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Showing posts from June, 2023

I only have eyes for Sibiu

The Lower Town from the Bridge of Lies Romania has been on my travel bucket list for some time and finally in May of this year, my dream happened! I made a list of the places I wanted to see while in Romania and researched ways to get there but didn’t have a viable plan before I left home. When I arrived in Bucharest I finally weighed all the options and it looked bleak. Then I found Nicolas Experience Tours on Trip Advisor. What a relief it was that Nicolas was available to take me to all the cities on my list! Sibiu caught my eye from the get go. Why did this town appeal to me the most? The images below will shed light on why I only have “eyes” for Sibiu. Piața Mare or Grand Square with Sibiu City Hall and the Church of the Holy Trinity in the background What struck me about this square as we entered it from Nicolae Balcescu street was how expansive it is. There’s so much space to roam around and admire the centuries old  buildings dipped in pastel hues that surround  the  Piața  Ma

Art Nouveau Architecture in Riga

Architect: Paul Mandelstamm, 1903 Address: Kalēju iela 23, Riga This is one of the most colorful and attractive examples of Art Nouveau architecture found in the old town. It employs several elements defining Art Nouveau: the sun, flowers, leaves and lines. It certainly was a lovely surprise to see numerous examples of Art Nouveau architecture scattered throughout Riga. As it turns out, about a third of all buildings in the city were built in the Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) style, the popular architectural style at the turn of the 20th century. This coincided with the economic upturn that paved the way for growth and development in the construction industry. Architects: Heinrich Scheel and Friedrich Scheffel, 1902 Address: Škūnu iela 10/12 The main elements of Art Nouveau are flowers, leaves, vines, organic shapes, insects, asymmetrical lines and the sun. Notice the graceful flow of leaves on the building’s façade above. Architects: Alfred Aschenkampf, Max Scherwinsky, 1899 Address: Audēj

The Hill of Crosses

In 2006, it was estimated there were over a 100,000 crosses, crucifixes, rosaries and religious icons on Kryžiu Kalnas or Hill of Crosses near Siauliai in northern Lithuania. The Hill was bulldozed by the Russians in the 1960s and 1970s but the people were not deterred nor their faith shaken. Today more pilgrims come and leave their crosses, laden with prayers and special intentions.  The crosses started appearing on this hill after 1831 when relatives of victims of the revolts against the Russian regime placed crosses here to commemorate their dead. At the end of the 19th century, the apparition of Mary, the Mother of God, brought more visitors to the site. Large and small crosses and crucifixes of different styles have since found its way to the Hill. Some areas are more densely populated with crosses than others. This little shrine has religious icons, rosaries, crosses, prayer novenas and crucifixes left by pilgrims who undoubtedly were moved by the manifestation of faith by those