Exploring Iron Age burial mounds on the Trail of Princes, Patrick Skinner sets out from the country’s capital on a voyage of archaeological discovery.
Anna Faherty goes in search of the wide open spaces and ancient markers of Mongolia’s remote hinterland.
Richard Hodges explores the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, home to the beautiful ‘bikini girl’ mosaics.
A Roman retreat Eighteen Roman emperors came from Serbia – more than anywhere else outside Italy. One of them was Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus (AD 293-311). Standing in the splendid ruins of his palace at Gamzigrad-Felix Romuliana in eastern Serbia, in the remote lush countryside, I could not help feeling sorry for Galerius. Though […]
Tom St John Gray goes in search of the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. With limited Chinese, I boarded a bus at a busy terminal in Beijing. My destination was one of the most celebrated and imposing of World Heritage Sites, the Great Wall. After being warned about the tourist trap of […]
In the land of the minotaur Early summer, before the start of the school holidays, is the ideal time to visit Knossos: the weather is perfect but, more importantly, there are few cruise ships basking in the harbour at Heraklion, and few holiday-makers to crowd the view. So I found myself wandering the spectacular ruins […]
Modern Italy has its problems, but it also has truly exceptional assets. Its new high-speed trains rate pretty highly on any list of new resources, while of those from the past, Venice – it goes without saying – is truly fuori dal mondo: out of this world. From Rome to Venice on the frecciarossa – […]
Just outside the fortified walls of Mdina, once the capital of Malta, are the remains of a fine example of a Roman townhouse. The Domus Romana was discovered by accident in 1881 by Dr A A Caruana, a pioneer of Maltese archaeology. But as we approached, the lure of the magnificent fortress city, perched high […]
Rome is empty of tourists in late January; Umbria is even emptier, yet on most days there is sunshine for nine hours. Middle Italy’s landscapes are brought into a blissful clarity by the low angle of the sun, which makes a trip outside the Eternal City utterly bewitching. Little over an hour north of Rome […]
Forty minutes north of Budapest, on a bend in the Danube, occupying a strategic point on its western side, lies Visegrád. In Roman times, this was a heavily fortified stretch of the Pannonian limes, controlling some of the richest farming land in Europe. Today, though, its real fascination lies in how Hungary’s smallest town became […]
Exploring a Gallo-Roman grand design The idyllic setting and picturesque ruins of the Gallo-Roman villa at Montmaurin certainly would have appealed to the Romantics of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Set in a rural landscape against the backdrop of grazing animals and the distant white peaks of the Pyrenees, the ruined walls rise up […]
How the mighty have fallen High on a mountain top in a remote part of south-eastern Turkey, the gods congregate at a place known as Mount Nemrut (Nemrud Daği). It is not easy to reach, but definitely worth the climb. After a long trek up the mountain trail to a height of some 2,100m (6,900ft), […]
The World’s Longest Living Town Today, you will only get a view of Erbil Citadel ‘some four miles away’ from the window of a plane: there is a building boom going on in the modern city that surrounds the ancient settlement. Even so, the sight of the great citadel cannot fail to impress. It sits […]
Down on the quayside in front of Oslo’s fabulously functional City Hall, a small queue of tourists gather to catch the ferry that will take us to see some rather older boats – more than a thousand years older, in fact. As we scud across the steely waters of the fjord, past the forbidding walls […]
As the aeroplane circled to land at Athens international airport, I half expected to see a riot on the runway. The hysteria in the press immediately after the first failed spring election in Greece seemed to be paving the way for the end of the world as we have known it. Six months earlier, I […]
Half a dozen of us stood or crouched in the faint dawn light on either side of the great stone doorway, just inside the entrance to the main apse. The odd whispered comment was exchanged, a few words of explanation from our guide, but mostly we waited in silent anticipation, cameras at the ready. We […]
Basking in the eastern Mediterranean sun, Cyprus – legendary birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis – boasts an astonishing wealth of archaeological treasures, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From its absorption into the Hittite Empire c.1400 BC, this small island has been a melting pot of different cultural influences, passing from the hands of one […]
All roads seem to lead to Rome. I once lived here for seven years and now, by way of another capital, Philadelphia, I am back. What is the attraction? Well, few places are steeped in so much history – ancient, Medieval, and modern. Few places, too, mix such energy with history. Forget the problems of […]