Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Legends: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Sleepy Hollow, NY

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Topic: Legends

GPS: N41° 05.356; W073° 51.704

Quick Description: 

A statue of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman recreates a scene from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It  is located on Broadway and Gordon Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, NY

Long Description:

Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was set in the Tappan Zee area of the Hudson River Valley near the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, NY.

In this legend, the area is haunted by a headless horseman believed to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannon ball during the Revolutionary War. The Horseman is seen most often riding by the Old Dutch Church and nearby cemetery, where according to local lore he was buried. He is believed to be in search of his head. Ichabod Crane is prone to believe in the supernatural and is fascinated by this story. That is, until he actually encounters the Headless Horseman.

To capitalize on the legend the village North Tarrytown renamed itself Sleepy Hollow. To further cement the connection to the legend of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane an 18' high, 11 ton steel sculpture of the pair was erected in 2006 alongside Route 9, not far from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery's south entrance. The rust-colored structure depicts the Ichabod Crane riding for his life on his horse Gunpowder. He is closely followed by the Headless Horseman, who is about to throw his jack-o'-lantern head at Ichabod.

"Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him." - Washington Irving

The sculpture cost $175,000 raised through private donations and a state grant. The rust colored sculpture is fabricated out of overlapping rusted metal plates by the metal working company of Miglo-Bufkin.

What's the Real Story?:

The story of the headless horseman was widely told, locally. The original source was thought to be a German folk tale. Washington Irving created the character of Ichabod Crane and developed the story of the encounter in 1820.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bas Relief Sculpture: Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Sleepy Hollow, NY

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Legend of Sleepy Hollow Sculpture
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Topic: Bas Relief Sculpture

GPS: N41° 05.301; W073° 51.704

Quick Description: 

Legend of Sleepy Hollow sculpture is located at the entrance to Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Long Description:

Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was set in the Tappan Zee area of the Hudson River Valley near the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, NY.
In this legend, the area is haunted by the Headless Horseman believed to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannon ball during the Revolutionary War. The Horseman is seen most often riding by the Old Dutch Church and nearby cemetery, where according to local lore he was buried. He is believed to be in search of his head. Ichabod Crane is prone to believe in the supernatural and is fascinated by this story. That is, until he actually encounters the Headless Horseman.

The Village of North Tarrytown, where the legend takes place, renamed itself Sleepy Hollow in 1996. A bas relief sculpture of the Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is located alongside Route 9, at the entrance to Philipsburg Manor, a short distance south of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

This, approximately 4' high, semi-circular granite bas relief sculpture was created by Michael Gressel and installed in 1974. It depicts the moment when Ichabod Crane was riding for his life on his horse Gunpowder. Hapless Ichabod is being closely followed by the Headless Horseman, who is about to throw his jack-o'-lantern head at Ichabod. The Old Dutch Church is shown in the background.

The sculpture was given in celebration the centennial of the village of North Tarrytown. A granite tablet in front of the sculpture is inscribed:

1874 - 1974

Philipsburg Manor
381 North Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY
 United States

Monday, October 29, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: Wisdom - A Voice From The Clouds, Rockefeller Center, NY, NY

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Wisdom - A Voice From The Clouds
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY
Topic: Philatelic Photograph

GPS: N40° 45.527; W073° 58.725

Quick Description: 

Wisdom - A Voice From The Clouds is a bas relief sculpture over the central doors of 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

Long Description:

This Art Deco style limestone bas relief sculpture was designed by Lee Lawrie and installed in 1934. It is located 37' over the central entrance door of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Wisdom is depicted as a bearded man holding a compass. He is blowing away clouds, representing ignorance. With the compass he is scribing the cosmic forces and cycles of the universe.

Below is the inscription: "Wisdom and Knowledge Shall Be The Stability Of Thy Times" - a quote from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah 33:6

The stamp was issued by the United States in 2003 as part of the American Culture Series.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roman Catholic Church: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican City

Interesting Places I've Photographed
St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican City
Topic: Roman Catholic Church

GPS: N41° 54.125; E012° 27.498

Quick Description: 

View of St. Peter's Basilica and the obelisk from the Piazza in Vatican City.

Long Description:

St. Peter's Basilica stands on the site where, traditionally, the apostle Peter, the first pope, was buried. St. Peter's tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica as well. Originally founded by Constantine in 324, St. Peter's Basilica was rebuilt and expanded in the 16th century by Renaissance masters including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini. The expansion added the magnificent piazza, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, with its colonnade of 140 statues of saints. Construction on the current building began under Pope Julius II in 1506 and was completed in 1615 under Pope Paul V.

