hidden europe

Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

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Memorial to Father Hendrik in the Altes Land village of Steinkirchen, Germany. He was the symbolic leader of the first Dutch settlers who moved to the area in the 12th century (photo © hidden europe).

A Visit to the Old Country

Beside the River Elbe, just downstream from Hamburg, lies the Altes Land. It is one of Europe's most intensive areas of fruit cultivation. Apples, raspberries, cherries and plums aplenty in a region which owes much to early Dutch ...
This tower in Lago di Resia (Reschensee) in Italy’s Alto Adige region is all that remains of the old parish church of Graun-im-Vinschgau (photo © hidden europe)

Silent witness
  

Discover the extraordinary story of how an Italian village was sacrificed to provide hydro-electric power for Switzerland. The evacuation of Curon Venosta (or Graun-im-Vinschgau in German) was a tragedy. Today the church campanile rises serenely ...
The ‘temple’ of Walhalla in the Danube Valleyappeals to classical style in its homage to the German nation (photo © hidden europe).

No space for Marx
  

A mock Greek temple on a bluff above the River Danube turns out to be a good spot to reflect on what it means to be German. Walhalla is a national hall of fame - a sort of Bavarian version of the Panthéon in ...
The school in the Austrian village of Jungholz could soon be welcoming pupils from the nearby German village of Unterjoch (photo © hidden europe).

Divided loyalties: Jungholz

The village of Jungholz lies at an altitude of just over 1000 metres in the Alps. At this time of years, the Alpine meadows are full of wild flowers. So Jungholz is a pretty spot. But it is also exceptional in that it is a diamond-shaped piece of ...
Like two giant molars that guard access to the mountains: Puig Alaró (left) and Puig de s'Alcadena (right) (photo © hidden europe).

Oriental dreams
  

We explore an Eden which has its apple orchards, running waters and beautiful gardens. There is even a touch of the East about this unlikely Eden. It is only the minarets that are missing on our journey past the silent monastery of Petra to a ...
Waiting for fried fish in Cádiz (photo © hidden europe).

Fried fish in Cádiz
  

"Cádiz is pretty in a way peculiar to itself." And that's as true today as it was when a traveller penned those words 200 years ago. The most important Atlantic port in Andalucía played a key role in mediating Spain's relationship with the ...

Porto Santo: a desert island?
  

The North Atlantic island that was once home to Christopher Columbus is a mainstream tourist destination. But that did not stop Europe's media from inventively recreating it as a remote desert island to make a good news ...

The city of St George: Genoa

The port city of Genoa commanded huge influence on account of its mercantile acumen and its early schemes for the management of public debt, which paved the way for modern banking. Today the city of St George still has the face of ...

Hidden cavities
  

The Etruscans did it and so did mediaeval Christians. Teeth and toothache have long been stimuli for travel. We explore the current fad for dental tourism, and alight upon Sopron in Hungary and Kobarid in ...

Cultivating the soul

We refresh our wearied and wandering minds in two intriguing gardens. We visit a secret garden in Prague, and hidden europe reader Mervyn Benford reports on a humble Swedish postman who followed in Linnaeus' ...

Temples of pleasure
  

Many modern shopping centres are parodies of the elegant glazed arcades that were, in many nineteenth-century European cities, focal points for shopping and relaxation. From Brussels to Milan, Cardiff to Genoa the arcaded gallery became a byword ...

Expo architecture
  

Expo is back in the news with Milan having just been selected to host the 2015 World Fair. At their best, Expos have served as a boost to imaginative urban regeneration. We look at the Expo legacy in various European ...

City credentials
  

Is Tromsø really the Paris of the North? Or does the title more properly belong to St Petersburg? And the Rome of the North: Is that Cologne, Prague or the Glasgow suburb of ...

Form and function: Dessau
  

The Dessau Bauhaus was the creative focus for a galaxy of talented artists, architects and designers, among them Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Mies van der Rohe. We explore the small town of Dessau in eastern ...