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Apartments for rent in Europe
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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Temples, cathedrals

Pantheon

The Pantheon, located on the Piazza della Rotonda, is the Temple to all Gods, the most well-preserved Roman ancient structure. It is universally acknowledged that it was built according to the project of the emperor Hadrian in the 1st century AC. The first erected temple of the 29 BC was created by Agrippa and had a traditional rectangular floor plan, from which only one portico remains intact. The building that tourists can marvel at today was built in 118 AC. The temple is cylindrical with a semi-spherical dome. The facade is made up of a massive portico with a pediment. The majestic dome, whose radius equals the height of temple walls, creates a sense of harmony and order. The interior of the Pantheon has a diameter of 43,4 meters and the only source of sunlight is located at the top of the dome. The temple was christened in the 7th century. Many Italian monarchs are buried there, but the main burial is the tomb of Raphael.

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Santa Maria Maggiore

The basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, located at the piazza of the same name, represents a unique mixture of architectural styles, from the early Christian to the late baroque. The church was erected in 420 AC. The peerless mosaics covering three naves date from the 5th century. Marble floors, the bell-tower, as well as the beautiful mosaics on the triumphal arch and at the lodge were created during the Middle ages. The marvellous ceiling was completed at the times of Renaissance. Finally, the facades and the chapels represent the style of baroque.

Article address:
http://www.sweethomeabroad.com/article.php?obj_id=138

Saint Peter's Basilica

Saint Peter's Basilica (Piazza San Pietro in Vatican) is the sacred place of the Catholic Church and the biggest cathedral of the Christian world. Saint Peter was martyred at this very spot at an ancient hippodrome circa 64 AC. His tomb can be found here as well, below the church that the emperor Constantine erected in his honour. During those 70 years when the Popes resided in Avignon, the church became so decrepit that it was impossible to renovate or restore. At the beginning of the 16th century the architect Donato Bramante was charged with a great task of designing and building the new cathedral. It took 176 years to complete the project! The present basilica still holds the art from the previous 4th century church built by Constantine. Many Popes are buried at the grottoes where old mosaics by Giotto can still be seen. Michelangelo worked on the gigantic dome that is 136,5 meters tall and Bernini completed the splendid baldachin. Michelangelo's famous Pieta is also located here. The pulpit in the apse is decorated by four sculptures of saints holding the throne – it is another work of Bernini. The throne is partially made of remnants of the pulpit from which Saint Peter preached his first sermon.

Article address:
http://www.sweethomeabroad.com/article.php?obj_id=139

Raphael's Rooms

The Raphael's Rooms can be found in the city of Vatican (Città del Vaticano) in the Vatican museums that were originally built for Popes of the Renaissance era. The Raphael rooms are four rooms (stanzas) decorated with frescoes by Raphael. The frescoes were meant for the chamber of Pope Julius II. It took Raphael 16 years to paint the walls and he died without completing the work. The theme of the frescoes is the triumph of Christianity over the paganism. The four main frescoes in the Sala di Constantine (“Hall of Constantine”) portray scenes from the life of the first Christian emperor Constantine. In the Stanza di Eliodoro ("Room of Heliodorus") the might of the papal protection becomes the center of attention. The Stanza della Segnatura ("Room of the Signatura") holds the most harmonious frescoes that are devoted to the search of truth. The most well-known work there is “The School of Athens” that portrays Plato and Aristotle among other distinguished thinkers and philosophers, including Raphael's contemporaries – Leonardo da Vinci, Bramante, Michelangelo. Finally, frescoes in the Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo adorn the papal throne. The most famous fresco, “The fire in the Borgo”, depicts the miracle of 847 when Pope Leo IV extinguished a fire in the Borgo by making the sign of the cross.

Article address:
http://www.sweethomeabroad.com/article.php?obj_id=140

Sistine Chapel

The best artists of the 15th-16th centuries worked on wall-paintings of the Sistine Chapel in the city of Vatican, the the main chapel of the Vatican palace. Michelangelo worked on the ceiling from 1508 to 1512, covering it with scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Genesis and the Fall of Man. 12 frescoes on the side walls depicting the scenes from the lives of Moses and Christ are created by Perugino, Botticelli and Signorelli. Michelangelo came back to work on the murals of the Sistine Chapel again from 1534 to 1541, crowning the interior with a grandiose altar painting of the Last Judgment.

Article address:
http://www.sweethomeabroad.com/article.php?obj_id=141

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