Archive for January 4th, 2022

January 4, 2022

The Praça Francisco Sá Carneiro of Lisbon!

Ok so this was in my wandering walks in the city of  Lisbon. As said always best to walk once in town, any town. I have this picture and figure it should be shown in my blog , after all this is my life’s history! Therefore, let me tell you a bit on the Praça Francisco Sà Carneiro square of Lisbon!

The Praça Francisco Sá Carneiro, formerly the Praça do Areeiro, is located on the border between the old parishes of São João de Deus and Alto do Pina, currently united in the parish of Areeiro.

Francisco Sà Carneiro was founder and first Secretary General of the PPD (Popular Democratic Party). Posthumously awarded the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ (1981), the Military Order of the Tower and Sword (1986) and the Order of Liberty (1990) , as well as a Solemn Session in honor of the Assembly of the Republic (1990), the Gold Medal of the Portuguese Bar Association (2006) and the Order of Infante D. Henrique (2017), in addition to having its name given to the International Airport of his hometown Porto (1990).

lisbon praca Francisco de Carneiro may14

The Praça do Areeiro would then become the most important entryway into the city of Lisbon. The 1st floor with balconies and superior height, the regular metric of the windows, the cornice delimiting the top floor. The symbolism of details such as caravels and armillary spheres, and the traditional architectural features of the tile roofs. Ths square was change name to Praça Francisco Sà Carneiro to honor the politician,

The Metro Areeiro line verde or green is one stop from Alameda connecting with the airport on line vermelho or red.

You have interesting spots nearby such as the Jardim Fernando Pessa, green neighborhood garden with benches, bronze statues, a playground and a small football/soccer field. Also, the Alameda Dom Afonso Henriques with is Fonte Luminosa (fountain) , a monumental fountain from 1940 in a park with sculptures of Triton and sirens, light shows in the evening.

No specific info on the square so will leave you with the Lisbon tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, another off the beaten path monument in lovely Lisbon. Nice memories and still good friends from here, looking forward to be back. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 4, 2022

The Hôtel de Ville of Brussels!

And behold, written many posts on one of my favorite cities, Brussels, and surprise not to have a post on this emblematic building in a historical square ! I like to give credit when due and write this post on the Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles or the City Hall of Brussels, which is in the Grand Place (see post),

I have been many times that I can count here by car, and by train, My train was from Paris Nord to Brussels Midi station, By car, I have done many routes from Versailles (78), from Pluvigner (56) and from Caudry (59), The best roads from my neck of the woods was the A29 to A28, back on A29, A16 briefly A29 again, and the A1 by the TGV Peronne station to get on the A2 by Cambrai, and then on the A7 to Brussels RO ring road exit 13 and into the N8 Chaussée de Ninove to city center Brussels ! Easy well posted ok, While in Brussels have taken the bus, tramway and metro !

The Grand Place or Central square is bordered by corporation houses, the Hôtel de Ville, and the house of the king. A wonderful place written already in my blog, This post is a bit historical and memorable of the many trips there with the family since 1991 !!  The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall of Brussels is a Gothic and Classical style building located on the Grand-Place.It constitutes the only medieval vestige of the Grand-Place and is considered a masterpiece of civil Gothic architecture and, more particularly, Brabant Gothic.

The City/Town Hall is made up of two stylistically very different parts: the Gothic-style city hall built in the 15C along the Grand-Place with a return along the rue Charles Buls; and a Classical style extension built in the 18C, consisting of three wings arranged in a U at the rear of the Gothic building, along the rue de l’Amigo, the rue de la Tête d’or and the Rue Charles Buls. The left wing and the base of the tower were built from 1401 to 1421 to replace the old aldermen’s house, and the right wing, the first stone of which was laid by Charles the Bold, was built from 1444 to 1449 ; the upper part and the spire of the tower was done from 1449 to 1455.

Bru hotel de ville front dec12

The Hôtel de Ville underwent numerous restoration campaigns throughout the 19C. It was during this period that most of the city hall statues were made. Between 1844 and 1902 were executed more than one hundred and fifty stone statues of Caen and Echaillon quarries, The tower never fulfilled the role of belfry which explains its light and purely ornamental structure not allowing it to support heavy communal bells and to have a watch service ,The spire is surmounted by the statue of Saint Michael, Saint patron of the city of Brussels, slaying the dragon, The base of the tower is pierced with an ogival portal surmounted by a tympanum depicting Saint Michael surrounded by Saint Sebastian, Saint Christopher, Saint George and Saint Géry who, according to legend, erected a chapel which would be at the origin of the city ​​of Brussels.

Bru hotel de ville belltower dec12

On either side of the portal stand the statues of the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudentia (Prudence) and Justitia (Justice) on the left, Fortitudo (Strength) and Temperantia (Temperance) on the right. The statues of the Virtues are supported by very expressive historiated cul-de-lamps. The tympanum, statues and cul-de-lamps do not date from the Gothic period but from restorations from the 19C.  The main facade of the City Hall consists of two asymmetrical wings flanking the tower and terminated by corner turrets. Each wing is made up of arcades, a balcony, of two floors pierced with large mullioned windows and is surmounted by a high saddle-style roof pierced with numerous hipped dormers. The base of the facade is decorated with a gallery of arcades. These arches are strongly asymmetrical ; the left wing has eleven arches while the right wing has only six.

Bru hotel de ville grand place dec12

The construction of the right wing involved the demolition in 1444 of three houses called in French “Maison de l’Estrapade”, “Maison de la Cave aux Moines”. and Maison du Maure, The “Maison de l’Estrapade” and its two neighbors no longer exist but their memory is preserved in the west gallery of the city hall. The gallery in the left wing houses a flight of steps made up of a staircase, a stone balustrade pierced with quatrefoil patterns and two columns each surmounted by a seated lion bearing the arms of Brussels (Saint Michael slaying the dragon). The various facades of the Gothic City Hall are adorned with countless very expressive gargoyles depicting human beings, animals or fantastic creatures.

