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Mysteries


Strange quirks of history

The Witches’ Well, Gleichenberg, Styria, Austria

Count Trauttmansdorff was presiding over a case of witchcraft, in the great hall of his fortress at Gleichenberg. We may imagine the scene: the Renaissance chairs, the rough medieval masonry, the rich tapestries hanging suspended from rings set in the walls, the narrow windows, the torchlight glimmering on dark wood. One corner of the room was…

Aghia Fonissa

The island of Cythera: I discovered this magical place thanks to one of its great admirers, my friend Fivos. He showed me her treasures, both known and unknown, and in particular, the splendid and terrifying ruins of Palaiochora. – – – – Fivos had a surprise for me. A peak upon which stands a medieval…

The Masked Lady

Introduction: My grandfather, King George I of Greece, was partial to his sister Alexandra. She had married the Prince of Galles, the future King Edward VII of England: the origin of the close ties between the royal families of Greece and England.   In 1910, George I attended the funeral of King Edward VII in London,…

Tomb

The location of Alexander the Great’s remains continues to be one of the great mysteries of history. One that has passionately occupied the minds of generations of experts. According to some, Alexander was ultimately buried in Siwa. I couldn’t miss seeing this site, my hero’s resting place. Since visiting, my opinion had crystallized. – – – –…

Initiation

It was fifteen or twenty years ago. We took the desert road from Cairo to Alexandria, then turned left and continued along the sea until Mersa Matruh, the famous port used by Queen Cleopatra and General Rommel alike. From there, the road turns right, through the desert to the oasis of Siwa, some 200 miles…

Cassandra, La Rocca di Soragna, Parma, Italy

Late one evening, Gian Franco, the Prince of Soragna’s trusty maître d’hôtel retired early to his bedroom on the second floor of the castle of La Rocca di Soragna. There was little work for him to do because the prince and his family were away at their château in Burgundy, inherited from some French ancestor….