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Land of the Clansmen

For centuries Scotland used to be the land of the Clansmen. The country was divided and governed by families like the MacDonalds, Camerons or MacKenzies. All of which had their own tartans, traditions and allegiances and were interlocked in a fight for influence and wealth. What they had in common was a deep connection and history with the land they occupied and an immense pride to be fierce fighters and survivors of the north. It was seldom though that they agreed on anything politically, it needed an outside force – a common enemy – to gather the concurring clans like in the wars led by national heroes like William Wallace (his monument is seen in the last picture), Robert the Bruce or lastly Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century. That enemy of course was England. After the shattering battle of Culloden in which the Scottish forces lost against the English king the history of the clan-ships ended. Though their traditions and history can be seen all over the country – the spirit of fierce warriors and the deep connection to their native land can be felt and is still there.

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Discovering Caledonia

The Romans used to call the country which we know today as Scotland Caledonia. It was a strange and foreign land with dangerous and wild inhabitants at the Northern end of the Roman world. Two immense walls were built by the Roman emperors Hadrian and Antonius to secure Britain from the blue painted warriors – or “Picts” – living in the northern lands. Also behind these barriers was a country of immense beauty and raw vastness.

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Travelling Scotland

In 2018 as in the years before I had the chance to travel the beautiful country of Scotland for some weeks in August. It is one of these special parts of the world which don’t seize to amaze and enchant through natural beauty, historical but lively cities like Edinburgh and the general sense of tradition and heritage, which can be seen everywhere throughout the country. Follow me for a journey to the north!

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Perspectives on a Parliament and a Television Tower

Central Europe is particulary rich of famous landmarks. Two of my favourite structures in this region are the Parliamentary building in Budapest, capital of Hungary and the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz in Berlin. From an architectural perspective these two buildings don’t have much in common. While the Hungarian Parliament is a neo-gothic administrative building, grandeur in size and very unusual for a gothic building equipped with a beautiful red coppola, the TV Tower in Berlin was meant to be a show case for socialist architecture and technology and was easily seen from Western Berlin. As different as these buildings are they both were planned as and turned in fact out to be landmarks of their respective home towns – though in a different way than the architects envisioned. Germany today is reunited again, many structures from socialist times were torn down, the TV tower though became a signature building of the reunited city and a piece of historic futurism. The parliamentary building in Budapest on the other hand is the legislative building of the independent republic of Hungary today, which emerged from the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I.

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City of Glass and Steel

In New York City clouds and skies are a mere reflection on the glasses of modernity built by men. Geometric structures seem to triumph over nature, there is little space for green. Sure there is central park, the lung of New York, but even from there a background of glass and steel arises over the horizon and the skyscraper seem to compete for the clouds.

Photographed in March and April of 2018.

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