Munich and the Kingdom of Bavaria

The history of Germany is so different from that of most of Western Europe. While countries like Spain, France, and the Netherlands have existed for centuries, in some cases even with relatively unchanged borders, Germany as a country didn’t really exist until 1871, when the German Empire was born, led by the northern kingdom of…

The Habsburg Palaces of Vienna

It’s good to be the king. Well, in this case, it’s good to be the emperor. Or empress. Vienna served as the imperial capital of the Austrian Empire (later the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and was the seat of the Habsburg dynasty. This family had titles ranging from Duke/Duchess to Holy Roman Emperor, and everything between, from…

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…

Versailles and Louis XIV

Well, this is definitely no simple hunting lodge. The palace of Versailles, built by Louis XIV just outside Paris, is one of the most overtly conspicuous displays of wealth and ego ever built, by a monarch for whom wealth and ego were like mother’s milk. Walking around, golden domes, gates, window adornments - golden everything…

The Ultimate Guide to Seville!

For Americans visiting Spain, Barcelona and Madrid seem the focal points. Both are amazing destinations, but seeing only those two cities misses my personal favorite city in Spain: Seville. The capital of Andalusia is one of the cultural highlights of all of Europe, a mid-sized city, easy to explore and with more to do than…

Seville: The Cultural Capital of Spain

Spain is awesome. Let's start with that. Pretty much anywhere you go will be amazing, based on my experience. But for most Americans, a trip to Spain is to Barcelona or Madrid. Both cities are wonderful - check out my Madrid guide here and tune in later for some rad Barcelona content - but they…

Flamenco: The Soul of Seville

Like so many other things in this beautiful southern Spanish city, it appears disjointed at first, three distinct parts, none seeming to match the others, but all coming together in an imperfect perfection that just makes sense. It is an experience that matches the spirit of Seville just as jazz does for New Orleans, capturing…