Habsburg: The tiny Swiss castle which founded Europe

In the center of Switzerland lies a small castle by the name of Habsburg since roughly 1000 years. The Habsburg is the birthplace of one of the most powerful royal dynasties in European history.

Built by slave-labor: St. Petersburg

Peter the Great (1672-1725) wanted to build a city that he could make the capital of the Russian Empire. In 1703, he captured the Swedish fortress Nyenskans, which he rebuilt into St. Petersburg.

Russia’s beard tax

Europe was quickly modernizing in the late 17th century, and Emperor Peter I of Russia thought that his nation was falling behind. In order to try and expedite the modernization process, Peter implemented a beard tax in 1698. Under the tax, any citizens who wanted to have a beard needed to pay for a beard token. The token states that …

Anti-Tank Dogs

In one of the more bizarre episodes of World War 2, the Soviets trained dogs to go under German tanks with explosives strapped to their bodies. More than 40’000 dogs were used by the Soviet military and the plan was to use all of them to seriously impede the German advance.