Looking for Some Historic Sites to Visit This Summer?

As you might have noticed yesterday, I enjoy fusing my interests in history and travel. Besides writing about Moravian Bethlehem, I’ve used this blog to share images and thoughts from trips to the Blue Ridge Mountainsthe former Western Front, and a few of the many historic sites I’ve taken our kids over the years. (And to think through a possible future tour of Pietism sites in Germany.)

Since becoming blogmeister of The Anxious Bench two years ago, I’ve also roped my blogging colleagues into sharing their travels. Last summer we recommended sites in this country: first, east of the Mississippi, then west. This morning we posted suggestions for Europe.

Here’s the full list of Anxious Bench recommended sites, in case you want to read those posts and dig deeper:

  • Cardiff Castle's south gate
    The south gate of Cardiff Castle – Creative Commons (plumandjello)

    Cardiff Castle: “…stands right in the heart of a thriving city. The walls basically follow the pattern of a late Roman fortress, and a Norman keep castle built within those walls. Everything is beautifully preserved.” (Philip Jenkins)

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park: “If Chaco Canyon existed on another continent, then every aspiring world traveler would be sure to include in on their bucket lists. And there it is, just three hours or so drive from Albuquerque.” (Philip)
  • Civita di Bagnoregio: “…by offering, in extreme degree but manageable scale, what many of us go to Italy to see — gorgeous countryside, crumbling medieval art and architecture, lush farmed food — it charms, rewards, and forces us to confront assumptions about why we feel drawn to the Olde Worlde.” (Agnes Howard)
  • Delft, The Netherlands: “You can hardly move without finding a lovely view, and a magnificent photo opportunity – the city gates, the canals, the churches. Delft was a key center of the Dutch Golden Age, and ghosts of that era are everywhere, in monuments to science as well as art.” (Philip)
  • Flight 93 National Memorial: “If you ever go to Shanksville, you may not manage to see the whole place, not because it’s too large or complex, but because it is so wrenching.” (Philip)
  • Grand Portage National Monument: “Lying entirely within an Ojibwe reservation, Grand Portage conveys the surprising interconnectedness of a global economy that bridged national and cultural boundaries.” (Chris Gehrz)
  • Historic Jamestowne: “…where [our] kids roamed the ruins, posed with a statue of Pocahontas… sifted through bits and pieces from the archeological dig, and learned about slavery and cannibalism at the Archaearium. All that plus the glass blower just up the road.” (Chris)
  • Mountain Meadows Massacre Site: “Especially in the midst of the serene surrounding, it’s eerie and unsettling to reflect on the animosity between Mormons and other Americans in the mid-nineteenth-century that led to the massacre.” (John Turner)
Mountain Meadows memorial
Memorial cairn at Mountain Meadows – Creative Commons (Mangoman88)
  • Napoleon’s Tomb: “I really did gasp the first time I saw the sarcophagus. I honestly thought the size was an optical illusion until we got down on the floor and stood under its looming presence.” (Beth Allison Barr)
  • Nashville’s Parthenon: “…a full-scale replica of the ancient Athenian site, built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.” (Beth)
  • National Museum of the Pacific War: “Leave yourself sufficient time — we spent about six hours over two days — to tour the remarkable six-acre complex. With portions indoor and outdoor, it’s highly enjoyable and informative for both adults and children.” (Beth)
  • Paris’ Shoah Memorial: “If you’ve seen the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum or Yad Vashem, the Paris museum may seem relatively small. But it’s retelling of the Shoah is still powerful… never more so than at the very end of the tour, when you suddenly find yourself looking at the photographs of 3,000 Jewish children who were deported to the camps.” (Chris)
  • Saugus Iron Works: “With its rebuilt iron works, period home, and museum, the park presents both elites and laborers, saints and sinners, while helping to explain the kind of people these were.” (Agnes)
  • Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: “It’s not exactly an electrifying place to visit, if your idea of fun is riding the Banshee roller coaster at King’s Island, but it is an intellectually rewarding and quietly elegant destination.” (David Swartz)
  • Siracusa’s Duomo: “One of the more fascinating things about the building is that some of its columns are older than Mary. Rather than knocking down the Temple of Athena, the bishop of Siracusa simply built his cathedral over and around the existing temple.” (John)

Happy traveling!