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Posts Tagged ‘landmarks’

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These pictures were taken in the cemetery of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) of Prague. The Jewish quarter is an interesting area to visit, there are 6 synagogues that you can visit, and a Jewish Museum. The area has a really interesting history too; it was sort of the center of Jewish living in Prague, starting around the 13th century. The area has a really mixed history, in my mind this district stands as a testament to the survival of the Jewish culture in the face of adversity. I really like that this area has maintained its cultural identity through time as well, and you can really see the layers of different eras here. The graveyard is really cool, but if you are visiting this area (as with any other place you visit) remember to be respectful of the rules here: make sure if you are visiting synagogues that you cover your shoulders, and yarmulkes are provided for men to cover their heads while visiting the religious sites. Also, just a heads up, if you want to take pictures in this cemetery you have to pay, but it’s not expensive at all, and i’m pretty sure the proceeds go towards maintaining this historical site. Also when you are here, if you can, try to find a good restaurant! The place we went to was overpriced (we didn’t have a lot of options, most places were closed on the day we went) but you can get a killer bowl of matzo ball soup here!

Also, in case anyone was curious, placing stones on the headstone is a Jewish tradition. Apparently the exact origin of this tradition isn’t know but it’s thought that the act is symbolic to show the presence of a loved one visiting the grave site, and that the deceased individual has not been forgotten. And I think the candle is a Yahrzeit Candle, which is burned in memory of a deceased person.

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This picture was taken on Museum Island in Berlin, Germany. This island (not an island exactly, its surrounded by a little water way, which seems more like a moat) houses a few of the (many) amazing museums that Berlin has to offer. The island is great because it has a lot of places to visit in very close proximity to each other. Because this area is pretty highly touristed there are also lots of restaurants, cafes, and places to shop around for the typical tourist stuff like Berlin teeshirts and Ampleman merchandise. We also found a little craft fair area not to far from here, so the area really has a lot to offer.

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This is a close up of a painting in a beautiful little church on the European side of Istanbul, in Turkey. The church also had an amazing amount of beautiful mosaics, most of which were incredibly well preserved. This painting struck me particularly, because it looks like the area surrounding the eyes may have been removed deliberately for some reason. This church is called Chora Church, and this little hidden gem is absolutely worth a visit, another one of Istanbul’s beautifully artistic pieces of architecture. More pictures of the Mosaics will follow 🙂

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This is a picture of the city of London around sunset. The picture was taken from the London Eye, the tallest ferris wheel in the world. The height really give you an amazing view of the city. We chose to go at night so we could see the city all lit up, but you can make your reservations (online) for any time between 10:00 AM and 8:30 PM. The ferris wheel is so big that the ride actually takes about 30 minutes, so going around the tail end of sunset gives you the sunset view, and the city skyline at night. The Eye is also close to some other rides, as well as an aquarium, so if you’re going check out some of the other cool stuff in the area too!

 

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This picture was taken just outside Krakow, Poland in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The mines are pretty cool, the tours take you through the old mines, but it’s more than just a historic site. The mines are also home to a myriad of impressive statues carved from the salt, as well as a beautiful underground chapel complete with salt crystal chandeliers. When we were in Poland it was absurdly hot (91 degrees Fahrenheit on our first day) so we retreated to this underground system for some cooler (in the temperature sense) sight seeing. The mines are a little chilly, so maybe bring a sweatshirt! If you’ve never been to a mine it’s interesting, I thought it was pretty neat, and it’s an unusual thing to have an opportunity to visit. Also, you can get to the mines by taking a bus from Krakow, which doesn’t take to long.

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This is a Holocaust monument located in Berlin, Germany. This monument is dedicated specifically to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust; the monument for homosexual victims is located elsewhere, and the gypsy monument is (as of now)  under construction (I’m sorry, but I don’t have any information about monuments for other victim groups, this is just what I learned while I was there). This monument is unmarked; there isn’t anything to identify WHAT this monument stands for. We took a tour of Berlin, and our tour guide told us that the lack of informative signs and plaques was intentional, so that onlookers could make their own determination about the monument. If you go to visit this site, be respectful; there are rules here (though they aren’t posted). The rules that we were informed of were as follows: you may sit on the blocks, but do not stand on them. You may walk through the monument, but don’t run, don’t yell, and don’t eat or drink on the site of the monument. It’s an interesting site, worth visiting, and absolutely worth thinking about.

 

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These two pictures are close ups of a painting done by Salvador Dali. This painting, along with the paintings of a ton of other artists, hangs in the Vatican Museum. The Vatican Museum, as i’ve said in an earlier post, is both amazing, and incredibly expansive. There isn’t really a good way to see everything in one day, so it’s best to just prioritize. The egyptian wing is incredible, i’m ( as previously mentioned) very fond of archaeology, so my focus was to see the archaeological aspects that are housed in the museum. The best thing to do is get there EARLY and look at the map they give you with your ticket.

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