Archive for December 13th, 2022

December 13, 2022

Curiosities of Europe, part III

And I go again finding gems in my vault of pictures and needed to have them in my blog for you and me or me and you ! These are wonderful towns visited in my trails of Europe several years back. Hope you enjoy the visual trip thru Spain and Belgium as I. Therefore, here is my take on the new curiosities of Europe, Part III.

The 83-meters high Belfry of Bruges (Brugge) is a high medieval tower surmounting the Cloth Hall on the Grote Markt , It is a civil monument, built in several stages from the 13C to the 15C, which was the symbol of the municipal independence of Bruges, an important commercial city in the Middle Ages.

Brugge le belfroi c2004

A first construction surmounted by a wooden tower erected in 1240. The construction housed the wool and cloth halls and warehouses. The tower had a more administrative function and served at the time for the magistrates of the city. It included a room of safes as well as the archives of the city. The halls of the city extended during the 15C and in particular between 1482 and 1486 , A gallery was added to the rear of the halls during the 16C. The inner courtyard also received a few galleries on the first floor. In 1741 a fire again destroyed the spire of the tower. This was repaired in 1753, but without the spire. The tower received its present form with the addition of a new neo-Gothic openwork crown in 1822 at the top to replace the damaged old one, and by the absence of a new spire.

The City of Brugge museums on the belfry:

The University of Salamanca is the second oldest university in Spain but the oldest that remains, since the University of Palencia no longer exists, and the oldest in the Hispanic world; it is also the fifth oldest in Europe and the fourth oldest remaining. It was founded by Alfonso IX of León in 1218. On the other hand, it was the first to obtain the title of university in Europe. Its origin dates back to the Cathedral Schools whose existence can be traced back to 1130, when its schoolmaster attended a council in Carrión. The first official document is that of King Alfonso IX of León, by which he grants the title of Studium Generale (General Studies) to these schools, due to the quality of their teachings, this is dated 1218, Miguel de Unamuno is the personality the university’s most significant in the 20C Unamuno was rector of the university from 1900 to 1914 but left his post because of disagreements with the regime of Primo de Rivera. With the advent of the Second Spanish Republic, in 1931, he was reinstated in his functions. He became rector for life in 1934 (an honorary post following his retirement). He died the first year of the Spanish Civil War (1936).

Salamanca Universidad courtyard ent c1995

The Salamanca university museum

The town of Ciudad Rodrigo is in the province of Salamanca in the autonomous community of Castille-y-León, It is at 86 km from Salamanca City, It has a wonderful collection of a cathedral, palaces and churches. It also has the City/town hall, the Cerralbo Chapel, the Castro palace, the Águila palace, the Marquesa de Cartago palace or the Vázquez house. The plaza de Amayuelas is responsible for welcoming visitors to Ciudad Rodrigo, since it is the main point of access to the interior of the walled enclosure. Once we cross the Puerta de Amayuelas (gate of the wall), we find the monument to Fernando II de León, and on the left the information and tourism office next to the Palacio de los Velasco. In front, the imposing façade of the Cathedral and the Plaza de San Salvador, and to the right some stairs that give access to the walkway of the rampart.

Ciudad Rodrigo plaza de Amayuelas palacio velasco et chap de Ceralbo c2004

The Ciudad Rodrigo tourist office and its heritage :

The Parc Güell is one of the achievements of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, It was built between 1900 and 1914 , and restored from 1984 to 1993, This was originally a garden city that the patron of Gaudi, Eusebi Güell, had asked him to build on a hill of the City, El Carmel. The Park Güell is first and foremost a garden, with only a few constructions inside the park having been completed, such as the two mushroom-shaped houses framing the entrance. Once through the gate, the visitor finds himself in front of stairs with fountain islands in the center, in particular the emblematic salamander-shaped fountain.You see as the picture a fantastic salamander, one of the symbols of Barcelona, ​​decorated with trencadís.

