Posts Tagged ‘Island’

Two main legends surround the famous Hun when it comes to the Venetian Lagoon and it’s islands.

Attila’s throne is still there to be admired on Torcello island, between the two churches of Santa Maria Assunta and Santa Fosca. There is a big marble chair on the grass, allegedly it belonged to the mighty leader and he is said to return back there on the odd occasion.

North of Torcello is a little island called Monte Dell’Oro (Mount of Gold). The Huns would move their hauls through the island and one that was laden with gold sank. Paoletti reported that Attilla destroyed Altino and they put the treasures there, they kept the treasures sank in the mud in tanks. The area was then inhabited by refugees who put a Monastery and church there. In the late Middle Ages the area was used to build simple military posts and then in 1848 insurgents built a stronger building, that was used by the Italian Army in the First World War. There is a small remnant of this but other buildings there have long seen been left to decay and no trace remains of them. Until 1994 the island was State owned but is not privately owned and can only be reached there by private boat. 

Attila’s treasure that was gathered via death and destruction is now said to be guarded there by the devil himself. The devil, disguised as a black cat, can be seen on the island if you try to go after the gold. 

 

An unoccupied territory with 4-20 non-residents who are from the US Government, The Nature Conservancy and then another mix of rotating researchers are the only people that generally access this part of the world.

In 9174, Palymyra was the site of a double murder, of a wealthy San Diego couple. ‘Mac and Muff’ aka Malcolm Graham and his wife Eleanor were the victims. Duane Walker and his girlfriend, Stephanie Stearns, were blamed for it and arrested when they came to Honolulu that year. They were in the Graham’s boat the Sea Wind.

No bodies were located at the time and so they were unable to trial them for murder, they were both convicted for the theft of the yacht however. Then six years later a partially buried, corroded chest with the remains of Eleanor were discovered.

Duane Walker and Stephanie Stearns were arrested again, this time Duane was convicted and served from 1985-2007 for the crime. He died 26th April 2010 and Stearns was acquitted.

PalmyraSign

PalmyraSign” by en:User:Clarkma5 – en:wikipedia. Via Wikimedia Commons.

New York, just off the shore of the Hudson River hosts a medieval style castle that can be seen on the island more often locally referred to as Bannerman’s. It was once emblazoned on the walls of the castle as ‘Bannerman’s Arsenal’ but now has decayed too much to be seen fully. It was built around 1901 to 1908, to be a warehouse for the weapons traded by Francis Bannerman VI, who was an arms dealer and curious man.

In 1967 the Island was sold for a small sum to the New York State, and the family abandoned the island. In 1969 a fire left the island in it’s present and ruined state.

It is accessible by boat, and far too dangerous to swim with tides, there is a security presence but all is not lost, there’s possibilities of tours in the future.

Meanwhile for a chance to safely see it, if you are in the area, go to Route 9D, go to Breakneck Point and park. Cross the bridge but watch out for trains!

 

In Northern Italy sits Venice, a lagoon made of a variety of islands and one of those is the island of San Michele. The island was a popular place for local travellers and fishermen to land. A Renaissance church and monastery lie on the island, the monastery also served as a prison for a time. San Michele in Isola is a Roman Catholic church on the island, dedicated to Saint Michael. It was rebuilt in 1469 and the interior has a nave and two aisles.

San Cristoforo was selected to become a cemetery in 1807, under French occupation it was decided burial on the main island was unsanitary. In 1836 the canal between San Michele and San Cristiforo was filled in and the larger island became known as San Michele.

The cemetery is still in use today and has many famous residents upon it, one of those famous residents is Igor Stravinsky.

I spent a glorious afternoon there in the sun, it is thoroughly worth navigating the vaporetto *water boat* to get to the island, even if it is a bit off track from the main areas. I came back enlightened by the beauty of the place and a suntan.

It is asked that you don’t take pictures, like many of the religious spots around Venice. Sadly I found that there was pretty much zero respect for this with tourists, even in the main churches and hotspots it seems that walking around with your iphone is far more indulgent than experiencing the true beauty of the place, which came as a bit of a shock to me…

However that grip aside, the island is amazing and a few sneaky pics were got when we were sure we would not interrupt anyone mourning or when we felt it was safe to do so with respect. I didn’t want to be so arrogant as to take pictures without thinking of a funeral in process…

If you do head over I would suggest you take plenty of water, there’s a lot of nice benches you can stop on. You can find a spot to sit and take in both the exquisit sites and if you get the right time of year, you can really enjoy the weather. After our trip we headed back to the Lido, had something nice to eat and of course a wine in the local bar.

Recently I went on a trip with friends out to Italy, more specifically Venice. We stayed around the Lido area which is around three kilometres away from the abandoned island of Poveglia. In the port at San Marco we saw a ship called Poveglia and we took it upon ourselves to ask them if the boat did indeed go there… blank faces. This was a similar event when we asked the local police too, seems it was not a well heard of place.

The island itself is not on the main routes, and there are no tourists being guided around. I had hoped we’d find out a way to get there but sadly not. However this hasn’t deterred me from recounting this curiosity. I am sure someone may be able to correct me where I go wrong. (Hope so anyway).

The Island seems to have a lengthy history attached to it, records suggest that in the 9th Century it was fairly well populated but had suffered plenty of wars and attacks. In 1379 Venice came under conflict and the people from Poveglia were moved to the Giudecca. The Venetian government built a permanent fortification on the Island; the Octagon there is still visible today. It remained uninhabited until it was offered to the Camaldolese monks in 1527, they refused to take it. In 1661 descendants were then offered the Island but again it was refused. It was still left empty and abandoned.

1777 saw the Island being used by the Public Health Office who used it as a check point for goods and people as they came and went through Venice. 1793 saw the plague changing the island once more, several cases of the plague on two ships meant that it was a temporary confinement place for the ill. It was a place made permanent in 1805, and the church of San Vitale there was destroyed, the old bell tower was then converted into a lighthouse. It was closed down in 1814.

The 20th Century was used as a quarantine station once more, and then in 1922 the buildings that were left had been converted to a hospital for the mentally-ill and for long-term care. This was the case until 1968 when the hospital was closed, the island was used for a while after that but now is closed off.

So on to the creepy bits? That’s what we’re here for right?

The mental asylum doctor was no doubt given his tyrannical legend like so many others of the time, due to practising lobotomy and other, now, barbaric practises. He was tortured by his patients, went “mad” and then jumped to his death from the bell tower. However the story says that he survived and was then strangled by a mist from the ground.

Other sources say that so many people were buried and burnt during the time of the plague that the ground is half human-remains. The local fishermen will give it a wide berth to ensure they will not fish up the bones of ancestors and a stay overnight would most like produce interesting tales, Ghost Adventure’s went that way themselves and discovered this to be much the case. The locals are either unaware of this place, or will feign disinterest leaving only the more curious and grizzly minded wanting to go there.

A rather good first account from someone that has visited can be located here: MENTAL FLOSS

Poveglia Googled