The Race For The First Flight Over The Channel

The first flight over the Channel was not a sedentary affair. It was a race. And there were no rules. Read a book that gives the wider view rather than the known story behind Louis Blériot s first flight over the Channel. Barbara Walsh compiled the details on the life and career of Hubert Latham and many facts around the days leading up to the historic flight in 1909.


The Star Puzzle of Bethlehem

For years, astronomers have tried to puzzle out what made three astrologers travel from Persia to Israel at a certain date 2,000 years ago. Missing data, unclear sources, later additions and elisions, and religious bias make the job just more interesting. But are astronomers the right people to unravel an astrological puzzle?




Town of Embroidery: St Gallen

The Swiss city of St Gallen is linked with high quality embroideries used by leading fashion designers around the world. It is also a beautiful town with a long history and a picturesque historic city center. At its very center stands the magnificent monastery dedicated to St Gall with its baroque cathedral and UNESCO World Heritage library.


Bruce Castle or Lordship House

Bruce Castle is a misnomer, a historical cheat. It is a manor house in Tottenham in London and was just plain Lordship House for most of its existence. Trying to live up to a grand name, it does have some history and even a resident ghost, as well as quite a few historical questions that need to be worked out.




Lost and Found, Britannic's Organ

The ocean liner Britannic was the latest Olympic class passenger ship built by the White Star Line and the sister ship of the Titanic. Being unfinished at the start of the Great War, the ship was drafted into service as a hospital ship and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea in 1916. An Organ was obviously not needed on a hospital ship and it disappeared from history in 1914 to surface in Switzerland in 2006.


Robert Koch: With System Against Disease

May 27, 2010, marked the 100th Anniversary of the death of Nobel Laureate Robert Koch. He discovered the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis and laid the ground-work for modern bacteriology and epidemic research. His true ambition, though, had been to become an explorer and world traveler like Alexander von Humboldt. Instead, he became an accomplished explorer in the world of the microscope.




Museum City: Basel

Basel is a cultural center with more than 60 museums. The city's special geographical situation bordering both Germany and France has brought forth peculiarities, such as three railway stations in the town center and a trinational airport. It is also a city steeped in legend, most of which is fervently believed by its inhabitants.


The Sex Workers of Georgian London

If the word ‘Georgian’ brings pictures of lofty  buildings sporting large staircases and high ceilings to your mind, then it is time to look into the gutter of Georgian London. Observe the genteel people from Georgette Heyer's period novels in their time off the set meeting the people who never made it onto it.


Antoine De Saint Exupéry and The Lost Prince

60 years after his death, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, solved the riddle of the lost Hereditary Prince Alexis at Bentheim and at Steinfurt by default. This is for once not a ghost story or a conspiracy theory. Instead it is the story of two fighter pilots lost in World War II that never met in real life.




Zurich is More Than Banks

Zurich is the financial center of Switzerland. But it is much more than that; it is a beautiful town full of vibrant life. Rich in history and rich in money, it is listed every year in the top ten cities of the world, when it comes to the title ‘most expensive city’.


Queen Edith of the Eastern Franks

When German archaeologists found Queen Edith’s remains in 2008, they were baffled and confounded. The remains had been found in a grave in Magdeburg's cathedral. Nobody had expected the find. True, documents mention her grave in the cathedral, and the grave had been a prominent one marked with her name. Then why the confusion?


Prince and People of Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein is sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland. It is a hereditary principality with political powers shared equally between the elected parliament and the prince. Nobody knows what happens if ever they should agree to disagree because there is no proviso for a resolution process. The prince is also head of state.