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Gloucester: The Curious Cathedral

The Cathedral of Gloucester was built in the 7th century and is well known, among other things, for being a filming location for the Harry Potter movies. It is also famous as being very mysterious and even strange. The reason is the architectural style of the church which is called “perpendicular style”, a more grotesque version of the medieval Gothic style. Also very peculiar and interesting are the glass windows, there is even one depiction of a medieval Golf player! All in all a fascinatingly grim but beautiful cathedral.

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Exploring Florence

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Florence is situated right in the hart of Tuscany, Italy surrounded by the hills of the Apennines. Over the centuries its look was shaped by aristocratic families like the Medici, who not only nurished the arts and sciences in the city, but also understood the power and beauty of architecture. At sunset especially the shades and forms of the city seem to come alive and paint a living picture.

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Discovering Cyprus

Last time Cyprus was featured it was all about a divided island. Though the political situation is complicated for sure, I recommend to visit both parts of the island. So I won’t differentiate between the Turkish and the Greek parts in the following gallery. The pictures 5, 6 and 7 need some background: After the Ottoman conquest of Cyprus former Gothic Cathedrals were converted into Mosques. Interestingly some where not destroyed and just minor changes were made (like the destruction of angel figures due to the ban of images in Islam) and the altar was displaced within the church, so the believers would be able to pray in the direction of Mekka. According to Ottoman traditions the former Cathedrals were equipped with carpets and the inner church was painted white. Though inside as well as outside you still see the Christian heritage. The clean and bright style of Islamic religious decoration combined with the dark and serious Gothic style makes for a thouroghly fascinating combination.

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Italy September 2012 Part I

In September 2012 I went for a trip to Sicily and Southern Italy with friends. On the way there I had also a chance to visit Milano. I already posted some of these impressions on this blog but thought it would be nice to cramp them all into one entry. Also as I mentioned there are some new pictures as well 🙂

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Sunset over Vulcano

A view over the Bay of Naples.

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The world famous cathedral of Milano. A beautiful piece of Gothic architecture in black and white.

Catania

Catania is an amazing city. Build on the foot of a massive volcano (Etna) it was destroyed and rebuild a couple of times. A fitting alternative name for the city would be Phoenix, as it has risen from the ashes like the legendary bird. In Catania the streets and many buildings are made out of lavastone (basalt) and it may happen very well, that you end in the cellar of a bar in which there are still traces of old lava flows under your table (Agora Hostel Bar). If you are on the main square (Piazza del Duomo) be sure to visit the Cathedral and enjoy this magnificent view from the rooftop.

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Actually this shot is not from 2012. But it fit’s quite well so here it be 🙂 Personally I adore Vespas. And a beautiful turquoise Vespa in Rome must be a win, no?

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The train station was build by the Fascists under Mussolini. It is colossal in size and displays various sceneries of Italian life and culture. Today large commercial ads dominate. It is still a fascinating piece of 20th century architecture and a prominent showcase for totalitarian gigantism.

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It was the beginning of a warm day in late summer, sailing on board of a ferry into the natural Bay of Naples. As we came on deck we had the privilege to witness this beautiful sunrise over the Vesuvio volcano. The view was stunning and we watched with a humbled AAW. Although we didn’t sleep much on the ferry this night and we had a long program ahead of us in Naples, this sunrise was enough to carry us through the day.