Krasnoyarsk on Yenisei River

October 29th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Riverport © E.doroganich/cc-by-sa-3.0

Riverport © E.doroganich/cc-by-sa-3.0

Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia after Novosibirsk and Omsk, with a population of 1,035,000. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia’s largest producers of aluminium. The city is notable for its nature landscapes; author Anton Chekhov judged Krasnoyarsk to be the most beautiful city in Siberia.

There are a number of historical buildings in Krasnoyarsk, the oldest of them being the Intercession Cathedral (1785 to 1795, restored in 1977 to 1978). Other locally significant samples of Russian Orthodox architecture are the Annunciation Cathedral (1802–12), the Holy Trinity Cathedral (1802–12), John the Baptist Church (Russian: Церковь Иоанна Предтечи, 1899, former episcopal residence), and the new Michael the Archangel Church (1998 to 2003). On the top of the Karaulnaya Hill, originally a pagan shrine, later occupied by the Krasnoyarsk fort watchtower, the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel (1804, rebuilt 1854-55) still stands. The chapel, displayed on the 10-ruble note, is one of the iconic images of the city. The chapel was abandoned and fell into disrepair during the Soviet era and only when Perestroyka came was it regained by the Yenisei bishopric.

A bridge near Krasnoyarsk carries the Trans-Siberian Railway across the Yenisei. This structure, one of the longest at the time, was constructed between 1893 and 1896 to an award-winning design by Lavr Proskuryakov. When approved for the inscription on the World Heritage List in 2003, the bridge was described by the UNESCO as “an early representation of a typical parabolic polygonal truss bridge in Russia” which became “a testing ground for the application of engineering theories and the development of new innovative solutions, which had numerous successors”

Among other notable buildings are the mansions of the merchant Nikolay Gadalov (beginning of the 20th century), the Roman Catholic Transfiguration Chapel (1911, also known as the Krasnoyarsk Organ Hall), the Krasnoyarsk Krai Museum stylized as an Ancient Egyptian temple, the Krasnoyarsk Cultural/Historical Center and the triumphal arch at the Spit, the regional administration building flanked with two towers known as the “Donkey Ears”. There are a number of two-story wooden houses in the city built mostly in the middle of the 20th century as temporary habitations. Many urbanized villages located inside the city keep the remnants of the traditional Russian village architecture: wooden houses with backyards, many somewhat dilapidated now but still inhabited.

Read more on City of Krasnoyarsk, Siberian Federal University and Wikipedia Krasnoyarsk. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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Promenade de la Croisette

October 25th, 2014 | General | No Comments »

Harbor, Palais des Festival and Croisette © Mario Lassnig/cc-by-sa-2.0-at

Harbor, Palais des Festival and Croisette © Mario Lassnig/cc-by-sa-2.0-at

Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a busy tourist destination. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès on Promenade de la Croisette is host of the annual Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. It is as well host to the annual MIPIM in March, one of the largest real estate shows in the world, including an exhibition area, networking events and expert-led conference sessions over a period of 4 days, and MAPIC in November, an international retail real estate show.

The Promenade de la Croisette stretches along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and is about 2 km long. Many expensive shops, restaurants, and hotels (such as the Carlton, Majestic, JW Marriott Cannes and Martinez) line the road. It goes completely along the coastline of Cannes.

South of the Promenade de la Croisette are the St Honorat Island (Île Saint-Honorat) and St Marguerite Island (Île Sainte-Marguerite) with public ferry access. It took The Man in the Iron Mask 11 years to leave this tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to be of noble blood, but his identity has never been proven. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea)

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux bought land at the Croix des Gardes and constructed the villa Eleonore-Louise. His work to improve living conditions attracted the English aristocracy, who also built winter residences. At the end of the 19th century, several railways were completed. This prompted the arrival of streetcars. In Cannes, projects such as the Boulevard Carnot, the rue d’Antibes and the Carlton Hotel on the Promenade de la Croisette were carried out. After the closure of the Casino des Fleurs (hôtel Gallia), a luxury establishment was built for the rich winter clientele, the Casino Municipal next to the pier Albert-Edouard. This casino was demolished and replaced by the new Palace in 1979. With the 20th century came new luxury hotels such as the Miramar and the Martinez. The city was modernised with a sports centre, street cars, a post office, and schools. Winter tourism gave way to summer tourism and the summer casino at the Palm Beach was constructed.

Read more on Cannes Tourism, Palais des festivals et des congrès and Wikipedia Promenade de la Croisette. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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