In 1585, Pope Sixtus I had a 25.5-meter-tall Egyptian obelisk from the 13th-century BC erected in the center of the square. The obelisk once stood at the nearby Nero's Circus.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: John Harvard Statue - Cambridge, MA

John Harvard Statue
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

GPS: N42° 22.474; W071° 07.031

Quick Description: 

The John Harvard statue in the historic Harvard Yard of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA is called "the statue of three lies". 

Long Description:

The famous statue of John Harvard, in front of University Hall, on the campus of Harvard University was the subject of this definitive stamp in the Great American series. The bronze sculpture was created by Daniel Chester French, was given to the college by Samuel James Bridge, and dedicated on October 15, 1884. It now sits in front of University Hall in historic Harvard Yard.

The statue is famous for several reasons. Traditionally, it is supposed to bring you luck if you rub John Harvard's left shoe. It is also known as the "statue of three lies". The statue has a three line inscription on the granite base. Every line is false.


1. The sculpture does not depict John Harvard. There is no known image of John Harvard. So, when Daniel Chester French needed a model for the statue. Sherman Hoar, class of 1882, believed to be the most handsome student at Harvard, was selected. It is the student's face we see on the statue and on the stamp.

2. John Harvard was not the founder of Harvard. He was its earliest benefactor. John Harvard was a clergyman who bequeathing £780 as well as his 400 library of books to the New College. The college then renamed Harvard College in his honor.

3. Harvard College was not founded in 1638 but in 1636. Sixteen thirty-eight was the year John Harvard died.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coastal Lighthouse: Peggy's Point Lighthouse - NS, Canada

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Peggy's Point Lighthouse
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Topic: Coastal Lighthouses

GPS: N44° 29.506 W063° 055.121

Short Description:

Peggy's Point Lighthouse a.k.a. Peggy's Cove Lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.

Long Description:

Peggy's Point Lighthouse marks the eastern entrance of St. Margaret's Bay on the eastern coast of Nova Scotia. It is located in the picturesque town of Peggy's Cove. This classic white lighthouse with a red lantern is operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. It's located in a dramatic setting on a huge granite outcrop. It replaces a lighthouse that was built in 1868.  This steel reinforced concrete octogonal lighthouse was built in 1914 and first lit in 1915.  The automated lighthouse is 49'  high and flashes a red light. Peggy's Cove is a quaint fishing village and one of Nova Scotia prime attraction. Visitors to the lighthouse have the opportunity to explore the granite outcrop and enjoy georgeous vista of the Atlantic Ocean below.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

James Bond - 007: Casino at Monte Carlo, Monaco

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Casino at Monte Carlo from GoldenEye
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Topic: James Bond - 007

GPS: N43° 44.405; E007° 25.660

Quick Description: 

GoldenEye and other James Bond pictures were filmed on location at the Casino at Monte Carlo.

Long Description:

James Bond is often associated with Monaco's glamorous Belle Époque Casino. In GoldenEye, James Bond (Pierce Bronson) arrives in Monte Carlo to follow Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a suspected member of the Janus crime syndicate, who has formed a suspicious relationship with a Canadian Navy admiral. Bond arrives at the Monte-Carlo Casino at night (see screen capture image from the movie trailer) and discovers Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp’s Ferrari Spider 355 outside the casino. He goes inside where they flirt with each other while playing a game of of baccarat. They talk a while (see screen capture from the movie) before she leaves with the Admiral – her intended victim.

Besides GoldenEye the Casino was the setting for several other books, movies and TV episodes. It was the model for Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), 'Royale-Les-Eaux' being a fictional Montenegro resort in the style of Monte Carlo. Also, Monte Carlo Casino was one of the locations for the movie Never Say Never Again and served as the setting in the CBS "Climax!" episode, Casino Royale.

The Monte Carlo Casino was built in 1863 in the "Beaux-Art" style. It is the most famous tourist attractions in Monaco. As well as the casino and its private gaming rooms, the site also contains an opera and ballet house, restaurant and gardens. The interior features stained glass windows, sculptures, and classic paintings. You must show your passport and pay €10 Euro to get in, if you are suitably dresses. Otherwise you are directed to the nearby American Casino.

Casino de Monte-Carlo
Place du Casino
MC 98000
Principality of Monaco

Location type:

Movie or Book Title: GoldenEye

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fountains: Court of the Lions - Granada, Spain

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Court of the Lions
Granada, Spain
Topic: Fountains

GPS: N37° 10.621; W003° 35.356

Quick Description: 

The Court of the Lions gets its name from the famous fountain at the Alhambra that has an interesting history.

Long Description:

The Court of Lions is in the center of the Alhambra. It was commissioned by Emirate of Granada, Sultan Muhammed V of the Nasrid dynasty and built sometime between 1362 and 1391 AD.

