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The Centennial Hall

The Centennial Hall (pl. Hala Stulecia, dt. Jahrhunderthalle) is one of three UNESCO sights in Silesia, Poland. It was built in the early 20th century by the renowned german architect Max Berg in Worclaw / Breslau. The monument is accompanied by the Iglica, a needle-like monument built in 1948, a beautiful pergola and a large fountain.


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.


Oriental Discoveries – Istanbul in 2015 Pt. II

Situated both on the European and on the Asian continent, Istanbul is the entry gate to the Orient, yet at the same time it is also the last major European city in the southeast. Istanbul, or Konstantinopel, how it was called before the Ottoman conquest, has always been a metropole. Today roughly 15 Million people call it their home. The vast sea of houses is divided by the Bosporus, a water way connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It is one of the busiest waterways in the world. Not far away – on the European site – grand mosques arise, built over the centuries by Ottoman rulers to show of their power.  They are majestic indeed, rich decorated with Islamic ornaments and beautiful interiors. Between the mosques you will find the Grand Bazar, a covered bazar consisting of 61 streets and many thousand shops. In Istanbul everything seems grander than usual.



Hill of Crosses, Lithuania Pt. II (2014 Update)

This one is a follow up to a series I did last year about the (in)famous Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. You can read it up here. To be honest, not much changed since then. I guess the hill grew a little bit and there are some more crosses now, as they seem to mulitply on a daily rate. It remains a mysterious place, strangly alluring yet somewhat creepy. It makes for interesting pictures, that’s for sure.









The Silk Road: The Grand Market in the Mountains Pt. 1

While Eastern Usbekistan (about 70% of the country) largely consists of deserts, with green spots along the river of Amudjaria, the west looks much different. Getting closer to the Tajik border large mountains begin to arise, soon occupying the whole horizon. They are part of the Pamir mountain range, a vast plateau which connects the Tian Shan in China with the Hindukusch and the Himalayas in India. Combined it is the largest mountain range of the world. At the western end of this plateau, already in the hills but still reachable from the fertile lowlands at the bottom of the mountains, there lies the town of Urgut. For centuries it was a transshipment point for goods on the Silk Road, where travelers from China sold their goods to Central Asian merchants, who in turn transported them on camels through the desert and brought them closer to their final destination – Europe. Therefor the Grand Market of Urgut (the largest of Usbekistan, of course) is what it must be and always was: A transitional space for people and ideas from the Orient and Oxident. Probably one of the few early melting points of human civilization still in existence, looking not much different then centuries ago. Except.. the iPhone cases and pirated Gucci handbags, the new luxury goods of the 21th century coming from China to Europe. A new kind of silk one could certainly argue.