Category Archives: architecture

Don Quijote’s Evil Giants

When you first see the windmills on the great hill of Consuegra you will remember Don Quijote. He thought they weren’t windmills but evil giants standing haughtily in front of him; and he bravely tilted his lance and charged. They … Continue reading

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Hawkwood the Soldier of Fortune

This man, painted on the wall of an Italian cathedral way back in 1436,  is an Englishman. The great fresco painting of Giovanni Acuto by Paolo Uccello (1436) (publlic domain photo) What were the Italians doing painting an Englishman in … Continue reading

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How Did They Lift Those Stones?

The Egyptians had to construct ramps and pull the blocks up with ropes and brute force. But the Greeks invented the lifting tongs, the block and tackle, and this ingenious wedge device: the Holivela Holivela Most people have never seen … Continue reading

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Islam in Spain

Córdoba–the Roman Bridge and the Great Mosque by James (Jim) Gordon A long turn in the road and then great Córdoba, shining Córdoba, appears far down across the plain: “lejana y sola”, as in the Lorca poem,  far off and … Continue reading

Posted in 1, Al Andalus, archaeology, architecture, art, Caesar, history, islam, Spain, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Great Pyramid Mystery

I was puzzled by what the old Greek historian Herodotus wrote on the construction of the Great Pyramid. He visited Egypt in about 450 BC and talked with the old priests there and heard their account of the construction of … Continue reading

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The Valley of the Fallen

At Appomattox, at the end of the American Civil War, the surrender of the Southern armies was unconditional. The parlor of the (reconstructed) McLean House, Appomattox Court House, Virginia, site of the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at the … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, history, Madrid, religion, Spain | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments