Top 10 most magnificent tombs of the world on Wikimapia

The high and mighties, whose deeds become legendary and heritage stays immortal, meet the Death itself, that actually should be neutral and equal for everyone, not as usual as other people. Their bodies die and rest in peace in burial vaults, made by the best architects, surrounded with amazing decorations and works of art. Sometimes those tombs are so massive, that may even be visible from the sattelite. There are ‘tomb’ and ‘masoleum‘ categories on Wikimapia that include more than 2400 places today. Let's see the most famous and majestic of them and check if they need any edition or data adding.

First, that may accure to you when speaking about tombs is the famous Giza Necropolis, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This ancient Egyptian complex consists of the Great Pyramid of Giza (tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu or Cheops), the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, the Great Sphinx statue and several other smaller satellite pyramids.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Needless to say, it is an amazing work of engineer, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest of the ancient Egyptian pyramids. Originally standing 146.6 m high, it is now 138.8 m high due to erosion, trophy hunting, and vandalism. Thousands years after the pyramids were built they still admire attention and attcract millions of tourists as one if the most mysterious places in the world.

Giza Necropolis

Another great burial vault is Taj Mahal in the city of Agra, India, ordered to build by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In 1631, Shah Jahan, the emperor was grief-stricken when his beloved third wife died during the birth of their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, one year after her death. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally thought of as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Islamic, Indian and Persian architectural styles.

Taj Mahal

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Rome, Vatican city, initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian was erected on the right bank of the Tiber, between 135 and 139. Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden top and golden quadriga. Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in Baiae in 138, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217.

The Mausoleum of Hadrian

Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Iran, Pasargadae, in the area of ancient Persia, is believed to be the tomb of one of the most notable king of Persia – King Cyrus the Great. It is today an archeological site and one of only five of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cyrus the Great, or Cyrus II of Persia, was a Persian Shahenshah (or Emperor), who founded of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. This empire thence expanded under his rule, as Cyrus eventually conquered the majority of Southwest Asia as well as much of Central Asia, from Egypt and the Hellespont to the Indus River in the east, to create the most expansive nation the world had seen up until that era.
The Mausoleum is said to be the oldest base-isolated structure in the world, meaning it is resilient to seismic hazards.

Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Iran

Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and nearby pit of the Terracotta Warriors, buried with the First Emperor of Qin, are famous from all over the world. Emperor Qin Shi Huang believed that these terracotta army would enable him to rule another empire in the afterlife. Both mausoleum and the army are a unique architectural ensemble whose layout echoes the urban plan of the capital, Xianyang, with the Imperial Palace enclosed by the walls of the city, themselves encircled by other walls. The mausoleum is also associated with an event of universal significance: the first unification of the Chinese territory in a centralized state created by an absolute monarch, in 221 BC.
Terracota Army consists of about 8,000 life-like and life-sized statues of soldiers with their horses, chariots and weapons. Looks like Qin Shi Huangdi might really have become the Emperor of the afterlife with such magnificent troops.

Terracotta Warriors

The lords of the ancient world were not the only, whose ashes rest in peace in a glorious burial vaults. Revolution leaders of the Contemporary history, who inspired the masses and managed to dethrone the governments, are also buried unusual.

Lenin’s Tomb on Red Square, Moscow, Russia is probably the most discrepant place in our list. It serves as the final resting place for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Lenin's preserved body has been on public display here since his death in 1924. And disputes about that fact are still happening from time to time.
Aleksey Shchusev's granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.

Lenin’s Tomb

The Che Guevara Mausoleum (Mausoleo Che Guevara) is a memorial in Santa Clara, Cuba. It houses the remains of executed Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and twenty-nine of his fellow combatants killed in 1967 during Guevara's attempt to spur an armed uprising in Bolivia. The full area which contains a bronze 22 foot statue of Che is referred to as the Ernesto Guevara Sculptural Complex. Guevara was laid to rest with full military honors on 17 October 1997 after his exhumed remains were discovered in Bolivia and returned to Cuba. At the site, there is a museum dedicated to Guevara's life and an eternal flame lit by Fidel Castro in Che's memory.

