The Capuchin Crypt in Brno, CZE.

The Capuchins came to Brno in 1604 at the invitation of the Bishop of Olomouc, František of Dietrichstein. For their first monastery, they opted a place in the eastern suburbs of the city, called the Gate of Měnín, and laid the foundation stone in the spring of the same year. The church was dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and in 1606 it was consecrated by Cardinal Dietrichstein himself. His decoration was supported by the outstanding painter Kosmas from Castelfranco, a priest of the Venetian province, who created not only…

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Szimpla Kert: Budapest ruin pub that offer peep into the past.

Try to imagine: on a chilly night, young party-goers gather inside a two-storey former factory in the heart of Budapest’s entertainment district, where old computer monitors displaying psychedelic patterns line the walls in one room and in another, two guys sit in a bathtub cut in half. On the wall there is a note: “Sorry for your broken leg Rob!”, while on a wall, someone has taken a more serious approach, with a reference to a Dave Matthews Band song lyric: “Here are we on this starry night and I…

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Navje, Ljubljana: can a Cemetery be also a park?

As macabre as it sounds, this cemetery is actually a really nice place to visit. Just over the railroad tracks from the historic center of Ljubljana, Slovenia, this beatiful and relaxing place invites you to go for a short stroll between the tombs. It is no problem to sit on the grass and read a book. Just behind the main train and bus station you can take a stroll, walk your dog, or go on a romantic picnic in the beautiful final resting place of notable Slovenian writers, politicians, religious…

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The story of the almost disappeared town of Thurmond, West Virginia

On the shore of New River Gorge, in West Virginia, United States, lies the almost abandoned city of Thurmond. “Almost” because, the 2010 census, confirmed that five people still live there. The village saw its heyday during the coal industry peak in West Virginia, with a population that reached several hundred inhabitants. Thurmond was named after a captain of the Confederate army, WD Thurmond. He received the 73-acre site in 1873 as payment for a surveying job and decided to make this place his home. Other people joined him and…

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Szabo Ervin Library in Budapest

The incredible Szabo Ervin Library in Budapest is a hidden treasure, left often out of guidebooks, tucked into a busy section of the city. But for those who know, this is a stunning step back to time when libraries were like mansions. It was Ervin Szabó, sociologist who established the public library network in Budapest at the beginning of the 20th century. Built by Count Frigyes Wenckheim (1842 – 1912), a well-known Hungarian aristocrat, the Central Library is easy to miss, because a modern library surrounds it, secreting away the…

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Idroscalo of Pavia: a piece of history of the city abandoned on the Ticino river.

On the Ticino river, south of the covered bridge, which was one of Pavia’s most symbolic monuments, there is a now abandoned structure, left to decay. It is the Idroscalo of Pavia, which was an important piece of history of the Pavia of the Twenties. Although there is a community that hopes for a restoration of this piece of city history, proposing its use as a museum, exhibition location, restaurant or entertainment venue and a project appeared about a year ago, due to high costs it was not done nothing.…

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Nikita Golubev, the artist who turns dirty cars into works of Art

In his Moscow’s neighborhood, Russian artist Nikita Golubev aka Pro Boy Nick uses dirt found on trucks and vans to draw with his fingers incredible artworks. However, it seems that the owners love them so much that they now refuse to wash their trucks! Art is decidedly unconventional, and many have uploaded photographs of Gobulev’s works on the web. The artist’s “canvases” are cars, trucks or vans, and result is a work that looks like a charcoal drawing, beautiful in its simplicity. ProBoyNick’s Instagram account has become very popular, and…

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“Scold’s bridle”: Renaissance torture that punished the gossip.

Corporal punishment has always been considered a deterrent for anyone who wanted to do something wrong. From antiquity to the present day, torture has never ceased to be used as a form of punishment or as an “incentive” to confess a crime. The use of corporal punishment during the period of the Inquisition, when even the slightest suspicion of heresy or witchcraft, led to terrible condemnations is all too well known. In Scotland, during the Renaissance, lot of women didn’t have to commit who knows what a serious crime to…

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The “Indecent” little man on the church of St. James in Brno, Cze

On the southern window of Brno’s Church of St. James, the same church that houses Europe’s second largest ossuary, one sculptural element of the impressive structure seems somewhat out of place: an indecent little two-headed man cheekily displaying his bare butt to the world. This little guy is called “Neslušný mužícek” – the Indecent Little Man. There are two stories attributed to the little man, both involving the competition between the Church of St. James and the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul on nearby Petrov Hill, to build the…

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Pavia’s Covered Bridge and the pact with the devil

The Covered Bridge on the Ticino river represents one of Pavia’s most symbolic monuments. It connect the historical centre of the city to the area known as Borgo Ticino, a pictoresque quarter which was once inhabited only by washerwomen, fishermen and boatmen. The current bridge was built between the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s of the twentieth century, following the destruction of the Medieval covered bridge gravely damaged by bombings of the Allied Forces during World War II. The old bridge, of which the new…

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The “Merry Cemetery” in Romania: colors and irony to exorcise death.

