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Palace of Rundale

The Palace of Rundāle is situated in southern Latvia. Far apart from any larger settlement it is a beautiful baroque building surrounded by nature. Rundāle was erected in 1768 and planned by the renown Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who mainly worked for the Russian Zars before and was also responsible for the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. In Soviet times the palace was used as a school, today it is refurbished and houses a museum. Part of the historic site is also a beautiful English garden on the rear of the building.

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Perspectives of Lisbon

A couple of weeks ago I left Portugal. Although I knew my time was limited, Lisbon did not make it easy for me to leave as the sun was shining and the city once more soared in bright colors. Portugal seems still very close as I am curating all the photography I did back there. So the chapter may be closed in my personal life (for now) it is definitely not closed in terms of the blog. Or in other words: There is more to come and updates will be more frequent 🙂

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Portugal Part III

So if you did like the last two and didn’t get bored I’d like to invite you for a further recapture of Portugal in February 2013.

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In the foreground you see a seller of chestnuts. The nuts are very good and you should definitely try them. Besides of that the sellers add charme to Lisboa. So it is nice to support them either way 🙂 What they are standing on is worth mentioning too. It is a specific Portuguese form of a cobbled pavement called Calçada Portuguesa. An art which the country is known for and which can be seen (and walked on) throughout the city. The patterns are often beautiful and you only have to look down to enjoy them – but don’t run into a tree, please.

In the background you see the Elevador de Santa Justa or also called Elevador do Carmo. It connects the Baixa (downtown) with a higher part of the city (Chiado) and was build by an associate of Gustave Eiffel, the Paris tower guy. It has a steam punk vibe to it, being definitely a genius piece of 19th century engineering. The elevator combines “modern” steel as building material and traditional ornaments as decorative art. But what I personally liked most was the connecting bridge at the top. It lead through a rooftop and – more amazingly – through the remainings of an old church which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755.

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I imagine how the driver saw this house and then a free parking spot and thought MATCH! Or maybe he is the house owner too and fond of the color yellow 🙂

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Another architectural piece of an associate of Eiffel – the Dom Luise bridge in Porto. This one was build by Théophile Seyrig. There is a similar bridge further away from the city centre also build by the same architect before. But Eiffel didn’t give any credit to Seyrig so he decided to compete against his former teacher in the contest for the bridge. After Seyrig won Eiffel was supposedly so angry about it that he decided to build the Eiffel Tower. Or so.

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As Lisboa Porto has many viewing points (miradouros) and even more seagulls 😉 They told us they are can be quite aggressive and annoying. But as a mainlander I enjoyed them very much and I prefer them definitely to pigeons – or the rats of the skies – as I joke sometimes. They are gorgeous.

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The monument for the Portuguese seafarer. It reaches out in to the see and into the unknown with the seamen (and priests 😉 ) longing for a new world. The details are just beautiful and I can very recommend a visit in Belém, an interesting and worth visiting part of Lisbon crowned by this monument. You can also visit the top of it and get a great view on the Tejo.

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A view of Lisboa from the Castelo de São Jorge. You see the main square and a part of the city not laying directly to the water. Being in the old town you don’t immediately realize how big Lisboa actually is. But being up here you are definitely reminded that you are in a European metropole indeed.