Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Saint Wolfgang and the Devil

Saint Wolfgang and the Devil, by Michael Pacher (ca. 1475, Alte Pinakothek, Munich)

The painting shows Saint Wolfgang disputing with the devil. According to the legend, Saint Wolfgang argued with the devil admonishing him to help the saint build a church. In the painting, you can just hear the devil say, out of both of his mouths, “Wait a minute, show me in the Bible where it says that!”

next episode: island

Sunday, February 22, 2015

St. Petersburg


Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated (1881) and is dedicated in his memory.

(photos by RfA, 2009)

next episode: Pittsburgh

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Gene Tierney

next episode: St. Petersburg   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Original design of Mount Rushmore

Original design of Mount Rushmore 

The presidents were to be depicted from head to waist, but the sculpture was scaled back due to insufficient funding.

next episode: gene

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sala del Mappamondo (Map Room)

The Sala del Mappamondo (Map Room), Palazzo Farnese 

Sala del Mappamondo (the Globe Hall), Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola, Italy. Painted in 1574 by Giovanni Antonio da Varese (maps) and Giovanni de' Vecchi and Raffaellino da Reggio (portraits of explorers, zodiac on the ceiling).

next episode: more rush

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mont Saint Michel & St Michael's Mount

Mont Saint-Michel, France (

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island 600 metres off the coast of Normandy, France. The size is 0.97  km2 and the island has a population of 44. Since the eighth century AD it has been the seat of the Benedictine Monastery from which it draws its name.

Mont Saint-Michel 

In 1067, the monastery gave its support to William of Normandy in his claim to the throne of England. He rewarded the monks with properties and grounds on the English side of the Channel, including a small island off the south-western coast of Cornwall which was modelled after the Mount and became known as St Michael's Mount.

St Michael's Mount, England. It is about the same height and size as Mont Saint-Michel.

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island 366 m off the coast of Cornwall, England. The size is 0.23 km2, population: around 30.

St Michael's Mount (photo by Jason Hawkes)

The Cornish name is Carrek Los yn Cos, meaning 'grey rock in the woods'. This may represent a folk memory of a time before the area was flooded. Remains of trees have indeed been seen at low tides. The chronicler John of Worcester relates that in the year 1099 St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of November the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

next episode: map room

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Billiard Room

The Billiard Room, Mentmore (by Roger Fenton, ca. 1858) (The J. Paul Getty Museum).

next episode: michael's monts


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