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Doug's 'wider' History Spot: a Virtual European Tour and update on Stonehenge

Welcome back to my ‘Wider’ History Spot. The likely third wave of Covid-19 in Europe means that nobody knows when we will be able to travel abroad again. So this month I would like take you virtually to mainland Europe and visit four popular capitals and their Museum's.

First to Paris where the Mona Lisa awaits in The Louvre. This part of the tour allows you to select an individual tour of many of the world famous paintings. Additionally there are the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman collections. The Best Virtual Tours of Paris Landmarks and Museums provide a wider view of other museums and Paris landmarks.

Our tour moves on to Berlin where there are a large number of museums. Maybe the best known is the Neues Museum which has famous Egyptian treasures and fabulous treasures from Troy. These were unearthed by Heinrich Schliemann.

Also in Berlin is the Pergamon Museum. It is famous for housing large monumental historic Babylonian, Greek and Roman buildings such as the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Pergamon Alter and the Market Gate of Miletus.

In our flight of fancy, let us move on to Athens the birthplace of democracy. The National Archaeological Museum holds many artifacts from all over Greece, including the Mask of Agamemnon, the bronze statue of Zeus brought up by fishermen in their nets and the Antikythera Mechanism, (an analogue computer dating back to 100 to 200 BC).

It is good to walk through the ancient Agora where the day-to-day business of ancient Athens was carried out.

The crowning glory of Athens is the Acropolis with the Parthenon, Temple of Nike and the Erechtheon. There is new Acropolis Museum. It is built to view and protect the best of the masterpieces from the sacred rock.

Our final stop is Rome the eternal city. Virtual Rome is a living city and museum.

It is a thrill to walk down through the Roman Forum were so many famous events took place and continue on to the fabulous Colosseum, battered by earthquakes, used as a quarry for later buildings including St. Peters but still a dominant, vibrant statement in its own right.

There are many more incredible monuments and buildings to be seen including Trajan’s Column and the Pantheon. While walking in the streets, stroll over to the Trevi Fountain to throw in a coin to make a wish or just have a coffee in Piazza Navona and watch the world go by. There are so many sights to see on this Virtual Rome Tour

Having seen the sights of Rome above ground why not watch this amazing programme by Alexander Armstrong about Rome's Invisible City and the city underground.

Finally an update on the topic of Stonehenge from Doug's first 'wider' History Spot

Although it has been known for many years that the blue Sarsen stones of Stonehenge came from the Preseli Hills of west Wales, the results of a four-year archaeological dig have been able to identify the exact quarry they originated from and how they might have been used before moving to Stonehenge.

I hope you will enjoy the opportunity to tour some of Europe's greatest cities.

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