Mauthausen concentration camp and the Stairs of Death.

The Mauthausen concentration camp, located about 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz in Upper Austria, was one of the largest labor camp in the German-controlled part of Europe, and between 1938 and 1945 had a central camp near the village of Mauthausen, and nearly one hundred other subcamps located throughout Austria (and southern Germany). It had the most brutal detention conditions, and was classified “Grade III”, where the most political enemies of the Reich were sent to be exterminated, often after a terrible forced labor. The SS called…

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Anchors graveyard in Portugal…rust in peace!

The Cemetery of Anchors in Santa Luzia, Portugal, is surely a different place from the conventional touristic destinations. Here the dead anchors honor the victims of Portugal’s fishing industry. No one knows who placed the first of the hundreds of anchors along the sand dunes of Praia do Barril Beach. But one leads another, and locals people continued adding rusted old weights to honor the small tuna fishing community that once were on all this area, a symbolic memorial to the abandonment of this way of life. Historical reference indicate…

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Joachim Martin: the carpenter who wrote his secret diary on the floor.

The carpenter Joachim Martin wanted to ensure no one read his thoughts while he was still alive. So he decided to tells some disturbing facts of his life and his personal reflections in a very original secret diary: the floorboards of his castle. We are in France, in the castle of Picomtal, in the Hautes-Alpes. In an old-fashioned yellow novel, a normal guy suddenly become an investigator when finds old stories of murders and adulterers, long gone. But it’s not a novel, this is really happened: in the early 2000s…

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An Italian story: Giovanna Bonanno, “the old of the vinegar” who sold the death.

We are in the South of Italy, exactly in Palermo, Sicily, and it’s 30 July 1789. Giovanna Bonanno, an elderly beggar known to all as “the Old of the vinegar”, is hanged in front of a large audience of noble, but especially curious. The accusation is of “witchcraft”, but the sentence says “poisoning”. In a short time everything is over, Giovanna Bonanno is dead and the streets of the city can return to their ordinary routine. Who usually means esotericism, says that the soul of those who die following an…

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The ruins of Choustník castle, history and legends.

There are, of course, some legends linked to the Choustník castle, located in the South of Czech Republic. Perhaps the most popular is about the origin of the castle. A beautiful and brave magician fell in love with the daughter of Emperor Bedrich Rudobrad. The Princess returned his love, but the Emperor was contrary to their love. The lovers therefore fled, and after a long travel they settled in the region of Tábor and built a castle. After a while the emperor forgot his anger and went to look for…

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Michelangelo Da Vinci and its planes that stopped flying.

The Michelangelo da Vinci Restaurant Pizzeria is exactly located in Villamarzana just a few minutes from the city center, and was a different and original way to spend the evenings. The name is not casual, in fact brings together the two great geniuses of Italian art: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to give life to a unique place of its kind, where in every corner inside and outside there was a work of art. Here could choose between different settings of the Michelangelo da Vinci restaurant: the two real planes…

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Bouvet Island, the most remote place of the world.

This place is known as “the loneliest place on earth,” in fact is an uninhabited frozen isle between South Africa and Antarctica and is the most remote island (and place) in the world. It’s located approximately 2260 km away from the nearest humans (which are the 271 people who live on the island of Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world), and is populated by vegetation (only lichens and mosses), seals, seabirds, and penguins. The highest point, with 780m, is the top of the dormant volcano…

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Waldviertel Pyramid, an austrian pyramid of unknown origin.

Lost in the forest between Zwettl and Gross-Gerungs, there is a pyramid high approximately 7 meter. The pyramid is made of loosely stacked natural stones, in a circular layer style with 14 meters of diameter, like a wedding cake overly big. It is the only known structure like this found in Europe. This pyramid is all a mistery…because its origin and its age are totally unknown. Some people believe it to be a ancient Germanic monument, but this is very unlikely because there aren’t archeological evidence of a known prehistoric…

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The ruin of Hrad Zlenice

Zlenice castle was built after 1300 on a rock promontory above the confluence of the Mnichovický creek and the Sázava river. The name of this castle was mentioned first time in 1318, was named after the deserted settlement of Zlenice on the opposite bank of the Sázava river. There were ramparts, a lower castle, stables, and granaries, and the Mnichovsky creek flew around the castle making it thus accessible from two sides only with a draw bridge. At the beginning of the second half of the 14th century this area belonged…

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Driving a motorized muffin is possible….

