The 45 Most Interesting European Landmarks May 3, 2016 by Ian (Awesome Escape Blogger)

Guggenheim Museum, Spain

Santi Rodriguez /

Europe is renowned for ancient monuments and soaring cathedrals, but the same vibrant and artistic culture has continued to produce contemporary monuments of epic proportions. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is one of the world’s most spectacular buildings, considered by architects and critics as one of the most important designs of the past thirty years. The gallery was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and inaugurated in 1997, featuring permanent and visiting exhibits by Spanish and international artists. The curving glass, stone, and titanium structure reflects the light into the gleaming atrium with views of the city and Basque Country. The new museum is a centerpiece to the rejuvenated waterfront and a one of the newest wonders of Spain, bringing millions of tourists to the rustic hills of Bilbao.

Heroes Square, Hungary

Heroes Square, or “Hősök Tere,” is an enduring symbol of Hungary’s proud history and modern accomplishments. The restrained but powerful monument has a pleasant symmetry, lined with iconic statues of kings and statesmen centered on a column surmounted by a statue of the Archangel Gabriel clasping the Hungarian Holy Crown. The figures memorialize Hungary’s past while the construction energized the city’s future, flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Arts and built as part of an expansion of the first underground subway in Eastern Europe. Celebrating the past and future, Heroes Square is one of the most important landmarks in Budapest.

Blarney Stone, Ireland

The silver tongue of the Irish can be yours in Blarney Castle in County Cork. The castle is home to the Stone of Eloquence, and legend holds that anyone who kisses the ancient rock will receive “The Gift of Gab.” The stone is one of the castle’s murder holes, openings in the battlements where defenders could hurl weapons and boiling oil at besiegers. Now a partial ruin, the castle itself was built in 1446 with a noble history tired to one of the country’s greatest chieftains, Cormac McCarthy. The battlements, poison garden, druid’s circle, caves, and nearby mansion are still open to visitors. Just be sure to hang upside down over the sheer drop and kiss the Blarney Stone.

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