16 Jun Famous Landmarks that almost didn’t survive WWII

 When discussing World War II and its lasting impact on international populations and politics the focus is, rightly, on the human cost of the conflict. Six years of war claimed the lives of over 72,000,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide, and some regions have never regained the prosperity they enjoyed before the battles. Every aspect of society was altered by the massive conflict, which saw the birth America as a superpower, the fall of several empires, the rise of the Soviet Union, and the introduction of some of the most destructive weapons the world has ever seen. During the chaotic war years when the preservation of human life took precedence over all else, innumerable works of art and architecture fell victim to the astounding destruction. Mystery continues to surround the fate of some treasures, including Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael, and the infamous lost Amber Room of the Czars. Though teams of historians and experts have devoted years to finding stolen works, repairing damaged décor, and protecting sites against future damage, it is an imperfect science. As ISIS’ recent destruction of irreplaceable historic sites across Iraq and Syria has taught us, sometimes the survival of iconic buildings and structures is left entirely to the whim of occupying forces. Though it may be easy to despair for the art and history of the Mideast during the current conflicts, it is important to remember that less than 100 years ago the treasures of...

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18 Feb International Sons of Liberty

Calling all history geeks! Last month, the History Channel debuted a new miniseries called “Sons of Liberty”. While meant to be taken more for its entertainment value than its precise historical accuracy (no, Sam Adams was not a brooding, roof-jumping bachelor), I’m confident that “Sons of Liberty” inspired many to learn more about our Founding Fathers. As a former collegiate history major, I love any opportunity to learn more about my favorite subject, and I started to wonder about historical individuals around the world who contributed to their nation’s revolutionary history. Of course, no rebel leader can be without critiques and controversies. And every historical story has multiple sides. But it’s still fascinating to take a look at other “Sons of Liberty” in other nations. What’s even better about these revolutionaries is that there are plenty of monuments to visit while you’re abroad! France – Napoleon Bonaparte Possibly one of the most celebrated and vilified figures of French history is Napoleon Bonaparte. Many know him for his ill-advised attempts to take over Russia, or perhaps his short stature and (rumored) consequential inferiority complex. But his military prowess and political sense allowed him to quickly rise in the ranks during the tail end of the French Revolution, catapulting him to become the head of the nation. Although his autocratic rule may have signaled a shift away from some of the democratic principles of French revolutionaries, Napoleon spearheaded some significant political and social reforms that our own...

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19 Dec December 25: Not Just Jolly

The fact that December 25 is Christmas shouldn’t come as a shock (if it does: Surprise!) As with any other day of the year, a lot happens on the 25th of December: births, deaths, marriages, intrigue, revelations…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! So this year as you gather with your family, keep in mind that on this day there is quite a bit more happening than gift giving and cookies. 5) 1776 – Washington defeats 1,400 Hessian soldiers The best part about Washington’s victorious crossing of the Delaware River was that it worked BECAUSE it was Christmas. America’s first president was well aware that the British-employed German troops would be drinking themselves silly and used their festivities against them, sneaking into town at night and beating them while they were too hungover to care. How’s that for Christmas cheer? 4) 1642 - Isaac Newton was born Being born on Christmas comes with its own unique set of angsty issues (never having a bday-only party, gifts meant to “take care of both”, Christmas-themed bday cake, etc.), but luckily Newton never let it get him down. Gravity on the other hand… 3) 1932 – King George V’s chair collapses Though there were hundreds of staff and supporters thoroughly committed to keeping the British Monarch safe from harm, no one correctly predicted the true threat: his chair. During the middle of a holiday dinner speech, George V’s seat gave way, depositing the thoroughly startled king onto the very posh...

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13 Aug Holding Out for a Hero

We've all heard the stories of Sir William Wallace (or at least seen Braveheart) and know of the epic accomplishments he achieved. But what about other Scottish heroes? In the wild North of Scotland, some of the world’s most important figures grew to change the world. Without further ado, here are Panrimo’s 7 favorite Scottish heroes, in no particular order. 7.) Robert the Bruce [caption id="attachment_988" align="aligncenter" width="185"] That beard! That axe! That Bruce![/caption] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Robertthebruce.jpg One of Scotland’s most famous heroes, Robert the Bruce was King of Scots from 1306-1329 and led the Scots during the Wars of Scottish Independence. While he commanded several major successful battles, his most famous may be the Battle of Bannockburn, where he defeated the much larger English army under Edward II, thus confirming the establishment of a Scottish monarchy. 6.) Agnes ‘Black Agnes’ Randolph  [caption id="attachment_989" align="aligncenter" width="316"] Dressed to impress.[/caption] http://www.medievalarchives.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Black-Agnes-countess-of-dunbar.jpg An example of Scotland’s strong female characters, Agnes Randolph, Countess of Dunbar, was besieged at Dunbar while her husband was off fighting English forces due to Edward Balliol’s attempt to seize the Scottish crown from David II. English forces began besieging her castle, but Agnes held strong for over five months with only servants and a few guards, forcing the English to finally concede their defeat. During the besiegement, Agnes was rumored to have ordered her female servants to dress in their nicest clothes, parade along the castle walls, and lightly dust the damage the English had done, taunting them...

