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 …

Portuguese in Africa

Colours of West Africa

The Portuguese in Africa The Kingdom of Kongo and the Transatlantic Slave Trade The Kingdom of Kongo was a former kingdom that dominated West Central Africa in the fourteenth century (Heywood, 2009). Located south of …

‘Queen of the Sea’: A History of Lisbon In 1554, the writer Damião de Góis claimed that out of all the European cities, only Lisbon and her rival Seville ‘could rightfully be called Ladies and …

Five Female Explorers

Women explorers

Five Female Explorers and their Adventures There are many female explorers who have been forgotten or are not as widely remembered as their male counterparts–Gertrude Bell, for example, has been overshadowed by her male colleague, …

Who were the Roman Emperors?

Colosseum

Who led Rome? There are plenty of lead characters that rose to Roman power throughout its empire.  While some of them are very well known, others are less so.  Some ascended to leadership via lineage …

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 …

Shetland Islands Discovered Scotland’s Shetland Islands (or simply, Shetland) is a group of more than 100 islands, only 16 of which are inhabited, with a pristine coastline unrivalled in all of the United Kingdom. Its …

The Beginning of Human Civilisation Ancient Greece is well-known as one of the earliest civilizations that contributed significantly to human advancement. “Greece reached heights in almost every area of human learning” (Mark 2013).  Generally speaking, Ancient, …

Queen Victoria’s Britain

Queen Victoria's Britain

Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 1 of 2) This two-part article on Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially designed …

Textiles through History

A spinning jenny

Weaving textiles throughout history and the advancement of society Fabric and textiles industry has a long and coloured past.  While it is estimated that fabrics were used in the time of the Stone Age, nearly …

Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 2 of 2) This two-part article on Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially designed for senior …

Ireland’s Gems More than 11 million people travelled to Ireland according to the latest tourism statistics, lured by its lush scenery, historic landmarks, and centuries-old culture. (This number includes visitors to both Northern Ireland, part …

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 …

Victorian England Country Life

Victorian Britain Country life

Victorian England Country Life The industrial revolution changed dramatically Victorian England Country life. From the demographic shift in the population commencing the rural -urban drift, to education and the nouveau rich from the industrialisation who …