History

Rhode Island: little state, big history

Plenty of gems in this often-overlooked New England destination.

Rhode Island is America’s smallest state by area and its eighth-least populated. Despite this, it’s one of America’s most historic states, having been settled in 1636. Rhode Island was established as a colony by Roger ...

Decadence in Bruges

Must-sees in Belgium's medieval masterpiece.

In the Middle Ages, back when canals were the super-highways of Europe, Bruges experienced a surge of wealth and culture. Before the canals started silting, there was a direct route to the sea from the ...

No worries in Potsdam

Germany's Versailles is an easy side trip from Berlin.

“You’re American? What are you doing here? Usually Americans just visit Berlin.” This was the response I received after a vendor asked me a question in German. Apparently, most American tourists forego 1,000-year-old Potsdam, Berlin's ...

Locke – CA's last Chinese town

This Central Valley community recalls the days of Steinbeck.

The houses slant sideways and the opium dens are gone, but Locke, California, takes visitors back more than 90 years to a unique Chinese farming community. Thanks to the work of a few locals with ...

History-rich Mechelen, Belgium

In Mechelen – pronounced with a guttural "ch" – religion has played a tremendous role for over 800 years. The city's provided shelter, freedom for women, even beer...and it’s also served as a dark double-edged ...

Tour the melting pot of Singapore

A multicultural Asian capital and essential foodie stop.

Singapore is known as one of Asia’s tigers for its robust, fast-growing economy. One of the secrets of its success is its diversity. Although set on an island off the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is an ...

Manzanar National Historic Site, CA

Thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned here during World War II.

When I arrived in Lone Pine, that sweet little town at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas, I planned to make a documentary about mountain climbing. I would try to climb Mt. Whitney, and I ...

The first English expats: Banten, Indonesia

"An arrack to them."

In 1603, at a place Europeans then called Bantam, an English fleet trading for spices left behind a few merchants to organize the pepper trade for the arrival of the next voyage – two years ...

Providencia, Colombia

Tales of pirates and Puritans in this Caribbean island hideaway.

Below us, the island came into view, encircled by a brittle ring of coral reefs made distinguishable by whitewater ripping at the edges. A turquoise iris skirted the white sandy edges of the Caribbean island ...

Go Gallic in Trier

Germany's oldest city is chock-full of ancient history.

Germany’s most ancient city is Trier, its name derived from the Roman name Augusta Trevororum under Caesar Augustus. It was known as the “Second Rome” before Constantinople. While the Romans had been in neighboring Gaul ...

Forts of the Deep South

Conquistadors to the Civil War, Florida to Mississippi.

Empires rise and they fall, leaving behind the ruins of their fortresses. Until armored warships rendered masonry forts and their black powder cannons obsolete, warring European empires set on colonizing the rest of the world ...