The Court of the Lions, is unusual because it has both Moorish and foreign influences. In the center of the court is the Fountain of the Lions. Twelve figures of lions support a basin which contains the fountain. This seemingly violates the Muslim prohibition on displaying of images of animals and people. Originally, the lions were created by Jews not Muslims. They were part of the Naghrela Palace taken over by the Muslims after 1066. Their re-use in the Alhambra was justified since they were not crafted by Muslims.

The fountain is modeled after the Fountain of the Temple of Solomon, described in the Old Testament Books of Chronicles, with lions replacing the bulls.

2 Chronicles 4

The Temple’s Furnishings

1 He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high.

2 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.

3 Below the rim, figures of bulls encircled it—ten to a cubit. The bulls were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: Warnemünde Lighthouse - Warnemünde, Germany

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Warnemünde Lighthouse
Warnemünde, Germany
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

GPS: N54° 10.892; E012° 05.152

Quick Description: 

Warnemünde Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Warnow River in Warnemünde, a coastal district of Rostock.

Long Description:

The construction of a lighthouse to replace an 8 meter high light where the Warnow River joins the Baltic Sea was first approved in 1863. Financial and political disagreements postponed the start of construction until 1897. The lighthouse, designed by Friedrich Kerner, was completed the following year and commissioned in October 1898.

The lighthouse is constructed of glazed white brick with bands of green brick. The tapered round tower is 31 meters high. A rotating Fresnel lens is operated electrically. The characteristic flash pattern is: 0.3 seconds flash, 2.7 seconds dark, 0.3 seconds flash, 2.7 seconds dark, 0.3 seconds flash, 8.7 seconds dark, 0.3 seconds flash, 8.7 seconds dark. The sequence takes 24 seconds and then repeats.

The stamp was issue by Germany in 2008 on the 110th anniversary of the construction of the lighthouse.

Stamp Issuing Country: Germany
Date of Issue: 3 July 2008
Denomination: 0.45 Euro
Color: multicolor

Monday, October 22, 2012

Palaces: Kadriog Palace - Tallinn, Estonia

Interesting Places I've Photographed 
Kadriog Palace, Garden, and Fountain
Tallinn, Estonia
Topic: Palaces

Rear View of the Kadriog Palace
GPS: N59° 26.304; E024° 47.513

Quick Description: 

A pair of symmetrically placed circular fountains are located in the formal garden behind the Kadriog Palace, now an art museum.

Long Description:

The original Kadriorg Palace was designed by Gaetano Chiaveri and Mikhail Zemtsov and built by Peter the Great, of Russia, for his wife Catherine I in 1718. The house underwent renovation by Nicholas I of Russia in 1827, resulting it its present Baroque appearance designed by the Italian architect Niccolo Michetti.

Russian royalty abandoned the palace later in the 19th century. It became the Art Museum (KunstiMuuseum) of Estonia in 1921. In the 1930's the president of Estonia to converted the palace and grounds for his personal use but was restored to an art museum in 1946. By 1994, the palace was closed for major repairs and a new KUMU (KunstiMuuseum) building was constructed a short distance away in Kadriorg Park. The building was reopened in 2000 as part of the in art museum complex for display of foreign art collection.

Behind the palace building there is a formal garden that is planted with a progression of flowers from spring bulbs to fall blooming flowers. The rectangular garden is divided into two identical halves. In the middle of each half is a 35' diameter circular fountain encircled by four quadrants of plantings. Each circular basin has 10 jets in a circular pattern that shoot water straight up.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1000 Places To See Before You Die: Anne Frank House - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Anne Frank House
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Topic: 1000 Places To See Before You Die
View from Narrow Sidewalk
View From Canal Boat - Anne Frank House at Center ; Anne Frank Museum at Right

GPS: N52° 22.517 E004° 53.042

Quick Description: 

The house in which Anne Frank was concealed from the Nazis during World War II is located at Prisengracht 263 in Amsterdam.

Long Description:

A nondescript house on Prisengracht 263 is one of the most visited sites in Amsterdam. In this house Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, (born 12 June 1929), was hidden during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The world would know little of her life but for the diary she kept while hidden in the secret annex of this house. Anne had hoped to write a novel about her experiences but she was discovered and arrested before she could fulfill her wish. She was transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died of typhus in March 1945, another Jewish victim of the Holocaust.

Her diary was discovered by her surviving father, Otto Frank, soon after the war. He saw that it was published and it soon became an international best-seller. Thus, her story has become widely known and has been the basis for several plays and films, most notably 1959 film "The Diary of Anne Frank".

For most, a visit to the Anne Frank House is a moving experience. The atmosphere is solemn and respectful. Photography is not allowed. Only a limited number of people can be accommodated in the house at one time, so lines to get in tend to be long. Tickets, however, may be purchased in advance on-line.

The Anne Frank Museum is next door at Prisengracht 267. There you can learn more about the life of Anne Frank. The museum created educational content and offers programs in the hope of expanding tolerance, understanding and respect among people.