Here we are: Exist parades and events that are an incredible show sight, where giant muffins and cupcakes roll along the streets, drived by drivers whose heads poke out of the tops. This electric, eclectic vehicles have been rolling since 2004 and were built by a loose group of makers under the banner of Acme Muffineering. Motorized muffins and cupcake cars have been popping up at events such as parades and Maker Faires since their debut at Burning Man in 2004. The original “muffineers” are Lisa Pongrace and Greg Solberg…

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The Eyes of God (Проходна)

Prohodna, in bulgarian Проходна, is one of the best known caves in Bulgaria, a country full of caves, and is located in the Iskar Gorge, one of largest karst regions, 2 km away from Karlukovo Village and 112 km away from Sofia. If it’s so famous, is especially thanks to the strange symmetrical holes in the cave’s ceiling, which offers a rather striking subterranean image. Known as “the Eyes of God”, these holes are located in the middle chamber of the cave, long 262 meter, illuminating the interior and providing…

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Hallstatt Beinhaus, an Austrian house of bones filled with hundreds of painted skulls.

The town of Hallstatt it’s the typical Austrian town, located on a beautiful forested mountain, next to a beautiful blue lake, with nice houses dated back 19th-century. All nice, but the room filled with skulls it’s definitely creepy. Behind the Hallstatt’s Catholic parish Church, near the 12th-century St.Micheal’s Chapel, in a small and lovely cared cemetery there is the Hallstatt Beinhaus (or Charnel House). A small chapel has been filled with over 1,200 skulls. Skull painting was carried out especially during the 19th century and belonged to a cultural area…

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Porto: Igreja de São Francisco and its Catacombs.

Ancient catacombs, with portals to the dead located in the church’s cellar, form the foundation for this church ghotic in structure and Rococo in decoration. The exterior of the church of São Francisco’s Gothic reflects the modest style of the Franciscan order, while the extreme wealth of the patrons influenced the interior’s gold stylings. Below the church’s three interior, thera are the catacombs that hold tombs for members of the Franciscan order and in a corner of the crypt, in front of a door to nowhere lies a glass, grated…

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Schwellenpflug: the “Rail Wolf” used by Germans in retreat.

The bitter-sweet relationship of Stalin’s Russia and Third Reich had shaped the European theatre of the Second World War, and Adolf Hitler was undoubtedly the most ambitious dictator since Napoleon, a bit more ambitious and surely more ruthless. If Hitler hadn’t been so greedy and didn’t start the assault on Russia, the things probably would have turned out to be pretty different, at least for the Europe of the Second World War. Underestimating Russian resilience and over-estimating the military might of German Army, Hitler decided to faced the grim consequences,…

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Livraria Lello of Porto, the bookshop inspired Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.

The Livraria Lello of Porto, opened in 1906, is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and hides an Neo-Gothic interior behind a Art-Nouveau façade. The first impression that you have when you first enter here, is that you’ve entered a church, and not in a bookstore, and remains one of the world’s most stunning shops, probably of any kind. The beautiful Neo-Gothic interior have a stained glass ceiling, carved wood paneling, and a great curvaceous staircase that stretches across the store. Was designed by Xavier Esteves and…

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Cervandone Hotel, a century of history destroyed by the flames in 2015.

The hotel, which have the name of the homonymous peak of over three thousand meters, always a destination for mineral seekers, was the symbol, at the beginning of the twentieth century, of the Belle Epoque. It was meeting place for alpinists and families from the cities who loved the Ossola mountains, where good food and rivers of sparkling wine rewarded the audacious climbers while the orchestras played waltzes and mazurkes until the early hours. In those years, was dedicated a song by the local singer Cavalier Giovanni Leoni (1846-1920) who…

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The American Revolution, fueled by a portuguese wine.

In summer 1775, while General George Washington outfitted his first mobile headquarters for the Continental Army, he seems to have intuited the importance of his people comforts. His personal expense accounts between 1775 and 1776 described lot of purchases for a privileged man like himself, to remain comfortable as he superintended a volunteer army: trunks, table linen, other things, and most important of all, copious liters of wine. For everybody, the life in an 18th-century war camp was not easy, and there were lot of moments of incredible boredom, in…

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Discovered in one shop in Brighton, a treasure of banknotes dating back to the Second World War.

The Cotswold Outdoor in Brighton, England, is a clothing store for outdoor sports. During the last renovation work, interior decorator Russ Davis has dismantled layers and layers of rotten carpet, tiles and flooring, and during the removal of the floorboards he made an absolutely unexpected discovery: a series of 1 and 5 pound decaying banknotes dating back to the period of the Second World War. There were about 30 bundles, each worth about £1,000, and banknotes, all stuck together, amount to around 130,000 pounds, equivalent (at current exchange rate) to…

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Did you know, that in Istanbul drinking Coffee in public was punishable by death penalty?