The Che Guevara Mausoleum

Most part of burial vaults of great people are still not as massive as previous examples, or, at least, their tombs are grouped in one special and magnificent place. Like Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral, in Westminster, London. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. Honouring individuals with Burials and Memorials in Westminster Abbey has a long tradition. Henry III rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honour of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor whose relics were placed in a burial vault in front of the High Altar. Henry III himself was interred nearby in a superb chest tomb with effigial monument. Many of the Plantagenet kings of England, their wives and other relatives, most Kings and Queens of England From the time of Edward the Confessor until the death of George II were buried in the Abbey as well. Since the Middle Ages, aristocrats (the first one was Geoffrey Chaucer), poets, writers and musicians were buried or memorialised around Chaucer in what became known as Poets' Corner. In this part of the chapel you may find tombs of W. H. Auden, William Blake, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Charles d***, John Dryden, George Eliot, T. S. Eliot, and many other dignified man. Subsequently it became one of Britain's most significant honours to be buried or commemorated here. The practice of burying national figures in the Abbey began under Oliver Cromwell with the burial of Admiral Robert Blake in 1657. The practice spread to include generals, admirals, politicians, doctors and scientists such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. In the floor just inside the great west door, in the centre of the nave, is the tomb of The Unknown Warrior, an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War.

Westminster Abbey

Père-Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, France and one of the most famous and most-visited in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years. Here are the tombs of Molière, Frédéric Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Amedeo Modigliani, Guillaume Apollinaire, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Jim Morrison and many other great man. It is also the site of five Great War memorials. The gravesites at Père Lachaise range from a simple, unadorned headstone to towering monuments and even elaborate mini chapels dedicated to the memory of a well-known person or family.

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Sedlec Ossuary does not actually fit to our list, as you won't find any great man relics here. Though the place is so unusual, that we can not leave it unnoticed, speaking about most amazing burial vaults. This small Roman Catholic chapel is located in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora, Czech Republic. What is amazing about it is that the ossuary contains approximately 40,000-70,000 human skeletons which have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. The history of church and ossuary is also unusual. You may read the details in its description on Wikimapia.

Sedlec Ossuary

Such evidences of grandeur as magnificent tombs immortalize the memory of those, whose bodies rest there. We on Wikimapia are interested in tagging such places a lot, since those burial vaults have a great value as works of art and information sources. We are pleased to see, that thanks to our users lots of such historical memorials are already tagged on Wikimapia, and we encourage you to pay more attention to the places of such a high significance for all mankind. By adding more information of better quality to these popular place descriptions you improve Wikimapia data a lot. Tagging places of such importance you create something more than a regular Wikimapia tag, you are involved in discovering and immortalizing those memorials in web space. So you might be the one, who'll help others to learn more about the World and choose what places to visit. And that is what your project about - helping people to explore the world!


Wikimapia July news

In spite of sweet summer days and charming weather, we on Wikimapia continue to improve the project for you. Here are the latest news on Wikimapia for July.

The access to the road pages expanded! Now the road interactivity is available on New Wikimapia. See the details on forum thread.

Wikimapia rapidly improves. Every day a lot of interesting places appears on the map and new features are released. Subscribe on Wikimapia Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest changes and take part in discussions.

Translation of the official Wikimapia Documentation has started. See the details in this topic and help translating Docs on your language.

We’ve re-started the Wikimapia blog aimed to encourage our contributors and share most amusing places and latest news on Wikimapia with you. Several articles, that you may find interesting, are already posted there.

Another minor but nevertheless useful edit on Wikimapia interface is my "My location" button. It allows to jump back to where you are at the moment no matter how far you’ve surfed through the map. The button is available on New Wikimapia and works in browsers with geolocation support.

[url=http://wikimapia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=9969]A procedure of Advanced User proposal and promotion has been released. As a result new Advanced Users have appeared. Their duties are to edit the map and help users, so, please contact AUs, if you have any questions.

Wikimapia Community expanding every day! Here is some stats for the last month:

- 297674 new places were added on Wikimapia
- 26 292 new users joined Wikimapia community


Wikimapia official Documentation translation

Seems like a proper time for Wikimapia Documentation translation has come. As Wikimapia is a collaborative project, anyone can participate in translating the Docs into his/her language, but certainly the biggest part of work will lay on Documentors shoulders.

All translations will have such link - wikimapia.org/docs/Main_Page/fr (or your language ISO abbreviation), that should be created by Documentors. Until a full translation to any language will be completed, a user will see the English version of Docs, where he/she will be offered to contribute to the process of translating. After the translation is done, a user will be forwarded to the Docs page according to his interface language.

