The Selfie-Obsessed Countess of Vanity

The Selfie-Obsessed Countess of Vanity

She wasn’t the most likeable character of her time. Once rumoured to be the most beautiful woman in 19th century Europe, a queen of both style and drama; model, mistress, self-appointed muse, narcissist; if there’s one thing to know about the Italian Countess de Castiglione– it’s that she was seriously vain. Shipped off to Paris in 1856 to compete for the affection of the reigning King Napoleon III, she wasted no time weaving herself into a highly scandalous affair with the crown, all the while cultivating her own celebrity through hundreds of elaborate, self-directed photo shoots. At a time when photography was still in its infancy, the Countess had a body of work that could be compared to Kim Kardashian’s selfie collection.… Read the rest

Rocamadour—The Vertical Village

Since medieval times, the village of Rocamadour in the Occitanie region of southwestern France has attracted pilgrims from across Europe for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is said that Saint Amator—thought to be the Biblical tax collector of Jericho, Zacheus—had lived and died here, shortly after he left Jerusalem. Legend has it that after St Amator's body was discovered, several miracles started to happen, and as the healing powers of Amator's remains became known, the site began attracting pilgrims and donations from French kings and queens allowing the site to grow into a village with several shrines and places of worship. Eventually, Rocamadour became an important stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Campostela.


Photo credit: dynamosquito/Flickr

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A Secret World Hidden Beneath the Vineyards of Champagne

A Secret World Hidden Beneath the Vineyards of Champagne

© Pommery

The Champagne region of France is one of its most famous; home to such grand wine houses, as Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin, Krug, Pommery and Ruinart, as well as dozens of smaller vineyards that make the sparkling wine known the world over. Read the rest

Equihen Plage: The Village of Inverted Boat Houses

Equihen Plage, on the coast of northern France by the English Channel, is a small seaside village with a population of about 3,000. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, Equihen Plage was a fishing village with a dry harbor—the kind where fishing boats were launched into the sea by sliding them on logs. Today, the village is famous for its many inverted boat houses—locally known as “quilles en l'air”—that serve as unique holiday accommodation for travellers.

In the old days, it wasn’t uncommon to find old boats— both upright and inverted—along the coast where they were dragged high and dry upon the shore to be used for habitation. In Charles Dickens' classic novel David Copperfield, Peggotty’s brother lived in such an old boathouse … Read the rest

A Parisian Artist Draws Where’s Waldo-esque Labyrinths Full of Robots

Whether he’s drawing a suburban neighborhood, a day at the zoo, or an industrial robot assembly line, French artist Theo Guignard’s illustrations are easy to get lost in. His drawings are dense, often packed with characters Where’s Waldo-style or maze-like geometric shapes. Guignard pulls in work for magazines like Usbek & Rica, and created a short animated film for Lyft last year. His true fascination seems to lie with robots, including multiple sci-fi worlds in his 2015 book Labyrinths, and tiny androids in several Adventure Time-esque commissions. He also released intricate illustrations of giant robots to tease a new book called Titans, out later this year. Check out his work in the Instagrams below.

Follow Theo Guignard’s work … Read the rest

The Fortress of Mimoyecques

About twenty kilometers from the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, near the hamlet of Mimoyecques, in northern France, lies a once-secret underground Nazi base. Dug out under the limestone hills, the sprawling complex consisted of a network of tunnels linked to five inclined shafts in which Hitler planned to install more than two dozen superguns, called the V-3, all targeted towards London, 165 km away. The base was never completed, and its purpose of attacking London never realized. Had it been successful, the attack on London would have constituted—in Winston Churchill’s own words— "the most devastating attack of all".

Late in the war, the Germans began developing a series of "retaliatory weapons", called Vergeltungswaffen, that were exceptionally long-range for the time. The first in the series, the … Read the rest

Planet of the New Jersey Apes

If you watch the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ with Charlton Heston (NRA President), you’ll see the main character, George Taylor, at the end of the movie walking with the ocean to his right. At the end (sorry to spoil it, but you’ve had 36 years to see for yourself) he comes upon the Statue of Liberty (Thank you, France!) nearly submerged under the risen waters.
This means Charlatan was walking from the south toward Liberty island, which means – The Planet of the Apes is Northern New Jersey.

by the way, the movie was based on a book by Pierre Boulle, who also wrote a book named, ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’… Read the rest