If you are interested in art, then Athens should be the place to go to next. The art scene in Athens is booming. New cultural spaces open almost daily. Studios and apartments are turned into galleries. For artists, living in Athens is cheaper than elsewhere. Artist have moved their studios from London and Berlin to Athens. And art is seen in Athens, not only bought.
One of the events that should be on everyone's bucket list happens every year at the beginning of May in Hamburg. Over 1.5 million people come to Hamburg for the festival commemorating the birthday on 7 May 1189. There is a document proving it, and it is a fake. Never mind, bring out the fireworks.
On the countrified outskirts of Leipzig in Germany, a double-headed imperial Austrian eagle spreads its wings on a memorial to an Austrian hero of 1813. Built in 1913 by the Austrian Military Order of Maria Theresa, it was blissfully forgotten by German imperials, republicans, communists, and republicans again. When the monument started causing costs, no one felt responsible to pay them.
They wear homespun clothing made from flax. They use wicker baskets for transportation. Workers in the German city of Messkirch have started building a monastery. The technology is exclusively medieval. The template for the monastery was provided for in the never realized a plan dating to the 9th century intended to be built in St Gallen, Switzerland. Is it a gimmick, tourist attraction, or archaeological research?
My Teddy was recently complaining. He felt overworked and desperately needed a break. While lying in bed all day might be your idea of relaxation, he thinks it’s just another day in the office. Luckily, there are options for Teddy’s holidays.
Switzerland is an odd little country in Central Europe bordering Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein. It contains more oddities than people, I think, and I want to present a few of these weird peculiarities to you. They might also give you some ideas as to what is going wrong in other, larger, countries.
When planning to take your car into The Alps in winter, proper preparation might be worth your life. It might also be worth a lot of money as most countries may hand out hefty fines if you aren’t ready for snow and icy conditions on the roads.
The German town of Baden-Baden acquired that name officially in 1931. Before that, it was simply called Baden. Baden was a bathing spa in Roman times, and accordingly called Aquae like Bath. Both have the same meaning as Baden. How did this tautological weirdness come to pass?
While the entire world is indulging in a prolonged fit of saving, Germany splashes the cash. Parliament has passed a bill that will see the (re)building of the Berlin Castle become a reality. Why they would want to do so is anyone’s guess.
When a relatively new church built in 1961 fell into disrepair, the diocese of Freiburg (Germany) decided to sell it for profane uses in 2005. The parishioners had other ideas and collected enough money for a thorough renovation. All that was missing was some artwork.
Like San Marino, Monaco was a neutral state during World War II. It was fiercely contested by Germany and Italy who had mutually exclusive ideas as to its future. Prince Louis II had been brought up in Germany and was a general in the French army. He played his connections for all they were worth in trying to keep the country afloat.
San Marino is a tiny Republic in the middle of Italy. During World War II, it was neutral while being governed by a fascist government. It was attacked by both Germany and the Allies while taking in ten times its population in refugees.
If you want to get the feeling for how the ancient Roman travelled, the Septimer Pass is the road to travel. The Septimer Pass lies in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland and connects the Julier Road to the Bregaglia Valley south of the Alps. You’ll have to travel it as the Romans did, though, on foot.
The ocean liner Britannic was the later built sister ship to the Olympic and the Titanic. Being unfinished at the start of the Great War, the ship entered service as a hospital ship and sunk in 1916 in the Mediterranean Sea. An Organ was obviously not needed on a hospital ship and it disappeared from history to surface in 2006 in Switzerland.
The city of Quedlinburg lies in modern Germany in the state of Saxe-Anhalt. On request of his mother Matilda, Emperor Otto I invested the Damenstift (a religious community for women of the nobility) of St. Servatius, often referred to as Quedlinburg Abbey.
St. Sophie’s was a church in Dresden. Valuables found there during its destruction became known as St. Sophie’s treasure. The treasure was on show in the Museum at Dresden until one day it disappeared in broad daylight.
Architect Peter Zumthor from Basel, Switzerland, received the Pritzker Prize, the highest accolade an architect can get. Zumthor’s modern buildings built with traditional materials and using ancient crafts have made him a household name for outstanding architecture on building sites in difficult surroundings. Buildings designed by him may be found in the Alps as well as further afield in interesting locations.
The Devil and the Russians both have a place in the heart of Switzerland. The bridge was the start of the St. Gotthard pass as we know it today. And just beside it is a plot of Russian territory, perpetually flying the Russian flag.
German archaeologists were baffled and confounded by the find of Queen Edith’s remains. The remains were found in her grave in Magdeburg’s cathedral what nobody could have expected. The remains are currently at Bristol University for testing to prove that the bones really are Edith’s.
The city of Cologne in Germany houses one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Central Europe. In it, visitors will find one of the most extraordinary works of art in existence: The shrine of the three Magi. It draws thousands of worshippers as well as art lovers from all over the world.