This month’s blog posts are focusing on cultural holidays either when travelling for leisure or in those cheeky hours snuck away from the meeting you’re on a business trip to attend. We want to take you on a trip around the world, highlighting some of the most cultural spots and artefacts to view and visit in your life as well as providing down-to-earth guides for city breaks in some of these destinations (check out our Reykjavik guide).
This post looks at highlighting world famous art that we recommend seeing. We’ll even tell you where and why to see them.
Michael Angelo’s David, Florence, Italy
Situated in the beautiful and culturally lush city of Florence, the statue of David has been taking people’s breath away since it’s erection in 1504. The Accademia Gallery in Florence houses David, the most exquisite expression of the Renaissance, the cultural rebirth which reshaped Europe. Whilst you’re there, you can view Michael Angelo’s other works such as his Prisoners and his St Matthew.
Mona Lisa, Paris, France
Ah, the woman who has been cheekily smiling for over 500 years and now resides in the famous Louvre in Paris, France. This woman’s unusual face – reputedly beautiful but we’ll let you be the judge – is one of the most famous in the world. Containing a different special formula and focus on the sitter to previous works, Leonardo changed portraiture by this work. That, combined with the mystery which surrounds the sitter, production and how it ended up in the French royal collection have created an aura about this painting which has seen millions flock to view it. The Mona Lisa c.1503 is well worth a visit, if only to catch a glimpse of that famous cheeky smile of the sitter!
(Stay tuned for our next post A Day in Paris Guide which will tell you how to visit the Mona Lisa in style in a day!)
Terracotta Warriors, Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province, China
If you’re ever in the neighbourhood of Asia then one of the most baffling and impressive artistic endeavours available for you to see is the collection of Terracotta Warriors c.211-206 BC. Fierce in their hundreds and disturbingly unique in each of their appearances, the purpose of the warriors has never been confirmed. Part of the mausoleum complex of Emperor Qin Shi Huang who united the majority of China under one bloody banner, they may have been created to protect said unifier in death. Whatever their purpose, the incredible craftsmanship and the enigmatic nature of these Terracotta Warriors make them one of the world’s most unique art troves and well worth a visit if you’re ever in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia
Standing in St Petersburg, Russia, The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood has some of the most fantastic mosaic art you will find in a Russian Orthodox Church. Built on the site of Alexander II’s assassination, this Church’s mosaics were designed and created by V.M. Vasnetsov, M. V. Nesterov and M. A. Vrubel some of the most prominent Russian artists of the time. Topped with the classic onion domes so associated with the Russian skyline, when visiting this church you will be standing beneath the glow of golden heavens and images of the crucified Christ which even the most reserved atheist will be able to admire from an artistic perspective.
The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
We couldn’t really write this list without talking about the Acropolis in Athens. Home to a temple complex erected in the 5th century BC, this site still houses some of the most beautiful architectural ruins, however, it is not the Acropolis’ site we will be looking at (we’ll leave that to our post on the Top 3 Historic Sites around the World later this month), but rather some of the Acropolis’ statues situated in The Acropolis Museum in Athens. Located to the south of the Acropolis, the museum houses the famed Caryatids, pillars made of beautiful women, along with all the other salvaged classical sculptures and treasures from the Acropolis. This is a museum which will amaze you at the skill of the ancient Greeks and the beauty of all things classical, definitely worth a visit!
(Another post coming later this month will give you a guide to visiting the Acropolis and Roving Around Athens for the day – come back to read it!)
There you have it, a swift list of some of the world’s most influential art. Any and all of these cultural icons are worth visiting so why not plan your next trip, including an airport hotel stay the night before your flight, and go and see one or two or all of them!