William Shakespeare is known far and wide for his plays and poems—the centerpieces of many an English class, from grade school to high school to college. Entire classes have been crafted around his themes, motifs, and even individual plays.
For the inescapably high profile of his work, however, scholars are still unraveling many of the mysteries of his life. Though a literary master, he wrote very little about himself, or if he did it was either destroyed or lost to time. Most of what we know, actually, comes from dry, official records. Some even wonder if the person who wrote the plays was Shakespeare at all.
Even in the absence of primary sources, the imprint of his life and travels can be found across Europe, in places he visited, lived in, or featured in his writing. Here is a list of all the best places on Atlas Obscura that will let you virtually explore the Bard’s journey from young actor to literary legend.