The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

Kulning is an ancient, sweet and sorrowful form of Scandinavian music used to herd cows and goats back down from their high mountain pastures in parts of Norway and in certain provinces of Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen. In practical use since medieval times, the mysterious tones were also thought to be a deterrent to potential predators like wolves…

A brief history of artisan and merchant guilds in medieval Poland

The medieval artisans of Poland

On a visit to the Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu in the Polish city of Wrocław I was astonished not by the grimly beautiful Renaissance paintings of Christ, angels and demons but of something far more tangible. Medieval shop signs and merchant guild coats of arms that illustrated the professions of artisans, traders and merchants of medieval times.…

Krakow Summer Opera Season at Wawel Castle

Travel: Krakow Summer Opera Season at Wawel Castle

In the walls of Wawel castle on the night of midsummer, an atmosphere of enchantment abounded. The mauve and violet light of the sky melted into the golden lamps that fell onto the cobble-stone pathways, this skimmed and bounced across gabled iron rooftops of the castle. The light from the opera ballet performance stage shone…

The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

Travel: The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

Inside of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a thousand steps seem to guard you from the surface of the world. A thousand false ceilings seem to call out and confuse your senses. So far away are you from the grounding blue of the sky and the sensation of dirt under your feet. Inside of this mine…

A trip to the Renaissance fortress and city of Zamość on a sunny summer weekend

Travel: A summer trip to the Renaissance fortress and city of Zamość

We visited Zamość Fortress (Polish: Twierdza Zamość) and town on one of those perfect Polish summer days where the sun and heat pelted down and made everything bright and vivid. Locals and visitors in this far south eastern city of Poland seemed to have a spring in their step on this fine day and everyone…

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors http://wp.me/p41CQf-Iu9

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors

In this series of podcasts, Australian writer and broadcaster Richard Fidler and his friend, Icelandic writer Kári Gíslason travel to Iceland to regail us with the stories of the ancient Vikings; tales of blood feuds, dangerous women, fugitives and warrior poets. They also go to the windswept country to discover more about Kari's own mysterious origins.…

The lost art and history documentaries of YouTube

The lost art and history documentaries of YouTube

Forget Netflix, YouTube has some incredible vintage documentaries about art and history. Made during the days of  analogue, these docos may seem pixellated and blurry by today's standards. Yet if you persevere, you'll be rewarded with terrific storytelling, great production values and enigmatic and fascinating subject matter. Here for you are some great documentaries about material…

Churches, Weeds, Wildflowers and Wonder

Decode ancient manuscripts in this online course about Medieval Spanish Burgos

A new Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) aims to involve people are volunteer historians who are needed to decrypt and decode 1,500 pages of medieval manuscripts from the Cathedral of Burgos (Spain). Even better, there is a Massive Open Online Course that accompanies the process. Read more about it here.  To Won's Father: An Ancient…

How Old Norse Became English: A Viking Epic

Now I can't take credit for this one, I found it here on Babbel, but it was just so so so amazing that I needed to share it with all of you bookworms. I've written about Vikings before and I also love that Vikings drama series on History, soon be coming into its third season,…