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Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions Previous Broadcasts

Chimayo, New Mexico (Episode #610)

KQED Life: Thu, Aug 1, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico there is a small adobe sanctuary that is visited by over 300,000 people each year. It is known as the "Lourdes of America", and for thousands of years the land under the church has been considered magical by the local Native Americans. Burt Wolf tours the site, looks into the conflicting legends of its history, and investigates the miraculous healings that have been attributed to its sacred soil.

Stamp Collecting, China (Episode #609)

KQED Life: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Collecting things might be part of an innate human desire to own stuff - to gather physical evidence of our lives and the natural world around us, and for thousands of years, people have collected and brought back stuff from their travels. But in 1837, something was created that was easy to collect and gave the collector the sensation of having traveled. It was the first postage stamp. Today, there are over 200 million stamp collectors. Burt Wolf looks at the history of stamp collecting, the most popular stamp ever printed, the most valuable stamp (over one million dollars), and the great forgeries. Then Burt travels to China to find out why the government has an official policy encouraging stamp collecting.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Assisi, Italy (Episode #608)

KQED Life: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The town of Assisi, in the center of Italy was built on a hill that has been inhabited for about 4000 years, and for almost as long it has been a religious center. They say that the stones that were used to build Assisi have absorbed the prayers of the millions of pilgrims that have come there over the centuries. And now, it is believed that the stones radiate a sense of peace and quiet that has a spiritual effect on visitors. Burt Wolf tours the city, discovers the true story of the life of St. Francis and the founding of the Franciscan order, visits the sites sacred to St. Clare, explains the art in the Basilica of St. Francis, where the Italian Renaissance was born, and traces the creation of the Nativity scene.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Siena, Italy (Episode #607)

KQED Life: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

During the 9th century, the hill town of Siena in central Italy became a major stopping point on the road between Rome and Paris. During the 12th century, the city began building a series of outstanding churches, towers and public squares, and since most of the modern construction has taken place outside the old city, Siena's character remains relatively unspoiled. Burt Wolf tours the narrow winding streets and ancient buildings, looks at the history of St. Catherine and St. Bernardino, investigates a horse race that's been used to settle grudges for over 700 years, and learns how a church, a synagogue or a mosque can help us counter the effects of time.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Santa Fe, New Mexico (Episode #701)

KQED Plus: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 -- 2:30 PM

For over 12,000 years, Native Americans have been living in the area around Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Spanish arrived in the 1600s and eventually the two cultures blended together to form one of the most interesting societies in America. In this program, we take a helicopter tour of some of the most beautiful parts of the Southwest, visit the oldest church in the United States, and discover how the native tribes used modern ledger paper to preserve their heroic legends and personal stories. We visit the Loretto Chapel and inspect its magic staircase, which appears to be totally unsupported. We travel through the Bandelier National Monument and see the remains of an ancient Pueblo community and take a look at a simple and inexpensive construction technique that will keep a house in good shape for hundreds of years.

Dublin, Ireland (Episode #602)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 -- 3:30 PM

For over 700 years Dublin lived under foreign domination. Today, however, it is an independent Republic with one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe and a fashionable destination for tourists. Burt Wolf explores the city's Viking history, visits the Guinness brewery to learn how to "pull" a perfect pint, discovers the origin of the Guinness Book of Records, tours the town's classic pubs, and finds out why the ancient Book of Kells is the most valued cultural object in Ireland.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The Lands of St. Patrick, Ireland (Episode #603)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

During the 5th century, Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland and changed the course of the nation's history. Burt Wolf investigates the real story of Patrick's life, visits Patrick's original church, treks to the mystic pilgrimage sites of Lough Derg and Croagh Patrick and explores the reasons why St. Patrick became the patron saint of the Irish. He also examines the diaries of the ancient monks who chronicled the attacks of the Vikings.

Santiago De Compostela, Spain (Episode #606)

KQED Life: Fri, Jul 26, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Today, sacred travel is more popular than it has been since the Middle Ages. Each year, millions of people travel to the world's holy sites, and one of the most popular destinations is Santiago de Compostela in the Northwest corner of Spain. Burt Wolf tours its 1000-year-old Cathedra, explains the stories behind its art and architecture and watches as an eight-man team swings the world's largest flying incense burner through the structure. We see the world's oldest travel guide, and visit the Hospital of the Kings of Spain that was built in 1499 - the world's oldest hotel still in operation. We also call on a jeweler who works in Jet, an ancient gemstone so black that describing it caused the phrase "jet black" to become part of the English language. It is a city that can connect you with the divine.

