Pat Hyland - Jul 30, 2012
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Literature has always played a very important role in European cultural heritage. Discover the cities of Charles Dickens, W.B. Yeats, Aleksandr Pushkin, and Astrid Lindgren. Explore the top seven European cities for literary tourists. Brought to you by

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is an atmospheric city, responsible for inspiring more than 500 novels. The written tradition of this illustrious city is kept alive with the works of the acclaimed 18th century poet Robert Burns to the works of modern writers such as Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin. You can attend literary pub crawls, embark on a walking tour as well as excursions relating to the great author Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels and Irvine Welsh's novel Trainspotting. The Writer's Museum can be found in a 17th century building. It has exhibits devoted to the well know writers Sir Walter Scott, Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

2. Dublin, Ireland

The written word is hailed in the Irish capital of Dublin. Take part in the celebration with the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl and actor-guides who reveal entertaining facts in the very taverns James Joyce and other writers discovered inspiration.

The Writers Museum at Dublin bears testimony to Ireland's outstanding literary history, all the way from the beginning of Celtic storytelling and Irish poetry. The Abbey Theatre, which was founded in 1903 by the poet W.B. Yeats, continues to play host to great productions by both classic and modern playwrights. Also, the Book of Kells, an important manuscript dated to the Middle Ages, can be found within the Old Library located at Trinity College.

3. London, England

There are so many sites and things to do linked to the world of literature in London. Over one hundred excursions are held each week, including Shakespeare's London, Dickens' London, and the Literary London Pub Walks. Also, the British Library holds the Barda's First Folio.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes can walk in the footsteps of the detective. James Bond fans can visit Dukes Bar, the site of the famous martinis that had inspired Ian Fleming to make it James Bond's signature drink.

4. Paris, France

Here you can visit the tomb of the great 19th century writer and poet Oscar Wilde at Pere Lachaise Cemetery. The Irish writer was one of many who went abroad to find inspiration in Paris. You can come by the sidewalk table that Hemingway regularly visited in a St Germain Cafe by the name of Les Deux Magots, or visit his home, the Latin Quarter.

The renowned French writers Victor Hugo and Honore de Balzac have house museums devoted to them. The hotel Le Pavillion des Lettres has dedicated a letter of the alphabet representing a famous writer to each of its 26 rooms.

5. St. Petersburg, Russia

This great capital city located in Western Russia boasts a rich literary history. From Crime and Punishment, you can find the path of the murderous Raskolnikov from his home to the shop front of the unfortunate pawnbroker. You can visit the home of the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, where he had lived in his last years and written the novel The Brothers Karamazov.

There is the Memorial Apartment Museum that commemorates the Russian author Aleksandr Pushkin and marks the spot where he had died in his study at the age of 37. Similar to the end of a tragic character in his most well-known work entitled Eugene Onegin, Pushkin himself died from a fatal wound he received from a duel. You can also visit the Literary Cafe, where he last dined before his death.

6. Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish inventor Albert Nobel placed Stockholm in the international literary arena with the creation of the Nobel Prizes, which include awards that celebrate the achievements of writers. You can visit City Hall, which hosts the awards banquet each year in December, and is a magnificent building itself.

Go on the Millennium Tour held by Stockholm City Museum to witness sites described in Stieg Larssona's well-known and bestselling crime series The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Also worth visiting is the statue of Astrid Lindgren in Tegnerlunden Park, the cherished Swedish author who created the famous children's book character of Pippi Longstocking.

7. Norwich, England

For 900 years, Norwich has carried on as a literary city, bearing testimony to how ideas and the power of words can change lives, promote democracy, stir revolution, fight for the end to slavery and transform literature. It continues to be the place in England that writers turn to for inspiration as instigators of change.

Norwich also has widespread international literary links. It is the first City of Refuge in the UK for persecuted writers and is a founding member of the International Cities of Refuge Network. Norwich's University of East Anglia came up with Britain's first MA for creative writing and is attended by a large number of international writers. The Norfolk Record Office is the most extensive archive center in Europe.

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