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Paris, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona are among the top-visited destinations in Europe. Beyond the Old World, New York City, Toronto and Whistler await shopping, dining and skiing enthusiasts, as well as businessmen and students. Quality accommodation is always in demand, and nowadays travellers have the freedom to choose not only hotels, but also apartment rentals.
Conveniently located and fully furnished, apartments of Sweet Home Abroad are excellently suited for short-term rentals and could be your next great vacation! All apartments are meant for travellers looking for comfort and independence regardless of their activities of interest. Beach lovers could opt for an apartment rental in Israel or rent a villa in Spain. Lovers of outdoor winter activities like skiing and snowboarding will find Whistler, located in Canada, a great destination: the co-host of Winter Olympic Games in 2010, Whistler is perfectly equipped to provide you with great skiing and riding trails, impeccable customer service and top-notch long-term accommodation. History and culture buffs will enjoy a great selection of accommodation we offer in Paris, Prague, Madrid, and, of course, Barcelona.
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House of Valois

In 1337 the Hundred Years' War that went on for 116 years started devouring England and France. In 1429 Joan d'Arc sacrificed her life for Charles VII Valois and for him to be crowned king in the Reims cathedral and swear in on the beautiful Bible written in Cyrillic and given to the cathedral by Anne of Kiev after her own wedding in Reims. Paris had been given its status of capital back once again.

During the reign of Louis XI in 1461-1483 Paris had shaken off the remaining remainders of wars and plagues and turned into a real capital. Gothic masterpieces sprang like mushrooms, of which only a handful lived to see the present day: l'HГґtel des AbbГ©s de Cluny, church Saint-SГ©verin and HГґtel de Sens are among the surviving examples.

The reign of Francis I deserves a special note, since Francis is considered to be the most Renaissance-oriented monarch of France. Upon losing to his opponent, the emperor of the Roman Empire Charles V, and sending away his son as a royal hostage for seven years, Francis turns to Italy as an icon of everything fashionable, invites Leonardo da Vinci and Benvenuto Cellini to France. At this time, Le Louvre becomes resembling its present-day self, City Hall is being built, projects to construct the royal residence of Fontainebleau and marvellous castles in the Loire valley begin.

The reign of Henry II from 1547 t0 1559 sets the scene for rivalry of two of the most influential women of Paris - his wife Caterina de' Medici and his mistress Diane de Poitiers. After his absurd death by a sliver that chipped off a spear and landed right in his eye during the jousting in the Tournelles palace near Marais, the decision was made to demolish the palace and build the new Tuileries palace.

During the reign of Henry II's sons Paris had been an almost exclusively Catholic domain, whereas the Western France had been largely governed by the Huguenots (French Protestants). On the 23rd of August 1572, on the St. Bartholomew's Day, by the signal of the Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois church bell, over 5 thousand Huguenots were massacred.

The article by Irina Sukharnikova, translation by Ekaterina Ryabova; specially for Sweet Home Abroad

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