Posts Tagged With: architecture

The Ghosts Of St. Paul’s

Halloween is the perfect time of the year to experience a ghost tour. The city of London has a vast array of these tours, you can choose The Theater District, Jack The Ripper or any of a number of cool locations.

The Cathedral of St. Paul may be known the spot where Mary Poppins and the children meet the bird woman. But by night, the location takes on an eerie appearance.

The Whistler is St. Paul’s most well-known haunting. Many have seen the visage of an elderly clergyman accompanied by a tuneless whistle. Your best chance of meeting the clergyman is to visit the Cathedral’s west end. On the ground floor of the northwest tower. When the tower was rededicated after WWI, a previously hidden door was uncovered. This is the exact spot where the whistling cleric appears to fade into the wall.

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There are 2 other ghost stories captured by Irish writer and Ghost Hunter, Elliott O’Donnell. In one story an American couple experience a “great black cloud” that rose out of the floor and climbed 20 feet into the air before disappearing. They described the cloud as “alive'”.

O’Donnell’s second story involves a woman who was resting in the cathedral one afternoon. This woman spotted another woman in a pew in front of her. She seemed to be frantically looking for something. The first woman got up to help the woman, but on her way down the aisle she felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around to find no one behind and when she resumed her walk, the other woman had vanished.

Several days later, at the same time of day, the woman saw the figure of the woman once again. She rose to offer assistance but was once again stopped by a tap on her shoulder. Just as before, there was no one behind her and in front of her the woman was gone.

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LINKS:

Walking Tours of London

St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Categories: Church, Europe, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, Hey, We’re The Monks

No trip to Tallin, Estonia is complete without a visit to the Danish King’s Garden. Watching over the medieval walled garden are statues of faceless monks, Ambrosius, Bartholomeus and Claudius. The legend goes, that during a losing battle, the monks prayed for divine intervention on behalf of the Danish King. Out of the sky fell a large flag, which became the national flag of Denmark.

Estonia is also considered one of the most haunted places in Europe. The King’s Garden is said to be haunted by a monk, perhaps a former executioner having a change of heart.

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LINKS

Visit Estonia

Categories: Church, Estonia, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There are more things in heaven and earth

Legend has it that Shakespeare wrote his masterpiece Hamlet, with Kronborg Castle as it’s setting. The mystery remains as to whether or not he actually visited Denmark. In 1816, on the 200th anniversary of his death, the soldiers garrisoned at Kronborg performed his play for the first time. 

When you arrive at the castle, make a point of checking out the days schedule as in the Summer months, Hamlet is performed live on the castle grounds.CPH1_-279I arrived just in time to head to the King’s Chamber for Ophelia’s mad scene. 

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

Elsinore1_-2“Good-night, ladies, good-night, sweet ladies, good-night, good-night.”CPH1_-136In between scenes, Queen Gertrude works on her crewel in her chamber.CPH1_-137

CPH1_-280One woe doth tread upon another’s heel, 
So fast they follow. Your sister’s drown’d, Laertes.”CPH1_-281“But to know a man well were to know himself.”CPH1_-282“The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.”CPH1_-283“No, no! the drink, the drink! O my dear Hamlet! 
The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”Elsinore1_“It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain”CPH1_-284

Good Night Sweet Prince

LINKS

Shakespeares-Danish-links

BBC Elsinore A Castle Fit For A Prince

Hamlet Live 2017 Facebook

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Kronborg Slot

Standing guard high on a promontory in Helsingor, Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle) was the home of Denmark rulers until the 1600’s. CPH1_-141

In 1785, the castle was being fitted for use as army barracks. The chapel was outfitted as a gym and fencing hall. The chapel was later refurnished with the original furniture and reinaugurated in 1843

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Detail of the main entrance to the chapel. CPH1_-286The chapel features the original pews dating back to King Frederik II.CPH1_-287CPH1_-139CPH1_-138The casements deep beneath the castle are a unique experience. Dimly lit and at times a bit treacherous, the casements are fun to explore but watch your step.CPH1_-288This subterranean labyrinth is where you can meet Holger. According to the myth of King Arthur, a Danish king known as Holger the Dane, was kidnapped by the sorceress, Morgan le Fay and taken to Avalon. He escaped to rescue France from danger and then traveled to Kronborg castle. Today he sleeps until he is needed to save his homeland. CPH1_-289

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LINKS

Visit Denmark

Kronborg Wiki

 

Categories: Castles, Church, Copenhagen, Europe, Hamlet, Kronborg Castle, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Public houses, merriment and generous women

