.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

A visit to the Al Fahidi Fort (the Dubai Museum)

02 Dubai Museum (44)

When you visit Dubai today you’ll see a landscape of shiny skyscrapers piercing the hazy desert air.  There’s a lot of history to the region, although little lingering evidence of man’s habituating it because until a few decades ago, this was the home of nomadic tribesmen.  In the mid-twentieth century the influx of petrodollars changed all that and fueled the construction boom leading to the city we see today.  If like me you like to study the history of a place, then a visit to the Dubai Museum is a must when visiting the U.A.E.

The Al Fahidi Fort, built of coral stone and mortar in 1787, is the oldest building in Dubai.  The Fort is situated on the south side of Dubai Creek in …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

The Church of our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta, Argentina

Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemeteryand Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar tower  080

The historic and beautiful cathedral, Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar (The Church of Our Lady of Pilar), is situated in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta.  The church adjoins the famous Recoleta cemetery, which we’ve previously visited on this website.

Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar is considered one of the most beautiful examples of Buenos Aires’ Colonial architecture.  It’s the city’s second oldest church and has retained its original altarpiece and icons.   The church is named in honor of the patron saint of the city of Zaragoza in Spain, and was completed in 1732.  Its original architect was a Jesuit, Andres Bianchi, and was built in conjunction with a convent of Franciscans.

Altarpiece, The Church of Our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta

Altarpiece, The Church of Our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta

The monks of Recoletos were expelled from …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

The Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.

06b Banff Museum 08-2015

Today we’re going to visit Western Canada’s oldest Natural History Museum, the quirky yet fascinating Banff Park Museum National Historic Site.   I first visited this museum as a boy decades ago and it’s one of the few things around that hasn’t changed over the years.

Situated at a prime location in Banff, beside the Bow River at the corner of Buffalo St  and Banff Ave, there’s a large building constructed of logs, the Banff Park Museum.   It’s been declared a national historic site because the museum’s original exhibits are still on display, a collection reflecting an early (some might even say “primitive”) approach to the interpretation of Western Canada’s natural history.  Also, the architectural style and detailing of …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 4, 2015: Charleston Historic Post Office

02 Charleston Post Office

Charleston is one of America’s most walkable cities, especially the area south of Broad Street.  Compact enough to get around on foot, and with interesting architecture, gardening and history.   I’ve greatly enjoyed both of my visits to this city.

During my last sojourn to Charleston, we stopped by the historic U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, a grand building situated just south of Broad near the corner of Meeting.  It’s one of the oldest post offices in the United States and was completed in 1896 for the then staggering sum of $500,000.  It’s thought that construction of this building lead to a revival of the area that surrounded it, then already well over a century old.  The Historic Post Office is of …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, September 4, 2015: Charleston Historic Post Office
.All Trips / Europe / France

Paris’ amazing Orsay Museum

16 Paris 05-2013.  A day at the Orsa

The Orsay Museum is one of my favorite places in Paris!  It has a great location, situated on the Seine River in the center of the city, across from the Tuileries Garden.  The museum was built as the Orsay railway station (Gare), opening in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition.   By 1939 the station’s short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that were then being used and it was largely abandoned.  In 1970, permission was granted to demolish the station but it was saved with the hope that it could be converted to a hotel.   The need for an art museum to house Paris’ extensive collections of Impressionist art sparked the idea to convert the Orsay into a National …

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Europe / Ireland

National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, Dublin

026 Dublin National Museum of Ireland Archaeology — The Tara Brooch, 8th century, Meath Co

Today we’ll pay a visit to the Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, situated on Kildare Street.  The Archaeology Museum is housed in an elegant dome-capped building designed by Thomas Newenham Deane and his son, Thomas Manly Deane, and was opened in 1890.  There are thousands of items on exhibit in the museum (from a collection of more than 2 million artifacts) outlining the unfolding history and treasures of Ireland, a country so very rich in history (less so in treasure).  Despite the extensive collection, the museum is well organized.  It’s easy to navigate and fun to explore.  You’ll need at least a half day for an introductory visit — much longer if you want to linger and thoroughly study the things you’ll …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 14, 2014. Door Knocker, National Museum of Archaeology, Dublin

003 Dublin National Museum of Ireland Archaeology — Door knocker

One of the greatest museums I’ve visited in recent years is Dublin’s National Museum: Archaeology.  What a fascinating collection of artifacts awaits your exploration and study beyond its doors.  As I found out while entering, the doors themselves are quite interesting.  My attention was drawn to this massive, beautifully crafted (if somewhat scary looking) door knocker.  You just don’t see craftsmanship like that anymore.

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, November 14, 2014. Door Knocker, National Museum of Archaeology, Dublin
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

The Getty Villa, Malibu, California. Classical Art and Architecture

Getty Museum 03-2014 012

I’ve previously discussed J.P. Getty and his great museums on this blog and today would like to focus on the first of his museums, the Getty Villa in Malibu.

While he was despised by many during his lifetime, J.P. Getty has left the world a wonderful legacy.  Getty was one of the world’s first billionaires who, like Bill Gates, was the richest man in the world during his time.  Getty, an unpleasant but highly successful businessman, was a passionate collector of antiquities and art.  Collecting art became the center of his life.  His view towards his hobby is summarized by his quote, “The beauty one can find in art is one of the pitifully few real and lasting products of …

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