Instant World Booking Travel Guides - Quick travel guides for the cities and places you want to visit

Posts Tagged ‘history’

Virginia

June 10, 2010

Appomattox, Virginia

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Discover the Historic Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, forever written on the pages of Civil War history. Walk the dusty roads of Clover Hill Village, and witness life in the 1800’s. Experience Cub Creek Pottery, a residential apprenticeship pottery studio. Awe at the thousands of antique German steins on display at Steins Unlimited. Enjoy the unique African artifact collection on display at the Hazel Moon Resource Center. Delight in the unique architecture of our Turn of the Century Walking Tour. Visit the birth­place and gravesite of Joel Walker Sweeney, or immerse yourself in history at the Appomattox County Historical Museum.

For those who simply want to relax and unwind, the pristine waters and outdoor recreation of the James River and Holliday Lake State Park await you, along with disc golf, hiking, fishing, golfing and more. Finally, enjoy shopping in this picturesque community offering great antiquing, charming restaurants, romantic Bed and Breakfasts, and true southern hospitality.


Virginia

June 5, 2010

Lynchburg, Virginia

Tags: , , , , , ,

Travelers in search of the ideal getaway can follow the lead of American visionary Thomas Jefferson who deemed Lynchburg “the most interesting spot in the state.” This is the place Jefferson chose to build his year-round retreat, Poplar Forest.

The close proximity of the region’s historic sites, wilderness areas, and urban diversions, make it possible for visitors to cover a lot of territory at a leisurely pace. Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains in the morning, shop for antiques in the afternoon, and top it all off with a delightful evening of dinner and jazz. Plan a two-day visit to see Old City Cemetery, Point of Honor, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, or National D-Day Memorial.

Unlike Thomas Jefferson, you won’t find it necessary to design and build your own accommodations to retreat here throughout the year. Lynchburg offers over 1,800 rooms ranging from quaint bed and breakfast inns to luxury hotels. Once you discover Lynchburg, you’ll understand why our visitors return to stay for another week, a month, a summer-even a lifetime!


West Virginia

February 7, 2010

The Land of Shenendoah

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The land of Shenendoah is showcased in Page County, home to both Luray Caverns and the Shenandoah National Park. Winding along the top of the Blue ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive offers unrivaled panoramic vistas and access to ancient granite summits. 

A canoe or tube trip along the meandering  Shenandoah River provides a more timeless and fun filled sense of man’s oldest travels.

Enjoy these natural wonders as well as the history, heritage and talents of our people …visit our quaint towns, shops, historic sites, concerts, festivals, and fairs to see, hear, taste and savor the richness of our bounty. Leave the stress of city life; visit our communities of Luray, Stanley and Shenandoah where you are welcomed with small town charm.

Our accommodations are as varied as the landscape: whether you prefer elegant bed and breakfasts, fine hotels, rustic cabins or scenic campgrounds, you’ll find the perfect spot to stay, relax and enjoy!

For more:  http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/BRPA2010/section%201.pdf


West Virginia

February 6, 2010

West Virginia – Jefferson County

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why visit Jefferson County, West Virginia? Travel just a few hours from the Blue Ridge Parkway and experience the physical activities, scenic beauty and historical heritage. Find out why Thomas Jefferson once said that the view at Harpers Ferry was worth crossing an ocean. You might enjoy the fun of fish­ing, rafting or tubing the cool waters of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. Maybe you would prefer to hike the Appalachian Trail or bike the C&O Canal and Antietam Battlefield. Discover the best “birding” spots or experi­ence the thrill of Charles Town Racing & Slots.

See where John Brown’s Raid took place as you do a walking tour in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park but don’t forget walking tours of historic Charles Town and Shepherdstown. Remember to take the time to visit quaint shops, antiques and flea markets. The 112 mile Washington Heritage Trail National Byway allows you to find out about the extensive Washington history in this area.

For more:  http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/BRPA2010/section%201.pdf


Italy,Tuscany

January 1, 2010

Tuscany Wine Region

Tags: , , , , , , ,

At its heart, Tuscany is home to the red sangiovese grape. You might not have heard of it, because like many of Italy’s indigenous vines, this one doesn’t love to travel. But you’ve prob­ably heard of Chianti, which has grown up from its bottle-as-candleholder days into a high-quality offering at prices that range from steal to splurge. As with many Italian wines, the Chianti name refers to the growing district rather than the grape. “Classico” refers to the historic heart of the Chianti zone, and “riserva” means the wine has had extra aging. If you have heard wine geeks refer to so-called “Super Tuscan” wines, these are wines made to push the boundaries of Tuscan tradition by mixing French grapes and, very often, French barrels with the local varieties.  The results are magnifico, so if you feel like splurging, check them out.


