Sunday, October 29, 2017

Czechoslovak Independence Day in 2017

It is a public holiday today in Czech Republic - supermarkets are all closed and people celebrate their Independence Day. This is my 4th time taking photos of military procession, ceremony and fireworks. For some reason I utterly forgot the day and was so unprepared to shoot. 

Due to the construction of streets downtown, the military procession route was changed, which I didn't know. I didn't take tripod with me. I got to hold camera in every possible ways you can come up with to stabilize camera. Hence I am quite reluctant to upload photos of fireworks this time but I own this photoblog, so why not.

Happy Independence Day!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2017


a view from the side at night

Votivkirche (The Votive Church in Vienna) is a neo-Gothic church located on the Ringstraße in Vienna, Austria.

Note a couple exhibiting affection close to the entrance...

Construction on the second-tallest church in Vienna began in 1856 as a symbol of gratitude for an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Joseph by Hungarian nationalist János Libényi on 18 February 1853. Franz Joseph I reigned 68 years as an Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, King of Bohemia and many others. He was the longest-reigning Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, as well as the third longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history, after Louis XIV of France and Johann II of Liechtenstein.

Emperor's brother Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian I inaugurated a campaign to create a church to thank God for saving the Emperor's lifeThe Neo-Gothic church was consecrated in 1879 on the occasion of the imperial couple's silver wedding.

Main altar
The marble altar is decorated with panels with glass mosaic inlays work. and is supported by six alabaster columns.

When I visited there, the church was, in part, under construction...

Saturday, September 16, 2017

St. Mary's Basilica In Kraków

St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków (also known as Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven; Polish Bazylika Mariacka w Krakowie) in a black gothic church located at the heart of Krakow. The history of Church dated back to late 13th century on the foundations of a former Romanesque church and the new temple was consecrated around 1320. The chrch underwent numerous reconstructions over centuries.

St. Mary's Altar
The church is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece. The altarpiece was carved between 1477 and 1484 by German sculptor, Veit Stoss. 

Over view of St. Mary's Altar
In addition, a trumpet signal—called the St. Mary's Trumpet Call; Polish Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary's two towers. It is played every hour on the hour, four times in succession in each of the four cardinal directions, by a trumpeter on the highest tower. 

Image from Wiki
When I first heard it, I thought it's played by machine/player, programmed to play a song every hour but it is played by real human being! The noon performance is broadcast via radio to all of Poland and the world.

The church is familiar to many English-speaking readers from the 1929 book The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly.

The Baro­que altar of the Holy Cross was built in 1735 from black mar­ble incrusted with pink mar­ble. It holds a Gothic sculp­tu­ral master­pie­ce – the sto­ne cross sculp­ted by Veit Stoss in late 15th cen­tu­ry.

The façade of St. Mary’s Basilica has two characteristic towers of various height and architecture. The tal­ler south tower is 82 m high and is also cal­led the Bugle Call Tower or the Excu­bia­rum Watch­to­wer. The shor­ter south tower, called bell tower where Polish Miles Davis plays every hour, is 69 m high. 

Tourist information can be found here. The admission of pres­by­te­ry and its main altar costs 10 PLN. Personally, it's worth it. Ticket office is located adjacent to the church. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Wiener Rathaus

Wiener Rathaus is a Neo-Gothic style city hall of Vienna. It is located on Rathausplatz in the Innere Stadt district.

When I visited there, heavy construction was underway and film festival went on...

The building is covered with huge screen.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fire Jam IV

I was invited to the event called "Fire Jam IV" that took place on the 24th of August in Olomouc. 

It was my first time going to take photos in that fire show. It was damn difficult to find the appropriate shutter speed - if it's too short, the fire doesn't look nice whereas an object gets blur when it's slow... Because of darkness autofocus is unreliable. Unexpected brightness due to varying intensity of flames made it difficult to optimize exposure time and subsequent ISO setting, blah blah blah... Excuse.

To be honest, I was bit reluctant to upload images here but here we go!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Katedra Wawelska

Wawel Cathedral, Katedra Wawelska in Polish, is a Roman Cathoric Church located on Wawel Hill in Kraków.

it is the Polish national sanctuary and traditionally has served as coronation site of the Polish monarchs as well as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Kraków. The Wawel Cathedral has been the main burial site for Polish monarchs since the 14th century. As such, it has been significantly extended and altered over time as individual rulers have added multiple burial chapels.

