built in the 13th century


The Wieliczka Salt Mine is located in Poland. The mine was built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation. The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels that have been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually

Gateway to Hell in Czech republic?

Houska castle (built in 13th century), and most specifically the chapel, has been constructed over a large hole in the ground that is supposedly ‘The Gateway to Hell’, which was said to be so deep no one could see the bottom of it. Half-animal-half-man creatures were reported to have crawled out of it, and dark winged creatures flew in its vicinity. Legend has it that when construction began in the castle, all the inmates that were sentenced to death were offered a pardon if they consented to be lowered by rope into the hole, and report back on what they saw. When the first person was lowered, he began screaming after a few seconds, and when pulled back to the surface he looked as if he had aged 30 years in just a few seconds. He had grown wrinkles and his hair had turned white, as old folklore tales state.

Houska castle was built with no fortifications, no water, no kitchen, near no trade routes, and with no occupants at its time of completion. The castle was not built as a residence or as a protective sanctuary, but was instead built because the hole was thought to be a gateway to hell. Thus, by constructing the Gothic building, they were able to keep the demons trapped in the lower level thickest walls closest to the hole of the castle.

Ghost Hunters International Season 02, Episode 03 ‘Gates to Hell’ on youtube.com

Houska Castle on Youtube.com, 82 videos! 

source: https://en.wikipedia.org and https://www.youtube.com


Photo Album: Łazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland

Łazienki Park (Polish: Park Łazienkowski or Łazienki Królewskie, literally “Baths Park” or “Royal Baths”; often rendered “Royal Baths Park”) is the largest park in Warsaw, Poland, occupying 76 hectares of the city center.

The name “Łazienki Park” literally translates into English as “the Bath’s Park” but is often referred to as the Royal Baths Park, since the land once belonged to the last Polish King Stanisław II August and was transformed into a park and gardens under his direction. Historically, the park began as a forest to the south of the Ujazdów Castle (which still exists on the edge of the park today), built in the 13th Century by the Dukes of Masovia as their residence until the construction of the Royal Castle in Warsaw’s historic Old Town a century later.


Built in the 13th century, Houska Castle in Prague, Czech Republic is one of the country’s most haunted landmarks. It was built with no fortifications, no water, no kitchen, away from major trade routes, and with no occupants at its time of completion. The castle was not built as a residence or as a protective sanctuary, but was instead built because a large hole, nicknamed “The Gateway to Hell” needed to be covered up. People believe that, by building this huge castle, they were able to keep the demons trapped in the lower level and they built the thickest walls closest to the hole to keep the supposed demons at bay, away from nearby villages. Spooky tales of humanoid creatures and dark-winged creatures flying out of this hole have been reported for centuries, and the ominous castle is host to further paranormal occurrences.


The church of light, Velemér, Hungary

Built in the late 13th century this Romanesque and early Gothic edifice has become world famous thanks to the frescos created by John Aquila around 1377. John Aquila was born in Radkersburg, Austria. Among the frescoes of Velemér church we even find a selfportrait, which was unique in his time.

The church is called the church of light, as the frescoes are arranged so that specific, relevant portions are illuminated by the infalling sunrayes on a special day and date of the year - f.g. the scene of guiding star is illuminated at Christmas, while the Crucifixion at Easter. Actually, this was not something unique at that time, ancient people knew more about astrology as we think.

In Velemér church there are tiny windows placed into the walls, like slots, positioned to take account of changes in the angle of the sun’s rays during the year, and then the frescoes were positioned accordingly.

One of my art history classes this semester is about African art and architecture. I learned about this building above and it’s so cool that I’m gonna share it here.

This is a church called the Bete Gyorgis and was built in somewhere around the early 13th century. It currently resides in Lalibela, Ethiopia.

The thing that’s crazy about this structure is that it wasn’t built “from the ground up” as they say, but down into the ground. The ground in this spot is called tufa, which hardens when exposed to the air. So the builders had to carve downward into this tufa with meticulous detail, slowly revealing the structure to the air.

That’s insane, isn’t it? Zoom in on it and think about how long it must’ve taken to carve it out. It took so long, indeed, that the workers believed that whenever they slept, angels would descend from heaven to continue working on the church at night.


