[Travel][USA] Good old Minneapolis

I really wanted to leave this city.I got bored with the city. I had been waiting for the day when I will have a new career in a bigger city without too much snow. I was a little frustrated when I had almost only option to stay in Minnesota for graduate school in 2015 because I dreamed about moving somewhere else like NYC, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Silicon Valley area or somewhere nicer and bigger than Minneapolis.

Finally, the dream of exodus came true this year and now I started the new life in other city: Stockholm(which is totally unexpected for me as well). Stockholm is ,of course, bigger than Minneapolis for sure. Living in Stockholm has a similar aspect of living in Seoul that I have been missing while staying in Minneapolis. Although it’s getting darker, Stockholm has been treating me nicely so far. However, before leaving Minneapolis, reunions with many great friends reminded me that it has not been that terrible at all. Getting to know a lot of nice and supportive friends has been a great part. Looking back, there have been beautiful moments and places. And I’ll definitely miss the time I jogged around the lakes in uptown when the weather is warm ūüôā

University of Minnesota

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: tree and outdoor

No automatic alt text available.

This is the core part of my life in Minnesota. I had lived in Minnesota for 6 years and I spent 5 years in this school. I had met a lot of great friends whom I want to maintain the friendship for many years in the future. I didn’t like the fact that the school hardly cancelled the days during the snowstorm but maybe it helped me to become a stronger person mentally and physically.¬† In my free time, I would take a nap on one of large couches in Coffman union or on the grass field when the weather is warm enough. When I want to study, I would go to Walter Library with all the beautiful and classic interior design or all-white Biomed library or Wilson library on the West bank with plenty of study spaces and fictions. If I want to have a coffee break, I would go to cafes in Dinkytown.

 

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Image result for minneapolis institute of art

 

Image result for minneapolis institute of art

As a big fan of museums, this museum has been my favorite place to go especially when there are special exhibitions ranging from Italian fashion to German Christian art and they never disappointed me. It was a good place to enjoy by myself or hanging out with similar minded friends who also enjoy art. Besides the special exhibition, the general exhibition is quite extensive and free so don’t miss the opportunity to look around if you are here.

 

Uptown

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: tree, sky, cloud, plant, outdoor and nature

It’s definitely my favorite area in Minneapolis. If I were kind of a yuppy(I know it’s too 90s), I would have chosen to live in a nice apartment around the lakes. It has both nature and urban. In summer, you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing. There is also a nice bike trailer around this area. If you walk from this lake for about 10-20 min, you can also go to uptown area where there are a lot of hip restaurants and bars.

Downtown near Mississippi River

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, bridge, outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: indoor

It’s near Guthrie Theater and the farmer’s market takes place in this area. You can go to the top floor of the theater to enjoy the nice view of the stone arch bridge. Stone Arch Bridge connects to the neighborhood called ‘Marcy Holmes’ and it’s one of the neighborhoods that I enjoy going to for cheese store and restaurants. On the night of the Independence day, there are a group of people who occupied the spots for a long time for the best view of firework.

Last but not least, State Fair

Image may contain: 1 person, crowd, cloud, sky and outdoor

State Fair is a temporary event that takes place every year usually from late August to early September. It’s the time when you will witness the largest crowd and swamp of people in Minnesota annually. Minnesota State Fair is quite famous across the country so people from other states visit the state just for this. At first, coming from a big city in Korea, I was culturally shocked how rural it is(in Seoul, you usually hang out in very urban environment instead of seeing pigs, cows). But now I would miss fried American foods which you can only get at the fair. Luckily, I went to the fair just before I left the States with some of my close friends.:)

I hope I have a chance to visit this city in near future and have an amazing reunion with old friends! It’s not likely that I’ll return to the city to live again but it will always be a special place for me in my life.

