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Discovery


Exploring the unexplored

THE MAHARAJAHS OF INDORE

Prince Richard Holkar is the only male heir to Indore’s powerful dynasty of maharajahs. It is by no means an ancient dynasty, but revealed itself to be particularly remarkable and marked by rather original figures. Richard’s great-great-grandfather, the Maharajah of the time, was a local boxing champion.                …

THE EMPEROR AKBAR’S WIVES

  Like all great sovereigns, the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great, had an immense harem, but only a limited number of wives. Naturally, one of them was a Muslim. And his favourite was the Princess of Jaipur. She was a Hindu, and her marriage with the Emperor was a symbol of his tolerance and above…

Alwar

In the early 19th century, the Maharaja of Alwar, a princely state south of Delhi, was a tall and remarkably handsome man. He was also a rather scandalous character surrounded by a number of strange rumours. The British had little to do with him until he committed what they saw as an unforgivable crime. The…

Inca Secrets

During the 1970s, Marina and I took a three-month voyage to Latin America. Our travels brought us to Peru, and in particular to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arriving, we started our journey by resting in the airport for a few hours to acclimate to the altitude. We then made our…

Maheshwar

Maheshwar is one of the most enchanting places in India, not far from the city of Indore and others built not by a king but by a queen. At the end of the 18th century, the Maharani of Indore, Ahilya, was a widow and the regent of her young son. Over the years, she exercised…

Aleppo

Having previously posted my memories of Palmyra, which has since been destroyed, I wish to do the same for Aleppo, a city I knew it all its glory, which is unfortunately succumbing to the same fate, progressively crumbling and collapsing before our eyes under the weight of civil war and bombs. The Souk of Aleppo…

France

In 1948 we left Spain, crossing the Bidassoa bridge on foot while dragging our luggage to catch the train to Paris. There were still, on certain streets, slabs of wood that had been installed at the turn of the century to damped the sounds of the large wheels of the horse drawn carriages. I remember…

Spain

In 1944, my grandmother, our host, informed us that she no longer had enough money to support us. In reality, the war had interrupted all international financial transfers. We now had to find another refuge. Everyone left in different directions. My mother took me to Malaga, in Spain. Franco was ruling. After his victory over…

A Greek Prince in Morocco

My parents were living in Rome when I was born in January of 1939. In January of the following year my father died, and my mother decided to move to Greece, owing to the wishes of my father that I be raised Greek. But she received word from Greece that the situation was much too…

Mystras

During the Middle Ages, the Crusaders, while on their way to liberate Jerusalem, repeatedly stopped and conquered small parts of the Byzantine Empire, establishing principalities and naming rulers. Consequently, many French, Spanish, and Italian colonies were to be found scattered throughout Greece, the legacy of which is seen today through the number of Catholics in certain areas. They built fortified…