Macbeth

King Mac Bethad mac Findlaích was no more vicious or ruthless than the average medieval Scottish leader, but when William Shakespeare transformed him into Macbeth, his reputation was destroyed forever.

Nell Gwynn

We went searching for Nell Gwynn’s London, but couldn’t find much the glamorous 17th century courtesan would have recognized. For once, you can’t pin this one on the bombs of the German Luftwaffe—most of Nell’s neighborhood off Drury Lane in Westminster was deservedly obliterated in the endless waves of […]

Vittel

The European Spa Movement was synonymous with la Belle Époque, the 40-year dream period from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 until 1914 and the carnage of the Great War.  European aristocrats and politicians held their collective breath and noses and tried their hardest not to notice the churn […]

Nancy

On 10 May, 1951, in a true exercise in dynastic futility, Archduke Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius von Habsburg-Lotharingen married Regina Helene Elisabeth Margarete, Princess of Saxe-Meiningen. The ceremony took place here in Nancy, France, at […]

Roma

A detail from the Roman victory column, Columna Centenaria Divorum Marci et Faustinae, shows how bloody and gruesome most Roman victories were. This particular structure, from AD 193, honors the old sage and Emperor Marco Aurelio (bearded and dispensing wisdom at top left) for his assiduous repression of […]

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). […]

Der Rhein

Everything has to start somewhere. This bridge in Konstanz on the Swiss border marks the official start of the Rhein River, or point zero on the 1939 Rheinkilometer scale. From here, the Rhein flows west and north through Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands to de Hoek van […]

The Bosna

Since its birth in Salzburg, the Bosna has spread from alp to valley, to every walk-up comfort food window in Austria. Conde Nast Traveller deems it a one-sandwich food group. We couldn’t agree more. Healthy? Not exactly.

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 […]