I love to study history. The ancient Greeks, Alexander the Great first and foremost, the Roman history, the Byzantine empire, the Cathars.
My favorite time in history is the middle ages. I love to read about medieval life, about the rich and the poor, about cities and how they were built, about how daily life was during those times. Of course, a lot of it isn’t known, but the sketchy details that are there leave a picture I can fill in with my mind.
I love to read about guilds and kings, about betrayal and deceit, about masters in painting and fighting, about medieval women, about building styles, about books and how they were made, about details sneaked into the illustrations.
What I love most is to visit the places that are still standing. Whenever we travel I make a habit of figuring out where the medieval parts are, what the history of the place is before we head out.
Even though I am not religious, I love medieval churches most of all. We’ve visited one in Italy, 5 years ago. It was a church that didn’t go to remodeling phases like those I have visited. It still had the tiny windows (instead of large gothic windows that usually got added to medieval churches). I loved the lanterns and the candle spots above them, and the light was just fantastic, albeit hard to take pictures 🙂
It was amazing. I still remember how it felt to walk around in there. Breathtaking place. Wish I had jotted down where it was 🙂
Another favorite place is Carcassonne.
It’s a pity that it now is more commercial than anything else, finding stores with the same wares that anyone else sells. But if you look straight through that, you see what living used to be like back in the middle ages. It’s mind-boggling.
There are many more favorite medieval spots. It would take a book to describe all the medieval places I have seen and experienced, things I found out about them and such.
If you would like to experience what medieval life was like, read this book:
The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century