Today we are in Waldensian Country learning about the early Reformation. The Casa Valdese was and still is used as a meeting place for Waldensian leaders.
This is the City Hall of Geneva, where the Unitarian Michael Servetus was sentenced to death. He came to Geneva after escaping prison, where he was being held for heresy. Two Catholic countries were trying to have him executed. Calvin is often censured for burning him at the stake, but in actuality he thought it was a cruel form of execution, and the decision was not made by him.
Today we visited Geneva – which was a city of refuge in the Alps, to many Protestants fleeing persecution in the 16th century. It was also a center of missionary activity. Thousands were trained here and sent out all over the world.
Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we’re on a tour/film shoot in Europe. We’ll post pictures and stories along the way, from Geneva, Rome, Wittenburg, and many places in between.
This wooden structure overlooks a quiet field on the outskirts of the town of Crecy in France. However, on the 26th of August, 1346, this field was by no means quiet or peaceful, but the scene of one of the most iconic battles of the Hundred Years War. The English and French armies were encamped on this field, doggedly finished for the control of France. The English were vastly outnumbered by the French, and yet they routed their foes soundly, sending them fleeing from the field! Both sides believed that the outcome of the battle was dependent on one all-important fact… find out what it was in our video, “Why Did the English Win the Battle of Crecy”
There’s a remnant of royal splendor left in costal North Carolina – Tryon Palace, a reconstruction of the palace built for the royal governor and finished in 1770. This was an expensive building for the colony, and many people were upset by the taxes that were raised to fund it. These tensions led to the War of the Regulation in 1770, and ultimately the American War for Independence.
Although today, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an uninhabited wilderness, when the land was being purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, there were people who lived and worked in the area. Evidence of their presence can be found in bald mountains used to graze cattle, and cabins like this one, in Cades Cove. Some of the inhabitants lived in the park until the 1960s.
In 1763 the British set a line along the Appalacian Mountains, to the Wes of which was Indian territory into which no settlers would allowed to cross. This did not sit well with American frontiers men, and many illegally entered through mountain passes like this one. This was one of many grievances against the British, and many of those frontiersmen made great soldiers for the Patriot cause.
If you visit the home of Charles Pinckney, you will find no monument commemorating his achievements as signer of the Constitution and governor of South Carolina. But in he peaceful grounds of his country estate you may find a stone he raised in tribute to his own father – also Charles Pinckney – three years after his death. On it, he inscribed the words of Thomas Gray, including the following:
What is grandeur, what is power?
Heavier toil, superior pain!What the bright reward we gain?
The grateful mem’ry of the good.
Bookcases in the the library of Aiken, the 19th century governor of South Carolina.