Exploring a Landmark with a Surprising History – Kemmelberg

"Kemmel" stands for the name of the village where this hill formation is located, whereas "berg" means "mountain" or in this case "hill". Moreover, Kemmel comes from Camulos, the Celtic god of war. With its height of 156 meters, the Kemmelberg is the highest point in the province of West Flanders. We Belgians are quite …

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Exploring the Judaica Trail in Warsaw

Lars and I were only in the Polish capital for 2 days and we knew that it was better to concentrate on one theme instead of running around aimlessly. The very first day, we went to the closest tourist information office possible. We chose the places that appealed the most to us. To be honest, …

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Exploring the Gruesome Past of Terezin

From the outside, Terezin looks like any other town. But dig a bit deeper, have a close look around, and you can still see the scars of a very troubled past. Terezin's history changed radically when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. Its Small Fortress was first changed into a Nazi prison. One year later, the …

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Exploring an Underground Palace in Brussels

I am not sure if you are aware of this, but there is more than one royal palace in the region of Brussels. The one in Brussels itself is the main residence. Let's call this the office of the king. It is also the place where he receives other royalties and heads of states. And... …

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The Beginner’s Guide to the Destroyed Villages in France

Another week, and a new destination, because today we take you to France. But instead of the good old Eiffel Tower or another touristic highlight, we take you to a lesser-known corner of the country. Today, we are in the département of the Meuse, at the Villages Détruits (Destroyed Villages). But what exactly are these? …

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Fortress Oratea

In the Footsteps of Vlad the Impaler – Bonus 3: Fortress Oratea

Welcome to the third and last bonus episode of our journey through Romania, in the footsteps of Vlad Tepes. Unfortunately, not so much is known about our location of today. Moreover, it's quite difficult to reach and to photograph it unless you have a drone. Nevertheless, let's introduce you to Fortress Oratea. Little is known …

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Dealu Monastery

In the Footsteps of Vlad the Impaler – Bonus 1: Dealu Monastery

Today, I present to you the first of 3 bonus posts - as I have promised you before, which concern locations that are indirectly linked to either Vlad Tepes or Dracula. Let's have a look at the first one. Not so far from Târgoviște, you can visit one of Romania's oldest monasteries, Dealu Monastery, which …

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Comana Monastery

In the Footsteps of Vlad the Impaler – Comana Monastery

Vlad the Impaler didn't die in bed, surrounded by his loved ones. As it befits a famous leader and warrior, he died on the battlefield. By the way, if you have seen the episode of Ghost Adventures in Romania, which I mentioned in this post, you are aware that the crew found the exact location …

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Hunedoara Castle

In the Footsteps of Vlad the Impaler – Hunedoara Castle

Another castle, you might say... However, not only is Hunedoara Castle one of the largest ones in Europe, but this fortress is also one of the most magnificent locations in Romania. If you don't have enough time or don't want to see the castles of Bran, Poienari, and Hunedoara, let it be this one! First, …

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Poienari Castle

In the Footsteps of Vlad the Impaler – Poienari Castle

Although some touristic organizations still see Bran Castle as the main residence of Vlad III, others are convinced that Poienari Castle (also called Poienari Fortress) deserves that title. Let's face it: a national leader, a man with a lot of enemies, needed to live in a building that is difficult to conquer, let alone approach. …

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