Secret Edinburgh – An Unusual Guide

Secret Edinburgh

Discover hidden gardens and clandestine art that even the neighbours overlook, visit the strangest of museums, get water-boarded in a prototype Jacuzzi and traumatised by Rabelaisian rafters, decrypt mysterious Masonic markings, step inside an Icelandic lava grotto, travel to the Wild West of Morningside, learn the secrets of Mrs Coade’s stone, sniff out the dogs more dazzling than Greyfriars Bobbie, track down traces of Edinburgh’s Great Exhibition…

Far from the tourist traps and the crowded landmarks, you may have thought Edinburgh had no more to reveal, but the city still keeps many treasures hidden away in the most unexpected of places.   An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew Edinburgh well, or who would like to explore the curiosities of this most secretive of cities.

« Most visitors only scratch the surface of the cities they visit. Most residents accidentally take for granted the places they live. This book delves deep into Edinburgh’s rich history and the stories its special places tell, nudging its reader to find delight in the esoteric details, and to go and explore our wonderful and beautiful city with fresh eyes, a spring in the step and song in the soul. »
Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage

 

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Secret Florence

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.

288 pages – ISBN: 978-2-36195-174-0 – 17,90 € / £13,99 / $19,95

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Secret French Riviera

A game of pétanque played with square boules, an astonishing aerial well, stained-plastic windows, a marble bench built in memory of the Queen of England’s haemophiliac son, the instruments of the Passion of Christ, a cannon that fires cherry stones, a good-luck pig, a mysterious pyramid, a monument to secret agents, an entire village that “moved house”, a gas mask for horses, a statue sculpted by Saint Luke, a chapel showing the dead rising from their tombs, a trapdoor in the nave of a church that opens onto a rushing torrent, a restaurant in an Orient Express railway car, Babar’s beach, Tintin’s Black Island, and Sleeping Beauty’s chateau, a chance to admire the Riviera’s first pair of naked breasts, or spend the night sleeping in a tree…
The French Riviera is not limited to the clichés of its beaches, private yachts, and luxury hotels.
For those who know how to leave behind the beaten paths, the Riviera is full of surprising details and curious sights. It will even amaze its inhabitants as well as visitors who think they know it well.

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Secret Geneva

Secret GenevaHead off to discover hidden tunnels and a bomb shelter beneath the Old City, follow a secret passage open once a year, admire the cathedral’s Orpheus capital, pray at Calvin’s fake grave, look for the plaque that compares the pope with the Antichrist, visit the secret gardens of the Carouge district, discover why the national monument represents two Savoyard women, learn where Frankenstein was created, sleep in Professor Calculus’ room, and more.

Far from the crowds and clichés, Geneva holds well-hidden treasures that are only revealed to residents and travelers who know how to wander off the beaten track. An indispensable guide for those who think they know Geneva well or who want to discover the hidden side of the city.

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Secret Istanbul

Couv Istanbul EN

A horse’s tomb that has become a place of pilgrimage, a tree held up by a pillar in the garden of a Sufi convent that would herald the end of the world if it fell down, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s glass, a carpet that predicts the end of the Ottoman empire, fragments from the Black Stone of Mecca, the covering of a fountain from Pearl Harbor in the Pacific, a church under the protection of Muhammad, a synagogue that was a landmark for Ashkenazi Jews, a garment worn by the Prophet that was inadvertently ironed, a handful of hot ash that saved the Ottoman empire.

Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Istanbul is still a reserve of well-concealed treasures only revealed to those who know how to wander off the beaten track, whether residents or visitors.

An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew Istanbul well, or who would like to discover the hidden face of the city.

