The story of Windsor Castle’s transformation from the wooden fortress built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the Palace that today serves as an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
“The story of Windsor Castle’s transformation from the wooden fortress built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the Palace that today serves as an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, has been brought to life in new artist’s impressions. Based on the evidence of new research, historic manuscripts, drawings and paintings, and recent GPS surveys, the illustrations were specially commissioned for Windsor Castle: A Thousand Years of a Royal Palace, published by Royal Collection Trust today. The most comprehensive study of the Castle in more than a century, this book sets the architectural and artistic history of Windsor against the backdrop of wider social, political and cultural events in the life of the Monarchy and the nation.”
“The Veiled Virgin is a Carrara marble statue carved in Rome by Italian sculptor Giovanni Strazza (1818–1875), depicting the bust of a veiled Virgin Mary. The exact date of the statue’s completion is unknown, but it was probably in the early 1850s. The veil gives the appearance of being translucent, but in fact is carved of marble.” (Wikipedia)
Giovanni Strazza had a true gift, and one which he used as such gifts ought to be used: to the glory of God!
“the starting point for the formation and development of [our] statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity… the flowering of national culture and education.”
So much goodness in this picture! The Governor’s Mansion at Colonial Williamsburg, once the capital of 18th-century Virginia, with adorable little girls in proper Colonial attire carrying a basket of naturally-dyed wool from (perhaps) some of the Leicester Longwool heritage sheep raised there. A recreation of early America at its finest! Anyone who claims that “America was never that great” should look at this picture, and be ashamed. Yes, we were still colonies of Great Britain at that point in history. But the groundwork was already being laid…
And then we have the excellent phenomenon of homeschooling, in which parents can opt their children out of the politically-correct agendas of so much of public (and even private) schooling! So glad that Colonial Williamsburg – historically one of the flagship sites for living history, and a major influence on me, in childhood and beyond – is providing programs in support. Children need to learn about our history and heritage, and there is no better way than through experiential learning.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has come under fire (not without justification, it must be said) in recent years, for apparent financial mismanagement, and also for some of its programming decisions: replacing costumed interpreters with docents in modern attire, canceling popular events, discouraging reenactor participation, and cashiering the popular tavern Balladeers, for example. But this, at least, deserves commendation.
It is one of the great ironies of our present age – though given the way God has been seen to work in history, it should come as no surprise – that it is Eastern and Central Europe that seems to hold the greatest promise for saving the West. Here, thanks to Dr. Steve Turley’s YouTube channel, is a lovely video montage of Christmas in Poland. Enjoy, as our Polish brothers and sister show us how it’s done!
Sankta Lucia – the Feast of St. Lucia (“Lucy”), whose name means “Light” – is an ancient tradition in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries (although the Christian figure of St. Lucia originated in Sicily, interestingly enough). Her feast-day falls on the 13th of December, which in the Old (Julian) Calendar, would have been the Winter Solstice.
Although she is a Christian saint, with a Christian story, “Sankta Lucia” can also be translated “Holy Light,” and the folksy, homey rituals surrounding St. Lucia’s Day – in which the girl or young woman chosen to portray St. Lucia for that year, wearing a crown of candles, brings gifts of steaming-hot coffee and sweet rolls to her family (or village), while her attendants sing traditional songs – is a beautiful and moving enactment of the rebirth of light in the midst of the darkest time of the year.
“Lucia is a tradition in Sweden where we bring light to the darkness. Since many years back I have always gone out in the middle of the Lucia night to light up hundreds of candles in the forest, with the intention to spread light into the world.
“Maybe you have seen my earlier lucia-films here on my YouTube. But this year was special. Just as the other lucia-nights I prepared to get out and light up my candles. But this night, the forest surprised me.
“This film is for all the world. For all of you wonderful people out there ♥ I hope to be able to spread some light into your hearts. Thank you for taking the time to watch it.”
Do yourself a favour, and watch this in full-screen… and allow yourself to get lost in it. Magical!