Barcelona parc Güell Gaudi work c2004

On the first fountain, there is a circle, symbolizing the world, and a graduated compass, an architect’s tool, intertwined with imitations of trunks through which water flows, The second fountain represents a dragon’s head emerging from the flag Catalan, reference to the legend of Saint George very present in Catalan heraldry since Peter the Ceremonious, and used by Gaudi in the Casa Batlló. Finally, it is at the third fountain, the best known, that we find a dragon symbol of fire which is interpreted as the emblem salamander of Nîmes, the city where Gaudi spent part of his youth and whose Jardins de la Fontaine inspired this park,  

The official Parc Güell :

The Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena, next to the Royal Palace in Madrid.  The Virgin of La Almudena the patron saint of Madrid  has its altar in the transept of the right aisle, opposite the entrance by calle de Bailén. It is a high altar, which can be accessed by two side staircases with bronze handrail. The original sculpture, representing the Virgin with the child in her arms is an image of Gothic style carved in wood. It is positioned in the central niche of the altarpiece, done by the end of the 15C. This is a must to visit and often overlook by visitors.(see posts)

Madrid Catedral de la Almudena altar of the virgin c2004

Madrid Catedral de la Almudena capilla mayor de la cripta Virgin Almudena c2004

The official Catedral de la Almudena:

The Madrid tourist office on the Cathedral

There you go folks, another dandy round of beautiful places to see and saw , always looking forward to see them again, eventually. Hope you enjoy this round of Spain and Belgium in my curiosities of Europe ,Part III as I

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

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December 13, 2022

Curiosities of Paris, !!! Part IV

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures in of all places my FB page! . These were not yet in my blog and they should be lol!  Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Paris, Part IV. The pictures are from different years  but all from the time living in France! except one on the C-E below (1990). I have added a brief description of the places,  but all have posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy these marvels of my eternal Paris!!!

The companies appointed to carry out the reconstruction work on the parts destroyed or damaged during the fire, in particular the framework and roofing of the nave, the choir, but also the transept and the spire, invested the site of the cathedral from the spring 2022. Already, the assembly of the scaffolding which will allow the reconstruction of the arrow has been undertaken at the crossing of the transept of the monument. 600 tons heavy, 100 meters high, moving on forward, it will be done ! Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris !!! These pictures are older but worth to have them in my blog.

Paris Cathedral de Notre Dame side nov10

Paris Cathedral Notre Dame on rue d'Arcole arriv apr15

The Paris tourist office on Notre Dame Cathedral :

With a length of almost 2 km that connects the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées is the most beautiful and famous thoroughfare in Paris, and one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. This avenue was created in 1674 by André Le Nôtre, then landscape architect for King Louis XIV in order to extend the royal garden of the Tuileries.

Paris Avenue des Champs Elysées walking circa 1990

Paris avenue des champs Elysees to the arc de triomphe driving nov19

The Paris tourist office on the aven Champs-Elysées :

We speak of inner ring road or interieur to designate the roadway closest to Paris, which vehicles travel in a clockwise direction, and outer ring road or exterieur , to qualify the roadway furthest from Paris, which is taken in counterclockwise. The vehicles wishing to enter the ring road have priority over vehicles already circulating there. The BP for boulevard Périphérique is 35 km long with a speed limit of 70 km/h, The V-Traffic experts have studied the traffic of the Parisian ring road leading, during peak periods, from Monday to Friday, from 7h to 10h and from 16h30 to 19h30 as rush hours, The connecting highways from it are the A4 to Charenton-le-Pont (Disneyland) ; A6 at Kremlin-Bicêtre and Gentilly ; A13 at Bois de Boulogne ; N 13/ A14 at Neuilly-sur-Seine ; and A1 at Saint-Denis ; A3 at Bagnolet.

Paris BP beltway road exterior nov19

The City of Paris Traffic, work info

It was on this mythical square that Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre were guillotined in 1793, In it today you see the obelisk of Luxor originally from the temple of Amun of Luxor in Egypt, erected since 1836 in the center of Place de la Concorde, You can find imposing buildings such as the headquarters of the Ministry of the Navy and the Hôtel de Crillon, one of the oldest and most luxurious in the world. From the obelisk, it is possible to enjoy beautiful views of the Tuileries Gardens, with the Louvre Museum in the background. The name of the place de la Concorde arises from october 25, 1795, when the frenzy of the Great Terror subsided, the government of the Directory decided to rename the square from place de la Revolution to Place de la Concorde, as a sign of appeasement and reconciliation after this traumatic bloody episode of the Terror. On the left of the photo see the beginning of the Embassy of the United States of America.

