Posts Tagged ‘Holy Roman Empire’

Wow!  It’s already Wednesday night here in Utrecht– can’t believe the first 3 days of the program are already done.  Saturday evening brought Andrew to the Netherlands, followed by Erin, Perla, Cori, and Angelique on Sunday morning.  The whole group braved intense jet lag to wander around the city of Utrecht Sunday afternoon before sitting down for an intro dinner at the Hotel Mitland.  One final trip to the airport to collect Jason Sunday evening and the program had officially begun!

Monday morning we had breakfast in the hotel cafe and then met in our makeshift classroom aka extremely comfy suite living room for an short ‘intro to the Netherlands’ meeting.

Room at the Hotel Mitland – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver

On Monday afternoon, we laced up our walking shoes and took the #4 bus to Prins Hendriklaan where we started our walking tour of Utrecht.  We walked up to the University College Utrecht campus and saw the Kromhoutskazerne area– site of monasteries and nunneries from the 1100s – 1600s, home to the Dutch military during WWI, and local headquarters of the Nazis in the provence of Utrecht during WWII.  It’s currently an English-language honors college affiliated with Universiteit Utrecht (located up the street).  We passed by the Rietveld-Schroeder house (a pioneering example of ‘De Stijl’ neo-plasticist architecture), had lunch at the Park Cafe Buiten (I got a great salad with pear, brie, cashews, and arugula), and walked through the Wilhelminapark before catching a bus downtown to Janskerkhof.

From the Janskerk (church) we walked up to the Speelklok museum, which has an amazing collection of automatic instruments (from early music boxes and clocks to large dance organs).

Speelklok museum – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver

After listening to a number of music pieces–including ones by a self-playing piano, automatic violins, our wonderful tour guide with a phenomenal voice, and one organ fondly known as “the goat”–we gathered up our things and moved on to the Domtoren (crossing over the historical edge of the Holy Roman Empire…of course).  The Domtoren is the tower of the largest church in Utrecht.  The tower is still the tallest one in all of the Netherlands!  We then proceeded to climb nearly 500 steps to the top of the tower.  The climb, combined with the view from the top, was absolutely breathtaking!

View of Utrecht from the Domtoren – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver

After the Dom, we went over to the Oudegracht, or ‘old canal,’ to have a traditional Dutch pancake dinner (called pannekoeken) at the restaurant ‘t Oude Muntkelder.  As it was Jason’s birthday, we snuck a card around the table to sign and then took him out for a drink downtown at Neude square.  For Jason: GEFELICITEERD!

All in all, it was a great first day!  I’ll be playing a bit of catch-up here on the blog for the next day or so to fill in the first few days when I didn’t post.  Hope you don’t mind backtracking!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next installment from the low countries…

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Hi everyone~

First things first…I sent out an email to each one of you so we can start getting the whole group connected both on the blog and via email.  For those of you who’ve responded– thanks!  To everyone else, please let me know if we can share your email with the whole group and if we can post a short bio about you on the blog.

For those of you going through finals week right now, best of luck!

And now for this week in history:

May 23…

1798: The United Irishmen rebel against British rule in Ireland, but despite French help they are defeated.

1915: Italy switches sides and declares war on Austria-Hungary, in accordance with the secret Treaty of London.

May 24…

1943: Germany calls off the Battle of the Atlantic by withdrawing its U-boats from North Atlantic convoy routes.

May 25…

1521: The Edict of Worms condemns Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther as an outlaw and heretic.

1963: Thirty two nations from the Organization of African Unity convene with the aim of ending white rule in Africa.

May 26…

1679: The Habaeus Corpus Amendment Act requires the showing of ‘just cause’ for imprisonment over 24 hours.

1948: The Afrikaner National Party wins the South African general election and introduces ‘apartheid.’

May 27…

1940: ‘Operation Dynamo,’ the mass evacuation of encircled British and French troops from Dunkirk, begins.

1941: The German battleship ‘Bismark’ is sunk by the Royal Navy, with only 110 survivors from its 2,192 crew.

1942: Reinhard Heydrich, an architect of the Nazi genocide, is fatally wounded by Czech partisans in Prague.

May 28…

1830: The ‘Indian Removal Act’–deporting Native Americans to West of the Mississippi–is signed into US law.

May 29…

1453: The Roman empire in the east comes to an end as Ottoman sultan Mehmet II captures Constantinople.

Hey there folks!  The applications are in and the group is set.  I’ll be contacting all of you shortly to do a brief introduction and get the ball rolling on communal activities (more group interaction with the blog, etc) but until I do that (most likely tomorrow) here is a “this week in history” to keep you busy!