…It’s true! Throughout Europe and the Middle East years ago tried to ban the black drink. In 1633, the ottoman sultan Murad IV absolutely forbade an activity he believed was the cause of social decay and disunity of Istanbul, his capital. The risk and the bad habits of this activity were so terrible that he declared transgressors should be immediately punished with the death, and according to some documents, Murad IV controlled the streets of Istanbul undercover, using a 100-pound broadsword to decapitate all people that he found in this…

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Dolnì Vitkovice of Ostrava (Cze): once industrial site, now playground of science, technology, and art.

Not even 20 years ago, Ostrava, the third-largest Czech city, was known as the “Czech Republic’s Iron Heart,” especially for this huge industrial plant born in 1830 and now transformed into a playground of science, technology, and art. The plant had an ironworks, a coal colliery, and six coke furnaces, and was the only one in Europe that processed iron from start to finish in one location, only because the site was so massive. In 1828, the archbishop Rudolph Johann of Habsburg organized the construction of the site’s first puddling…

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Hashima: the incredible abandoned island discovered by Google Maps Street View.

Not always, with google maps street view, you can only travel through the known places of the world. Sometimes it happens to find something new and unexplored, such as the incredible Hashima Island, also known as “Battleship Island”, in Japan, near to the southern city of Nagasaki, since 2009 open to tourists who want to visit it, and also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is ringed by a seawall, covered in tightly packed buildings and has been completely uninhabited for more than forty years. Obviously some local people…

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Frozen Charlotte, the dolls from victorian-era that rest in coffins and were baked into cakes.

There are a huge differeces between today’s dolls and antique dolls, that can be rather creepy. In fact, in the past, dolls were definitely less “reassuring”, and some of them did not appear, to children of the time, so terrifying as they may seem today. But antique dolls kept in coffins or baked in puddings and cakes for young children are definitely creepy. “Frozen Charlotte” is probably the most disturbing little doll of all, a very small ceramic model that was delivered inside a coffin. Yes! Really a casket…. But…

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Charles VI “the mad”, the King of France who thought he was made of glass.

In the Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries there was some “Glass Men”, and the king Charles VI of France was probably the most crazy representant. King Charles VI, was ruler of France from 1380 to 1422 and held a strange conviction: he believed he was made of glass. To protect his body, and terrified that he would shatter at touch of the other people, he forbade his courtiers to come near him and he dressed only with special reinforced clothing. But the King was mad even before this…

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The incredible sculptures of Spencer Byles lost in the Woods of France

Deep and lost in the woods of southern France, the artist Spencer Byles transformed the forest into a mysterious fairy-tale thanks a series of spectacular, organic sculptures. The sculptor is truly out of the ordinary: spent a whole year in the woodlands of La Colle sur Loup, Villeneuve-Loubet, and Mougins to realize his ambitious project. Surrounded only by nature, the sculptor used only material natural to create his wonderful, big works of art. According to Byles, many people come across his sculptures by chance in the woods, and it’s really…

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The lookout tower on the Petřín hill of Prague: the little sister of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Petřín Lookout Tower (Petřínská Rozhledna), where tourists can see one of the most beautiful view of Prague, was built as part of the Jubilee Exhibition in 1891 inspired by the Eiffel Tower. In fact, when in 1889 the members of the Czech Tourist Club visited the world exhibition in Paris, they were so impressed by the view of the famous Eiffel Tower, that they decided to create a similar dominant above the capital of Czech Republic. It was decided that a five-time smaller imitation of the Eiffel Tower would…

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The Pied Piper: the creepy medieval mystery behind one of the most popular Children’s Tale.

Every summer Sunday in the city of Hamelin, actors gather in the old town center to pay homage to a strange, enduring tale. The “Pied Piper” (or “the Piper of Hamelin”) is one of the most famous classic fairy tales all over the world. Despite its great diffusion, only a few people have studied the genesis of this story, probably for the habit of considering it harmless, only a fairy tale, and for this without any reference to reality. The most recent children’s story (the version of 1857) tells that…

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The musical organ played by the Sea in Zadar, Croatia.

There is a place, in the Adriatic sea, where you can really listen to singing the Sea, thanks to a work of art and architecture of extraordinary and unique beauty in the world. This incredible experimental musical instrument, at all hours of the day and night, emits a melodious sound thanks to the strength and harmony of the waves. The Sea Organ (in original language morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first musical pipe organs that is played by the sea. It’s…

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