El Escorial is one of Europe’s largest and most magnificent royal buildings. It’s a palace, basilica, monastery, art gallery, museum, library and royal mausoleum first started in the 16th century. This architectural wonder overflows with great sculpture, paintings, frescos, inlaid wood and marble, stunning tapestries, extensive gardens and an incomparable mausoleum where Spain’s deceased royalty
Intro: One of the most glittering sights in England is not the ‘crown jewels’ exhibit in the Tower of London. Rather, ninety miles north in the city of Stourbridge thousands of crystalline products dazzle the eye and impress the visitor inside numerous glass factories-all open to the public.
The rugged highlands contain Croatia’s wartime ghosts. During the Balkan Wars in the 1990’sCroats, Muslim Bosnians and Serbs attacked one another in a bizarre checkboard holocaust as the federation of Yugoslavia fell bloodily apart. In Croatia, the so-called Croatian War of Independence was first waged between Croatian police forces and the Serbs living in the
Sweden is the third largest country by area in Western Europe and fourth in all of Europe, with a total population slightly over 9 million. Sweden is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe and possibly the world when it comes to laws surrounding homosexuality. Due to the strong sense of
Greece is essentially divided into two halves – the mainland and the islands. This photo gallery is of the islands. (See the mainland gallery here) The Greek Islands are a collection of over 6,000 islands and islets that belong to Greece. Only 227 of the islands are inhabited, and only 78 of those have more
The hill town of Taormina is a small slice of paradise overlooking the sea and Mount Etna. Old stone houses and shops line the cobblestone streets as people pause in outdoor cafes for coffee and a pastry or wander the narrow lanes viewing the art galleries. The quiescence today masks a colorful gay history that
Auschwitz was the largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. Its remains are located in Poland approximately 50 kilometers west of Kraków and 286 kilometers south from Warsaw. The camp took its name from the nearby town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz in German). Birkenau, the German translation of Brzezinka, refers to the many birch trees surrounding the
Kraków is one of the largest and oldest cities in Poland, with a population of 756,336 in 2007. It has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish scientific, cultural and artistic life. As the former national capital with a history encompassing more than a thousand years, the city remains the spiritual heart of
Introduction: The following two stories about LGBT folks in Russia are by guest writers who have been to the major gay cities in Russia–Moscow and St. Petersburg. My own experience of Russia last year was far away in Siberia via the Trans-Siberian railroad from Beijing to Ekaterinburg then back to Vladivostok. The cities along the
Almagro, a charming town of 14,000 declared as a Historic-Artistic Site, lies in the county of Campo de Calatrava near Ciudad Real, south of Madrid. The history of this town in La Mancha is closely linked to the history of the theatre, as one can appreciate in the Open Air Theatre, the National Theatre Museum
Intro: Switzerland is my land of heritage, a land where I have roamed great mountains, savored dark chocolate and been reunited with distant cousins. Gay life in this old country is alive and vital and as fresh as other major European cities. But even in tidy and efficient Switzerland love is never a course that always runs smooth.
Introduction From the far reaches on the steppes of Eurasia, a American gay couple residing in Ukraine write about their experience in this difficult new nation: “For the gay male tourist, you are truly in the land of beautiful boys (no attitude and no body fascism). Of course, we are not as exciting as Berlin
Greece is essentially divided into two hakves – the mainland and the islands. This photo gallery is of the mainland. (See the islands gallery here) Greece lies at the juncture of Europe, Asia and Africa. It is heir to the heritages of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire, and nearly four centuries of
Intro: I visited Iceland many years ago as a young student on my way to study Shakespeare in England. Our Icelandic Airlines prop jet had to land for a day in Reykjavik for repairs and we were taken on a local tour of this unique island nation. I recall the clearness of things: the air, the sky, the water. The landscape oozed with rising thermal steam. Our hosts were cheerful, outgoing and clear-headed.
Decades later it comes as no surprise that Iceland is now one of the most liberal countries in dispensing fairness and equality to its homosexual citizens. Not perfect, but very close. It comes from a Scandinavian egalitarian heritage, of Viking durability; from Hanseatic justice and modern Nordic progressive-mindedness. I have not returned to visit Iceland as a gay adult yet, so the following seven articles about Iceland have been taken from various Internet sites that offer a variety of insights about living gay in modern Iceland. My own story will appear after my second visit–soon.
On March 10, 2007 a huge demonstration was held by Arcigay, Italy’s national LGBT rights organization, to urge government passage of domestic partnerships (DiCo) benefits. Such legislation was up for likely approval until Prime Minister Prodi and his ruling coalition received a ‘no confidence’ vote (in February, over a separate issue) and had to resign.
There are homosexuals in Macedonia, although no one wants to speak about them since they are stigmatized because they’re different. In Macedonia, if you say you’re homosexual, you could get insulted in public, laid off from work or beaten in the streets. (this is rare). The laws allow you to legally be homosexual, but in reality there’s no way for LGBT people to celebrate in public or expect protection from discrimination.
Lancut Castle in the town of Lancut. The town in south-eastern Poland, with about 20,000 inhabitants. In the middle of the town is Lancut Castle, a grand aristocratic palace residence, last owned until 1944 by the Potocki family. It was first built in the years 1629-1641 and reconstructed many times since. The palace is currently
Intro: Despite daunting persecution of gays in many countires, a guest author surveys mid-nineties optimistic gains in gay expression, gay pride activity and legal status around the world. Bangkok by John Duvoli The Economist Revised June 1, 2008 Photos by Richard Ammon Across the world a radical idea about homosexuals is gaining ground:
Cordoba is a city of 315,000 that presents Spain’s long history as a Muslim and Christian country. The old city vibrates with cafes, restaurants, museums, landmarks and narrow streets. The ancient Mezquita (8th century Mosque, now a church) is an architectural wonder with its cross influences of Islam and Christianity. Nearby is the Alcazar that
Switzerland is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7.6 million people in Western Europe with an area of 41,285 km2. The country is a federal republic consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country’s economic centres are its two global cities, Geneva and especially Zürich. Switzerland
Intro: This ‘quaint’ city in the heart of England is home to the world’s most famous writer, Shakespeare. I studied here, went to the theatre here, lived with a local family, visited all the Shakespeare properties and was forever spoiled by the charm, intellect and history of this ‘shrine’.
Jicin is a pleasant picturesque town northeast of Prague in the Czech Republic. In 1710 the town became a property of the House of Trauttmansdorff, which meant the arrival of the period of High Baroque, during which many constructions were completed. The historical center has been declared a Municipal Reserve because of its big well-preserved
by Stuart Haggas Passport Magazine July 2009 Said to be named after Mykons, the grandson of the god Apollo, the Greek island of Mykonos is a legend in its own right. The ancient Greek celebration of homosexuality and male beauty, and their penchant for decadence and debauchery, still flourish here during the midsummer heat. Famous