Galileo’s career started in a monastery in Florence; but his father saw a doctor in him. Defying his father, he studied mathematics instead of medicine. He made his first invention at 22. At 25, he was lecturing at the University of Pisa and building high class musical instruments. He had to move to Padova after being mobbed out from Pisa.
The German city of Cologne on the Rhine houses one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Central Europe. In it, visitors will find one of the most extraordinary works of art in existence: The shrine of the three holy Magi. Shrine and cathedral draw thousands of worshipers as well as art lovers from all over the world.
San Marino is the oldest existing Republic in the world. This is not just some boast, but historical fact. The beginnings of San Marino, as befits any good story, are shrouded in legend, putting the founding of the city into the hands of a saint, St Marinus. Like most of the early and many of the later Catholic saints, he is mythical but features a nice story.
These days, Easter eggs are painted by children and adults alike in a variety of colors and with an array of symbols and pictures. Painting eggs as a custom has been documented to reach back over several thousand years. The colors and symbols used in painting eggs held special meanings and were often part of rituals. Those meanings changed and adapted over time depending on which culture and which religion people belonged to that were painting eggs.
On November 9th, 2008, it was 70 years since Maurice Bavaud tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in Munich. After prolonged torture, he was murdered by the Nazis on May 14th, 1941, after ‘legal’ proceedings followed by a sentence to death on the guillotine. He was officially rehabilitated by Germany in 1956.
The day of Saint Sylvester is the 31st of December, New Year’s Eve. In French and in German usage, the saint's name is synonymous with New Year’s Eve, party, booze, and fireworks. The village of St Silvester in Switzerland was named after the church dedicated to him. There, his day starts off with an old tradition dating back more than 400 years.