Santo Domingo: The New World’s Oldest City

By |2018-06-12T14:20:11-04:00April 3rd, 2014|Articles|

Christmas day 1492, a clumsy cargo ship runs aground on the north coast of present-day Haiti. Emerging from the Santa Maria was Italian-born explorer, Christopher Columbus. Not exactly the Orient he was in search of, but nevertheless this “beautiful island paradise” would please his benefactors. After receiving a generous welcome from the native Taínos, Columbus promptly claimed the island for [...]

All Roads Lead to Avignon

By |2018-06-12T14:20:12-04:00March 16th, 2014|Articles|

Avignon: Kingdom of the Popes “All roads lead to Avignon” or so went the saying when, in 1305, Pope Clement V moved the papacy from strife-torn Rome to a peaceful, Provencal town in southern France.  This political move shifted the center of Christendom from the Eternal City to the small, papal enclave of Avignon for [...]

On the Grail Trail: Great Britain

By |2018-06-12T14:20:12-04:00March 4th, 2014|Articles|

© A version of this original article by Shawnie Kelley was published in Renaissance Magazine, issue #64. Please do not reproduce any content without permission. On the Grail Trail Christian tradition says the Holy Grail was a cup or bowl used during the Last Supper by Jesus Christ and which, after the crucifixion, held his blood. [...]

Rock of Ages: Edinburgh Castle- Part 2

By |2018-06-12T14:20:15-04:00January 16th, 2014|Articles|

The years following Scotland’s independence, Edinburgh Castle grew into a true royal residence. Robert the Bruce’s son, David II (1356-71) rebuilt the castle.  Well-House Tower was built to protect the water supply, allowing occupants to hold out during long sieges. In 1367, he commissioned the massive L-shaped tower, now known as David’s Tower, but would not live to see [...]

Rock of Ages: Edinburgh Castle- Part 1

By |2018-06-12T14:20:15-04:00January 8th, 2014|Articles|

One of the most recognizable fortresses in the world rears up from a volcanic crag in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. There is a magical resonance about the mighty Edinburgh Castle, which is seemingly buttressed by the living earth; permanently affixed to Castle Rock.  Anyone trekking up the steep streets through the castle’s zigzagging terraces [...]

The Feast of Fools : New Year to Mardi Gras (Part 2)

By |2018-06-12T14:20:15-04:00January 1st, 2014|Articles|

The Party’s Not Over The Feast of Fools evolved for a thousand years, becoming most popular in France and Great Britain, but reached into Spain, Italy and Germany. By the fifteenth century, the church had enough of the mockery and put an end to the merrymaking by deeming it blasphemous and illegal. However, by the 1540s the Feast [...]

The Feast of Fools : New Year to Mardi Gras (Part 1)

By |2018-06-12T14:20:15-04:00December 31st, 2013|Articles|

Throughout the Middle Ages and well into the Elizabethan period, Christmas was an austere and holy season, full of fasting and stringent religious rules. By time January rolled around, people were ready to cut loose. On the first day of January, Europeans came together for a celebration known as the Feast of Fools. The Feast [...]

All Roads Lead to Avignon

By |2018-06-12T14:20:16-04:00November 3rd, 2013|Articles|

by Shawnie Kelley Avignon: Kingdom of the Popes “All roads lead to Avignon” or so went the saying when, in 1305, Pope Clement V moved the papacy from strife-torn Rome to a peaceful, Provencal town in southern France.  This political move shifted the center of Christendom from the Eternal City to the small, papal enclave [...]