Travel(tm) historian, every experience becomes richer with meaning.

Europe teems with historical sites from ancient ruins to medieval castles; here are just a few that should not be missed on your next trip:

Eketorp

European culture boasts an extraordinary legacy filled with fascinating tales. From early architectural marvels to epic war battles, Europe is rich with sites sure to enchant any traveller.

Eketorp, located on Oland Island in Sweden, is one such landmark highly recommended by Historical Travel Education. Constructed during the Iron Age and renovated to become a living museum, its walls bear witness to people’s determination and ingenuity over centuries of wars and cultural transitions.

The fortress was constructed to defend its inhabitants and livestock against enemy soldiers, featuring defensive passageways with loopholes for archers that made it an effective defensive structure at its time. Around AD 1170, however, it was reconverted into a military garrison for heavy cavalry units; archaeological excavations at this site have revealed numerous spears, swords and shields as well as tools and horse equipment found therein.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, one of Europe’s most iconic monuments, stands on Wiltshire, England’s expansive Salisbury Plain and remains shrouded in mystery about its purpose – whether as a sacrificial center or celestial clockpiece is unknown; nevertheless it stands as an inspiring testament to our prehistoric ancestors and remains an incredible work of architecture that stands the test of time over 5,000 years later.

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Bluestones used in the ring are believed to have come largely from quarries in Wales, according to an archaeological team that published its findings in 2015. These stones may have been pulled by sheep, oxen or pulled along ropes made of willow and alder.

Inside the outer circle are 56 pits known as Aubrey holes – named for 17th century archaeologist John Aubrey of England – named for him and filled with upright sarsen stones or decorated with trilithon lintels; some stones may have originally been buried but later raised up to three-foot height.

Newgrange

Newgrange is one of Europe’s most breathtaking historical travel sites, boasting an ancient Neolithic tomb dating back 5,000 years. Part of Bru na Boinne and featuring two additional tombs – Knowth and Dowth – it stands as an emblematic monument and displays some stunning examples of megalithic art.

The tomb is composed of an earth and stone mound enclosing a passage and central chamber, strategically oriented so that on winter solstice morning, sunlight enters through an opening above its entrance via a roof-box slit and bathes the inner chamber with light for several minutes.

Newgrange contains intricately carved kerbstones with double and triple spirals, which many scholars believe to be not only burial tombs but also held religious significance. Today, its twin tombs have become part of UNESCO World Heritage Site status for visitors to explore; tours include bussed access directly to Newgrange itself.

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Mostar’s Old Bridge

Stari Most bridge, one of Mostar’s oldest landmarks and listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, spans the Neretva river and links two sides of its old town. Rebuilt after World War II and reopened to traffic again in July 2004.

At its construction, this stone arch bridge may have been one of the widest manmade bridges ever created. It replaced a wooden suspension bridge which, according to Ottoman geographers, “made people crossing it in mortal fear”. Construction took nine years and cost Suleiman the Magnificent 300,000 silver drams.

Mostar’s historic center is an impressive amalgam of cultures dating back centuries, from pre-Ottoman through Eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European influences in its architecture and the local community’s commitment to tolerance and diversity – evidenced by mosques, shops, bazaars and streets (including this bridge itself) as well as by commitment shown through mosques, shops and bazaars in proximity. The bridge serves as its centerpiece.

About the author

Adrian Cruce

I just love to travel, write about travel and so much more! :D Hope you enjoy my articles and Travel Tips. Feel free to comment below and get in touch with me on my blog and on Twitter!