If you are a regular user, this is what you should do: first, inform a Documentor that you are going to help with translation (There also will be a link to Documentors list on Docs page - http://wikimapia.org/#lat=55.7522&lon=3 ... w_badge=26), then create a draft page on wikimapia.org/wiki and write your translation there. After you’ve finished, contact a Documentor again, so he/she could check it and move your work on official translation page of Docs.

Documentors duty is to create pages for translation, watch the procces of translating, help users and translate the Docs themselves, if they wish to do that.

Please remember that Wikimapia develops rapidly and some information in Docs might change in short time. So we all should be attentive to the changes in Docs and keep the translations up to date.


Explore volcanoes on Wikimapia Pt.2

Today we continue exploring volcanoes from around the world with Wikimapia. African continent has drawn our attention this time. Most African volcanoes resulted from hotspots or the rifting in Earth crust, or a combination of both reasons.

The East African Rift

The East African rift, one of the world's most dramatic extensional structures, has produced the continent's highest and lowest volcanoes, ranging from the massive Kilimanjaro to vents in Ethiopia's Danakil Depression that lie below sea level. The East African Rift is an active continental rift zone in eastern Africa that appears to be a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary. The rift is a narrow zone in which the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two smaller tectonic plates. If you switch on “volcano” category and watch East Africa you’ll notice the contour of the rift right away as the red marks that show volcanoes will be grouped in the eastern part of the continent in a line.

The highest mountain in Africa is Kilimanjaro - the dormant volcano from Tanzania with three volcanic cones. Its highest peak Unuru is 5,895 metres above the sea level. There is a permanent snow pack on the peak. The second peak Mawenzi (height 5.354 m.) its located on the righ of Uhuru. Estimated to be 12 sq km in 1900, the ice cap on the highest point in Africa is now only 2 sq km. One of the most visible signs of global warming, the snows of Kilimanjaro have dwindled some 80 percent in little more than a century. Ice has also thinned significantly, leading scientists to believe the famous sight could be gone by 2020. Now that is something to think about.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Cameroon is an active volcano in Cameroon near the Gulf of Guinea. It is just a bit lower than Kilimanjaro and is 4,**** m high. More than 100 small cinder cones, occur on the flanks and surrounding lowlands of the volcano. A large satellitic peak, Etinde (also known as Little Cameroon), is located on the southern flank near the coast. Historical activity, the most frequent of west African volcanoes, was first observed in the 5th century BC by the Carthaginian navigator Hannon. During historical time, moderate explosive and effusive eruptions have occurred from both summit and flank vents. Eruption in 1922 produced a lava flow that reached the Atlantic coast, and a lava flow from a 1999 eruption stopped only 200 m from the sea.

Mount Cameroon

Mount Elgon is a huge, ancient, and eroded stratovolcano which sits astride the Uganda-Kenya border. Although not the tallest of the isolated volcanoes of East Africa, it is among the largest in volume, rising up from a base over 80 km in diameter on the plains at about 1200 m elevation. Elgon is topped by a caldera about 8 km in diameter, with several high points over 4000 m along the rim. Elgon is noted for its unique Afro-alpine trees and plants, and for the many caves in its mid-elevation slopes, where elephants and other large animals can often be found eating mineral salts. These caves are not lava tubes, since Elgon has few suitable lava flows, but are instead eroded from the volcanic tuff (welded ash flows) which make up the bulk of Elgon's volume (digging by elephants may also contribute to the enlargement of the caves).

Mount Elgon

In Africa except the already familiar to us but none the less striking volcanoes you can find some volcanic places that you couldn’t ever see in Europe. And I’m speaking about lava lakes.

In Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park, mount Nyiragongo is situated. Nyiragongo volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa. Its main crater is about two km wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls - one at about 3175 m and a lower one at about 2975 m. Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3250 m prior to the January 1977 eruption, lake depth of about 600 m. Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamuragira volcanoes are together responsible for 40% of Africa's historical volcanic eruptions. On the satellite photo you may even see the smoke from the lava lake rising high.

Mount Nyiragongo Lava Lake

Erta Ale ("smoking mountain" in Afar) is an active shield volcano in the Afar Region of northeastern Ethiopia. It is the most active volcano in the country. Erta Ale is 613 metres tall, with a lava lake, one of only five in the world, at the summit. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century. It is known locally and in lore as a "gateway to hell". Erta Ale is located in the Afar Depression, a desert area spanning the border with Eritrea, and the volcano itself is surrounded completely by an area below sea level. On this satellite picture you can even see the result of overflowing lava - long black lava traces.

