Roissy-en-France, Val-d’Oise, France

Roissy-en-France is a commune in the eastern part of the Val-d’Oise department, 20 kilometers northeast of Paris. Roissy-en-France was a prosperous farming village of rich fertile land, you can still see the remains of the castle in which resided the Lords century to century. About 40 years ago, this small village charming, lively and welcoming, has become one of the most famous destinations in the world when Charles de Gaulle Airport was implanted at its doors. Several excavations were made with the airport amplification (from 1996) that allowed to know the details of the history of the village; Gallic, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance rests have been found over the years. Most of the finds are in ARCHEA (intercommunal museum of history and archeology) in Louvres. The communal area comprises 1,400 hectares, among others, 150 form the village and 800 are part of the airport platform.

Tips

You have the choice of accommodation near the airport with 20 hotels and 5 residences.
If you want more information, you can arrive at the tourist office where several services are available: bike rental, audio guide for a pedestrian journey of 1h30 (offered in French, English or Spanish), ticket purchases for sightseeing in Paris and around, sales of guides to know the history of the village, shop to buy souvenirs of Paris.

Schoelcher Library, Fort-de-France, Martinique

The Schoelcher Library, located in Fort-de-France in Martinique, is a public library. It is located at the corner of Liberté St. and Victor Sévère St., facing the north corner of Savane Square. Victor Schoelcher, deputy of Guadeloupe and Martinique (1848-1850) had a collection of 10,000 books and 250 musical scores but since he had no descendants, he left his collection to the General Council of Martinique under condition of create a public library. The building was built by Pierre Henri Picq. The building was built in the garden of the Tuileries in Paris and was first presented to the Parisians (1886-1887), before being dismantled and shipped by boat to Fort-de-France to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, most of the original books disappeared with a large fire in 1890. The library finally opened in 1893. The building, built on a square plan, has a large dome that illuminates the reading room. There is a mix of art nouveau, western classical and Egyptian art and some Byzantine influences. Names of great French writers decorate friezes. There is a very colorful mosaic exterior pediment.

Tips

If you visit Fort-de-France, it’s worth some time to see the library and its building.

If you are lucky, you will find exhibits on site.

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Santillana del Mar is a municipality and an autonomous city, on the west coast of Cantabria, Spain. It is one of the most visited tourist villages of the region; much of the city residents live from tourism, especially with hotels, rural accommodation and shops of typical products. The historic center is organized around two main streets that end at the respective places. The first street takes various names (Carrera, Canton, and del Rio) and will give up to the religious square, the first center of the city, which gives access to the Collegiate. It is divided in two: in front of the Collegiate Church, Abad Francisco Navarro Square and on the side is Las Arenas Square. These are cobbled streets. The historic center is composed of homogeneous stone buildings, mainly from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries. To see: the Valdivieso Palace (Altamira hotel today), the Palace of Velarde or Arenas (transition from the construction of Gothic to Renaissance); the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana and its cloister of 42 Romanesque capitals; the Merino Tower (XIV); the Convent of Saint Ildefonso, among others. We also find many houses that have the coats of arms of the families to which they belonged.

Tips

Santillana has a hostel for pilgrims in the center, used in the Way of Saint James of Compostela and a number of hotels including the national Parador Gil Blas. We also find a campground.
Another interesting place to visit is the Zoo and Botanical Gardens apart from animals, it has a butterfly garden, a place with snakes and a space called Quaternary Park where there are replicas of animals that lived in the city in times of Altamira villagers. Altamira Cave, famous worldwide for its prehistoric paintings, unfortunately, is closed to the public.

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