Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bavaria (part 5) (Update)

Next series of pictures. This time from Linderhof Palace. An update with a little more backgroundinformation will follow later.


Here is a little more backgroundinformation about the Linderhof Palace and some of the pictures I shot there. The palace is the smallest of the three palaces (Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof) that were built by Ludwig II of Bavaria. We visited Linderhof Palace on the second day of our two day trip after we visited Neuschwanstein castle (see for info and pics this posting) and Hohenschwangau castle (see for info and pics this posting) on the first day.

Linderhof was the only palace that Ludwig II saw completed during his life. Although a lot smaller there are many references at Linderhof to the Palace of Versailles near Paris. The palace of course was made famous by Louis XIV, who was admired very much by Ludwig II. The sun as a symbol of absolutism can be found everywhere in the decorations in the different rooms of Linderhof Palace.

The pictures below shows the palace and parts of the gardens and surroundings. Picture 5,6 and 7 shows the famous Venus Grotto, an artificial dripstone cave, with a small lake and with wall paintings with images from opera's from Richard Wagner. On picture 7 you can see the boat in which Ludwig II was rowed while the grotto was illuminated in different colours.

On Picture 8 you can see the Moroccan House and on picture 9 the Moorish Kiosk. For a bit more backgroundinformation you can check the Wikipedia page of Linderhof.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bavaria (part 4) (Update)

Next series of pictures. This time from and around Neuschwanstein Castle. An update with a little more backgroundinformation will follow later this week.

This time a little more backgroundinformation with the pictures that I took in and around Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the castles built for Ludwig II, the Bavarian fairytale king who lived from 1845 to 1886. The castle was meant as a retreat for Ludwig II and was also an hommage to Richard Wagner, Ludwig's inspiring muse. The castle is probably Germany's most photographed building and one of Germany's most popular tourist places. Every year it attracts more than a million visitors. We combined our visit to Neuschwanstein Castle with a visit to the nearby Hohenschwangau Castle.

Although it's a very commercialized and overorganized tourist place it certainly was worth a visit. Although it sure was bombastic the interior was not so over the top baroque or kitsch as Linderhof Palace and Herrenchiemsee Castle (pictures of these places you'll find in later postings).

Ludwig II never saw the castle completed. Actually the castle hasn't been completed until today. Many of the rooms remain undecorated. Short before Ludwig II died only 14 rooms were finished. Most of the decorated rooms contains wallpaintings with sceneries from the legends of the Swan Knight Lohengrin, which story was made into an opera by Richard Wagner under the same name. Besides Lohengrin you also find sceneries on the walls from Tristan and Isolde, Tannhäuser and Parzifal, which stories were all made into operas by Richard Wagner (for information about these operas check here, here and here).

The most impressive room for me was the Throne Room, a room with the resemblance of a Byzantine church. The weirdest room was the Grotto, an artificial dripstone cave and an allusion to the Venus Grotto
in the Hörselberg near Eisenach
. A larger sample of the Venus Grotto can be found at Linderhof Palace. I'll show pictures of that in later postings.

Despite it's medieval looks on the outside the castle, the castle was provided with a lot of new technologies of that day, like electricity, running water, heating pipes etc.. Ludwig II was the patron of modern inventions. His palaces were the first to use modern conveniences.

More information about the castle and the other rooms can be found here and here.

Below you see some of the pics that I took from the castle and the area around it. On the second picture you see the Marienbrücke, The Mariabridge, from where I took picture 6 and 7. It's an excellent view point. Picture 9 was taken from the window from our Bed & Breakfast place where we stayed the night after we visited the two castles. On the left you can see the illuminated Neuschwanstein Castle and on the right the illuminated Hohenschwangau Castle.

The last 6 pictures were taken near the area of the castles. The last three pictures were taken from/at a mountain (which name I forgot) close to the castles. On picture 12 you can see both castles as seen from the cablecar to the top of the nearby mountain. This mountain is also a popular para/hangglidingspot.

On the last picture you see our friend Frank with a local well known paraglider and a complete madman when it comes to paragliding.
My wife N. reading about Ludwig II

Sunday, November 11, 2007


My Bavaria postings part 2 and 3 have been updated with some extra backgroundinformation about the pictures and subjects related to the pictures. I also added a few extra pictures. There are also new Bavaria postings in preparation plus postings about other (day)trips that were made after our Bavaria trip, which will be posted the next coming days. So feel free to come back and check.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A little more patience

It's been a while since my last posting. About 7 weeks since my last post. The keyword was (and still is): BUSY. And when there was a bit time I didn't had the energy. It's not that I didn't had anything to post. On the contrary I would say. Still have more pictures to post from our trip to Bavaria, Germany and pictures from a visit to Camp Westerbork, the zoo at Emmen, a daytrip to Maastricht and a 4-day visit to Vienna, Austria last week and I shot pictures this weekend at an open house of Theo Jansen a fascinating engineer/artist who makes socalled kinnetic art. You'll find out more about it later.

