On this day in 1936, the Olympic flame burned from up high, announcing the start of the Winter Olympics hosted by… the Third Reich. The games were a propaganda coup for Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
In 1947, a trio of Bedouin shepherds came across a remarkable find near the Qumrān ruins in Palestine—or so the sensational story goes.
On this day in 1952, just over a decade after the wartime Blitz, death from above hit the streets of London again. Smog was everywhere, blinding pedestrians and even creeping into cinema screens.
Fossilized tree resin has been valued for thousands of years, not only because of its yellowy-orange hue, but also for its supposed ritual and medical properties.
Conflict is usually attributed to disputes over land and resources, inherent aggressive tendencies, or gender. Yet perhaps none of the above provide an adequate explanation.
It is one of the world’s oldest languages and belongs to the Indo-European family, meaning that Sanskrit is still alive and well today—at home and abroad.
It was thanks to the efforts of patriotic scholars that the Bohemian language and culture were rescued from the Habsburg Monarchy.
The rock with a deep blue hue has been valued since antiquity for its beautiful color, making it both a luxury product and a symbol of the gods.
It is the shade of the sea and the sky and is often associated with freedom, as well as sensitivity. Yet the universal recognition of blue came relatively late.
History suggests that, in order to kill, people must reject their natural reflexes—often by taking on an animalistic identity.
Marta Bogdańska, creator of the “Shifters” art project, talks about the history of humans (mis)using animals in armed forces and intelligence agencies.
The history of the Celts stretches back thousands of years and across the breadth of Central and Western Europe.
The Celtic Druids possessed great knowledge and were highly respected, yet they tended to be violent – and did not have to be men.
Boudica, the queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe, led a revolt against the Roman occupation of Britain. She will not be forgotten any time soon.
From the Golden Age of Hollywood to recent slasher flicks, cinema history is full of screams. The Wilhelm Scream might be its most famous.
Born in the early 19th century, Ada Lovelace defied the gender norms of her time by making significant contributions to the field of computing – and becoming the first computer programmer.
Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sophia both loved and tormented each other. How did the troubled Russian writer live his last few months?
The sages and mystics of ancient Greece engaged in practices that bear resemblance to those of Siberian shamans. How might they be connected?
As the literature of recent centuries shows, our relationship with silence – as ritual, as protective, as deathly – has a long and rich history.
Between the Middle Ages and the turn of the 19th century, the custom of wearing mourning jewellery flourished, especially among the British elite.
Barrandov Studios is the largest film studio in the Czech Republic. Today, it is used for blockbuster Hollywood productions, but how did it all begin?
The Georgian era in Britain was a time of opulence. What jewellery trends emerged during this period of middle- and upper-class wealth?
The Lwów School of Mathematics comprised some of the most brilliant mathematical minds – the problems they posited still inspire the latest maths theories.
Inca customs around death and the afterlife not only involved mummification – they were also influenced by beliefs in the cult of the sun.
Lake Titicaca sits in the Andes, on the border of Peru and Bolivia. What significance does it hold for the Indigenous people who live on the lake?
The Neolithic revolution brought with it the advent of agriculture. What exactly did this entail and who should we thank for it?
The rituals of the Freemasons are shrouded in secrecy, but what about the symbols and iconography on Masonic jewellery?
The Karaites are Poland’s smallest ethnic minority. What do we know about their history? And what does their future hold?
Stanisław Poniatowski owned one of the most remarkable – and scandalous – collections of ancient carved gemstones.
The Kon-Tiki expedition aimed to prove that Polynesians were descended from the Indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Its results were impressive, but problematic.
The European witch hunting mania was inspired by religious fervour, colonial ambitions, and prolonged periods of societal instability.
Almost 700 years ago, the Moroccan Muslim scholar Muhammad Ibn Battuta travelled around 117,000 kilometres across the world – more than any other pre-modern explorer.
Joanna Ostrowska, author of a book about gay people during World War II, talks about why it is crucial to honour the memory of LGBT people in Poland.
Herodotus wrote “The Histories” nearly 2500 years ago in ancient Greece. Nonetheless, it is still a relevant and influential book for us today.
Throughout the history of art, children are rarely depicted affectionately in paintings. Rather, they represent the politics and society of their times.
The Roman philosopher, dramatist and statesman talks with a modern day Stoic about what we can learn from children and how Stoicism can guide us through the contemporary world.
The book “Bushido: The Soul of Japan” was a bestseller in the West. But what did its author – a Japanese economist, diplomat and politician – really know about the way of the samurai?
Hot springs and thermal baths have been enjoyed by humans (and animals) for thousands of years. They have health benefits, too.
The built environment – that which encompasses architecture – is rarely neutral. It intertwines with history and memory, as examples from France and Poland illustrate.
The bubonic plague ravaged the world for centuries, killing up to 200 million people.
On this day in 1863, a certain French author published his first novel, about three Brits taking a balloon trip over Africa. Jules Verne’s debut was a hit, and guaranteed his legacy.
Our eternally pessimistic correspondent gives his historical highlights for the month of January.
Architect Łukasz Galusek takes us on a tour through the towns, landscapes and architecture of Central Europe, where history and memory is ever-present.
Want to live forever? Why not try cryonics – an expensive and unproven scientific procedure with tempting results, at least for some.
The ancient Egyptians – quite unlike any other civilization – placed a huge emphasis on death in their customs, rituals and beliefs.
Journalist Aleksandra Lipczak talks about her latest book, “Lajla znaczy noc” [Layla Means Night], which tells the story of Al-Andalus, the southern part of Spain, which was once under Arab rule.
World War II may have been coming to an end in the summer of 1945, but its destruction was palpable all across Poland. An early issue of “Przekrój” reflected on this.
Lacrosse is North America’s oldest sport, practised by the various Native American peoples long before the Europeans colonized their land – and the game.
Oren Harman, author of “Evolution: Fifteen Myths That Explain Our World”, talks about Daedalus and Icarus, the power of myths, and the role of storytelling in science.
The Białowieża Primaeval Forest is one of the oldest forests in Europe. It is also home to a number of centuries-old burial mounds.