Tag Archives: UNESCO world heritage site

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Albi Tarn France

Not the best known side of Toulouse-Lautrec, look how magnificently he understands animals.

Painted at 16 if I have it right, perhaps in the days of hit innocence?

Poor character had a bone disease, his bones never stopped growing. His parents were cousins – nobility. Excellent plan for aggregating land and power, – not the best things for the genes of your children.

Look at the roof where the horse hangs 😉

How do you build that?

The museum is housed in the Berbie Palace, part of the Episcopal city in Albi.  Built of red brick, same as the nearby city of Toulouse. This was Roman territory.

And you must see the place.. Well at least we know the church wasn’t obsessed with earthly possessions and power at the time.

Their little view on the Tarn flowing past.

A view of the garden from inside.

They house some his most well known posters.

Modern architects didn’t invent the idea of maximum use of the views it seems.

A small courtyard, nothing fancy.

Impressive really. As you may imagine it is one of the largest brick structures in the world.

For all else they may have done the church did leave a rich architectural heritage and employed artists and artisans.

And that bears saying in this region, the inquisition was active here for a very long time.

This fortress was built in the fight against the Cathars. They were burnt alive by the hundreds and their castles are now in ruines. That’s how you know who won the fight.

They were of the opinion that the church and its people should not have a lot of possessions and power.

Off course that had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that they were branded as heretics and a crusade was called against them.

Well, some more Toulouse-Lautrec posters.

Interesting to see the development.

They have a huge collection. The family donated lots of his work.


Tulum – Yucatan

Modern day Maya can still visit their beautiful Tulum. It is conserved as a National Park. Not quite the same I presume, but it’s still there.

I believe around a third of the inhabitants of the cities have Maya as their home language. Very much alive.

And the local flavour is there to welcome you.

Tastes like chicken I hear..

These cities had hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. You can see the city of Dzibilchaltun stretching for kilometers before you reach the archeological site. The highway goes right through it. It is quite unreal. There is hectares of the stuff. Far too much to keep everything fenced off.


The view still cannot be surpassed.

Many US citizens move to the Yucatan to retire. It is on the Caribbean  sea, lovely, safe and beautiful. And malaria free, as opposed to their southern neighbours.

Officially known as the free and independent state of the Yucatan, one of 31 Mexican states.

You can swim at almost all of the archeological sites in the Yucatan. They were built by a canotte. Lovely fresh waterholes connected to the underground river system.

The Yucatan has no surface rivers but underground rivers break through the limestone and gives you these beautiful cool fresh waterholes.

At Tulum off course you also have the sea. Not cool, but still ravishing.

Nazrid Palaces – Al Hambra, Granada

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


A view on one of the courtyards.

Wood inlay on a ceiling board


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.


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

Another charming courtyard.



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.


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?