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3 Compelling reasons to Visit Alhambra!

3 Compelling reasons to Visit Alhambra!

Built originally for military purposes, the name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "crimson castle", due to the colors of the towers and wall that surround the entire hill of La Sabica. Interestingly enough, by starlight, the walls and towers look silver, but by sunlight, they transform into gold. The Alhambra was created as an "alcazaba" (fortress), an "alcázar" (palace) and a small "medina" (city), all in one. Download the Alhambra Guide and Offline Map to help you understand the distinctive features of the monument when you visit.

1.      It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Alhambra is regarded one of the finest palaces from its era and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It welcomes over two million in 2014 alone and was declared the most visited monument in Spain. That's reason enough to visit Alhambra considering Spain's other impressive sights. Although the palace was built in the 13th century, its magnificence and beauty remain remarkably intact. The buildings feature intricate designs, detailed mosaics, and hand-carved cedar wood.

Alhambra Palace Guide for iPhone and iPad

2.      It is Home to Magnificent Monuments and Incredible Art

Seven halls at Alhambra is dedicated to a variety of exhibitions where you can learn about the Alhambra's interesting history. It is also considered to hold the best collection of Nasrid and Mudejar in the art world, so the Museum of Alhambra shouldn't be missed. As you walk your way through a labyrinth of passageways, you'll come across impressive monuments. One of the notable monuments is the Fountain of the Lions. It's a stunning piece to behold with its 12 marble lions sitting at the center of the courtyard in the equally mesmerizing Palace of the Lions.

Travel to Alhambra with eTips Travel Guide

3.      The Stunning View

Having been built as a stronghold by the Arabs, the Alhambra sits on the hilltop and occupies the entire hill of La Sabica overlooking Granada. Expect wondrous views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside. Asides from the views and architecture, visitors can also enjoy a stroll through the Generalife Gardens. It's an oasis of peace and tranquility that dates back 750 years. Although it began as a military fortress, the construction of the palace was eventually commissioned by the Nasrid dynasty and was home to the royal family before the Catholic Monarchs took hold during the Reconquista of 1492.

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Barcelona’s Architectural Masterpiece -  Sagrada Familia – Must See!

Barcelona’s Architectural Masterpiece - Sagrada Familia – Must See!

Whether your time in Barcelona revolves around a layover, weekend away or a longer break, the one thing you cannot miss during your time in the Catalan capital is a visit to the Sagrada Familia. One of the most magnificent churches in the world, this amazing creation comes from the mind of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. The church is still a work in progress even though construction began in 1882 and is expected to finish in 2026--that’s 100 years after Gaudi's death. Tour this magnificent masterpiece with the Sagrada Familia Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1.      The Size, Detail, and Craftsmanship

Towering over its neighboring buildings, the Sagrada Familia is epic in scale. When complete it will have an impressive 18 spires, according to Gaudi's design, and will be the tallest church in the world. Outside the grand facade's intricate designs cover the walls in their entirety, with different styles being embraced in the telling of Christ's birth, life, and death. Visitors pass under the tree of life, with animals and wildlife to be spotted wherever you look and throughout the church areas are dedicated to everything from saints to sins. Inside the columns of the church are designed to look like trees and branches, and the roof so intricately designed you would want to stare at it for hours.

Sagrada Familia Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad & AppleWatch

2.      The Stained Glass Windows

The stained glass brings the building to life, with rainbows of light showering down onto the walls and columns all around you. They really have to be seen to be believed. They are considered an essential feature of the church. Gaudi gave them the same expressive intricacy as the architecture of the carvings. And if you love it enough, you can even pay to have a pane of glass added with your own name on it.

Sagrada Familia Travel Guide. All you need in one place!

3.      The View from the Top

The panoramic view of Barcelona will blow you away. The way the blue ocean from the Barcelona beach from afar contrasted with the orange glow of the church and the cityscape is worth mustering up your courage to defy your fear of heights, if you have one that is. The spectacular view is definitely a must-see for Barcelona first-timers and frequent visitors alike.

