Convent of the Capuchos: a Souvenir in the Forest

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The inner yard of the Convent of the Capuchos. Sintra, Portugal.

The inner yard of the Convent of the Capuchos

Probably, you have often seen toy home decorations such as tiny fountains. Each one has its plot: a little bit of mountains, a little bit of bushes, a tiny home or a mill with a small waterfall, or something similar. They are like bonsai, and they have one thing in common: they all seem to be from a fairytale. Maybe this is one of the reasons why we love them. Which of you did not love to listen to fairytales in your childhood? Please, raise your hand. Not one hand. I knew it.

These small home fountains are part of our childhood. Now, imagine such a home decoration in full size, like a real house. That is the concept of the Convent of the Capuchos in Sintra, Portugal, or Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra.

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Rovinj and Its Competitor Dubrovnik

By Irina

The Island of St. Andrew. The Adriatic Sea, Rovinj, Croatia.

The Island of St. Andrew. The Adriatic Sea, Rovinj, Croatia.

Just three days ago, we rested in the Croatian city of Rovinj, breathed in the amazing pine air, swam in the perfectly clean Adriatic Sea, and ate such a tasty ice cream that I wondered if the Croatians had discovered the Italians’ secret. However, I had to leave the warmth of Croatia urgently on business, and now, I sit in the office and receive SMS-messages as follow:

“I ordered a steak with a mushroom sauce, and it is delicious again. What other reason do I need to stay here a bit longer?”

“The restaurant Sidro operates from April till October, but the owner gave me the addresses of those that are open in winter.”

“A villa with a terrace and garden in the quiet part of Rovinj with the view of the Sveta Catarina Island costs about 220,000 Euro.”

These are the messages from Victor who stayed in Rovinj for several more days. Well, it shows we were not wrong to choose the Adriatic coast of Croatia for a summer vacation.

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A Walk Along the Jugendstil Quarter: Mikhail Eisenstein—the Gaudi of Riga.

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Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Art Deco Architecture Style. Albert Street, 4, Riga, Latvia.

Do you know why the small capital of Latvia is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? It is not because of the medieval center of old Riga with its bright and impressive House of Blackheads, and not even because of the Dome with one of Europe’s best organs, and certainly not because of the famous Riga Black Balsam. The capital of Latvia has a trump card, which not every tourist knows about.

It so happened that at the end of the 19th century, almost the whole of Europe watched the birth of a new architectural style—it would be called Modern. In France it is known as Art Nouveau, in Germany as Jugendstil, in Italy as Liberty, and in the USA as Tiffany.

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