Erta Ale

The next volcano disproves the stereotype that volcanoes are always high mountains.
The Danakil depression is one of the world's most extraordinary places, where giant tectonic forces rip the Earth crust apart. Active volcanoes, deep depression and infinite salt deposits are the result. The Danakil is one of the most hostile and fascinating places, but also home to one of the richest salt deposits. For thousands of years the salt has been being faught over here, exploited and exported. It is ruled over by the proud tribe of the Afar. Up to today, this work is being done as in biblical times. The craters of Danakil are the lowest known subaerial volcanoes. The most recent of these craters, Dallol, lies 48 m below sea level and was formed during an eruption in 1926. Colorful hot brine springs are found in the Dallol area.


Another interesting natural volcanic phenomena is a volcanic field. A volcanic field is an area of the Earth's crust that is prone to localized volcanic activity, it usually contains 10 to 100 volcanoes and is usually in clusters. Lava flows may also occur. A volcanic field is probably a perfect place for filming a movie about the Moon. Natural decorations are ready and waiting for a brave film director for thousands years!

Jabal Meidub Volcanic Field is situated in western Sudan. Basaltic scoria cones are scattered throughout the field, their lavas have produced a broad lava plateau. The youngest dated eruptions about 5000 years ago produced a tuff ring and a lava flow. But this is only the one of many volcanic fields in Africa. Here is Mega Basalt Vulcanic field, straddling the Ethiopia-Kenya border. These two neighbor volcanic fields are also very picturesque.

Jabal Meidub Volcanic Field

Unfortunately, the largest part of the amazing volcanoes is hard to visit. You either need to be an experienced mountaineer or find a save guide and be prepared physically for a long journey in desert. But gladly that doesn't mean, that just a "man of mould" will never enjoy the beauty of African volcanoes.
Volcanoes National Park, which is situated in northwestern Rwanda, is a perfect place for inquisitive tourists! On the territory of the Volcanoes National Park the very rare, and endangered species of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) are living on the slopes of the vulcanoes. Moreover, there are some picturesque lakes and caves to visit.
Just not far from Volcanoes National Park is The Virunga National Park, formerly named Albert National Park, which a tourist can also visit. Although the volcanoes in national parks are not the biggest, they are probably much more suitable for tourism.

Volcanoes National Park

As you may see, Africa is a continent, that is full of volcanoes. All, that are mentioned in this article, are already marked on Wikimapia, but their description will be certainly improved, if you find them and add more photos and information. But even a larger part of volcanoes are left unknown and await their turn to be revealed to Wikimapia Community.


The Eiffel tower conquers the World

The Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Though it wasn’t the love from the first sight between citizens and the “Iron Lady”, within the years the tower has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower is the tallest building in Paris and one of the most-visited monuments.

The Eiffel Tower

We on Wikimpia have the “eiffel” category (don’t confuse with German “eifel” with one “f”) that is is given to the objects made by Gustave Eiffel (like railway bridge in Pronto, Spain or railway station in Budapest, Hungary) or connected with the architect somehow.
But these places are not the only that can be put in “eiffel” category. The Eiffel tower was a revolutionary word in architecture. It excited architects from the whole world, so some of them made their own buildings inspired by the same technology like Blackpool Tower or Tokyo tower.

The Blackpool Tower is a tourist attraction in the town of Blackpool, Lancashire, in the north of England. The tower, 158 m tall, first opened to the public on 14 May 1894. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, it is not quite free-standing, its base is hidden by a building housing the Blackpool Tower circus. The top of the tower is accessed by two lifts. There are four viewing platforms open to the public, the lower of which is completely enclosed. These afford views of much of Lancashire and the Isle of Man, in addition to Blackpool and the rest of the Fylde peninsula. The enclosed lower platform contains a glass floor above the south-west leg that allows visitors to look down on the street below. The tower is topped by a flagpole, and normally flies the Union flag except during the illuminations when the flagpole is lit by nearly one hundred lamps. The tower is used as a transmission location by one local FM station and a variety of non-broadcast services. The tower is normally painted dark red, but for its centenary in 1994 was painted gold.
The tower is lit during the annual illuminations, when the town and seafront are adorned with colourful displays of bulbs that stretch up and down the waterfront for several kilometres. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

The Blackpool Tower

Tokyo tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.5 metres, it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan. The tower is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower's main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a 4-storey building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit two observation decks. The 2-storey Main Observatory is located at 150 metres, while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 metres.

