Most Evocative Ruins in Europe

Old Oct 14th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Most Evocative Ruins in Europe

What are your favourite atmospheric, dramatic and evocative European ruins? Although I have so many, my number one pick would be Tintern Abbey in Wales. Seeing the ruins for the first time stirred my emotions to such an extent that tears trickled. The atmosphere was thick and palpable. Excruciatingly and hauntingly beautiful!

Yours?
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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First thing that came to my mind was the castle at Chinon.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Other favourites of mine would be Tantallon and Dunnottar Castles in Scotland and the Borders' Abbeys such as Jedburgh, Sweetheart, etc.

Of course the amphitheatre and forum in Rome are atmospheric as well (but too touristy!).
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Ruins as in decayed remains, right?

If I set aside Old Rome (too obvious...), definitely the sight of Urquhart Castle in Inverness, Scotland, the Roman Ruins of Baelo Claudio near Tarifa, Spain, and the Trophee D'Auguste Roman monument in La Turbie, France were just unforgetable moments.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Many years ago I went to the Turkish site that was supposedly the ancient city of Troy. There was not much there, but somehow, I could just imagine the Greek armies massed on the plain in front of the ruins.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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The ruins of Les Baux de Provence and the Pont du Gard.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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The chateau de l'Herm in the Dordogne.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Kilkenny Castle comes to mind because the morning we visited there was a heavy, thick fog in the air that shrouded the castle. And because it was February there was a chill and gloominess (it was overcast) tbat added to the overall effect.

Also loved Carsulae in Umbria. Its an old ruined Roman town off the beaten tourist path so the area was empty and felt a little spooky.

Tracy
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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A place I had never heard of before I went in August but felt like an explorer discovering the site: the ruined castle at Juromenha, in the Alentejo in Portugal, overlooking the Guadiana River on the border with Spain.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Without a doubt, Pendragon Castle, outside the town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, England. It's in the loveliest, loneliest countryside you can imagine, and sheep are grazing in its shadow. That I stumbled upon it by accident made it all the more thrilling.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Pendagron Castle sounds fantastic! We were just in Cumbria but somehow missed it. Shoot.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Used to be that nearly all of Dresden was pretty evocative, but it's becoming progressively 'unruined'.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 11:44 PM
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It would be a toss up between Skara Brae on Orkney or Gournia on Crete. Gournia was a town rather than a palace like Knossos, and the sense of ordinary people living there 4000 years ago was amazing. It wouldn't have been possible to understand it nearly as well if we hadn't had the KNossos experience first, tho'
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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travel2live, that's very interesting to read about how you experienced Tintern Abbey. All I know about it is the Wordsworth poem. Did that poem influence your visit?
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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I'd personally go for Dun Telve, one of the brochs near Glenelg. They date from the Iron Age and Dun Telve in particular is very well preserved.

I'm reminded of the American family who visited an Oxbridge college.
The son started to walk across the grass and an angry head popped out of a window and yelled at him to get off it.
"Pop", said the lad "These ruins are inhabited".
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Tintern Abbey is a great pick. I may be returning there next year after a twenty-year absence -- four times longer than Wordsworth's!

The Roman ruins at Bath should be in the running. The Anglo-Saxon poem at the beginning, expressing amazement at what must have been "the work of giants," sets the mood. Or the section of Hadrian's wall near Housesteads.

But what of the Alhambra? Or the forlorn masonry near Lake Avernus? The prospect of the Forum from the Palatine Hill? Or Dunnad? I give up.
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Coventry Cathedral
Oradour-sur-Glane
Festung Europa
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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We seem to have forgotten Stonehenge!
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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I would vote for the Roman Forum with the Pont du Gard in second place.

And then of course, Oradour-sur-Glane.
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Oh, and the stone circles at Avebury.

The poem DID influence our visit to Tintern Abbey. It is a sight I will never, ever forget - not just the actual scene but the incredible feeling that is impossible to put into words.
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