Name of Source Book: 1000 Places To Visit Before You Die
Page Location in Source Book: 239
Location of Coordinates: In front of the house - Prisengracht 263 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Immortalized in Lyrics: Rock the Casbah (Kasbah) - Tangiers, Morocco

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Kasbah Courtyard
Tangiers, Morocco
Topic: Immortalized in Lyrics - Rock the Casbah (Kasbah)

GPS: N35° 47.324; W005° 48.725

Quick Description: 

Rock the Casbah by The Clash is an anti-war song! It uses irony and humor to get its message across. While watching and hearing the street musicians in the Kasbah Courtyard this song immediately came to mind.

Long Description:

An imaginary tale of a ban on rock music, by the sharif (king), being defied by the population who continue to play their music - i.e. "Rockin' the Casbah." The King orders jet fighters to bomb any people in violation of the ban. The pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios.

Written by Topper Headon, Mick Jones and Joe Strummer
Performed by The Clash

"Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin' to the top
The sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a' cruisin' down the ville
The muezzin was a' standing
On the radiator grille

The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The sharif don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound
But the Bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the sharif
Had cleared the square
They began to wail


Now over at the temple
Oh! They really pack 'em in
The in crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive


The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way

As soon as the sharif was
Chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare

As soon as the sharif was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed


He thinks it's not kosher
Fundamentally he can't take it.
You know he really hates it."


The Kasbah of Tangiers is the historic old walled region of Tangiers. It is located high on a promontory overlooking the harbor and the newer city. It's like no other place on earth. You pass through the gate into a small plaza. Things change radically as you make your way uphill through the twisting narrow passageways crowded with closely packed homes and merchant shops offering exotic goods. In addition, street vendors are offering mint tea, brass-ware, rugs, wood carving, silk garments, jewelry, and handcrafted goods everywhere you go. Never accept the first price. You are expected to haggle.

At the top is large open courtyard with an excellent view of the harbor and the Straits of Gibraltar. On a clear day you can all the way to the famous Rock of Gibraltar. In this courtyard street performers, working for tips, entertain tourists. You will find musicians, jugglers, traditional dancers and, of course, snake charmers who first enchant a cobra then offer to place a snake (harmless) around your neck.

Musician: The Clash
Name of Song: Rock the Casbah

Relevant Verse: 
By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound
But the Bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the sharif
Had cleared the square
They began to wail

Friday, October 19, 2012

Festivals - Pumpkin Festival - Keene, NH

Interesting Places I've Visited
Pumpkin Festival
Keene, NH
Topic: Festivals

GPS: N42° 56.040; W072° 16.717

Quick Description: 

Annual gathering of artistically carved pumpkins in Keene, NH

Long Description:

On the fourth Saturday in October thousands people from Keene and the Monadnock region of New Hampshire converge on downtown Keene. Many will bring artistically carved pumpkins to be put on display during the annual Pumpkin Festival. At twilight teams of volunteers will light the pumpkins. More than 30,000 votive candles are used to light all these jack-o-lanterns. The pumpkins are tallied with the hope of breaking the world record for lit pumpkins.

According to the Guinness World Record, the Keene Pumpkin Festival in 2003 had made the record of 28,952. This record, however was eclipsed by Boston (a much larger city) with over 30,000 pumpkins. In addition to the pumpkins, there is a parade, contests, music, food, and craft vendors and a display of fireworks rounding out the festival.

In 2012 the Keene Pumpkin Festival will be held on Saturday, October 20. Pumpkin drop off is at Central Square and Court St. - the location of the coordinates.

Keene Pumpkin Festival: Weblink

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fountains: Havis Amanda Fountain - Helsinki, Finland

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Havis Amanda Fountain
Helsinki, Finland
Topic: Fountains

GPS: N60° 10.050; E024° 57.086

Quick Description: 

Havis Amanda Fountain is located at the Market Square in Helsinki.

Long Description:

The Havis Amanda Fountain derives its name from the central figure, a bronze, nude female figure rising up from the sea. The sculpture was the creation of Ville Vallgren. It was cast in 1906 in Paris and unveiled at Market Square in Helsinki on September 20, 1908. The artist called the figure the Mermaid but soon she acquired other names. The Finland-Swedish newspapers called it Havis Amanda, the name that is now commonly used. According to the artist the figure is allegorical and represents the rebirth of Helsinki. The model for the statue was 19 year old Marcelle Delquini.

The statue of the woman is 1.94 meters high and stands on a 3 meter pedestal looking back with her head over her left shoulder. Below the statue, on the pedestal, are four fish that spout water into a large granite basin. On the corners of the basin four large sea lions spout water back towards the central figure.