I'm preparing some posts this week, so I hope I've catched up by next weekend.

See ya later!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Police, Amsterdam Arena 13 Sept. 2007

Just a notification that I just posted some pics and videos on my musicweblog BrownNoiseMusic of the concert of The Police where my wife N. and I went to last Thursdaynight.

For the pics, videos and report you can check here.

Later this week I hope to post more about our trip to Bavaria and some other subjects.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bavaria (part 3)

Didn't had time yet to update the backgroundinformation from the pictures of my previous post. It's coming, but it takes a little more time. Here are some new pictures from our last trip to Bavaria, Germany. For these pics there also will be an update with some more detailed backgroundinformation. What I can tell right now is that these pics were taken at Burghausen and Hohenschwangau Castle. Enjoy!

The first three pics are from the old city centre of Burghausen. The first one is just a funny sculpture. The second one is a sign with a kind of abstract devil on it. It says Cabaret des Grauens, which means something like Cabaret of horrors, but it sounds more scary than it is, because it's just a local theatre. The third one is a picture from the "Stadtsaal", another local theatre.

When we we're staying at our friend Frank's place (who lives in Burghausen) he drove us around to some sightseeingplaces. Besides Passau, which was our arrival city by train (see for some pics of Passau part 2 of my Bavaria postings) he took us mostly to places that were related to the Bavarian King Ludwig II, because my wife N. wanted to visit most of these places. She has a more than average interest in this fairytale king who is also known as the "Swan king" or the "Mad king". I'm not sure if he was really mad or was just an oversensitive person whou couldn't deal with the stress that was involved with his kinghood and was also struggling with his homosexuality all of his life. Fact is that he was a tragic figure in my opinion.

The Italian director Luchino Visconti made an interesting movie about the life of King Ludwig II. The fully restored over 4 hour version gives a very good impression about his life and courtlife in 19th century Bavaria. The movie was shot at original "Ludwig"-locations, like Hohenschwangau castle, Neuschwanstein castle, Linderhof palace etc...

Below you can see some pictures that were shot at and around Hohenschwangau castle. Pictures from the other castles and other "Ludwig"-locations you can see in later postings of our Bavarian trip. On the last picture you see a far away shot from Hohenschwangau castle that was taken on the way to Neuschwanstein castle.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bavaria (part 2) - This time with some pics (update)

Uploading works again, so I better start posting some pics from our trip to Bavaria. I don't have time right now to provide some backgroundinformation and links to more detailed information about the locations/places, some of the buildings, etc. I'll will try to update this information later this week. I already can tell you that the pictures below were taken at Passau and Burghausen.
More detailed backgroundinformation will follow later. For now please enjoy the pictures.


Much later than intended but here is finally some more backgroundinformation about the pics in this post. As I wrote in the introduction of these post the pics were taken at Passau and Burghausen, two medium size cities in East and Southeast Bavaria, Germany. The first three pics were shot from a viewpoint in the hills just outside the old citycentre of Passau. Passau is also known as the City of Three Rivers, because the river Danube (Donau in German) comes together with the river Inn and the river Ilz.
The next 6 ictures were taken at the Stephansdom (St. Stephan's Cathedral) (picture above) at Passau. We went there and listened to a short (half an hour) organ concert which also included the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor from J.S. Bach. The pictures were shot with the Tokina 12-24 F/4 Pro DX, a very nice and good lense and more than half of the price of it's Nikon equivalent. The pictures were shot short before the concert started. The organ you see on the pictures is one of the biggest cathedral organs in the world.
The next 8 pictures were taken at the city of Burghausen were our friend Frank lives. The city is known for it's longest castle of Europe (more than 1000 metres). It can be seen on the first picture. And the city is also known for it's annual International Jazz Festival. Through the years it brought many famous jazzmusicians to Burghausen. In the town they have a "Walk of Fame" with bronze paving stones with the names of the artists that performed at the festival the past 40 years. Names as: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Michel Petrucciani, Art Blakey, Barney Kessel, Buddy Rich, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Gerry Mulligan, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, Stephane Grappelli to name a few. From the artists I enclosed pictures from their "Walk of Fame" I added a link to their Wikipedia information.