Tag: mechanics

Henry Ford on Reincarnation

Although a veteran of many car brands I had not realised that my favourite marque was built by an innovative company inspired by a fellow Irishman. Since that momentous day, I have tried every model made including the BMW Seven Series; what a mistake that was. 

The Great Railway of Renaissance Europe

Adolf Hitler’s plans for renaissance Germany included an extraordinary new railway that by comparison would reduce all other railways rolling stock to almost laughable levels. This railway was designed to connect the most important cities in Greater Germany with trains 7 metre high (30 feet), carrying up to 4,000 passengers at speeds of 200 kilometres per hour.

The most iconic clock towers in Europe

Europe is called the ‘Old Continent’ for its long history – which has also been cruel and gruesome more times than not. However, the centuries haven’t only given us wars and misery, they’ve also left us with culture and beauty. There are many European cities with iconic clock towers that used to serve a pretty clear purpose: telling people the time! And, while nowadays we don’t use them for that anymore, the clock towers in Europe have become architectural and historical landmarks of their cities, silent testimonies of the years passing and of the events that have taken place under them.

The Marvellous Christmas Tradition of Poland’s Szopki

One of Kraków’s most unique and singular Christmas traditions is the popular creation of ‘Christmas cribs’ or ‘szopki.’ While many churches across the country display elaborate nativity scenes during the holiday season, ‘szopki krakowskie’ (as the local variety are called) are so idiosyncratic to Kraków, that they were just added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Something of a strange cross between a nativity scene, gingerbread house and garish dollhouse, szopki krakowskie are the bizarre result of a slowly evolving folk tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Vertep

Vertepny theater is a Christmas performance by means of a puppet show, sometimes also with the participation of human actors. It was distributed mainly on the territory of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, in some regions of Russia. A nativity scene in this case is also called Vertep is a special box in which a puppet show is shown.