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The most beautiful metro stations in Europe

The metro is typically a place with long, dark corridors where every day thousands of people rush through to get from one place to another. But not all of them are like that: some of them, like the ones we're talking about here, are true architectural gems. Let's take a look at the most beautiful metro stations in Europe!

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City of Movies

Play it again, Sam. These are the words that come to mind when you hear the name of Casablanca, the legendary Michael Curtiz film, but the truth is that neither Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and put their feet in the city for its construction, which was shot entirely in studios at Hollywood. It is true that there is aRick’s Cafe , but is due only to attempting to take advantage from the film’s success.

Casablanca is the closest thing to a modern Western metropolis. During the colonial period, the French came up with a program of urban development that provided the city with of broad avenues and parks and real gems of modernist and art deco architecture. This French colonial style blends elements of traditional Moroccan architecture.

The great pride of the city is the huge Hassan II Mosque, a wonder of modern religious architecture and one of the largest mosques in the world, which has the advantage of being one of the few Islamic buildings that can be visited by tourists not Muslims. Its construction was completed in 1993 and its minaret is the tallest in the world with an altitude of 200 meters.

Apart from this must-see, the most interesting of Casablanca is walking their neighborhoods. You will find that is a rather chaotic city but also therein lies part of their decadent charm. The medina, the oldest part, is just north of the city and is rather small in proportion to the large size of the city. It is accessed from Place des Nations Unies. Once crossed the walls, we passed the clock tower and the mosque of Chleuh to find a labyrinth of tiny streets where it is nice to wander between the characteristic smells of perfumes, spices and mint tea, which is drunk at all hours .

To get a typical souvenir and traditional handicraft, it’s best to come to the Nouvelle Medina, in the Quartier Habous, near the Royal Palace. Here the prices are lower and the tourist is not as pressed as in other souks in some other cities.

Getting lost in the park of the Arab League, in the heart of Casablanca, is a good choice to relax. Another good option is to get close to any of the resorts in the city, such as Bouznika, where you will find magnificent beaches such as Dar Bouazza, very close to Tamaris, a water park that opened recently.

You can arrive by foot to another must see, the shrine Sidi Bou Abderrahmane. It is an island near the El Hank lighthouse, where there were already human settlements during prehistoric times. By late afternoon, in this area, you can enjoy wonderful sunsets.

Why not take a trip to Casablanca? Have a look at our flights here!

 

Picture by Othmanlah

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Pyrohiv

The Pirogov Outdoor Museum is a unique tourist attraction that transports you to another time and merges you with its landscapes and its people. Located on the south of Kiev, this Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine expands along 1.5-square-kilometres full of cabins, mills, ponds, sunflower fields and hundred pieces of Ukrainian folklore. The easiest way to get to this idyllic place is to take a public bus or taxi, in half an hour you will go from the city center to a totally natural environment.

Pirogovo is a perfect place to spend the day with family or friends, prepare comfortable shoes and get ready to get lost among old schools, more than two centuries old wooden churches, handicrafts markets and native people predisposed to show the best of this settlement.

By Fran Arnaiz

Picture by Nick Shaforostoff

So you feel like visiting Kiev, do you? Book your flights here!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Good Shot of Art Nouveau in Brussels

Brussels may rightly pride itself on having a large number of Art Nouveau buildings, a veritable pole of attraction for anyone visiting the city. Indeed, the Belgian capital was one of the focal points where this art movement emerged in the late-19th- and early-20th century. Art Nouveau ended up permeating all artistic disciplines, from architecture to sculpture, painting, furniture design, jewellery and graphic design, among others.

Modernism, which came to be known as Art Nouveau in France and Belgium, took its first few steps in Brussels in 1893 with the construction of the Tassel House, located at 6 Rue Paul-Emile Janson, designed by the architect Victor Horta. The idea was to then create a new style which involved breaking with the past by leaving behind the historicism which prevailed in architecture at the time and usher in another style which more accurately reflected the modern era. This break led to the rise of two trends in the city – the floral style, with forms inspired by nature, of which Victor Horta was the most prominent exponent, and the geometric, as championed mainly by the architect and designer, Paul Hankar.

The advent of this movement coincided with a time of growth in the city, when such districts as Schaerbeek, Etterbeek, Ixelles and Saint-Gilles were in the throes of urban renewal, so that many of the houses that went up in those areas were imbued with the new style. Some 500 buildings from that period have survived to the present.

The Major Landmarks

Among the must-see gems of Art Nouveau in Brussels are, in the first instance, the four buildings known collectively as the“Major Town Houses of Victor Horta in Brussels”,all of which were designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. They are as follows:

Tassel House. As mentioned above, it is regarded as the first manifestation of Art Nouveau in Brussels, as well as one of the first in the world to open up a new direction in contemporary architecture.

Hôtel Solvay. Located at 224 Avenue Louise, it is possibly one of the standout buildings of Belgian architecture. Its facade reveals the presence of glass, iron and natural stone, Victor Horta’s favourite materials.

Hôtel van Eetvelde. Edmond van Eetvelde, administrator of the Congo Free State, commissioned Victor Horta to design this town house with a view to providing a modern space for entertaining his visitors. Located at 4 Avenue Palmerston, it is striking for the innovative distribution of its interior spaces and for the stained-glass and mosaic ornamentation.

Maison & Atelier Horta. Converted into what is now the Horta Museum, this was the home of Victor Horta, built from 1898 to 1901. It comprises two independent buildings in that each has its own style, but they were conceptualised as a unified whole and are interconnected.

Another building that should feature on your itinerary through the Art Nouveau landmarks of Brussels is the Comics Art Museum. Built in 1906, apart from from being a compulsory place of pilgrimage for devotees of the ninth art, it is a magnificent example of Art Nouveau, the work of the iconic architect of the time in this city, Victor Horta.

Also make a point of visiting the Musical Instruments Museum, designed by the architect Paul Saintenoy and originally built as the Old England department store. And, wander down Rue Saint-Boniface, where you will come across five buildings designed by the architect Ernest Blérot at number 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22. And, lastly, we recommend you head for 71 Rue Defacqz, where you can admire the Paul Hankar House.

Now that you have some of the keys to discovering Art Nouveau in Brussels, book your Vueling here and get ready to enjoy it all.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by mertxe iturrioz, Arco Ardon , William Murphy , Steve Cadman, J. Miers

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