Art, Culture, Sankt Petersburg

28 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

Eremitage at night © Robert Breuer

Eremitage at night © Robert Breuer

Sankt Petersburg is probably the most unusual, “un-Russian” city of the country. This is because the origin history and historical and urban development of the “Venice of the North”. Sankt Petersburg has a little more than 300 years of history full of ups and downs. Visitors who are strolling around the streets soon have the feeling to visit one of the great European cities of the 19 century rather than a Russian city. The city at the river Neva has, compared to other capitols in the world, the most extensive historic downtown and can be described without exaggeration as an open-air museum of architecture.   read more…

Portrait: Douglas Tompkins, environmental activist and eco-entrepreneur

28 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  6 minutes

DouglasTompkins © LatinTrade.com

DouglasTompkins © LatinTrade.com

From time to time we portrait people with exceptional CV’s who try to make the world a better place with a lot of engagement:   read more…

Salzburg, the festival city

27 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

City Centre Salzburger © Thomas Pintaric

City Centre Salzburger © Thomas Pintaric

Salzburg, with nearly 150,000 inhabitants, is the fourth largest city in Austria. It is also the capital of the province Salzburg. Since 1996, the old part of the town is on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list. Today Salzburg is a major exhibition and convention destination with many trade and service companies and a powerful tourist industry. In addition, the city is internationally significant because of the Salzburg Festival, which earned her the nickname “Festival City”. For further facts please visit Wikipedia Salzburg.   read more…

Colosseum and Trajan’s Market and Forum – What can we learn?

27 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Intelligent Buildings Reading Time:  15 minutes

Rome Marts © seier+seier+seier

Rome Marts © seier+seier+seier

Everyone knows it, even if the personal or private vocational orientation have nothing to do with the construction industry. Looking at this part of the history of public and commercial architecture and the resulting economic use, then these two building complexes were to some extent “The invention of the wheel.” Since then planners and architects are trying to reinvent this wheel again and again – with more or less success. Of course, there always have been results of progress and development of building materials to set new milestones, but really new developments weren’t given since. This is partly in the nature of the building and construction business: A building structure remain a building structure and have to follow structural requirements, which in turn follows the laws of gravity. On the other hand the results of the much-vaunted “think outside the box” quote are sometimes not only surprising, but simply led by misled passion.   read more…

Utrecht, the industrial and university city

24 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability Reading Time:  6 minutes

Canals © Diliff

Canals © Diliff

When visitors arrive at the old city of Utrecht it’s inevitably to think “Why haven’t I actually studied here?”. The University, with its numerous internationally recognized faculties, is an invitation to do so. Utrecht is undoubtedly one of the poster-girls of the Dutch towns, which meets every cliché and every expectation that visitors might have in places in the Netherlands. Whether it’s wind mills, canals, green houses, coffee shops, crooked houses, narrow alleys, small weekly markets, romantic places and locations or a vital nightlife on the one hand, or on the other hand busy activities in the inner city, students from all over the world and international retail – here you can find it and everything is arranged around the cathedral, which is also a good reference point for the first visit. A very different picture emerges when you leave the old town area. Here Utrecht show its industrial face and also meets the expectations one has of those quarters.   read more…

Lisbon, the white city

23 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

Nowhere in Portugal visitors will find a more impressive reminder of the great seafaring tradition and the wealth of the former colonial power than in the capital. It seems as if one would breathe history and even untrained eyes can see “Once here was power and money at home!”. Much is well preserved, especially the pride of the residents. Lisbon is one of the quieter, yet vibrant European cities with the typical southern European lifestyle, which could keep much of its originality without missing the connection to the modern era, on the contrary: For a number of years now, an increasingly stronger start-up scene from the IT sector has been established, which also attracts large international corporations (Startup Lisboa). Lisbon owes the nickname “The White City” the picturesque white houses, historic buildings and palaces.   read more…

Hakka Tulou roundhouses

23 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability Reading Time:  8 minutes

© china-guide.de

© china-guide.de

Almost by chance we found during research these fascinating circular buildings. It is a closed inherently functional form of settlement in China. On the one side it was a residential accommodation for large families and clans, on the other side through meter-thick outer walls a passive protection which for weeks withstands enemy attacks, while self-sufficient through small areas of farm land to grow food for daily needs and stables for livestock. An exciting concept, which shows like almost no other from this time how sustainability in practice work on a small space, while at the same time is a practical advice for today’s needs, according to the motto “Think global, act local!”.   read more…

Sustainable living in the Alps

23 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Thomas AMBLARD

© Thomas AMBLARD

The majority of us associate with the Alps romantic mountain cabins, scenic valleys, small villages, which blend into the mountains, of course winter sports, tourism, alpine horns, the Tour de France and wonderful diversity, species richness and originality, peace and serenity. The inevitably association with tourism by people from around the world, however, only contributes 3 – 4% to the over GDP of the Alps regions. Many do not know that the number of the inhabitants of the small towns are dramatically declining, so is the use of agricultural land and the people who live here are facing major challenges. What to do in order to not only use the relevant regions in Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol and Slovenia as transit regions for the north-south traffic, to stop the depopulation and to keep and preserve the originality of the region? According to studies a minimum of 700 inhabitants are necessary for a healthy and sustainable community development. Most communities do not achieve these populations anymore so that there is a clear need for creative plans, based on local-and regional-specific cultural and traditional developments.   read more…

The Royal Borough of Windsor

21 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  13 minutes

Windsor Castle at Sunset © Diliff

Windsor Castle at Sunset © Diliff

Windsor is home to two of the UK’s Top 20 visitor attractions – Windsor Castle and Legoland Windsor – and this is not all. Why not add Ascot Racecourse, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Eton College, the Changing of the Guard, the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, or seasonal attractions such as the Royal Windsor Wheel, plus many others to your itinerary for the perfect trip?   read more…

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