Advertisements

[Travel] Mainz,Germany

Mainz is not nearly famous as its neighbor city(Frankfurt) but it will remain a special city for me. I now just settled in Stockholm,but before that, I was staying in Mainz for over 3 weeks. While waiting for the permit in Sweden, the stay was unexpectedly getting longer and I was hoping this “exile in Germany” would end soon so I could start to work in Stockholm as soon as possible than drifting. During the last week of staying, the weather got cold very rapidly so I was mostly staying in a cafe nearby.¬† But at the same time, Germany had treated me very well that I would feel nostalgic about the time there because people I met in the city were all friendly and it’s a pretty peaceful city.

Here are the places where I would recommend to stop by.

Mainz Dom

 

mainz domdom inside

market.jpg

This is probably the reason why Mainz attracts some tourists especially who are interested in history and love to enjoy architecture. Mainz Dom is so called one of the three most famous doms in Germany(the other two are located in Cologne and Trier). Although it was founded in the 10th century(so it’s more than 1000 years old), it’s still one of the tallest buildings in Mainz.

Mainz Cathedral is predominantly¬†Romanesque¬†in style, but later exterior additions over many centuries have resulted in the appearance of various architectural influences seen today. In other words, you will be able to see various style in one church. Sandstone¬†was used as the primary building material for the cathedral so that’s why the color of the dom is red-ish.

In front of the Dom, there is a market and it holds every Tuesday and Friday until 1pm. It’s usually crowded and a good place to eat some good German breads.

Zitadelle

nearbyzitadelleromische theater

zitadelle mainz.jpg

If you walk around the old town, I would highly recommend to go Zitadelle area. On the way from Mainz Dom, you will see Roman theater ruins and nice view of the city from the hill. The fortress was constructed in 1660 and was an important part of the Fortress Mainz. It was really nice to walk in the nice weather in fall around the area and locals like to jog there.

Cemetery(Hauptfriedhof )

 

cemetry2

One of my family traditions when it comes to traveling Europe is taking a walk in a cemetery in early morning.¬† There are not many people usually so it’s a good time to organize your thought in early morning enjoying architecture in cemetery and its serendipity. Although I wasn’t¬† with my family, I followed my family tradition. It’s on the way from the central station to the university. The main cemetery of Mainz was founded 202 years ago and it has been spiritual place for people in Mainz.

 

Rheinpromenade

Rhein.jpg

As Mainz is located along Rhein River, you can enjoy the view of the river while walking along this promenade. It’s a good place for jogging.

 

St. Stephen’s Church

st stephen

It’s a small church and might be easy to be overlooked by some tourists. However, I would strongly recommend to visit there since it has really beautiful stained glass created by Marc Chagall. Personally, I had visited this place several times for meditation(or contemplating) even though I’m not really religious person.

 

 

[Travel]Rhein River Trip 3- R√ľdesheim am Rhein

4 years ago, I was on the trip to Rhein River and began the river cruise in Bingen. I climbed up to Klopp Bingen and saw¬†R√ľdesheim am Rhein across the river.¬†R√ľdesheim am Rhein looked beautiful with vast wine farms. I thought ‘I don’t have enough time to go there and spend time since I need to take the cruise and go up. I should visit¬†R√ľdesheim in near future.’ Finally, after 4 years and 2 months, I made it to¬†R√ľdesheim and fully enjoyed the view. It’s October so there are more yellow color in the view than in summer when it’s so green.

(Here are the link for my two blog posts on Rhein River: the first, the second)

There were more tourists from all around the world than I expected so it was quite easy to find the direction.

 

wine

On the way to riding the cable car, there is a wine storage building.

 

rudesheim

This is the picture of the town. I hardly see any locals but tourists.

