What became of one of the most holy relics of Christ - the veil with the imprint of his face, the Mandylion?
Sometimes nature plays strange tricks on its creations. Mutations, deformations, peculiarities are the material of which evolution is made. Often, however, the human being has attributed miraculous powers to these deformations. For instance, horses with cloven hooves were placed close to unicorns, and six-fingered humans had the makings of saints. The god Wotan even rode... Continue Reading →
"Noble simplicity and quiet grandeur" were the ideals proclaimed by J. J. Winkelmann as the beauty gospel of Greek art in his first publication on the subject in 1755. Today, however, it is generally accepted that sculpture in ancient Greece, and even in ancient Rome, was not quite as "simple" as first supposed. Sculptures were... Continue Reading →
To this day thousands of years old rites and cults characterize Naples. They are of Greek, Roman and Christian origin, mixed with traditions and legends. One particularly bizarre ritual is that of venerating the souls in purgatory by tending to skulls - the cult of the Anime Pezentelle.While there has always been veneration of the... Continue Reading →
In many ancient peoples it was customary to make sacrifices to the earth or the gods. Today we know that the ancient Germanic peoples offered sacrifices especially in lakes, crevices in the earth and bogs. Broken weapons, valuable musical objects and even human beings have been found. Especially in bogs, the low-oxygen environment and the... Continue Reading →
It is incomprehensible to us from today's point of view how a society could sacrifice people including children on a large scale, tear out their hearts, skin them and bathe in their blood and all that in public, daily. However, this is exactly what many of the Latin American peoples did in pre-Columbian times. They... Continue Reading →
In Antigua Guatemala, the former capital of Guatemala, there are the ruins of numerous Spanish colonial buildings. The magnificent churches in particular still attract visitors today. One of them is particularly fascinating, due to its peculiar structure and goosebump-inducing history: the church and convent of the Capuchin nuns. The convent was consecrated in 1736 and... Continue Reading →
If you drive along the coast in the north of Naples, you will see it dominated by factories, sunny beaches and crowded streets. In between, however, there are ancient brick walls, you see grottos in the tuff on the beach and the outlines of sunken structures appear in the azure water. Involuntarily, you ask yourself:... Continue Reading →
Despite their extraordinary importance, the great public hardly knows the Nemi ships and their history. The reason is obvious: they no longer exist. Their story, however, is fascinating. These two ancient parade boats were gigantic constructions that Emperor Caligula had built in honour of the goddess Diana during his term of office, which lasted only... Continue Reading →
The most famous Villa of the World lies still under the Lava of the Vesuvius. Who did die in its ruins?
They exist, the bottlenecks of the world, the places where everyone passes through and which everyone knows. Today you would list Frankfurt Airport, Heathrow and Miami, in the past it was the Azores, Goree in Senegal, Madagascar or the Cape of Good Hope.
There are strange places in the middle of the sea that lurk in front of the sailor like trapdoors in front of the wanderer. The Abrolohos Reef in Australia, the Goodwin Sands off England, the Skerki Banks off Tunis, the Bassa do Indias near Mozambique and Chinchorro Banks off Yucatan are just a few of... Continue Reading →
Increasingly globalized and interconnected world, it is interesting to ask the question - when did all this actually start? When did humanity first produce standardized consumer goods, created with standardized materials, ... When did we set out on the road to modernity?
For humans and animals, the Yucatan context has always meant that they had to search for water underground or use broken Cenotes as wells.
Great events are known to cast their shadows, even if sometimes they cast them behind. Whether the Emperor Nero was really the one who burned Rome in 64 A.D. or whether it burned due to carelessness is difficult to determine today, but it is clear that this event had consequences. Among others it resulted in... Continue Reading →
The history of the world is often based on coincidences, but sometimes human beings have a hand in them, and this is specifically true at sea.
In the middle of August last year, I stood in a grotto whose walls were grey with wetness and covered in stalactites. The light from the headlamps flickered eerily and my shoes slipped on the ancient steps of a sunken amphitheatre that the tuff had enclosed as tightly as hard stone. At one place a... Continue Reading →
The Corona pandemic might not have only negative effects. It taught us to better telework, and might improve our lifebalance and the wellbeing of our world.
