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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #1
solongfullerton
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Ugly European cities

First off I would like to say that I am an American who has never lived in Europe, just visited on the cliche Eurail backpacking trip after I graduated from college. Also, I think that my thread title may be misleading, because I thought that most European cities that I saw were extremely beautiful and that it's too bad that your style didn't make it to the States in very many places.

Anyways, back on topic, my only experience with an unattractive city in Europe was in Athens, Greece. Not to upset anyone from there, as there are much uglier cities here in America, but it lacked the old world charm most of the places I visited had. Also, London wasn't the most charming city, but it also reminded me of New York City and had a very cosmopolitan vibe to it.

I am curious to see how you guys feel about other cities on your continent. Please share.

PS - Rome and Prague have got to be the most beautiful big cities Europe has to offer.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #2
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In Switzerland Basel is generally an ugly city (apart from the old town). One of ugliest places I know is Mannheim/Ludwigshafen (but it has some industrial charme if you like that). Athens was the worst I've ever been, but that was 16 years ago and things seem to have changed extremly since then. Glasgow is also not a beauty - go to Edinburgh or Inverness instead.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:16 AM   #3
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Sorry, I disagree.
Athens is a beautiful city. Unique and diffrent from typical Euro cities.

























































(posted by leafs fanatic)
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #4
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LOL, how can Athens be ugly...impossible. Only the sea view and climate makes it more beautiful than 60 percent of European cities. My advice, go visit, esp. Kolonaki, Monastirakki, Plaka, and Vouliagmeni
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #5
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I think it has to be some little Finnish industrial/railway town in the middle of nowhere, like...

Valkeakoski



Toijala







Jämsä







..and so on. We have probably several hundreds of them.

[ photos: anssi @ Talo ]
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #6
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now ancient Athens that would have been something! the most ugly cities can probably be found in ex commie Europe and in Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Finland while Norway and Denmark have done pretty well preserving old buildings and its vibs. Stockholm is a beauty you should really visit that city sometime!

ps the most beautiful city in Europe is probably Vienna, its not as run down as Prauge is.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #7
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I have to agree on Athens not being beautiful - sorry

When I went there the streets were really filthy, paks of wild dogs were running around (even saw a man get bitten right in his behind - that was fun ) and especially the smog when you look down at the city from Acropolis... yuck!

But besides that I like Athens. Not for its beauty but for its people. We all had a really great time when we went and I would be happy to go there again.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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I think most large German cities are pretty ugly due to the loss of historical architecture in the war.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOKOLOGIST
LOL, how can Athens be ugly...impossible. Only the sea view and climate makes it more beautiful than 60 percent of European cities. My advice, go visit, esp. Kolonaki, Monastirakki, Plaka, and Vouliagmeni
Thanks for the nice words! Your welcome back!

copenhagenjazz your welcome back too. By your comments, It seems like you went to Athens long ago. The smog is now under control and the streets are not very filthy at all.

Also, I recommend people visit Athens great beaches.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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Athens has changed in the last 10 years more then every other city...
Now it is one of the most stylish and glamourful capitals of Europe. It is more beautiful than Berlin, more green than Paris and has even more life than barcelona!
Like every other city Athens has different problems...e.g. the cars. But it become better. The old-town-centre is nearly car-free and the metro has benned 35% of the cars from the streets of the centre of Athens!
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #11
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HERE YOU CAN FIND A LOT ABOUT ATHENS!!!

www.athensnow.info.ms


MANY ATHENS PICTURES YOU'LL FIND HERE:

http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Eur...hens/page1.htm

http://home.arcor.de/v.a.portokalis/...pressions.html
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Old May 28th, 2006, 04:42 PM   #12
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Actually, the best guide about contemporary Athens which is full Macromedia-Flash enabled, ingeniously designed and a joy to explore, is the Athens-Today site, created by Demetrio Rizzo and comes in two versions, in Greek and Italian. A muust-visit, fully interactive guide that balances the old and the new.

I would advise you not to jump into conclusions though. Ther city is still in a big transition. I would say that Athens is almost in the middle as far as European capitals ranking is concerned. Its biggest asset are the northern suburbs, the areas around the Acropolis and the Athenian Riviera, the seafront which expands for over 70 km, reaching to the Temple of Posseidon in Cape Sounion. Just wait 10 years to see the full metamorphose.

Not the best but certaibly, not the worst in terms of what Europe has to offer...
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #13
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Could we possibly keep this thread for pictures and descriptions of what we think are ugly cities rather than using the bandwith with hundreds of pictures defending our favourite cities, we can do that elsewhere.

