Many people believe that there truly is no better place in the world to visit than Europe, especially when it comes to history. Europe has a tumultuous, tragic, and fascinating history that contains many significant events and places. If you’re planning a visit to Europe or are just interested in the intense history, check out these historical sites in Europe to explore.
1. Lascaux, France
Situated deep within the caves that spread throughout the Vézère Valley in Dordogne is the Lascaux UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous throughout the world for its incredibly impressive collection, compiled of over 500 wall paintings dating way back to the Upper Palaeolithic age which was around 20,000 years ago. It is often described as ‘the cradle of human art’ as it is home to the highest concentration of Stone Age art ever found in the history of Europe.
The amazing interior walls, and the ceilings, are dotted with almost perfectly preserved paintings of large animals, all of which do not live in this current day and age. They were animals that would have been found in the area long ago; this is proven by the fossils that have been found by archaeologists over the past few centuries. The cave itself was previously open to the public for what is said to have been a few decades.
However, the carbon dioxide released by visitors began to damage the paintings to a saddening extent. That is why visitors are now taken to Lascaux II instead, which is a meticulous and almost identical reproduction of the cave created using the exact same techniques and pigments used by the great Cro-Magnon men and women. It is one of the most interesting historical places in Europe.
2. Leeds Castle, England
Leeds Castle doesn’t even need an introduction! Perhaps one of the ideal representations of perfected architecture, Leeds Castle is often referred to as the loveliest castle in the world, and it isn’t hard to see why. Where it is situated, atop two islands within a lake, is a simply awe-inspiring location which makes it extremely enchanting for anyone who is lucky enough to visit.
Bring the whole family along, or simply enjoy a solo trip out. No matter what you’re doing or who you are with, it makes for an excellent day out. Despite how beautiful Leeds Castle is, it has had to go through a tumultuous history to get to where it is now. With death, destruction, and uncertainty being a large part of the castle’s history, it is the perfect place for all history buffs to check out when wanting to know more about the history of Europe.
3. Anne Frank’s House, Netherlands
If you haven’t heard of the terrible but enticing tale of Anne Frank, now is the time to do so. Anne Frank was one of the most illustrious victims of the terrible Holocaust, and now, her book is selling out all over the world. She was a young Jewish girl who lived in hiding with her immediate family and a few relatives.
Anne’s book, The Diary of a Young Girl, is a simply outstanding book, and words alone cannot sum it up. Nowadays, you can visit the house she wrote the book in and imagine everything just as it was when it was written. It is said to be a highly emotional visit to one of the most notable historical sites in Europe related to the horror that was World War II. Anne Frank’s house is located in the ever so famous Amsterdam, which is yet another reason you should visit.
4. Newgrange, Ireland
Newgrange, in Ireland, isn’t actually a particularly well-known prehistoric monument. It is located in County Meath, which is just outside of Dublin. At first sight, it really doesn’t look like much; however, an impressive past lies behind it. Not only does it predate Stonehenge, one of the most popular landmarks in Europe, it also predates Egypt’s great pyramids of Giza! Now, are you interested?
This large mound holds a special part of Ireland’s history and also acts as Europe’s largest and most important concentration of prehistoric art. It served many great purposes in its younger years, from funerary rites to economic functions and even astronomer and religious places. Its layout, age, general look, and hidden history are what make it one of the most intriguing and mind-boggling places when looking at European landmarks.
5. Ruins of Pompeii, Italy
If you are headed to Italy, you do not want to miss out on seeing the ruins of Pompeii. It is named one of the most intriguing historical sites that you will ever visit. Pompeii was destroyed when it was covered in lava and ash around 2000 years ago when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
For Pompeii residents, this resulted in a near-instant death which perfectly preserved the city to be forever still. In the current day, you can visit Pompeii to get a glimpse of what life would have been like back then. The buildings still have preserved people within them that look like they are just going about their everyday life. This preserved city is very much worth the visit. It is one of the most well-loved historical places in Europe.
If a visit to Europe is on your radar, you will definitely want to check out the above-mentioned European landmarks.