May 10…

1940: The German invasion of the Low Countries (usually referring to either just the Netherlands or Benelux as a whole [Benelux = Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg]) begins, using a new military doctrine called ‘blitzkrieg.’

1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa.

May 11…

330 CE: Constantine dedicates his new capitol, Constantinople, formally shifting Roman power away from Rome.

1559: Religious reformer John Knox ignites the Scottish Reformation with a sermon at Perth, Scotland.

May 12…

1949: Soviet forces lift the blockade of Berlin, during which the Berlin Airlift made 278,228 supply flights.

May 13…

1943: The Allies secure victory in North Africa with the surrender of 250,000 German and Italian troops.

May 14…

1948: The British mandate for Palestine ends and the state of Israel is proclaimed by Jewish groups.

1955: The Soviet-dominated states of eastern Europe sign the Warsaw Pact military alliance in response to NATO.

May 15…

1252 CE: Use of torture in the inquisition of heretics is authorized by Innocent IV in his bull ‘Ad exstirpanda.’

May 16…

1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is crushed by German troops and 60,000 Jewish people are shot or deported.

May 17…

1900: The British garrison at Mafeking, South Africa, under Robert Baden-Powell, is relieved after a Boer siege of 215 days.

May 20…

325 CE: Roman emperor Constantine calls the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical Christian council.

1940: A concentration camp is established at Auschwitz, Poland, under SS commandant Rudolph Hoess.

May 22…

1939: Hitler and Mussolini create the Axis with a ‘Pact of Steel,’ a 10 year pact of friendship and alliance.

2006: The break-up of Yugoslavia is completed when Montenegro narrowly votes for independence from Serbia.

 

And finally, since we’re hearing so much about Constantinople (and should be on the lookout for–questionable–portrayals or stereotypes of people in pop culture), we’ll end with some Tiny Toons in Turkey:

Hello everyone!  Sorry the blog hasn’t been updated more in the past few weeks.  Over here in NYC (where I >Shady the program assistant< am right now) I’ve been battling my 4th cold of the year and working long days, so I’ve neglected my blogging duties a bit.  But, I’m on the mend so you can expect more frequent posting from now on.

First order of business:

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE  ON APRIL 13 which is only 3 DAYS AWAY!

If you haven’t sent in your completed application, be sure to due so VERY soon.  If you have ANY questions or concerns about completing your application, get in touch with your campus EAP office or with our program leader, Professor Nyitray, ASAP.

There have been a lot of interesting stories involving religion in the news recently.  Every time one pops up, I update the “In the News” page with a link to the story.  It’s worth a look just because it’s interesting…but also because we will be returning to this list of articles during the course.  If you find one story that really strikes your fancy, keep it in mind for later.

Thanks for checking back in with the blog and I look forward to meeting all of you in 3 months.  To finish off, let’s go to…

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

April 3 

1917 – Vladimir Lenin arrives at the Finland Station, Russia, to assume leadership of the Bolshevik revolution.

April 4

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is signed into existence by its 12 founder nations.

1968 – US Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by a white supremacist in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 6

1917 – The United States formally declares war on Germany, entering WWI on the side of the Allies.

April 7

1944 – Two inmates of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz escape, to later reveal details of the genocide there.

April 8

563 BCE – Siddhartha Gautama (founder of Buddhism) is born, traditional date.

217 CE – The brutal Roman emperor Caracalla is assassinated while relieving himself at a roadside.

1904 – The ‘Entente Cordiale’ is signed by Britain and France, finally ending centuries of intermittent conflict.

April 9

1867 – The United States Senate reluctantly votes to purchase Alaska from Russia for just $7.2 million.

2003 – A massive statue of Saddam Hussein is toppled in central Baghdad as US troops capture the city.

Today in history…

…in 44 BCE* Julius Caeser, dictator of Rome for life, is assassinated in a conspiracy led by Cassius and Brutus.

…in 1912 CE** Judson Lawrence Brown was born in Kluckwan, a small Tlingit village 40 miles from Haines, Alaska. He was the first Native person to attend an integrated school in Alaska. Brown was the first Alaska Native to serve as mayor of Haines and served two terms.

 …in 1917 CE Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates after the February Revolution, ending 1000 years of Imperial Rule.
*BCE (Before Common Era) is used in place of BC (Before Christ); for more info click here.
**CE (Common Era) is used in place of AD (Anno Domini / The year of the Lord); for more info click here.