Studying Gargoyles and Grotesques Gargoyles and grotesques were a hallmark of the Gothic period of architecture, which grew popular in Western Europe from the 12th to the late 15th centuries, and which was carried over …

Istanbul, Imperial City

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Istanbul, Imperial City For more than a thousand years, Constantinople stood as the capital of the Byzantine Empire, surviving numerous attacks and internal rebellions, until the cannons of the Ottoman Empire breached its walls. Constantinople, …

Constructing Versailles

The golden entrance gates of the Palace of Versailles

Constructing Versailles, the making of a Palace The Château du Versailles is an iconic destination for all of those interested in French history. A stone’s throw away from Paris, Versailles was the official  residence of …

Underground London

Britain's canals and railways

The London Underground Beneath London is another London, a shadowy counterpart still not mapped in its entirety, but in many ways similar to the London above the ground. According to Peter Ackroyd in London Under (Vintage, 2012), “It …

Designing Paris

Paris Seine River

Designing Paris The Paris that many of us know and love did not always look as it does now. When Napoleon III instructed Hausmann to tear down the urban centre to make way for the …

The Bund The Bund, a stretch of historical buildings lining the western bank of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China (“bund” derives from the Hindustani word band which means “embankment”), was initially a British settlement that at …

Discovering Georgia

Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia

Discovering Georgia Standing at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, the lands of Georgia are filled with wondrous sites just waiting to be discovered. The deep religious devotion of nation’s inhabitants is manifested through the …

Ottoman Empire

Ottoman empire

The Ottoman Empire, c. 14th-20th centuries The Ottoman Empire once extended from Iraq to North Africa, from Arabia to the Balkans, even pressing to the walls of Hapsburg Vienna on two separate occasions. Originating from …

Tehran Through Time

Tehran Alborz Mountains travel

Tehran Through Time Tehran, Iran at the foot of the snow-capped Alborz Mountains. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled its monarchy and paved the way for an Islamic Republic under its supreme leader, Ayatollah …

India’s Mughal Empire

India's Mughal Empire

India’s Mughal Empire More than 4 centuries ago the   Mughal empire was an immensely successful empire, covering the entire subcontinent of India and reaching a population of 100 million at its peak. It is …

The Legacy of the Safavids in Persia Modern-day Iran is a mass of tiled architectural gems and of immense artistry, textiles and culture.  But this is all thanks to its to the legacy of its …

The Roman Empire

Winter in Rome, Roman Ruins

The Roman Empire The Roman Empire at its peak covered an area of five million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) and included territories in Asia, Africa, and the Western European nations around the Mediterranean Sea. …

Southern Italy

Southern Italy

Southern Italy: from Magna Graecia to Italian Unification When you ask people about Italy, more often than not one of the first places they mention is the capital city, Rome, or the submerged streets of …

Exploring York

Exploring York   Like a page out of a history book, the North-Eastern city of York in the United Kingdom is a Gothic wonder. What lies beyond this walled Roman fortress, aside from York Minister, …

Exploring Kazakhstan

Small Group Tour - Kazakhstan

Exploring Kazakhstan. “Land of Wanderers” Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world and covers a landlocked area bigger than all of Western Europe. But unlike Europe, it does not figure prominently in the …