Portrait: Wassily Kandinsky, expressionist and pioneer of abstract art

22 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  8 minutes

Wassily Kandinsky in 1922 by Hugo Erfurth

Wassily Kandinsky in 1922 by Hugo Erfurth

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. Kandinsky is generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa (today Ukraine), where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat (today Tartu, Estonia)—Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.   read more…

Theme Week Hungary – Visegrád

21 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Danube and Visegrad Castle © Civertan Grafikai Studio/cc-by-3.0

Danube and Visegrad Castle © Civertan Grafikai Studio/cc-by-3.0

Visegrád is a small castle town in Pest County, Hungary. It is north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend. It had a population of 1,864 in 2010. Visegrád is famous for the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel. In 1991, the leading politicians of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland met here to form a periodical forum, the Visegrád Group, with an intentional allusion to the meeting centuries earlier in 1335. Visegrád was granted town privileges again in 2000.   read more…

Auckland Central Business District

21 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  15 minutes

Aerial view © flickr.com - Craig/cc-by-sa-2.0

Aerial view © flickr.com – Craig/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Auckland central business district (CBD), also called the city centre by Auckland Council, is the geographical and economic heart of the Auckland metropolitan area. It is the area in which Auckland was established in 1840, by William Hobson. It is New Zealand’s leading financial hub, and the centre of the country’s economy; the GDP of the Auckland Region was $122.557 billion in the year ending March 2020. The CBD is one of the most densely developed places in New Zealand, with many commercial and some residential developments packed into a space of only 433 hectares (1,070 acres). The area is made up of the city’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses. Bounded by several major motorways and by the harbour coastline in the north, it is surrounded further out by mostly suburban areas; it is bounded on the North by Waitematā Harbour, east by Parnell, southeast by Grafton, south by Mount Eden, southwest by Newton, west by Freemans Bay and northwest by Viaduct Harbour.   read more…

Theme Week Hungary

20 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

View from Gellert Hill to the Danube in Budapest © flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

View from Gellert Hill to the Danube in Budapest © flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) of the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west. Hungary is a landlocked country. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostly ethnic Hungarians and a significant Romani minority. Hungarian, the official language, is the world’s most widely spoken Uralic language, and among the few non-Indo-European languages widely spoken in Europe. Budapest is the country’s capital and largest city; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs, and Győr.   read more…

Würzburg Residence

20 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

Kaisersaal © Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kaisersaal © Andreas Faessler/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Würzburg Residence (German: Würzburger Residenz) is a palace in Würzburg, Germany. Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, representatives of the Austrian/South German Baroque style, were involved in the construction, as well as Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand, who were followers of the French Style. Balthasar Neumann, court architect of the Bishop of Würzburg, was the principal architect of the Residence, which was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and his brother Friedrich Carl von Schönborn in 1720, and completed in 1744. The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, assisted by his son, Domenico, painted frescoes in the building. Interiors considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the “largest parsonage in Europe” by Napoleon. It was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, and restoration has been in progress since 1945.   read more…

Walvis Bay in Namibia

17 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Oyster farming © Olga Ernst/cc-by-sa-4.0

Oyster farming © Olga Ernst/cc-by-sa-4.0

Walvis Bay is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies. It is the second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. The city covers a total area of 29 square kilometres (11 sq mi) of land.   read more…

Taormina on Sicily

15 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  17 minutes

© Solomonn Levi/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Solomonn Levi/cc-by-sa-4.0

Taormina is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Messina, on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. Taormina has been a tourist destination since the 19th century. Its beaches on the Ionian Sea, including that of Isola Bella, are accessible via an aerial tramway built in 1992, and via highways from Messina in the north and Catania in the south. On 26–27 May 2017 Taormina hosted the 43rd G7 summit.   read more…

Jacksonville in Florida

13 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Riverside and Avondale © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Riverside and Avondale © Ebyabe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits. As of 2020, Jacksonville’s population is 949,611, making it the 12th most populous city in the U.S., the most populous city in the Southeast, and the most populous city in the South outside of the state of Texas. The Jacksonville metropolitan area has a population of 1,523,615 and is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Florida.   read more…

20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks

11 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, New York City Reading Time:  36 minutes

© 9/11 Memorial and Museum

© 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The September 11 attacks, often referred to as 9/11, were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Wahhabi Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.   read more…

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