In 1671, King Christian began work on a new harbor for Copenhagen. Nyhavn has been the home of Danish artists such as Hans Christian Andersen and countless writers, ballerina and musicians. CPH1_-76The brightly colored buildings are home to restaurants, shops and clubs. Once a notorious red light district, activities today range from getting a new tattoo to cruising along the canals on a flat boat.CPH1_-96At one time the area was frequented by sailors who came for the seedy taverns and loose women. Today, the area is a vibrant neighborhood where you can enjoy one of the bars and restaurants or purchase a bottle of wine and sit on the wall overlooking the canal. This stretch is referred to as the longest bar in Scandanavia. CPH1_-97In the old days, the neighborhood was split into the Sunny Side and The Shady Side. Today both sides are family friendly. CPH1_-99

CPH1_-100One of the unique restaurants is called KOMPASSET (The Compass) – the building used to house several manufacturers of compasses.  KOMPASSET features a menu of  smørrebrød/open sandwiches and craft beers from local breweries.CPH1_-101As you walk along the waterfront, don’t forget to look up. This building features a diving helmet as a monument to Em. Z. Svitzer Bjergnings Enterprise, a marine salvage company.

CPH1_-102In the mood for a burger, try Hereford House, but don’t be surprised at the price. A burger and beer can set you back more than $20 USD.
CPH1_-103For the adventurous drinker, the ideal place to order a shot of Fisk “Fisherman’s Friend” vodka, Ga-Jol liquorice vodka, Akvavit or Gammel Dansk is the Fisken Pub. Located in the basement of the Skipperkroen Restaurant, the abundance of nautical decor gives you the feeling of what it may have been like to visit here 350 years ago.CPH1_-104Hyttefadet is a good little restaurant for a quick Danish lunch of an open faced salmon sandwich and a beer. Sit back and watch the world go by. CPH1_-105Nyhavn 17 is a more elegant dining choice. CPH1_-106Heering is a cozy restaurant, known for traditional Danish entrees as well as European Bistro specialties. The inside is very small and don’t be surprised if your dinner is interrupted by servers poking you to move out their way as you eat.CPH1_-107Hong Kong is one of the old school strip clubs and bars in Copenhagen. If you’re looking for a local dive bar with a rough clientele, this may be the spot for you.CPH1_-108If you visit Copenhagen, a trip to Nyhavn is well worth a few hours of your time.CPH1_-109

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LINKS:

The Compass Restaurant

Hyttefadet

Nyhavn17 on Facebook

Restaurant Heering

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Nice Knockers

The homes of Cartegena are dressed in tropical and flowering vines. Door knockers or Aldabas reflected the status of family in residence. They spoke to the families social and economic status without saying a word. The door knocker came about in the middle ages when most people could not read or write. The pictorial images were the ultimate status symbol. Although today they are merely ornamental, they hearken back to the family’s status and wealth. Cartagena1_-17Nautical motifs that feature creatures of the sea such as fish and mermaids were used by families that made their living by the sea. Usually as merchants importing goods into the New World or traders. Cartegena1_-27

Cartegena1_-19Lions were the symbol of the military. It is the epitome of strength, pride and power. The protectors of the city lived behind these doors.Cartagena1_-13

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Cartagena1_-15Aldabas shaped like lizards refer back to the country’s royalty. Families with these often were members of royal family or could produce a connetion to the royals. Cartegena1_-14Both the size of the knocker and the material that it was made of, were also important indicators of the family’s status. The actual meaning of the different styles comes into question quite often. Where some say the Lion represents the military, others say it is meant for teachers. And if the lizard is truly a symbol of royalty, there must have been a huge royal family living in Cartegena based on the dozens of lizard aldabas that I saw. Any way you look at them, the aldabas are beautiful bits of decoration on some wonderful homes. Cartegena1_-15

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Tales of Pohjola

Walking around Helsinki, dodging the rain and sleet, I happened upon this really cool building. The Pohjola Insurance Company building is decorated with forest animals and monsters from the tales of the Kalevala. The Kalevala is studied in schools and well known by boys and girls across Finland. Finland1_Kullervo is an orphan boy in search of a real family. In his journey he finds his real family, who he thought were slaughtered, but accidentally sleeps with his sister. When he finds out her identity he kills himself on his own sword. Not quite a happy ending.Finland1_-2

Pohjola is the mythical land of Finnish literature. Kalevela, the Land of the North is eternally winter and ruled by an evil witch. Finland1_-3

In another tale, Louhi, The Mistress of Pohjola, sends a bear to wreak havoc on Kalevala’s cattle. The hero, Väinämöinen kills the bear and they hold a feast. The bear is treated as a welcome guest, and the feast is in his honor.  Väinämöinen sings of the birth of the bear, friend and brother to man, born upon the shoulders of Otava, the Big Dipper. Helsinki1_-6Pohjola is where many believe that the roots of the world tree are. This could account for all of the trees and squirrels across the building’s front. More broadly the word refers to any northerly direction. Given its mythological namesake, it’s no surprise that the Pohjola Insurance company agreed to decorate their building with statues of monsters, fools and animals.Helsinki1_-7Helsinki1_-33

