4 Must Visit Western European Locations for History Buffs

For a history buff, there’s no place better than Western Europe. There’s so much history in Rome, Paris, Berlin, and every other city there. You can easily lose track of time when you’re there. With such a wide selection of things to see, it’s extremely difficult to narrow it down to just a few places to visit, but here are a few of the most amazing ones that you should definitely visit.

The Eiffel Tower

The first stop you should make is in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. This massive structure was completed in 1889 and is the tallest structure in Paris. The original purpose of the Eiffel Tower was to serve as the centerpiece for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was held to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. There are only three floors in the Eiffel Tower, but there are nine elevators to take you to whatever floor you need to get to. The second floor allows you to look out over Paris, and at the top there’s a bar where you can unwind after a long day.


The Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris is a much darker location than the one above. It’s an underground ossuary in Paris. That’s right — it’s a storage place for skeletal remains. There are an estimated six million people there. It’s been open to the public since 1874. It was created after a local cemetery that had been used for 10 centuries became a source of infection for locals.

On Nov. 9th, 1785, the Council of State decided to prohibit any further use of the cemetery and remove the contents of the cemetery. It decided that any quarries not used would receive the remains. The transfer took place at night over the course of two years, always by covered carts. While it may be too creepy for some, it’s a must-see site that puts you face-to-face with history — literally.

The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)

Hop on one of the European cruises offered by Viking Ocean Cruises, which set sail in 2015, and travel from Paris to London to see a few more sites like Big Ben. Tourist attraction in London, Big Ben is actually the bell inside of the clock tower, which was named Elizabeth Tower. The interior isn’t open to visitors, so you won’t actually see Big Ben, but if you live in the United Kingdom you can arrange for a tour through your member of Parliament. You better hope that you’re fit, though, as there’s no elevator — you’re going to climb 334 stairs to the top.

The original Big Ben was 16 tons and cast in 1856. The bell was recast in April of 1858, but two months later it cracked, just as the first did. The bell was rotated an eighth of a turn and a piece of metal was chipped out from the rim of the crack. The bell has been fine since and still features the crack.



Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, which is about two hours from London. It’s a prehistoric monument that Archaeologists believe was built between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating is a little more specific and pins the date somewhere between 2400 and 2200 BC. The purpose? Well, no one really knows for sure. The culture that left it left no written records. There are plenty of theories, though.

One such theory suggests that Stonehenge was constructed to unify the different people of the British Island, because the sheer size of the rocks would’ve required help from every region. A few of the stones were moved quite the distance to their current resting place in Wiltshire.

For the history buff, Western Europe is the perfect setting. There’s history around almost every corner. These four locations, though, are some of the more popular. These locations each attract at least a million visitors annually, with some people taking entire vacations just to see that specific place.

Have you ever personally seen these locations? Do you have other locations to share? Leave a comment below and let us know.


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