Places of Interest

Vorbarr Sultana

While in Vorbarr Sultana, be sure to visit Vorhartung Castle, the seat of the Imperial government. When the Council of Counts is not in session, it is possible by prior arrangement to take a docent led tour through the Council Chambers. There is also an excellent museum on local history in one wing of the building.

Nuef Paris

This quiet town lies just outside of Vorbarr Sultana. Founded by an enclave of French settlers, this community maintains much of the charm of a French village, with one difference. The town burghers, in an attempt to reinforce the communities French identity, built a replica of the Eiffel tower in the towns main square. The tower, at 1/4 the size of the original, took 43 years to build (two years into the tower's construction the Cetagandans invaded) and commands an excellent view of the surrounding area.

River Cruises

One of the most enjoyable ways to see Barrayar is a river cruise down the Barra River. Most river cruises begin beneath Vorhartung Castle, which is picturesquely perched on a bluff above the river. 

During the Time of Isolation, the aristocracy often built their summer homes just outside of Vorbarr Sultana along the river. One of the most impressive of these riverine palaces is the spectacularly fey Maison des Chats d'Ete Cruel of the Vorrutyer family. The Maison des Chats was constructed by (Whatever the name of that Vorrutyer architect) near the end of the Time of Isolation.

Further along the river are the plainer cliff fortresses of the local river lords. Many of these castles are in ruins, but some are in surprisingly good condition due to the efforts of the Barrayaran Heritage Society (BHS). 

The BHS holds events at historical sites throughout the summer. The largest event is a week long festival held at the ruins of Vorvayne Castle. Arts, crafts, and sports are displayed during the day. 

At night, the BHS puts on a series of traditional Barrayaran plays culminating in the Folk favorite The Saltpetre Plot, an excellent melodrama with explosions, loyal wives, and death scenes galore. 

Dendarri Mountains

The more athletically inclined will enjoy hiking or horseback riding in the Dendarri Mountains. The mountains are particularly lovely in the fall when the tree's leaves change their colors into a painter's palette of reds, oranges and golds. However, travelers are warned to exercise caution because there are left over munitions in some areas from the time of the Cetagandan Occupation.

Bonsonklar by the Sea

Sun, sand, and hotsprings. This seaside resort has long been a retreat for the Barrayaran elite. There has been a settlement in Bonsonklar since Barrayar was first discovered. Towards the end of the Time of Isolation it became a fashion for the Vor elite to bathe and drink the spring water in Bonsonklar for its “medicinal” properties. 

And of course no visit to Bonsonklar is complete without a visit and perhaps tea in the famous Pump Rooms. The ruin’s of a first century Time of Isolation Bath house, complete with hot, cold, and tepid bathing rooms, are located next to the museum. 

The Black Escarpment

Hikers will also enjoy the mountainous Black Escarpment of the Southern Continent. Sharp black cliffs descend into sharp gorges. Survival tours are held throughout the summer months. There are a number of excellent ski resorts on the northern slopes of the Escarpment.

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