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Andalusia 2014

These were shot in Malaga and Sevilla in the month of April this year.

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In the Shadow of Ararat: Armenia

This one is a continuation to the last entry “The Churches of Georgia“, which I posted a couple of days ago. After leaving Georgia in southern direction the scenery changes quite suddenly. Georgia is a country consisting mostly of fertile lowlands and highlands rich in vegetation. Armenia in contrast is situated on a higher altitude, laying within a geological high plateau, which is much older then the hills in Georgia and much more rocky. In many places these rocks tend to shine in a red color, giving the landscape an astonishing look (see pictures three and six). Even the capital Yerevan seems to fit perfectly into the landscape, being build mostly out of reddish stone gathered from the surrounding areas (pictures one and two). There is no denial Armenia is a beautiful place. But the most breathtaking feature is the view on something actually situated outside of the borders of the country. The mountain of Ararat lies like a guardian upon the land and the view on the snow covered giant (5.137 m or 16,854 ft) is one of the most beautiful things you can see in your life (picture five). Being the supposed landing sight of Noahs ark, for the Armenians it is a spiritual place and deeply embedded within the national soul. Today the Ararat is situated in Turkey, making it an always visible reminder of the painful and complicated history in relation to the western neighbor.

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The Churches of Georgia

It’s been a while. I have been on the road for the last couple of months, so there was no time to update the blog. On the plus side though I got to shoot plenty of photography. So the place here will get more lively again in the upcoming weeks and months. Big news first: There is a new web address! Now the blog can be reached (also) via michaelhoffman.at

In June I got the opportunity to visit Georgia and Armenia. These are two rather small countries south of the Caucasus mountain range, equipped with long and dramatic histories. They have distinct cultures with own alphabets and Christian traditions. While Armenia is a landlocked country, a mountainous place, historically living of trade, Georgia lies inbetween the northern and southern Cacasasus, mostly within a fertile lowland. Georgian are predominantly peasants, many of them cultivate wine. As the grape is one of the most important export products of the country. The urban centre of Georgia lies also within it’s geographic centre. Tbilisi is an interesting place, modern on the one hand, while still maintaining a very traditional and almost oriental flair. But no matter where you are in the country: Chances are high you will spot a church, a very distinctive looking church. Many of these date back as far as to the mid of the 1 Century AC and are still important centers of religious and civic life.

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