“Pic of the Week”, August 6, 2021: Marienkirche, Berlin

01 Marionskirkche

Situated in Alexanderplatz, beside the tall Soviet-era TV tower (Fernsehturm), sits a medieval church known as Marienkirche (St. Mary’s church).  It’s one of the oldest churches in Berlin and is worth at least a quick visit if you’re in the area.
Construction of Marienkirche began around 1250 A.D. in the then recently established town of Berlin. In the late 14th century it was damaged by fire and rebuilt. Originally a Roman Catholic church, it has been Lutheran since the Protestant Reformation.
The church underwent an extensive overhaul in the 18th century yielding the appearance you visit today. During World War II, Marienkirche was heavily damaged by bombs and was nicely restored in the 1950s by East German authorities.
A …

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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

The King’s Garden, Copenhagen

00 Rosenborg Castle Gardens

The King’s Garden — sometimes known as Rosenborg Castle Gardens — was designed in the early 1600s, during the reign of popular Danish King Christian IV. It was created as a private garden for King Christian and adjoins Rosenborg Castle. It’s the oldest Royal Garden in Denmark and is a popular green space in Copenhagen, with about 2.5 million visitors a year most obviously visiting in the summer.
As you might expect, the garden has undergone a number of changes over the years, but its overall design is mostly preserved.  Within the park you’ll find a large number of sculptures, including the most famous one of beloved Danish novelist, Hans Christian Andersen.  

Rosenborg Castle Gardens - Hans Christian Andersen statue

Rosenborg Castle Gardens – Hans Christian Andersen statue

The oldest sculpture in the garden is ‘The Horse …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 30, 3032: Strömparterren—Stockholm’s oldest Public Park

05 Stromparterren

Located on a small island called Helgeandsholmen is Stockholm’s oldest park, Strömparterren (1832), which has been recently renovated.  You descend to the park from stairs on the Norrbro bridge.  It’s not a large park but is pretty and offers beautiful views of the city, so it’s worth the effort to reach.  Strömparterren is surrounded on three sides by the Royal Palace, the Parliament Building and the Royal Opera House.
It’s a great place to sit and relax, people-watch, and enjoy the scenery. The park is a popular place from which to fish and it’s possible to catch salmon, trout and pike.
The park is best known for its statue The Sun Singer (Solsångaren) crafted by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. This statue sits on …

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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Exploring Christiania, Copenhagen

01 Christiania (9)

I was told by a friend that I absolutely “had” to visit Christiania — also known as Freetown Christiania — while in Copenhagen. It’s an unusual and somewhat interesting place, but I’d definitely not put it on a ‘must see’ list for the city.
The existence of this community has been quite controversial.  Christiania was began in 1971 when a group of people moved into an abandoned military barracks (covering 7.7 hectacres — 19 acres).  The place grew into a squatter’s village and somewhat of a community.  It especially became known as a place you could buy pot and hash on “Pusher Street” (which was illegal in the rest of Denmark).  Hard drugs are said not to be tolerated, though I …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Poland

Jama Michalika cafe, Krakow

00 Jama Michalika Krakow

It was a cool damp fall day when my brother and I explored the King’s Road area of Krakow. We’d wandered around for a few hours and were looking for a cozy place serving something warm and good to eat.
We came across the Jama Michalika cafe, established in 1895.  It was warm and pleasant, if a little dim inside, but the decor was unusual and interesting and the café definitely had historic appeal.  The café had been a gathering place in the early 20th centuries for artists, actors and “modern thinkers”. 
The food was terrific! My brother enjoyed a bowl of borscht and I had some tasty dumplings (perogie). After lunch we headed to Krakow’s fabulous Market Square.
(Click on thumbnails to …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Bled Island and Lake Bled, Slovenia

03 Bled Island

One of the most iconic and photographed islands in Europe is lovely Bled Island, located in Lake Bled.
Bled is a small town that has been a popular tourist destination for some time because it lies on the shore of Lake Bled, home of the only island in Slovenia.  The lake is only of moderate size — 2,120 m (6,960 ft) long, 1,380 m (4,530 ft) wide, with a maximum depth of 29.5 m (97 ft) — but it is quite lovely.  Bled Island and Lake are well known and photographs are commonly featured in magazines and on travel websites.
Bled Island is usually reached by paying for a seat on a boat known as a pletna — a type of gondola.  These canopy-covered boats seat about 20 …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 11, 2021: Sergels Torg — Obelisk and Fountain

00 Stockholm Obelisk

Sergels Torg is Stockholm’s busiest public square. It was modernized and expanded in the 1950s to deal with the city’s growing population.
One of the city’s best-known fountains is located in Sergels Torg. It was completed in 1968, and since 2000 has been designated as a national cultural landmark. A contest was held for the design of the fountain’s central monument, which was won by sculptor Edvin Öhrström. ln 1974 the fountain’s main feature was installed, the Crystal Vertical Accent, or glass obelisk. 
The glass obelisk is 37.5 m (123 feet) tall. When it’s dark the oblesik is illuminated from within, making it all the more impressive.
Sergel’s Torg is a popular place for public gatherings. It’s home of the Cultural museum and a major metro …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

00 Church of San Maurizo, Milan

While the exterior of the church is bland and uninteresting, it’s when you step inside that you can see why San Maurizio is sometimes known as the “Sistine Chapel” of Milan. It’s filled with many beautiful, colorful, and well-preserved 16th century frescoes mostly depicting Biblical scenes and stories.
Churches have long stood at this site, and construction of the current San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore began in 1503.  It was built incorporating several ancient walls that date back to Roman times, and was constructed as a Benedictine convent for nuns.  Today a large part of the complex houses the Archaeological Museum of Milan (a completely separate attraction and not discussed in this blog).

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

There are two parts to the church.  When you …

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