.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, May 15, 2020: Reflections of Toronto

01 Reflections of Toronto

While I admire buildings made of stone and brick more than those made of cement and glass, there are features to be enjoyed in modern architecture.  Toronto is filled with dozens of gleaming skyscrapers, many of which reflect the city.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

A visit to the fascinating Frari Church, Venice

05 Frari Church, Venice (8)

One of the great places to explore when visiting Venice is the Franciscan church of Santa Maria dei Frari (St. Mary of the Friars, commonly known as the Frari Church).  
As with many things in Venice, the Frari Church is an old building.  The church was originally constructed between 1236 and 1338, then rebuilt in Gothic style two centuries later.   It’s considered a minor basilica and is dedicated to the Assumption of St. Mary, Mother of Jesus.

Exterior, Frari Church, Venice

Exterior, Frari Church, Venice


While the church is well known for its spacious architecture, it is best known for the many fine monuments and terrific works of Venetian Renaissance art it displays.  This beautiful art is still situated exactly where the artists knew it would be placed and where it …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Homes of Leadville, Colorado

00 Homes in Leadville

A great day-trip destination in the Colorado Rockies is the town of Leadville, at 10,430 feet (3180 m) above sea level the highest incorporated city in North America.  Leadville is a Victorian-era boomtown which in its gold and silver mining heyday was home to 30,000 residents.  Today, less than 10% of that number still lives here, but there’s a lot to see in Leadville that makes it well worth a stop.  Also, all the roads leading to the town make for a beautiful day’s drive.

Overview of Leadville, Colorado

Overview of Leadville, Colorado

70 square blocks of Leadville were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.  We’ve featured some of the buildings from the downtown area in a prior post. Today I’d like to focus on …

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.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Brussel’s Amazing Market Square (Grand-Place)

17 Brussels. House of the Dukes of Brabant

Grand-Place (Grote Markt in Dutch) is the central square of Brussels which is know of its beautiful and decorative architecture in a variety of styles (e.g. Baroque, Gothic).  The square is lined by City Hall, Maison du Roi, and a number of guild houses. In 1998 it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Many famous events in Brussels’ history occurred in the Grand-Place, including the martyrdom of protestant leaders Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, and a brutal attack by the French in 1695 targeting the façade and tower of City Hall, resulting in extensive damage to many buildings of the square. Obviously all has been repaired and today many of the buildings house museums and tourism-related shops.

Some of …

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.All Trips / Europe / Germany

Berlin’s unique Museum Island: a UNESCO World Heritage Site

03 Berlin Museum Island (2)

Situated on an island in the Spree River, Berlin’s Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is home to five world-renowned museums.  The space is shared with Berlin’s great Cathedral, the Berliner Dom.  In 1999, the Museum Island complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage. 

The five museums on Museum Island are:

1) Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum):

Opened in 1930 — the last museum on the island to open but also perhaps the greatest of these museums.  This museum alone attracts around one million visitors every year and is currently under refurbishment. Its collection includes the Pergamon Altar and  Ishtar Gate.

Bode Museum, Berlin's Museum Island

Bode Museum, Berlin’s Museum Island

2) Bode-Museum:

Opened at the northern tip of the island in 1904 and with a renovation completed in 2005.  It has an …

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.All Trips / Europe / Spain

Granada’s Other Great Attraction — a Visit to the Granada Cathedral

06 Granada Cathedral (9)

Most visitors to Granada come to explore the fascinating and beautiful Alhambra, with good justification, but you shouldn’t skip the chance to stop by Granada’s Cathedral as well.  In fact, it’s most pleasant to walk through the relatively compact historic core of Granada.

After the expulsion of the Moors from Granada and take-over by Spanish Christian forces, it makes sense that a new Cathedral was called for, but that did not happen right away.  The war had been very expensive and other conflicts were diverting the monarch’s monies away from Granada.

View of Granada Cathedral from the Alhambra

It was not until 1523 (31 years after the conquest) that construction on the Cathedral began atop the site of a mosque.  The project was not finished for 181 years (in …

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“PIc of the Week”, November 2, 2018: Cargill’s Store, Colombo

01 Cargills

One of the most popular buildings from the British Colonial era in Colombo is the Cargills department store, located in the city’s old Fort District.  A century ago this store was busy providing British residents with a place they could purchase staples and luxury items from back home.  The journey to Cargills often required them to make the long trek to Colombo from tea plantations and other remote destinations in Sri Lanka. 

The lovely building is know for it’s red brick facade.  It was originally built as the residence of the Dutch military commander of Galle, before British occupation.  The building was acquired by Cargills in 1896 and underwent a remodel and refinishing, opening as a store in 1906.

Like many of …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 8, 2018: Burj Al Arabia

00 Burj Al Arabia, Dubai (8)

In a country of spectacular modern buildings and architecture, the Burj Al Arab more than holds its own.  A beautiful white structure, it was built to resemble a dhow sailing into the blue waters of the Persian Gulf.  The Burj Al Arab was one of the first big constructions in modern Dubai and like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York, it has come to symbolize today’s Dubai.  

Some of the Particulars:
The Burj Al Arab is considered one of the world’s great luxury hotels and is the third tallest hotel in the world.  It’s built on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to it …

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