Travelog

FROM The man in the front seat / May 20, 2014

David by Michelangelo (Florence)

In the world of sculpture there are certain pieces that stand head and shoulders aboves most others, Michelangelo’s David is certainly one of those. Sculptured between 1501 – 1504 David stands 5.17m (17ft) and represents the biblical hero David, remembered for is fight with Goliath. Today the figure stands alone, in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence but was originally one of a series of figures designed to decorate the roofline of the Cathedral in Florence. Authorities decided however to place it in front of the Palazzo della Signoria where it […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 15, 2014

Trevi Fountain (Rome)

In 19BC Marcus Agrippa, as Consul of Rome, ordered the construction of an aqueduct, Acqua Vergine,  to supply water to the centre of Rome. Legend has it that Roman soldiers were guided by a young girl  to a source of pure water, Salone Springs, some twenty kilometres away from the city. The girl was believed to be a virgin, hence the name of the aqueduct. More than 2000 years later, and after few renovations, water still follows the same path ending in various destinations around Rome. One of these is […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 10, 2014

Cibeles Fountain (Madrid)

The Cibeles Fountain is one of the most photographed sights in Madrid, sitting on square named Plaza de Cibeles in of area of Madrid called Paseo de Recoletos. The fountain is named after  Cybele, a goddess who was greatly worshipped in Anatolia, present day Eastern Turkey and was also highly regarded in Rome where she was known as the “Great Mother”. The fountain in Madrid that is dedicated to her has Cibeles sitting in a carriage pulled by two lions. The lions represent the mythological characters Hippomenes and Atalanta, two […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 8, 2014

Colosseum

One of the most photographed sites, not only in Italy, but all of Europe is the Colosseum. Officially named the Antiteatro Flavio (Flavian Amphitheatre), it was begun in 70AD and needed only ten year to complete, being finished in 80AD during a period known as the Flavian Dynasty. Considered one of the greatest pieces of Roman architecture and engineering the building is, still today, the largest amphitheatre in the world. In is prime it could hold more than 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiator contests, animal hunts, battle re-enactments […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 8, 2014

The Louvre (Paris)

With more the 60,600m² (652,300ft²) of floor space make the Louvre the one of the largest Museums in the world. As a result almost 10 million people visit each year to admire some of the 380,000 objects the museum has in its collection. The Building When people think of museums they normally think of stale, sterile almost hospital like structures, no in Paris. The Louvre is housed in the Louvre Palace, a fortress begun in the 12th century by the then King Phillip II and once residence of the King […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 6, 2014

Lace and the Sea (Venice)

Venice as a city or more exactly Burano, one of its islands, is renowned for its association with “punto di aria” or needlepoint lace. Althought the arrival of the lace can be traced back to Cyprus that is still no reason to not let a bit of legend make it even clearer. The story goes that a sailor, leaving his fiancée on Burano set out on a voyage only to shipwrecked on an area that was inhabited by mermaids. Bewitched by the mermaids beautiful looks and voices, the rest of […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 6, 2014

Burano Island, Venice

With its population of 2,800, Isola di Burano, or Burano Island in English is actually four islands linked together by a series of bridges and is renowned for its brightly coloured houses, lace stores and wonderful seafood restaurants. Located 7km (4mi) away from St. Marks, the island requires a 40min private vaporetti ride (or 2 hours by public water bus) through the picturesque Venetian lagoon. History Like many other islands in the lagoon, Burano is believed to of been inhabited since Roman times, well before the present Venetians arrived at […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 6, 2014

Moulin Rouge (Paris)

Paris at the end of the 19th century was a place full of progress and optimism, industry was booming to the point where World Fairs were held in 1889, with unveiling of the Eiffel Tower and again in 1900, which gave us the expresso machine. This period in France would be later referred to ask Belle Époque or in English the “Beautiful Era” Origins It was in this atmosphere that on 6th October 1889, the Moulin Rouge opened in the Jardin de Paris at the base of Montmartre on the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 6, 2014

Hungarian Parliament Building (Budapest)

Országház in Hungarian, translates to be the “House of the Nation” or the “House of the Country” in English and is today the home of one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings and a spectacular building on the banks of the Danube in Budapest. Today it continues to be largest and tallest building in Budapest. History In 896 the seven Magyars tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin under the leadership of Árpád. With their 1000th birthday approaching it was decided to build a new Parliament building in celebration of this momentous […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2014

Würzburg Residence (Würzburg)

Located in Würzburg in southern Germany, the Wúrzburg residence is considered one of the biggest palaces in Germany and decorated with incredible frescos by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. In 1981the building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Prince-Bishop of Würzburg origianlly resideded in the Marenburg Fortress until Johann Phillip Franz von Schönborn moved the court to a simple palace that had been erected in between 1701-1704. In 1720 von Schönborn won a legal case that brought with it a generous settlement (600,000fl) and with it […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 1, 2014

Plaza de España (Seville)

Many Spanish cities compete with each other in claiming the most beautiful plaza (square) in Spain. Most people however agree that the winner is Seville with its incredible Plaza de España. Translating literally to “Spanish Square” it forms part of the Parque de María Luisa, and was laid out in 1928 in preparation for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. The exhibition was an attempt to improve relations between Spain, its former colonies and the United States of America. Preparations took 19 years with exhibition buildings being constructed in the Maria […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 1, 2014

The Royal Palace (Madrid)

This version of the Royal Palace was a result of a fire that engulfed its predecessor, the Hapsburg Alcazar, to the ground in 1744. Luckily the Royal family was staying in the Parque Buen Retiro, so Phillip V decided to replace it with a new palace to be designed by the Italian Felipe Juvarra. The construction lasted only 26 years and spanned two more architects as well as two more monarchs, Charles III and Charles IV. The palace was occupied by the Royal family until 1931 with the abdication of […]

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