Philip IV

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Thirty Years’ War – Wars of religion

By |2018-04-08T11:14:17+00:00August 4th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Protestants throw Catholic officials out the window (Prague, 1618 AD) In the late 1500s AD, the Holy Roman Emperors were too weak to hold their empire together as one country. Instead, the Holy Roman Empire was divided into many little tiny countries. Some of these countries were Catholic. Some of them were Protestant. In 1618 [...]

Who was Velazquez? Spanish art history

By |2017-08-04T15:58:00+00:00August 4th, 2017|Art, Modern Europe|

Velazquez (self-portrait), ca. 1650 AD, when he was about fifty years old. Diego Velazquez was one of the best artists of the generation after Rubens. He was born in 1599, in Seville, in southern Spain. He may have been descended from Spanish Jews who had been forced to convert to Catholicism a hundred years earlier. Young [...]

Peter Paul Rubens – European art history

By |2017-08-04T15:40:52+00:00August 4th, 2017|Art, Modern Europe|

Rubens (self-portrait), 1620 AD Peter Paul Rubens was born in Germany in 1577. At that time, the Holy Roman Emperors were weak and there were a bunch of civil wars going on. His father, who was a lawyer, was also a Calvinist - a Protestant. The family fled to Cologne before Rubens was born, because of fighting between [...]

Conciergerie – Paris, France

By |2017-07-30T18:14:23+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Conciergerie: the king's castle in Paris (parts of it from the 1300 AD) The Conciergerie was the castle where the kings and queens of France lived when they were in Paris. Originally this was the Roman fort, where the Roman commander of Paris lived. The Roman general Julian was acclaimed emperor here in 361 AD. This Roman fort lasted for more [...]