Paris place de la concorde ,obelisk, hotel de Crillon and to the left the USA embassy mar11

The Paris tourist office on the pl de la Concorde

The pretty quant market at the Place de la Bourse in front of the Palais Brogniart held on Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons. The prices there are quite high, but it is one of the only afternoon markets in Paris, and it goes with the neighborhood. I love these markets so needed to stop by when attending function in the palace.

Paris Palais Brongniart market pl de la Bourse mar20

The Paris tourist office on the market at place de la Bourse

The Wall for Peace is a monument erected in March 2000 in front of the école Militaire, on the Champ-de-Mars, in the 7éme arrondissement, (my photo 2017) and dismantled in June 2020. In June 2020, announces having concluded an agreement with the State and the city of Paris, in order to move the work to Avenue de Breteuil, in front of the Invalides.  The monument is dismantled to make way for the ephemeral Grand Palais. However, the Collectif Breteuil introduce a graceful appeal. By a wish of December 17, 2020, the Council of Paris recognizes that the project was carried out without consultation and that an alternative location should be found. They are in the court of Paris to find a place ok by all. The suggested spots have all been rejected such as by the place Joffre, place de Fontenoy, the neighborhood of Arsenal (4éme), or even the other end of the avenue de Breteuil… all no! The decision is pending by the court.

Paris monument to the peace and the Eiffel on bus 82 feb17

The Paris tourist office on the wall of peace (old location)

The Chaussée de la Muette is on the 16éme arrondissement of Paris. It extends the Rue de Passy to the Ranelagh garden. It owes its name to the proximity of the former Château de la Muette (now OECD see post). It has two segments: The first, to the east, is full of buildings, which begins at the intersection of rue de Boulainvilliers and avenue Paul-Doumer and goes to the old station of Passy-la-Muette. (now a restaurant Andia former la Gare see post)) A second, to the west, not subdivided, which begins at the level of the old train station and continues within the Ranelagh garden, ending at the corner of avenues Ingres and Prudhon. Historically, this is a non building zone, created beyond the disappeared gates of what was formerly the Parc de la Muette, in order to prevent any construction there and to arrange ornamental flowerbeds.

Paris chausée de la muette et la Gare old resto on right, now andia driving in Paris Apr12

The Paris tourist office on the 16éme arrondissement or district of Paris

The statue of Thomas Jefferson is at rue de Solferino (7éme) corner with Quai Anatole France on the entrance to the Passarelle  Léopold-Sédar-Senghor (former passarelle Solférino). The statue honoring Thomas Jefferson , who was Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to France from May 1785 to September 1789, third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809, and one of the most eminent Founding Fathers, was inaugurated on July 4, 2006, the 230th anniversary of the Independence of the United States. The bronze statue, the work of French sculptor Jean Cardot , stands very close to the Hôtel de Salm, which Jefferson was particularly fond of, and which was one of the inspirations for his residence in Monticello,Virginia. Jefferson is thus represented holding a feather in his right hand and a map of Monticello in his left hand.  See as well other spots of Thomas Jefferson in Paris such at 95, rue de Richelieu (2éme);8, rue des Petits Champs (2éme); 13, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie (6éme); 2, rue de Bellechasse (7éme); 92, avenue des Champs-Elysées (8éme) and the Place des Etats Unis (16éme).

Paris statue Thomas Jefferson,near musee d'orsay on the Seine mar13

The French-American Heritage Foundation on the Statue of Thomas Jefferson :

There you go folks another dandy set of views and sights of my eternal Paris, never a dull moment in the most beautiful City in the World, These are wonderful spots that brings nice memories to me and my family and I hope you can enjoy them as well,

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

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