Asia,Nepal

December 12, 2009

Nepal

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

NEPAL IS A PLACE WITH A RICH CUL­TURE BEGGING TO BE EXPLORED. WITH A MYRIAD OF ONE-OF-A KIND ACTIVI­TIES AND UNIQUE LANDMARKS, A TRIP TO NEPAL WILL EXCITE THE TRAVELER IN EVERYONE.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Nepal is the history and culture that shaped the present-day South Asian country. History buffs will be delighted with the jewels of knowledge that lie beyond what meets the eye. From the ancient Newar kingdom to the Nepal Sambat Calendar, Nepal has a diverse back­ground. As the birthplace of Buddhism, it’s a renowned spiritual destination. A mixture of mountains, hills, plains and marshy grasslands with intertwining rivers, the country features a diverse terrain. The mountainous region, in the north, is Nepal’s claim to fame. The Great Himalayan Range contains the highest altitudes in the world-including Mount Everest, located on the border of Tibet. For the avid trekker, Nepal is a playground. With arduous trails and high altitudes-plus white water rafting-Nepal has an adventure for everyone. And when you get off the trails, there’s a whole city to explore. Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, promises one-of-a­kind sights and scenes. Live like a local and bathe in the Bagmati River or watch the monkeys do so at Swayambhunath, a religious temple complex atop a hill at the Kathmandu Valley. Here you’ll find the Monkey Temple, where holy monkeys inhabit a temple in the northwest part of the complex. A sacred site that boasts killer views of the capital city, Swayambhunath is a site not to be missed. After checking out a few local gems, shop in the small markets sprinkled across Kathmandu. Pick up treasured gifts such as exquisite jewelry, Newari woodcrafts and exotic spices and teas. After a long, exciting day of shopping, there is only one thing left to do: enjoy a nice dinner, of course. From five-star cuisine to sidewalk cafe fare, finding a scrumptious meal is never an issue. Drop into the neighborhood cafes, where tourists intermingle with locals over highly acclaimed Malaysian cuisine. Stay awhile and you will find yourself chatting with a monk or an eager-eyed world-traveler.


Mexico

December 9, 2009

Festival Internacional Cervantino, Mexico

Tags: , , , , , ,

Festival Internacional Cervantino, in Guanajuato Mexico

Bargain prices at luxury properties (up to 70 percent off), value-added pro­motions, and dramatic drops in airfare (averaging 26 percent lower than last year) are part of the Mexico tourism board’s campaign to lure travelers back to its white-sand beaches, colonial cities, and ancient pyramids.

Every fall, more than 500,000 visitors descend on Guanajuato, in central Mexico, for the country’s preeminent cultural celebration, the Festival Internacional Gervantino (October 14-November 1). This year, posadas to five-star hotels are offering packages, starting from $95 per night, at www.festivalcervantino.gob.mx.


Europe,Turkey

November 29, 2009

Turkey

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

TURKEY IS THE KIND OF DESTINATION YOU FALL INTO, RATHER THAN VISIT IT IS A PLACE OF DAZZLING CULTURAL COMPLEXITY, AT ONCE REMOVED FROM THE PRESENT AND YET ENTIRELY A PART OF IT.

Asojourn here almost overwhelms imagination-from the gran Istanbul to sweeping fig and groves to ancient ruins and such as Troy and Ephesus. Mountainous, coastoral and urbane, Turkey is richly, pervasively by its complicated history. This land reflects t influences of the vast empires that have occupied Istanbul itself remains the city where East me literally straddling two continents-and yet m most arresting features of both, producing a di modern landscape. In Istanbul, tour the holy Byzantine churches, including Hagia Sophia and the blue Mosque. The famed whirling dervishes spin on aturdays and Sundays at the Galata Mevlevihanesi, a ervish hall built in 1491. Then, visit the Grand Bazaar or a day of shopping. The covered bazaar is an endless presentation of handcrafted and idiosyncratic treas­res unique to the region, including jewelry and artwork. Turkey, for all of its cultural impact, is also home o impressive beaches. On a peninsula along the Aegean coast, Bodrum is a Mediterranean resort town here yachting is the popular pastime. From here, enjoy a tour on a traditional hand made gulet or while way the morning at Gumbet, a nearby beach.


France,Paris

November 28, 2009

Conciergerie – Palace and Prison, The Medieval and Revolutionary Halls

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The medieval halls

The lower parts, the only ones still standing today, were reserved for the Royal Guard and the numerous staff – clerks, officers and servants – who worked for the king and his family (about 2,000 people in all). The floor of the medieval halls is still at its 14th-century level. The creation of embankments in the 19th century raised the level of the rest of the Ile-de-la-Cite and its other buildings.