Tokyo tower

Petřín Tower was built in 1891 in Prague. It extends to a height of 60 meters and was inspired by Paris' Eiffel Tower. In fact, with its hilltop setting, the tower's peak height above sea level is roughly equal to that of the Eiffel Tower. Visitors can, for a small fee, climb the stairs to the top of the tower, and command a clear nice view of Prague. Better views, as well as a couple of restaurants and some excellently secluded picnicking spots, are to be found in the park on the hillside below.

Petrin Tower, Prague

As every great work of art, the Eiffel tower has not only its followers, but a lot of replicas from around the world. And the biggest replica of it is in Las Vegas, USA.

Paris Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, it includes a half scale 165 m tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, a sign in the shape of the Montgolfier balloon, a two-thirds size Arc de Triomphe, a replica of La Fontaine des Mers and a 1,200-seat theatre called Le Théâtre des Arts. This place is probably even more french than Paris itself! A perfect hotel for a honeymoon or just a romantic journey in french style.

Replica in Las Vegas

If you feel like spending the day in french atmosphere, you should visit a closest amusement park. In such places (like in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA, or miniature park in Brussels, Belgium) you will certainly find La Tour Effeil.

The one-tenth replica of the Eiffel Tower at France pavilion at Walt Disney World Resort was also constructed using Gustav Eiffel's original blueprints. If you looked at the Eiffel Tower today as it stands in Paris, it would be colored in dark grey. However, here in Epcot, the Eiffel Tower is more tan and pinkish. The reason is the France Pavilion here represents the late 1800s and the Eiffel Tower is the same color it would have been then. Here even most of the shops are actual shops selling French goods such as Guerlain perfumes. The pavilion features "Impressions de France", a panoramic movie shown on five adjacent screens, offers a whirlwind tour through the country set to the sound of French classical music. A real old nice France in the middle of USA.

Replica at Walt Disney World Resort

Mini-Europe is a Belgian miniature park that has the reproductions of the most attractive monuments in the European Union on show, at a scale of 1:25, including the Eiffel Tower as well.

Mini-Europe, Brussels

Here is a Chinese replica of the Eiffel Tower in Shenzhen, at the Window of the World theme park. The park has about 130 reproductions of some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world squeezed into 48 hectares. The 108 metre tall Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline.

Replica in Shenzhen

If you search for "eiffel" in Romania you will find something really amazing. It seems like the tower was "born" in western Europe. Here are the old mine, where people used to produce iron, and a blast furnace for iron ore smelting. The iron made here can be found today at the Eiffel Tower. Pretty natural that there is a little Tour Effeil in Romania as well.

Replica in Slobozia, Romania

La Tour Effeil can show up in most unexpected places! Obviously people just love to built it near their houses or neighborhoods, probably just to add a little bit of "romantisme français" in their lives. However, here are some Rrussian Eiffel towers:
A 11 meters tall Eiffel Tower in Perm, Russia, is a popular place for newlyweds to celebrate their marriage. Indeed, why not to start your family life with a glass of champagne near the most romantic monument in the world?

Replica in Perm, Russia

Here is a town called PARIS not far from Cheljabinsk, Russia, with an Eiffel Tower right in the middle of it! Paris was founded in the beginning of 19th century, but the tower appeared just a few years ago in 2005. Can you imagine what an astonishment see the citizens of Russian Paris on peoples faces, when they introduce themselves in a conversation?

Paris, Russia

This is certainly not the whole list of the Eiffel towers in the world. You can literally find them everywhere: a lonely Eiffel Tower right in front of a gas station in a deserted area in Tatarstan, Russia, or a little copy of the Eiffel Tower in Donetsk, Ukraine. This one is from Varna, Bulgaria.

If you have any information about an Eiffel tower in your town you can share your knowledge with other members of Community or just contribute to Wikimapia by gathering all the towers from todays article to one special category. And don't forget to give a proper category to all your objects, these structures the data and may help to find even more interesting things!


