Posts Tagged With: architecture

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.

DSC01730

DSC01727DSC01717

LINKS

Visit Estonia

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

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

CPH1_-285

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

CPH1_-290

LINKS

Visit Denmark

Kronborg Wiki

 

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

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

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

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

An In -“Spire”-ing Skyline

In “The City of Spires”. the oldest building in Central Copenhagen is Saint Peter’s Church. Sankt Petri Kirke is in Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter. Built in mid-15th Century, originally was one of four Catholic Churches, today the congregation is made up of German speaking Lutheran-Evangelicals.CPH1_-42St. Petri’s Kirke is where you can find the remains of one Johan Friedrich Struensee. When he arrived in Copenhagen at age 31 he was King Christian 7’s doctor. He considered himself an atheist and man of the Enlightenment and never set foot in the church while he was alive.
After his affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde was discovered, he was sentenced to death by beheading on April 28th 1772. The body was dismembered and the parts taken to Gallows Hill. In 1885, some human bones were dug up at the site, which then belonged to Vestre Kirkegård (the cemetery). The human remains that were found belonged to several people, some showed evidence of being hacked with an axe. Thought to belong to Struensee, they have resided in a child’s coffin in the crypt under the church.
CPH1_-44From the Observation Deck at the Round Tower (Runtaarn) you can see the many spires of Copenhagen. The former St. Nikolaj Kirke (St. Nicholas Church) in the foreground is now a contemporary art museum.CPH1_-58St Nicholas Church was built close to the shore, and was the church of fishermen, sailors and visiting traders. The church was named after the patron saint of sailors.CPH1_-88 The Old Stock Exchange (Borsen) has the most interesting spire in the city. The tails of four dragons are intertwined to create the spire. The legend is that the dragon tailed spire guards the building against enemy attacks and fires. The Old Stock Exchange been spared from damage on many occasions, even when fires have broken out in neighboring buildings. CPH1_-87The Danish Chamber of Commerce now resides in the building.The three crowns that top the spire represent the Scandinavian empire – Denmark, Sweden and Finland.CPH1_-90Sitting in the Christianhaven section of the city, the Church of Our Savior has a spire with an external staircase for climbing to the top. The Church is visited by more people than any other in Copenhagen.CPH1_-212The 400 steps to the top wrap around the spire 4 times. Like many fortresses the steps wind to the right. The soldiers can defend the city by holding onto the railing with there left (less dominant) hand while brandishing their swords with their right.CPH1_-213A statue of Our Savior stands on top of a globe at the top watching over the city.CPH1_-218A quick train ride to the north is where you will find the spires of Kronborg Castle, also known as Hamlet’s Castle.CPH1_-141

LINKS

St. Peter’s Church

St. Nicholas Art Museum

The Borsen (Stock Exchange)

Kronborg Castle

Church of Our Savior

 

Categories: Castles, Church, Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Dragons, Europe, Hamlet, Kronborg Castle, Photography, St Peter's Church, St. Nicholas Church, St. Nikolaj Kunsthall, St. Petri Kirke, Travel, Vor frelsers Kirke | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tivoli Gardens

In 1843 the King of Copenhagen granted Georg Cartensen, permission to open Tivoli Gardens. The exotic and elegant gardens were opened to guests for the first time on August 15, 1843. Fairytale write Hans Christian Anderson was among the first visitors and some say this visit inspired him to write his story, “The Nightingale”.

CPH1_-9
The stories of Hans Christian Andersen are featured in one of Tivoli’s popular attractions, The Flying Trunk or Den flyvende Kuffert. You may sense a similarity to Disney’s It’s A Small World.

Amusement parks had gotten a reputation of being somewhat seedy, but Tivoli was a clean and orderly park with lush flowers, family friendly rides and a fun festive atmosphere. Art Linkletter visited Tivoli in 1952 with Walt Disney and remembers Walt writing down notes about the gardens, seating, rides, food and all of the details that would inspire Disneyland a decade later.CPH1_-11CPH1_-10CPH1_-31CPH1_-30CPH1_-29Among the Bamboo Garden is the Japanese Pagoda, built in 1900. Originally it was known as The Chinese Tower until 2009, no one knows why the name was changed. Tea and refreshments are available for purchase inside.CPH1_-28In 1874, thousands of electric lights lit up the night in the gardens, There are approx. 2,800 bulbs on The Japanese Pagoda. The Pagoda was the first of the park’s buildings to get LED bulbs. The twinkling light bulbs are often referred to as Tivoli Lights. CPH1_-264The Moorish Palace in Tivoli is home to luxury Hotel Nimb designed by Knud Arne Petersen. In 1909 Wilhelm and Louise Nimb, who had created a restaurant empireOlder Posts in Copenhagen were brought in to manage the restaurant Divan 2, which still exists.CPH1_-19In October 2015 Hotel Nimb was awarded “Hotel of the Year” by Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) from 520 hotels across 82 countries around the world.CPH1_-20

Links

Tivoli Gardens

Nimb Hotel

Older Posts

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston Through A Fisheye

On my recent trip to Boston I decided to give a new lens a try. I made a point of only shooting with my new fisheye and here are some of the results.

BurrageHouse

There are several buildings that have always captured my imagination, I frequently find myself returning year after year and finding new angles. One of these buildings is the Burrage House on Commonweath Ave at Hereford St. This unusual mansion is currently divided into 6 condos, former residents included New England Patriot’s Tom Brady.

