.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

A visit to the Library of Parliament, Ottawa

Parliament Hill 02

When you stand on the bank of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, (especially by the Canadian Museum of History), and look across the river you see the Canadian Parliamentary buildings.  This is the view captured in the above image.  The rounded building with flying buttresses in this complex, which is the one in the foreground and closest to the river, is the Parliamentary Library.  Before we step inside, let’s take a look at the history of the Library.

A Brief History of the Library of Parliament

Canada’s Library of Parliament began in the late 18th century with the legislative libraries of Upper and Lower Canada.  These two libraries were amalgamated in 1841 when Upper and Lower Canada united.  It was not …

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.All Trips / Art / Massachusetts / North America / Northeastern USA

Art, Architecture and Literature: A visit to Boston’s Public Library

06 Boston Public Library

Many people I know are fond of books, so visiting libraries during our travels is an obvious extension of this interest.  Some libraries are fairly dull, but others are far more than places where books and magazines are stored.  They are buildings of great architectural beauty.  And a few even have interesting art displays, enough to warrant their consideration as small “art museums”.  Such certainly is the case with the Boston Library, a place you can wander about for hours taking in all of its charms.  Of course, it’s all completely free.

The Boston Public Library system is the second largest in the United States and contains approximately 23 million items, including 1.7 million rare books and manuscripts.  Its annual circulation is …

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.All Trips / Czech Republic / Europe

Strahov Monastery, Prague

Prague 2010 041.  Strahov Monastery

One of the great things about visiting a city like Prague is having the opportunity to see and explore so many interesting historic sites.  As an example, the Strahov Monastary.

The Monastery has beautiful architecture and a picturesque setting near Prague Castle, but it is best know for its lavish library of ancient texts and manuscripts.  So elegant is this library that it was used for filming scenes in the movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  There’s also an interesting small church to explore, the Basilica of the Assumption of our Lady.  And an excellent monastic brewery at which to enjoy another of the monks’ creative endeavours.

Strahov is one of the oldest monasteries of the Premonstratensian Order in the world, operational nearly continously …

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.All Trips / Europe / Ireland

Dublin, Ireland: Trinity College and its Book of Kells

060 Trinity College 2013 Library Book of Kells

Trinity College gives you a grand entrance to its inner courtyard.  Through a door within a massive larger door, you enter a square and see the college’s bell-tower (Campanile) set in its center, surrounded by an assortment of buildings.  The Campanile is one of the College’s — for that matter Dublin’s — iconic landmarks; built in 1853, it stands 30.5 m (100 ft) tall and is mostly constructed of granite.  You’ll not see students lingering under this tower because of a lasting superstition that if you’re beneath it when the bell tolls, you’ll fail your exams.  But enjoy it’s fine construction then look around a bit.

Beyond the bell-tower, there’s a lot to see at Trinity College.  Situated on the south bank of the River Liffey, …

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