The city of Brussels with tourist information offices:

The Brussels tourist office on the City/Town Hall

The historical archives of the city of Brussels

There you go folks, a dandy monument in pretty  Brussels that I am glad to finally have in my blog with a post of its own. Go see the Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles, wonderful! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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January 4, 2022

Curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City!!

I was browsing what to write in my blog, and got a call from one of my friends in Vietnam. This led to look into my Ho Chi Minh City picture vault and found a couple not in my blog. Therefore, here are some curiosities of Ho Chi Minh City, a hotel and a museum! Hope you enjoy it as I.

This was my first ever hotel in 2012, and just one time! Memories lingered forever. And of course, was my first hotel so cannot find direct pictures of it just from it yikes!!!

Hotel Grand Silverland, in district 1 ,right in the middle by the great famous market of Ben Thanh. This is as a classic hotel as you can find, old look, and modern facilities throughtout, with a great breakfast,and easy walking to the market, muséums,and lively street life of the city.  It has a wonderful rooftop pool and resto with fabulous views of Saigon (now HCMC).  Pic below  looking from my room to corner going to Ben Thanh market!

hcmc looking out window grand silverland hotel nov12

As said, it is only a 2 minute walk to the bustling Bến Thành Market and 1 km from the War Remnants Museum and an 8-minute walk from the Reunification palace.(see post on all).  Also, 400 meters from the Mariamman Temple. The hotel ,also includes mini-golf, a gym, and a spa with sauna and massage services. However, the best for me was the roofstop pool and restaurant!

I really enjoy it but I guess was done to impress me as later I had to use other hotels just as nice thus (see post), It will be my memorable moment walking to Ben Thanh market at night !! The Hotel Grand Silverland webpage:

I passed several times here and did get into the gardens, only one passing picture as souvenir but a wonderful memory and great friends. The Gia Long Palace , now officially the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is situated at the corner of Lý Tự Trọng and Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa streets, located on 2 hectares of land, near the Independence Palace. It was established in 1975, and this museum is full of interesting pieces of Vietnamese history and culture, such as ceramics, old maps of the city and displays of traditional marriages between ethnic minorities. The garden outside is popular for wedding photographs or as a break for tired tourists like me!

hcmc Ho Chi Minh City Museum former Gia Long Palace nov12

A bit of history I like , is really ups and downs !

The construction of the palace began in 1885 and completed in 1890, and was designed to house the Museum of Commercial Trade, exhibiting products and goods of Southern Vietnam. However, the building soon became the residence of the Governor of Cochinchina (historical area of south Vietnam including the Mekong Delta and the south east).   In 1945, control of the palace changed hands several times. After the Japanese Imperial Army toppled the colonial regime of French Indochina on March 9 1945 ,the palace became the residence for Japanese Governor , On August 14, 1945 the Japanese handed over the palace to its puppet Empire of Vietnam government , After, the building became the headquarters of the Provisional Administrative Committee of Southern Vietnam, later renamed the People’s Committee of Southern Vietnam. On September 10, 1945 Lt. Col. B. W. Roe (from the British military mission) occupied the palace and made it the Allied Mission headquarters, evicting the People’s Committee. On October 5, 1945 the building was used by General Leclerc as the temporary headquarters of the High Commission for the French Republic in Indochina ; the palace was used as Leclerc’s office, this time as the official headquarters of the Commissioner of the French Republic in Southern Vietnam.

After the French reconquest of Indochina, on June 2, 1948 the French government handed over the building to the Provisional Government of the State of Vietnam, establishing its headquarters there. It was later transformed into the Palace of the Premier, serving as official residence of the Premier of the State of Vietnam. From June 26 to September 7, 1954, this palace was used as the temporary official residence of the Prime Minister, French High Commissioner. Bảo Đại renamed the palace to Gia Long Palace, and its street was renamed Gia Long Street. This was also the last residence of President of the Republic of Vietnam, The Supreme Court of the Republic of Vietnam was housed in the Palace, from October 31, 1966 to April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon.  On 12 August 1978 the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee ordered that the former Supreme Court be used as the Ho Chi Minh City Revolutionary Museum , later renamed to its current name of the Ho Chi Ming City Museum on 13 December 1999.

A bit on the construction/architecture I like

The 2-floored palace building covers an area over 1700 m², using classical Baroque architecture with European and Oriental influences. The flooring, staircases and halls were European-styled, while the roof was Oriental-inspired. Surrounding the palace is a trapezoid-shaped flower garden, with 4 pathways. There were built three extremely deep tunnels leading from the palace to other parts of the city so that the President and important government officials/military figures could escape in the event of a coup. Which it came anyway ! The tunnels were 2.2 m high, with cast reinforced concrete . Walls were 1 m thick, with 6 iron vault doors for entry and exit. The tunnels had 2 downward stairs, leading to a basement with 6 rooms, which included conference rooms, offices, bathrooms, electrical rooms. The Presidential Office and Presidential Adviser’s Offices were equipped with battery banks for uninterruptible power supply, portable radios, RCA transceivers. There are two exit tunnels that run towards Le Thanh Ton Street as well as six ventilation holes and numerous sewage drainages. 

The oifficial Ho Chi Minh City museum :

There you go folks, a dandy combo in a dandy city of Asia, Ho Chi Minh City, memories for a lifetime. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and worth the detour to visit these places.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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