This is Bothwell Castle (at night) by rmtx
Via Flickr:
Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle sited on a high, steep bank, above a bend in the River Clyde, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is located between Uddingston and Bothwell, about 10 miles (16 km) south-east of Glasgow. Construction of the castle was begun in the 13th century by the ancestors of Clan Murray, to guard a strategic crossing point of the Clyde. Bothwell played a key role in Scotland’s Wars of Independence, changing hands several times. The huge cylindrical Donjon was built in the 13th century, but before the rest of the castle was completed it was severely damaged in a series of sieges. Rebuilding in the early 15th century enlarged the castle, but it was abandoned by the 18th century. The present ruin is rectangular, with the remains of the Donjon to the west, and the later Great Hall to the east. The courtyard is enclosed by long curtain walls, with round towers at the south-east and south-west corners.


When Germans, Americans, French, and Slavs fought together during World War II

The Battle for Castle Itter,

On May 5th, 1945, only 5 days after Adolf Hitler’s suicide, a reconnaissance force under Capt. John “Jack” Lee was sent on a special mission to a town called Itter in Austria.  Itter was home to Itter Castle, built in the 13th century, it was a luxurious alpine prison for famous French POW’s including former French Prime Ministers, military generals, trade union leaders, resistance leaders, even a tennis star named Jean Borotra and Charles de Gaulle’s sister.  Also present at the castle were a number of Russian, Czech, Polish, and Yugoslavian prisoners who were used as maintenance workers.  The commander of the town was Major Josef Gangl, who took command when his superior shot himself after learning of the death of Hilter.  Gangl ordered most of his men to return home, sending a message to American forces that he was going to surrender the castle.  Him and 10 German soldiers stayed behind to defend the town from SS reprisals.  In the last months of the war, fanatical German SS units would often murder and execute those who surrendered, regardless if they were soldiers or civilians.

Capt. Lee arrived at Castle Itter shortly after being met by an SS recon force.  It was quite clear that the SS had learned of the surrender of Itter, sending a force of 150 SS soldiers to kill or execute everyone in the castle.  Immediately Capt. Lee set up defensive positions and radioed for reinforcements, however he was not able to raise anyone with his malfunctioning radio.  The ten German garrison troops agreed to stand and fight.  The French and Eastern European prisoners were ordered to hide, but most refused, taking up rifles from the castle’s armory and manning the defenses.  Even the wives and girlfriends of the French prisoners took up arms to fight and hold the line.  Major Gangl contacted the Austrian resistance, who sent two German soldiers who had surrendered a few days before, and a teenage Austrian resistance fighter to join the fight. Altogether, the castle was defended by a motley hodge podge group consisting of 14 American GI’s, 12 German Wehrmacht soldiers, a teenage Austrian resistance fighter, a number of French and Eastern European former prisoners, and a Sherman tank named “Begotten Jenny”.

On 11 o'clock in the morning, SS troops surrounded the castle, opening fire with machine guns, rifles, and an 88mm artillery piece.  The defenders held their ground, repulsing each and every assault.  In the midst of the battle tennis star Jean Borotra pole vaulted the castle walls, and ran as fast as he could, braving the gauntlet of enemy fire to deliver a message to Allied forces.  The battle continued.  By 4:00pm, after 5 hours of hard fighting, the defenders ran out of ammo.  Capt. Lee ordered the defenders to retreat to the castle keep, preparing to fight the SS in hallways and stairways with rifle butts and bayonets.  When the SS prepared their final assault, American reinforcements arrived and ended the battle.  Jean Borotra had survived and successfully made his way to the 142nd Infantry Division.  Around 100 German SS troops were captured.

The battle cost the lives of 7 American soldiers, 6 German soldiers, and a number of former prisoners. The tank “Begotten Jenny” was destroyed as well. Among the dead were Major Gangl, who was killed by a sniper while helping one of the former prisoners to safety. Today, he is considered an Austrian national hero.  Capt. John “Jack” Lee was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery and gallantry in defending Castle Itter.  Three days later, the war officially ended, and Europe was at peace.

