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In 1946, Hungary issued banknotes of a face value of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo (one quintillion pengo) - the world's highest denomination ever.
The bodies of the Hapsburg Emperors were not buried like other people in one place but at three different burial sites. Since the House of Hapsburg ruled in Austria for so long—1278 to 1918—it became custom to keep only copper urns with their intestines in St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Their actual bodies were buried in the Imperial Vault at the Kapuzinerkirche (Capuchin Church), while their hearts were buried at the Augustinerkirche (Church of the Augustinians). Emperor Rudolph was the first Hapsburg Emperor buried in the vault at St. Stephan’s.
In 1454, a real human chess game took place in Marostica, Italy. Rather than fight a bloody duel, the winner of the chess game would win the hand of a beautiful girl. To commemorate the event, each September in even-numbered years, the town’s main piazza becomes a life-sized chess board.
St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Patara and became the bishop of Demre, on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast.
Despite being a military power in the 17th century and one of the world’s largest producers of weapons, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries, including both world wars.
The first written document about Bucharest, the capital of Romania, was written by none other than Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula, on 20th September 1459.
In the Bronze Age a meteorite fell in Kaali on the island of Saaremaa. The Kaali catastrophe was the last known case of a large meteorite to fall on a populated area. Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.
Before the Romanovs came to power, Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia with a gory fist. Known for ordering that his enemies be skinned, boiled, burned, and broken, he was the favorite Tsar of Joseph Stalin.