A friendly handshake and a large smile set the tone for a new adventure, breaking the cloudy weather and the rainy mood with the positive vibration of optimism. I have O. by my side, a genuine tourist and a charming French woman with an overflowing refinement, in front of who any gloomy hint on my face dodges, clearly affected by the early waking in the morning, in combination with the gray tones of the weather. It was not the first city break in Iasi, but this time it was fair to call it my first “séjour en ville”. I started walking with shriveled steps, and with my hands clutching the umbrella, alongside cheerful O. She seemed to carry a bit of the French sun. Her attitude reminded me of a famous slogan: “London. Rain. Strong wind. Hairstyle lasts.”Only that in this context, what was lasting was the enthusiasm in our historical Iasi.
The Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922) represented, for more than six centuries, an imperial superpower from the Mediterranean area and not only. This great power has its origins in the Sunnit nation founded by the Turks in the Nord-West of Antalia, under the leadership of Osman the Ιst, considered the founder of the Empire.
Mehmed the ΙΙnd is considered by Turkish historians, but also by western erudites, the key to Ottomans’ success. Since the age 19, when he became a sultan, he was seen as a great strategist; the Empire was reorganized under his reign, arriving to enormous proportions.
The expansion of the Ottoman Empire began with the occupation of the Balkan Peninsula, under the leadership of Murad the Ιst, between 1362-1389 and the fall of Constantinople(Istambul nowadays) in 1453, which became the third capital of the Empire. The decline of the Byzantine Empire was a world catastrophe, being associated with the subjugation of Troy. Continue reading “The Ottoman Empire – a superpower for six centuries”
A spiritual place which binds the past with the present on an axe of more than one thousand years, lies today under the sun of Austria, where the European monastic Christianity embodies an earthly kingdom. Melk Abbey, which is a Benedictine abbey, watches over the town of Melk from a rocky outcrop overlooking the Wachau Valley of the Danube river. Dating from 1089, the abbey was at first the residence of Leopold I, until 113 years later, his descendent, Leopold II, also Margrave of Austria, gave the castle to Benedictine monks from Lambach. Ever since, the monks have lived and worked here without interruption, thus Melk Abbey being one of the very few places which has continuously performed its function. A peculiarity that increases the value of this place is the double role it had in time, history registering it as both a secular and a theological site.
When life is hard, when the sad moments keep bothering you, and trouble does not leave you alone, there is a solution which will certainly bear fruit: the prayer. The sages say that we should pray in every moment of life, be it happy or sad, because it really helps, or at least it helps us to stand our ground. The prayer is the force through which we get energy, that energy we need in order to survive.