Arlington Heights in Illinois

29 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Harmony Park in Downtown © panoramio.com - bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0

Harmony Park in Downtown © panoramio.com – bogdanstepniak/cc-by-3.0

Arlington Heights is a municipality in Cook County with a small portion in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the city’s downtown. Per the 2020 Census, the population was 77,676. Per the 2010 Census, it is the most populous community in the United States that is incorporated as a “village”, and is the 13th most populous municipality in Illinois, although it is not far ahead of its nearby Illinois neighboring villages of Schaumburg and adjacent Palatine. Arlington Heights is known for the former Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million, a Breeders’ Cup qualifying event; it also hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in 2002. The village is also home to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, which has one of the largest collections of books in the state.   read more…

We wish you a peaceful Advent season, Merry Christmas and a great start into a happy, amazing, healthy, awesome and successful New Year! 🕯 🎅 ✨ 🎄 🎁 🍾 🎆

27 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  < 1 minute

Christmas Hanukkah decoration - Pariser Platz - Berlin - 2020 © Leonhard Lenz

Christmas tree and Hanukkah menorah on Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin © Leonhard Lenz

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Theme Week Navarre – Estella-Lizarra

24 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Mattana/cc-by-2.0

© Mattana/cc-by-2.0

Estella (Spanish) or Lizarra (Basque) is a town located in the autonomous community of Navarre, in northern Spain. It lies south west of Pamplona, close to the border with La Rioja and Álava. In 1927, Club Deportivo Izarra was formed who currently play in the Segunda División B. The town regularly hosts the GP Miguel Induráin.   read more…

Theme Week Navarre – Villava-Atarrabia

22 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Villava (Basque: Atarrabia) is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. The population is about 10,000, and the town is located 4 km away from Pamplona, the capital of Navarre.   read more…

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…

Chilham in Kent

16 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  3 minutes

© flickr.com © Ray in Manila/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com © Ray in Manila/cc-by-2.0

Chilham is a mostly agricultural village and parish in the English county of Kent with a clustered settlement, Chilham village centre, in the northeast, and a smaller linear settlement, Shottenden. Well-preserved roads and mostly residential listed buildings in its centre have led to its use as a location in television and film.   read more…

Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

11 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Giovanni Dall'Orto

© Giovanni Dall’Orto

Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent. Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered the construction of a Dominican convent and church at the site of a prior chapel dedicated to the Marian devotion of St Mary of the Graces. The main architect, Guiniforte Solari, designed the convent (the Gothic nave), which was completed by 1469. Construction of the church took decades. Duke Ludovico Sforza decided to have the church serve as the Sforza family burial site, and rebuilt the cloister and the apse, both completed after 1490. Ludovico’s wife Beatrice was buried in the church in 1497.   read more…

Essaouira on the Atlantic Ocean

8 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Essaouira, known until the 1960s as Mogador, today the name of the island off the coast of the city, is a port city in the western Moroccan region of Marakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. It has 77,966 inhabitants as of 2014. The foundation of the city of Essaouira was the work of the Moroccan ‘Alawid sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah, who made an original experiment by entrusting it to several renowned architects in 1760, in particular Théodore Cornut and Ahmed al-Inglizi, who designed the city using French captives from the failed French expedition to Larache in 1765, and with the mission of building a city adapted to the needs of foreign merchants. Once built, it continued to grow and experienced a golden age and exceptional development, becoming the country’s most important commercial port but also its diplomatic capital between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The entire old town (Medina) of Essaouira was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001.   read more…

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