Category: Small Group Discoveries

Sifting through Israel’s Rich History

Within Israels’ Emek Tzurim National Park, on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, untold treasures are being unearthed. But it’s not only archaeologists who are digging up relics here. It’s a small army […]

Israel’s Astonishing Natural Beauty

When you think of Israel, a vast treasure trove of historic and religious sights undoubtedly comes to mind. But this small country is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural beauty, the likes […]

Jerusalem: City of Pilgrimage for Three Religions

The history of Jerusalem stretches back to 4000 BC and the Copper Age. We so readily associate the city with religious history today, it’s hard to believe that millennia passed before events unfolded here that […]

9 Things You Don’t Know About La Sagrada Familia Cathedral

There is no other house of worship on earth quite like Barcelona, Spain’s towering Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Antoni Gaudi’s masterwork. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has raised the eyebrows of art critics and inspired millions […]

The Seductions of Iberia

“Seductive” may well be the best way to describe the rich and vibrant cultures of Spain and Portugal. Sultry music, mouthwatering foods, ruby-red and bubbling wines, and architectural wonders that stir the soul provide a provocative glimpse of the passions of the Iberian people. Join us, and give in to the seduction when you sample these cultural touchstones:

Spanish Genius

If Spanish artists have proven one thing over the centuries, it is this: Great art breaks convention. It speaks out against the establishment and turns on its head the mainstream notions of self-expression. Here are six ingenious Spanish artists that define six crucial periods in art history, and six remarkable eras in their country’s past. All these artists—with the exception of Gaudi—are represented in El Prado, Madrid’s repository of art.

Toro! A Brief History of Bullfighting

To Spaniards, it may well be the greatest show on earth: The matador strides into the ring, dressed in the traditional traje de luces, or suit of light. His sequined buttons and cuffs glint in […]

The Courage of Sailors, the Growth of Empires

Historically speaking, the Iberian Peninsula has been the rudder to Europe’s leviathan. In fact, the tiny country of Portugal ruled the first global empire in history, with colonies stretching as far east as today’s China and as far west as Brazil. The Spanish Empire grew to gain an even broader reach—from today’s California in the west to Indonesia in the east—and has left a cultural and linguistic legacy unrivaled by any other country. How did these two nations expand their reach to the farthest reaches of the earth? One word: Spice.

Albania’s Legend of Skanderburg

In Albania, hearts swell with national pride at the mere mention of his name. Born George Castriot into a noble family, the man who would famously go down in history as Skanderbeg led an anti-Ottoman rebellion that planted the seeds of cultural identity for Albania and Macedonia.

Romania’s Remarkable Storybook Castle

In the 1870s, when King Carol I of Romania traveled outside Sinaia and saw the rolling and rugged hills of the magnificent Carpathian Mountains, he knew this was the place to build his castle. His Majesty certainly had a good eye for settings; his remarkable home is nestled quietly on a gentle slope, yet it also strikes a commanding pose, seeming to lord over the sweeping cradle in which it is swaddled.