3 Religious Temples With a Dark History

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Religious Temples With a Dark History

While many religious sites are viewed as beautiful, blessed places of worship, some of them are hiding a very dark history underneath their bejeweled exterior. Some temples have origin stories that include killing and/or threats of mythical proportions, and others are even said to be a path to Hell instead of Heaven. Here are three religious temples that just might give you more nightmares than miracles.

Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

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Built in the 16th century, the Tanah Lot temple in Bali is one of seven ocean temples built for the purpose of honoring the “spirits of the sea.” It is a beautiful piece of architecture, looking much like a ship made of stone, but its origin story is a rather dark one. According to legend, Niratha, a Brahmin priest, created the temple. Knowing it needed to be protected from evil, he took off the sashes he was wearing and threw them into the water, where they turned into snakes. To this day, scores of sea snakes surround Tanah Lot, protecting it from dark energies – and from people who just hate snakes. To make this temple even more secure, it is only accessible when the tide is low and a land bridge is revealed. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside unless you follow the Hindu religion, but either way you can observe the beautiful temple and its snake guardians from a short distance.

Cappella Sansevero, Italy

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Cappella Sansevereo is technically a “chapel” instead of a “temple,” but it deserves to be included on this list thanks to its pure creepiness. Capella Sansevero in Naples, Italy began as a kind of temple where the Sansevero family could worship God privately, before it ultimately became their burial chapel. But this is not the dark part. This chapel is home to two “anatomical machines”: a male and a pregnant female skeleton with a perfectly preserved circulatory system still present in their bodies (there also used to be a fetus to go with them, but it has since vanished). These anatomical machines were made by an anatomist named Giuseppe Salerno and collected by another, much spookier man named Raimondo di Sangro, who was the head of the Masonic lodge in Naples and believed to be some sort of dark wizard. The locals believed that he could make blood out of nothing at all, and that he frequently murdered people to experiment on them. While he didn’t make “Adam and Eve,” there is a rumor that they are actually two of his servants that he killed so that Salerno could make his sculptures, which now lurk beneath the main part of the chapel.

Mount Osore, Japan

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4 Italian Towns You’ve (probably) Never Heard of But Need to Visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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4 Italian Towns You’ve Never Heard of But Need to Visit

For good reason, cities such as Florence, Milan, and Rome always make the headlines in Italy for their superb art, architecture, museums, and shopping. But you’ll often find an even more authentic Italy hidden away in its small countryside and coastal towns. So if you are longing for a vacation filled with old-world romance, where medieval houses frame cobblestone lanes and locals sip coffee at cafes overlooking the piazza, then give these stunning Italian towns a try.

Castelluccio di Norcia, Umbria

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From afar, Castelluccio di Norcia resembles an ancient fairytale-like citadel set atop a plateau in the Apennine Mountains. Castelluccio lies within the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini and is famed for the spectacular natural beauty of undulating hills and the flora of its encompassing meadows. Once a Roman settlement, the present hamlet dates back to around the 13th century. Today, you can stroll along winding streets that lead to pretty squares and afford uninterrupted views.

Come between May and July for the Florita of Castelluccio di Norica, which sees the plateau burst into a thousand colors. Clovers, poppies, violets, and more wildflower flourish and create a mosaic of vivid red, violet, white, and yellow hues. Drink in the scenery while relaxing at the squares or get active on hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking excursions.

Corricella, Naples

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You may not have heard of the Neapolitan island of Procida, let alone it’s pièce de résistance Corricella. At this romantic port town, an ensemble of pastel-colored cubic buildings form an amphitheater of mismatched towers that tumble down towards the glistening Gulf of Naples. With washing hung out to dry from shutter windows, cafes lined up along a promenade, and colorful fishing boats moored at the water’s edge, the town paints a quintessential Italian seaside image.

Walk up to the Santa Margherita Nuova monastery to capture the beauty of the town and island from above and then visit the Benedictine Abbey of San Michele. At the end of the day, order pizza and pasta at Bar Graziella and appreciate why movie directors chose Corricella for classics such as Il Postino and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Sperlonga, Lazio

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Looking for a coastal escape from Rome or Naples? Then look no further than Sperlonga, a resort on the Tyrrhenian Sea that lured Roman emperor Tiberius in the 1st century, and later the Hollywood elite of the 1950s and 1960s. Here, elegant white buildings perch on a headland that spills down to soft golden sands and perfect-blue waters. Time stands still in the Centro Storico (Old Town) and there’s great pleasure to be taken from stumbling upon hidden squares after taking a wrong turn along an alleyway or stone staircase. Soak up the nonchalant seaside vibe at the resort’s two beaches, Rivièra di Levante and Rivièra di Ponènte. Before taking your seat to watch the sunset, get a cultural fix at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which protects the ruins of the villa and grotto of Emperor Tiberius.

