Category Archives: Monuments

The porphyry disc in St. Peter where Charlemagne was crowned in the year 800 is still there

A photo of the Red Porphyry Disk by Linda C. McCabe

A photo of the Red Porphyry Disk by Linda C. McCabe from Legends of Medieval France and Italy.



There is a place in Rome where you can walk over a floor that had Charlemagne on his knees on it.

The most amusing thing about it is that most people don’t even know that. In fact, if you’ve ever been inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, you’ve probably already walked on it.

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The Broken Chair in Geneva — is Geneva the city of peace?

To me, while Zurich symbolizes the act of taking advantage of neutrality for material purposes, Geneva seems to take advantage of that same neutrality for moral purposes.

Broken Chair, Geneva

The Broken Chair, Geneva

This photo of the Broken Chair Monument in Geneva has been taken from our car while stopping at a red light.

The Broken Chair is nothing else than a giant wooden chair with a broken leg located a few yards away from the entrance of the Palace of Nations.

The broken leg is dedicated to people who lost their limbs due to mines, and it was meant to attract attention of visiting politicians from around the world towards the sufferings faced by civilians who were so unlucky to pay a price to war with their own body parts.

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Charlie Chaplin grave. Where is Charlie Chaplin buried?

Although Charlie Chaplin reached international fame by working and living for forty years in the United States, his grave is located overseas, in Switzerland.

A few days ago, while continuing our tour of Lakes of Switzerland, we enjoyed a week-end trip to Lake Geneva. A few minutes of the journey were devoted to visiting Charlie Chaplin’s grave.

Legendary icon of silent-film era, forever identified with The Tramp character, the man who has been the most famous actor in the world for decades, has his final resting place in Switzerland.

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Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo is 500 year old

Sistine Chapel Ceiling by MichelangeloThe Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo reaches the remarkable age of five hundred.

Exactly five hundred years ago the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was brought to completion. This unique, extraordinary and unparalleled work has been there, almost intact during the last five hundred years, for us to admire.

It was late October, early November 1512 AD, when Michelangelo, after four intense years of work, finally completed the frescoes on the ceiling.

Five hundred year old without not showing its age at all. In fact, to me the Sistine Chapel looks like it’s almost brand-new. Probably restoration that took place between 1984 and 1994 also played a role on that.

Today Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, and it is visited by five million people a year.
The chapel is also famous for being the election location of catholic popes.

Chateaux in Loire Valley

Chateaux in the Loire Valley are a multitude of magnificent and old castles located along the course of the Loire River and its tributaries in Central France.

Once upon a time residence of royals and nobles, they are now a tourist destination where enjoying both architectural beauty and quietness of nature.

Chateaux of the Loire

There are more than three hundred castles in the valley.

Although some of them were built starting from 1000 AD, most of them and most famous ones are example of French Renaissance architecture. Golden age for Chateaux de la Loire spans between XVI and XVIII century.

The castles were built as residence for French royals and nobles during the era in which the Loire Valley was France political centre of power. After royals moved back to Paris, the chateaux slowly saw number of their residents decrease and most of them became summer residences.

Nowadays castles of the Loire Valley are partly inhabited and partly a tourist attraction.

Here is a list of the chateaux.

Here pictures from Google:

Chateaux of the Loire pictures from google

Travel to Loire Valley

Loire Valley in Central France

Loire Valley in Central France – click to enlarge

Loire Valley is in located on western-central France. It is nicknamed “le Jardin de la France“, the Garden of France, and it is characterised by beautiful landscapes and a mild climate. The Loire river, which flows entirely on French territory and empties in North Atlantic Ocean, forms this gorgeous valley. The Valley has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Eastern limit of the World Heritage section of the Valley, around city of Orleans, is only 100 miles from downtown Paris. You can reach Orleans in two hours by car, thanks to French freeways. Valley’s western limit is in Angers area, 180 mi away from Paris.

Loire Valley Chateaux Map

There is plenty of information in the internet about castles in the Loire Valley, accommodation, and tours. Unfortunately many websites are only in French.

The most comprehensive one is Loire Valley Tourism.

There is a good map in wikipedia.

Hotels in Loire Valley

Among hundreds of hotels and restaurants available, you may be interested in sleeping and/or having dinner inside a true Loire Valley chateau. This webpage is a good starting point for that. Prices are for sure not cheap, but not even that high so that only rich people could afford a night in one of those castles. Give it a try.

Loire Valley Chateaux Tours

When it comes to tours, a great resource is this website.

Loire Valley Chateaux Pass

Loire Valley Chateaux Pass is a ticket that will grant you access to ten different chateaux. At publication of this post, it costed $39.69.

Chambord Castle, Loire Valley

Chambord Castle, Loire Valley

Artistic rendering of Château de Chaumont

Artistic rendering of Château de Chaumont

Chateaux in the Loire Valley are one of the most shining example of renaissance architecture in France and in Europe. A region where touching the past is made possible. I look forward to drive there with my car, and sit on the top of a hill with the river and a castle in sight.


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