Views and Cenotaphs: Lisbon’s Pantheon


Church of Santa Engrácia, Igreja de Santa Engrácia, Lisbon, Portugal There is an old joke in Portugal; if something is never completed, it’s like the Santa Engrácia works (Obras de Santa Engrácia).  The poor Santa Engrácia.  Construction started in 1681… and wasn’t finished until 1966.  That is quite an achievement in procrastination. There is a legend explaining why the church was so…

Escalade Part Four: Night Procession through Geneva


Continued from Part Three In Geneva, Switzerland; 9th/10th December 2017 On Sunday 10th December, Saturday’s events celebrating the Escalade are repeated, and in the evening the weekend’s celebrations reach their climax.  Over 800 people form a procession that marches through old Geneva, looking truly majestic in the dark, with flickering torchlight to guide their way.  It was raining most of…

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Escalade Part Three: The Militia on Manoeuvres


Continued from Part Two In Geneva, Switzerland; 9th/10th December 2017 As there were going to be some re-enactments for the Escalade just outside Geneva Cathedral, we made sure we were in the Square in time.  First we were treated to a sword fight.  The man on the right was also explaining what they were doing, which was interesting, in that…

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Escalade Part Two: Geneva Old Town


Continued from Part One In Geneva, Switzerland; 9th/10th December 2017 The City of Geneva began to celebrate the Escalade in earnest in 1898 with the formation of a Geneva Patriotic Association, renamed in 1926 as the Company of 1602.  The group is in charge of the commemorations, ensuring that all is dignified and accurate, and they organise the reenactments in the…

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Pipes and Aqueducts: All About Roman Water in Nyon


““ÇA COULE DE SOURCE!”: Aqueduc et histoires d’eau dans la Nyon romaine” at the Roman Museum of Nyon, Musée romain de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland Running until June 2019, the Roman Museum in Nyon has an interesting, thoughtful exhibition on the use of water in the Roman world. Anyone who likes the Roman world will, in part, be basing their positive…

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The Surprising World of Roman Nyon


Roman Museum of Nyon, Musée romain de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland As you walk around the museum, it is very striking to see just how intertwined the town’s Roman heritage is with its present.  Not only is the structure of the museum actually within the foundations of the Roman basilica, but many of the objects on display name the street that they…

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The Strange Past of Nyon Castle


Nyon Castle, Château de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland On a dark and stormy afternoon, on the banks of Lake Geneva, the castle perched on the hill in Nyon looked imposing and cold.  The white walls and pointy turrets looked promising, and the thunderbolts that were shooting down all around us made it necessary that we take shelter there regardless. The castle’s…

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