The Black Death

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The Black Death - The World's Most Devastating Plague
Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake, the…
Rothenburg—Jewel on the Romantic Road
In this beautifully preserved German medieval city, explore the imposing mansions of the city's former elite, the grand fountains, and the market square with its remarkable gothic Town Hall. Also visit St. Jakob's Church, a treasury of medieval and early Renaissance art, and walk the powerful bastions of the city…
Europe on the Brink of the Black Death
Episode 1 of The Black Death
Begin to contemplate the enormity of the Black Death's impact on the medieval world. As context for the harrowing events to come, take account of the state of medieval society on the eve of the plague. In particular, investigate the religious, economic, and political structures of mid-14th-century Europe.
Siena—Good Government
Siena's turbulent medieval history is vividly represented in the city we see today. Trace the republic's defining 13th-century victory over the Florentines, visit the fortified palaces of the great feudal families and the monumental buildings of the beautiful Piazza del Campo, and marvel at the city's complex medieval water system.
Avignon—The Babylonian Captivity
Traveling now to France, contemplate the unusual history of Avignon as the 14th-century seat of the papacy--an era that created the medieval city we see today. Visit the extensive circuit of medieval walls, the great Romanesque cathedral with its splendid papal tombs, and the imposing buildings of the Palace Square.
Did Plague Really Cause the Black Death?
Episode 3 of The Black Death
In recent years, scholars have reassessed the causes of the Black Death, questioning how it spread through medieval Europe with such astonishing speed and virulence. Here, investigate additional factors that may have contributed to the devastation, such as other diseases, bacteria, and other possible forms of transmission.
Bruges—Built on the Sea and Trade
Begin at the Markt, the medieval commercial center of Bruges, and learn about the city's great mercantile empires and valiant 14th-century uprising against the French that established civic liberty. Visit architectural masterpieces such as the magnificent Town Hall, the Old Recorder's House, the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and splendid…
Prague—Castle Hill
Prague's political and religious history comes alive as you climb Hradcany Hill to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Explore the castle's large medieval complex, noting historical sites such as the Chancery and Imperial Court Council Rooms. Study the stunning interiors of the cathedral, and visit Prague's great monasteries.
Barcelona—The Gothic Quarter
Walk the streets of Barcelona's beautifully preserved medieval center, reflecting on the remarkable Palace of the Generalitat and the calm elegance of the Catalan Gothic cathedral and cloisters. Delve into Barcelona's turbulent history under the Visigoths, Moors, and Franks, and its flourishing as a great maritime power.
Mdina—The Silent City
Discover Malta's Mdina through the history of the legendary Knights of Malta, who ruled the island for nearly 300 years. Visit the great palaces of the knights and Maltese nobility, with their striking Gothic and classical architecture, and the sumptuous cathedral, and find the city's medieval atmosphere in the winding…
Renaissance Architecture in Slovakia
From Italy the styles of the Renaissance began to travel northwards into what is now East Slovakia. Because the Slavs were not familiar with the new principles of design and architecture, they invited foreigners to supervise their new buildings. But Italy was not the only source of influence; from the…
The Peasants' Revolt of 1381
Grasp how both religious frustrations and economic grievances stemming from the dislocations of the Black Death combined to bring about the most significant event in Richard II's early reign: the Middle Age's most serious revolt against the English crown.