The Hall of Men-at-Arms, built from 1302 onwards under Philippe le Bel, is one of the finest examples in Europe of Gothic secular architecture. Consisting of four rib vaulted “naves”, the hall was generously lit by twin windows, traces of which can be seen on the left wall. This huge refectory was heated by four large fireplaces. On the left hand wall, there is still a fragment of the black marble table used during the sumptuous receptions held by the Capetian monarchy in the Palace’s Great Ceremonial Hall, on the upper floor. The latter, which has now disappeared, used to be served by spiral staircases, an example of which can still be seen on the right hand side of the hall.

2 The kitchen outbuilding, built during the reign of John the Good and of which only the lower level remains, was built slightly later and used by the king’ staff. Foodstuffs were delivered there directly by river.

3 The Guardroom was built around the same time as the Hall of Men-at-Arms. The capitals” on the central pillar are thought to portray Heloise and Abelard. This hall was used as an antechamber to the Great Chamber on the upper floor (no longer standing), where the king held meetings with his council and his “lits de justice”. The Revolutionary Tribunal also sat here in 1793.

4 The Rue de Paris which gets its name from that given to the executioner during the Revolution, “Monsieur de Paris”, was used to imprison pailleux”. This area was once an integral part of the Hall of Men-at-Arms, but was separated off and raised in the 15th century.

The revolutionary halls

After the fire of 1776, Louis XVI modernized the Conciergerie prison, later used during the Revolution.

5 The Prisoners’ Gallery was the prison’s main thoroughfare, where prisoners could wander freely.

6 The Girondins’ Chapel stands on the site of the king’s medieval oratory’. The 21 Cirondins  feasted here prior to their execution on 30 October 1793.

7 Marie-Antoinette’s Chapel was built in 1815 on the exact spot where her prison cell stood.

 8 The Women’s Courtyard surrounded by two floors of prisoners’ cells, still has the fountain where they washed their clothes and one of the stone tables at which they ate, and the “Corner of the Twelve” or “of last goodbyes”. This is where condemned prisoners waited in groups of 12 for the cart that would carry them off to the scaffold.

9 Marie-Antoinette’s cell was reconstituted on part of the actual site of her dungeon. She was permanently guarded by two gendarmes.


France,Paris

November 27, 2009

Conciergerie – Paris Palace and Prison

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Conciergerie, Paris

Palace and prison

Residence of the Kings of France

In the 6th century, Clovis, the first French king, established his royal residence on the Ile-de-la­Cite. Five centuries later, Hugues Caper, the first Capetian king, established his council and government in the Palais de la Cite, which thus became the seat of royal power.

Symbol of royal power

In the 14th century, Philippe IV the Fair – continuing the work of his grandfather, Saint Louis – turned the Palace into a prestigious symbol of the monarchy. It became the seat of the Parlement de Paris.

Palace of justice and prison

At the end of the 14th century, Charles V left the royal residence on the Ile-de-la-Cite for the hotel Saint-Pol, since destroyed, following the assassination of his father’s advisors. He appointed a steward, or “concierge”, endowed with legal powers, to run the Palace and prison Numerous prisoners of State were kept here, such as Ravaillac, Henri IV’s assassin. In later times, the Revolutionary Tribunal sat in the Palace and used it increasingly as a prison. The Conciergerie was listed as a historical monument in 1914.

A major centre during the Revolution

The Revolutionary Tribunal

In 1790, the mayor of Paris sealed the doors of the Palace, up until then the seat of the Parlement de Paris”. The Revolutionary Tribunal initiated in March 1793 took over the Grand Chamber. In July, Robespierre joined the Committee for Public Safety with a programme based on virtue and terror. The “Law of Suspects” ordered the arrest of anyone pre-sumed to be an enemy of the Revolution or who confessed to being so.

Over 1793 and 1794, more than 2,700 people appeared before Fouquier-Tinville, the tribunal’s public prosecutor, including Queen Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre. The trials of famous people gave way to collective trials. In 1794, witnesses and defenders were eliminated and tens of people were guillotined each day. After the fall of Robespierre, the Tribunal was dissolved in May 1795.

Everyday life in the prison

The Conciergerie had a reputation for being the toughest of all prisons. During the Reign of Terror”, its cells accommodated several hundred prisoners kept in terribly unhealthy and crowded conditions. Up until 1794, “suspects” were kept together with common law prisoners. On the eve of their court appearance, prisoners were notified that their trial was to begin

and of the charges brought against them by the “evening journal” or bill of indictment. Once the verdict had been given, prisoners sentenced to death were allowed to enjoy a final feast.