BurrageHouse2

Similar homes werre built on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Modeled after Chenonceaux, a chateau located in the Loire Valley of France. Covered in Gargoyles and Grotesques, it represents the only example of the “chateauesque” style in Boston.

CommAve2

Walking along the mall at Commonwealth Ave, one encounters a number of sculptures representing some of Boston’s noteworthy citizens. Merdith Bergmann’s The Boston Women’s Memorial features likenesses of Lucy Stone, Phillis Wheatley and Abigail Adams,

CommAve

                All along Commonwealth Ave, you can see architecture ranging from the typical Boston Brownstones to the fabulous marble mansions.

PublicGarden

At the end of Commonwealth Ave, heading towards the State House, is the Boston Public Gardens. This public park features the Swan Boats, beautifully manicured lawns and one of my favorite statues.

Duckling

Robert McCloskey’s children’s book, Make Way For Duckings, tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks that raise their family on the Public Gardens Lagoon. Through the years, pranksters have duck napped individual ducklings, only to return them. The story is so popular that a sister to the statues was installed in Russia.  The Boston residents take great in their duckings, each spring they don straw Easter bonnets. And in remembrance of this year’s Marathon bombings, they wear their own Marathon runner’s bibs.

PostOffice

The Post Office in Beacon Hill on Charles Street, is the oldest operating Post Office in the city. This 2 window Post Office is one of the most popular in Boston , due in part to the friendliness of the customers and workers.

ScoreAntiques

Stephen Score Antiques is nestled among 18th and 19th century buildings in the Back Bay. The vivid blue paint and the French Clown standing guard above the sign welcome you to a gallery full of antiques and fine arts. Previous owner, Israel Sack installed many of the period arcitectural details found throughout the gallery. Many were taken from an old mansion in Marblehead.

SteinartHall

Steinert Hall on Boylston Street was built for piano dealers, M Steinert and Sons in 1896. The six story Beaux Arts style building used to feature a concert hall frequented by the elite of Boston’s arts scene.

PartyStore

This unique facade is at 356 Boylston Street and currently houses iParty with a Twist. In a past life, this was the site of a Schrafft’s Restaurant. Schrafft’s was the kind of place you could see an old lady sipping a cocktail at one table, a group of businessmen having lunch and a gaggle of kids enjoying ice cream cones over at the counter. Schrafft’s was closed on Sunday with the exception of this one location, where Sunday church goers needed somewhere to have lunch.

TheBerkeley

The Berkeley on Boyslton Street was built in 1906 and long considered the crown jewel of Boston’s Back Bay. Designed by Désiré Despradelle, a professor of architecture at MIT had been educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The magnificent facade is encased in terra cotta details and panes of glass.

Categories: Photography, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eastern State Penitentiary

     Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that stressed the reformation of it’s inmates over punishment. Prisoners were completely separated from each other and never knew who was in the cell next to them. They lived in complete isolation every day, never seeing another living soul, eating, sleeping, showering and exercising alone. In reality, the guards developed cruel and hideous tortures, to show their dominance over the prison population.

     In 1966, the prison was designated a National Historic Landmark. By then end of it’s life as a prison it had abandoned the solitary concept and prisoners lived as a community until it was abandoned in 1971. One can only imagine what kind of terrors are imbedded in it’s aging walls.

     The old prison has found new life as a movie set. The decaying building has been featured in Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS and in 2008, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

     The possibility of actual ghosts still haunting the prison has led to paranormal investigators conducting numerous explorations of the site. GHOST ADVENTURES, GHOST HUNTERS, MTv’s FEAR and Great Britain’s MOST HAUNTED LIVE have all produced episodes at Eastern State.

The building is in a state of preserved decay. Areas that are less safe for the average tourist are off limits.

     Among the hauntings witnessed are a shadow figure that quickly scoots away when approached and mysterious ghostly faces in Cellblock 4.

In addition to being a historical site, the building is also home to more than a dozen art installations. My favorite one was called GHOST CATS. Amongst the grounds and cells are sculptures of 39 cats, representing the colony of cats that had inhabited the prison since it was abandoned in 1971. Artist, Linda Brenner created the cats out of a clay that will slowly dissolve over time to represent the inevitable decaying of all living things.

     Eastern State had it’s share of celebrity guests during it’s prime. “Slick Willie” Sutton, a bank robber known for over 50 robbieries. One of the unusual inmates was #C-2559, a dog named Pep. The story goes that Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot was sentenced to Eastern State for murdering his wife’s cherished cat.

Perhaps the most famous or infamous of Eastern State’s residents was Al Capone. He served his first prison term of 8 months, for possession of a concealed weapon, at Eastern State. His cell was quite comfortable compared to the others, he was allowed to decorate it himself with rugs, art and antiques.

Capone was also Eastern State’s most famous paranormal victim. He claimed that he was haunted by the ghost of James Clark, the brother-in-law of Capone’s rival, murdered in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Fellow inmates reported hearing Capone screams nightly, begging “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone.

     Is Eastern State Penitentiary haunted ? I can honestly say that after visiting, you certainly get a feeling of the oppressive isolation and despair felt by the inmates. EVP’s have captured disembodied voices and more than one person has seen ghostly figures in the Guard Tower. At least for a few days a year, Eastern State is definitely haunted and a scary experience is guaranteed.

“Terror Behind The Walls” happens every Halloween. In 2012, the prison will be the host to 6 different haunted experiences. You can check it out at http://www.easternstate.org/halloween/preview

Categories: Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: