art, culture, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 4-45

 

When I read this week’s theme, an old movie came up to my mind: Telephone from 1977 with Charles Bronson as the Russian officer Major Grigori Borzov, who is sent to USA to try and stop sleeper agents who will mindlessly attack government entities when they hear certain coded words spoken to them at the telephone by another Russian agent with the name Nicolai Dalchimsky. He picked the sleepers (a relict from the Cold War) from his list of all Russian sleepers based in the USA by using their Initial to ‘write’ his name (Dalchimsky) at the map of the USA (i.e. Denver, Atlanta, Louisville, Cincinnati, Houston – you got the idea). While Nicolai Dalchimsky tries to rise the 3rd World War, Grigori Borzov tries to find and eliminate him silently.

This telephone, instead, is not in the USA,it hangs in Barcelona, Spain.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

architecture, art, cityscape, culture, history, photography, travel

Monochrome Madness 4-16

Looking back to my trip to Barcelona in spring 2014 and especially to this amazing building designed by the genius architect Antonio Gaudi.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

architecture, art, food, General, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

WPC: Ornate

600_7439-e_wThis week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “ornate”

Who is the one, who owns the crown in being a genius of decorating architecture way over the top? Antonio Gaudi!

 

Take care!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

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

The school at La Sagrada Familia

600_7589_wRight next to the church you can find a small school set up for the workers kids to educate them and to teach them. In that time educate was a rare and expensive good. By teaching the workers kids, they offered them a career as a worker on the building site. While teaching them the basic math and tool handling they were able to get skilled and qualified workers. On the other hand, the kids got an opportunity get a job and to make their living. Keep in mind, other big cathedrals were constructed and build for at least decades. The construction of the cathedral in Cologne, for example, lasted more than 600 years! Thus, several generations of people were supposed to make their living on working on this cathedral. And, even after finishing such a building, some stonecutters will stay with the cathedral works to renew and repairs several parts every now and than.

Take care!

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

Below La Sagrada Familia

 

600_7555_wBelow the church you can visit the workers area. Here you can find old paintings, plans, small model of different parts and so on.

You can reach this area also from the place before Christmas front. Leave the building and turn right. Follow the path leading you down, below the building.

Here, you can also find one of the two gift shops. 🙂 (The other one is on the Easter front side).

Take care!

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

Inside of La Sagrada Familia

600_7521-e_wHere we are! Inside one of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever seen!

This church has extremely much light inside, compared to other churches. Not only because of the glass windows at every side, but also from above. The whole church is inspired by a forest. Huge trees (the columns) are carrying the roof of leaves and branches. Between these leaves the natural light is able to reach the ground. Here you have the same, light channels are leading light from the sky inside the church. Also a technique, Antonio Gaudi used before: in Palau de la Musica. Even the big plates with the symbols of the evangelists are illuminated from behind by natural light.

The photo above was my first photo inside, right on our way to the towers, when the inside wasn’t much crowded. On the other hand, this inner circle with the benches was guarded, to give prayers a room.

Take care!

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

The Easter Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7424_wLast week I introduced you to the Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia. This week we walk around the church to the opposite side and have a look on the Easter front, where you can find the entrance for the common visitors.

Here we have a very different sculpturing style compared to the Christmas front. The complete story of easter is modeled in stone around the entrance. Try to find the roman soldiers and look at their helmets. What do you see? I see, they are looking gust like the fairy chimneys on to of Casa Milà.

When comparing the buildings, Antonio Gaudí has built, you can always find similarities. His whole designing live was inspired by organic structures and he used these ideas always.

Next, we’ll go inside the church and visit the towers.

Stay tuned!

Take care!

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

The Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7419-e_wThe Christmas Front was the first of the four fronts, to be finished.

This is one of the side entrances to the church. This entrance is for guided groups. The entrance for the common people is on the opposite side.

I really advise you, to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues at the cashier desks. When we arrived at about 8:30h the queue already surrounded one side of  church, approximately 300-400m. (And we were there on early March!). Our tickets were for 9:00h, so we passed the queues and went straight to the entrance on the Easter side, opposite to the Christmas side.