The story of a mysterious haunted lion statue in Venice leads to the traces of a peculiar theft of art.
A particularly severe intervention was the deformation of the head of newborn babies. Despite its bizarre cruelty, it seems to have been a surprisingly widespread tradition.
In their quest for wealth, the European conquerors met with legends that made them penetrate ever further into the interior of the American continent. One of these legends was that of El Dorado, 'the Golden one'. While various cartoons and films today portray El Dorado as a mythical city, it was more likely a human being.
In times of the crusade the dead kings that died in the Holy Land where often cooked, in order to be able to bring their bones back home.
Fascinating finds were made in a mysterious cave on Kyffhäuser Mountain in Germany. They seem to contain sacrificial human offerings, victims of cannibalism, which were offered to an ancient goddess. Perhaps they are the starting point of the legend of someone lying asleep in the mountain and of today’s famous fairy-tales....
Among the burials found among the indigenous population of Panama is an astonishing grave, the burial of a young man who seems to have fallen asleep sitting.
Most of us have certainly never thought about who invented his window glass. It is just there and from time to time we have to clean it. But glass is much more fascinating than you might think. So what is it all about, with this strangely durable but completely transparent material that protects us from... Continue Reading →
In the hinterland of the African coast of the Indian Ocean, near Malindi, Kenya, lies a mysterious ruined city of which the local Giriama say that it is inhabited by the ghosts who are widely revered in the area. Its name is Gede.
So far it has been assumed that only Homo sapiens survived the times. The reasons for this were sought in his superiority. New studies, however, put many aspects into question. Perhaps the Neanderthal was in no way inferior to Homo sapiens. And perhaps it is not really true that only Homo sapiens survived…
Die germanischen Legenden sind reich an Erzählungen von weiblichen Kriegerinnen, Walküren und Schildmädchen. Aber gab es sie wirklich? Eine vor kurzem gemachte Entdeckung ist spektakulär.
When you go to Australia for tourism, you inevitably go to Uluru (Ayers-Rock), the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney. But you can even get better than that. The Abrolhos Reefs are one of the most magical places in the world and home to incredible historical events. It is not easy to get to the reefs,... Continue Reading →
The Toraja are certainly the people with the most peculiar burial traditions in the world and you can experience them unexpectedly close up.
You sometimes hear the curse, "Then go to hell!" But if you wanted to comply with the request, you would have trouble doing so. Where is hell actually?
The old city of the Inca Cusco in Peru is surrounded by numerous legends and a visit to this Inca city at an altitude of three thousand meters is a must for every globetrotter. A hidden mysterious lies, however, underneath.
Many great civilizations have collapsed. The Mongol Empire, the Roman Empire, Incas, Pharaohs and Sumerians - they all did not survive the times. The question therefore arises - what about us? Will Western civilization collapse as well and fall into oblivion and decorate museums? Recently there has been more and more written about this question.... Continue Reading →
Few buildings are as rich in history and beauty as the ancient cathedral of Chartres in France. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Paris region and is famous for the bright blue of its mighty windows. Inside the colossal church, numerous secrets can be discovered that attract esoteric and believing Christians... Continue Reading →
Archaeology has evolved. Museums mostly have not. It is time to change our museums and bring their context to the artefacts. A museum should not be an antiquity shop.
You could start the story like in a pitch-black fairy tale. "Once upon a time there was a young girl, barely sixteen years old. She had just given birth to her first child and after long wanderings in unknown areas she was desperately searching for water in a region where there seemed to be neither... Continue Reading →
There are places that do not form part of everyday life. Places where something higher reigns and the breath of history sweeps the air. One such place is the Hagia Sophia. This despite the fact that after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks it was consecrated as a mosque - or perhaps just because of it.
The immense country of India is particularly rich in sights and archaeological sites. Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, the holy Varanasi on the Ganges and the Taj Mahal are among the most spectacular places in the world. At one place, however, secrets and beauty meet in an especially magical mix - in the mystical ghost town of... Continue Reading →
Have you ever wondered why the most powerful wand in the world is carved from elderwood? Elder branches are hollow inside and easy to break. Elder is also not a particularly beautiful wood. So why should the strongest of all wands be carved from this light, fragile material, and why did not Dumbledore, Harry Potter's... Continue Reading →