Bahia Palace, Marrakech, Morocco

Bahia Palace is a palace of century XIXᵉ of eight hectares in Marrakech, Morocco. It is a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture, one of the major monuments of cultural heritage. It was built southeast of the medina of Marrakech between 1866 and 1867. It was built for Si Moussa, chamberlain of Sultan Hassan 1st of Morocco, at his death, his son, Ahmed Ben Moussa, had enlarged the southern part his father’s palace by the successive acquisition and glitzy development of large sets of neighboring houses. The palace takes its name from his favorite mistress, Bahia. From 1912, General Lyautey, Marshal of France, used it as his personal residence as well as the residence of French officers by adding chimneys, heating and electricity. It has about 150 lavishly decorated rooms. There are marble, wood paintings, stained glass windows, many patios and gardens with orange trees, banana trees, cypresses, hibiscus and jasmine. The Moroccan royal family of King Mohammed VI sometimes stay there in a large private party not open to the public.

Tips

The palace is open to visitors, at your visit ask for information because you can also attend concerts of Arab-Andalusian music and art exhibitions.
You can also ask for a guide to accompany you and tell the whole story which is very interesting.

Karlstein Castle, Czech Republic

Karlstein Castle (Hrad Karlštejn), located 30 km from Prague, is one of the most important castles in Bohemia. It was founded by Charles IV to preserve the jewels of the Imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the royal crown of the Bohemian states and the various holy relics. The original castle was of Gothic architecture but after being abandoned for over a century, many Gothic elements were replaced by others of the Renaissance type. It is known as the most visited castle of the Czech Republic. It has 5 levels with several towers and the large dungeon has 60m.

Tips

Prepare for a walk of about 20 minutes to get there, as the access by car stops in the parking of the main road, the rest of the ascent must be done on foot.

Do not miss the Saint Croix chapel in the upper tower. Generally it is necessary to make a reservation to visit it because of the great affluence of tourists. It has 4 partially glazed windows of gems, a cross of ogives and frescoes illustrating the life of Christ and 129 paintings representing saints signed by Theodoric.

You will also find a well with a depth of 80m where the bucket is raised and lowered by a wheel once driven by people who walked.

It is possible to book a guided tour in different languages. For visits in Czech, German or English it is not necessary.

Maria Pita square, A Coruna, Galicia, Spain

The Maria Pita square is in A Coruna. It’s the main square of the city and it has the name of the town’s heroine, Maria Pita (a kind of Jeanne D’Arc for the people of the city). The square seems a Royal court with a main entrance, the Town Hall and Council building. This building is only a little more than a hundred years. There are other buildings not as grandiose as this one but with a very good architecture typical of the village using granite as its most important component; some of them have galerias. The buildings are interconnected or very close the one to the another so they enclose the square. The facades of the buidings are very attractive. We can also find a statue of Maria Pita, bars, cafes, restaurants and also a tourist information point.

Tips

If you visit the place, check for the activities beacause there are usually concerts in the square.

You can also make a pause and have a good coffee or eat something at one of the restaurants or cafes there.

If you want to walk outside of the square, go out on the left of the Cuncil building and you can see St. George’s church (18th century).