The Great Tours: Greece and Turkey, from Athens to Istanbul

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Starring: Professor John R. Hale

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In these 24 lectures that make for an extraordinary cultural adventure, travel through time to the golden ages of 12 of Europe's most beautiful medieval cities, where you'll discover the sights, sounds, and smells of teeming markets and mercantile centers, royal feasts and ritual, dramatic military engagements, magnificent religious pageantry, and the many colorful layers of daily medieval life. You'll visit unforgettable places such as Bruges, lovingly preserved, and one of the world's most hauntingly beautiful cities; Palermo, home of stunning medieval palaces and ecclesiastical architecture; and Avignon, the resplendent 14th-century seat of the papacy. Highlighting in-depth exploration of the architectural and artistic gems of these great cities, these sumptuous lectures bring medieval Europe alive in rich detail through the perspective of an expert historian with a deep knowledge of these exquisite 12 sites. Going far beyond any conventional travelogue, you'll look not only at the "what" of the locations visited, but at the "why" and "how" - why they were built, how they were used, and how they fit into the larger picture of medieval culture of the city, the country, and the time itself. You'll stand on the site where Christopher Columbus unveiled the riches of the New World before Spanish royalty; explore medieval Siena's subterranean water system, still in use today; and visit a home for the elderly that has operated for 850 years. Along the way, you'll learn where to drink Spanish cava, enjoy fine French provincial food, and taste arrancini, a Sicilian treat dating from the 10th century. Take this incomparable journey and experience the glorious legacy of culture, architecture, and art that connects us so deeply to a seminal epoch.

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