 

cable car

 

When you follow groups of people, you will eventually find the entrance for cable cars. Well, you can climb all the way up there but it would be quite a long hike. Riding a cable car also offers a nice view of the village and wine farm.

wine farm

beautyR√ľdesheim is a winemaking¬†town in the¬†Rhine Gorge, and part of the UNESCO¬†World Heritage Site¬†in this region. In this area, the village produces one of the top quality German wine.¬†statue

This is  Niederwalddenkmal. It is a monument that you will see after reaching the top of the hill by cable car. It was built in the 1870/80s to commemorate the Unification of Germany. German stereotypes as strict observance to the rule, straightforwardness and punctuality originated from Prussian virtues. The history of unified Germany is rather short and still German people usually identify themselves by region.

rudeshrim

After enjoying the view and the detail of the monument, I went down and took the train back to the city where I’m staying. If you are staying in Frankfurt or nearby for a while, I recommend to visit¬†R√ľdesheim for a day trip.

[Travel] Paris-there are more places to explore than Eiffel Tower

<Front photo: Bercy Village>

I have been really lazy in writing blog posts recently because I’m preparing to move different continent for my job. Before preparing to move to the different continent, I had a family reunion in Paris and traveled to Southeastern France for 10 days in July. It’s such a belated post and now I’m posting it since the process of moving to the different continent showed some significant process.

Paris is kind of a city that I would not say it’s the most favourite but it makes me keep thinking about the city after I left and feel there are more unexplored areas. I happened to visit this city for three times. When I visited this city for the first time in 2014, I thought I explored pretty much a lot of parts in Paris and wouldn’t need to return to the city for a while. Then in 2016, I had a very long layover in Paris and luckily had an opportunity to go outside which was the final day of Euro 2016. It was certainly different atmosphere than the time I visited in late August 2014. Then, on July 4th 2018, I happened to visit this city again. Before coming to Paris, I had a little complaint in my mind that my family allocated to stay in Paris more than I wanted. I hoped to spend more time as possible in Southern France and Lyon. But since it’s my younger sister’s first visit to Paris, I guess I had to stay in Paris or take a train or bus to go outskirt of Paris to explore new places.

But this trip in France confronted that I was completely wrong and even made me reckoned I still have more places to visit in next trip to Paris. So, in this post, I would like to share hidden gems that I discovered in this trip to Paris

 

Bercy Village

bercy village

The hotel where my family stayed was right next to Bercy Village. It’s the first time to hear the name of this part of the city, actually so I didn’t have high expectation about the area around the hotel. My family were supposed to stay near Champ de Mars but it abruptly got cancelled.¬† There was bitter feeling that the hotel is not adjacent to the tourist area. After taking long train ride from the airport, I was pleasantly surprised how lively the area was. Past and present coexisted in this village. This area has a lot of offices nearby in modern buildings but also it used to be 42 wine storages which are now transformed into restaurants, stores and bars. Even Five Guys! Right next to this cute area, there’s a giant movie theater which attracts a lot of people from various ages. There are full of local people so it’s quite vibrant day and night.

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève(Sainte-Geneviève Library)

library.jpg

This library is right next to Pantheon but it seems like a hidden place that it’s tricky to find without Google Map. There are no eye-catching signs indicating it’s the library. But you might notice it by some people waiting on a queue to get into the library when it’s just opened. It’s originally the university library but it’s open to public. The bad news is that you need to make a library card to get into the library and enjoy beautiful interior. But the good news is that it’s free to make the first card and you will be able to use it more than 10 months. This room doesn’t have air conditioner but it was not too hot. You can charge your laptop at the end of each table. You will feel surreal to study for a while in this picturesque library and it’s a great place to escape from fellow tourists.

Palais Galliera

palais galeria.jpg

palais12palais11palais10palais9palais8palais7palis6palais5palais4palais 3palais2

Just steps away from the most prestigious couture boutiques, the Galliera Museum is located in a Renaissance-inspired palace. It’s located in an affluent neighborhood in Paris. It’s also closed to a couple of other museums such as Yves Saint laurent museum and Mus√©e National d’Art Moderne. This museum is dedicated to fashion and fashion history.¬† When I visited the museum, the museum had¬†maison margiela¬†exhibition. The exhibit was presented chronologically for several decades. I heard from my travel companion that it was Lanvin’s exhibition in 2017. Since it has different and fascinating collection every year, I have more reasons to visit Paris on a regular basis.