ADMISSION TO THE CATHEDRAL IS FREE. Admission to Sigismund Bell, Royal Tombs, Cathedral Museum Regular Concession cost 12,00 zł for Individual tourists and 7,00 zł for Group.

Opening hours:
9:00 - 17:00 (Mon- Sat)
12:30 - 17:00 (Sun)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Synagoga Tempel w Krakowie

Synagogue temple in Krakow is located in the Kazimierz district in Krakow, Poland. It was built in 1860 - 1862. Among all Synagogues situated in the former Jewish quarter of the town of Kazimierz, this is the most recently built one.

The Moorish Revival building was designed by Polish architect, Ignacy Hercok. The temple, with its tall central section flanked by lower wings, is designed on the pattern of the Leopoldstädter Tempel, in Vienna, Austria. 

At the time the synagogue was built, Kraków was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The richly finished interior is adorned with dense patterns painted in many colors and copious amounts of gold leaf, but the patterns, with the exception of the exquisite Moorish design on the ceiling, are not stylistically Moorish. 

Today's synagogue was shaped in 1924, when ground floor aisles were added, shorter than the former body of the building. During German occupation in Kraków between 1939 and 1945, the Temple was used as a warehouse and the northern aisle served as a stable for horses. 

The synagogue was ruined during World War II by the German Nazis, who used the building as ammunition storage area. After the war, it was used again for prayers. 

Tempel Synagogue is not only a major place of worship, but also a booming center of Jewish culture, which hosts numerous concerts and meetings, especially during the Festival.

This is one of the most exotic and ornate of all the synagogues in Krakow. I enjoyed visiting there to have a quiet and solemn moment.

Admission fee is 10 Polish zloties (10 PLN). You can enter without wearing kippah (if you are a male visitor), however it is under renovation (9th of August, 2017)...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Palais Ferstel

A piece of Italy in the heart of Vienna.

Wherever I'm in a new place, rambling (stumbling?) after the sunset and being lured by lit-up pretty buildings like bugs is one of my habits. Italian-flavored building located in the heart of Austria capital, Vienna caught my attention.

Palais Ferstel is named after Austrian architect, Heinrich von Ferstel (1828-1883), who built the opulent Palais Ferstel in the Venetian/Florentine trecento style. When it's built, it was the most modern style building in the capital where national bank and the stock exchange had been resided.

Now the "old-fashioned" building attracts tourists with it's stunning view and is regarded as a place to dine out and enjoy booze in this amazing atmosphere.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hősök tere

Seven Chieftains Of  The Magyars
Hősök tere, Heroes' Square in English, is located at the outbound end of Andrássy Avenue next to City Park (Városliget) in Budapest, Hungary. The square is flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art (Műcsarnok). 

The square must be one of the top 10 tourist's destinations and hence I saw young drunk Americans and families from all variety of nations there. 

Right Colonnade

There you can find iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The sculptures made by sculptor Zala György have eye-witnessed numerous political events such as the reburial of Nagy Imre in 1989.

A statue of Archangel Gabriel stands up on the top of column holding the Hungarian holy crown (you can see it in the Hungarian Parliament Building) in his right hand and a two barred apostolic cross (double cross) in his left hand.

Hungarian Holy Crown in the Parliament Building

If you want to see the holy crown of Hungary, go visit the Parliament!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Szent István Bazilika

St. Stephen's Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest. Equal to the Hungarian Parliament building at 96 meters high, it is one of the tallest buildings in Budapest. It has a width of 55 metres, and length of 87.4 metres. The building was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl, and was completed by József Kauser. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up!!!

It is named in honour of Stephen, the first Christian King of Hungary (975–1038), whose mummified body is buried in the undercroft. His intactly preserved right hand, the Holy Dexter, is kept as a relic in the Basilica's chapel. 

The Saint Stephen Basilica has played an active role in the musical community since its consecration in 1905. The head organists of the church have always been very highly regarded musicians. In the past century the Basilica has been home to choral music, classical music as well as contemporary musical performances (see program here). 

This is definitely one of must-go-places in Budapest!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!

As you can easily tell, the condition for taking fireworks photos was so bad. The weather has been foggy lately and smokes were all over... I had to wear jacket food not only for protecting myself from cold but rather from ashes and debris coming from every possible angles you can imagine. 

Since last year, fireworks were not well-organized. Instead, it has been fired by individuals (= drunk guys). Take a look at the photo below. 

This is how it looked like in 2013. They've been shot behind the building and the sky was sooo clear then!!!

Fireworks in 2013
Wishing you all the best, happiness, love, prosperity and well-beings!!!