For us cemeteries are places of mourning and sadness: these are places in which the dead rest. On the tombstones usually only the dates of birth and death appear. When someone dies, their memory generally enters a kind of idealized state in the minds of those who loved them. Often their flaws are forgiven and forgotten, and the way in which they passed (especially if it was unpleasant) often goes unspoken, and on their tombstone generalized niceties are written, often reduced to as little as “Rest in Peace.” But not…

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Chernobyl exclusion zone has transformed into an animal refuge in the absence of humans

In the 30 years since the devastating nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, the entire area has undergone a radical change and a slow, continual process of rebirth. If the reactor is stably closed inside the concrete sarcophagus that prevent the radiation from spreading outside, across the Exclusion Zone, which stretches 30 kilometers in all directions around the power plant, nature has begun to reclaim what humans destroyed. The accident had a major impact on the human population. Estimates of the number of human fatalities vary a lot, and also the initial…

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Frog Cakes, the cute amphibian treats and South Australian icons.

Here we are: Australia is home to more than 200 magnificent species of frogs, including one really delicious, comprised almost entirely of sugar! The frog cake is a sweet treat in the shape of a crouched frog, so beloved in its native Adelaide that it was recently deemed a South Australian Heritage Icon. At its heart, the frog has two pieces of sponge cake joined by a thin layer of jam and topped with a scoop of buttercream. To transform this pastry into a frog, bakers coat everything with green…

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The body on the beach: the mystery of Taman Shud case

On 1 December 1948 at 6:30 am, the body of an unidentified man was man was discovered on Somerton beach near Glenelg, about 11 kilometres southwest of Adelaide, South Australia. The man was found lying in the sand, with his head resting against the seawall, with his legs extended and his feet crossed. He dead from unknown causes, and as investigators delved deeper into the corpse’s demise they came up with more questions than answers, leaving an unsolved case involving poetry and Cold War codes that remains a mystery until…

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A Visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.

One of the most unusual museums in Croatia is the Museum of Broken Relationships (in Croatian: Muzej prekinutih veza) in Zagreb. The Museum is an ever-growing collection of items, each a memento of a relationship past, accompanied by a personal, yet anonymous story of its contributor. The collection traces its origins to a real-life breakup, between that of its co-founders, Olinka Vištica, a film producer, and Dražen Grubišić, a sculptor, two Zagreb-based artists, in 2006. After their four-year love relationship came to an end in 2003, the two joked about…

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Chernobyl Disaster in 33 rare photographs taken at the time

On 26 April 1986, a series of explosions destroyed reactor no. 4 of Chernobyl, and several hundred workers, firemen and army men faced a fire that burned for 10 days and spread toxic radiation throughout Europe. We talked about Chernobyl disaster in various articles, also documenting the current state of the area of alienation of the zone (to find out more visit our dedicated section), but less known among those who risked life there were also the many photographers who immortalized moments that will remain unique in the history. Following…

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The legendary submerged forest of Wales brought to light by a storm.

Almost by magic, the forest protagonist of the legend of the reign of Cantre’r Gwaelod reappeared thanks to the storm Hannah which, in these days, hit vigorously the United Kingdom and on Ireland, with winds above 130km/h, leaving more than 10,000 homes without electricity. His ferocity, however, has brought to light, unexpectedly, the remains of an ancient and legendary Welsh forest, disappeared for millennia. Popular legends tell of a fertile land that extended for over 30 km, a mythological kingdom that was swept away, from one day to another, by…

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The Poison Gardens of Alnwick Castle, England.

We all know that among the features that make England famous in the world there are the green lawns and the perfect beautiful gardens. But there is an exception. The garden of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is not exactly an idyllic place: the sign at the garden gate reads “These Plants Can Kill”! Behind big black gates, the carefully curated garden contains about 100 popular killers like Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), Strychnos nux-vomica (strychnine), and Conium maculatum (hemlock). Guides explain their deadly properties while keeping ne’er-do-wells and curious children away…

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A Day Out: the Rundle Mall pigs of Adelaide, Australia

People passing through Adelaide’s Rundle Mall, Australia, may be perplexed to see four pigs hogging the pedestrian walkway. From the look, these four life-size bronze pigs, they are having a great day out at shopping center: one has his snout in a rubbish bin with a crumpled milk carton, orange peel, a half-eaten banana, apple core and a left-over sandwich. Another happily sits spread on the pavement, while still another comes running to join the fun. After their launch on 3 July 1999 led the Adelaide City Council and the…

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Adam’s bridge: the island chain in Sri Lanka created by a god with an army of monkeys.

