Jewish life in the historic center of Berlin, around the Oranienburger Straße, Rosenthaler Straße and the Scheunenviertel

April 12th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Oranienburger Straße and New Synagogue © Rohieb/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienburger Straße and New Synagogue © Rohieb/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oranienburger Straße is a street in central Berlin. It is located in the borough of Mitte, north of the River Spree, and runs south-east from Friedrichstraße to Hackescher Markt.   read more…

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

March 25th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol © flickr.com - Steve Jurvetson/cc-by-2.0

Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol © flickr.com – Steve Jurvetson/cc-by-2.0

The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District’s street-numbering system and the District’s four quadrants. The United States Capitol Complex is a group of about a dozen buildings and facilities. The United States Capitol Visitor Center (CVC), located below the East Front of the Capitol and its plaza, between the Capitol building and 1st Street East, opened on December 2, 2008.   read more…

Berlin Cathedral

March 22nd, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions

© A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

© A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Berlin Cathedral (German: Berliner Dom) is the short name for the Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church (German: Oberpfarr- und Domkirche zu Berlin) in Berlin. It is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough. The current building was finished in 1905 and is a major work of Historicist architecture of the “Kaiserzeit“.   read more…

Jubilee Park in Brussels

March 15th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions

© Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

© Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

Parc du Cinquantenaire (French for “Park of the Fiftieth Anniversary”) or Jubelpark (Dutch for “Jubilee Park”) is a large public, urban park (30 hectares) in the easternmost part of the European Quarter in Brussels.   read more…

Tower of London

March 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, London, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.   read more…

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

January 27th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions

© Orator/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Orator/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (German: Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), also known as the Holocaust Memorial (German: Holocaust-Mahnmal), is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 19,000-square-metre (200,000 sq ft) site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs or “stelae“, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The stelae are 2.38 metres (7 ft 10 in) long, 0.95 metres (3 ft 1 in) wide and vary in height from 0.2 to 4.7 metres (7.9 in to 15 ft 5.0 in). They are organized in rows, 54 of them going north–south, and 87 heading east–west at right angles but set slightly askew. An attached underground “Place of Information” (German: Ort der Information) holds the names of approximately 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims, obtained from the Israeli museum Yad Vashem. Building began on April 1, 2003, and was finished on December 15, 2004. It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005, sixty years after the end of World War II, and opened to the public two days later. It is located one block south of the Brandenburg Gate, in the Mitte neighborhood. The cost of construction was approximately 25 million.   read more…

Hofburg, Vienna’s Imperial Palace

January 25th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Hall of Festivities during a concert of the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra © Wiener Hofburg Orchester/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hall of Festivities during a concert of the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra © Wiener Hofburg Orchester/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is located in the center of Vienna and was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. It also served as the imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.   read more…

Angkor Wat in Cambodia

January 16th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Buddhist monks in front of the Angkor Wat © flickr.com - sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Buddhist monks in front of the Angkor Wat © flickr.com – sam garza/cc-by-2.0

Angkor was the capital city of the Khmer Empire, which also recognized as Yasodharapura and flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. Angkor was a megacity supporting at least 0.1% of the global population during 1010–1220. The city houses the magnificent Angkor Wat, one of Cambodia‘s popular tourist attractions. The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara, meaning “city”. The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a “universal monarch” and “god-king”, and lasted until the late 14th century, first falling under Ayutthayan suzerainty in 1351. A Khmer rebellion against Siamese authority resulted in the 1431 sacking of Angkor by Ayutthaya, causing its population to migrate south to Longvek.   read more…

Museum of European Cultures in Berlin

December 5th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions

© Ute Franz-Scarciglia/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ute Franz-Scarciglia/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Museum of European Cultures – National Museums in BerlinPrussian Cultural Heritage Foundation came from the unification of the Europe-Department in the Berlin Museum of Ethnography and the Berlin Museum for Folklore in 1999. The museum focuses on the lived-in world of Europe and European culture contact, predominantly in Germany from the 18th Century until today. The museum, together with the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art, is located in the Dahlem Museums. The building was named after the architect Bruno Paul (1874 – 1968) and is located in the modern district of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. The museum’s exhibition rooms occupy the oldest building in the Dahlem Museums. The current Museum of European Cultures was established from several previous institutions which arose at the beginning of the 19th century and are due in part to private initiatives as well as governmental foundations.   read more…

Allied Museum in Berlin

November 12th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Berlin, General, Museums, Exhibitions

'The day the wall came down' by Veryl Goodnight © Mutter Erde

‘The day the wall came down’ by Veryl Goodnight © Mutter Erde

The Allied Museum is a museum in Berlin. It documents the political history and the military commitments and roles of the Western Allies (United States, France and Britain) in Germany – particularly Berlin – between 1945 and 1994 and their contribution to liberty in Berlin during the Cold War era. Near the Allied Museum, a sculpture by Veryl Goodnight remembers the joyous event when the Berlin Wall came down. Five wild horses are shown jumping over the remains of the wall. A statue of General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben stands nearby.   read more…

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