Russian architecture is a sight to behold, no matter the context. However, if you happen to find yourself along the banks of the Volga River in the proud republic of Tatarstan, you’ll be sure to notice an imposing and colorful building, festooned with balustrades and steeples, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And that’s as it should be. Because, quite simply, there is no building in the world like the Universal Temple.
Just a stone’s throw away from Florence’s busy Santa Maria Novella train station stands a 600-year-old pharmacy that started as an infirmary. This establishment is renowned for creating sweet-smelling elixirs and skincare products that draw customers from around the world. Beyond selling modern-day perfumes and cosmetics, Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a preserve of ancient monastic history and tradition. Read along to find out more about this unique, centuries-old pharmacy that may be the oldest in the world today.
In the quaint Romanian town of Săpânţa, the local Merry Cemetery features a colorful tableau of more than 800 grave markers that manage to elicit emotions that are uncharacteristic of traditional burial grounds. Somber slate and graphite mounds are replaced with colorful wooden crosses—each depicting, in almost playful detail, the life and death of each of the town’s former residents.
Sarasota, Florida, can elicit many different images: sunny beaches, lush golf courses, groves of orange trees. The possibilities are endless – it’s a veritable paradise for outsiders looking to escape the year-round doldrums.
A haven of heritage and hospitality awaits guests of Le Monastère des Augustines, a hotel and wellness center operating out of the historic wings of a former monastery in Québec City.
Few patron saints have birthed polarizing legacies as lasting as Saint Valentine. Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, is a recognized holiday, occurring each year on February 14, wherein lovers exchange gifts and indulge in pleasantries. Alternatively, the unattached are often left to feel castigated for their failures to find a partner. Whatever your thoughts on the occasion, Saint Valentine’s history is as important as it is fascinating and murky.
In the remote Mountain Province of Sagada, Philippines, the natives practice a burial ritual that draws curious visitors and photographers from countries all over the world. For over 2,000 years, the Sagada people have laid their deceased residents to rest in coffins that dangle from the side of Sagada’s steep Echo Valley cliffs as well as inside its many caves.
One of the most compelling figures to emerge from World War II wasn’t a military hero or a world leader. It was a young Jewish girl with a front-row seat to the Holocaust, who kept a diary of her most candid thoughts and observations. Her story serves as a reminder of the horrors of antisemitism, racism, and discrimination, even today.
For years, Santa Claus has been busy “making his list and checking it twice,” but the man in the red suit has come a long way from his humble beginnings to the Santa the world knows and loves today.
Christmas trees are a beloved tradition for people all over the world, symbolizing the end of the year and the joy of the holiday season. Long thought of as a religious symbol, it may come as a surprise that the earliest origin of the Christmas tree dates back to ancient, paganistic rituals.