Eastern European Narratives: Split

2017

Zagreb is Croatia’s Capital and largest city, with a population of just over 800,000. Split is Croatia’s second largest city, and at 300,000 population the largest city within the Dalmatian region. Situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, the city is spread out along a central peninsula.

Home to Diocletian’s Palace, built for the Roman emperor in AD 305, Split was founded as the Greek colony of Aspalathos in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. It became a prominent settlement around 650 AD when it succeeded the ancient capital of the Roman province, Solana.

Split became a Byzantine city, while later gradually drifting into the sphere of the Republic of Venice and the kingdom of Croatia. For much of the High and Middle ages, Split enjoyed autonomy as a free city, caught in the middle of a struggle between Venice and the King of Hungary for control over the Dalmatian cities.

Venice eventually prevailed and during the early modern period Split remained a Venetian city — a heavily fortified outpost surrounded by Ottoman territory. Its hinterland was won from the Ottomans in the Morean War of 1699; in 1797, as Venice fell to Napoleon in the Treaty of Campo Formio, Split went to the Hapsburg Monarchy. In 1805, the Peace of Pressburg added Split to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, becoming part of the Illyrian Provinces in 1809. After being occupied in 1813, it was eventually granted to the Austrian Empire following the Congress of Vienna; the city remained a part of the Austrian Kingdom of Dalmatia until the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918. Reoccupied by Germany in WWII, Split was part of the puppet State of Croatia. It was liberated again by partisans in 1944 and became part of post-war Socialist Yugoslavia. In 1991, Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia during the Croatian War of Independence.

Centrally situated along the Dalmatian Coast, over the last five years Split has become very much the center of Croatia’s rapidly-growing tourism trade, with its proximity to Italy, miles of Adriatic shore line and countless close and lovely Croatian islands. And its weather is classically Mediterranean!

Split<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017 Split II<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017 Split III<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017 Split IV<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017 Split V<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017 Split VI<br>Eastern European Narratives — 2017

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The Dazzling Lights along Budapest’s Danube

2017

As the sun sets, Budapest’s Danube waterfront comes alive. Lights along its vast collection of memorial buildings and bridges announce and enhance this beautiful city’s main thoroughfare…

Budapest Lights<br>Budapest II — 2017 Budapest Lights II<br>Budapest II — 2017 Budapest Lights III<br>Budapest II — 2017 Budapest Lights IV<br>Budapest II — 2017 Budapest Lights V<br>Budapest II — 2017 Budapest Lights VI<br>Budapest II — 2017

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Eastern European Narratives: Budapest

2017

Pest-Buda became a global city with the unification of Buda, Obuda, and Pest in 1873, with the name “Budapest” given to the new capital. Budapest also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following WWI.

Upon entering Budapest from the south is the Statue of Liberty perched on top of Gellert Hill. First erected in 1947 in remembrance of the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi forces during WWII, the 14 meter tall bronze statue stands atop a 26 meter pedestal holding a palm leaf.

Views of Budapest, overlooking the Danube River which runs North-South, separating what was once known as Pest along the west side of the Danube, and Buda, on the east side of the Danube. The hills on both sides of the Danube provide wonderful panoramics of the city. The Danube, located in Central and Eastern Europe, is Europe’s Second longest river after the Volga.

The House of Houdini memorializes Harry Houdini’s 1874 birth in Budapest. Upon immigrating to the U.S., he became a famous illusionist, known especially for his sensational escape artistry.

Budapest: Statue of Liberty<br>Eastern European Narratives: Budapest — 2017 Budapest II<br>Eastern European Narratives: Budapest — 2017 Budapest III<br>Eastern European Narratives: Budapest — 2017 Budapest IV<br>Eastern European Narratives: Budapest — 2017 Budapest V: House of Houdini<br>Eastern European Narratives: Budapest — 2017

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Eastern European Narratives: Bucharest

2017

From Venice we flew east to Bucharest to begin our 10 day Blue Danube River Cruise, west and then north to Budapest.

Bucharest, Romania’s capital and largest city, is situated in the southeast corner of the country, just north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border. Between the two World Wars, Bucharest’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned it the nickname of “Little Paris”.

Buildings and districts in the historic city center were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, but above all, by Nicholae Ceausescu’s 1965-1989 implementation of communist systemization. Today, Bucharest’s 2.4 million population makes it the seventh-largest city in the European Union.

Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania, and is one of the main industrial centers and transportation hubs of eastern and Central Europe.

