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Posts tagged ‘travel’

The Insider’s Tour of Basel’s Town Hall

I’m usually a much better planner than this.  I arrived in Basel with a vague idea to explore the old city center because, as I’d already discovered, old Swiss city centers are amazing.  Basel’s old town is dominated by the bright red Rathaus, or town hall.  Already impressed by the Rathaus’ exterior decorations, I jumped at the chance to take a guided tour of what I thought was a museum inside or minimally a preserved historic interior.  Even though the tour was in German (which I don’t speak), I completely enjoyed this insider’s look at the art, history, and, surprisingly, the contemporary life of the city housed inside this Basel landmark.

Basel Town Hall, or Rathaus, and Marktplatz

My lunch time view of the magnificent Basel Town Hall, or Rathaus, and Marktplatz square.

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A Concert in the Beautiful Hungarian State Opera House

It’s nice to tour gorgeous, historic music venues, but it’s even more enjoyable to appreciate the interior while taking in a concert!  The Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest is a Neo-Renaissance masterpiece from the late 19th century (like many other architectural wonders in the city).  With nearly nightly performances and very reasonable ticket prices, the Opera is a great way to spend an evening.  Just make sure you leave plenty of time before and after the show to wander the elegant lobbies and corridors.

Hungarian State Opera House interior

Empty seats and dimmed house lights in the Hungarian State Opera House after the concert.

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Peter the Great Trendsetter: National Change through Fashion

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 Fashion!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

Peter the Great statue

A Monument to Peter the Great in Taganrog, Russia (Photo)

Peter the Great (1672 – 1725) is a legitimate candidate for the the Most Interesting Man in the World.  Physically impressive at 6 foot 8 inches tall, he disregarded his royal status and sought out hands-on experience with the military, international trade, and sailing technology.  Realizing this country needed an Atlantic shipping port, he planned and constructed St. Petersburg from absolutely nothing.  Peter I’s reign was a revolutionary time for Russia; he brought the nation from medieval neglect to the Age of Enlightenment.  Emblematic of the massive political and technological changes he made, Peter’s reforms included forcing Russians to completely update their wardrobe – which was not nearly as easy as it sounds.

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Celebrating Peru at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

I’ve had such a busy summer that I totally forgot to tell you about my “visit” to Peru.  Instead of flying to South America, the art, music, and culture of Peru came to me as part of the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife festival on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Back-strap loom, Peru

Beautiful textile in progress on this back-strap loom.

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Bern’s Fantastic Fountains

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 Water!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

Bern old town and fountain

The Zytglogge clock tower and a sculptural fountain in the historic center of Bern, Switzerland

So you already know that Bern is a beautiful city.  The well-preserved, historic center definitely earns this capital its UNESCO World Heritage designation.  But what I didn’t describe in detail last time were the incredible fountains.  These 16th century works of art add to the charm and atmosphere of the old town and are an integral part of the experience.

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