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29 Jul Dress for Success

First off, we are well aware that most, if not all of the brands featured in this article are quite pricey and not what many would consider everyday wear. However, (bear with us here) in paying for clothes, jewelry, bags, or accessories from Italian fashion houses, you're often shelling out money not just for the item, but for the illustrious history behind it. So where are your euros going? Find out in Panrimo's: Top 7 Italian Fashion Houses Gucci [caption id="attachment_936" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The thin red line, of luxury.[/caption] http://creditworksusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/gucci-wallpaper-for-iphone.png Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 in Florence, Gucci started as a saddlery and leather company which can be denoted by its icons – saddle bit and green-red-green (which was used during horse races to determine which saddle belong to which owner). Gucci has an official partnership with UNICEF and has contributed over $7 million to its children campaign. Gucci’s notable creative directors include Tom Ford and current director, Frida Giannini. Prada [caption id="attachment_937" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Steamer trunk? Perhaps not. Sparkly? Yes.[/caption] http://cdn1.purseblog.com/images/2013/06/Prada-Saffiano-Studded-Mini-Zip-Crossbody.jpg Established in 1913 by Mario Prada in Milan, Prada started as a leather goods store that sold English steamer trunks and handbags. Prada now dabbles in ready-to-wear, jewelry and wine – among other lines. Once a supplier to the Italian Royal Family, Prada now owns such labels as Miu Miu (named after Miuccia Prada) and Luna Rossa. Fendi [caption id="attachment_938" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Not the edible kind of baguette.[/caption] http://blog.stylesight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fendi-baguette.jpg Adele and Edoardo Fendi founded Fendi in 1925 in Rome. Specializing...

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06 Jul These Hallowed Halls

Top 7 French Museums France has produced some of the most influential painters, sculptors, dramatists, writers, and philosophers in history, so it’s no surprise that France boasts some of the most incredible museum collections in the world. While some may be well known, you’ll be surprised by the breadth of arts represented in Panrimo’s top 7 French museums! 7.) Institut Lumière Dedicated to the Lumière brothers, who helped create cinema as it’s known today, the Institut Lumière honors French contributions to filmmaking, though with a particular focus on the innovations and techniques of the Lumière brothers. 6.) Foundation Maeght Founded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, this museum features collections of avant-garde works by artists such as Giacometti, Chagall, Braque, Miró, Matisse, and Barbara Hepworth. 5.) Musée Toulouse-Lautrec Dedicated to the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this museum has collected many of his works, including the Belle Epoque works he created in Paris and is most famous for today. 4.) Musée Historique Lorrain This museum shines a light on the entire province of Lorrain, featuring collections of works throughout the ages, including engravings and paintings by local masters, as well as exhibits on Jewish history in Eastern France, antique furniture, and wrought iron. 3.) Centre Pompidou This building has been the called “the most avant-garde in the world.” Immediately iconic, it’s exterior is a system of tubes and scaffolding, appearing the be in construction still, though that’s the point. A bastion of 20th century art, it’s impossible to enumerate just how much...

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27 Oct Tuscan Treat

[caption id="attachment_2306" align="alignnone" width="660"] Cheers to chianti![/caption] Wine can be a snob's paradise. High priced bottles and eloquent labels elicit importance and supposedly good taste. At a recent wine tasting I tried five reds from around the world, all Cabernet Sauvignons. It was a blind tasting. We didn’t know the label or any information until all wines were tried. At the event’s end we compared rankings with fellow tasters. The $9.99 bottle from a very young cultivation of grapes outside of Florence bested the $50 bottle from a 2006 vintage (supposedly a snobs favorite year for wine). Point being, no label or fancy cork can fool your tongue. It’s your palate, your preference. Italy is second to France in producing what many call good wine. And what region covers the gamut of taste, color and price better than Chianti. Region! Region! Region! Italy is a small country with dozens of types of wine. With each wine unique and only (legally) made in specific areas spanning no more than a few miles each, knowing where to go is important. Lets narrow it down to make your day of tasting productive and enjoyable. Know where you are. And know the history of the area. You have the world. And from there the continent of Europe, then Italy. In Italy, to the west, is a region called Tuscany (kind of like saying, “Out in the Southwest United States”). And within Tuscany small cities like Florence and Sienna were founded....

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09 Jun What I’ve seen from a bar stoop on Stepanska

[caption id="attachment_2172" align="alignnone" width="660"] Musings of a traveler.[/caption] Bar Nota serves only drinks, and that’s OK with me. There is no Czech food (Czechs aren’t known for their cuisine, unless you consider dry dumplings and fried cheese a staple diet). There also are few tourists here, which is a pleasant surprise since Prague in summertime is flooded with them. Nope. Just Bernard beer, Jamiroquai and jazz music and St. Stephen’s Church across the street at which to stare. It caught my attention because of the black musical note hanging from its door. Outdoor seating sealed the deal, so I took to a table and chair. I don’t speak Czech, but raising my hand flat from table to ceiling, saying “Bernard,” the bartender and I soon spoke the same language. A moment must be taken to explain the Czech Republic’s fascination with beer. Unlike in the States and Canada, drinking beer is second to breathing air in Czech land, and done for fellowship. It began a thousand years ago or more in this area then called Bohemia. Later, in 1838 in Plzen, Czech Republic, brewmasters mixed just the right amount of mineral water (the best in Europe, arguably), barley and wheat to a fermented state. Pilsner Urquell was born. I see Czechs—men and women—drinking a beer for breakfast. It is a social function, something that brings Czechs together, and happily so. It’s comparably in the States to Friday night dinner with the neighbor couple and a...

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