Wonders of the World
Wonders of the World: the podcast that visits the great places on Earth to tell the story of our people, our civilization, and our planet.
info_outline 070 - The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela 08/27/2020
070 - The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela Ethiopia is a millenia-old culture, one of the powers of the ancient world. The ancient capital of Aksum, possible home of the Lost Ark, sits below mighty obelisks, testaments to wealth still hidden below the city.
info_outline 069 - The Grand Canal of Venice 08/06/2020
069 - The Grand Canal of Venice In 1204, Christian crusaders sacked Constantinople, the world's largest Christian city, destroying or pillaging countless artifacts, books, and works of art. Some of those works of art ended up in Venice, for which 1204 represents the beginning of her dominance of the Mediterranean world.
info_outline Bonus - Your Questions, Answered 06/25/2020
Bonus - Your Questions, Answered A quick break from the wonders narratives to answer many questions about Drew, the show, the wonders, food, travel and more! Find out which wonders missed the list, why there won't be a WotW cookbook, and why Drew has issues with "synergy" and "win-win" scenarios. Plus a new Demetrios Poliorcetes!
info_outline 067 - The Djemaa el-Fna of Marrakesh 06/11/2020
067 - The Djemaa el-Fna of Marrakesh The greatest of squares throbs with life: the scent of spiced, roasted meat, the cacophony of voices and drums, the visual rainbow of color. The Djemaa el-Fna is everything and more. Its history reflects the great medieval golden age of Morocco under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, a golden age for prosperity but not necessarily for culture.
info_outline 066 - Angkor Wat 04/23/2020
066 - Angkor Wat The Cambodian jungle hides one of the world's largest pre-industrial cities: Angkor. Highlighted by its main temple, Angkor Wat, the city's monuments testify to the prosperity of the Khmer empire. From Suryavarman to Jayavarman VII, Angkor's kings led a society built on pushing back the jungle, until the jungle finally won.
info_outline 065 - Monument Valley 04/02/2020
065 - Monument Valley America's most famous landscape, Monument Valley and its fantastic red-streaked buttes have starred in countless films. Its story truly reflects the people who have lived here for centuries: the Navajo, and before them, the Ancestral Puebloans.
info_outline 062 - The Bayeux Tapestry 01/16/2020
062 - The Bayeux Tapestry It's the world's greatest comic strip. The Bayeux Tapestry documents the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest. We explore this cheeky document and its tale: the story of 1066, that most crucial year in English history. It's the tale of Edward the Confessor, earl Harold Godwinson, military machine Harald Hardrada, and William the Bastard Duke of Normandy. There's battles, invasions, and an insane amount of luck.
info_outline Bonus - Lake Ohrid 12/25/2019
Bonus - Lake Ohrid A bonus holiday episode! In the mountains of North Macedonia sits Lake Ohrid, a deep, blue lake as old as time. On its shores, Samuel directed his Bulgarian kingdom's last hurrah against the Roman Empire. His opponent: Basil II, known as the "Bulgar-Slayer." Oh.
info_outline 3rd Anniversary Bonus - Fifty States Ranked 11/11/2019
3rd Anniversary Bonus - Fifty States Ranked People often ask me where they should go when they visit the US. Having been to all 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico, which should be states), I can actually answer this. And in this not-at-all-serious episode, I try to answer that question.
info_outline 061 - The Volcanic and Geothermal Features of Iceland 10/10/2019
061 - The Volcanic and Geothermal Features of Iceland Europe and North America are drifting apart, and the plates diverge in Iceland. Iceland's underground magma and mountaintop glaciers have created a wonderland of fire and ice, the perfect setting for a remarkable medieval culture.
info_outline 058 - The Medina of Fes 07/18/2019
058 - The Medina of Fes Nestled in the hills of north central Morocco, Fès' ancient walled medina is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, passages and souks: the world's largest car-free urban space. Founded by an Arab refugee-turned-Moroccan king, Fès also claims the world's oldest university, built by a refugee from Tunisia.
info_outline 056 - The Underground Cities and Rock Formations of Cappadocia 06/06/2019
056 - The Underground Cities and Rock Formations of Cappadocia In the soft rock of Cappadocia, Turkey, eroded into fantastic shapes, ancient peoples carved dwelling places. By the Byzantine era, locals created vast underground refuges to hide from foreign armies.
info_outline 055 - The Mezquita of Córdoba 05/16/2019
055 - The Mezquita of Córdoba The eighth century's greatest adventure story. Abd al-Rahman is the only male member of his Umayyad family to survive a massacre. He escapes through many adventures to try his luck in Spain, or as it was called then: Al-Andalus. He eventually establishes what would become Medieval Europe's richest and most prosperous country.
info_outline 054 - The Giant's Causeway 04/25/2019
054 - The Giant's Causeway On the Northern Ireland coast lie more than 40,000 interlocking hexagonal columns. To the ancient Irish, the basalt columns -- the result of a volcanic eruption -- seemed like the base of a bridge made for giants by the hero Finn McCool.
info_outline 052 - The Kailashanatha Temple of Ellora 03/14/2019
052 - The Kailashanatha Temple of Ellora Early medieval India saw the rise of an empire based in the Deccan plateau: the Rashtrakutas. Despite significant power and influence, their story is little-known and under-appreciated, from King Amoghavarsha the author to their masterpiece at Ellora.
info_outline 051 - The Stelae of Copán 02/28/2019
051 - The Stelae of Copán Back to the land of the Maya, to visit their most stunning artistic achievement. The stelae of Copán, carved for Waxaklajuun Ubaad Kawiil, are humanist yet fantastic. His reign marked the highest point and also the lowest; within decades of his death, Copán and other Classic Mayan cities would be abandoned. Or were they?
info_outline 050 - The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus 02/14/2019
050 - The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus The Muslims exploded onto the scene in the 7th century, but had to manage their new empire. We go to Syria, where Damascus served as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. The Umayyads eventually took control following the turmoil of finding successors to Muhammad.
info_outline 049 - The Giant Buddha of Leshan 01/24/2019
049 - The Giant Buddha of Leshan We return to China, where the Tang Dynasty has embarked on a golden age. In the valleys of Sichuan, a monk begins to carve the largest statue built in pre-industrial history. And in Chang'an, the world's largest city, a young girl begins the path which would take her to the throne.
info_outline Bonus - The Murals of Panjakent 12/20/2018
Bonus - The Murals of Panjakent Off to Tajikistan, to visit the intriguing murals of the Sogdians, a civilization wedged between Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Chinese, yet rich and remarkable on their own. In Panjakent, we have wall paintings of regular people, preserved for centuries.
info_outline 048 - The Temples of Tikal 12/13/2018
048 - The Temples of Tikal The Maya return as we visit Tikal, nestled in the jungles of Guatemala, and pick up the story of Nuun Ujol Chaak, after he left Palenque. And even if he might fall in the end, his son Jasaw Chan Kawi'il would restore Tikal to greatness. It's his pyramids that tower above the treeline.
info_outline 047 - The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque 11/22/2018
047 - The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque Back to Mesoamerica, as we introduce the Maya. In the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, sits the city of Palenque. Among its magnificent ruins is the Temple of the Inscriptions, the tomb of king Pakal. His rule was one of the longest in human history.