The present climate is unusual". Probably each of us has said or thought this sentence in recent times. But what does the word "unusual" mean? Have present warm conditions already occurred 100, 500, 1000 years ago? Are storms now more frequent and more intense than,say, 300 years ago, where European climate was undergoing one of the most coolest phases of the past few millennia? Were the recent warm temperatures "normal" in the past warm centuries, around 1000 years ago? We try to answer these questions by simulating past climates with comprehensive climate models. These simulations, together with the analysis of biological and geological climate archives, can provide useful information about past climate conditions and extreme climate events and about how and why they varied