Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amazing Cities with Beautiful Walls - Part 2


Rhodes, Greece

The Old Town of Rhodes is a maze of streets and alleys amid a wonderfully preserved medieval city. Surrounded by fortifications built during the Knights’ Period of the 1300s, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is divided into two parts by the wall: the northern part, which includes the spectacular Grand Master’s Palace, and the southern part where the laymen lived. Rhodes is also the site where one of the Seven Wonders of the World once stood, and today a popular attraction is the ancient Acropolis of Rhodes


Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Want to "own" a piece of the wall in this charming town? For 1,000 euros, visitors can sponsor a piece of the fortifications that were damaged during World War II. Airstrikes killed many people and destroyed nine watchtowers and 2,000 feet of the wall, but thankfully it was spared from heavy artillery damage. Today, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a popular stop along the Romantic Road in Bavaria. Sites other than the wall itself include the Rathaus, the Gothic town hall; the Christmas Museum; and the Criminal Museum


Segovia, Spain

The stone walls of Segovia are impressive, but so are the sites within those walls. The Roman aqueduct shows off an amazing feat of engineering, and includes 170 arches made with 25,000 stone blocks held together without mortar. Not to be outdone are the Gothic cathedral, which soars over the city and dominates the skyline, and the royal palace, known as the Alcazar of Segovia. This masterpiece of a walled city is not far from Avila, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Xi'an, China

Xi'an is on the eastern end of the famous Silk Road trade route and is one of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,000 years of history. Its thick stone walls are more recent, dating to the Ming Dynasty, around 1370. They were originally more than seven miles in circumference and nearly 40 feet high, and some parts of the base were 60 feet wide. Two of the many attractions in Xi’an today are the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the fascinating Terracotta Army.


York, England

 If you hear locals in York talking about Monk Bar and Bootham Bar, they’re not referring to their favorite pubs, but the city’s defensive gatehouses. There are four, including Micklegate Bar, which is where royalty and other VIPs would enter the city; from this gate, visitors can climb up onto the walls for a look around. York sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Foss and Ouse, and has been a walled city since 71 A.D. A few pieces of the original Roman wall and structures remain, notably the Multangular Tower, visible in the Museum Gardens. Much of the interior is pedestrian only, which leaves visitors free to amble along the snickelways and explore narrow stone streets like the Shambles






No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog