Gaudi’s other big project in Barcelona was Park Güell. This was meant to be an exclusive housing development on the outskirts of the city, centering around a park designed by Gaudi himself. The housing development never really got off the ground–it was too far from the city center and public transportation. But the park was taken over by the city. Most of it is public, with just a small portion roped off as a paying tourist attraction.
It’s pretty cool, and was especially interesting to me because it is now very clear where Pedro Silva, the artist who designed “Dragon Park” in Nashville, got his ideas! This park is just a few blocks from the house where I grew up. I helped with the mosaics on the sea serpent there when I was a little kid, and later, the park became a hangout in high school. Much, much later, my kids played there with their grandmother. So, full circle, or something like that.
The rest of the photos are just randomly taken around town. We visited the Picasso Museum (expensive but worth it), the Museum of Catalunya (very nice), and the Catalonian National Museum of Art (awesome). We also strolled around the waterfront, the Gothic quarter and La Rambla, eating and drinking very well along the way. Lots of great chorizo, beans, Serrano ham, cheeses, Spanish wine, gelato, and not one schnitzel to be seen anywhere. It was so much fun. We will be back!
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Originally posted on TriVienna:
On this cold, gray, drizzly winter day, I visited the Westlicht “Showplace for Photography” in Josefstadt. What a cool little museum!
The exhibits, all of which are labeled in English as well as German, are about 1/3 devoted to the history of photography. There are several cases with interesting old cameras, and a few newer ones designed to be used in space, for example. I liked the spy cameras best.
The rest of the museum consists of actual photographs. The current exhibition features very old photos from the National Geographic collection. Some just seem bizarre to us now, but others rise to the level of art.
Finally, there are two slide shows…
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I am proud to say that on the very last day that my annual Kunsthistorisches Museum pass was valid, I finally made it to the Theater Museum.
Located in a beautiful Lobkowitz Palace close to the Albertina, the Theater Museum is a small exhibition space with two or three collections on view at any given time.
At the moment, the main exhibit is about puppets, specifically Javanese -style rod puppets designed by an Austrian named Richard Teschner. I am not really into puppets, but these are very beautifully crafted ones.
Unfortunately–and somewhat inexplicably–there is exactly zero information in English in the museum. So, my understanding of what I was seeing was limited to what I could figure out from the German placards. It seems that Teschner was sort…
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While the Sunday in question wasn’t technically gray, it was chilly and windy. A good day to cross another item off of our Bucket List!
Since we had annual passes to the Kunsthistoriches museums that were expiring soon, we decided it was a good day to finally check out the Imperial Carriage Museum at Schloss Schönnbrunn. We are not really that into carriages. But with the KHM annual pass, admission is free. If you are new to Vienna, and want to check out a bunch of museums at a reasonable price, this pass is a great deal. Details here.
But first, a stop for lunch at the Residenz Café. This restaurant (owned by Café Landtmann), though a bit touristy due to its location at the palace, manages to remain a nice stop for lunch or a yummy dessert.
Stoked with truffeltorte and coffee…
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I’ve been experimenting with the monochrome setting on my camera and Adobe Lightroom. Here’s a few photos from Český Krumlov, posted without captions because that’s not so much the point with these, I guess.
If anyone has a good tip for how to keep my Canon Eos camera from slightly overexposing black and white photos on sunny days, let me know…
As a crafty person, I spent an inordinate amount of time in Rome looking at floors. I had my reasons. Tile mosaic floors have been a thing in Rome for millennia. And they are really, really cool.
The Romans began piecing together floors from bits and and pieces of marble from all parts of their empire thousands of years ago. Their floors, facings, and monuments were often made of pieces plundered from other cultures. Later civilizations, in turn, recycled the Roman marble for their palaces and churches.
Each color and/or type of marble has a different name, from travertine to porphry. They also wear down at different rates, so, as one of our guides pointed out, the floors become bumpy over time. You can tell the porphyry bits, for example, not only by their red color, but by the fact that they stick up a little higher than the other pieces.
And most of them are quilt patterns! I thought it would be fun to match some of them up. Who knew that Churn Dash was hundreds of years old? :) I may be inspired to start piecing again…
I thought I was over churches. And then I went to Italy.
In fact, I am pretty much over Central European Baroque churches. A person can only take so many cherubs in one lifetime. But Italian churches are different. Many of them predate the Baroque era, for a start. Some of them have Gothic, Romanesque, or even Byzantine design elements. Amazing works of art can be found in little chapels financed by wealthy Italian merchant families. And every now and then, there is a whole other church lying underneath!
We saw several churches in three days, only one of which we were actually looking for. They included the Chiesa del Gesù, which is, in fact, a Baroque church. One of the very first Baroque churches, and a model for later Jesuit churches all over the world. In fact, we almost didn’t go in. But I’m glad we did, because as a pair of graduates of a Jesuit university, it was kind of fun to see the tomb of old Saint Ignatius of Loyola himself.
On to San Luigi dei Francesi, which we did intend to visit, on a friend’s recommendation. Well worth it for the Contarelli Chapel, with three Caravaggios depicting the life of St. Matthew. Caravaggio was ahead of his time in many ways: his paintings can be identified right away by their dynamic composition and strong contrasts. We saw several of his works on this trip, and I consider that to be an item crossed off my bucket list!
Santa Maria del Popolo, which we stumbled onto after visiting the Borghese Gardens, also boasts two Caravaggios, including one of my favorites, The Conversion on the Way to Damascus. What a thing to run into by accident! Only in Rome.
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva was nice, and included a surprise Michaelangelo, the Cristo Della Minerva. You know, just standing there, nonchalant, looking like he is about to hail a cab.
Finally, the morning of the day we left, we stashed our luggage and went for a walk. Stepped into a fairly ordinary-looking church, San Crisogono di Trastevere, and were invited by some old guy to see the early Christian crypt underneath for 3 Euros each. We descended rickety stairs to a huge underground space with 5th century ruins, frescoes, and tombs lying about. It was a great way to round out our visit!
By the way, if you want to see the photos and captions more clearly, click any photo in the collage below to open a full-screen slideshow.