• Homages to the Historical Greats

    by  • March 3, 2015 • Amsterdam, City Breaks, Exhibitions, Paris

    The Tudors, Alexander, Napoleon and Josephine in Paris & Amsterdam.

    Take a trip to Paris or Amsterdam and as you’d expect, there’s certainly no shortage of cultural heritage or architectural splendour. After all, the abundance of buildings, artworks and artefacts all play a pivotal role in defining each city’s long and distinguished history. And adding an extra historical leaning to proceedings, this month both Paris and Amsterdam see the opening of two grand exhibitions devoted to the royal dynasties and empires that have fundamentally shaped the course European history as we know it.

    To Paris first and opening on March 18th at the Musée du Luxembourg is an exhibition devoted to the Tudors, successive sovereigns of the English throne from 1485 to 1603. In partnership with the National Portrait Gallery in London and the first of its kind in France, the exhibition explores the impact of the Tudors on English history, society, religion and culture. Themes include its strategic position in Europe, its split from the Catholic Church and its open-arm approach to the Renaissance painters of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, whose portraits of King Henry VIII and Queen Elisabeth I both take centre stage amongst the many exhibits.

    On display until the 19th of July, the exhibition is open daily from 10am until 7pm (10pm on Mondays) and entrance costs 12€ (free for those aged 16 or under).

    In Amsterdam meanwhile, the prestigious Hermitage Museum prepares to unveil an exhibition devoted to three pivotal figures in European history, Tsar Alexander I, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Joséphine. Entitled ‘Alexander, Napoleon & Joséphine, a Story of Friendship, War and Art from the Hermitage’, the Hermitage looks back at the years preceding the decisive Battle of Waterloo with a presentation of over 200 magnificent paintings, sculptures, personal possessions, gowns, uniforms, objets d’art and weapons. Themes include friendship, war and politics, with a special emphasis on Joséphine’s extensive collection of artworks, on display in the Netherlands for the very first time.

    Opening on the 28th of March and running through until the 8th of November, the exhibition is open daily from 10am until 5pm (closed 27th April) and entrance costs 15€ (5€ for children aged six to 16).


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.