Europe is famous for its long and rich cultural heritage which is displayed by its spectacular cities in the form of magnificent architecture and intriguing artifacts from the past. The museums of this region exhibit some of the finest pieces of art created by mankind while the monuments and churches sing the tales of the various civilizations that have thrived in the continent over the centuries. Although there are numerous popular tourist destinations that are known for their fine representation of the multi-hued European culture, there are also a few lesser-known cultural hubs that house the forgotten treasures from history. Here are some of the unknown cultural gems of Mediterranean Europe that offer a closer look at the authentic culture of the region.
San Sebastian in Spain
San Sebastian is a city that will impress you as much with its delectable cuisine as with its breathtaking beaches. The Playa de la Concha is named among the best city beaches in Europe and with good reason. A haven for sunbathers and swimmers, the party-like atmosphere of this beach displays the carefree spirit celebrated by the local culture. The San Telmo Museoa offers a glimpse of the Basque culture with its massive collection of historical artifacts as well as contemporary art. The old school architecture of Hotel Maria Cristina offers a throwback to the olden days while the Gothic design of Iglesia de San Vicente is awe inspiring. One must also visit the Kursaal, a building in the form of cubes of translucent glass, which is the venue for cultural events and musical performances.
Syracuse in Italy
If you wish to experience the beauty of Sicily at its best then you must pay a visit to the gorgeous city of Syracuse. This city is a kingdom of ancient Greek ruins, sprawling citrus orchards, quirky cafes, and Baroque buildings. The primary attraction of Syracuse is the archaeological park called Parco Archeologico della Neapolis which is home to the ruins of an amphitheater that dates back to the 5th century BC. The Piazza del Duomo is the throbbing heart of this city and the best place to admire the masterpieces of architecture that surround this square. The imposing structure of Duomo, Syracuse’s cathedral, is hard to miss and the catacombs that lie beneath Basilica di San Giovanni are also equally intriguing. There are several museums and churches to explore, as well as ancient palaces that display the relics from the golden days of Syracuse’s history.
Split in Croatia
The city of Split in Croatia is an eclectic fusion of natural splendor, modern amenities, and traditional architecture. This fusion can be best witnessed at the mighty Diocletian’s Palace, a medieval palace built with limestone and marble that stands beside the harbor and currently houses residential complexes, shops, and restaurants. The Cathedral of St. Domnius is yet another fascinating piece of architecture with a magnificent bell tower and a beautiful chorus. The beaches of Split offer a jubilant atmosphere, with the Bacvice Beach being the favorite party destination of the region. On the other hand, the verdant slopes of the Marjan Hill, reachable via Split taxi services, offer some fresh forest air while the Poljud Stadium represents the modern face of Split, and is replete with state of the art facilities that every citizen of Split is incredibly proud of.
These unsung heroes of European tourism offer a chance to immerse in the wonderful Mediterranean culture and to admire the local architecture without being drowned in a sea of tourists. So if you wish to see Europe through the eyes of the locals then do visit these stunning destinations to be transported back in time to the age when art and architecture were at their zenith.