Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
Palais de la Bourse is an ornate 19th Century building in Lyon, occupied by Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon. 

LOCATION Lyon, France
ARCHITECTURE Neo-Renaissance
BUILT 1860
RATING (8,41/10)
The decoration of the building, both in its facades that its interior, reflects the destination of the building : the statues of Justice, the Temperance, Agriculture, Trade and Industry. The group around the clock on the facade is the work of Jean-Marie Bonnassieux. The exterior white marble statue, near the stairs and the Place des Cordeliers, is an allegory that personified Saône and Rhône joining their arms to point to the future. It was made in 1905 by sculptor Wermar. The two fronts at north and south are richly decorated with many entablatures, balconies and columns. Most paintings of interior ceilings are the work of artists from Lyon such as Antoine Claude Ponthus-Cinier or Jean-Baptiste Beuchot. [Wikipedia]

Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
"Dancing house" is famous contemporary architecture landmark in Prague, built in the site of an apartment building which was destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945 which supposedly happened accidentally as Prague was mistaken for Dresden. 

LOCATION Prague, Czech Republic
ARCHITECTURE Postmodernism, Deconstructivism
BUILT 1996
ARCHITECT Vlado Milunić, Frank Gehry
NICKNAME Ginger and Fred
RATING (8,55/10)
One of two architects of the building, the famous Frank Gehry called the house Ginger and Fred - after the dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire as the house resembles a pair of dancers. Gehry himself later discarded his own idea, as he was "afraid to import American Hollywood kitsch to Prague". 

The building consisting of two parts, static and dynamic ("yin and yang"), which symbolizes the transition of Czechoslovakia from a communist regime to a parliamentary democracy. Dancing house was a complex construction project which was financed by the Dutch insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden (ING Bank from 1991 to 2016) - the funding for the building was almost "unlimited". 

The Dancing House won Time magazine's design contest in 1997. It was also named as one of the most important buildings in the 1990s by architecture press. However, as always with such new, experimental projects, the building got a fair share of criticism from architecture purists and conservatives - it has been called inappropriate in the classical city of Prague. The deconstructivist design is controversial because the house disrupts the Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous. The style, shape, heavy asymmetry, and material are considered out of place by some critics and civilians. [Wikipedia]


Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
St. Anne church was built around 1495–1500. It is a prominent example of both Flamboyant Gothic and Brick Gothic styles and one of the most interesting examples of Gothic architecture in Lithuania. 

LOCATION Vilnius, Lithuania
ARCHITECTURE Brick Gothic, Late Gothic
BUILT 1500
RATING (8,99/10)
St. Anne church was constructed on the initiative of the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander I Jagiellon in 1495–1500; the exterior of the church has remained almost unchanged since then. 

The design of the church building is attributed to either Michael Enkinger, the architect of a church of the same name in Warsaw, or to Benedikt Rejt. However, neither of the attributions is attested by written sources. 

A novel approach to bricks as a construction material was employed in the church's construction. The main façade, designed in the Flamboyant Gothic style, is its most striking feature. Traditional Gothic elements and shapes were used in unique ways; Gothic arches are framed by rectangular elements dominating a symmetrical and proportionate façade, creating an impression of dynamism. 

The church has one nave and two towers. It was built using 33 different kinds of clay bricks and painted in red. The interior is decorated in the Baroque style, as is its altar. The imitative neo-Gothic bell tower, constructed in the 1870s to Chagin's designs, stands nearby. [Wikipedia]


Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
Brussels Town Hall is a landmark building and the seat of the City of Brussels municipality of Brussels, Belgium. It is located on the south side of the famous
LOCATION Brussels, Belgium
ARCHITECTURE Gothic, Brabantine Gothic
BUILT 1455
RATING (9,18/10)
Grand-Place/Grote Markt (Brussels' main square), opposite the neo-Gothic King's House or Bread House[a] building, housing the Brussels City Museum. Erected between 1401 and 1455, the Town Hall is the only remaining medieval building of the Grand-Place and is considered a masterpiece of civil Gothic architecture and more particularly of Brabantine Gothic.[2] Its three classicist rear wings date from the 18th century. Since 1998, is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the square. [Wikipedia]

Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
Largest amphiteatre in ancient world's history, and the largest still standing, as well as one of seven new wonders of the world, Colosseum is probably the most
LOCATION Rome, Italy
ARCHITECTURE Ancient Roman, Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian
AREA 2.4 ha
RATING (9,65/10)
recognizable symbol of Roman Empire and also a tourism symbol of modern Rome. 