Treviso, Veneto

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Wouldn’t it be great to experience Venice without the throngs of tourists? Well, just 25 miles north of the world-famous canal city is the delightful city of Treviso. A canal and defensive wall surround the Centro Storico, which shelters a dazzling collection of Venetian-style palaces, gracious colonnades, and medieval churches. Cobblestone streets and canals weave their way between the sights, passing beneath archways and tiny gardens along the way.

Art is rife, and not just timeworn frescoes that decorate the facades of private homes. Admire work by Titan at Treviso Cathedral, close to the cafe-lined Piazza dei Signori. Witness the action of the Pescheria Buranelli floating fish market and browse the chic boutiques on Via Calmaggiore. For wine lovers, a glass of Treviso Prosecco is the perfect cap to a day of sightseeing.

Black And White Pictures Of Hitler And Mussolini In 1938 Found In Virginia

(This article is courtesy of the Daily Post News Letter)

Hitler came on our honeymoon! Unseen pictures of The Fuhrer on tour in Naples unearthed in long-lost black and white collection of family vacation photos found in a Virginia thrift store

  • Pictures of the infamous leader were found in rolls of an unidentified family’s holiday snaps from the 1930s
  • Photography enthusiast Matt Ames was shocked to find the historical images on the film he bought at a thrift store

Photography enthusiast Matt Ames was pleased to find some rolls of old film among the usual collection of discarded bric-a-brac lining the shelves of a backstreet thrift shore in Virginia.

But what Mr Ames didn’t realize was that he’d accidentally stumbled upon a piece of Europe’s wartime history – as captured by a young American couple who appeared to be on their honeymoon in Italy.

For among the 400 or so negatives on the 35 mm nitrate films, he was shocked to uncover previously unseen photos of Adolf Hitler touring Italy at the height of his powers.

The pictures were taken by a mystery photographer, who Mr. Ames believes may either have ended up living in the city of Roanoke, where the films were purchased, or New York, which is featured in many of the photos.

Among the scores of holiday snaps and family photos, the pictures – taken in the years before the Second World War – reveal the unknown photographer’s brush with the 20th century’s most infamous leaders.

In one of the forgotten photos, Hitler is pictured sitting next to King Emmanuel III of Italy during a parade in Naples in 1938 after the Fuhrer had viewed fellow fascist leader Benito Mussolini’s naval fleet in the Mediterranean.

Mr Ames, who has held an exhibition of the photos in Martinsville, Virginia, said: ‘In 2013 I found several rolls of negatives in a thrift store in Roanoke, Virginia. They were standard 35 mm, black and white and some of the rolls were clearly nitrate film.

‘Much to my surprise the film included photographs of Hitler and King Emmanuel on parade, other Nazi images from Naples, Italy in the Spring of 1938, numerous photos of Naples city life, Pompeii and photos of Manhattan.’

Pictures of Adolf Hitler - sitting on the left beside King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy - were uncovered on films found in a thrift store in Roanoke, Virginia by photography enthusiast Matt Ames

Pictures of Adolf Hitler – sitting on the left beside King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy – were uncovered on films found in a thrift store in Roanoke, Virginia by photography enthusiast Matt Ames

The roll of film also includes a picture of a woman, thought to be the photographer's wife or girlfriend

The unknown photographer (pictured) would have had little his idea of the carnage Hitler was about to unleash, or that his photos would later end up in a thrift

Mystery couple: The roll of vacation snaps also includes a picture of the photographer and a woman thought to be his wife. The man is thought to have worked for Mobil Oil

Hitler visited Italy in 1938 to meet with fellow Axis leader Benito Mussolini. The photos uncovered in Virginia are believed to show him after he viewed Italy's naval fleet

Hitler visited Italy in 1938 to meet with fellow Axis leader Benito Mussolini. The photos uncovered in Virginia are believed to show him after he viewed Italy’s naval fleet

Hitler (circled) is pictured receiving fascist salutes from Italian troops, who lined the seafront road in Naples for his visit

Hitler (circled) is pictured receiving fascist salutes from Italian troops, who lined the seafront road in Naples for his visit

The images show Hitler's cavalcade surrounded by motorcycle outriders as he is paraded along the streets of the southern Italian city

The images show Hitler’s cavalcade surrounded by motorcycle outriders as he is paraded along the streets of the southern Italian city

The pictures also appear to show young members of Mussolini's Gioventu Italiana del Littorio or GIL youth movement, which was similar to the Hitler Youth in Germany

The pictures also appear to show young members of Mussolini’s Gioventu Italian del Littorio or GIL youth movement, which was similar to the Hitler Youth in Germany

