Visit Wales and its 641 castles – a mixture of gothic, medieval, and Victorian styles

With its rolling hills and numerous royal conquests, there’s no place where history comes alive in such a lush setting as it does in Wales. Everywhere you look, the evidence of kings, queens, conflict and empire call to you. There are more than 600 castles – 641 to be precise – so even without trying you’ll come across a few. Even the country’s young capital has one – right in the heart of the city. Cardiff Castle mixes medieval and Victorian gothic architectural styles to thrilling effect.

These proud battlements are a historical legacy that is testament to a tumultuous past, and to the indomitable spirit of the fighting Welsh – these castles were built for a reason.

When the Romans withdrew, the separate Welsh kingdoms were left to squabble and spar for centuries until the Normans landed in the 11th century. But the Welsh proved unwilling subjects even then. It was not until Edward I – the famous subduer of William “Braveheart” Wallace – launched his war of subjugation two centuries later that Wales finally fell to England’s boot.

Edward consolidated his victory with the impressive castles you can still visit today. Most are in excellent repair, with walls as solid now as when their first stones went in the ground.

Beaumaris – the biggest castle Edward built and a truly imposing military fortress. It is located on the island of Anglesey, separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, which is home to Prince William in his duties as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot.

William is most intimately connected to the most majestic of the Unesco castles, the stunningly preserved Caernarfon Castle. This is where his father, Prince Charles, was invested as the Prince of Wales – and where, one day, William is likely to follow suit.

 

Keep reading: The Guardian – Discover the proud history of Wales

 

 

Continue reading Visit Wales and its 641 castles – a mixture of gothic, medieval, and Victorian styles

Throne Clones – the British royal family compared to their ancestors

P.S. The last one is the best 🙂

 

…see several more atThe Royal Watcher

Martin Luther King’s Legacy for Today

It is wonderful that an African American leader is honored on the Mall, near the Lincoln, Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt memorials. But it means even more that a nonviolent leader, a man of peace, is represented alongside America’s greatest presidents.

That will help young people understand that nonviolent leadership can make history and transform our nation.

No doubt, future generations will look upon this monument and ask, Who was this man and why do we honor him today?

(1)

The answer should begin by noting that Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of a great social movement for equality for African Americans — a nonviolent struggle against segregation to make the promise of the Declaration of Independence a reality.

(2)

But my father also supported human rights, freedom and self-determination for all people, including Latino agricultural workers, Native Americans, and the millions of impoverished white men and women who were treated as second-class citizens. Although he was assassinated before the women’s rights, gay rights and environmental movements reached the national stage, there is no question in my mind that my father would have viewed these struggles as battles for justice and equality worthy of his support.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an impassioned advocate of economic justice as well as social justice. As he said, “The right to sit at a lunch counter is empty if you cannot afford a meal.” He believed that every American family deserved to have decent living standards, including employment, adequate housing, nourishment, health care, education for children and safe, thriving communities. The 1963 March on Washington, during which he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, was a march for “Jobs and Justice,” rooted in the conviction that it is not possible to have one without the other.

(3)

Finally, my father did not see nonviolence as a special tactic limited to the struggle for civil rights. He saw it as a universal tool for achieving justice — for transforming dictatorships into democracies, unjust laws into just laws, oppression into freedom. He called nonviolence a “sword” for all those who struggle for justice, but he deemed it “a sword that heals, rather than a sword that wounds.”

Today we are witnessing the awakening of a third great era of nonviolence. The first was framed by the campaigns of Mahatma Gandhi in India and my father in the United States. The second was the wave of freedom movements that swept across places as diverse as Poland and Eastern Europe, the Philippines and South Africa in the 1980s and ’90s. Recently, nonviolent liberation movements arose in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The sword that heals is again being deployed for freedom and democracy. Once again, protest leaders are crediting King and Gandhi as sources for inspiration and strategic guidance.

These are the three legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. that we must pass down to each new generation. Polished marble can display the nobility of a great leader but not the meaning of his ideas and contributions. Stone may be beautiful but it is mute. It is up to all of us, every American, to give it voice.

By Martin Luther King III

Continue reading Martin Luther King’s Legacy for Today

Martin Luther King's Legacy for Today

It is wonderful that an African American leader is honored on the Mall, near the Lincoln, Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt memorials. But it means even more that a nonviolent leader, a man of peace, is represented alongside America’s greatest presidents.

That will help young people understand that nonviolent leadership can make history and transform our nation.

No doubt, future generations will look upon this monument and ask, Who was this man and why do we honor him today?

(1)

The answer should begin by noting that Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of a great social movement for equality for African Americans — a nonviolent struggle against segregation to make the promise of the Declaration of Independence a reality.

(2)

But my father also supported human rights, freedom and self-determination for all people, including Latino agricultural workers, Native Americans, and the millions of impoverished white men and women who were treated as second-class citizens. Although he was assassinated before the women’s rights, gay rights and environmental movements reached the national stage, there is no question in my mind that my father would have viewed these struggles as battles for justice and equality worthy of his support.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an impassioned advocate of economic justice as well as social justice. As he said, “The right to sit at a lunch counter is empty if you cannot afford a meal.” He believed that every American family deserved to have decent living standards, including employment, adequate housing, nourishment, health care, education for children and safe, thriving communities. The 1963 March on Washington, during which he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, was a march for “Jobs and Justice,” rooted in the conviction that it is not possible to have one without the other.