Grand Mosque of Djenne - Djenne, Mali

Located on the flood plain of the Bani River, the Grand Mosque of Djenne was built in the 13th century. Considered one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, it is one of the most recognisable buildings in Africa, and is a UNESCO heritage site. 

Anne Boleyn’s Historical Places

Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. 

Blickling Hall is located in the village of Blickling  in Norfolk. The property was in the possession of the Boleyn family, and home to Thomas Boleyn, later Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife Elizabeth between 1499 and 1505.  It is believed to be the birth place of Anne Boleyn (in 1501).

Hever Castle, located in the village of Hever, Kent (30 miles south-east of London) was built in the 13th century. Anne Boleyn, spent her early youth there after her father, Thomas Boleyn, had inherited it in 1505. Anne Boleyn lived there until she was sent to Austria in 1513 to receive an education at the court of the Archduchess Margaret.

Mechelen Palace in Belgium, Anne Boleyn’s home from early 1513 to late 1514. Margaret of Austria, her patroness wrote that she was very pleased with the charming and intelligent ‘la petite Boulan’.

The Thatched Cottage is thought to be the oldest house in the village of Stoke Mandeville. It is said to be where Henry VIII would have clandestine meetings with Anne Boleyn while he was still married to Catherine of Aragon.

Westminster Abbey, where Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England on 1st June 1533. 

Westminster Hall - where Anne Boleyn’s lavish and magnificent coronation banquet was held in 1533.  Over 80 dishes were served during the festivities and one can only imagine that Anne, six months pregnant, must have been exhausted but also overjoyed at having finally attained the ‘mystique of monarchy’

St. James Palace, built by Henry VIII between 1531 and 1536, the palace was intended as a residence for Anne Boleyn but she never saw its completion, only staying 1 night there after her coronation.  

Anne Boleyn’s Cottages, Wendover, Buckinghamshire. Tradition is these cottages were given to Anne Boleyn as a wedding present from Henry VIII.

Tower of London, jewel house entrance. The scaffold where Anne Boleyn was executed stood to the left.

Anne Boleyn’s chamber at the Tower of London 

Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London is the final resting place for Queen Anne Boleyn. 


Castle Coeffin, Scotland

The castle ruins are located on an island called Lismore in Loch Linnhe, Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland.

Coeffin Castle was built on the site of a Viking fortress. The name Coeffin is thought to come from Caifen who was a Viking prince, and whose sister supposedly haunted the castle until her remains were taken back to be buried beside her lover in Norway.

Coeffin Castle was built in the 13th century, probably by the MacDougalls of Lorn. Lismore was an important site within their lordship, being the location of St. Moluag’s Cathedral, seat of the Bishop of Argyll. The first written evidence of the castle occurs in 1469–70, when it was granted to Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy by Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll. It is unlikely to have been occupied in post-medieval times.


the crooked spire of St. Mary’s Church and All Saints in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.. 

The church was built in the 13th century and the spire was built straight, but they used a lot of “green” wood, then added 32 tons of lead, which is what caused the twisting.. of course there are many myths and legends of why this spire is twisted.. Here are a few..

“SHOD DEVIL: The story asserts that a magician persuaded a local blacksmith to shoe the Devil. The man was so nervous that he drove a nail into the Devil’s foot. The Devil flew off howling and, as he was passing the church, felt a twinge of real agony. He lashed out savagely with his foot which caught the Spire and twisted it, leaving also a footprint on one of the buttresses.

VIRGIN: A story of Chaucerian flavour. The spire was so amazed to hear of a virgin being married in the church that it developed its intricate twist in an attempt to see such a wonder with its own eyes. In a slightly amended version the Spire owes its twist to its admiration of a virtuous maiden of such beauty entering the church that the spire bowed in admiration, and could not resume its normal position.

INCENSED DEVIL: Some attribute the deflection to His Satanic Majesty. The legend goes that Lucifer, after a long day’s journey, alighted for a moment on the apex of the Spire. It so happened that midnight mass was being celebrated and that the abundant incense from below so irritated his unholy nostrils that he gave a violent sneeze. He managed to keep his hold with his claws and tail around the Spire; next morning, however, the damage was there for all to see.”