The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago, Spain (Episode #605)

KQED Life: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

A pilgrimage is a trip to a place that was made holy by a special event, or because it held a magical object, or both. People have been making pilgrimages for tens of thousands of years, and one of the most famous is the road to Santiago across Northern Spain. It is like walking through a continuous museum. You cross two-thousand-year-old bridges that were built by the Romans. You sit down to lunch in the reconstruction of a five-thousand-year-old Iron Age hut. You are in constant contact with the great art and architecture of the Middle Ages. Burt Wolf walks the sacred road, looks at the legend of Santiago, and discovers why, even in modern times, over 200,000 people make the trip every year.

The Abbeys of Austria (Episode #604)

KQED Life: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

As boats sail west on the Danube River, from the Austrian city of Vienna, they stop at some of the most magnificent monasteries in Europe. The abbeys at Melk and Klosterneuburg are two of the most famous. Klosterneuburg has been home to a group of Augustinian clergy for over 900 years and contains the Verdun Altar, which is one of the world's most important medieval works of art. Melk was founded as a Roman garrison and became the cradle of Austrian history. Its library contains hundreds of colorfully illustrated books and was probably the inspiration for Umberto Eco's medieval murder mystery, "The Name of the Rose". It also has the only working model of a reusable coffin that was promoted by the King of Austria. Burt Wolf tours both monasteries and stops for lunch at the restaurant of one of Europe's most talented women chefs.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

The Lands of St. Patrick, Ireland (Episode #603)

KQED Life: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

During the 5th century, Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland and changed the course of the nation's history. Burt Wolf investigates the real story of Patrick's life, visits Patrick's original church, treks to the mystic pilgrimage sites of Lough Derg and Croagh Patrick and explores the reasons why St. Patrick became the patron saint of the Irish. He also examines the diaries of the ancient monks who chronicled the attacks of the Vikings.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Dublin, Ireland (Episode #602)

KQED Life: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

For over 700 years Dublin lived under foreign domination. Today, however, it is an independent Republic with one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe and a fashionable destination for tourists. Burt Wolf explores the city's Viking history, visits the Guinness brewery to learn how to "pull" a perfect pint, discovers the origin of the Guinness Book of Records, tours the town's classic pubs, and finds out why the ancient Book of Kells is the most valued cultural object in Ireland.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 -- 12:30 AM
  • KQED Life: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Chimayo, New Mexico (Episode #610)

KQED Plus: Sun, Jul 21, 2013 -- 2:30 PM

In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico there is a small adobe sanctuary that is visited by over 300,000 people each year. It is known as the "Lourdes of America", and for thousands of years the land under the church has been considered magical by the local Native Americans. Burt Wolf tours the site, looks into the conflicting legends of its history, and investigates the miraculous healings that have been attributed to its sacred soil.

Southwestern, France (Episode #508)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us on a tour of the city of Toulouse, discovers why the color blue terrified the soldiers of ancient Rome and how the cloth dyers of Toulouse used blue to make a fortune. They don't call royal families blue bloods for nothing. We visit the largest Romanesque Church in Europe, find out how in 1222 the King of France set the pattern for Donald Trump's real estate deals. We take a look at a group of 35,000-year-old cave paintings that were used to teach young men to hunt. We find out where to rent a houseboat and wander along one of the most beautiful canals in the world. We are guided through the largest collection of works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, visit Carcassonne, a walled city for over 2,500 year, and stop into one of the finest restaurants in the area to check out the local specialties.

Atlantic City, New Jersey (Episode #601)

KQED Life: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

In 1854, two real estate promoters turned a windswept island off the coast of New Jersey into America's favorite seaside resort. Burt Wolf looks at the history of Atlantic City, America's first official lifeguard service, the invention of Salt Water Taffy, and the workings of the modern slot machine. He also tours Atlantic City's hotels, casinos and restaurants, including the shop were the sub-sandwich was invented. Finally, we discover how Atlantic City helped invent "Monopoly", the world's best selling board game.