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The Streets of Tallin

The capital of Estonia, Tallin is becoming  a popular cruise ship port on the Baltic Sea. Tallin’s old town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. The earliest traces of human occupation go back to 5000 BC. Unlike neighboring towns, Tallin has never been razed and pillaged.Tallin1_-25Toompea, the upper town is where you can visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. During the period when Tallin was under the control of the USSR, the cathedral was much hated by the people. They saw it as a symbol of oppression and in 1924 the authorities scehduled the cathedral for demolition. Unfortunately a lack of funds caused the project to be abandoned. Tallin1_-20

Tallin1_-21Between 1549 and 1625, St. Olaf’s Church may have been the tallest building in the world. Up until 1991, the KGB used the church’s spire as a radio tower and surveillance point.Tallin1_-31.jpgColorful buildings and twisting cobblestone streets are made to wander through. Tallin1_-23Local artists set up their masterpieces along the old city walls.Tallin1_-22Russian nesting dolls known as matryoshka are available for sale in many shops. Tallin1_-33Knitting played an important part in Estonia’s history, so much so that it wasn’t uncommon for hundreds of mittens to be knitted as gifts for wedding guests.Tallin1_There is something magical about the brightly decorated doors along Tallin’s city streets. Bright colors, metal and wooden embellishments turn each into it’s own work of art.

LINK

Visit Estonia

Trip Advisor: Tallin

Categories: Church, Estonia, Europe, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting the Queen of Denmark

Amalienborg Palace is one of several architectural and cultural masterpieces in Copenhagen.  The palace is still the residence of Denmark’s Royal Family. A statue of King Frederik V dating from 1771 stands in the forecourt. The palace is made up of four identical buildings. These are Christian VII’s Palace or Moltke’s Palace, a guest residence, Frederik VIII’s Palace or Brockdorff’s Palace, home of the Crown Prince family, Christian IX’s Palace or Schack’s Palace, home of Queen Margreth and Prince Consort and Christian VIII’s Palace or Levetzau’ Palace, used as guest palace for Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte.

CPH1_-187One of the highlights of a visit to Amalienborg Palace is the pageantry of the changing of the guard. Every day Den Kongelige Livgarde take to the streets and march from their barracks by Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg. At precisely 12 noon the changing of the guard takes place. Unlike the changing of the guards in England, there are no fences separating the guards from the public.

CPH1_-188CPH1_-189Although you can’t drop in on to visit the Queen, you can visit one of the buildings where 4 kings of the House of Glucksborg who ruled from 1863 through 1972 resided. Among the rooms you can see are the study and drawing room of Christian IX and Queen Louise.  Queen Louise was the great-great-grandmother of today’s Queen Margreth and through marriage allowed Prince Christian IX to ascend the throne.  Queen Louise made sure that all six of her children married well and Queen Louise and King Christian IX became known as Europe’s Parents-In-Law.  Four of their children sat in the thrones of Denmark, Greece, England, and Russia.

The study of Frederik VIII is an approximation of the way it looked. After the King’s death in 1912, his belongings were given away to family and friends. The heavy wooden furniture and faux leather walls make it a very masculine space.

CPH1_-190The private salon of Queen Louise is full of Victorian treasures and personal souvenirs. CPH1_-191Christian IX’s study is decorated with framed photos of family. During Christian IX’s time, photographs were a new sensation and expensive. They were a status symbol and also showed how seriously Christian IX took his fame as Europe’s Father-In-Law.CPH1_-192

LINKS

Amalienborg Palace

Categories: Castles, Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Frederik’s Church

The Frederik’s Church’s green copper dome can be seen over the city of Copenhagen. Also known as The Marble Church or Marmokirken, began construction in 1749. The victim of budget cuts, the church stood in ruin until 150 years later when it was finished. If you plan to visit be sure to have some Danish Krone in your pocket as they don’t accept credit cards.CPH1_-125The gold lettering over the entrance portico HERRENS ORD BLIVER EVINDELIG translates to “the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” – 1 Peter 1:25CPH1_-126Some say the large dome was meant to rival St.Peter’s in Rome. It remains the largest dome in Scandinavia and one of the largest in Northern Europe.CPH1_-120

CPH1_-119The ornate Swan Organ is no longer in use. The swan is Denmark’s official bird.CPH1_-121CPH1_-122

CPH1_-123The inner dome of the church is resting on 12 columns. The cupola is split into 12 equal parts and decorated with angels and the 12 apostles.CPH1_-124

LINKS

Visiting the Marble Church

 

Categories: Church, Copenhagen, Europe, Marmokirken, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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