Additionally, it’s walking distance to Avenue Montagne and it’s the real place to see all the famous and fancy brand stores.

Jardin du Luxembourg-Tennis Court

nap.jpg

Jardin de Luxembourg has a reputation for its sumptuous architecture and well decorated garden in the heart of the city. However, if you want to take a rest under the shade, the fancy garden area is not the best. In fact, there are a lot of chairs where you can lie comfortably and take a nap near tennis court area. It’s a good place if you want to take a break from walking under the sun in summer. Plus, you might be able to play tennis with locals.

Musee des arts Decoratifs

 

 

 

If you are not too interested in sculptures from ancient times and rather want to see more modern art, this is the place for you. It’s very close to Louvre and the entrance is on the side of the street that are across from a bunch of souvenirs. There were several different collections on each floor. The biggest exhibition at that time was¬†Roman Cieslewicz tribute exhibition. According to the exhibition, he was a major figure in graphic design in the second half of the 20th¬†century.Roman Cieslewicz saw his role as a graphic designer in direct confrontation with current events and I think it’s brave of him to express his ideas and opinions through art during the time and place when the freedom of speech was limited. And there were a lot of artistic stuffs in the shop so take time to look around!

 

[Travel] Auschwitz Concentration Camp

In ¬†Summer 2011, I had a family trip for 10 days in Eastern European Area. Visiting Auschwitz in Poland was obviously not the most pleasant part of the trip but the most memorable and shocking. In fact, my family initially thought of skipping it since it might be emotionally disturbing. But since it’s one of the most historical significant monuments, we eventually decided to visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

It was  about one hour drive from Krakow, Poland. The scenery looked quite ordinary at that moment but thinking about how people coerced to stuck in the camp would have felt while looking the view from completely packed train heading to Auschwitz.

On that day, Auschwitz was quite crowded with visitors all around the world. It was mandatory to accompany with a guide to look around the concentration camp so we had a guide who can speak fluent English.  Before we looked around the facilities in Auschwitz,  the guide led us to the museum to provide background information.

Nazi decided to build the giant concentration camp in Auschwitz(Polish:¬†OŇõwińôcim) because Auschwitz is geologically the center of Europe that can easily be reached by railroads. Due to the location, Nazi thought they could easily transported Jews and other “inferior” people from all around the Europe. Plus, Poland has one of the largest Jews population in Europe at that time. Nazi were able to gather a lot of Jewish people by telling them Nazi will provide shelters for them.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.35.21 AM.png

Here is the statistics of the estimated number of Jews deported to Auschwitz. As you can see, most people deported to Auschwitz are from Hungary and Poland. Surprisingly, Nazi even deported people in Norway.  Among those people, 1.1 million were killed.

 

auschwitz statistics

camp.jpg

<Auschwitz Concentration Camp 1>

In this picture, you can notice there are a lot of same looking buildings and that’s where many inmates who were capable of doing hard labor. Men who were capable of doing hard labor were sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp 1 while women and young people were sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2. Otherwise, old people ,who were not likely to do work well, were killed as soon as they arrived the camp.

kappo.jpg

According to “Man’s Search for Meaning” written by Viktor Frankl who survived in the camp, Nazi militants decided who to send to the camp or be killed instantly using his finger: right-you will survive laboring in the camp, left- die instantly in gas shower.

 

auschwitz-birkenau-state

This is monumental entrance of the concentration camp with the notorious slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’ which means “Work makes you free”. Not only in Auschwitz, but also there are same slogan in other concentration camp like Dachau, Germany. The inmates showed resistance in a subtle way by flipping B upside-down.

