Europeenses

Norwegian Fjords: A Select History

The defining feature of Norway’s coastline are the many fjords that cut into the interior of the country providing waterborne access inland. Fjords are so characteristic of Norway that two, … Continue reading

March 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

Svartedauden: The Black Death in Norway

In the Summer of 1349, Magnus Eriksson, King of Norway and Sweden, wrote to his subjects appealing to them to offer prayers, to fast, and to pay a penny to … Continue reading

March 10, 2018 · 1 Comment

Rosemåling

Rosemåling, with its distinctive stylized depictions of flowers, scroll forms, lining, and geometric elements, is Norway’s best known decorative folk art form. Its origins lie in eastern Norway during the … Continue reading

March 3, 2018 · 1 Comment

Móðuharðinðin – “The Hardship of the Fog”: The Human and Environmental Disaster of the Laki Eruption, 1783-4

On 8 June 1873 the Laki mountain in the Grímsvötn volcanic system of southern Iceland was ripped apart by a volcanic eruption that opened a massive fissure and scores of craters. Over a … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

The First Cod War

London, 1883, and the respected biologist Thomas Huxley rose to address the assembled delegates at the International Fisheries Exhibition government. Since 1858 Huxley had been closely involved with the British … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Belfast Outdoor Relief Strike of 1932

Yes! We have no bananas, We have no bananas today. We’ve string beans, and onions, Cabbages and scallions And all kind of fruit, and say, We have an old fashioned … Continue reading

January 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Donetsk, isn’t it Boyo!

I wonder how many Russian nationalists know of the Welsh heritage of the industrial city of Donetsk, birthplace of pole-vault legend Sergey Bubka, shoe banging Nikita Krushchev, and Yevgeny Khaldei, the photographer … Continue reading

September 20, 2014 · 1 Comment

Hanse

The ‘Steel-yard’ at London, now the site of Cannon Street Station, was once the western terminal of the Hanseatic trading system that linked England with Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia, and … Continue reading

March 29, 2014 · 1 Comment

Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) arrived in Wittenberg in 1505 as an already accomplished artist having been appointed court painter to the Elector of Saxony Friedrich III, der Wiese. It … Continue reading

March 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Gregor Mendel

Johann Mendel (1822-1884) was born in Heinzendorf, Austrian Silesia (Hynčice, Czech Republic). After studying at the University of Olmütz (Olomouc, Czech Republic) Johann joined the Augustinian order at the Altbrünn … Continue reading

February 15, 2014 · 2 Comments

Danube

The Danube rises in the Black Forest in the Fürstenberg Park at Donaueschingen where a plaque reminds visitors that Hier entspringt die Donau. The river in its various guises as … Continue reading

February 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Europeenses part 3

Following the Second World War Europe found itself devastated. Thirty to forty million people had perished during the conflagration, cities lay in ruins, agricultural and industrial output was dramatically reduced, … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

On the nature of things

Encyclopaedia n. a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or many aspects of one subject, typically arranged alphabetically.” Concise OED, 11th edition, 470. Derived from the Greek … Continue reading

December 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

Druckpresse

Mainz (1455), Strasbourg (1458), Cologne (1465), Rome (1467), Augsburg, Basel and  (1468), Nuremberg and Paris (1470), Cracow, Bruges, Buda, and Barcelona (1473), London and Gouda (1477), Leipzig (1481), Vienna and … Continue reading

December 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Europeenses, part 2

The Duc de Sully’s ‘Great Design’ for an all-Christian universal republic not only excluded the Ottoman’s but also Russia, unless it converted to Catholicism, Lutheranism, or Calvinism. Less than a … Continue reading

December 21, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rhine

Der Rhein rises in two headstreams in the Swiss Alps, the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein, which meet at Reichenau above Chur. The river in its various guises as the Rhein, … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Europeenses

Aachen is the disputed birthplace and favoured winter residence of Karl der Grosse (c. 747 – 814), more popularly known as Charlemagne in the English speaking world, whose kingdom at … Continue reading

December 13, 2013 · 2 Comments

Noordzee: Vikings in Frisia

The entry for the year 800 in the Annales Regni Francorum tells us that Charlemagne built a fleet on the Gallic (North) Sea which was infested with pirates. Though not … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · 1 Comment

Noordzee

Radio 4 listeners will be familiar with the mantra Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames, Dover, the tone poem of the … Continue reading

December 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Flood myths

“One day it chanced that the supreme god Pramzimas was looking out of a window of his heavenly house, and surveying the world from this coign of vantage he could … Continue reading

December 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Great European Plain

Despite their symbolism in the minds eye of the English the white Cliffs of Dover, far from marking the boundary of England and separating Britain from the Continent, are in … Continue reading

December 2, 2013 · Leave a comment