Ursa's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Places visited in Utrecht, Netherlands
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Places edited in Ercolano, Italy
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Places visited in Leuven, Belgium
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Places edited in The Hague, Netherlands
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Places edited in Seville, Spain
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Maastricht, Netherlands

Selexyz Dominicanen

This centuries-old gothic monster has been converted into a sprawling, glossy bookstore.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

De Waag

Amsterdam's former hotspot for public executions and dissections.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Homomonument

Three connected pink triangles memorialize persecuted gays and lesbians throughout history.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Theater Tuschinski

A beautifully eclectic mix of architectural styles.
Fleury-devant-Douaumont, France

Douaumont Ossuary

This modern French ossuary contains the jumbled bones of 130,000 WWI soldiers.
Leuven, Belgium

Totem

Giant bug impaled on a 75-feet high needle.
Ghent, Belgium

The Flashing Streetlights of Ai Nati Oggi

Each time a baby is born in Ghent, these streetlights flash in silent celebration.
Antwerp, Belgium

St. Anna's Tunnel

Rare wooden escalators lead deep down into an otherwise staggeringly monotonous tiled tunnel.
Leuven, Belgium

Fons Sapientiae

This whimsical statue dumps water on its head to symbolize knowledge flowing into his brain. Or maybe booze.
Leuven, Belgium

'Snow Whites' of Leuven

The Belgian library displays burned books that were salvaged from the fires of both world wars.
Liège, Belgium

Bueren Mountain

This giant urban staircase was built to keep the city's brave fighting men from getting waylaid in the red light district.
Brussels, Belgium

Manneken Pis

A little sculpture with a large wardrobe.
Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Bock Casemates

An expansive complex of subterranean tunnels is all that remains of one of Europe's most formidable medieval fortresses.
Beidweiler, Luxembourg

Schiessentümpel

This tri-part waterfall is a little bit of fairytale beauty in the heart of Luxembourg's Little Switzerland.
Trier, Germany

Porta Nigra

The last bastion of Roman presence north of the Alps looms over a German town.
Matera, Italy

La Palomba

An abandoned quarry hides an open-air gallery of huge sculptures, some made from the rubble of 9/11.
Matera, Italy

Sassi di Matera

People have been living in the cave houses on this Italian hillside since the Neolithic era.
Pompei, Italy

Plaster Citizens of Pompeii

The last moments of the ill-fated Pompeiians, frozen forever in plaster.
Bari, Italy

Manna of St. Nicholas of Bari

A dead saint, a deadly poison, and a mysterious holy ooze.
Milan, Italy

Palazzo Berri-Meregalli

This curious building hides eclectic details like medieval gargoyles alongside naked angels and Art Nouveau mosaics.
Milan, Italy

Loggia dei Mercanti Whispering Gallery

The secret medieval communication system will whisk your words above the noise of the crowd.
Milan, Italy

The Bronze Ear of Casa Sola-Busca

Before there were doorbells this bronze ear was installed for visitors to announce their arrival.
Milan, Italy

The Devil's Column

The mark of the Devil's horns on a marble column in Milan.
Milan, Italy

L.O.V.E.

This giant middle finger statue sends an unambiguous message to Italy's bankers.