The Mediterranean Sea is filled with beautiful sights to see – to say the least. The countries surrounding the body of water are breathtaking, it’s hard to pinpoint a total of five areas you should visit if you ever decide to travel in that direction.
But, we’re here to try our best to steer you in the right direction, as always.
In this article, we want to focus on historical buildings for you to see. Sure, we could name cities and towns to visit – but we’d probably be here all day. So, we’ll narrow in on buildings that you may have heard of from time to time; you know, the famous buildings talked about in your history books or found in movies.
There are five of them that we want you to be aware of, for now. If you find that you’ve run out of options because you’ve visited each of these places already, well, move on to other areas of the world (I’m sure we have those options for you, too).
Without further ado, let’s start our list off with Casa Batlló.
It all started when Mr. Josep Batlló granted full creative freedom to Antoni Gaudi back in the day. According to records, the initial building was to be demolished, until Gaudi changed his mind and decided to cancel the demolition of the building; instead, he saw a new and improved vision – one that would require a full reform between the years of 1904 and 1906. After that, Casa Batlló was indeed a work of art.
From the 1950s and on, Casa Batlló was no longer owned by the Batlló family. In fact, the Bernat family purchased in the 1990s to own the house, and in 1995, the family opened their home to the public – offering it up for several different events.
The building itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it welcomes approximately 1 million visitors every year.
Trust us when we say, visiting this “House of Bones” is well worth it. The design that Antoni Gaudi decided to use was unique. The base level looks as if it was made from large abstract bones, the front of the house seems to echo that of blood vessels and muscle, and the entire structure in itself seems to mimic the back of a giant dragon. What’s more, is that the balconies look like skulls and the pillars look like bones.
Go visit this museum if you’re ever in the Barcelona area.
This massive stone amphitheater, measuring in at 1887 meters long, 156 meters wide, and 57 meters high, can be found east of the Roman Forum, and it’s the largest amphitheater in the entire Roman world.
The Colosseum was commissioned between the years of A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian, and it was opened in A.D. 80 by Vespasian’s son, Titus. Under the official name of Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum opened for 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. The location was used for a total of four centuries until it, unfortunately, fell to neglect.
The amphitheater, back in the day, could seat up to 50,000 spectators (wow!). However, after horrid weather conditions, natural disasters, vandalistic acts, and even bombings, the Colosseum’s overall structure, marble seats, and decorative elements were all destroyed. Restorations later began during the 1990s.
Even still, the Colosseum is Italy’s #1 tourist attraction, especially considering it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Head on over to see it’s beauty at some point when you’re traveling the Mediterranean.
The Acropolis of Athens is actually one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the entire world. Its foundations are made from limestone dating back to the period when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and the columns throughout were entirely made of Pentelic marble, which is among the earliest and most extraordinary types of white marble used for construction. Located on the Attica plateau of Greece, the Acropolis has had people living amongst the buildings since the prehistoric times. In fact, over the centuries, the areas have been home to kings, mythical gods, religious centers, and even tourist attractions.
Many natural-causing events and planned acts of neglect occurred over the years. Restorations didn’t begin until the turn of the twentieth century. However, in 1975, the Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments on the Acropolis was founded. The goal behind the committee was to gather architects, archaeologists, and engineers to conserve the Acropolis and restore many of its structures to its original state.
If you’d like to visit the Acropolis, tickets are available directly at the entrance, but you may have to wait in a rather lengthy line. To dodge the crowds, arrive on site early in the morning or after 5:00 p.m.
Keep in mind, if you’d like to tour the sites, you will be walking a lot; what’s more, is that many buildings may be off-limits due to renovations.
The Roman Forum
If you’re looking to see the most important forum in all of ancient Rome, this is the place to go.
Found on low grounds between Palatine and Capitoline hills, this area of land was home to public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats back in the day – now it’s lined with shops and open-air markets.
Not all of the structures have survived over the centuries, but some of that is still open to the public are the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Mamertine Prison, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the Cloaca Maxima.
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
This one-of-a-kind temple is one of the greatest works ever created by Antoni Gaudi – as is the Casa Batlló. Originally, the project to construct the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia was promoted by the people, for the people. Ironically speaking, five generations of people have watched the Temple over the years grow and become beautiful in Barcelona – the final construction completion date is not scheduled until 2026.
Construction started back in 1866, and the campaign to begin construction dates back to 1874 when Josep Maria Bocabella I Verdaguer wanted to dedicate the building to the Holy Family.
Believe it or not, this building is a must-see in the town of Barcelona – but there are many must-sees around there.
Now that you know all the pretty sites to see in the Mediterranean, get to choosing which one you want to explore first! I’m sure you’ll have a blast at any and all of them – hopefully, they’re now on your ‘bucket list!’ We know they’re on ours.