I’ll show some more details from the Easter side in my next post. The Christmas front is rich decorated with small and filigree details. Very hard to take photos of these details because of its size and the distance.

The both finished fronts are completely different. Not only in their theme, but also in the sculpturing style. Both of them are fantastic.

Antonio Gaudi was inspired by organic structures. Leaves, animals, shells, trees, fruits, flowers and many other organic structures gave him ideas for modeling his buildings. You can find all of those structures in nature.

Take care!

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

La Sagrada Familia

600_7409-s_wThis iconic cathedral is, although not finished, probably the best known symbol of Barcelona.  It’s also designed by Antonio Gaudi and, in my humble opinion,  his real masterpiece! This church is really adorable! I’ll show more of this fantastic building in my next posts.

This photo is taken from one of the two small parks beside the church. We were on location early to get a good spot. But, unfortunately they forgot to switch on the lights in time. Instead of getting photos of the illuminated church at twilight, we only got them at black night. How disappointing.

Antonio Gaudi died in 1926 because of an accident. The people at Barcelona tried to finish the cathedral, but without plans and the genius architect, it was nearly impossible. Thus, the works stopped quite often and were stopped completely in 1935.

Although many people voted to leave the ruin alone or to remove it completely, they started another try to finish the cathedral during the preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. And it makes a good progress. Entrance fees are used to continue building the cathedral and back in 2010 they reached a point, that the cathedral was able to be sanctified.

There is a hope, to get it finished until 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death), because of the good progress. We will see.

Take care!

 

architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell – Inside the monument zone

600_7681-e_wAs I mentioned in my last post, I focus on the monument zone of Park Güell in Barcelona.

We started at the terrace and enjoyed the fantastic view over the city down to the ocean. Although it was extremely crowded we were lucky enough to get a free spot on the bench that surrounds the terrace.

It was also very hard to get a chance to photograph the tiled lizard fountain, the well-known emblem of the park. The pillar halls, planed for being a market place, were less crowded. Most people were interested in the tiled terrace bench and the lizard fountain.

For me, it was nice having been there and a fulfillment of a long-lasting dream. But, I won’t go again. It’s small, expensive and crowded. A Barcelona visit won’t be complete without this visit. But, there are other spots being worth a second visit, this not – sorry!

So, decided yourself!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell

600_7626-e_wThis park is divided in two parts: the public park and the monument zone.

The idea for this area was, to create a closed urban quarter with houses for the rich surrounded with walls and guards. Some infrastructure buildings were set up in advance and one house. Unfortunately no-one was interested in buying one of the estates.

Later the area was converted into a park and donated to the public. It’s a nice park and freely accessible expect the monument zone. Although the entrance fee is quite high for such a tiny area, it is really a magnet for the people.

When we arrived, we first climbed up the left hill for getting an overview. Than we walked over to get our tickets for the monument zone. After waiting for nearly an hour, we got aware of an access limitation: Access in about 90 minutes! Because of this limitation many people in the queue before us, started walking away. And we used the meantime for visiting other parts of the public area.

So, you can find photos of both sides of the public park as well as some taken at the main entrance of the monument zone. The monument zone has three entrances: the main entrance is at the lowest part of the monument zone, while the other two are in the upper part to the lest and the right.

I’ll show some of my photos from inside the monument zone in my next post. Stay tuned!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Casa Batlló

600_7240-s_wCasa Batlló is another building constructed by Antonio Gaudi and not far away from Casa Milà. Although it’s definitely worth a visit from inside, I wasn’t. One of our group, who already knew Casa Milà, visited Casa Batlló, while we were in Casa Milà.

Although all entrance fees are high in Barcelona, Casa Bathlló has the highest fee of all. Be prepared, to spend a lot of money on entrance fees.

– Palau de Música 18,00€
– Casa Milà (La Pedrera) 16,50€
– Casa Batlló 21,50€
– La Sagrada Familia  16,30 + tower 3,00€ €
– Park Güell  8,00€

And, although the entrance fees are so high, they are full of people. So, you better come early and be in place before opening. You also better buy your tickets in advance, wherever possible. The most crowded place was La Sagrada Familia, where the queue in front of the cashiers was several hundred meters long. Also at Park Güell, where we had to wait in queue for an hour or so and only got tickets allowing to enter about 1,5 hours later.

