A list of the greatest Gothic Cathedrals in the World is going to be dominated by the French greats: Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Chartres, Amiens, Riems and Rouen. Since cathedrals, with their cavernous interior space and organic ribbing, are places to be explored and experienced, I always make time for a long visit! Rouen Cathedral in Normandy is a spectacular example of the High Gothic (mostly) style and well worth gazing at and wandering through.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the festive decorations. From wreaths to bows, snowflakes to candy canes, I love how city streets, shop windows and public buildings are transformed. Riga, the capitol of Latvia, has taken this one step further and is sponsoring a public art exhibition called the Christmas Tree Trail. Artists and students have constructed modern interpretations of the classic Christmas tree. These fantastic sculptures are on display throughout the city from December 6 – January 12. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites!
Everyone knows the beautiful Library of Celsus, part of the the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. Frequently on the cover of travel guides or prominently displayed in collections of evocative travel photos, everyone dreams of seeing this place someday. Well, at least it seems that way once you get to Ephesus… As I watched crowds hustled through the ruins, it only re-affirmed my love of slow travel. I had an amazing visit to the archaeological site and am really happy that I spent the entire day there.
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are focusing on Artistic Periods or Movements. Check our the other periods we’ve picked by looking at the all the ArtSmart posts below. This month we welcome a new writer to the ArtSmart team – Alexandra of ArtTrav! Alexandra is based in Florence, Italy and is an art historian turned blogger. We are super excited to have her in the group!
I definitely have my favorite and not so favorite periods of art (I’m looking at you French Rococo). I like drama without being intense. I like skilled painting but a step back from photographic realism. I definitely like good use of light and dark space on a canvas. And so I love the Spanish Baroque.
Honfleur in Normandy has been a vacation destination for over a century hosting artists, families and those looking for a seaside respite. While the town is inherently cute with its tall, plaster and beam medieval style houses, the community comes alive at the onset of Spring. Outdoor cafes spring up and street vendors pour onto the wide docks. But there is one feature that really signals the arrival of Spring – the antique carousel! When I visited in March it had just re-opened and was taking the first visitors of the year on a colorful (albeit chilly) ride.