Despite its controversial initial reception this this beautiful fountain has become one of the iconic and best loved images of the City of Helsinki. The statue is the centerpiece for the annual Vappa spring carnival celebration.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Coastal Lighthouse: Hog Island Lighthouse - Nassau, Bahamas

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Hog Island Lighthouse
Nassau, Bahamas
Topic: Coastal Lighthouse

GPS: N25° 05.224; W077° 21.107

Quick Description: 

Hog Island Lighthouse is familiar sight to anyone entering or leaving Nassau, Bahamas by ship.

Long Description:

Thousands of people each day photograph this lighthouse as their cruise ship approaches or leaves Nassau. It's located in Nassau Harbor north of New Providence Island on the western end of Paradise Island. At one time Paradise Island was called Hog Island. The name was changed to make it more appealing to tourist visiting the Atlantis Hotel and Casino, in the background, which occupies the eastern end of the island.

Technical Data for Hog Island Lighthouse:

Nearest Town or City: Nassau Bahamas
Location: Entrance to Nassau Harbor.
Description Tower: White conical tower.
Operational: Yes
Date Established: 1817
Current Use: Active aid to navigation.
Open To Public: No.
Characteristic Range: Flashing red visible for 13 nautical miles.
Date Automated: 1958
Alternate Name1: Paradise Island Lighthouse
Alternate Name2: Nassau Harbor Lighthouse
Country: Bahamas

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: Heroes' Square - Budapest, Hungary

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Heroes' Square
Budapest, Hungary
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

GPS: N47° 30.893; E019° 04.666

Quick Description: 

Heroes' Square (Hosök Tere) in Budapest honors notable Hungarian statesmen and historic figures as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Long Description:

Hosök tere is one of the major squares of Budapest, Hungary. At the center of Heroes' Square is the Millennium Memorial with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history. The construction of the memorial was started when Hungary's celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1896. The square was finished in 1900.

When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austrian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. Once the Habsburgs were overthrown their statues were replaced by Hungarian patriots and statesman.

The following statesmen are portrayed by the sculptures in the semi-circular arcades of the monument: Stephen I, St. Ladislaus, Coloman, Andrew II, Béla IV, Charles I, Ladislaus IV, Louis I, Louis the Great, John Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus, István Bocskay, Gabriel Bethlen, Imre Thökölym, Francis II Rákóczi, and Lajos Kossuth. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in the middle of the square.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Palaces: Gloriette at Schönbrunn Palace Gardens

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Gloriette at Schönbrunn Palace Gardens
Vienna, Austria
Topic: Palaces

GPS: N48° 10.697; E016° 18.523

Quick Description: 

The Gloriette is located in the gardens at Schönbrunn Palace.

Long Description:

A gloriette is a building in a garden erected on a site that is elevated with respect to the surroundings. The largest and probably most well-known gloriette the world is in the Gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace. It was built in 1775 according to the plans of Austrian imperial architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg. It serves as the viewing point for the garden and palace. The Gloriette's decorative sculptures were made by the famous Salzburg sculptor Johann Baptist von Hagenauer. The Gloriette was restored in 1947 again in 1995.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Palaces: Schönbrunn Palace Palm House

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Schönbrunn Palace Palm House
Vienna, Austria
Topic: Palaces

GPS: N48° 11.049; E016° 18.187

Quick Description: 

The Palm House is located on the western part of the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens.

Long Description:

The iron and glass Palm House was erected in 1881-2 to designs by Franz Xaver Segenschmid. Palm House consists of a 28-meter high central pavilion and two lateral pavilions which are 24 meters high. The pavilions are linked by lower passages. The structure is 113 meters long and the climate is maintained by steam heat so that rare specimens from all over the world can be grown here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Palaces: Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens - Vienna, Austria

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens
Vienna, Austria
Topic: Palaces

GPS: N48° 11.079; E016° 18.727

Quick Description: 

The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna was the residence of the Habsburgs and is now a World Heritage Site.

Long Description:

Schönbrunn Palace is an important cultural monument in Vienna. It was owned by the Habsburg dynasty since Emperor Maximilian II took the site in 1569. Originally hunting lodge, the Hapsburgs eventually converted the building into an extravagant palace that was used as the summer residence for the family. With the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire after World War I, in 1918, ownership was passed to the of the Republic of Austria.

The Schönbrunn fell was overrun by Turkish troops during the siege of Vienna. It was subsequently rebuilt to a designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. In 1728, Emperor Charles VI gave the palace to his daughter, Maria Theresa.

