In the middle ages, many Russian communities, especially in the Novgorod and Pskov regions, believed in building churches as response to calamities raging at that time, most often epidemics. The tradition known as obydennye khramy requires that the church be completed within the course of a single day. These one-day votive churches were built by communal labor and were simple in design and small in size. Construction usually began at night and ended before sunset of the following day. By nightfall, the church had to be consecrated. Made of wood, they stood no more than 40-50 years.
Four days before Christmas, the sky will offer a sight that hasn’t been seen since the Middle Ages and may have inspired one of the Bible’s most famous stories. The two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will be so close to one another in the sky on Dec. 21 that they will appear to be fused into a single point of light.
The ancient Viking burial site in Estefall in southeastern Norway was in fact a whole complex, including a feast hall and a religious building.
Experts have uncovered some 100 sarcophagi at an ancient necropolis south of the Egyptian capital Cairo. The country’s tourism minister described the find as a “treasure.”
High society circles in St. Petersburg in the late 19th century were fascinated with seances and efforts to contact the dead. There was one problem, however. This macabre movement in fact had started as a prank by two young charlatans in the U.S. The fraudulent nature of this pseudo-science, however, didn’t stop educated and powerful Russians from indulging in what is known as ‘Spiritualism’.
What of the origins of doll’s houses? Where does the interest come from – for our children to love to play with them, for so many adults to love to collect exquisite miniatures like this?
The American and other standard railroad gauges (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. Admittedly, this is a rather odd number. Why was that gauge used?
After succumbing to a fever of some sort in 1705, Irish woman Margorie McCall was hastily buried to prevent the spread of whatever had done her in.
Today the emphasis is on the riches in parliamentarians bank accounts. Not so long ago the ruling class were notorious for the richness of their language. Newspapers owners who really did challenge could also hold their own in any bout of verbal jousting.
New technology now allows us to reconstruct the faces of historical figures showing us a very close representation of their actual features.