Secret views in capital cities of the world

By Sergio González | 11:46
Frescoes of Sain'tIgnazio Church in Rome

Frescoes of Sain’tIgnazio Church in Rome, 3D secret from the Renaissance

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome or the Red Square in Moscow are the big-time landmarks no one of us wants to miss when visiting these capital cities of the world. But is that everything they have to offer?

Edinburgh is considered one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe, rightfully, but it’s true potential lies beneath the surface. Once you’ve seen the Castle and warmed your throat with some fine whisky it’s time to let Edinburgh creep you out. Scottish love a good ghost story and there are plenty waiting for you in the many dark narrow alleys that form Edinburgh’s Old Town.

There are many tours departing every day, but you should be checking the ones leaving every night. These will take you down to the deep Edinburgh, to a time when Victorian citizens were fearfull of God and the West Port murders, Burke and Hare, stole bodies for the local medical school. Don’t miss the tour around Vaults Bridge, an 18th century construction that was intended to be the first mall ever. Many taverns and crafts shops set in this dark vaults, only lit by candle light and ghosts stories.

Strange things started to happen in the bridge as it was used for less legit businesses, including body trade, and gradually it was abandoned as stranger and stranger events went on. Nowadays, still many people simply avoid themselves from being any close to the bridge; just in case. 

One of the best kept secrets among the capital cities in the world is in Rome, the old capital of the (known) world; Sant’Ignazio Church. This early Baroque catholic church is one of kind in a city that literally boast dozens of churches. All odds are you’ll wait in line for a couple of hours (if you’re lucky) to see what Michelangelo did in the Sistine Chapel but you’ll miss the 3D frescoes of Saint Ignatius. Wait, 3D in the 16th century? Absolutely. Actually, this painting style is known as anamorphosis (a Greek word meaning ‘go back to see its true form’) and not only covers religious paintings but also a magical effect that will fool your eyes making you believe there are domes where there shouldn’t. Check out why Tripadvisor ranks it above the Colosseum or the Vatican Museum.

Truth be told we would need several lives to find every secret Rome has to offer, but if you are not a cat with incredible reading skills, take advantage of NH Villa Carpegna Park, Sleep & Fly deal: free parking, breaksfast and shuttle service with your room. A quick visit to Rome is better than no visit at all. Besides, NH Villa Carpegna is one of the few hotels in Rome’s downtown with an astounding outdoor swimming-pool.

The Fallen Angel in Madrid

The Fallen Angel in Madrid

Madrid is one of the most visited capitals in the world but its huge history won’t be complete without seeing the only sculpture in the world made for the Devil; yes, there’s a statue in Retiro Park ‘honoring’ Satan.

It was created in the 19th century under the auspicious of a southern Dutch, who as you can imagine faced a lot of opposition in the conservative society of those times. Actually, today is the day when critics and petitions to take the statue off still happen, though it is actually known as the statue of the Fallen Angel, suffering for his rebellion. It’s horror screaming face and the snakes strangling him played quite a dissuasive effect in Madrid’s younger minds. Beliefs aside, the statue it’s a fine piece of art which won several international prizes right after it was inaugurated in 1874.

Photo credit: profzucker

Photo credit: Javier Martin Espartosa


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