As Gothic cathedrals go, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens is one of the finest in France if not all of Europe. Besides its impressive size, Amiens cathedral is well known for its Medieval wall paintings inside and the truly spectacular Gothic sculptures that adorn the Western façade. A façade that was made for son et lumière, […]
The British Museum and the so-called Elgin Marbles have been in the news yet again. Rather than just another twist on what must surely be the most high-profile contemporary cultural debate, the latest furore arose from something altogether different, and quite unexpected. Shortly after midnight on 5 December it was announced that one of the […]
Paris has some of the finest art galleries and museums in the World, as well as a number of iconic monuments and typically Parisian activities. Many of these are the very reason why people visit the French capital. As with visiting more than a few museums and monuments in any city, the price of entry […]
Some of the more popular tourist attractions in England are in the care of English Heritage. These range from prehistoric stone circles, the most famous of which is Stonehenge, to much more recent historical sites such as Charles Darwin’s house or 1960s Cold War Bunkers. In all there are over 400 properties in England that […]
Ossuaries, Catacombs and Charnel Houses – crypts, chapels and caverns where human bones have been placed – are spread throughout Europe. Some are many hundreds of years old, others much more recent. As macabre as the idea may sound they are also a popular tourist attraction; the Catacombs in Paris are perhaps the most well […]
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet and philosopher, was born on 21st October 1772 in the small town of Ottery St Mary, Devon. One of his better known shorter poems, Kuba Khan – which is said to be a fragment of a much longer piece, is supposed to have been written after reading an early […]
Exploring the history of the Parthenon ‘marbles’ in the Louvre, The display of Parthenon ‘marbles’ in the Louvre Museum includes one block of the famous frieze and one metope, as well as a human head from another metope.
A chance find during road works in the town of Lod, south east of Tel Aviv, brought to light a remarkable Roman mosaic floor. Not only is the subject matter of mosaic intriguing, it is also one of the better preserved of the larger mosaic floors from the Roman period. Since its accidental discovery in […]
Pride of place at the Yorkshire Museum is given to a life-size, near complete statue of Mars. This stunning stone statue stands at the entrance to the museum’s galleries in front of a floor map of the Roman Empire. The juxtaposition is intentional and quite meaningful. Mars was the Roman god of war, whose religious […]
Most English speaking people call the French national holiday of 14 July ‘Bastille Day’ – supposedly after the storming of the Bastille in 1789. For the French, however, the national holiday is known as the Fête nationale. July 14 commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 14 July 1790 – which was then a celebration […]
Sandwiched in between the departing Romans in 410 AD and the arrival of the Normans in 1066 AD, the Anglo-Saxons, Germanic peoples from northern Europe, did much to shape contemporary England. A number of attractions relating to this period bear testimony to the significant changes that took place during these 500 or so years – […]
As if there are not already enough things to do and see in Rome, yesterday (Monday 9 June) another Roman period site re-opened its doors to the public. Having been closed for the last 20 years, and after a substantial restoration project, visitors to Rome can add the ‘Mausoleum of Romulus’. Situated on the Via […]
The American southwest is known for its dramatic landscapes, with spectacular archaeology to match. Ancient pueblos of stone and adobe mud can be found throughout the area, often in quite picturesque settings. The greatest concentration of pueblos, however, can be found in Chaco Canyon, an area now designated Chaco Culture National Historical Park in north-western […]
There are a few websites that focus solely on producing top ten lists – of almost anything and everything under the sun. So it is perhaps not that surprising then that travel writers are also fond of coming up with their top ten lists of destinations and attractions. At the beginning of this year CNN […]
The June 2014 wallpaper for desktops, laptops and mobile devices is the outer wall of the first pylon of the mortuary temple of the Ramses III in Luxor, Egypt.