A priest who blesses animals, winemaking firefighters, a tree in a church, an inverted phallus at a well-known entrance, an atomic bomb shelter under Gare de l’Est, a real Breton lighthouse near Montparnasse, unsuspected traces of former brothels, a patron saint of motorists, royal monograms hidden in the Louvre courtyard, the presentation of Christ’s crown of thorns, a prehistoric merry-go-round, a sundial designed by Dalí, war-wounded palm trees, bullet holes at the ministry, religious plants in a priest’s garden, a mysterious monument to Freemasonry at the Champ-de-Mars, a solid gold sphere in parliament, a Chinese temple in a parking lot, the effect of the Bièvre river on Parisian geography, a blockhouse in the Bois de
For those who thought they knew Paris well, the city is still teeming with unusual and secret places that are easily accessible.
A totally overlooked Art Nouveau masterpiece, secrets of the castle alchemists, the message in the hidden palindrome on Charles Bridge, the Kabbalistic mysteries of the Jewish ghetto, a thief’s shrivelled forearm hanging in a church, a statue revealing its intestines, the largest wind tunnel in the Czech Republic, a fragment of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in a pet cemetery, a clock that runs backwards, a house/museum painted blue to meet the needs of the partially blind musician owner …
Unmissable for lovers of architecture, from Baroque to Art Nouveau via Cubism, and the European capital of alchemy and esotericism in the 17th century, Prague offers a myriad of little-known marvels.
Martin Stejskal, historian, philosopher, artist and internationally recognised specialist on the city where he has spent his life, opens the doors to one of the most secret and captivating capitals in the world.
An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew Prague well, or who would like to discover the hidden face of the city.
Where can you find monsters in Trafalgar Square? Whatever happened to Bedlam? Where can you praise God, buy meatballs and have a sauna? What’s in the House of Dreams? To which secret society does Prince Charles belong? What’s the trick to instant weight loss?
Secret London, an unusual guide is the original and still the best of all the many alternative London guides: accept no imitation. Authors Rachel Howard and Bill Nash have prowled the city streets, seeking out the hidden, eccentric and overlooked. Now the definitive insider’s guide to London has been fully updated, with over 40 new entries and a brand new look.
Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, London still reserves any number of hidden treasures for those who know how to wander off the beaten track.
Visit a church in a prison, learn how Florence became the centre of hermetism during the Renaissance and where you can still find traces of it today, escape from the crowds of tourists to visit little-known artistic masterpieces, head off to hunt for the 34 plaques displaying quotes from the “Divine Comedy”, fill up your tank at a vintage service station, have your children count the number of bees sculpted on the monument to the glory of Ferdinand I, look for the last wine distributors of the Renaissance, notice the minuscule windows designed to let children look out quietly onto the street, visit superb private gardens that even the Florentines don’t know about, learn how the purple colour of the Fiorentina football team is connected to the pee of a Florentine crusader in Palestine . . .
Far from the crowds and usual clichés, Florence holds many well-hidden treasures that are revealed only to the city’s inhabitants or travellers who know how to step off the beaten track. An essential guide for those who think they know Florence well or for those looking to discover the hidden side of the city.
A captain who lived on the wreck of the Kakapo for three years; Table Mountain’s most exclusive hiking; a restaurant in a maximum security prison; the arboreal evidence of apartheid’s earliest manifestation; a woman disguised as a male doctor for 56 years; a beach on top of Table Mountain; a fascinating secret collection of vintage and classic cars; a magical tree renowned for its spiritual healing properties; a heated pool on a military base that’s open to the public; a secret night-time nature tour; a hamster wheel for humans . . .
Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Cape Town is a reserve of well-concealed treasures, revealed only to those residents or visitors prepared to wander off the beaten track.
An indispensable guide for those who think they know Cape Town well and those who would like to discover the hidden face of the city.
The magnetic pull of a rock which is so strong that a coin sticks, a Miniature Railway track, a lighthouse in the sky, get Married in a Boeing 747, the very first example of “Victoria’s Secret”, a fantastic private garden open one day per year and whose address is given by request only, a very surprising fine dining home restaurant in Alex, fly over the city in a plane that served for WWII in Egypt, South Africa’s oldest monument, a waterfall in the concrete jungle, a fantastic private art collection that can be visited by appointment, the private home of one of South Africa’s most prolific and famous artists of the 20th Century….
Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Johannesburg is still a reserve of well-concealed treasures that only reveal themselves to those who know how to wander off the beaten track, whether residents or visitors.
An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew Johannesburg well, or who would like to discover the hidden face of the city.
Lisa Johnston is a writer and photographer who was born and grew up in Johannesburg. She has worked variously as a travel, design and art journalist and is drawn to the unique creative pulse of the city and its people.
Claire Bell grew up on Johannesburg’s East Rand, and fell in love with the city at the age of 5, when she first caught a train downtown. A journalist and investigative researcher, she has a masters degree in philosophy from Birkbeck College in London and writes the blog UnpopularEssays.com.
Faradawn is a distributor of major travel guides, maps and atlases which include Lonely Planet, Insight Guides, Footprint Guides and Marco Polo, complemented by an excellent range of maps from Michelin.