Unlike Roman theatres that were built into hillsides, the Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure. The Colosseum has suffered extensive damage over the centuries, with large segments having collapsed following earthquakes. The north side of the perimeter wall is still standing; the distinctive triangular brick wedges at each end are modern additions, having been constructed in the early 19th century to shore up the wall. The remainder of the present-day exterior of the Colosseum is in fact the original interior wall. 

The Colosseum's huge crowd capacity (50 000 - 80 000 people) made it essential that the venue could be filled or evacuated quickly. Its architects adopted solutions very similar to those used in modern stadia to deal with the same problem. The amphitheatre was ringed by eighty entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators. Each entrance and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. The northern main entrance was reserved for the Roman Emperor and his aides, whilst the other three axial entrances were most likely used by the elite. All four axial entrances were richly decorated with painted stucco reliefs, of which fragments survive. Many of the original outer entrances have disappeared with the collapse of the perimeter wall, but entrances XXIII (23) to LIIII (54) survive. 

The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events. The shows, called munera, were always given by private individuals rather than the state. They had a strong religious element but were also demonstrations of power and family prestige and were immensely popular. Another major attraction was the animal hunt, or venatio. This utilized a great variety of wild beasts, mainly imported from Africa and the Middle East, and included creatures such as rhinoceros, hippopotamuses, elephants, giraffes, aurochs, wisents, Barbary lions, panthers, leopards, bears, Caspian tigers, crocodiles and ostriches. Battles and hunts were often staged amid elaborate sets with movable trees and buildings. [Wikipedia]

Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
Schafberg mountain is one of (many) impressive panoramic view points in Austrian Alps. It offers great scenery on all sides which includes not only
LOCATION Austria, Salzburg state
RATING (9,87/10)
fellow summits but also lakes (Wolfgangsee), meadows, forests. Schafberg is famous also for it's restaurant/hotel house ("Schafberg Himmelspforte", "Hotel Schafbergspitze") which seemingly balances on the edge of the cliff. There is a steam train leading up to almost 2 km high mountain which is an attraction itself. Of course, the place is very popular, overcrowded, thus it's not of those vantage points where to look for solitude and peaceful, undisturbed calmness.
Travel Guide with beautiful photos and exciting descriptions of the most amazing and unique places in Baltic states and Europe.
On the top floor of Radisson Blu hotel highrise in Riga there is a skyline bar - a place which offers probably the most beautiful panoramic view of Riga. The harmonious scenery includes centre boulevards and parks, Old Town and almost all the highrise accents in one, charming view. Especially beautiful it gets in blue hour when the lanterns are switched on, the streets turning yellow/orange, the trees remains green and the rooftops turns blueish. On the opposite direction the panorama leads your eye in voyage over the 19th/20th Century "belle epoque" age (Eclecticism, Art Nouveau and other  styles) buildings' rooftops, layouted in impressive perimetrical quarters. 

The downside of this location is that the view is seen through windows so reflections of interior can be very disturbing and annoying, especially if you're photographing and trying to get high quality pictures. Heavy and difficult post-processing will be required to at least minimize reflections.

Practical information. Technically the entrance is free, but as it is the restaurant/bar, it would be polite to order some drink. They're not cheap in this place but with just a coffee you could go with few euros. However there's another complication - the place is very popular and that means if you want to be sure you get to the table at the window to Old Town side, you must likely should make a reservation before. Btw, there is also an option to see the views to southern and northern sides of Riga from the staircase windows (and the view to Old Town is visible also from the toilett next to the Skybar but, well, it doesn't seem to be the most appropriate place to enjoy the scenery :)).