Special Sub-Topic: Famous Landmarks of Europe
|Which famous Roman landmark is more properly known as the Flavian Amphitheatre?|
Colosseum. The Colosseum was built around 70 A.D by the orders of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. It was used mainly for wild animal hunts, sea battle re-enactments and of course gladiatorial battles. The base of the Colosseum covers an area of 6 acres and it stands 48 metres high.
|The Atomium was built for the World Fair of 1958 and is a representation of a unit cell of a iron crystal, magnified 165 billion times. In which capital city would you find the Atomium?|
Brussels. Standing 103 metres tall, the Atomium is known as the Eiffel Tower of Brussels. It has nine steel spheres which are connected by long tubes containing escalators. It also has a lift taking you directly to the top sphere for a panoramic view of Brussels.
|Which castle, built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is the castle on which most fairytale castles are based on?|
Neuschwanstein. Situated in the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein is Germany's most photographed building. King Ludwig II was certified insane and died before the castle was completed. Most of interior of the castle is unfinished, hence the castle tour is very good, but a bit short.
|The Giant's Causeway is thousands of interlocking basalt columns, mainly hexagonal shaped, with some measuring up to 12 metres high. On the coastline of which country would you find this famous landmark?|
Northern Ireland. Legend has it that the causeway was built by the Irish giant Finn McCool so that he could walk over to Scotland to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. A more realistic explanation is that about 65 million years ago molten basalt intruded through the chalk beds and as it cooled and dried rapidly it contracted forming the columns. I personally believe the giant version.
|This cathedral is the biggest and most important in the Czech Republic. It was the venue of many coronations of Bohemian kings and Queens and is also the tomb of many. So what is the name of this famous cathedral?|
St Vitus. St Vitus cathedral is situated within the Prague Castle in Prague. It is the third cathedral to be built on this site and is now the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The cathedral also is home to the very ornate St Wenceslas Chapel and the Crown Chamber which contains the Bohemian Coronation Jewels.
|Which famous landmark would you visit to see the Tsar Bell, the largest bell in the world?|
Moscow Kremlin. The Kremlin in Moscow is a huge fortified complex containing four palaces and four cathedrals among many other buildings. The Kremlin has been home to some Tsars of Russia and political leaders such as Lenin and Stalin. It is also home to the Tsar Bell which is the largest bell in the world although it is broken and never really has been used.
|The Leaning Tower is found where in Italy?|
Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually a freestanding bell tower for the cathedral of Pisa. Situated in the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), the tower is around 56 metres high and has 294 steps if you fancy the climb. The tower acquired its lean due to small foundations and poor soil.
|Which landmark, erected by the Byzantine Empire in around 537AD, and initially a Christian church until it was converted into a Islamic mosque, is now a museum for both faiths?|
Hagia Sophia. The modern day Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was completed in 537 A.D although there have been a few repairs to problems such as the dome collapsing. Originally a Christian church, it was converted to an Ottoman mosque in 1453 when the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Mehmet conquered the city. It is now a museum with both Islamic and Christian art.
|Which Gothic cathedral was built between 1163 and about 1345, and was made even more famous by novelist Victor Hugo?|
Notre Dame. Notre Dame de Paris, which translates as Our Lady in Paris, is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris and is open to visitors, even when a service is in progress. Victor Hugo wrote the classic novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in 1831.
|Big Ben in London is a very well known landmark, but what actually is Big Ben?|
Bell. Although part of a clock tower, Big Ben is actually the main bell in the tower of the Houses of Parliament. Cast in 1858 the bell and the clock both went into operation in 1859, although it wasn't long before the bell cracked. Big Ben was then out of action for a while until a lighter hammer was fitted. The bell was turned and the crack in the bell now gives it a distinctive tone.
|The Muslim built Alhambra was originally a fortress, but was later turned into a complex with palaces and mosques for the Moorish monarchs. In which country would you find the Alhambra?|
Spain. The Alhambra, meaning red or red castle, is situated in Granada, Spain. The complex was used by the Moors up until the Christian conquest of the area in 1492. The Alhambra is now a museum with both Islamic architecture and European art.
|Which famous European museum contains paintings such as Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" and Vermeer's "The Milkmaid"?|
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum, meaning National Museum, is the largest museum in Holland. Founded in 1800 in The Hague it moved to Amsterdam in 1808 on orders of the king. It houses works by many great artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer who both came from Holland.
|The Little Mermaid is a small statue sitting on a rock in the harbour or which city?|
Copenhagen. Although small and not particularly awe-inspiring, the Little Mermaid is still one of Denmark's major tourist attractions. The statue was created by Edward Eriksen who used his wife as a model and is based on the fairytale "The Little Mermaid" by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. The story says she must wait 300 years before she can enter the world of humans. She has been sitting in Copenhagen harbour since 1913, so she still has a few years left to go.
|This huge landmark is the highest mountain in western Europe, it is also the highest mountain in the Alps. What is this colourfully named mountain called?|
Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc, meaning White Mountain is about 4807 metres (15774 feet) high and was first climbed in 1786. If you fancy the climb yourself, it is normally a two day climb. Firstly it is quite a gentle walk until it starts to steepen quite quickly and you then have to pass the notorious avalanche area known as Grand Couloir. After a quick sleep, you'll set off very early while the snow is still hard and, using crampons and ice picks, head for the summit. The air is thin and breathing is very difficult, but if you reach the summit you will get breathtaking views of the Alps through France, Italy and Switzerland.
|Nobody is entirely sure why Stonehenge was built. Mainly people think it was for ceremonial purposes, maybe as part of a funeral procession. It is also linked to astrology in the ways the stones are lined up. Other less likely theories are that it was built by Merlin the wizard or that it is a landing site for aliens. Where in England would you have to go to visit Stonehenge?|
Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Stonehenge is thought to have erected between 2500 and 2000 B.C. This was the third time it had been built on the same site, the previous two had been made from wood. The stone monument used incredible feats of engineering considering when it was built. Firstly moving the huge stones, some up to six tonnes in weight, many of which came from long distances away, and then erecting them into exact positions shows great techniques and workmanship.
|The Acropolis is probably the most famous landmark in Greece and the most famous building on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, but which Greek goddess is the Parthenon dedicated to?|
Athena. The Parthenon was built in the 5th century B.C and was a temple of Athena. It was built on the say so of Athenian politician Pericles, as were most buildings on the Acropolis. The Acropolis is the "Sacred Rock" standing 150 metres above sea level in Athens, Greece.
|What is the name of the volcano which stands by the Bay of Naples and famously erupted in 79 A.D. leading to the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum?|
Vesuvius. The tectonic plates of Eurasia and Africa pushed together and became heated, which forms magma. The magma naturally pushes upwards and found a weakness in the earth's crust, thus forming the volcano that we now know as Mount Vesuvius. Reaching the summit of Vesuvius is quite easy, as roads take you to within 200 metres of the top, where you will have great views of the 600 metre wide cone.
|What is the name of the famous landmark in Berlin that was originally built to stand for peace and as a gateway into Berlin, but eventually became incorporated into the Berlin Wall?|
Brandenburg Gate. The Brandenburg Gate was built between 1788 and 1791 and stands 26 metres high and 65 metres wide. The Quadriga, which is a goddess of peace driving a four horse chariot sits on top of the gate. The Quadriga was taken to Paris by Napoleon Bonaparte after victory in Berlin in 1806, but was returned to its rightful place in 1814. The gate itself now is a symbol of reunification between east and west.
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