The Shrine at Lourdes, France (Episode #510)

KQED Life: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

In the southwest corner of France, Lourdes is one of the most important shrines in the Christian world. Famous as a site for healing miracles, over 7000 cures have been documented. Burt takes us on a tour of the churches of Lourdes, discovers the story of the shrine's beginnings, visits the mysterious grotto, takes part in a torch light procession, uncovers the shrine's political significance in the history of France and its role in the story of woman's rights. He also interviews the doctor who was in charge for the investigation of the most recent medical miracle.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Krakow, Poland (Episode #509)

KQED Life: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

For hundreds of years Krakow has been one of the great cultural centers of Eastern Europe. We tour the city, visit the ancient castle and Cathedral on Wawel Hill, discover the origin of the croissant, look at some of the 2.5 million works of art in the city's museums and find out how the immodest sight of a woman's legs saved the town's Medieval wall. Burt also checks out what's cooking and visits the Jewish quarter of Krakow that was founded in the 14th century.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Southwestern, France (Episode #508)

KQED Life: Tue, Jul 16, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Burt takes us on a tour of the city of Toulouse, discovers why the color blue terrified the soldiers of ancient Rome and how the cloth dyers of Toulouse used blue to make a fortune. They don't call royal families blue bloods for nothing. We visit the largest Romanesque Church in Europe, find out how in 1222 the King of France set the pattern for Donald Trump's real estate deals. We take a look at a group of 35,000-year-old cave paintings that were used to teach young men to hunt. We find out where to rent a houseboat and wander along one of the most beautiful canals in the world. We are guided through the largest collection of works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, visit Carcassonne, a walled city for over 2,500 year, and stop into one of the finest restaurants in the area to check out the local specialties.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Jul 16, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

The Shrine at Czestochowa, Poland (Episode #507)

KQED Life: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The destination for pilgrims for over 600 years, this monastery houses a painting of the Virgin and Child thought to have been painted by St. Luke. We tour a 15th century library, discover the three essential elements that connect an image to a miracle and what gives an image its supernatural powers. We also find out what makes places like the Vietnam Memorial, The Alamo, our Civil War Battlefields, and Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace popular locations for a pilgrimage.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

The Shrine of Guadalupe (Episode #502)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 -- 3:30 PM

Burt goes to Washington, DC to tour our nation's National Shrine, then to Tepeyac, Mexico to join 5 million pilgrims who are taking part in the Feast Day of the patron saint of the Americas. We see how a revered picture - Our Lady of Guadalupe - became a symbol of hope and freedom for native Indians of Mexico as well as the Spanish settlers. We discover the history of Tequila and join Burt as he sits down to a meal of fried ants and grasshoppers. And you thought life is tough on "Survivor".

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Sun, Jul 14, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Taipei (Episode #503)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Guided by Taiwan's most famous television cook (the Emeril of the Orient), Burt tours the city's night market. We visit the traditional shops, and an extraordinary weekend jewelry market. We learn how practicing the martial arts can help keep your body young and how the ancient art of Chinese Medicine works. We are introduced to the world's most famous Chinese dance group and a television network devoted to Kung Fu puppets. We also get a riverside seat for the annual dragon boat races.

The Future of Shopping (Episode #506)

KQED Life: Fri, Jul 12, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

We discover how shopping kept our original 13 colonies together during the Revolutionary War. How shopping is used not to make each of us different but to let us become part of a community. What the future of shopping might look like on the Internet. We meet a woman who closed her antique business on earth and opened one in cyberspace, a man who designed an Internet business that sells a car a minute and interview Meg Whitman, the President of eBay.

