Portrait: The sculptor, painter, architect and poet Michelangelo

28 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art - online collection

Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra © Metropolitan Museum of Art – online collection

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.   read more…

Portrait: The architect and founder of the Bauhaus School Walter Gropius

24 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad - René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad – René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture. Gropius was also a leading architect of the International Style.   read more…

Portrait: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey

26 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during a coffee and smoking break (1936) © Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during a coffee and smoking break (1936)
© Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.   read more…

Portrait: The diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet Niccolò Machiavelli

22 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political science. For many years he was a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by Italian scholars. He was secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his best-known work The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs (Works by Niccolò Machiavelli).   read more…

Portrait: The street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director Banksy

24 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Hotels, Portrait

Dover - Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover – Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of the English musical group Massive Attack.   read more…

Portrait: Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of West Germany

27 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Dr. Konrad Adenauer, 1952 © Bundesarchiv - Katherine Young/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Dr. Konrad Adenauer, 1952 © Bundesarchiv – Katherine Young/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. He was co-founder and first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) (till 1966), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country.   read more…

Portrait: The economist and philosopher Friedrich August von Hayek

20 February 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Friedrich August von Hayek, 1981 © flickr.com - LSE Library

Friedrich August von Hayek, 1981 © flickr.com – LSE Library

Friedrich August von Hayek (CH FBA), often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Gunnar Myrdal for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and […] penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”. Hayek was also a major social theorist and political philosopher of the 20th century and his account of how changing prices communicate information that helps individuals co-ordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics, leading to his Nobel Prize.   read more…

Portrait: Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the Printing Press

23 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Gutenberg Bible - Lenox Copy - New York Public Library © flickr.com - NYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)/cc-by-sa-2.0

Gutenberg Bible – Lenox Copy – New York Public Library © flickr.com – NYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)/cc-by-sa-2.0

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

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