16th Century ‘Prayer Nuts’ Hide Miniature Carvings

If you were wealthy and devout in 16th century Europe, one of the ultimate possessions was a prayer nut. These tiny wooden spheres were intricately carved boxes filled with religious scenes like the Crucifixion. Worn around the neck attached to a rosary or on the owners belt, it has been theorized that the outer carvings were inserted with aromatic plants and oils to add to the experience of owning one.

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Bridges on Euro Banknotes Were Fictional, But This Dutch Designer Built Them Anyway

In designing the new Euro banknotes released in 2002, Austrian designer Robert Kalina purposely created fictitious bridges to represent architectural styles through European history. It was deemed a good idea to keep things generic and not show favoritism for any member country in the EU’s newly formed Eurozone. Now, Dutch designer Robin Stam has turned that idea on its head.

“The European Bank didn’t want to use real bridges so I thought it would be funny to claim the bridges and make them real

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Illustrations Filling the Sky Between Buildings

When you look up at the sky and think of art, you might think of skywriting airplanes or animals made out of clouds, but French illustrator Thomas Lamadieu is giving “sky art” a whole new look. The photographer has recently been capturing the view above in tiny courtyards around Germany, Belgium and France, and then using the building framed sky as the canvas for his whimsically hemmed in characters.

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100 Years Later: First World War Photos Superimposed on the Locations Today

With this year marking 100 years since the start of the First World War, it becomes more and more difficult to remember the world changing conflict. The last veteran of “The Great War,” Florence Green, passed away in 2012, leaving few people to share the stories of that bloody time or remind us of the world as it was… but we still have the pictures. Photographer Peter Macdiarmid revisited the locations of World War I-era images and recaptured the places as they appear today. These old photographs overlaid on their modern day counterparts reveal how much those locations have changed, or how much they’ve stayed the same.

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Albania: A Bunker for Every 4 People

From the series "Concresco" by David Galjaard

Although it was chosen as the No.1 Destination in Lonely Planet’s list of ten top countries to visit for 2011, Albania is still a country unexplored and unknown to most. The small coastal nation, wedged between Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece, was once home to a long-running government overseen by Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha. When Dutch photographer David Galjaard recently visited the country, he created Concresco, a series based on one of the lasting reminders of that regime – over 750,000 cement bunkers.

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You’ve Never Seen a Flower Parade Like This Before!

I’ve got to admit that I don’t usually rank flower parades that far up my list of cool things… but this example from the Netherlands completely blew me away. Bloemencorso, the annual parade of flowers, takes place in Zundert and features some of the most creative and modern examples of the floral sculpting form you’re likely to see. Find out more about the parade (which happens again September 1st and 2nd, 2013) at bloemencorsozundert.nl.

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1000 European Breweries on One Map

The beer obsessed folks over at Pop Chart Labs have outdone themselves again, creating a thirst inducing poster of breweries and abbeys on the European continent. Featuring nearly 1,000 breweries, from craft to micro, the beautiful print seems to be designed specifically as an inspiration for future travels, tasty ones at that.

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Vaults: Mesmerizing Patterns on Cathedral Ceilings

The next time you find yourself in a Romanesque or Gothic european church, cathedral or basilica, lay down on the floor and cast your eyes up to the mesmerizing ceiling. Built between the 12th and 16th centuries, it’s hard to believe the level of detail and variation in these marvels of architecture from over half a millennia ago. The designs, full of intricately repeating ribbed diamonds and triangles, look like kaleidoscopic designs carved from stone… actually, that’s not far from the truth.

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The Bold Art of the European Tour Bus

Often looking like a mix between color field paintings and some pretty rad late 80s skater art, the sides of european tour busses are a vastly under-appreciated art form. Photographer Taylor Holland has been working to change that, capturing the rolling canvas’ during his Paris bicycle commute in ways that put the art clearly and boldly in our focus. His shots crop out the main mechanics of the busses, leaving little but colorful hubcaps and vents to clue us into the origin of the striking graphics. What is left are bright patterns worthy of far more than the passing glances that they get rolling the streets… and that was just his intention.

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25 Awesome Castles You Should See

Anyone who has done even a little bit of traveling knows the drill – if the place you are visiting has a castle, taking an overpriced tour that ends with you being ripped off in an overpriced gift shop is a non-negotiable. Don’t worry though, you’re not the first person to be tortured within the confines of those massive walls, and at least nowadays it involves taking your money rather than your appendages. To spare you the wallet pain, however, the team at List25 has scoured the globe in order to bring you 25 awesome castles you should see… at least on your computer screen.

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