Explore volcanoes on Wikimapia Pt.1

Some people say that the World will end up in volcano explosions. Well, we on Wikimapia are not so pessimistic. Nevertheless, it is always better to be aware of a potential danger, especially, when it is such a beautiful and breathtaking natural phenomena. There are about 600 active volcanoes on Earth and nobody can even guess how many of them in total, as the biggest part is covered by the ocean. Wikimapia users when tagging volcanoes add a proper category to each of them, so it’s easy to filter them out. Today Wikimapia suggests you to explore volcanoes in Europe.
Usually we don’t associate Grand Dame Europe with a place full of sizzling hot magma floods. And that’s pretty fair. The biggest part of European volcanoes are extinct, which means that there is no written records of their activity, and look more like old closed up scars than a dangerous crust on the planet surface.

Here is a picturesque green mountain in France - Puy de Dôme, which is actually the highest and the youngest point in the Massif Central of France. In pre-Christian Europe, Puy de Dôme served as an assembly place for spiritual ceremonies. Than a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to the God Mercury was built here. Today there is a transmitter for FM and TV on the top of the mountain.


Another quite and beautiful volcano is Santa Margarida Volcano in Catalonia, Spain. Its height of 682 meters, the volcano is part of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. It was named Santa Margarida as there was the hermitage of saint inside the crater of the volcano. The building was destroyed in 1428 during the Catalonia earthquake and rebuilt in 1865. Today Santa Margarida Volcano looks like a perfect place for long walks and relaxation.

Santa Margarida Volcano

But some European volcanoes are not as serenely as it may seem. There is still couple of colossal volcanoes, that remind about themselves from time to time.
No surprise that Iceland is the leader of all European countries among the amount of volcanoes. Volcanoes in Iceland are mostly covered with glaciers and this fact provides indeed an amazing view.

Eyjafjallajökull is probably the most famous volcano in our days. And the funniest thing is that it is not the real name of a volcano (which has no name at all), but the name of glacier that covers it. Its last eruption in April 2010 caused meltwater floods rushing down the nearby rivers, so 800 people were evacuated. The eruption threw volcanic ash several kilometres up in the atmosphere which led to air travel disruptions in northwest Europe for the whole 5 days.


Surprising that volcano that made tho whole world speaking about it, is a minor volcano on the island. The largest one is Öræfajökull - a dormant volcano, which is also the highest peak in Iceland 2119 m high, part of the Vatnajökull glacier. Though the word dormant seems to have a peaceful meaning, the volcano can blow up anytime, and that would be much worse than in 2010.


To be honest, we should admit that volcanos can not only destroy but even create new life. And a good example is Surtsey - a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. It is also the southernmost point of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 metres below sea level, and reached the surface on 15 November 1963. Surtsey was declared a nature reserve in 1965 while the eruption was still in active progress.

Surtsey island

Italy is also a volcanically active country. Here you can find the only active volcanoes in mainland Europe.

Vesuvius is a stratovolcano to the east of the city of Naples. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting. The area around Vesuvius was officially declared a national park on 5 June 1995. The summit of Vesuvius is open to visitors and there is a small network of paths around the mountain that are maintained by the park authorities on weekends. Another noteworthy fact about Vesuvius is that on the slopes of the mountain it is the oldest volcanology institute in the world founded in 1841.

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Etna is another Italian active volcano on the east coast of Sicily. It is the largest active volcano in Europe, currently standing about 3,326 m high, which means that Mount Ethna is nearly three times the height of Mount Vesuvius. The size and amazing look of Ethna is so impressing, that ancient Greeks had a legend, that this was the home of Hephaestus, the god of fire, whose great forge was built here as well.

Mount Etna

You can also find volcanos in Greece.

Crater Stefanos on volcanic island Nisyros is the biggest and most important crater which monopolises the tourists' interest as it is one of the biggest and best preserved hydrothermal volcanoes in the world.

Crater Stefanos

Another remarkable volcanic place in Greece is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, Santorini. It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is largely a water-filled caldera. The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen: the Minoan eruption, which occurred some 3,500 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that Santorini eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.

Santorini islands

This is certainly not the whole list of volcanoes in Europe. On Wikimapia almost 2 500 objects have ‘volcano’ category. Though it is a lot of data to explore, there are still many volcanoes left untagged or without a detailed description. We appreciate every contribution of our users and look forward to see more information as well. Explore the world with Wikimapia and share your knowledge with other members of Community.
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