From 1742 to 1743, the chapel, the blue stairs and the Palace Theater were added. The gardens were laid out in the 1770s. The palace was refurbished in 1815 giving it the appearance it you see today. The palace and its grounds form a unit. The Baroque layout of the gardens has survived more or less intact.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Statue of a Famous Person - Christopher Columbus - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Christopher Columbus (Christóbal Colón) Statue
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Topic: Statue of  a Famous Person

GPS: N18° 27.961; W066° 06.723

Quick Description: 

A statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus (Christóbal Colón) is located in the center of Columbus Square (Plaza de Colón) in San Juan, PR.

Long Description:

The Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square) is a popular venue for events (the tents were for a book fair) in the eastern part of Old San Juan. In 1893, it was given its present name to honor Christopher Columbus on the 400th anniversary of his discovery of Puerto Rico. In the center of the square is a larger-than-life statue of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was born about October 31, 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. He was an explorer and navigator whose voyages of exploration were financed by the Monarchs of Spain. He made four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, the publicity from which led to an awareness by Europeans of the existence of a New World. He established permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola and started the colonization process of the New World. He died in Valladolid, Spain on May 20, 1506 at age 54.

Christopher Columbus landed on Puerto Rico on his second voyage to the new world after sailing along the southern coast. He went ashore on November 19, 1493 on the western shore side of the island to rest and resupply the ship. He name the island San Juan Bautista and the port Puerto Rico (Rich Port). These designations were later reversed by Juan Ponce de León, a former lieutenant of Columbus.
A marble statue of Columbus is standing on a fluted marble column which rests on a pedestal containing bronze tablets which depict important events in Columbus' life. Columbus is wearing a tunic, a medallion around his neck, and a fur lined coat. He is holding a flag with a cross on the top, close to his body, with his left arm. He has a hat in is lowered right hand.

The column rests on a pedestal that has bronze sculptures of ships on each of its four corners and four bronze tablets which depict:

1. The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
2. The Landing of Columbus
3. Columbus returning to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
4. A fleet of ships approaching land on Columbus' second voyage.

Below the first plaque is the inscription:


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free-standing Arches: The Arch of Constantine- Rome, Italy

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino)
Rome, Italy
Topic: Free-standing Arches, Great Buildings of the World

GPS: N41° 53.400; E 012° 29.435

Quick Description: 

The Arch of Constantine is a magnificent triumphal arch adjacent to the Colosseum in Rome.

Long Description:

This nearly 1700 year old Roman, Corinthian style, monumental arch is remarkably well preserved. The arch was constructed in 315 A.D. to celebrate Constantine the Great's victory over the Emperor Maxentius (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius Augustus) in the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 A.D. During this battle Maxentius was killed and Constantine gained sole control of the Roman Empire in the West.

The Arch of Constantine is a truly impressive triple arch. Overall, it stands 21 meters high, is 30 meters wide and 7.4 meters deep. The larger central arch spans a distance of 6.5 meters and rises 11.5 meters above the ground. The two smaller side arches span a distance of 3.4 meters and are 7.4 meters high. The Via Triumphalis, the road that victorious emperors used when entering Rome, passes under the arch.

Many of the decorative elements were taken from other monuments and re-purposed to glorify Constantine and his military prowess. An original frieze surrounds the arch that re-tells the story of Constantine's victory against Emperor Maxentius. The arch is the most flamboyant, largest, and last of the three imperial arch built in ancient Rome. The Arch of Constantine is very much a political statement. As a monument, it documents a shift of imperial power from one emperor to another.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scenic Roadside Lookout - Queen's View - Southampton, Bermuda

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Queen's View from Gibbs' Hill Lighthouse
Southampton, Bermuda 
Topic: Scenic Roadside Lookout

GPS: N32° 15.180; W064° 50.070

Quick Description: 

The Queen's View was made famous after the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Bermuda.

Long Description:

Gibbs' Hill Lighthouse is a popular stop on the island tour of Bermuda. A path leads downhill from the lighthouse to an elevated plaque. On this spot Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed the view, when on a royal visit to Bermuda following her coronation, on 24th November 1953. It is a pretty view indeed. You are looking north across Great Sound all the way to King's Wharf and beyond.


Directions: St. Anne's Road - To Gibbs' Hill Lighthouse parking area.
Closest town or city: Southampton
Number of parking spots available: 20
Winter View: yes
Summer View: yes
Year around access: yes
Comfort station on site: yes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

1000 Places to See Before You Die - The Baths - Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Baths
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Topic: 1000 Places to See Before You Die

The Baths at Devil's Bay

GPS: N18° 25.665; W064° 26.737

Quick Description: 

Beaches and palm trees amid huge boulders are featured at The Baths at Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Long Description:

The most interesting approach to The Baths is by the Devil's Bay Trail. This takes you through The Cave which is actually a long jumble of boulders. Sometimes you are scrambling over rocks, other times you are wading through water. When you arrive at Devil's Bay you will see beaches, palm trees and boulders that make up The Baths. It's quite an impressive sight and time to go for a swim.

