Saturday, August 19, 2017

Katedra Wawelska

Wawel Cathedral, Katedra Wawelska in Polish, is a Roman Cathoric Church located on Wawel Hill in Kraków.

it is the Polish national sanctuary and traditionally has served as coronation site of the Polish monarchs as well as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Kraków. The Wawel Cathedral has been the main burial site for Polish monarchs since the 14th century. As such, it has been significantly extended and altered over time as individual rulers have added multiple burial chapels.

ADMISSION TO THE CATHEDRAL IS FREE. Admission to Sigismund Bell, Royal Tombs, Cathedral Museum Regular Concession cost 12,00 zł for Individual tourists and 7,00 zł for Group.

Opening hours:
9:00 - 17:00 (Mon- Sat)
12:30 - 17:00 (Sun)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Synagoga Tempel w Krakowie

Synagogue temple in Krakow is located in the Kazimierz district in Krakow, Poland. It was built in 1860 - 1862. Among all Synagogues situated in the former Jewish quarter of the town of Kazimierz, this is the most recently built one.

The Moorish Revival building was designed by Polish architect, Ignacy Hercok. The temple, with its tall central section flanked by lower wings, is designed on the pattern of the Leopoldstädter Tempel, in Vienna, Austria. 

At the time the synagogue was built, Kraków was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The richly finished interior is adorned with dense patterns painted in many colors and copious amounts of gold leaf, but the patterns, with the exception of the exquisite Moorish design on the ceiling, are not stylistically Moorish. 

Today's synagogue was shaped in 1924, when ground floor aisles were added, shorter than the former body of the building. During German occupation in Kraków between 1939 and 1945, the Temple was used as a warehouse and the northern aisle served as a stable for horses. 

The synagogue was ruined during World War II by the German Nazis, who used the building as ammunition storage area. After the war, it was used again for prayers. 

Tempel Synagogue is not only a major place of worship, but also a booming center of Jewish culture, which hosts numerous concerts and meetings, especially during the Festival.

This is one of the most exotic and ornate of all the synagogues in Krakow. I enjoyed visiting there to have a quiet and solemn moment.

Admission fee is 10 Polish zloties (10 PLN). You can enter without wearing kippah (if you are a male visitor), however it is under renovation (9th of August, 2017)...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Palais Ferstel

A piece of Italy in the heart of Vienna.

Wherever I'm in a new place, rambling (stumbling?) after the sunset and being lured by lit-up pretty buildings like bugs is one of my habits. Italian-flavored building located in the heart of Austria capital, Vienna caught my attention.

Palais Ferstel is named after Austrian architect, Heinrich von Ferstel (1828-1883), who built the opulent Palais Ferstel in the Venetian/Florentine trecento style. When it's built, it was the most modern style building in the capital where national bank and the stock exchange had been resided.

Now the "old-fashioned" building attracts tourists with it's stunning view and is regarded as a place to dine out and enjoy booze in this amazing atmosphere.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hősök tere

Seven Chieftains Of  The Magyars
Hősök tere, Heroes' Square in English, is located at the outbound end of Andrássy Avenue next to City Park (Városliget) in Budapest, Hungary. The square is flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art (Műcsarnok). 

The square must be one of the top 10 tourist's destinations and hence I saw young drunk Americans and families from all variety of nations there. 

Right Colonnade

There you can find iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The sculptures made by sculptor Zala György have eye-witnessed numerous political events such as the reburial of Nagy Imre in 1989.

A statue of Archangel Gabriel stands up on the top of column holding the Hungarian holy crown (you can see it in the Hungarian Parliament Building) in his right hand and a two barred apostolic cross (double cross) in his left hand.

Hungarian Holy Crown in the Parliament Building

If you want to see the holy crown of Hungary, go visit the Parliament!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Szent István Bazilika

St. Stephen's Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest. Equal to the Hungarian Parliament building at 96 meters high, it is one of the tallest buildings in Budapest. It has a width of 55 metres, and length of 87.4 metres. The building was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl, and was completed by József Kauser. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up!!!

It is named in honour of Stephen, the first Christian King of Hungary (975–1038), whose mummified body is buried in the undercroft. His intactly preserved right hand, the Holy Dexter, is kept as a relic in the Basilica's chapel. 