Bucharest: Communist Tumor Skewered, 1989<br>Bucharest — 2017 Bucharest II: Cathedral dome<br>Bucharest — 2017 Bucharest III: George Enescu (1881-1955), Romania’s gifted violinist, pianist and composer<br>Bucharest — 2017 Bucharest IV: street art<br>Bucharest — 2017 Bucharest V: Statue of Iuliu Manin, Romania’s Prime Minister, 1928-1933<br>Bucharest — 2017

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Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2

2017

Continuing our wandering along Venice’s wonderful waterfronts…

Venice 2<br>Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2 — 2017 Venice 2 II<br>Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2 — 2017 Venice 2 III<br>Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2 — 2017 Venice 2 IV<br>Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2 — 2017 Venice 2 V<br>Eastern Europe Narratives: Venice 2 — 2017

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Eastern European Narratives: Venice I

2017

Just over a year ago, we took a month-long trip to Eastern Europe in October — the first stop being three days in Venice, where I had last been the summer after graduating from Berkeley 54 years ago, for about the same length of time. I was amazed how little it seemed to have changed. So, so charming, though there was now an awareness of the gradually rising sea levels, as numerous streets had moveable raised walkways for when the tide was high.

Of course, the food was wonderful, the Italian charm still overflowed, and it was very crowded as the weather was just delightful, and it was also the tail end of the Venice Biennale. So for three days we just ambled, taking it all in, photographing when the mood struck or a sight just had to be captured!

Venice<br>Eastern European Narratives: Venice I — 2017 Venice II<br>Eastern European Narratives: Venice I —2017 Venice III<br>Eastern European Narratives: Venice I —2017 Venice IV<br>Eastern European Narratives: Venice I —2017 Venice V<br>Eastern European Narratives: Venice I —2017

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San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid

2016

Fifteen miles west of San Miguel de Allende, situated on a small mesa surrounded by canyons, the Canada de La Virgen Pyramid was occupied between 500 and 1000 a.d. by the Otomi people, one of the many indigenous ethnic groups of the Middle American Indian population that inhabited the central plateau region of central Mexico.

The House of the Thirteen Heavens — which served as a horizon clock, an observatory, and a burial ground for the elite — was in perfect alignment with the sun, the moon, and all but one of the planets in our solar system at sunset during the Otomi New Year’s Eve, March 4, 2011, while the missing planet, Saturn, was situated precisely 180 degrees from the setting sun, just at the visual beginning of the ritual causeway to the site.

The interplay of the pyramid’s various-sized wall stones reflects the meticulous layout and care of the construction of this pyramid complex begun more than 1,000 years ago.

San Miguel Pyramid<br>San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid — 2016 San Miguel Pyramid II<br>San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid — 2016 San Miguel Pyramid III<br>San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid — 2016 San Miguel Pyramid IV<br>San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid — 2016 San Miguel Pyramid V<br>San Miguel de Allende’s Pyramid — 2016

 

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San Miguel de Allende (El Centro)

2016

Often likened to our very own Santa Fe, the small colonial city of San Miguel de Allende — 170 miles NW of Mexico City — was founded as “San Miguel” in 1542 by a San Franciscan monk, San Miguel El Grande. After it became the centerpiece in the war for Mexican independence from Spain, it was renamed San Miguel de Allende after Ignacio Allende, a hero of the independence movement.

This small city of 80,000 — situated along the Grand Plateau of Mexico, at 6,000+ feet elevation, between the eastern and western branches of the Sierra Madre Mountains — still thrives as the economic and cultural soul of Mexico. Spanish conquistadors ruled while the great colonial cities of Guadalajara, Morelia, Queretaro, Mexico City and Pueblo evolved during the Spanish silver mining era, later playing pivotal roles in the Mexican fight for independence.

Situated on a steep hill, San Miguel’s El Centro opens onto a lovely plaza surrounded by wonderfully colorful facades amongst numerous exceptional churches. It’s narrow cobblestone streets complete its nearly 500 year history, preceding Santa Fe’s recently celebrated 400 year colonial history as our oldest state capital (founded in 1610, also by Spanish colonists). Although Santa Fe is 1,000′ higher than San Miguel, both benefit from year-round moderate temperatures and exceptional high desert light.

San Miguel Centro<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016 San Miguel Centro II<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016 San Miguel Centro III<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016 San Miguel Centro IV<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016 San Miguel Centro V<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016 San Miguel Centro VI<br>San Miguel de Allende — 2016

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