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July 29, 2019

Italy: Bologna, Porticoes, Floors, and Bathrooms

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 8:42 am

Bologna’s Portico di San Luca, at 3.8 km in length it is the city’s longest arcaded structure.

In Bologna porticoes line many of the streets. The city is famous for its arcaded walkways; Bologna’s 40 kilometers of covered sidewalks is enough of a characteristic feature of the city to warrant a submission to UNESCO as an entry on the list of World Heritage sites. The shade of the arcades protects beautifully crafted walkways of stone tiles or terrazzo. It is a simple but very appealing design that beats the heat of summer.

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July 8, 2019

Most Serene Republic of San Marino


The second of San Marino’s three towers, the Cesta, is located on the highest of Monte Titano’s summits.

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is a geographical curiosity. Based on land area it is the third smallest country in Europe behind only Monaco and the Vatican City. Population-wise, only the Vatican has fewer residents than San Marino.

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June 21, 2019

Italy: Aquileia and Ravenna, the Mosaic Tour


A mosaic ceiling in Ravenna Italy

Mosaics, it turned out, became an unplanned theme of the Northern Italian segment of our 2018 road trip. (more…)

April 18, 2019

Slovenia: Ljubljana

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Slovenia, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:39 am

Ljubljana with its famous triple bridge partially obscured by the buildings.

Before our road trip in the fall of 2018 we new little about Slovenia. We lumped Slovenia together with the conglomeration of countries that calved off when the Yugoslavian state ceased to exist. (more…)

March 28, 2019

Austria: Kunsthaus Graz

Filed under: Architecture, Austria, Europe, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 6:16 pm

 

Kunsthaus Graz

In truth the sole initial motivation for visiting Graz was to see the city’s modern Art House, or Kunsthaus. Years ago a saw a picture of the blue blob-like structure nestled in among the red tile roofs of the city; I knew it was something I had to see. The Kunsthaus looked perfectly out of place. For the past few years we’ve had tentative plans to try to get to Graz, but they never worked out. Finally this year we made it. (more…)

March 22, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, the Blue Church


The Church of St. Elizabeth, or in Slovak, “Kostol svätej Alžbety”, otherwise known as the Little Blue Church.

In the eastern section of the old town in Bratislava is the Church of St. Elizabeth, or in Slovak: “Kostol svätej Alžbety”. It is a Hungarian Secessionist-style Catholic church. The church is commonly referred to as “The Little Blue Church”, reflecting of the color of its façade, mosaics, majolicas and blue-glazed roof. Initially the church functioned as the chapel for the neighboring high school or “gymnázium” that was constructed in the same architectural style. (more…)

March 16, 2019

Czech Republic: Brno, Tugenhaut Villa


Tugendhat Villa

The next leg of our September/October 2018 road trip took us from Telč in the Czech Republic to Bratislava Slovakia. Google told us that the drive would take us about two and a half hours. There was some extra time for sightseeing and soon we rerouted to see the two UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way that we hadn’t visited. This habit of trying to visit all possible places inscribed UNESCO’s list has led us to see over 140 World Heritage sites so far. In the process we’ve learned much about history and culture. (more…)

January 1, 2019

San Francisco: Architecture


Modern buildings in San Francisco’s Financial District, with the city’s new-largest building, the Salesforce Tower, under construction in March of 2017

Modern cities can be a hodgepodge of old and new buildings. In London, for example, the Leadenhall Market, dating from the 14th Century, sits adjacent to the ultra-modern “High-techLloyd’s Building, completed in 1986. Planned poorly, the combination of styles can be jarring and unattractive. However with well-planned and attractive architecture, the combination of old and new can be striking. (more…)

December 19, 2018

Spain: Zaragoza


The Ebro River reflects Zaragoza’s Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar.

Located roughly halfway between Barcelona and Madrid, Spain’s top two cities in terms of tourist visits, is the metropolitan city of Zaragoza. It would be easy for travelers going between the two destinations to stop for a few nights in Zaragoza: It is on both the road and rail routes. But most tourists do not stop. Indeed, the first time we were in the area we too drove past Zaragoza. The brown tourist signs along the autovia intrigued us, but it was not enough to draw us in. (more…)

November 24, 2018

France: Notre Dame du Haut


Notre Dame du Haut

Built in 1955 the Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp France is considered one of the finest examples of the work of the Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Indeed it is the featured work of UNESCO’s “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement” World Heritage listing. (more…)

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