Potsdam and Frederick the Great

Another day in Europe, another palace. Just as frequent European travelers can talk about “church fatigue,” where beautiful churches all over the continent begin to dull and blend together, so, too, is palace fatigue a real thing. And yet, we are drawn to them, to these shining ego projects built by the crowned heads of…

Berlin, the Nazis, and Now

Walking around Berlin can be a little eerie, especially to a Jewish guy like me. From here, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did their best to exterminate my people. And traces are all over, from historical signage talking about what a building was under the Reich, to memorials, to museums. Despite how much exposure I…

Germany’s Rhineland

Editor’s note: Like Sam, I loved my time in the Rhine Valley, although I based myself in Bonn and Cologne rather than south as he did. His take on the religious history of the region is amazing, a wonderful contrast to my own experience. For more of Sam Spector’s adventures, click here to visit his…

How to Experience the Berlin Wall

In August of 1961, construction began on what was to become the Berlin Wall. An already divided Berlin in an already divided Germany would be saddled with a concrete monstrosity that would become the symbol of the Cold War. The wall would encircle all of West Berlin, stretching 96 miles, dividing it from both East…

Paris’ Musee D’Orsay

What qualities go into a great museum? For me, there are a few. A great museum has to start with a great collection. Whether it’s art, antiquities, or anything else, a museum cannot be truly great without a world class collection. Secondly, it has to have a good physical space. A beautiful view, a historic…