(3)

Finally, my father did not see nonviolence as a special tactic limited to the struggle for civil rights. He saw it as a universal tool for achieving justice — for transforming dictatorships into democracies, unjust laws into just laws, oppression into freedom. He called nonviolence a “sword” for all those who struggle for justice, but he deemed it “a sword that heals, rather than a sword that wounds.”

Today we are witnessing the awakening of a third great era of nonviolence. The first was framed by the campaigns of Mahatma Gandhi in India and my father in the United States. The second was the wave of freedom movements that swept across places as diverse as Poland and Eastern Europe, the Philippines and South Africa in the 1980s and ’90s. Recently, nonviolent liberation movements arose in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The sword that heals is again being deployed for freedom and democracy. Once again, protest leaders are crediting King and Gandhi as sources for inspiration and strategic guidance.

These are the three legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. that we must pass down to each new generation. Polished marble can display the nobility of a great leader but not the meaning of his ideas and contributions. Stone may be beautiful but it is mute. It is up to all of us, every American, to give it voice.

By Martin Luther King III

Continue reading Martin Luther King's Legacy for Today

The King Center: a digital memorial dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

If you want to spend some time today celebrating Dr. King than I highly recommend this website:

The King Center was established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King. It is the official living memorial dedicated to advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our programs and partnerships educate the world about his life and his philosophy of nonviolence, inspiring new generations to further his work.

The archive contains hundreds of letters from and to MLK. They are fascinating to read and worthwhile for learning about segregation and the attempts to overcome it. Here is one:

 

SCLC Newsletter
Written by Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 3, 1963

Social change is painful and at times painfully slow.

The repeal of the city’s segregation laws indicates clearly that the city fathers are realistically facing the legal death of segregation. The city is not wont to battle in the legal arena because the outcome, with all its costliness, is a foregone conclusion. In the wake of the legal retreat in Albany (GA), the public library has been opened on a 30-day “trial” basis – integrated!

To be sure, neither of these related events can be measured as a full victory, but neither do they smack of defeat for those who have championed justice, self-respect and human dignity. It does, in fact, represent a partial victory, for it vindicates the direction in which the W.G. Anderson-led forces always moved. The repeal of the segregation ordinances and the vertical integration at the public library are only projects of that which is to come.

Many prophets of doom have written Albany off as an indefinite stalemate. The most important thing that has been accomplished has been the sensitizing of the Black community to the injustices and immorality of the system of segregation.

It has been said that it is impossible to ride a man’s back unless it is bent. If nothing else, the Black citizens of Albany have straightened their backs. We say now as we have said earlier, Albany will never be the same again. You have not heard the last of that Southwest Georgia city.

The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d’Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

On August 1, 1347, the city of Calais in France had fallen. The siege had been long, over 8 months, and the citizens were proud of their massive castle which was over 1,000 yards wide, surrounded by two moats, and protected by the sea at its back.

The terms of the surrender were the lives of the six noblest men in the city. These men, called burghers, were to leave the city with a noose around their neck and present themselves and the keys to the city to the conquering king, Edward III of England.

The most prominent of them all was Jean d’Aire and his face says it all.

Over 500 years later the citizens of Calais asked sculptor August Rodin to commemorate that day with a statue of all six burghers marching to their doom. He complied and ended up creating one of his best masterpieces.

The bust you see above is but one part of the statue, albeit the most famous. In later years Rodin would create several copies of that face for busts and in giant size. Today, you can find these copies all around the world at museum, parks, and in Calais.

But, first the original:

Continue reading The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d’Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d'Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

On August 1, 1347, the city of Calais in France had fallen. The siege had been long, over 8 months, and the citizens were proud of their massive castle which was over 1,000 yards wide, surrounded by two moats, and protected by the sea at its back.

The terms of the surrender were the lives of the six noblest men in the city. These men, called burghers, were to leave the city with a noose around their neck and present themselves and the keys to the city to the conquering king, Edward III of England.

The most prominent of them all was Jean d’Aire and his face says it all.

Over 500 years later the citizens of Calais asked sculptor August Rodin to commemorate that day with a statue of all six burghers marching to their doom. He complied and ended up creating one of his best masterpieces.

The bust you see above is but one part of the statue, albeit the most famous. In later years Rodin would create several copies of that face for busts and in giant size. Today, you can find these copies all around the world at museum, parks, and in Calais.

But, first the original:

Continue reading The face of courageous sacrifice and suffering, Jean d'Aire – sculpture by August Rodin

“Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings. And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything.” — Bruce Springsteen

[quote]”Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings. And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything.” — Bruce Springsteen[/quote]

"Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings. And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything." — Bruce Springsteen

[quote]”Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings. And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything.” — Bruce Springsteen[/quote]