San Francisco Ferry Building

February 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, House of the Month

Ferry from Sausalito arriving at the Ferry Building © flickr.com - Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ferry from Sausalito arriving at the Ferry Building © flickr.com – Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0

The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay, a food hall and an office building. It is located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. On top of the building is a 245-foot-tall (75 m) clock tower with four clock dials, each 22 feet (6.7 m) in diameter, which can be seen from Market Street, a main thoroughfare of the city. San Francisco’s best-known farmers’ market is held on the grounds around the building on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., year round. Outside, a roadway allows pedestrian access to the restaurant and ferry dock behind the building.   read more…

German Chancellery in Berlin

January 28th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, General

Main entrance © Tischbeinahe/cc-by-3.0

Main entrance © Tischbeinahe/cc-by-3.0

The Federal Chancellery (German: Bundeskanzleramt) in Berlin is the official seat and residence of the Chancellor of Germany as well as their executive office, the German Chancellery. As part of the move of the German Federal Government from Bonn to Berlin, the office moved into the new building planned by the architects Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank. The building is part of the “Federal Belt” (Band des Bundes) called assembly in the Spreebogen, Willy-Brandt-Straße 1, 10557 Berlin.   read more…

Arts and Crafts Movement

January 18th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London

Philip Webb's Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philip Webb’s Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan (the Mingei movement) in the 1920s. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards. The term was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years. It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.   read more…

Theme Week Vatican City – St. Peter’s Basilica

December 29th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage

Tiber, Ponte Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica © Rabax63/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tiber, Ponte Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica © Rabax63/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter’s Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter’s is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world” and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom“.   read more…

Theme Week Vatican City – Vatican Museums

December 28th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Main complex of the Vatican Museums © F. Bucher/cc-by-2.5

Main complex of the Vatican Museums © F. Bucher/cc-by-2.5

The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani; Latin: Musea Vaticana) are Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by popes throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. The Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael, are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums. In 2017, they were visited by 6 million people, which combined makes it the 5th most visited art museum in the world. There are 54 galleries, or sale, in total, with the Sistine Chapel, notably, being the very last sala within the Museum. It is one of the largest museums in the world. In 2017, the Museum’s official website and social media presence was completely redone, in accord with current standards and appearances for modern websites. The Museums had 6,427,277 visitors in 2017, making them the fourth-most-visited art museum in the world.   read more…

Theme Week Vatican City – Apostolic Palace

December 27th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Pope Benedict XVI during the traditional weekly mess © Oliver-Bonjoch/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pope Benedict XVI during the traditional weekly mess © Oliver-Bonjoch/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Apostolic Palace (Latin: Palatium Apostolicum; Italian: Palazzo Apostolico) is the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishop of Rome, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, Palace of the Vatican and Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V. The building contains the Papal Apartments, various offices of the Catholic Church and the Holy See, private and public chapels, Vatican Museums, and the Vatican Library, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Borgia Apartment. The modern tourist can see these last and other parts of the palace, but other parts, such as the Sala Regia and Cappella Paolina, are closed to tourists. The Scala Regia can be seen into from one end but not entered.   read more…

Theme Week Vatican City – St. Peter’s Square

December 26th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage

© Greudin

© Greudin

St. Peter’s Square (Italian: Piazza San Pietro) is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus and the first Catholic Pope. At the centre of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square almost 100 years later, including the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church”. A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613.   read more…

Theme Week Vatican City – Vatican Gardens

December 25th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Marek.69/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Marek.69/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Gardens of Vatican City (Latin: Horti Civitatis Vaticanae), also informally known as the Vatican Gardens (Italian: Giardini Vaticani) in Vatican City, are private urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the country, located in the west of the territory and owned by the Pope. There are some buildings, such as Radio Vatican and the Governor’s Palace, within the gardens. The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West. The gardens and parks were established during the Renaissance and Baroque era and are decorated with fountains and sculptures. There is no general public access, but guided tours are available to limited numbers. The gardens also enshrine 16 Marian images venerated worldwide at the designation of the Roman Pontiff, who is the owner of the gardens.   read more…

Antebellum architecture of the Southern United States

December 3rd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

Rosedown Plantation House in St. Francisville, Louisiana © Z28scrambler/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rosedown Plantation House in St. Francisville, Louisiana © Z28scrambler/cc-by-sa-3.0

Antebellum architecture (meaning “prewar”, from the Latin ante, “before”, and bellum, “war”) is the neoclassical architectural style characteristic of the 19th-century Southern United States, especially the Deep South, from after the birth of the United States with the American Revolution, to the start of the American Civil War. Antebellum architecture is especially characterized by Georgian, Neo-classical, and Greek Revival style plantation homes and mansions.   read more…

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