Inside these buildings, they exhibited what inmates were coerced to give it to Nazi before entering the camp. Indeed, Nazi took pretty much everything as they can even including hairs and leg casts and it was speechless.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.54.21 AM.png

Since many inmates thought they would get a new shelter, they brought a lot of things like these mugs and dishes.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.58.08 AM.png

And there are enormous piles of shoes.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.59.02 AM.png

And these portmanteaus with the owners’ names on it.

border.jpg

There are some people who thought it would be better to commit a suicide than continuing living in the camp with the worst and unhygienic conditions. This is where they tried to quit their lives and there are also towers where Kappos can watch those people.

 

camp2.jpg

<Auschwitz Death Wall>

The condemned were led to the wall for execution. SS men shot several thousand people there‚ÄĒmostly Polish political prisoners and, above all, members of clandestine organizations.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.04.12 AM.png

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.03.59 AM.png

This is the demonstration inside the buildings. Imagine there were tons of people packed in those buildings. We can see how the conditions of living in the camp were utterly terrible.

 

chimney

<Chimney of gas chamber>

gas chambers

<Gas Chamber>

If you look closely on the whiter part of the chamber, most part of it is the nail scratches.

incinerator

<Incinerator>

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.17.47 AM.png

Next to the gas chamber, it is where Rudolf Höss,the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, was executed. While many inmates were killed, he often had parties in his house near Auschwitz with other Nazi officers. This house is also closely located to the gas chamber.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.21.25 AM.png

 

Of course, visiting Auschwitz would not be the pleasant part of the trip but I believe every person needs to visit this place. Visiting this place in my life gave me a good opportunity to contemplate how cruel humans can be and it encouraged me to read more about the journals about survival in the camp. German government officially apologized to the victims and financially support running this place. Indeed, there were also a lot of Germans visiting this place or other concentration camps in Germany to learn their mistakes in the past and tried not to repeat it. ¬†Although Mark Twain said¬†‚ÄúHistory doesn’t repeat itself¬†but it often rhymes‚ÄĚ , we should not forget this and tried as best as we can not to repeat it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Travel] Germany: Day trip to Aachen and Monschau

In August 2014, I was staying in¬†K√∂ln for three nights and it was one of the most fun parts of my European trip for three weeks (of course, I like all the cities that I’ve visited during the trips). ¬†K√∂ln is a nice city (well, many people say it’s the ugliest city in Germany, though) but staying for three nights completely in the city can be boring for some people. So, I took a couple of day trips: one to Rhein river ( Rhein River 1, Rhein River 2) and the other one to Aachen & Monschau.

For your information, when you are traveling within Nord Rhine-Westphalia, you can get cheap regional day tickets via Deutsches Bahn. It applies to other federal states in Germany. Thanks to this information, I was able to take any trains/buses on that day trip to Aachen/ Monschau for about 20 Euro.

Before visiting Aachen, I always wanted to visit Aachener dom since it’s the first dom in Germany that was registered as a cultural heritage at UNESCO. It’s such an archaic church that it was constructed by that legendary emperor Charlemagne in the late 8th century. I woke up early in the morning in¬†K√∂ln and took the train to Aachen. It took about an hour.

 

aachenaachen2aachen3

<Aachen City Center>

Aachen downtown was pleasant and clean so it was fun to walk around. It took about half an hour by feet from the central station to the city center. I personally think the best part of traveling is just enjoying walking around the place and being immersed in the ambience of the places.

 

charlmagne

<At Centre Charlemagne>

As I mentioned earlier, Emperor Charlemagne ordered to construct the dom in Aachen. The reason why he wanted to build the sumptuous dom is that Aachen is that he was born in Aachen(or maybe nearby). The boy from Aachen eventually grew up to be legendary conquerer in Europe that we still learn his name from European history class.

domaachendom2dom3dom4

<Aachener dom>

 

The exterior look of Aachener dom does not look that different from ordinary cathedrals in Europe. But the inside of the Aachener dom is totally marvelous so many people visiting dom simply said ‘wow!’ and I was one of those many people. Stained glass and golden mosaic ceiling are one of the most sophisticated decorations I’ve ever seen.

