Posts Tagged With: Europe

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

The Riviera of the Nordic region

CPH1_-278Hop one of the convenient trains from the central train station in Copenhagen and an hour later you’ll be visiting the town of Helsingor in Northern Zealand. CPH1_-145Kulturhavn Kronborg is an area dedicated to the arts, live music, theatre and art all play a part in the culture of the region. CPH1_-134This fish sculpture is made entirely out of garbage found in the bay.  Look clsely and you’ll find everything from plastic beach pails to hubcaps to watering cans to children’s toys. All items that were tossed in the water and retrieved for art. CPH1_-135The narrow cobblestone streets are perfect from exploring on foot or on bike. CPH1_-142Han, Danish for Him, is the little brother of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid. Artists Elmgreen & Dragset use the same pose as his more famous sibling, but he has 2 legs instead of a tail.  If you watch closely, Han’s eyes blink for a split second once every hour as he stares out into the harbor.CPH1_-143

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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

The Fjords of Norway

Geirangerfjord in Norway often appears on lists of the most spectacular places on the earth. Created over several ice ages, the glaciers dug out the deep fjords and the towering mountains. Geiranger1_-2Geirangerfjord is home to several well-known waterfalls.  ‘De Syv Søstre’ (the seven sisters) dance playfully down the mountain while the ‘Friaren’ (the suitor) is said to be wooing the Seven Sisters across the way. Geiranger1_-3 Fairytales explain that the shape of the mountains is due to trolls. When the creatures are hit by sunlight, it’s said that they turn to stone. Could that be a face staring at us on the mountainside? Geiranger1_-4The tallest of the Seven Sisters tops out at an impressive 820 feet. Be sure to visit later in the Spring when the winter snow and ice are melting to get the best views.

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The “S” shaped fjord is almost 10  miles long and a mile wide. The waters of the fjords are as deep as the Grand Canyon. Boat tours, kayaking and hiking are all great ways to see the beautiful scenery.

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Perched high on the mountainside next to the Seven Sisters is the abandoned Knivsflå farm. It was ordered abandoned by the authorities in 189 due to the threat of landslides. It still stands today despite the threat of avalanches.

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LINKS

Geiranger Fjord

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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

Tivoli’s Lilliputian Military

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THE TIVOLI YOUTH GUARD
As a master of public relations, Carstensen was always looking for new ways to engage the public. The Tivoli Honory Guard or the Tivoli Boys Guard was created in 1844. The guard grew into a cultural icon in Copenhagen and provided a comprehensive musical education for children. Boys and girls participate in the Youth Guard today.

Links

Tivoli Gardens Youth Guard

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

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