melanieshires's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Paris, France

The Bouquinistes of Paris

The tradition of open-air secondhand and antiquarian bookselling in Paris dates back to the Renaissance.
Rome, Italy

Cloaca Maxima

The "Greatest Sewer" of ancient Rome is one of the oldest sewer systems in the world, and is still in use.
Rome, Italy

St. Valentine's Skull

The skull of the patron saint of lovers lies in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin—maybe.
Rome, Italy

Domus Aurea

The insane pleasure dome of ancient Rome's lunatic emperor still holds the undiscovered secrets of his mad imagination.
Rome, Italy

Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts

The crypts of Capuchin friars decorated with the bones of over 4,000 friars, including an entire "crypt of pelvises."
Rome, Italy

Galleria Sciarra

This hidden Art Nouveau courtyard is an opulent feast for the eyes.
Rome, Italy

Torre Argentina (Roman Cat Sanctuary)

Hundreds of lucky felines haunt the ruins where Caesar was murdered.
Rome, Italy

The Flying Donkey

Rome's first modern graffito is all that is left of a peaceful protest from the 1970s.
Rome, Italy

Saint Victoria's Incorruptible Body

The martyr's wax-enhanced skeletal remains lie preserved in a glass case in the Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.
Rome, Italy

The Dome Illusion

A master of trompe-l'oeil creates a stunning, tourist-fooling dome out of a flat ceiling.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand

The Elephant Kraal of Ayutthaya

This elephant kraal is the only one remaining in Thailand, dating back to the 16th century when these massive mammals were integral players in war and trade.
Ban Tai, Thailand

Death Railway Bridge

This bridge made famous in a novel and on-screen wasn't actually built over the river Kwai.
Athens, Greece

Zappeion

A man's head is enshrined beneath a statue near the first building constructed for the modern Olympic Games.
Athens, Greece

Tower of the Winds

An ancient octagonal weather station named for the eight Greek gods of wind.
Marrakesh, Morocco

Bahia Palace

This vast masterpiece of Moroccan architecture spreads across 20 acres.
Marrakesh, Morocco

Ben Youssef Madrasa

The largest madrasa in Morocco once housed more than 900 students within its exquisite walls.
Marrakesh, Morocco

Saadian Tombs

Deliberately hidden for centuries, the magnificent Saadian Tombs were eventually uncovered in 1917.
Marrakesh, Morocco

Jemaa el-Fna Square

Fortune tellers, snake charmers, poets, and storytellers all gather on this historic square in Morocco.
Marrakesh, Morocco

Jardin Majorelle

It took 40 years to build this Eden-like garden in Marrakech, later restored by Yves Saint-Laurent.
Barcelona, Spain

Mirador de Colom (Columbus Monument)

A vista of the city and sea from atop the little-known viewing deck on an unassuming Columbus statue.
Barcelona, Spain

Street Performers of Las Ramblas

The iconic boulevard is the perfect place to catch sight of a bicycling skeleton, a levitating Satan, or a chef with his head stuck in a pizza.
Barcelona, Spain

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

The largest Art Nouveau complex in the world is a Barcelona hospital with a 600-year-long history.
Barcelona, Spain

Casa Vicens

Step inside the first house designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, considered to be one of the first Art Nouveau buildings.
Barcelona, Spain

Park Güell

Gaudí's famously flamboyant architectural style is on full display in this sprawling park and garden.