Devil's Bay Trail photo - Climbing

Devil's Bay Trail to the Baths - Wading

Listing - 1000 Places to See Before You Die 

"About a mile south is the island’s most noted natural site, The Baths, where huge, time-sculpted granite boulders—some as big as small houses—create spellbinding pools, shallow coves, and interconnected grottoes that are heaven for snorkelers, swimmers, and those who merely appreciate natural beauty. Stacked along the beach in jumbled piles, these prehistoric rocks are most impressive when approached by sea."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Superlatives: Largest Rotating and Revolving Globe

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Largest Rotating and Revolving Globe
Yarmouth, ME
Topic: Superlatives

GPS: N43° 48.479 W070° 09.852

Quick Description: 

Eartha, the world's largest rotating and revolving globe, is located at the DeLorme Map Store in Yarmouth.

Long Description:

The Eartha rotating and revolving globe has a diameter of 41 feet, a circumference of 130 feet, weight of 5,600 pounds and a surface area of 5,300 square feet. The globe is tilted at a 23.5 degree angle, the same as the earth. The combined rotation (i.e. procession) and revolution on its axis occurs every 18 minutes. Movement is accomplished by two electric computer controlled motors. In addition, the 1:1,000,000 scale shaded relief image of the earth's landmasses and oceans is the largest printed image of the earth ever created.

Eartha was created by the DeLorme staff and is housed it a four storey wing of its map store building.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Philatelic Photograph: Sandy Hook Light - Sandy Hook, NJ

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Sandy Hook Light
Sandy Hook, NJ
Topic: Philatelic Photograph

GPS: N40° 27.704; W074° 00.137

Quick Description: 

Sandy Hook Light is located near the tip of peninsula in northeast New Jersey that juts northward into lower New York Harbor.

Long Description:

Sandy Hook light is the oldest continuously operate lighthouse in the United States. It is located at the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A plaque attached to the lighthouse explains its history, purpose, specifications and significance. The plaque is inscribed:




The stamp was issued by the United States in 1990 as part of a five stamp booklet pane depicting coastal lighthouses.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Places of Geologic Significance - Natural Chimney Regional Park - Mt. Solon, VA

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Natural Chimney Regional Park
Mt. Solon, VA
Topic: Places of Geologic Significance

GPS: N38° 21.495; W079° 04.985

Quick Description: 

Unusual limestone columns rise 120 feet from the valley floor.

Long Description:

About 500 million years ago this area of the Shenandoah Valley, in western Virginia, was under a shallow sea. Limestone deposits accumulated and hardened as water deposited calcium and iron and sponges secreted a silicon like substance. The resulting material is referred to as chert. Due to the tectonic forces that created the Appalachian Mountains the land rose and the sea retreated. The action of wind and water eroded the surrounding softer layers of rocks leaving behind these hardened limestone towers or "chimneys". The seven columns that comprise the natural chimneys rise from 60 to 120 feet above ground level, elevation 1348 ft. and have the appearance of medieval towers. Tunnels through their bases augment this illusion.

The park is owned and maintained by Augusta County. It has a campground, pavilion and performance stage. In August an annual jousting tournament is held on the park grounds.

94 Natural Chimneys Lane
Mt. Solon, VA 22843

Friday, October 5, 2012

Equestrian Statue: Valkyrie - Copenhagen, Denmark

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Valkyrie Statue
Copenhagen, Denmark
Topic: Equestrian Statue

GPS: N55° 41.273; E012° 35.634

Quick Description: 

A Valkyrie riding a horse and carrying a spear is located in Churchill Park in the northern part of Copenhagen.

Long Description:

In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie is a female figure serving the god Odin. They decide who dies and who lives in battle, select from those are killed, and bring them to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, which is ruled over by Odin. Valkyries also appear in literature as lovers of mortals, especially heroes, where they are described as royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens, swans or horses.

This life-size bronze Valkyrie sculpture was created by the Norwegian sculptor Stephan Sinding (1846-1922), and installed in this Copenhagen park in 1910. The horse is depicted in full gallop on a downhill slope. Its left front leg is raised and its mouth is agape. The Valkyrie is a dramatic figure. She is large compared to the horse, her long hair is swept forward, a cape is open to the wind, her knees press in on the shoulders of the saddle-less horse and she hold a spear in a throwing position in her right hand.
The statue rests on a stone base set on bricks which are inlaid in the grass. The front of the stone base is inscribed:


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Castle: Balmoral Castle - Royal Deeside - Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Balmoral Castle
Royal Deeside
Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK 
Topic: Castle

GPS: N57° 02.439; W003° 13.793

Quick Description:

 Balmoral Castle - Home of the British Royal Family in Scotland.

