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Europeish Travel Blog

Centuries ago, architects added gargoyles to most of their large buildings. These carved stone grotesques most often had a spout, designed to convey water from the roof and the side of the building. This prevented rainwater from running down (and eroding) the walls.

A simple spout would have been more than sufficient, but that would not have been fun for the architects at all. Most of the gargoyles and ornaments they designed were unique, and not only protected the buildings from water, but also from any evil or harmful spirits.

If there’s one building known for the excessive use of gargoyles, it must be the Notre Dame of Paris. Over 5,000 gargoyles, chimeras and other sculptures guard the walls of the immense gothic church. Most of them have been doing this for centuries and are awarded for this with a stunning view over the French capital.

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Especially in Nothern Europe, they know what to do with a bucket of paint. Grey, boring buildings are easily turned into colorful pieces of city art. The streets of these ten European cities are capable of cheering up even the grumpiest tourists.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen has lots of houses in stylish pastel colors, especially in Nyhavn, or New Harbor. Lots of these houses, some of which are over 300 years old, have been turned into a cafe or restaurant during the past few decades.

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It’s a feeling almost any traveler has experienced. When you’re planning your trip, you enthusiastically draw a circle in your travel guide around a landmark you’ve wanted to visit for a long time. But when you finally see it in real life, your first reaction is “THAT’s it?!?”.

We asked just over 1,300 travelers to share their most disappointing travel experience. The result is a list with ten sights that are often praised by local tour guides, but turn out to be real tourist traps that you’d be better of avoiding completely.

1 Manneken Pis, Brussels (Belgium)

Why is it disappointing? “Busloads of tourists and pickpockets gathering around a small statue of a peeing boy? No, thanks.”

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Crisis, shmisis. The travel industry may have took a few punches, but it’s definitely far from knocked-out. The ten most expensive hotel rooms and presidential suites in Europe all have a nightly rate that exceeds your and my monthly salary combined and are usually booked nearly every week end. Their top clients? Probably bankers and oil company CEOs.

10. Royal Suite, Four Seasons George V, Parijs (France) – $15,447

The Champs-Elysées is at walking distance from the Four Seasons Hotel, in the heart of the French capital Paris. The Royal Suite measures over 2,600 square feet, and has a stunning view over a private garden with beautiful art deco fountains.

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Although religion is playing a less prominent role in European civilization nowadays, churches, mosques, synagogues, cathedrals and basilicas still play a very important role in the city landscapes of most European cities, and tourism as a result of that.

Erik, the Europeish editor with the most spare time, got the assignment to select the most beautiful religious buildings in Europe. As Erik also has a difficult time making choices, the result is a list with 79 impressive (Wieskirche), unusually located (Santuario di San Besso, Meteora), or uniquely designed (Hallgrimur, Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso) churches.

1. St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow (Russia)

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