Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem

1 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

Abbey of the Dormition is an abbey and the name of a Benedictine community in Jerusalem on Mount Zion just outside the walls of East Jerusalem‘s Old City near the Zion Gate. Between 1998 and 2006 the community was known as the Abbey of Hagia Maria Sion, in reference to the Basilica of Hagia Sion that stood on this spot during the Byzantine period, but it resumed the original name during the 2006 celebrations of the monastery’s centenary. Hagia Maria Sion is now the name of the foundation supporting the abbey’s buildings, community and academic work.   read more…

Huis Doorn in Utrechtse Heuvelrug

13 April 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

The bust of Wilhelm II, sculpted by Max Bezner © Hanseichbaum

The bust of Wilhelm II, sculpted by Max Bezner © Hanseichbaum

Huis Doorn (Doorn Manor) is a small manor house that lies outside of Doorn, a small town near Utrecht, in the Netherlands. The 15th-century house was rebuilt in the late 18th century in a conservative manner and, in the mid-19th century, a surrounding park was laid out as an English landscape garden. Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900–1984), the mother of actress Audrey Hepburn, spent much of her childhood living in the house. The property was purchased in 1919 by Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor, as his residence-in-exile (1920–1941), following his abdication after World War I. During his years in exile, he was allowed to travel freely within a 15 mile radius of his house, but journeys farther than that meant that advance notice had to be given to a local government official. As he disliked having to kowtow to a minor official, he rarely journeyed beyond the ‘free’ limit. The former Emperor regularly exercised by chopping down many of the estate’s trees, splitting the logs into stacks of firewood, thereby denuding the matured landscape as the years progressed. Hence he was called by his enemies ‘The Woodchopper of Doorn’. The Dutch government seized the manor house and its household effects in 1945 and, since then, many new trees have been re-planted and the wooded parkland is returning to its earlier glory.   read more…

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