Jun
02
2009
0

Did Rosslyn Chapel benefit from the Da Vinci Code?

Rosslyn green man - one of the church's medieval stone carvings (Photo by TF Duesing - CC-BY)Rosslyn Chapel already had 30,000 visitors a year before Dan Brown used it in his mystical adventure novel the Da Vinci Code in 2003. Numbers rose, and then escalated massively after the 2006 movie version showed Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou searching for secrets there. The church near Edinburgh, Scotland was overflowing with tourists in [&hel[more...]

Jan
26
2009
0

Is a guided tour the best way to see Edinburgh?

Edinburgh skyline – photo by davidhc – CC-BYIf you’re on a short visit to Edinburgh, go directly to the Old Town to see the headline historic sights. This area is the traditional heart of the city, clustered round the Royal Mile: the street that leads from the Castle at the top to Holyrood Palace at the bottom. You can’t see much of  [&hel[more...]

Jan
20
2009
0

Is there a hotel inside the Alhambra?

Alhambra in Granada, Spain - photo by chantrybee - CC-BYThe Alhambra in Granada, Spain is a magnificent complex of palaces and gardens created for the medieval rulers of Andalucia. You might not expect to book a hotel room in one of the  ancient buildings of this exceptional “world heritage” site, where visitor numbers are strictly controlled. And yet you can. Spain has a national [&hel[more...]

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Jan
19
2009
5

Is there really a secret tunnel under Edinburgh Castle?

Edinburgh Castle - photo by Patrick Kiteley - CC-BYCastle Rock was chosen centuries ago for a secure hilltop fort. Buildings, walls and a moat were added over the years as it developed into Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh‘s most popular destination for tourists. Enemies couldn’t get up to it easily and they couldn’t tunnel their way in. Its foundations are solid. It’s an ex-volcano of [&hel[more...]

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Jan
12
2009
0

What was the Egyptian Labyrinth, a wonder that surpassed the pyramids?

hawara-pyramidAccording to the 5th-century BC Greek historian Herodotus, who stated that he had seen the building, the Egyptian Labyrinth was a vast structure on the shores of a large lake located seven days’ journey up the Nile from the Pyramids at Giza. Herodotus presents the building as a marvel or wonder (thaumata) that eclipsed the [&hel[more...]

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Jan
08
2009
0

Is there still a Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt?

Inside Bibliotheca Alexandrina - courtesy Argenberg - CC-BYThe story of the Library of Alexandria has grown into one of the great legends of the ages.  The destruction of the library has been attributed to most every faction and ruler of ancient times.  This has been done, not for the purpose of telling the history of that institution, but mostly as political slander.  [&hel[more...]

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