Why We Adore Castle Ruins: Hohenfreyberg and Eisenberg, Germany

Castle ruins of Eisenberg, Germany.

Ruins of the castle of Eisenberg, Germany.

It seems that some of us prefer ruins to whatever these ruins were before the deterioration: castle, estate, or palace. Why? Is not it better to admire the decorated ceilings of the Vatican; the interiors of Versailles, France; or the marble floors of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta? Undoubtedly. But just imagine what our descendants will see in these places, if they find them in ruins (heaven forbid) as we found ruins of temples in Angkor, Cambodia, Cathar castles on the rocks of Languedoc, France, or the heroes of today’s story, the castle ruins of Hohenfreyberg and Eisenberg in Bavaria, Germany.

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La Scarzuola, Umbria: New Life of St. Francis Monastery

By Irina.

The ideal city of La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy.

The ideal city of La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy.

We stumbled upon the information on the St. Francis Monastery, La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy, accidentally. Its pictures in the Internet looked like a hello from a wonderful private estate, Quinta da Rigaleira, Sintra, Portugal, that we visited a couple of years ago. Then we found the website of La Scarzuola with minimal historic information, but with an Italian telephone number and email. So, it was possible to agree on the date and time of our visit. Why?

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Pavlovsk Palace: Not so Much a Palace as a “Home, Sweet Home” of Russian Emperors

The Greek Hall of the Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, Russia.

The Greek Hall of the Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, Russia.

On September 3, 1941, the first Nazi tank was entering Pavlovsk from the west. The last Soviet tank was leaving the city, desperately shooting back with covering fire for three trucks. There were a driver and a woman in a lilac beret in the last truck. She was carrying a treasure that an uninformed person could have mistaken for a pile of garbage, just junk. But she knew better. She was sure the Pavlovsk Palace would be demolished by Nazis. She was also sure she would come back with Russian tanks, retake the former residence of Russian emperors and empress, and restore it down to the smallest detail. And this “garbage” would help her to do it.

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