architecture, art, culture, history, Music, travel, world

A day at the opera

 

600_9427-s_wThis is the proposed post on Harpa. As I told you last week, when we had a look at the outside at night, I take you to the inside now.

The mantle is made from a very special kind of glass:Dichroic glass

This kind of glass interacts with the changing daylight. The different angles of the lightfall, the different frequencies of the light at different times make the glass reflect parts of the light in the complementary color or let it pass to the inside.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, Music, travel, world

A night at the opera

600_8982_wThis impressive and very unique building is called Harpa. It’s an opera house, but it’s also open to the public during the day. You can enter for free and find a snack bar and a gift shop at the ground floor. But, way more impressive are the upper levels.

As you might have guessed already, I’m showing you this building at night. My next post will focus on the inside.

Harpa is located right next to the harbor. Behind the opera house, you can find the ocean. It was opened in 2011. Unfortunately, the english Wikipedia does not have many facts. There are way more in the German Wikipedia about the origin of the name, the logo, the idea behind the design and the used materials. All of these is inspired by the island: glaciers, northern light, hot pools, volcanoes.

The main concert hall has room for 1,800 people, but there are 3 more rooms Smaller in capacity, but all of them full of the most modern concert and audio technique. As well, as 9 cabins for interpreters.

Take care!

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architecture, art, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-20

mm20-610_3291-t_wThis time I picked a photo from my archive, taken a few months ago during our photographers roundtable. I was held in our state capitol. I already sent in another photo taken during that trip for mmc. You can have a look here.

14mm (full frame), f8, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/50s and converted to bw by using MacPhun Tonality Pro.

It’s my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge.

btw. there is currently a special 25% discount upon applying a coupon JulySpecial25 ’til end of July. There is also a bundle promotion running. Check it out!

Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

architecture, art, culture, history, people, photography, travel, world

The Barcelona Cathedral

600_6551-s_wThe cathedral of Barcelona is located at a huge square in the old town, but it is jammed between other houses and stands behind in the dark. On the stairs in front of the portal are the usual suspects: beggars, tourist guides with umbrellas and other funny marks to get the attention of their groups to get them all together, artists and musicians. All in all, a very unpleasant environment for a cathedral.

Even the inside is kind of crowded. Many visitors walking slowly up and down the aisles, chatting and taking photographs. Beside the altar the choir impressed me most. It is completely segregated from the rest of the cathedral, just like a church inside the church. Only monks and priests are allowed to take their place inside the choir (and tourists as part of a guided tour). All the others can look inside through the grid at the altar side of the choir (photo above).

When inside, pay attention to the carved hand plates between the wooden chairs in the choir. As far as I was able to see them, each one is different from the others. I included some in my gallery below.

Once the cathedral was part of a monastery. Although the buildings still exist, but, as far as I know, their isn’t any monk living anymore.

As you can see from the building style, the cathedral is quite old. It was founded back in the 11th century and is donated to St. Eulalia, the patron of Barcelona and a martyr in late roman times. She is buried under the altar and her martyrdom is engraved above the door of the choir. The Legend says, she was killed 4 times in a row.

You can also visit the cloister (I’ll show you the hidden secret of the cathedral in an other post) and the roof.

Visiting the roof costs you a small fee. Depending on the visiting time, you also have to pay an entrance fee for the cathedral itself. Visiting the choir also costs you a fee, but, I don’t know, where to pay.

To give praying room to the believers, there is a separate chapel right behind the main entrance on the right.

Now, feel free and look around by using my photographs.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, landscape, photography, technical, travel, world

Torre Agbar at night

600_6457-ed_wThis tower is also a monument in the skyline of Barcelona. Its shape is similar to The Gurkin in London. You can see it from nearly all of the town, because it is one of the highest, if not the highest itself, building in the skyline. So, you can use it for your orientation as well as the two hills. I’ll put an overview photographed from one of the two hills in of Barcelona in one of my next posts.