Most British cities arent historicalor beautiful in the way Prague or Krakow are, I guess this is due to WWII and poor post war planning. Warsaw is also an ugly city (though I love it), Katowice is too I think.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuesel
In Switzerland Basel is generally an ugly city (apart from the old town). One of ugliest places I know is Mannheim/Ludwigshafen (but it has some industrial charme if you like that). Athens was the worst I've ever been, but that was 16 years ago and things seem to have changed extremly since then. Glasgow is also not a beauty - go to Edinburgh or Inverness instead.

@Kuesel, ich weiss nicht was du hier für einen Müll reinschreibst. Wenn Basel eine hässliche Stadt sein soll, dann weiss ich nicht was Zürich ist, eine pothässliche Retortenstadt, die im letzten Jahrhundert vor sich hin gewuchert ist. Vor allem die Aussenbezirke von Zürich sind zum kotzen, da hingeklotzt. Basel hat wenigstens einen historischen Aufbau hinter sich. Das einzig halbwegs positive an Zürich ist der See.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #15
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Smaller "pure-breed" commieblock towns in Eastern Europe can be extremely ugly. In Latvia it would be Olaine, Salaspils, Aizkraukle and some others. Others in Eastern Europe can name their "beauties".
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Old May 28th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #16
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Well, i haven't seen the whole city but Duisburg, Germany seems very ugly. This city is a perfect example of a city which depends on heavy industry. It's interesting to see the city center from the Autobahn, which skyline is dominated by chimneys and other industrial facilities.





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Old May 28th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskarj
the most ugly cities can probably be found in ex commie Europe and in Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Finland while Norway and Denmark have done pretty well preserving old buildings and its vibs.
Yeah, in Finland too many towns lost their charm as the majority of old (wooden) blocks were replaced with supermarkets, parking lots and that kind of ugly stuff (well... some towns were bombed down in WWII but Soviets are not the only ones to blame). But did this happen in Sweden as well? When I was a kid, my dad used to take us around Sweden by car and I saw probably several hundred little towns and IMO majority of them had preserved their historical charm pretty well. But I know the story of "Domus" though. Money speaks as they say.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basel_CH
@Kuesel, ich weiss nicht was du hier für einen Müll reinschreibst. Wenn Basel eine hässliche Stadt sein soll, dann weiss ich nicht was Zürich ist, eine pothässliche Retortenstadt, die im letzten Jahrhundert vor sich hin gewuchert ist. Vor allem die Aussenbezirke von Zürich sind zum kotzen, da hingeklotzt. Basel hat wenigstens einen historischen Aufbau hinter sich. Das einzig halbwegs positive an Zürich ist der See.
Actually I think both cities are very beautiful. Maybe Kuesel has a bad impression of Basel because he has seen maybe has only one part of the city. I have been to Basel several times and I have to say the differences between the old town and more modern industrial areas are quite striking because they are so close. The old town is really gorgeous as is common in Switzerland and I think that is why the huge industrial zones not far away look so much worse than they probably are.
Its maybe just a matter of a strong contrast. Either way Basel and Zurich are both more beautiful in their nicest parts than most cities.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solongfullerton
First off I would like to say that I am an American who has never lived in Europe, just visited on the cliche Eurail backpacking trip after I graduated from college. Also, I think that my thread title may be misleading, because I thought that most European cities that I saw were extremely beautiful and that it's too bad that your style didn't make it to the States in very many places.

Anyways, back on topic, my only experience with an unattractive city in Europe was in Athens, Greece. Not to upset anyone from there, as there are much uglier cities here in America, but it lacked the old world charm most of the places I visited had. Also, London wasn't the most charming city, but it also reminded me of New York City and had a very cosmopolitan vibe to it.

I am curious to see how you guys feel about other cities on your continent. Please share.

PS - Rome and Prague have got to be the most beautiful big cities Europe has to offer.
Ugliness is so subject that I can't really see much point to this thread. Sorry no offense but it just seems a bit pointless to single out certain cities as ugly.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #20
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Well if you want to see some really ugly cities, come to Finland. 1960's and 1970's especially were the EVIL DECADES; many very historical and beautiful buildings were demolish out of the way of commieblocks and stuff like that, because cities wanted to be so freaking efficient..

..and now we can't even destroy some of those ugly 60's and 70's results 'cause we have this National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments, who wants to save them because they are so damn important and beautiful "pictures of their periods".
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