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5 spooktacular European city breaks

It’s no secret that Europe is home to some of the world’s most beautiful cities, all with spectacular sights and illustrious histories to match.

However, alongside the iconic landmarks, many also have a few rather more eerie attractions which are sure to send shivers down your spine.

Inspired by Halloween, we decided to a take a look at some of Europe’s most spooktacular city break destinations.

Religious relics in Rome

Rome Image: dianageanina at Pixabay

The Vatican in Rome is arguably one of the most famous attractions in the world, with tourists flocking from across the globe to the home of the esteemed Pope Francis.

However, if you were to venture into the depths beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica, you may catch a glimpse of an entirely different Pope from years ago. This is due to the fact that the Vatican Necropolis, which lies beneath the Vatican City itself, is a web of tombs and the resting place of previous Bishops of Rome.

Another popular attraction in the Italian capital with somewhat eerie origins is the Colosseum. This spectacular arena was the scene of many a gladiator death and sits atop a maze of underground chambers, cells, tunnels and passages.

Dreary dungeons

Berlin

If you’re in Berlin this Halloween, why not put on your cosiest coat and embark on a tour of the city dungeons? Going back 800 years into the history of the German capital, you will be entertained by frighteningly good live shows and fantastic special effects.

Paranormal Prague

Prague Image: Fuchsbua at Pixabay

The unknowing tourist who touches the plaque on Prague’s picturesque Charles Bridge for good luck may be forgiven for not knowing the unfortunate event it was placed there to commemorate. Czech martyr St. John of Nepomuk was thrown off the bridge in the 14th century after he refused to divulge to King Wenceslas IV the queen’s confessional secrets. Let’s hope his misfortune brings luck to present day passers-by!

If you’re feeling brave enough, you can also pay a visit to the Faust House, where the legendary Dr Faust once lived. Here you can survey the site where he practiced black magic and where it is claimed he made a deal with the devil. This house was also later home to eccentric alchemists Karl Jaenig, who owned fully-functioning gallows and reportedly slept in a coffin.

Mysterious metropolis

Paris Image: Pexels at Pixibay

Home to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, where famous figures such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison were laid to rest, Paris is rumoured to be a hive of haunting happenings. The catacombs, also known as the ‘graves of the innocents’, are the hidden horror beneath the city’s serene façade, and also featured in the 2014 movie, As Above, So Below.

Rumour has it that you may also spot spectres flitting between gargoyles at the Notre-Dame Cathedral and you should keep your eyes peeled for a mysterious figure of a lady known by the initials ‘M.J’.

Phantom vengeance in Venice

Venice

If the ornate Venetian masks aren’t creepy enough for you during a visit to Venice, look out for the haunted house of Palazzo Dario. Its inhabitants all seemingly met sticky ends over the past 500 years, since Giovanni Dario bequeathed the property to his daughter. The history of this ornate building was enough to dissuade American filmmaker Woody Allen from purchasing the property in the more recent past.


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