Long Description:

Queen Victoria purchased this 50,000 acre (20,000 hectare) estate in 1848. The existing house was considered to be too small and was demolished and replaced by the current castle. Construction was completed in 1856. Ever since it has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family.

The Estate covers about 20,000 hectares (just over 50,000 acres), along the River Dee, in a hilly, wooded area of the southern highlands of Scotland. The meticulously maintained grounds, woodlands, and architecture have been preserved by the Royal Family for all to enjoy.

The grounds, gardens, and exhibitions are open on a daily basis from early April  until the end of July. They are closed to the Public during August, September and early October because the Royal Family would be in residence.

Admission (2011):
Adults - £8.70
Seniors / Students - £7.70
Children (5 to 16 years) - £4.60
Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) - £23.00
Accessibility: Partial access

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

National Register of Historic Places: Phoenix Companies Headquarters Building

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Phoenix Companies Headquarters Building
Hartford, CT 
Topics: National Register of Historic Places, Corporate Headquarters

GPS: N41° 45.925; W072° 40.264

Quick Description:

The Phoenix Companies corporate headquarters is located at One American Row, Hartford, CT, 06103

Long Description:

The Phoenix Companies date back to 1851 when the American Temperance Life Insurance Company was founded. American Temperance Life Insurance Company changed its name to Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1860. In that same year the Home Life Insurance Company was formed in Brooklyn, New York.

Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company and Home Life Insurance Company merged in 1992, creating Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company. The combined company consolidated their headquarters in Hartford, CT, the home base of Phoenix Insurance. In 2001, Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company converted from a mutual to a stock company. The company is renamed itself The Phoenix Companies, Inc. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol of PNX. President and Chief Executive Officer is James D. Wehr.

The Phoenix Companies, Inc. two-sided, glass structure that stands out from the Hartford Skyline is known as the boat building.  Architect Max Abramovitz designed this oddly shaped building as a pioneering effort to evolve from the modern rectangular glass box buildings that dominated the International architecture movement.  The building was built in 1963 and a mere 42 years later, in 2005,  this modernistic structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Philatelic Photographs: Parliament Building (Riksdag) - Stockholm, Sweden

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Parliament Building (Riksdag)
Stockholm, Sweden
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

GPS: N59° 19.670; E018° 04.141

Quick Description:

The Riksdag, Swedish Parliament Building, is located on Helgeandsholmen island in the Gamla Stan (Old City) of Stockholm.

Long Description:

The parliament of Sweden was established in 1865. originally the parliament building was located at the Birger Jarls Torg on Riddarholmen Island in Gamla Stan. When the legislature outgrew the building, plan were made for a construction of new building on the nearby island of Helgeandsholmen.

In 1889 Vafrid Karlson, won a design competition with a plan for a monumental, domed neoclassical building. However, the design was later shelved by Helgo Zettervall, professor of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. Zettervall subsequently resigned from the project and the work was taken up by architect, Aron Johansson. Construction began in 1897 and completed in 1905.

The Riksdag has a long north-east facing façade. It contains a neo-Baroque center flanked by two neoclassical wings containing Corinthian columns. The Swedish coat of arms is located above the central doorway and on top is a sculpture of Mother Svea, an allegorical representation of Sweden.

The stamp was issued by Sweden on 27 August 1992 to commemorate the 88th Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference held in Stockholm that year. It shows the north-east facing façade of the building with the Norrbro Bridge in the foreground.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Photo Then And Now: Stearns Square - Springfield, MA

Interesting Places I've Visited
Stearns Square
Springfield, MA
Topic: Photo Then And Now

GPS: N42° 06.265; W072° 35.450

Quick Description: 

Stearns Square was once the showpiece of Springfield. It is now a shadow of its former self.

Long Description:

Stearns Square is located in downtown Springfield. A photo on display at the Springfield History Museum, taken in 1890, shows the area when it was the artistic center of the city; created by the dream team of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and architect Sanford White. The caption reads:

"A view of Stearns Square in 1890 with the Turtle Fountain and the Puritan Statue. As a gift to the city, Chester Chapin commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create the bronze sculptures, which were installed in the park setting designed by Stanford White in 1887. Due to vandalism, it was necessary to relocate the Puritan statue to Merrick Park, while the Turtle Fountain went to Gurdon Bill Park, and then to Forest Park."

Today the fountain, created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, has been returned to Stearns Square but lacks plumbing and is inoperable. Once, four sculptured snapping turtles sprayed water into the center of a circular basin. Water also came down from the mouths of two fish on the globe. The globe remains but the snapping turtles, which were the victim of vandalism and theft are in storage and in control of the Springfield Parks Department. The marble bench in the middle of the square remains and is in need of restoration. The iconic statue of the Puritan is doing nicely in its new home in Merrick Park.

Year old photo was taken:
Year new photo was taken: 2012