We were here in early March. How about in typical travel times? I won’t imagine this.

Take care!

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

Visiting an Art Nouveau apartment

600_7187-s_wThe period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century is called Art Nouveau. It featured by very distinct kind of ornamenting. Design was very bloomy and used many floral elements. In most European countries it came to an end with the beginning of World War I in 1914.

In this context Antonio Gaudi was a child of his time, but he was very different and on his own with his style.

Also, in his style of designing houses. Each room has at least one window. The windows of the owners rooms, like dining room, living room or office are to the street, while the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room have their windows to one of the three atriums. Even the sleeping rooms for the servants got a windows – extremely rare for that time.

Beside the door you can find a phone, connected to the door in the street, to speak with a visitor without opening the door and – most surprisingly – open the door remotely.

Also, have a close look inside the bathroom and the equipment you can see: a bathtub, a water toilet and a bidet. On the other hand pay attention to the equipment of the laundry room.

Don’t forget, the house was built from 1906 – 1910.

Take care!

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

below the enchanted roof of Casa Milà

600_7148-e_wMy last post focused on the fantastic decorations at Casa Milà, the famous apartment building created by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona. While my last post showed the rooftop and one of the entrances I take you now on layer down: under the roof.

An elevator brings you from the tourist (visitors) entrance to the roof top, the attic and the floor containing the untenanted apartment. But, you can also take the stairs down from the roof top and follow the path back to the street.

When entering the attic you’re faced with a model of the complete house. Here you can get an overview and an ideo, how all the parts fit together. Following the round track, you’ll get back to the stairs bringing you down to the apartment.

Take care!

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

The enchanted roof of Casa Milà

600_7056-e_wCasa Milà is an apartment building in Barcelona, located a the Passeig de Gràcia. It was built between the years 1906 and 1910 by Antonio Gaudi, the famous Catalonian architect. Do you remember, I already introduced him and I’ll focus on him in a future post a bit more and detailed.

He decorated the house with his unique decorating style, inspired by natural shaped and textures. He got his inspiration from plants, flowers, fruits, animals and many other shapes he found in the nature. There are a few more posts in the queue focussing on Antonio Gaudi’s work.

Not only the roof is following the round (not straight) shapes, also the building itself is in a round shape and the two atriums are oval. Even the apartments have round walls. One of the apartments is open for visitors. Here you can get an idea what kind of luxury wealthy people have had in Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century.

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, culture, history, photography, travel, world

art in the streets

600_7797-s_wI’m always surprised, when I visit cities in foreign countries. Life can be much different in other countries. Streets look different, and I don’t mean signs in foreign languages or unknown brands. Each country even each region has its own history. So, architecture differs, shop styles differ and many other things, too.

While my last post on Barcelona showed some of the streets, I put some street art in my today’s gallery.

I hope you like it.

Take care!

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

I’m back …

600_7419-e_wHola amigas y amigos,

although my series on Cuba isn’t finished yet, I propose another series on a spanish speaking location: Barcelona the capital  of the region Catalonia in Spain. Literally Catalonia has ist own language: catalan. Catalan is also based on Latin, like Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French, but differs a lot from Spanish. All signs are in three languages: Catalan, English and Spanish. So, you might find you way. 

Catalonia is the home region of some famous artists: the opera singer Montserrat Caballé and the painters Salvatore Dalí and Joan Miró. 

During the last days I was in Barcelona with some friends walking in the spurs of Antonio Gaudí, the famous catalan architect. He lived from 1852 – 1926. He developed a unique style in architecture and created many wonderful and interesting buildings. I’ll write some posts on Barcelona later. But, to give you an idea of his unique style, I attached a photo showing the basilica La Sagrada Familia (the holy family), his still unfinished masterpiece. 

You can click on the photo, to see it in a bigger size. I’ll focus on some of the details (not only on this church) in further posts.

I’d recommend to subscribe to my blog, to not miss any of the further posts.

Stay tuned.