Charming (and Historical) Cities on My List for 2018
With my upcoming move to Germany, I am slowly compiling a list of my dream cities to visit. I already have so many posts and pins saved on all of the places I can't wait to visit. Like seriously, my Pinterest account is getting ridiculous. I am going to lose all of my money on train tickets. Here are 10 cities I lose my bananas for.
Tallinn received city status in the year 1248. Up until 1918, the city was called Reval. It was originally claimed by the Danes as early as 1219 but the city alternated between German and Scandinavian rule for centuries. During WWII, however, Estonia became part of the USSR and Tallinn the capital of the Estonian SSR. The city became a huge trading hub between the 14th and 16th centuries due to its strategic location. Tallinn's Old Town is one of the most preserved medieval towns in Europe.
Oh, you already know about my love for Prague. Such a wonderful city of history, architecture, and culture! *drooooool*
Český Krumlov, Czechia
Okay, I love Czechia, okay?!?! Don't judge me! Český Krumlov is first mentioned in the mid 1200s, referencing the construction of the castle. Most of the architecture of the Old Town is from the 14th to 17th centuries. For a time, notably around World War I, the number of Germans living in the town significantly outnumbered Czechs. After WWII, the Germans were expelled. The city fell into disrepair during the Soviet Regime but after the Velvet Revolution the town was given more attention and care.
Situated beautifully between the French Alps and Annecy Lake, the town of Annecy is a dream. It was settled during the Roman Empire's conquest of the region. Canals run through the town, with shops and cafes lining the streets.
I would be foolish to not mention Kyiv! As a country, Ukraine has an interesting, vibrant, and tumultuous history. Kyiv is an important cultural and historical center of Eastern Europe and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Kyiv existed in some form since the 5th century and was originally a Slavic settlement until it was under the control of the Vikings where it became the capital of Kieven Rus. It was later controlled by the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania, Poland, and eventually Russia. Kyiv, and Ukraine as a whole, had a tumultuous history from World War I on. It was behind the Iron Curtain until 1991.
Belgrade is located where the Danube and Sava rivers meet and where the Pannonian Plains meet the Balkans. The Turdaș-Vinča culture developed here in the 6th millennium BC. Slavs settled in the area in the year 529 but the town changed hands several times-the Byzantine Empire, Hungary,Bulgarian Empire, the Ottomans, and the Habsburgs all claimed ownership of Belgrade at some point. When Yugoslavia was created, Belgrade was the capital.Belgrade is in an incredibly strategic location and as a result has been battled over in more than 100 wars and razed over 40 times.
Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland and dates back to the 7th century. The city has been economically, culturally, and civilly important to greater Poland since 1083. Prior to WWII, Krakow was an important cultural center for Polish Jews. After WWII, Poland fell under the Stalinist regime and the academic institutions in Krakow were no longer allowed to publish any materials.
Bruges is the largest city and capital of the Flemish region of Belgium and is a picturesque canal based town. The area started becoming populated in the 1st century BC and has been important to commerce for centuries because of its canal system. Most of the city's medieval architecture is still standing today.
Turku was settled sometime in the 13th century and is the oldest city in Finland. It was the capital before Helsinki but remained a big cultural center even after Helsinki became the capital.
It is estimated that trading started in Bergen as early as the 1020s and was the largest city in Norway until the 1830s when it was passed by Oslo. It has historically functioned as a very important shipping and commercial marine port.