Being a modern business building, it is usually not very interesting, except you’re interested in architecture. But, it is surrounded by other well-fitting buildings, a gallery hall, a big bus station and a modern market hall. This whole urban district was planned and in the basement of the gallery hall you can visit a miniature model of the district in its final state.

And, like many other important buildings, these buildings are illuminated at night. A feast for photographers.

Enjoy and take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, Music, people, photography, travel, world

The stage at Palau de la Musica Catalana

600_6176-s_wAs I mentioned in my last post, the stage is very different to stages usually found in theaters and opera houses. While those stages are able to be modified by paper walls lowered from the drawing floor, we only find a small stage with a few steps in the back for a choir (and the organ above).

Do you see, the figurines on the wall? These are muses. 18 figurines, each equipped with a different musical instrument, are looking at the musical at the stage. So, the artist is surrounded by audience. The common people in front of the stage in the seats on parquet floor or on the balconies. And, to back and inspire the artist, the muses beside and behind.

As a visitor you can’t see all of the muses. And that’s ok, because they are here only for the musician. The photo above is taken while standing right before the stage. The farer you have your seat, the less of them you can see. In the photo gallery at the end of this post, I’ve put a few of them in detail.

The idea of a muse was born in ancient Greece. They are goddesses from the Greek mythology and responsible for inspiration, literature, poetry, science, music, arts and considered as the source of knowledge.

Even today there are saying referring to the muses, i.e. someone was kissed by a muse (= had a very good idea or a flow of inspiration).

I hope, you also got a kiss of a muse every now and then for your inspiration.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, Music, people, photography, travel, world

Palau de la Musica Catalana

600_6216-ec_wEvery city has one or more theatres, cinemas, sport stadiums and maybe an opera. In Barcelona you can find another kind of stage of musical entertainment: the Palau de la Musica Catalana.

This Palace was built between 1905 and 1908 and is now part of the UN world heritage.  A theatre and an opera bringing plays on stage.  Actors playing their roles and opera singer sing their classical opera songs. You have a stage and a pit for the orchestra below the stage with an open space between the audience and the front border of the stage.

The Palau is different. There is no orchestra pit, as you can see in the photo above. The whole stage is kind of small and very special. My next will be on the stage itself.

The palace was built following the current style at the building time: Art Nouveau. While looking around by using the photos in the attached gallery, pay attention to the big glass window in the ceiling and its unusual shape. In the above photo you can see the shape from the side. Also, both sides of the building have colorful glass windows.

In case, you book a guided tour, you can also feel the wonderful sound inside the building. They demonstrate it with a hidden organ.

There is also a small auditorium, the Sala d’Assaig de l’Orfeó Català (the Orfeó Català Rehearsal Room), just below the main stage. Artists can use this area for performances with small audience or for exercises. This area is as good equipped as the central auditorium. The guided tour starts here with a short documentary with testimonials from many international musicians, praising the Palau. Here you can find the first stone of the Palau, laid in 1905.

The Foyer of the Palau is an area for waiting while drinking a coffee or a tea. This area is open to the public as a café or cafeteria.

Take care!

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architecture, culture, photography, technical, travel, world

an other kind of art

600_5818-e_wYou know, architecture is (at least here in Germany) a kind of art. Usually architecture represents a certain style of living as a style of an epoch, like Art Nouveau or Art Deco or Bauhaus or many others. But, there are also other architects around. They are unique in their style. I.e. think of the Canadian architect Frank Gehry, who creates buildings with a unique style. I visited Prague and Düsseldorf, where you can find some of his buildings. Others can be found in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), Bilbao (Spain) or Panama City.

Back in 1852 a (later) famous architect was born in Barcelona: Antonio Gaudi. He built many very interesting and unique buildings in the city. I’ll show some of them in my next posts including his master piece La Sagrada Familia (The holy family), a church. This was his last project. He worked on the church until he died as a result of an accident in  1926.

