Tag Archives: UNESCO world heritage site

Prambanan

Hindu temple compound of the 9th century near Yogyakarta in central Java. Nothing to do with coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nazrid Palaces – Al Hambra, Granada

In Granada, the famous Palaces of the last Moorish rulers in Europe.

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A view on one of the courtyards.

Wood inlay on a ceiling board

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You simply can’t do justice to the grace of these designs.

All 17 mathematically possible wallpaper groups are represented at the Al Hambra. A feat not repeated in architecture anywhere else.

And you still have to imagine the whole lot in colour. Some remaining colour here and there gives us some idea.

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Those Majorica tiles were added by a later and somewhat less subtle stylist.

Another charming courtyard.

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The Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella set up their cannons on a opposing hill in 1492 and threatened to bombard the Al Hambra. This was too much for the emir of the time and he surrendered.

According to legend the emir’s mother berated him on the way out of the region, – you couldn’t fight like a man to keep the city and now you are crying like a woman because you lost her.

Well perhaps he was right, they survived him by centuries, even in a ravished state, and we can still wonder at them today.

The Generalife are gardens surrounding and completing the palaces. They are a story on their own. Here is just a glimpse.

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The water for the gardens and fields for feeding the city comes from these mountains. Its is one of those magic spots where you can ski in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon.

Rhodos Harbour

The harbour of the Greek island Rhodos where the Colossus, one of the wonders of the antique world stood.

The Colossus was a bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios, who stood with one leg on either pillar of the harbour entrance. He fell during an earthquake in 266 BC and remained there for 900 years until the Arabic army destoyed it to sell for scrap in 654 AD.

Romantic no?

Kopalinia Sol – Wieliczka

It amuses me to use products from the region, so I had to have salt from the Wieliczka mine while I was in Krakow. Fool that I am, I was thrilled every time I used it ๐Ÿ™‚ I was even silly enough to take one of those small packets of salt from the cafeteria in the mine. Saw it again the other day, it is still floating around in my bag, contriving to travel with me. Sometimes I do wonder if I don’t perhaps get attached too easily ๐Ÿ˜€

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They are quite proud of their mine and it got on the list as a UNESCO world heritige site already in 1978. Salt was mined here since the 13th century, so for more than 750 years. All workers were always free, no slave labour was ever used here. Mining was stopped in 2007, – too much flooding in relation to the price of salt. Today salt is extracted from the water they have to keep pumping from the mine. Perhaps this method could have saved them a lot of touble for centuries ๐Ÿ˜‰

The workers used to live in the mine and left an unbelievable legacy. They kept horses there as well, the men at least got to get out from time to time but the poor horses spent their lives never seeing the sun.

When you first enter the mine it seems more like a wood mine than a salt mine. So much of the corridors are lined with wood. The wood is so salted it is probably preserved for ever.

This is their cathedral. It is cut from the (salt)rock deep in the mine. Even the chandeliers are salt crystal. This wasn’t made by trained artists, but by the miners themselves. Just goes to show if you do something a lot you get good at it.. You have to care as well off course.

Some of the statues were made later, the one of pope John Paul, an earlier bishop of Krakow. Janow Pavlov is his naam in Polish so I suspect the plaque is for him. There is also a statue of him.

Copernicus (also Polish) was also added later. Goethe isn’t a local, but he visited the mine and they added him. Chopin was also there, but I didn’t see him, perhaps too thin..

Casimir was their king, I don’t remember when he was made, but I seem to think he was in an older part of the mine.

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An exhibition of crystals from the mine.