Northern Ireland’s Peace Walls, U.K.

Belfast Peace Walls
Peace Wall in Cupar Way, Belfast, photo © mytouristmaps

Some of the Northern Ireland‘s neighborhoods are still divided by walls: the Peace Walls (or Peace Lines) separate the nationalists/Catholics/Irish from the loyalists/Protestants/British people.

Most of them are in Belfast, others are also existing in Portadown, Derry and Lurgan, with a total length of around 34 km; some of them have gates that are opened only during daylight.

The walls were initially built as a temporary structure to avoid the violence episodes; the first peace line is dating back to 1969 in Belfast after the riot that had involved nationalists, loyalists and police that caused more than 150 homes destroyed, almost two thousand families evacuated, 8 killed and more than 700 injured people.

The number of the walls have raised from less than 20 in the early 1990s to more than one hundred nowadays; there was also an increase after the Irish-British Good Friday Agreement of the 10th April 1998.

According to the public local opinion, the walls are still necessary to maintain the peace and avoid the violence in those areas: the majority of the people still think that more time is needed to change the mentality that has caused lots of conflicts in the past.

In September 2017, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice published its Interface Programme, which intention is removing all the structures by 2023.

Reading the messages of thousands of people marked on the Peace Walls, it is evident that the thought of the people, with or without walls, is still aimed at peace.

Milan, Italy

photo © mytouristmaps

The Navigli are a system of navigable canals around Milan, Italy, consisted of five canals: Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese, Naviglio Martesana, Naviglio di Paderno and Naviglio di Bereguardo.

The construction of the system lasted from the 12th to the 19th century; in 1805 Napoleon completed the construction of the Naviglio Pavese canal, connecting Milan to the sea by the canal of Pavia & Po river, to the Lake Maggiore through the Naviglio Grande canal & Ticino river and to the Como Lake through Martesana canal & Adda river.

From the Ossola Valley, through the Naviglio Pavese, was transported the marble used for building the Duomo of Milan.
After 1850, due to the advent of the railway, and later of the automobile, the canals transportation system suffered an inevitable decline; today, most of the canals are used for irrigation.

In downtown Milan, the Navigli area is now one of the best nightlife poles in the city; the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese operates a tourist navigation service.

Bangkok, Thailand

photo © mytouristmaps
Capital and biggest city of Thailand, Bangkok holds the Guinness World Record for the longest name: his ceremonial name “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahastan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit” means “City of angels, the great city, the city of eternal happiness, the impenetrable city of God Indra, the magnificent capital of the world equipped with precious gems, the happy city, abounding in a great Royal Palace, which is similar to the divine house where reincarnated Gods reigns, a city blessed by Indra and built for Vishnukam”

Boundless, hot, smiling and animated by a vibrant nightlife, Bangkok has been elected by the magazine
Travel + Leisure the “best city in the world in 2008”.
Don’t miss to taste the typical street food and watch a ping-pong “match”…

Dubrovnik, Croatia

photo © mytouristmaps
During the Yugoslavian civil war (1991-1992) Dubrovnik was hit by about two thousand bombs.
After the war the city was rebuilt with traditional techniques and original materials; now the splendor of Dubrovnik is reflected in the white marble of its old town, one of the medieval villages best preserved in Croatia and in the world.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo eternal flame
photo © mytouristmaps
The peculiarity of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the multi-ethnicity and the coexistence among the various religions settled during his history: Muslims, Jews, Catholic-Orthodox and Christians live together with tolerance.
Among the most important places of worship, there are four mosques, a cathedral and two Orthodox churches, a cathedral and two Christian churches and two Jewish synagogues.
One of the most significant monuments, the eternal flame of Sarajevo, commemorates the liberation from the Nazis and the victims of World War II.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Frank Zappa Statue
photo © Mirco Consoli
In Vilnius, there is a statue dedicated to Frank Zappa: American composer, guitarist and singer, genius. He is referred to as the father of modern music.

“A country is really a country when it has an airline and a beer. And in the end is a good beer that you need most”
. Frank Zappa.