Tirol

No one was ever given a nastier clutch of nicknames than Margaret, the last Countess of Tyrol: Maultasch, Mouth Bag, Whore, Vicious Woman, Medusa, Mouth-Poke, Pocket-Mouth, Satchel-Mouth, Big Mouth, Pouch Mouth, the She-Wolf of the Tyrol, the Ugly Duchess, and Kriemhild (after the wife of Attila the Hun). […]

Worms

The 38-year-old giant Martin Luther kicked the Protestant Reformation into high gear on this spot when he stood before the 1521 Diet of Worms to defend his Ninety-Five Theses. Like Jan Hus before him in1415, he was guaranteed safe passage by the Catholic Church fathers, only this time […]

Friedrichshafen

The 1937 Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey, was only the most famous of the mishaps to befall the airships produced by the Graf Zeppelin Works here at Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. Several never made it out of the hanger. LZ2 and LZ44 lost their engines and collided […]

Kitzbuhel

It’s an oddity of the East-West orientation of the Central European mountains that the ebbs and flows of ice ages of the last 2000 years have repeatedly wiped out and then replenished the Austrian and German forests. The legendary Walder we drive through today are the result of […]

Konstanz

In 1415, the Roman Catholic faith had sunk into complete moral and political collapse. With no answers for more than a century of famine, plague, pestilence, and nonstop warfare, the church authorities instead exhausted themselves fighting over the meagre spoils of a civilization gone rotten. Three different Popes […]

Vaduz

  Liechtenstein, the world leader in false teeth, gaudy postage stamps, and a whole lot of black money. We’re assuming it’s pure coincidence that they speak so odd and unintelligible an Alemanic dialect of German here, but it hardly fits with one’s image of the second-richest country in […]

St. Anton am Arlberg

In 1931, the future Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl found film work as a seriously terrible actress in a seriously goofy comedy, Der Weisse Rausch (The White Thrill). The movie featured Hannes Schneider, a ski instructor in St. Anton am Arlberg, as a daredevil racing and jumping down one […]