But, first I want to introduce you to the Hostpital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (hospital of the holy cross and St. Paul). This hospital was donated by the banker Pau Gil. Come around and have a look at this fantastic campus. They started back in 1902, but in 1911 when only 1/4 of the planned buildings were ready all the money was spent. In 1912  the second building time was started. This period was financed from the budget, planned for the relocation of another clinic located in the inner city. In 1930 the campus was finished and the hospital was handed over to its purpose.

Now, it’s no longer in use as a hospital. Instead it’s a UNESCO world heritage since 1997. The clinic now uses a new building complex (built 2003-2009) right next to this one, while the old campus is about to be renovated. You can already visit some of the old bed halls and get an idea, how much changed in hospital care during the last about 100 years.

I guess, it will be a regular museum soon. Currently you can visit it for free. It’s open from 11 a.m. But, expect to wait outside in a queue for a long time. When we arrived at 10 a.m. (not knowing about the opening hour at 11:00) the queue already was very long and we were able to enter the campus at 11:45. When we left the campus at about 3 p.m., there wasn’t a queue anymore, but inside it was quite crowded. So, choose well. 🙂

Take care!

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architecture, art, photography, technic, technical, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

600_1019-e_w

This weeks photo challenge is quite hard: object!  Finding a tangible subject, that inspired me and is still the subject of my photo. 

I took one photo out of my series of abstract architecture, taken last summer. I guess, I didn’t show any of that series here.

Enjoy!

 

architecture, art, culture, landscape, technical, travel, world

The Marienmünster in Dießen

A600_0366_w minster (Münster in German) is a kind of catholic church and the German name Maria is Mary. Minster means, the church belongs to a monastery or was once part of a monastery. Now it is a parish church.

So, the church was donated to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, while it was part of a Augustinian monastery.

The church is located on a hill above the city of Dießen. Thus you can see it over a long distance. I’ll show some more photos from inside the church in my next post. When already knowing catholic churches (i.e. some in France or in Italy), you’ll be a bit surprised, when seeing the inside of this one, and also some other Bavarian churches.

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architecture, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel

Chateau Colombieres

Do you remember my post on interesting buildings to be found left and right the streets? Here is another one!

We knew about this chateau from our travel guide. And we also knew that the owner is still living there, a real caunt! So we called in advance to ask, if it is open for the public on that day. Unfortunately the house is open only during the summer month for visitors, but we got permission for the park.

I love such old houses and I admire the builders, who build them hundreds of years ago without strong machines and Continue reading “Chateau Colombieres”

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel

Cathedral Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Rouen

This is also a gothic cathedral .

I was kind of surprised of the bad shape of this cathedral. Many figurines, usally standing outside in the fasade or on the roof, were lined up inside. Each with a note, where its usual place is. They were in extremly bad shape. You already saw photos of gargoyles damaged by erosion and the aicd rain, but these figurines looked worse.

You know, each romanic or gothic cathedral has wonderful colorful glass windows. But here were only very few of them. Nearly all windows at the sides and also those, not in the primary direction on view, were of milky glass instead of colorful glass. Also, parts of the entrance side were covered by scaffolds and canvas for fasade reconstructions. It seemed to me, we were in the late 1940s or 1950s, when some (many) of the war reconstructions were not already done. But it is 2012 and the last war is over for 67 years. Continue reading “Cathedral Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Rouen”

architecture, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel

Visiting Rouen

Rouen is the capitel of the Haute-Normandie. The city is much more crowded then the others we visited. But it is also a nice city. Many old houses are still there and nice places (squares / plaza). Many of them have interesting decorated facades. You also shoud visit the palace of justice and the oldes hotel of France.

Rouen also has a famous cathedral and a memorial to Jeanne d’Arc. Both of them will have their own posts.

Although I mentioned the old houses, Continue reading “Visiting Rouen”