The curious background of Tombland Alley

Once known as the central marketplace of Norwich, England, the name of this historic alley, Tombland, is a bit misleading, as it has nothing to do with the burying of the dead. Actually, it is the combination of two Old English words meaning something like “open ground” or “empty space”, and indicate an area which was once the main market place before the Normans arrived in 1066. The most curious feature of Tombland Alley is the often-photographed Augustine Steward House, built in the early part of the 16th century for…

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Hanoi’s Train Street: twice a day a speeding train passes only inches from the homes of this residential neighborhood.

Between Le Duan and Kham Tien street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Vietnam, arounds 3 p.m. and 7 p.m every day, a train hurtles through a series of narrow streets in bustling, maze-like Old Quarter. So drying clothes are carried inside, children ushered indoors, and bikes pulled to the side of the road just before the train passes, with less than a meter of clearance at most on each side. Try to imagine: in some places the train is mere centimeters from the buildings. The street’s residents press tight to the…

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Vicars’ Close: the oldest residential street in Europe that also features an optical illusion.

Vicars’ Close, in Wells, Somerset, England, is claimed to be the oldest purely residential street with original buildings still intact in Europe. The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England, were built during the mid 14th century, while the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known…

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Who wouldn’t want a highway bridge literally 50 centimeters from his window?

Few days ago, authorities in Cairo, Egypt, have come under fire for approving the construction of an “essential” highway bridge in Al-Haram district, right next to several apartment buildings on Nasr El-Din Street. And if we say “right next to”, we mean that in the most literal sense, as the bridge is just 50 centimetres away from people’s homes. However, in a surprising reply, authorities announced that the bridge had all the necessary permits, and that it was the residential buildings that had been built without a permit. Therefore, an…

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Graveyard at the end of Demon’s Road – Texas ~

There’s a remote, lonely dirt road outside of the university town of Huntsville, that for years has had the reputation as a place you don’t want to be after dark. The road, although not a Texas main artery, has the function of connecting two very busy provincial roads and for this reason many venture into the approximately 4 km of road that winds through desolate fields, woods, abandoned houses and the old Martha’s Chapel Cemetery. Its real name is Bowden Road, and today it would be almost forgotten if it…

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A splendid collection of rare color Photos of Paris taken about 100 Years Ago

For most of us are normal to see historical photographs in black and white, due to the diffusion of monochrome films during the early years of photographic technique. The color images, however, were almost contextual to the invention of photography itself, and it was only the difficulty of creating the supports capable of resuming the different colors that changed over the years, making the spread of colour photograph more and more common. Tired of the endless series of black and white photos that were popular in that days, French banker…

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