Five Weeks' Tour through NOrthern France, the Ardennes, Belgium, Holland, and the Rhine, to Switzerland
|Amiens. Whether the traveler makes the trip through northern France from London or from Paris, he had better make Amiens his first stopping place. That interesting city possesses one of the finest cathedrals in Europe, the " Parthenon of Gothic architecture."
|Compiegne, on the Oise, formerly a favorite country residence of the French monarchs. The Palace and Park are open to the public, and there are beautiful drives and walks in the forests. Jeanne d'Arc, in 1430, was taken prisoner here by the Burgundians. Ten miles from Compiegne is Pierrefond, the mighty stronghold of Louis d'Orleans, brother of Charles VI, and restored by Napoleon III.
|Rheims, the royal city of France, where most of the French kings were crowned in the magnificent Cathedral, one of the noblest examples of the early Gothic style. The city is also the center of the champagne industry.
|Sedan, the scene of Napoleon Ill's surrender to the king of Prussia, together with his army of 86,000 men, 10,000 horses, 480 cannon, 70 mitrailleuse and an enormous quantity of military stores. Marshal Turenne was born at Se"dan, 1611.
|Dinant Ardennes, in the province of Namur,
Belgium, on the Meuse, is overhung by a limestone
cliff, crowned with a citadel.
|Han-sur-Lesse. Visit the Grottoes.
|Rochefort and St. Hubert. In the ancient Abbey of St. Hubert is the tomb of the patron saint of sportsmen, the Apostle of the Ardennes.
|Drive to La Roche through that Ardennes forest which Shakespeare has peopled with his genius. The home of William de la Marck, the " Wild Boar " of the Ardennes. Rail from La Roche to Namur.
| Namur. The city of many sieges, captured by William III of England, in 1695, and where " My Uncle Toby," the inimitable creation of Laurence Sterne, was one of the combatants
|Brussels, the capital of Belgium, a charming city, full of art galleries, museums, palaces and parks. The Hotel de Ville is one of the finest municipal buildings in Europe. A few miles' drive from Brussels is the battlefield of Waterloo.
|Ghent. A curious old Flemish town, built on twenty-six islands, which in the fifteenth century gave employment to 40,000 woolen weavers and was governed for two hundred years by the great Trade Guilds.
|Bruges. A favorite city with the poet Longfellow, who here wrote the "Belfry of Bruges." It was the home of Charles II of England, while in exile. In the Hospital of Nptre Dame are some wonderful paintings by Hans Memling. The town is still celebrated for its pretty girls and richly decorated houses.
|Ostend. The summer residence of the king of the Belgians and the most popular sea-bathing resort on the German Ocean. The Kursaal, Leopold Park and the celebrated Oyster Parks ( vast reservoirs for the storage of English Oysters) should be visited
|Antwerp. One of the quaintest and most interesting of the old commercial cities of the Netherlands. From the summit of the Cathedral tower a vast expanse of country can be seen. Celebrated for its collection of Rubens and Vandyke paintings in the Cathedral and Museum. It is still, after ages of prominence, the chief seat of Belgian commerce.
| Rotterdam. The chief commercial city and the second in population in Holland.
|Delft. Once busy with the manufacture of the common kind of earthenware known by its name, but now dull and dignified. It was from this port that many of the Pilgrims set out for their new home in America, landing at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.
|The Hague. Capital of Holland, and one of the most charming places in Europe. In the Museum is an unrivaled collection of the works of Rembrandt, Paul Potter and others of the great Dutch masters. Make excursion to the Dutch watering place of Scheveningen, two miles away.
| Leyden. Celebrated for its University and its wonderful Museums of natural history, antiquities, Japanese art, and numismatics. The collection of East Indian plants in the Botanical Garden is a very fine one.
|Haarlem. A considerable city, with a reputation for the manufacture of silk, linen and cotton fabrics, lace and carpets. Was besieged by the Spaniards in 1572, when the citizens made a memorable defense. There is a grand organ in the Cathedral.
|Amsterdam. The largest, wealthiest, busiest and most populous of the cities of Holland. The Zoological Gardens are among the finest in Europe. An important local industry is diamond cutting. At Mr. Koster's establishment the famous Kohinoor was cut and polished. A very interesting excursion is to the Island of Marken, where the inhabitants still wear the costumes of the old-time Dutchmen
|Cologne (six hours by rail from Amsterdam) . On the Rhine. Originally a colony of Roman veterans, founded by Agrippina, mother of Nero. The Cathedral, recently completed, is probably the most magnificent Gothic church in the world. At the Church of St. Ursula are the bones of the virgin martyrs, massacred here by the Huns on their return from a pilgrimage to Rome. The celebrated perfume, eau de Cologne, is manufactured here.
Coblenz. Leave by steamer on the Rhine, for Coblenz, passing the university city of Bonn, Drachenburg, Rolandseck, Remagen, Rhein- eck, Hammerstein, Andernach and Neuwied. Coblenz, the capital of Rhenish Prussia, is located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine.
Beetling walls with ivy grown,
Frowning heights of mossy stone;
Turret, with its flaunting flag
Flung from battlemented crag ;
Dungeon-keep and fortalice
Looking down a precipice
O'er the darkly glancing wave
By the Lurline-haunted cave;
Robber haunt and maiden bower,
Home of love and crime and power, —
That's the scenery, in fine,
Of the Legends of the Rhine. —
|Continue up the Rhine, passing Stolzenfels, Lahneck, Marksburg, Boppard, Boon Lofen, St. Goar, Rheinfels, Pfalz, Furstenberg, Rheinstein, Bingen to Biebrich, where you disembark for Wiesbaden.
|Wiesbaden. Capital of the duchy of Nassau. A fashionable mineral-spring resort, dating back to the Roman empire.
|Heidelberg (three hours from Wiesbaden) . The university city of Germany, on the Neckar. A chief attraction is the Castle which, destroyed by the French under Louis XIV, and restored later, was finally reduced to its present condition.
| An interesting excursion can be made to the Palatinate cities of Worms and Spires.
|Baden-Baden (three hours and a half from Heidelberg). A delightful watering place on the borders of the Black Forest, and one of the greatest fashionable resorts in Europe.
|Strasburg (hour and a half from Baden-Baden) . The capital of Alsace, was seized by Louis XIV of France during the thirty years' war, and remained French until 1870, when it capitulated to the German emperor after a lengthened siege. It is very strongly fortified. The astronomical clock on the Minster is regarded as one of the mechanical wonders of the world. The numerous storks which build on the chimneys of the city are objects of interest to tourists.
|Freiburg. A picturesque town, the environs of which are very lovely. The best point of view is from the Schlossberg. The Minster is well worth visiting.
|Rail through the celebrated Hollen Thal to the Titisee, a lovely small lake in the heart of the Black Forest, whence the ascent of the Feldberg is made. Continue by rail to Neuhausen, the Falls of the Rhine, Switzerland. ( Time, about five hours from Freiburg.)