Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: History

Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus of Rhodes

The ancient Greeks called gigantic statues colossi. First they saw them in Egypt. Then they began to errect such statues themselves. Of all the colossi ever built in ancient times, the Colossus of Rhodes was probably the most famous.
Rhodes, an island in the Aegean Sea, was one of the richest and most powerful states. The Rhodians worshipped Helios, the sun god. According to legend, he ordered to lift Rhodes from the sea bottom. Many statues of Helios decorated the temples of Rhodes. His image was depicted on the coins.
In ancient times, the Rhodians were independent traders. They were skilful seafarers, too. Their merchants sailed as far as Sicily and Africa. It is not surprising that Rhodes had many allies. Egypt was one of them. But, as it often happens, Rhodes had powerful enemies, too.
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Astrid Lindgren – request stop

Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren was a great Swedish writer. Readers of the twentieth century named her “Storyteller number one”. Fellow writers gave her Gold Medal. Statistics say that if you take all the editions of her books, you get 175 Eiffel Towers. But she wasn’t going to be a storyteller at all.
Astrid Ericsson (the birth name of the writer) was born in Småland, province of Sweden, in 1907. At school, she fell in love with her classmate. The result of the “great feeling” was Astrid’s pregnancy and an ardent admirer suddenly disappeared from her life. It was a tragedy. If anybody had learned about it, it sure would have been a great shame. Therefore, parents sent their daughter to Stockholm. Big city hid “the little sin” of the girl. Astrid gave birth to a son and named him Lars. The young girl became a secretary in a small company. She was very hardworking, could arrange any meeting and maintain a conversation with any client. Other firms also wanted to have a brilliant worker. Sture Lindgren, charming chef, solved the problem simply and elegantly: he made a marriage proposal to Astrid. However, the fairy tale of Cinderella, who married the boss, didn’t end as desired. Mr. Lindgren became a director of the Swedish Automobile Trade Association and began to drink, waste money and spend months somewhere, forgetting about the family. By that time his daughter Karin was born. And Astrid understood why the tale of Cinderella ended with a wedding. Because it’s an end of a happy life, then follow gray days. When her husband died in 1952, Astrid decided not to get married again.
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Abbey in Sherwood Forest

Newstead Abbey

Newstead Abbey

As you know, the most cherished homes are in England. They say – “My home is my fortress.” This is understandable. In Europe for hundreds of centuries winds of wars and revolutions not only killed people but also destroyed their homes. And in England you can see buildings date back to XII century – churches and monasteries, houses and ancestral homes. And one of the most famous houses is Byron family home. Here you can visually track how great the influence of the home on its inhabitants is.
Everybody knows about famous Sherwood Forest, the place where legendary robber Robin Hood “hunted” rich people. But few people know that the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron is in the same forest. Until 1533 the manor, vast land and forest lake belonged to a rich Newstead Abbey, which peacefully owned them for more than three centuries. However, Catholic monasteries were deprived of their wealth and homes by the decree of Henry VIII. Luxury goods and money, of course, were moved to the treasury, but the building and land were given to king’s favorites. So the Byrons were presented with the former possessions of Newstead Abbey.
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Pharos of Alexandria

Pharos of Alexandria

Pharos of Alexandria

You have probably heard about Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great. This place was famous for a unique library which contained about 500,000 manuscripts, and, of course, for a remarkable lighthouse, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
If you look up the word “lighthouse” in the French, Italian or Spanish dictionaries, you will find pharos. Pharos was the name of the island in the harbour of Alexandria where the famous lighthouse once stood. Later the lighthouse came to be known as the Pharos of Alexandria.
Why was is so famous? There are many reasons. The Pharos of Alexandria was the tallest building on Earth. It was one of the most elegant structures ever built in ancient times. Its mirror was a mystery. It fascinated scientists and filled people with awe. It could reflect the light more than fifty kilometres away. Legend says this mysterious mirror could even detect and burn enemy ships before they could reach the shore. So amazing was this structure, that it by right earned its place in the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But of all the wonders only the Pharos of Alexandria had a practical use.
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Land of mountains, lochs and legends

A land of mountains, lochs and legends

A land of mountains, lochs and legends


My heart’s in the Highlands,
My heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer,
A-chasing wild deer and following the roe —
My hearts in the Highlands wherever I go…
Robert Burns

When you hear the word Scotland, what do you imagine? Probably, the men in chequered skirts, dull and sad sounds of bagpipes, gloomy grey castles on rocks, tasteless oatmeal porridge in the morning, fat sheep scattered in the green valleys, a lot of waste land, heather moors and almost no people, mysterious lochs with their monsters, smoking haggis and a very strange, almost non-understandable English…
Is this a true picture? Tо answer the question, let’s have a closer look at this mysterious country of legends and rich history, Scotland…
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Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Temple of Artemis

Temple of Artemis

According to legend, the founders of the famous city of Ephesus were the Amazons, a race of women warriors. In the 6th century BC, Ephesus reached its heyday and became an important trading and banking centre of Asia Minor. The Ephesians wanted the world to know about their wealth and decided to win fame by building a magnificent temple to Artemis, goddess of wild nature and hunting. She was the city’s protectress.
All the great cities of Asia Minor took part in the construction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Croesus, a fabulously rich king of Lydia, also contributed to the building fund. He presented marble columns to the temple.
Temples played an important role in the life of the ancient Greeks. They were not only sanctuaries, but also served as archives and treasuries, where the state money and the most valuable things of art were kept.
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Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Statue of Zeus

Statue of Zeus

Legendary Olympia… The sacred place of all-knowing and all-seeing Zeus… The place where he defeated Cronus, his father, and then became the king of the gods… The place which gave its name to the Olympic Games…
In about 450 BC, a magnificent temple was built at Olympia. The temple was devoted to Zeus, god of thunder, lightning and rain, and it was to surpass in beauty and grandeur all the other temples existing in Greece at that time. However, for some time it had no proper statue of the king of the gods. That is why the citizens of Olympia decided to invite the Athenian sculptor Pheidias for the sacred task of errecting the statue of Zeus. By that time, Pheidias had already made two magnificent statues of the goddess Athena in Athens and developed a technique to build enormous gold and ivory statues.
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