Friday, April 29, 2011

Regensburger Dom

 The Regensburg Cathedral (GermanKathedrale St. Peter or Regensburger Dom), dedicated to St Peter, is the most important church and landmark of the city Regensburg, Germany. It is the seat of the Catholic diocese of Regensburg. The church is the prime example of Gothic architecture in southern Germany.

A first bishop's church was built around 700, at the site of the present-day cathedral parish church Niedermünster (St. Erhard's tomb). Around 739, St. Boniface chose the area of the Porta Praetoria (North Gate of the old Roman fort) for the bishop's seat, and the site of the cathedral has remained there since. The Cathedral was rebuilt in Carolingian times and expanded in the early 11th century , with an approximately 15-meter-wide transept, two towers and an atrium.

In 1156-1172 the edifice burnt twice, and was also rebuilt starting from 1273 in High Gothic style. The three choirs of the new cathedral were ready for use in 1320, while the old cathedral was demolished at the same time. In 1385-1415 the elaborate main entrance to the west was completed, with the most of the new edifice being finished around 1520; the cloister was constructed in 1514-1538.
The cupola at the transept crossing and other sectors were renovated in Baroque style in the 17th century. In 1828-1841 the cathedral underwent a neo/Gothic restoration commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The Baroque frescoes were relocated and the cupola demolished, being replaced by a quadripartite rib vault. The towers and their spires were built in 1859-1869. Three years later the cathedral was finally finished, with the completion of the transept gable and the spire (at the crossing), after some 600 years of construction

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Interior Congress Hall
The Reich Party Congress Grounds form a site in the southeast of Nuremberg with a size of eleven square kilometres where the Nazi party rallies were held from 1933 until 1938.

Congress Hall

The Congress Hall (Kongresshalle) is the biggest preserved national socialist monumental building and is landmarked. 
It was planned by the Nuremberg architects Ludwig and Franz Ruff. It was planned as a congress centre for the NSDAP with a self-supporting roof and should have provided 50,000 seats. It was located on the shore of and in the pond Dutzendteich and marked the entrance of the rally grounds. The building reached a height of 39 m (129 ft) (a height of 70 m was planned) and a diameter of 250 m (843 ft). The building is mostly built out of clinker with a facade of granite panels. Especially the outer facade is (amongst others) oriented at the Colosseum in Rome. The foundation stone was laid in 1935, but the building remained unfinished and without a roof. The building with an outline of an "U" ends with two head-buildings (aerial photo). Since 2000, the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände (Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds), with the permanent exhibition Faszination und Gewalt (Fascination and Terror), has been located in the northern wing.   In the southern building, the Serenadenhof, the Nürnberger Symphoniker have their domicile.

Zeppelin Field
The Zeppelin Field (in German: Zeppelinfeld) is located east of the Great Road. 
It consists of a large grandstand (Zeppelinhaupttribüne) with a width of 360 meters (400 yards) and a smaller stand. It was one of Albert Speer's first works for the Nazi party and was based upon the Pergamon Altar. The grandstand is famous as the building that had the swastika blown from atop it in 1945, after Germany's fall in World War II.  Also featured prominently in Triumph of the Will.  
Quite the spectacles at one time, these buildings may soon fall further into ruin as there are extraordinary costs, social and economic, involved their preservation and upkeep.  

Visiting Nürnberg was an exhausting and intense experience.  My first impression was that the city had a distinctly dark and shadowy aura (compared with Prague).  Ghosts, perhaps.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sächsische Schweiz

Saxon Switzerland (GermanSächsische Schweiz) is a mountainous climbing area and national park around the Elbe valley south-east of Dresden in SaxonyGermany. Together with the Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic it forms the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.
Saxon Switzerland alone has some 1,000 climbing peaks, as well as several hollows. The area is popular with Dresden locals and international climbers.
During the Dark Ages, the region was settled by Slavs and was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia during the Middle Ages. About 1000 years ago Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland was the borderland of three Slavic tribes. The Nisane tribe (east of the Elbe from Dresden to Pirna), the Milzane tribe (from today's Upper Lusatia) and in the south the Dacine tribe shaped the political and economic landscape at that time.
It was not until the 15th century that the area now called Saxon Switzerland came under Saxon hegemony when it became part of the Margraviate of Meissen with boundaries roughly corresponding to those of today.
Der Malerweg ist der Hauptwanderweg des Elbsandsteingebirges.  Er verläuft vom Liebethaler Grund bei Pirna, über Lohmen, den Uttewalder Grund, Stadt Wehlen

Stadt Wehlen

die Bastei, den Kurort RathenHohnstein (Sächsische Schweiz), den Brand, Altendorf, weiter über die Schrammsteine und Affensteine, den Lichtenhainer Wasserfall, 
die Neumannmühle bis zur Räumichtmühle, wo er den östlichsten Punkt erreicht. Von dort verläuft er weiter westführend über Zeughaus und den Großen Winterberg nach Schmilka. 
Großen Winterberg
In Schmilka wird die Elbe überquert und es geht weiter über SchönaKrippen, Papst- und Gohrischstein nach Königstein, die Festung Königstein, Weißig (Sächsische Schweiz) bis Pirna. Der Malerweg ist insgesamt 112 km lang, davon entfallen 68 km auf den rechtselbischen Teil bis Schmilka und 44 km auf den linkselbischen Teil.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Palácové zahrady pod Pražským hradem

Palácové zahrady Pražského hradu leží na území Malé Strany, na jižním svahu hradčanského vrchu.

Southern slope beneath Prague Castle is shaped from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. Even today we can find traces of the Gothic walls, utility Renaissance gardens of aristocratic palaces and baroque floral representative partners. 