 

karlsthrone

<Karlsthron-Emperor Charlemagne’s throne>

This is the throne of Charlemagne. It was erected in 790. Unlike typical throne, the throne is very plain and simple and entirely free of elaboration. Until 1531, it served as the coronation throne of the Kings of Germany, being used at a total of thirty-one coronations. In other words, 31 German kings sat the throne so no wonder why it looks withered. At least, it looks much more comfortable than the iron throne.

 

<Karlsschrein-Shrine of Charlemagne>

According to Wikipedia, the¬†Karlsschrein¬†(English: Shrine of¬†Charlemagne) in¬†Aachen Cathedral¬†was made in¬†Aachen¬†at the command of¬†Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor¬†and completed in 1215, after Frederick II’s grandfather,¬†Frederick Barbarossa¬†had exhumed¬†Charlemagne’s bones from their resting place in the¬†Palatine Chapel, Aachen¬†in 1165. It depicts the moment when Charlemagne ¬†was enthroned on the front between the representatives of the church at a location which is reserved on all other shrines for Christ alone.

Despite the small size of the dom,  the dom is full of symbolic and historical spots in Germany. Visting Aachener dom and listening to the explanation on the history of dom were a great opportunity to learn more about German history.

After walking around, I took a bus to Monschau from bus terminal in Aachen.

monschau4monschau3monschau2monschau

Alas, by the time I arrived Monschau, it started pouring that I had to spend some time inside. Unfortunately for me, the last bus from Monschau departs at 4:30PM so I only had one and a half hour to look around this village. It is a pretty small medieval town near the border of Nehterlands, Germany and Belgium. As you might have guessed already, you can see the French influence in the name of the city(Mont-mountain in French). Indeed, there is a small mountain surrounding this village. Since Netherlands is flat, many Dutch people visit here as a resort place to enjoy some climbing. Monschau is a village next to Eifel National Park so many visitors stay here while visiting the park as well.

 

spidertin man

There are not many locals on the street but these spiders and the tin man welcomes visitors regardless of the weather. For the transportation reason, it is sad that I have to say goodbye to the tin man in the picturesque village.

The Venice of Belgium: Brugge &Ghent

I have never heard of Bruges  until I saw series of beautiful pictures on Facebook posted by my high school friend. I was planning the trip from Bergen, Norway to France at that time(August 2014).It looked like such a beautiful, cozy European medieval town.

Oh, actually, I had heard of Ghent at that time in Art History class in 2012 and the lecturer said Ghent altarpiece is one of the most famous altarpieces in the world and it has long history of losing its settled place. She also said that we should go to Ghent to see the altarpiece that the church in Ghent would hardly loan to other museums. At that time, I hardly imagined I would see the altarpiece in person but I made it ūüôā

For these reasons, I decided to visit both towns in one day. I also wanted to explore different parts of Belgium besides Brussels.

Bruges

Bruges(Brugge in Dutch) is a small town located in west of Belgium. You can go there from Brussels central station and it’s one hour away from Brussels by train.

Bruges has most of its¬†medieval¬†architecture intact, making it one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe. The historic centre of Bruges has been a¬†UNESCO¬†World Heritage Site¬†since 2000. The history of this town goes back to the 9th century and it became one of the centers of trace since it’s the crossroad between northern Hanseatic League trade and the southern Hanseatic League trade from the 12th century to the 15th century.

brugge2brugge3

These pictures are the beginning part of old Bruges. It’s so picturesque that I couldn’t stop taking photos on the way.

brugge4brugge5

belfry

<Belfry>

<Markt(Market Square) in Brugge>

Belgium has been historically and culturally influenced by France and Netherlands but it has distinct architecture. Markt(Market Square) is at the core of Old Bruges and the bell tower(Belfry) is the signiture medieval architecture in the square. The belfry was added to the market square around 1240, when Bruges was attending as an important centre of the Flemish cloth industry.