The History and Science of Shopping (Episode #505)

KQED Life: Thu, Jul 11, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The two questions travelers ask most often are, "Where should I eat?" and "Where should I shop?" In this program, Burt takes a look at the history of shopping from its beginnings in 17th century London and the first department store in Paris, to New York's Fifth Avenue and the auction of a 92-million dollar painting at Sotheby's. We find out how the brains of men and women make them shop differently, who introduced the idea of ready-to-wear clothing and why. We see how the French Revolution changed the way people shopped, how the shopping bag and the price tag were invented, and why the survival of a nation can depend on how it shops.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Jul 11, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Mexico City (Episode #504)

KQED Life: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Burt goes to Guadalupe, Mexico to uncover the Story of Juan Diego and the patron Saint of Mexico. We discover how Christian groups separated themselves from Jews during the first century after Christ. We go to Seville, Spain to take part in the Holy Week processions, learn why Baroque churches were built to save Catholicism, and find out that after centuries of tradition, the people of Mexico have come to believe in only two things: Our Lady of Guadalupe and The National Lottery.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Taipei (Episode #503)

KQED Life: Tue, Jul 9, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Guided by Taiwan's most famous television cook (the Emeril of the Orient), Burt tours the city's night market. We visit the traditional shops, and an extraordinary weekend jewelry market. We learn how practicing the martial arts can help keep your body young and how the ancient art of Chinese Medicine works. We are introduced to the world's most famous Chinese dance group and a television network devoted to Kung Fu puppets. We also get a riverside seat for the annual dragon boat races.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Jul 9, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

The Shrine of Guadalupe (Episode #502)

KQED Life: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Burt goes to Washington, DC to tour our nation's National Shrine, then to Tepeyac, Mexico to join 5 million pilgrims who are taking part in the Feast Day of the patron saint of the Americas. We see how a revered picture - Our Lady of Guadalupe - became a symbol of hope and freedom for native Indians of Mexico as well as the Spanish settlers. We discover the history of Tequila and join Burt as he sits down to a meal of fried ants and grasshoppers. And you thought life is tough on "Survivor".

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Sun, Jul 14, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

Yucatan, Mexico (Episode #404)

KQED Life: Sat, Jul 6, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The Yucatan peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico, juts out into the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf. It is home to the most impressive concentration of Mayan ruins. Burt takes us to Uxmal, the intellectual and cultural center of the Maya, tells us the best places to shop for hammocks and panama hats, explores the capital which at one time had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world, and explains what makes flamingoes pink.

Taiwan (Episode #501)

KQED Life: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The island of Taiwan just off the coast of mainland China has held on to most of the ancient principles of Chinese culture while incorporating the most modern aspects of western society. We visit the most important temples, find out how the gods direct your future behavior, and discover the secrets of getting the best flavor when you make a cup of tea. We also find out what's cooking.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Jungfrau Region, Switzerland (Episode #406)

KQED Life: Thu, Jul 4, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

In the heart of Switzerland, the Jungfrau region is considered to be one of the most remarkable spots for lovers of nature. You'll take a steamer to the ancient villages on Lake Thun, visit the site of Clint Eastwood's film The Eiger Sanction, ride the highest railroad in Europe to a research station that is studying the earth atmosphere, and climb inside a million year old waterfall.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Thu, Jul 4, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Eastern Switzerland (Episode #405)

KQED Life: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

One of the best-kept secrets in European travel, Eastern Switzerland is picturesque and uncrowded. You'll visit the finest Baroque abbey in Switzerland, a textile center that still produces some of the best embroidery, and one of the greatest couture houses in Europe. You meet a group of sculptors who are uncovering the history of a famous Greek statue, discover how dulcimers are made and played, and see the ultimate democracy in action.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Yucatan, Mexico (Episode #404)

KQED Life: Tue, Jul 2, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The Yucatan peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico, juts out into the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf. It is home to the most impressive concentration of Mayan ruins. Burt takes us to Uxmal, the intellectual and cultural center of the Maya, tells us the best places to shop for hammocks and panama hats, explores the capital which at one time had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world, and explains what makes flamingoes pink.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Tue, Jul 2, 2013 -- 8:30 AM

Winter In Valais, Switzerland (Episode #403)

KQED Life: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 -- 12:30 AM

The most mountainous region in Switzerland, the Valais has some of the highest peaks in Europe including the Matterhorn. Since the middle of the 1800s, the snow, the blue skies and Swiss hospitality have attracted tourists to this area. You'll see 24 of the world's best snowboarders drop down 10,000 feet of uncharted mountain, travel along with the Glacier Patrol as they race across the top of the Swiss Alps, learn the art of curling, discover the secrets of dog-sledding, tend the Dalai Lama's vineyard and take a train ride through some of the world's most beautiful country.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 -- 8:30 AM
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