Find a Historic Site or a Cultural Activity

Best kept secret by history teachers: History is *really* interesting. It’s just that it’s a whole lot more exciting to learn about the ancient Nabateans when you’re riding on a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Petra than to yawn through a history book. From Petra to Kilwa, from the pyramids of the Mundo Mayo to the pyramids of Egypt, from the temples of Thailand to the lost city of Machu Picchu, from the ruins of Athens, Rome, and Stonehenge: Our writers bring you the stories and pictures that bring the past to life. And they take you to living history, as well: to the vibrant arts and cultural attractions that make each destination unique.

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Historic & Cultural Sites: The Bucket List


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Finding Ancient Statues in San Agustin, Colombia

In total, over 500 millennia-plus year-old statues have been rediscovered in the area around San Agustin, many of which are now refurbished and have been returned to the official park site a mile or more outside the town. What’s really cool, though, is that there are still statues throughout the ...
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Speyer Cathedral, Speyer, Germany (photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Exploring Speyer Cathedral, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany

If there were any doubts as to the power and prestige of the German Empire, Speyer Cathedral (the Dom or Kaiserdom in German) would lay them all to rest. Such was the goal of Conrad II, Salian King and Holy Roman Emperor, as he ordered construction of Speyer Cathedral in 1030 ...
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Porta Nigra, Trier, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Exploring Roman Ruins in Trier, Germany, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ante Romam Treveris Stetit Annis Mille Trecentis. Trier stood one thousand three hundred years before Rome. So says the inscription on the front of the Red House in the heart of Trier’s Hauptmarkt square. It’s a bogus claim, one invented by some medieval resident centuries ago. But looking over the wealth of ancient ...
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1314 Battle of Bannockburn

Visiting Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

The fourteenth century archer's right hand pulls his bow string taut. Suddenly, his arrow is released, flying over my head. I turn to see another soldier, his heart pierced by the arrow, stumble and fall. The Interpretive Center at Bannockburn marks the spot where the Scots won a decisive victory over ...
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Getting the Lowdown on Bogota’s Graffiti Culture

When we reached the end of the tour, I was already thoroughly impressed. And then we rounded the corner to discover four massive graffiti murals that just sung of revolution, of angst-y political statement and dissatisfaction. They were commissioned pieces from the some of the top artists around Bogota, and ...
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Diners in Bavarian Dress, Oktoberfest, Germany (photo credit: GNTB/Rainer Kiedrowski)

Celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Germans seldom need an excuse to raise a frothy beer and exclaim “Prost!” But each autumn a new Oktoberfest rolls around, giving locals and tourists as good a reason as any to raise a toast and have another drink. Bavaria’s most famous festival is often called Wiesn by locals, a colloquialism ...
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