 

canalcanal3canal2

<Canal>

Canal is the main reason why this town attracts many visitors. Although it’s not famous as canal in Venice, it has its tranquil and Flemish charm. It’s what makes Bruges beautiful. Bruges‚Äô loveliest places ooze even¬†more charm when you admire them¬†travelling by boat.

 

Ghent

Ghent is between Brussels and Bruges and it’s ¬†40 min drive from Brussels. While Bruges is more tranquil and touristy medieval town, Ghent is more vibrant, urban and less touristy city. I saw a lot of forums on the internet asking visiting either Bruges or Ghent and I personally recommend both for these different characteristics. And Ghent is also an university town so there are more young people relatively compared to Bruges.

There is a canal in Ghent as well but I think the canal in Bruges is more picturesque. Anyway, the main reason that I visited Ghent wasn’t for canal, it was for Ghent Altarpiece in St. Bavo’s Church.

ghentghent2

When I was at the core of the Old Ghent, there was a performance where people dressing in traditional Flemish outfits doing historic roleplaying.

 

3ghent4

<Saint Bavo’s Cathedral>

Unlike dominant gray color in K√∂ln dom, this cathedral has bright color scheme with marbles.¬†The building is built on the site of the former Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction that was consecrated in 942 by¬†Transmarus,¬†Bishop of Tournai and Noyon. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral’s crypt.The chapel was subsequently expanded in the¬†Romanesque¬†style in 1038. Some traces of this phase of expansion are still evident in the present day crypt. In the subsequent period from the 14th through 16th centuries, nearly continuous expansion projects in the¬†Gothic style were executed on the structure. A new¬†choir,¬†radiating chapels, expansions of the¬†transepts, a¬†chapter house,¬†nave¬†aisles and a single tower western section were all added during this period. Construction was considered complete June 7, 1569.

Entering this cathedral is free, but if you want to see Altarpiece, you have to pay around five Euro including audioguide(I highly recommend audioguide). I’m sure there must be some people complaining it doesn’t worths that money. But considering that it has been the most stolen artwork, that’s the way compensating its rough history.

It’s almost been destroyed in a fire, was nearly burned by rioting Calvinists, it’s been forged, pillaged, dismembered, censored, stolen by Napoleon, hunted in the first world war, sold by a renegade cleric, then stolen repeatedly during the second world war, before being rescued by¬†The Monuments Men, miners and a team of commando double-agents. The fact that it was the artwork the Nazis were most desperate to steal ‚Äď G√∂ring wanted it for his private collection,¬†Hitler¬†as the centrepiece of his citywide super-museum ‚Äď has only increased its renown.

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/dec/20/ghent-altarpiece-most-stolen-artwork-of-all-time)

 

 

ghent altarpiece

<Ghent Altarpiece-picture:Wikipedia>

Ghent Altarpiece is the most stolen artwork in the world since it was painted by The Eyck brothers in 1432. ¬†It doesn’t look gigantic in the picture, but it is really huge if you get to see it. I was completely overwhelmed by the size at first. ¬†I wonder how people managed to steal this enormous altarpiece(11ft x 15ft (3.5m x 4.6m)). It is also amusing how symmetrical the altarpiece is.

Later, with listening to audioguide, I was marveled how complex and sophisticated the story presented in the altarpiece.  Van Eyck brothers really tried hard to contain all the details of the story in the altarpiece.  My memory on the story has been diminished but it worths reading it if you are a big fan of medieval art works.

I visited Bruges and Ghent in a day but I would like to stay either city longer if I have next opportunity( I had to go to Paris on the next day).  I was in a rush so I felt I missed some nice other places to visit. So if you are reading this blog post, hope you have a chance to stay in those towns a little bit longer.

 

.