Tag: Queen

The Tsar’s Gold

One of the 20th Century’s great mysteries is what happened to Imperial Russia’s gold reserves following the Wall Street-financed coup in 1917 that overthrew the Tsarist government. This coup is known wrongly as the Russian Revolution. At the outbreak of World War One the gold reserves of Imperial Russia were by far the largest in the world. Leaving aside Russia’s priceless arts likewise looted and sent abroad the gold in Russia’s vaults weighed 1,311 tonnes. At today’s value the stolen bullion’s value is $60 billion. Gold reserves that fell into the hands of the Bolsheviks totalled considerably more at 1.101 million rubles. After signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, German bankers asked Lenin to hand over part of Russian gold. Such is the sensitivity surrounding the Russian gold reserve’s eventual destination that there is virtually no mention of its fate in the English language.

The Last Waltz for Europe

It was the last waltz for Europe and the last dance for humanity. Had one of Europe’s oldest, most successful and popular royal houses not been destroyed and consumed by New York-based banking houses the world would likely have been a far better place today.

Fabulous artworks in the Kunstkammer Wien

From the late Middle Ages to the Baroque, Habsburg emperors and archdukes collected exotic and uncommon materials, to which they often ascribed magical powers, such as precious stones, ostrich eggs, coral and shark’s teeth, which were considered to be dragon’s tongues. From these natural products, artists created virtuoso works of art.

Aqueduct of Segovia: The Mortar-Less Miracle

The aqueduct of Segovia is a classic example of Roman water transport architecture—simple in design, yet magnificent to behold, and surprisingly durable. The aqueduct was built in the 1st century AD to convey water from Frío River, 17 km away, to the city, and it has been carrying out this function in one form or another for the past 2,000 years. This is all the more impressive when you realize that this aqueduct was built without a single ounce of mortar.

Automaton for Marie Antoinette and exclusive mechanisms

Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part I. Not so long ago, a short video of a truly uncanny dulcimer-playing wind-up automaton made for Marie Antoinette in 1784 appeared online. The queen was no stranger to extravagance, we know, but why this machine, this wonderful human-like machine, which must have taxed the greatest artisans and mechanics of her time? What was its appeal?