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Hidden Budapest – The Abandoned Párizsi Udvar

One of the thrills of travel is that wide-eyed gasp that inevitably follows after stumbling across something spectacular.  I’ve felt this in the past walking into cathedrals, gazing down into valleys, or taking in the beautiful commotion of a market.  Quite unexpectedly, I experienced this pure amazement while in Budapest.  After stepping curiously through a dark doorway, I discovered the haunting elegance of an abandoned, century old shopping gallery, known as Párizsi Udvar.  Exploring this unbelievable ghost was as close to time-traveling as it gets.

Párizsi Udvar long corridor

A view down the abandoned Parisi Udvar (or Párizsi Udvar) shopping gallery

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Back from Hungary

I’ve been quiet for a little while because I’ve been in Hungary!  The trip was filled with amazing food, beautiful architecture, and some of the most wonderful late 19th century art I’ve ever seen – like the elaborate Crypt of the Cathedral in Pécs below.  Looking forward to sharing more soon!

Pecs Hungary cathedral crypt

Washington DC: An Art and Culture Capital

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Art Cities.  Below you’ll find a list of all the stories!

This month we also welcome a new member, Lizzie from WanderArti!  Her blog features handy city art guides and profiles contemporary artists who are inspired by travel.  Be sure to check out her site!

US capitol, autumn leaves

You’ve got to love excellent urban planning that gives you stunning views like this.

I travel all over the world looking for artistic wonders and historical places, but to be fair, I actually have it really good back home.  I live in Washington D.C. and it is a lot more than just the political capital of the US.  It is also a world-class art, culture and history destination.  From the museums to the architecture to the festivals, Washington DC is a wonderful place to live and to visit!

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My Rijksmuseum Layover in Amsterdam

I like to book my international flights with a long layover in an “extra” city.  This lets me sneak out of the airport and enjoy a new place for the day before moving on to my actual destination.  If you can get past the jet-lag, this is great option because really, nothing starts off an incredible trip to Turkey like lunch beside Notre Dame in Paris!

So when I visited Israel last year, I made sure to take care of some unfinished business in Amsterdam with a layover specifically designed to see the re-opened Rijksmuseum.  The renovations went far beyond repairing the structure; the museum today presents a truly innovative approach to art and culture!  It was well worth the extra stop in Amsterdam.

rijksmuseum re-opening countdown clock

The Rijksmuseum’s “Night Watch”-themed reopening countdown clock teasing me back in April 2013.

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Till Death Do We Part: Love, Art, and Funerary Monuments

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  Something must be in the air this month because we’re discussing LOVE in art.  Check out all the stories below!

Maria Theresa's tomb

The Tomb of Maria Theresa & Francis I, Kaisergruft, Vienna. Despite his infidelity, Empress Maria Theresia of Austro-Hungary was deeply devoted to her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She designed their dual tomb with portrait busts that would forever gaze at each other. (Photo: Gregg, flickr)

Romantic pursuit, courtship, and love in general whether between Gods and Goddesses, royals, or peasants, is a common theme in art history.  Universally appealing and understood, it crosses cultures and time periods.  While it’s interesting to infer attitudes from the images used, we have to extrapolate from these ideal pictures to see what “love” was like for everyday people.  Studying mortuary monuments are one little glimpse into these romantic relationships.  Some memorials are so personal and meaningful, we can’t help but feel the love these couples shared.

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