Portrait: Guy Fawkes and the Bonfire Night

5 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: London, Portrait Reading Time:  17 minutes

by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder

by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder

Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics involved in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated in York; his father died when Fawkes was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusant Catholic. Fawkes converted to Catholicism and left for mainland Europe, where he fought for Catholic Spain in the Eighty Years’ War against Protestant Dutch reformers in the Low Countries. He travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England without success. He later met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England. Wintour introduced him to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters leased an undercroft beneath the House of Lords; Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder that they stockpiled there. The authorities were prompted by an anonymous letter to search Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and they found Fawkes guarding the explosives. He was questioned and tortured over the next few days and confessed to wanting to blow up the House of Lords. It is jokingly said in Britain that Guy Fawkes was the last man who ever walked into Parliament with honest intentions.   read more…

Abbey of Fontenay in Burgundy

4 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

The cloister © Jjpetite/cc-by-sa-4.0

The cloister © Jjpetite/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Abbey of Fontenay is a former Cistercian abbey located in the commune of Marmagne, near Montbard, in the département of Côte-d’Or in France. It was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118, and built in the Romanesque style. It is one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in Europe, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Of the original complex comprising church, dormitory, cloister, chapter house, caldarium, refectory, dovecote and forge, all remain intact except the refectory and are well maintained. The Abbey of Fontenay, along with other Cistercian abbeys, forms a connecting link between Romanesque and Gothic architecture.   read more…

Malia on Crete

2 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Malia and Bay of Malia © Taxiarchos228

Malia and Bay of Malia © Taxiarchos228

Malia or Mallia is a coastal town and a former municipality in the northeast corner of the Heraklion regional unit in Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reforms it is part of the municipality of Hersonissos, of which it is a municipal unit. It lies 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of Heraklion, the Cretan main city. The town (pop. 3,224 in 2011) was the seat of the municipality of Mália (pop. 5,433). The municipal unit also includes the villages of Mochos (825), Krasi (147), and Stalida (1,237), and has a total land area of 60.720 square kilometres (23.444 sq mi). The town is a tourist attraction, primarily for its significant archaeological site and nightlife. The Minoan town ruins lie three km east of the site and cover an area of approximately 1 square kilometre (0.4 sq mi). The original name for the town is not known.   read more…

The Roald Amundsen

1 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Roald Amundsen © flickr.com - Birgitta Michal/cc-by-sa-2.0

Roald Amundsen © flickr.com – Birgitta Michal/cc-by-sa-2.0

MS Roald Amundsen is a new hybrid powered Hurtigruten expedition cruise ship. She was built by Kleven Yards of Norway and started her maiden voyage on 3 July 2019 from the Norwegian port Tromsø to Hamburg. She and her sister ship Fridtjof Nansen are the first hybrid-powered ships in the Hurtigruten fleet.   read more…

Carpet Museum of Iran in Tehran

1 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Wojciech Kocot/cc-by-sa-4.0

Very interesting. While a Persian carpet with the motif of an orgy can be admired in the museum, thousands of women are currently being abused and/or killed outside the museum because they no longer want to wear a headscarf and stand up for women’s rights. It is not against Islam, but against the repressive mullah regime, a completely legitimate request that is supported by millions of activists around the world.
Picture © Wojciech Kocot/cc-by-sa-4.0

Located in Tehran, Iran, beside Laleh Park, and founded in 1976, the Carpet Museum of Iran exhibits a variety of Persian carpets (UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists) from all over Iran, dating from the 16th century to the present.   read more…

Germantown in Maryland

1 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Germantown Library © Carol M. Highsmith - Library of Congress

Germantown Library © Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress

Germantown is an urbanized census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. With a population of 91,249 as of 2020 U.S. Decennial Census, Germantown is the third most populous place in Maryland, after the city of Baltimore, and the census-designated place of Columbia. Germantown is located approximately 28 miles (45 km) outside the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. and is an important part of the Washington metropolitan area.   read more…

Theater District in Manhattan

31 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Peter James Zielinski/cc-by-3.0

© Peter James Zielinski/cc-by-3.0

New York City‘s Theater District (sometimes spelled Theatre District, and officially zoned as the “Theater Subdistrict”) is an area and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan where most Broadway theaters are located, as well as many other theaters, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, and other places of entertainment. It is bounded by West 40th Street on the south, West 54th Street on the north, Sixth Avenue on the east and Eighth Avenue on the west, and includes Times Square. The Great White Way is the name given to the section of Broadway which runs through the Theater District. It also contains recording studios, record label offices, theatrical agencies, television studios, restaurants, movie theaters, Duffy Square, Shubert Alley, the Brill Building, and Madame Tussauds New York.   read more…

Palace of Laeken in Brussels

31 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palace of Laeken or Castle of Laeken is the official residence of the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Royal Family. It lies in the Brussels-Capital Region, 5 km (3 mi) north of the city centre, in Laeken (part of the City of Brussels), and sits in a large private park called the Royal Domain of Laeken. The palace was built between 1782 and 1784 for the Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands, and was originally named the Palace of Schonenberg. It was partly destroyed by fire in 1890, after which it was rebuilt and extended. Significant modifications were undertaken at the beginning of the 20th century during the reign of King Leopold II. Nowadays, it is often referred to as the Royal Palace of Laeken or Royal Castle of Laeken. The Palace of Laeken should not be confused with the Royal Palace of Brussels, in central Brussels, which is the official palace (not residence) of the King of the Belgians and from which state affairs are handled. It is served by Stuyvenbergh metro station on line 6 of the Brussels Metro.   read more…

Inner new town of Dresden

30 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Hauptstraße © VSchagow/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hauptstraße © VSchagow/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Innere Neustadt (Inner New City) is a neighborhood in Dresden within the administrative district of Neustadt. The name is derived from “Neue Königliche Stadt” (New Royal City), the name given to the former district of Altendresden when it was rebuilt after a fire before 1732. In contrast to the Äußere Neustadt (Outer New City), the Innere Neustadt was within the city fortifications and, for that reason, is also known as the historic Neustadt. Its population is 7,761 (2020). The Innere Neustadt is located in the administrative district of Neustadt, on the right bank across the Elbe and to the north of the Innere Altstadt (Inner Old City). The River Elbe forms an enclosing arc around the Innere Neustadt. Four bridges cross the Elbe, connecting the district with the southern bank of the Elbe. Of these, only Augustusbrucke is historic. The streets leading to these bridges cross the Innere Neustadt and join at Albertplatz (Albert Place), at the northern end of the district (originally called Bautzner Platz).   read more…

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