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Outstanding Reasons to Visit Havana, a Premium Destination for Americans

Outstanding Reasons to Visit Havana, a Premium Destination for Americans

The Cuban Government has made making it easier for Americans to visit the country a key part of its tourism campaign. There are now direct flights to Cuba from many cities in the United States. A lot of major American cities even have nonstop charter flights to Cuba. This alone makes it a good idea to visit this country. And if you will visit Cuba, might as well choose its capital and largest city, Havana. For easier time navigating Havana’s busy streets, get the Havana Travel Guide with Offline City Street Map. The Tourist Area of Old Havana (La Habana Vieja)

There is no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of Havana than taking a casual walk through the busy, crowded Calle Obispo from Calle Mercaderes, near Havana Harbor, west to Avenida Bélgica. You might even pick up souvenirs along the way as the sidewalks are littered with closet-sized shops selling refrigerator magnets, stuffed dolls, marionettes, t-shirts, and more.

You can also grab some street food as you go along with your stroll. An elote (corn on the cob on a stick) is a must try. You will also come across vendors selling sticky pastries and small Cuban sandwiches along the way. You might also encounter musicians giving free performances on a random street corner.

What a view! Havana Morro and the city Malecon seawall
What a view! Havana Morro and the city Malecon seawall

Historical Havana

Cuba had its fair share of battles. It came under Spanish occupation for many years. Americans also tried to invade and conquer it numerous times. In Havana, you can find various fields, buildings, and promontories that were once battlefields. Take a walk on the walkway through the lawn facing the Malecón and the beautiful water beyond. Look for the historical markers that provide clues of when Cubans and Americans faced off using rifles and cannons.

1950s and 1960s American Cars

Havana is a paradise for automobile enthusiasts who have a taste for the antique. You will surely be amazed by how many vintage Buicks, Pontiacs, Chrysler Plymouths, Ford Fairlanes, Chevrolets, Dodges, and Studebakers parade the streets. Perfectly restored cars are often parked near hotels and plazas waiting for tourists who want to rent them.

Havana's Typical Old American Cars
Havana's Typical Old American Cars

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5 Good Reasons to visit Tuscany, Italy’s Center of Artistic Heritage and Landscapes

5 Good Reasons to visit Tuscany, Italy’s Center of Artistic Heritage and Landscapes

If you love traveling because of the beautiful landscapes and artistic heritage found on various locations around the world then Tuscany should definitely be on your bucket list. It is an enchanting region with a mild weather all year round. And don’t forget to download the Tuscany Travel Guide with Offline City Street Map so you won’t have to carry huge maps or think travel guides during your vacation. Centennial History

The historical, cultural, and artistic heritage of Tuscany is unparalleled in the whole region. Countless hamlets, cathedrals, castles, churches, walls, domes, and ruins showcase this rich history. The region is a treasure throve for historians and archaeologists as most of its ancient structures are well preserved with some dating as far back as the Paleolithic era when humans first inhabited the area.

Artistic Legacy

Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Countless pieces of art can be seen all over the region primarily in museums, churches, art galleries, and sometimes even on the streets. Famous Tuscany-born personalities include:

  • Painters Giotto and Botticelli
  • Sculptors Brunelleschi and Michelangelo
  • Musician Puccini
  • Writer Dante Alighieri
  • The “father of modern physics” Galileo Galilee
  • The polymath Genius Leonardo da Vinci

Historical Cities

If you plan on going on a long vacation and visit as many splendid cities as possible then you can’t go wrong with Tuscany. The region has three UNESCO World Heritage sites namely:

  • The historic center of Florence and Siena
  • Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa
  • Medici Villas and Gardens
Visit Siena Historic Center
Visit Siena Historic Center

Ancient Hill-top Hamlets

There are numerous villages in Tuscany that are set on the top of a hill or the side of a mountain. The unique environment in these villages leads to unique city features. The elevation also provides a distinct panoramic view of the surrounding hills and mountains as well as the nearby cities.

Breathtaking Landscapes

Tuscany is made up of such a wide variety of landscapes you can spend a week traveling around the region and still not manage to visit all of them. A few of the most popular landscapes include:

  • The gentle rolling hills of Val d’Orcia
  • The Chianti wine region
  • The Apennines, the ski area of Tuscany
  • The gentle hills around Pisa
  • The coastal area of the Etruscan Coast
  • Bolgheri, home of the Super Tuscan wine
  • The Apuan Alps
  • The beautiful unknown regions of Lunigiana and Garfagnana
Be awe with Tuscany Chianti Region
Be awe with Tuscany Chianti Region

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