Turns out it was hiding in plain sight by the side of a Portuguese road.
During hot, dry summers in southern Portugal, the key ingredient for medieval manuscripts grows by the roadside. It is called folium, or turnsole, and it’s derived from the fruit of Chrozophora tinctoria, a small plant that grows in the region. For centuries, folium was responsible for coloring everything from Bible scenes to, later, the rind of a popular Dutch cheese. AtlasObscura.com
The Holy Trinity Church in the center of Coventry, England dates back to at least the 13th century. It has great architectural merit in its own right, but the real star of the show is the “Coventry Doom.” AtlasObscura.com
Come September, a fleet of secure vehicles will pull up to a 17th-century building in Antwerp, Belgium, receive cases full of heavily protected cargo, and then abscond with the goods to a confidential location. The booty? Five thousand rare, centuries-old books, on their way to a 21st-century treatment. AtlasObscura.com
In late October 1323, on the eve of the feast of Saints Simon and Jude and in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a heist went awry. According to the coroner’s report, a Frenchman known as John de Chartres had just supped with his accomplices, William of Woodford and his wife Johanna, at their Milk Street residence. They crept over to Bread Street and broke into the home they had targeted, and systematically looted it as planned. But then William noticed that “John was then filled with remorse.” Unable to risk a rat, William politely asked John to light a fire in the kitchen. As John knelt over the flames William hit him with an ax, and then attempted to burn the evidence—namely, John. AtlasObscura.com
From summoning demons to stemming menstrual bleeding – there was a spell for many complaints or whims in the Middle Ages. HistoryExtra.com rounded up seven of the most interesting spells and charms used by our medieval ancestors.
Seven virtual reconstructions offer a glimpse at the fortified past.
A team of designers recently looked at the now-ruined castles of Middle Ages Europe, lifting the fortifications up from their dilapidated states and digitally reimagining the structures as they were in their heyday. atlasobscura.com