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Top 5 Walled Towns of Europe

Travelers Today       By    Patricia Sim

Updated: Sep 28, 2016 06:45 PM EDT

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Europe is considered by many the best tourist gateway to the Old World, a place where one can get lost in history and traditions that have been passed down for centuries. Despite steady modernization and globalization, countries in Europe take very good care of their heritage buildings, to remind the people of today of what life was like hundreds of years ago. With new roads and bridges being built, however, city walls which once protected towns and cities from neighboring enemies are not as well-preserved as other structures. However, these are the Top 5 towns in Europe who have preserved their city walls.

1. Rothenburg, Germany

Rick Steves of the Seattle Times calls this the best-preserved walled town in Germany, and possibly all of Europe. Tourists pack its cobbled alleys daily, but traditional details on the walls such as arrow slits for crossbowmen. Additionally, the Monastery Garden and the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum show people a collection of medicinal herbs, and an assortment of law-enforcement paraphernalia through the centuries.

2. Lucca, Italy

Forming a 2-1/2 mile circle around the entire town, it is ironic that Lucca has not seen a battle since 1430. Instead of being used for combat, the townspeople treat these ramparts as a circular park around their beloved Romanesque city. It has been developed lined with trees and is a popular destination for biking and strolling.

3. Murten, Switzerland

The Battle of Murten in 1476 was a great victory for its townspeople. Charles the Bold from France laid siege with 20,000 well-armed Burgundians, but the villagers united themselves and wiped out the invaders, forcing many into the lake to drown. Eventually, this victory would lead to the birth of Switzerland as a nation.

4. Carcassone, France

For several years, the conqueror Charlemagne laid siege to this town, until his patience ran dry and the town was saved. Nowadays, the town is a known tourist destination and the walls see more relaxed activity, offering an amazing 30-minute stroll with views of the 13th century city's towers, turrets and cobblestones.

5. Obidos, Portugal

Known for its narrow lanes and flower-bedecked houses, this city on a hill is enclosed by a 45 foot tall wall, dating back to the 14th century. In the 16th century, an aqueduct was established for the city's water supply and played a key role in Portugal's economic improvement at the time. Because of this, the town was declared a national monument in 1951, making it a well-preserved tourist destination just North of Lisbon.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
Rothenburg , Germany , Lucca , italy , Murten , switzerland , Carcassone , france , Obidos , Portugal
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