The beauty of architecture that complements the natural coves, rugged terrain is literally dotted with fountains, mysterious stairways and passageways, gloriette, loggias with breathtaking views of the city center.  
Prague.  I have this place not overtold.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Katholische Hofkirche

The Hofkirche stands as one of Dresden's foremost landmarks. It was built by architect Gaetano Chiaveri from 1738 to 1751.
The church was commissioned by Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. In the crypt the heart of King August the Strong is buried along with the last King of Saxony and the remains of 49 other members of the Wettin family as well as people who married into the family, such as Princess Maria Carolina of Savoy, wife of Anthony of Saxony.
The church was badly damaged during World War II and was restored during the mid-1980s under the East German regime. Today it is the cathedral of the diocese. It has Silbermann's last and biggest organ.


The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Saxon State Opera Dresden) and the concert hall of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden (Saxon State Orchestra Dresden). It is situated beside the River Elbe in the city of DresdenGermany, and was originally built, in 1841, by architect Gottfried Semper

The building is considered to be a prime example of "Dresden-Baroquearchitecture. It is situated on the Theater Square in central Dresden on the bank of the Elbe River. On top of the portal there is a Panther quadriga with a statue of Dionysos. The interior was created by such famous architects of the time as Johannes Schilling. Monuments on the portal depict famous artists such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich SchillerWilliam ShakespeareSophoclesMolière and Euripides. The building also features work by Ernst Rietschel and Ernst Julius Hähnel.[6]
In the pre-war years, the building premiered many of the works of Richard Strauss.
During the last weeks of World War II in 1945 the building was destroyed again - this time by Allied bombing and the subsequent fire storms. Exactly 40 years later, on February 13, 1985 the opera was rebuilt almost the same as it was before the war.[7] It reopened with the same opera that was performed last before the destruction in 1945: Weber's Der Freischütz.[8]
During the flood of the Elbe in 2002 the building suffered heavy water damage. With substantial help from around the world, it reopened in December 2002

Dresden Frauenkirche

The Dresden Frauenkirche (GermanDresdner Frauenkirche, literally Church of Our Lady) is a Lutheran church in DresdenGermany.
Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II.
 The Frauenkirche is a sandstone church erected on a comparatively small base area. The master builder George Bähr opted for a centralised building with an octagonal outline, i.e. the lower part of the church has the form of an octagon. The structure is topped by four corner towers and crowned by a circular dome with a stone lantern.  
This dome is distinctive on many counts. Built totally of sandstone, it weighs in at more than 12,000 t. It is said to be the largest stone dome north of the Alps thanks to its height of 24 m and diameter of 26 m. The dome's shape is also unique with the curved base giving it a bell-like look, which is why the Frauenkirche was also nicknamed the ‘Stone Bell’.  
Last but not least, the present structure is so impressive because its generally light façade is set off by a scattering of the original, darker-coloured stones across many parts of its surface. The Frauenkirche will thus continue to bear witness to its own history for a long time to come. 


The Zwinger (Der Dresdner Zwinger) is a palace in Dresden and a major landmark of Germanbaroque architecture.

The original plans, as developed by his court architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann before 1711, covered the space of the present complex of palace and garden, and also included as gardens the space down to the Elbe River, upon which the Semper opera house and its square were built in the nineteenth century.
The Zwinger was designed by Pöppelmann and constructed in stages from 1710 to 1728. Sculpture was provided by Balthasar Permoser
The Zwinger was formally inaugurated in 1719, on the occasion of the electoral prince Frederick August’s marriage to the daughter of the Habsburg emperor, the Archduchess Maria Josepha.
The building was mostly destroyed by the carpet bombing raids of 13–15 February 1945.  Much of the original masonry and sculpture retains the black scars of the intense fire.  Alas, the gleaming glory of the Zwinger can never be fully restored and though it survives in form, its soul has been exiled.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vrtbovská zahrada

Together with three other Baroque gardens (Vratislav, Schönborn and Lobkowicz), the Vrtba Garden is situated on the slope of Petřín Hill and is one of the most precious and beautiful of Prague's Baroque gardens. The creation of this magnificent palace garden is associated with the construction boom around 1720. The garden was designed by František Maxmilián Kaňka, who first renovated the palace for Jan Josef, Count of Vrtba and then created the garden. 

Unlike the garden which retained its Baroque style without any significant changes, the Vrtba Palace underwent radical changes during the following centuries. The statue and sculpture decorations were created by Matyáš Bernard Braun. In addition, painter Václav Vavřinec Reiner was involved in the masterpiece. The interior decoration of the Sala Terrena has survived in its original designs until today. The fresco on the vault depicting Venus and Adonis was painted by Václav Vavřinec Reiner. 

In 1990 - 1998, the Vrtba Garden underwent overall reconstruction, following previous static reinforcement. The renovated garden was opened for public on 3 June 1998. The garden is owned by the City of Prague and managed by Casus Direct Mail a.s

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kostel svatého Cyrila a Metoděje

Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius (CzechKostel svatého Cyrila a Metoděje) is a Roman Catholic church in the Karlín district of PragueCzech Republic. It is one of the largest religious buildings in the Czech Republic. It was constructed in the mid-19th century and remains one of the most important architectural landmarks from that period in the country.
The church was built in 1854-1863 by architects Karl RösnerVojtěch Ignác Ullmann. Several Czech artists contributed to decoration of the church. It was consecrated on 18 October 1863, on the anniversary of coming of Saints Cyril and Methodius to the Bohemian lands.
The church in constructed in the style of late Neo-Romanesque basilica with highly elevated main nave and two towers. Ground plan is divided to entrance hall, three naves and presbytery, which is ended by apse.