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Secret Lisbon

Why is the Portuguese coat of arms set at an angle of 17° on the façade of Rossio station? Where in Portugal was The Magic Flute played for the first time and why did Mozart dedicate it to his master Cagliostro? What is the theory concerning the fifth dynasty of Portugal, traces of which are found in the street layout? Where can you find the most beautiful azulejos secreted around the city? Why and how did Lusitania become Portugal (Porto Graal), the place harbouring the legendary Holy Grail? Where can you find the Lisboan serial killer’s head preserved in formalin? Why was the south doorway of the Jerónimos Monastery designed according to Hebrew Kabbalistic principles? What symbols are concealed within the Saint Vincent polytych at the Museum of Antique Arts? Who in fact are the Sebastianists, messianic in the style of Shiite Muslims, awaiting the return of the lost King Sebastian?

Since the Middle Ages, Lisbon has been a favourite site for the development and application of the theories of alchemist kings, masonic ministers, occult poets, followers of hermeticism and the secret knowledge of the Knights Templar, who found refuge in Portugal after they were banned from the rest of Europe in the 14th century.

Vitor Manuel Adrião, acclaimed historian and philosopher, is heir to all this esoteric knowledge in Portugal. Here for the first time he reveals his incredible knowledge in this truly initiatory guide, with a mind-boggling interpretation of the arcana of a city which some consider is on the way to becoming the spiritual capital of Europe.

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Secret London – An Unusual Guide

 

Secret London

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.

“The best guide to alternative London ever. An essential purchase” (The Londonist.com)

“A fascinating London guidebook. Simply brilliant” (The travel editor.com)

“The most interesting guidebook I have had the chance to pick up in years” (Globalista)

“An insider’s look at some of London’s best-kept little secrets” (MSN Travel)

 “A wonderful book” (Glen Baxter)

384 pages – ISBN: 978-2-36195-110-8 – 17,90 €

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Secret London – Unusual Bars & Restaurants

Discover a secret club frozen in time since 1946, press the champagne button to summon the bubbly trolley to your booth, read the infamous list of house rules of a members’ club hidden behind a door with no sign outside, join a louche club in the original dressing and rehearsal rooms of a theatre, sweet-talk your way into a secret bar frequented by the Pogues and John Lydon, find a guide who’ll squeeze you into an intriguing slice of Soho history that’s only accessible from a door behind the bar, meet the members of the glorious Handlebar Moustache Club at their pub, go for serious food at knock-down prices in cookery schools, travel back to the heyday of the USSR in a hidden Polish gem of a restaurant, seek out a bar in a converted subterranean public convenience built for the 1908 Olympic Games, eat curry for free in a Sikh temple, frighten yourself in a haunted bar that contains an ancient stone marking the dead centre of the City, go to the oldest surviving Grand Music Hall in the world, have lunch in secret gardens…
100 places with amazing decor, eccentric owners, bizarre food, old-time survivors and more that will please and astonish underground and post-industrial fans, refined gourmets and cocktail drinkers, world food lovers and anyone curious enough to discover the infinite possibilities to have fun in London.
An absolute must-have to finally enjoy the amazing hidden London bar/restaurant/pub/club scene.

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Secret Madrid

Have your favourite pet blessed, visit an underground mine in the centre of Madrid, see the astounding liquefaction of the blood of Saint Pantaleon once a year, meet Spain’s only Catholic exorcist, find out how the king had his medicine made using alchemy, smell the apple odour that wafts once a year from the still-intact body of Mariana de Jesús who died in the 17th century, visit an underground art gallery, dine in a car park…
Madrid is overflowing with extraordinary and little-known places and curiosities. You just have to know where to look…
An essential guide for those who think they know Madrid well or for those looking to discover the hidden side of the city.

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Secret Milan

Discover a canal lock designed by Leonardo da Vinci as well as the secrets of his Last Supper, find out where Mussolini’s hidden bunker lies, marry beneath frescoes by Tiepolo, visit artists’ houses usually closed to the public, see exceptional private collections, admire the sculpture of a young girl shaving her pudenda, look for the boxers carved on the roof terraces of the cathedral, and so much more.
Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Milan goes unrecognised as one of the Italian cities with the greatest cultural heritage.
Yet it only reveals its hidden treasures to residents and visitors who venture off the beaten track.
An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew Milan well or for those wishing to discover another facet of the city.

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