Hitler took a tour of Italy in 1938, and joined Mussolini and the king on board the battleship Conte di Cavour in Naples to watch military exercises

Hitler took a tour of Italy in 1938, and joined Mussolini and the king on board the battleship Conte di Cavour in Naples to watch military exercises

The photographer managed to capture a picture of the Italian fleet, which was amassed of the coast for the Fuhrer's visit

The photographer managed to capture a picture of the Italian fleet, which was amassed of the coast for the Fuhrer’s visit

The pictures also offer an insight into the fascist architecture being built in Italy at the time, with swastikas adorning a number of public monuments (above and below)

The pictures also offer an insight into the fascist architecture being built-in Italy at the time, with swastikas adorning a number of public monuments (above and below)

The pictures also offer an insight into the fascist architecture being built in Italy at the time, with swastika's adorning a number of public monuments

Hitler's visit to Naples was one of many meetings between the two leaders, pictured here ahead of the 1938 Munich conference. File Photo

Hitler’s visit to Naples was one of many meetings between the two leaders, pictured here ahead of the 1938 Munich conference. File Photo

The rolls of film were later bought by Matt Ames, who used newspaper cuttings to work out when they were taken

The rolls of film were later bought by Mat Ames, who used newspaper cuttings to work out when they were taken

The rolls of film were later bought by Matt Ames (pictured left with the films), who used newspaper cuttings to work out when they were taken

THE ‘MAD LITTLE CLOWN’ WHO SIGNED THE PACT OF STEEL – HITLER AND MUSSOLINI’S ROCKY RELATIONSHIP

Hitler and Mussolini

Mussolini’s fascist regime, which took control of Italy in 1925, was in many ways seen as a forerunner to Hitler’s own Nazi party.

Hitler is known to have admired the way Mussolini swept to power and wrote to him in 1923, the year after the Italian’s famous ‘March on Rome’ protests.

After Mussolini took control of Italy, he provided financial assistance to Hitler’s National Socialist movement and allowed the SS to train with his ‘Blackshirts’ brigades.

After taking power in Germany, Hitler backed Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in 1935 and the two countries’ forces lined up together with the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.

But despite the diplomatic consensus, the pair’s first meeting in 1934 (pictured right) went badly, with Mussolini struggling to understand Hitler’s Austrian accent.

Hitler is believed to have felt upstaged by Mussolini’s elaborate uniform and the Italian is said to have found Hitler boring and described him as ‘a mad little clown’.

Despite the personal differences, the two leaders signed the so-called ‘Pact of Steel’ in 1939, agreeing military and economic cooperation.

Italy didn’t officially enter the Second World War until 1940 and after a disastrous campaign in North Africa, the Allies invaded Sicily in 1943, with Mussolini later expelled from power and executed. Berlin fell in 1945, with Hitler committing suicide in his military bunker.

The pictures also include some street scenes of 1930s Naples, including this one, showing a children's goat-drawn cart in a city square

The pictures also include some street scenes of 1930’s Naples, including this one, showing a children’s goat-drawn cart in a city square

The snaps show the photographers' interest in Italy's famous sportcars, including a photo of this vehicle, pictured on a seaside promenade

The snaps show the photographers’ interest in Italy’s famous sports cars, including a photo of this vehicle, pictured on a seaside promenade

The rolls of film also contain more usual holiday snaps from the photographer's visit, including shots of the Naples skyline at the time

The rolls of film also contain more usual holiday snaps from the photographer’s visit, including shots of the Naples skyline at the time

Mr Ames also found a series a photos of New York on the films, apparently taken from a boat rolling into the city's famous harbour

Mr Ames also found a series a photos of New York on the films, apparently taken from a boat rolling into the city’s famous harbor.

The pictures, which show a crowded boat about the dock in the US, suggest the man either visited Italy on a trip or moved to America from Europe ahead of the Second World War

The pictures, which show a crowded boat about the dock in the US, suggest the man either visited Italy on a trip or moved to America from Europe ahead of the Second World War

The photos, along with tales from Mr Ames' attempts to work out their origins, were made the subject of a recent exhibition at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia

The photos, along with tales from Mr Ames’ attempts to work out their origins, were made the subject of a recent exhibition at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia.

Mr Ames traced the location of the pictures by comparing this shot of Naples waterfront with modern-day pictures of the same location

Mr Ames traced the location of the pictures by comparing this shot of Naples waterfront with modern-day pictures of the same location

The photographer, seemingly a car enthusiast, also took photos of this Fiat garage and motorists filling their vehicles outside

The photographer, seemingly a car enthusiast, also took photos of this Fiat garage and motorists filling their vehicles outside.