The Saint Stephen Basilica has played an active role in the musical community since its consecration in 1905. The head organists of the church have always been very highly regarded musicians. In the past century the Basilica has been home to choral music, classical music as well as contemporary musical performances (see program here). 

This is definitely one of must-go-places in Budapest!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!

As you can easily tell, the condition for taking fireworks photos was so bad. The weather has been foggy lately and smokes were all over... I had to wear jacket food not only for protecting myself from cold but rather from ashes and debris coming from every possible angles you can imagine. 

Since last year, fireworks were not well-organized. Instead, it has been fired by individuals (= drunk guys). Take a look at the photo below. 

This is how it looked like in 2013. They've been shot behind the building and the sky was sooo clear then!!!

Fireworks in 2013
Wishing you all the best, happiness, love, prosperity and well-beings!!!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Országház - Hungarian National Assembly

The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. It is located on the bank of the Danube river and is a popular tourist destination of Budapest. The Parliament building is the third largest Parliament building in the world!!! 

The inside of the building is breathtakingly stunning and the interior is jaw-droppingly gorgeous!!!

Ceremonial Stair Hall
It is 265 meters long and 123 meters wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 19 passenger and freight elevators, 29 gates, 27 staircases and 691 rooms (including more than 200 offices). 

Ceremonial Stair Hall
With its height of 96 meters, it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen's Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation's millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896. 

The construction of the Parliament building began in 1885, inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896 and the construction was completed in 1904. Forty million bricks were used in the building process as well as half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of GOLD!!! 

Lounge of the Chamber of Representatives
The Parliament Building is in the Gothic Revival style. The building is structured symmetrically, consisting of two absolutely identical parliament halls out of which one is used for the politics, the other one is used for guided tours, conferences and other political activities. While moving from one room to the others, the sense of direction gets easily lost... The dome, located in the center of the symmetry, is Renaissance Revival architecture

Lounge of the Chambers of Peers
Before 2014, Hungary's (blended) electoral system was among the most complicated in Europe; it saw the election of Members of the National Assembly six times as of 1990. The system was reformed by Act CCII of 2011 on the Election of Members of the National Assembly with provisions first implemented during the 2014 general elections. That spring, Hungarian citizens elected 199 Members of Parliament (106 MPs from single-member constituencies and 93 MPs from party lists) to a four-year term, voting directly by secret ballot based on universal and equal suffrage.

The Dome Hall
At the heart of the symmetrical building, located is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central Dome Hall. There you witness the Holy Crown of Hungary (also known as the Crown of Saint Stephen) that has been displayed there since 2000. The Holy Crown has been stolen, hidden, lost, recovered, and taken abroad many times!!!

Holy Crown of Hungary
If you are interested in visiting there, information is available here

It is utterly worth visiting!!! Highly recommended.

At last I would like to acknowledge Ms. Struve for generous guide!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New York Kávéház in Budapest

New York cafe (Kávéház in Hungarian) is said to be the most beautiful and the most beloved coffee house in Budapest, Hungary. 

Do I agree with that?

Yes. It looks like a museum in Italy!

It used to be the popular salon among (snobbish) creators.

It has an American name, Italian design, serving the multicultural cuisine of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. 

Classic dishes like Beef Goulash, Fishermen Soup, Chicken Leg Paprikash-style, Wiener Schnitzel and Grilled Foie Gras are served along with famous desserts such as Dobos, Sacher and Eszterházy cake.

Menu is available here.

Live orchestra music is awaiting for you.

The café is part of Boscolo Budapest, five star hotel.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Czechoslovak Independence Day in 2016 Part Two

This is a part 2 entry of Czechoslovak Independence day.

This was my first time to shoot fireworks in the rain. Thanks to weather proof function of my camera and lenses, I had no hesitation to reveal camera gadgets in the rain but the biggest problem arises when the lens glass surface gets wet by raindrops.... 

All round bokeh (=blur) were the result of raindrops on the lens surface, grrrrr.

The ceremony was solemn and went on regardless of rain.

The photo below is just to show how heavy the rain was during the ceremony.

At last, I would like to share crazy video demonstrating the reliability of weather proof function of my camera, Olympus OM-D EM-5!!!