The City of Devotees, Bhaktapur, in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

During our first full day in Kathmandu, we took a tour just outside of the city to visit the temples of Bhaktapur. Like many of the locations that we visited throughout the Kathmandu Valley, there was evidence of the devastating earthquake of 2015. There has been a lot of work done to restore these UNESCO World Heritage Sites back to their original states. Bhaktapur is one of the three main cities of the Kathmandu Valley and is home to many of the Newar people, which is one of the oldest cultures in Nepal and also give the city its name as the city of the devotees.

Pagoda Style Temple
Hindu Relief
Dramatic Shikhara Style Temple
View of the Durbar from the Temple Stairs
Ornate Entryway

There are three styles of temple roofs in Nepal and can be found in the Bhaktapur square, the pagoda style that can be found throughout Asia, the Shikhara style that resembles a mountain peak, and the Stupa style with its dome top. Neapal was made up of many different small kingdoms and each of these palaces had their own squares called a durbar where people gathered, worshipped, and most likely sold goods. The architecture of Bhaktapur is quite stunning, but the effects of the earthquake are quite visible as many of the buildings are being supported by posts to keep them from toppling over until they can be fully repaired.

Buildings Supported by Posts
Another Shikhara Style Temple in the Durbar
Amazing Architecture
Detailed Carvings on the Door
Temple Under Reconstruction

Bhaktapur is also known for the clay pots and bricks that are produced in the region and as you drive towards Bhaktapur, you can see the chimneys of the brick factories with plumes of smoke rising towards the sky. In the square, you will find clay pots being painted by the local artisans and awaiting for their time in the kiln to be fired. We spent about two hours in Bhaktapur walking amongst the temples and enjoying the atmosphere. Visiting Bhaktapur is definitely a must for anyone spending time in the Kathmandu Valley.

Pagoda Style Temple Roof
Dragon Protecting the Doorway
Another Temple
Entrance to the Durbar
Snake Fountain
Another Statue Guarding the Temple
More Construction
Items for Sale

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Close Up on the Fountain

The Piazza Navona is a famous square in Rome that was built on the site of an ancient, open space stadium from the 1st century. Today it is busy with local artists, restaurants and cafes, local residents, and tourists. With its large Egyptian obelisk, the Fountain of the Four Rivers demands attention in the center of piazza. The square was defined as a public space in the 15th century where it hosted the city market. Later, during the reign of the pontificate of Innocent X, the square became significant for its Baroque architecture with the focal point being his family palace, the Palazzo Pamphili.

Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Palace

Obelisk and the Bell Tower

Unique Statues

There are two other fountains in the square, one on the southern end of the square being the Fontana del Moro, which has four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta, and on the northern end is Fountain of Neptune. Even at night, the Fountain of the Four Rivers is beautiful to see as the basin is lit up to highlight the statues at the base of the obelisk. Crowds remain in the piazza well into the evening, especially on warmer nights. We stayed at a boutique hotel that was situated on the square, so we had wonderful views of the people enjoying the beautiful area.

Palace Dome

Fountain at Night

Beautiful Statues

If you enjoy people watching, then the piazza, with its outdoor cafes, is a perfect location for you. At one point, we even watched as a marching band of children marched passed the fountains. There are also street artists playing music and a variety of painters offering unique paintings of famous sites in Rome. During our time there, we always saw people sitting on the benches and eating a meal, however we chose to have a glass of wine at several of the locally owned restaurants.

Marching Band


Palace Bell Tower

Perhaps this square is not as well known as some other locations in Rome, but it is certainly a top place to visit when coming to the city. It was featured in Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and several scenes from the film adaptation were filmed in the piazza. With all of the local restaurants in the surrounding streets as well as the square itself, it is a great place to spend a few hours and relax in the bustling city.

Another Statue

Fountain at Dusk from Our Room