We are in Sri Lanka. This island nation is separated from southeastern India by the Palk Strait, a 40-mile-wide stretch of sea named for Robert Palk, a governor of Madras in British India. Yes. Sri Lanka is an island, or at least that’s what they want you to think. The 18-mile gap (about 29 kilometers) between it and India is filled with shoals and sandbanks, that religious tradition holds are the remains of a bridge built by Rama, an avatar of Vishnu, the same character who ordered to build a…

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Greenbrier Ghost: the deceased who had her husband condemned for murder

It was July 1897, when Edward Stribbling “Trout” Shue was convicted of first-degree murder for strangling and to have broken his wife’s neck. His trial, which was held in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, was based entirely on circumstantial evidence that demonstrated man’s guilt, beyond any reasonable doubt, in an unusual way: evidence was presented to the jurors come from beyond the grave! The facts that led to the conviction of Shue included some “post-mortem” statements of his deceased wife, Zona Heaster Shue, who appeared to her mother four weeks after…

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Street artist Megx painted german bridge to look like giant LEGO Bricks

While driving through the outskirts of Wuppertal in the Rhine-Rhur metropolitan region of Germany, drivers are wont to stare in disbelief the a giant multicolored cluster of Legos hovers from a bridge overhead. Although the visual effect is exactly this, in reality the bridge is (obviously) made of concrete and steel. These Legos are actually the product of more than a century of locomotive history: the Wuppertal Northern Railway was constructed in 1879 to compete with the adjacent BME line for train passengers crossing through Wuppertal, Germany. But the BME…

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Ossuary underneath the Church of St. James in Brno: Europe’s second largest ossuary

One of the most popular destinations for tourists in Czech Republic who venture outside Prague is the town of Kutna Hora, famous for its ossuary, in which thousands of human bones are arranged into various shapes, including a chandelier and a coat of arms. However, also in the Moravian capital Brno is possible enjoy a similar macabre place that is worth visiting. This is Europe’s second largest ossuary, it wasn’t discovered until 2001 and opened to the public for the first time in June of 2012. Before doing renovation or…

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Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka, and its holy footprint

Even if Mount Sinai was considered sacred at a much earlier date, Mt. Fuji surpasses it in beauty and height, and Mt. Kilash evokes a far greater sense of mystery, no other mountain has been revered by so many people, from such a variety of religions, for so many centuries as Sri Pada. In the Middle Ages, the Garden of Eden was commonly believed to exist on earth, probably on top of a mountain, or on an island, in order to have survived legendary Noah’s Flood. For century, for those…

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Nemo’s Garden: the world’s first underwater farm

From terracing to paddy fields, farmers around the world have used ingenious methods to grow crops in inhospitable environments. But the underwater farms are really uniques! We are in Noli, in the region of Liguria, northwest Italy. This coastal region is known for its picturesque seaside villages and beautiful coastline. But in Noli, the real attraction lies at the bottom of the sea! Just off Noli’s beach, a team of professional scuba divers has created the world’s first underwater farm, in which more than 700 plants, including tomatoes, basil, and…

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Brno Astronomical Clock: a peculiar clock that commemorates a historic victory

In 1645, near the last stage of the Thirty Years’ War, the city of Brno became popular across Europe because it managed to thwart a siege by the previously undefeated Swedish army, numbering 30.000 soldiers and led by General Lennart Torstenson, thanks to a a very brilliant tactic. Even if the Swedes laid siege to the city for nearly three months, the citizens of Brno didn’t give up: facing a stalemate, the Swedish commanders decided to give up the siege if they wouldn’t manage to conquer the city before noon.…

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The bombed water tower of Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka.

We are in Sri Lanka: the city of Kilinochchi used to be the capital Vanni (or Wanni), an area of territory in the North of the country that was controlled by the militant LTTE organization (Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam), better known as the Tamil Tigers. The city’s size increased and decreased through 30 years of civil war fought by the insurgent group and the Sri Lankan Army. Toward the end of the war in 2008, shortly before the Army regained control and liberated Kilinochchi, an LTTE contingent bombed the water…

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Monumental Kitty of Detroit, Michigan~

Although it may seem strange, one of Detroit’s most beloved felines isn’t curled up on a windowsill or lazing on on the knees of some more or less unlikely cat lady. In reality it doesn’t even purr, and look at motorists shuttling down a fairly unremarkable service drive en route to the freeway. It is a brick sculpture, with wide eyes and pointy ears, known as Monumental Kitty, and since 2010 has been charming drivers. It was created by the local artist Jerome Ferretti, who once worked as a journeyman…

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Old Town Hall of Brno and the legends of the Dragon and the wheel.

Hanging in the Old Town Hall of the largest Moravian city, a little bit as the hanging crocodile in Verona’s church, in Italy, is the carcass of a real “dragon”, or so the originators of the Brno Dragon legend would have you believe. One of the most famous legends in the city of Brno is that of the dragon that once threatened the people, and there are several versions of the story. The most popular has that the beast was threatening the citizens and all of their livestock, and no…

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