From the dawn of time, men have fantasized about the ability to fly. The Greek myth about Icarus and Daedalus and their artificial wings, entrenched in our collective identity, influenced the imagination of continuous generations of Europeans. In the second half of the 18th century, humanity took a giant leap towards conquering the skies, and Europe went crazy over a new phenomenon: ballooning.
Danger lurks at every corner. People trembled at the thought of war or a silently creeping deadly plague, and each natural disaster meant uncertainty and a struggle to survive. Apart from those threats, our ancestors feared the very tangible Evil lurking in the shadows on the verge of reality. The dead returning from the afterlife and the monsters hiding in the vast forests were as real as a flood or drought. It was not only a fairy tale of peasants,…
For centuries, the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Ottoman Empire has been intertwined. The border between the two countries was uneasy, and the stake of competition was control over the lands lying in the Black Sea basin. The Tatar invasions kept the Polish king awake, while the Sultan had a similar problem with the Zaporozhian Cossack excursions. However, in times of peace, trade and cultural exchange flourished. Nevertheless, it was hard to find competent translators…
The Polish-Hungarian friendship is still present in the collective psyches of both nations. Although, contrary to popular opinion, relations between the countries were sometimes tense (it is enough to mention the politics of Gábor Bethlen or Imre Thököly), the state border between the two kingdoms was exceptionally peaceful. This was reflected in the mutual penetration of cultures.
The town of Smorgonie, although small, was a picturesque place. Located on the left bank of the Wilia River, Smorgonie was one of the points on an important trade route connecting Królewiec, Vilnius, and Moscow. The town was located at the junction of two worlds: Lithuanian (and thus Catholic) and Ruthenian (Orthodox). In the 17th century, another element was added to this colorful mosaic: the bear training school.
An Example of which, Sir, you may have in the word »Chrzeszcz« (Scarabeaus, a Gad-Flie), this, with divers others in the Polish Tongue, scarce the Natives themselves are able to Pronounce…
Foreign cuisine always fascinates us. Intuitively, we know what to expect from French, Portuguese, or Italian cuisine. In the past centuries, just like today, learning about culinary habits was an essential part of the journey. Let’s sneak into the old kitchen and see what inhabitants of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth did eat!
Kamianets-Podilskyi/Kamieniec Podolski: one of the most important fortresses of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This castle was substantial in keeping the southern borders of the country safe against the Turkish and Tatar forces. Around the stronghold grew a city, surrounded by waters of Smotrych River.
Although nominally Commonwealth was a federation of Polish and Lithuanian states, it was home to much more nations and ethnic groups. Among them were Cossacks – freedom-loving warriors of the Ukrainian steppes.
He was just fourteen when he left Aberdeenshire in 1658. Alexander could not know it back then, but a bright future awaited him. Chalmers became a successful merchant, but his ambition was much bigger – he desired political power.