A Travellerspoint blog

Overlooked Basilica of St. Denis is French Westminster Abbey

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

Tomb of Dagobert I who was King of the Franks from 629-634; Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried at St. Denis

Tomb of Dagobert I who was King of the Franks from 629-634; Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried at St. Denis

The north rose window is a stone structure 14  meters across, showing the Tree of Jesse, which supposedly served as a model for the one in Notre Dame

The north rose window is a stone structure 14+ meters across, showing the Tree of Jesse, which supposedly served as a model for the one in Notre Dame

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

The Basilica is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

The Basilica is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

Tympanum and lintel of the central portal, showing Last Judgement iconography, completed in 1135

Tympanum and lintel of the central portal, showing Last Judgement iconography, completed in 1135

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

The apse of the basilica was consecrated in 1144 during a procession led by King Louis VII and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine

The apse of the basilica was consecrated in 1144 during a procession led by King Louis VII and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine

This model shows the basilica in the days when St. Denis was more of a stand alone city, rather than a suburb of Paris; today, the area is heavily populated with immigrants

This model shows the basilica in the days when St. Denis was more of a stand alone city, rather than a suburb of Paris; today, the area is heavily populated with immigrants

All but three of the monarchs of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their remains here; all signage is in French but there is an audioguide in English

All but three of the monarchs of France from the 10th century until 1789 have their remains here; all signage is in French but there is an audioguide in English

It would have helped to be an expert in French royalty; for example, the closest tomb is Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France1271, who died from falling off a horse

It would have helped to be an expert in French royalty; for example, the closest tomb is Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France1271, who died from falling off a horse

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the earliest surviving stained-glass windows that can be exactly dated are those made for the Basilica in 1144

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the earliest surviving stained-glass windows that can be exactly dated are those made for the Basilica in 1144

The Basilica stands on the site of a Gothic-Roman cemetery with the tomb of St. Denis, thought to have been the first bishop of Paris, who was martyred circa 250AD

The Basilica stands on the site of a Gothic-Roman cemetery with the tomb of St. Denis, thought to have been the first bishop of Paris, who was martyred circa 250AD

Louis III was king from 879 to 882; Louis had military success but died when he hit his head on the lintel of a door when mounting a horse chasing after a girl with amorous intent

Louis III was king from 879 to 882; Louis had military success but died when he hit his head on the lintel of a door when mounting a horse chasing after a girl with amorous intent

Only 5 of the original 12th century stained glass windows remain; a master stained glass maker was hired with the windows actually costing more than the stone building itself

Only 5 of the original 12th century stained glass windows remain; a master stained glass maker was hired with the windows actually costing more than the stone building itself

Underneath the church are the archaeological remains of a Gallo-Roman cemetery from late Roman times

Underneath the church are the archaeological remains of a Gallo-Roman cemetery from late Roman times

Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne; the church became a cathedral in 1966

Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne; the church became a cathedral in 1966

Tomb of Charles VII, King of France from 1422 to 1461; he ruled in the middle of the Hundred Years War and, along with help from Joan of Arc, gained most of the territory of modern day France

Tomb of Charles VII, King of France from 1422 to 1461; he ruled in the middle of the Hundred Years War and, along with help from Joan of Arc, gained most of the territory of modern day France

The colored glass was a rare commodity in medieval times; the colors developed for Saint Denis were then used in other famous churches such as Chartres and Le Mans

The colored glass was a rare commodity in medieval times; the colors developed for Saint Denis were then used in other famous churches such as Chartres and Le Mans

The Basilica is like the Westminster Abbey of France but with few tourists since it is on the outskirts of Paris; it can be easily reached though at the next to last stop on the 13 subway line

The Basilica is like the Westminster Abbey of France but with few tourists since it is on the outskirts of Paris; it can be easily reached though at the next to last stop on the 13 subway line

The Basilica has the most significant group of funerary sculptures from the 12th to 16th century in Europe

The Basilica has the most significant group of funerary sculptures from the 12th to 16th century in Europe

Posted by RNRiggins 23:29 Comments (0)

Shabby Zadar, Croatia can quickly be seen in an hour or two

In the Middle Ages, the Pillar of Shame was a place of punishment; people were chained to it, then mocked, humiliated, and even whipped with these punishments sometimes lasting for hours, and the whole city was welcome to stop and watch

In the Middle Ages, the Pillar of Shame was a place of punishment; people were chained to it, then mocked, humiliated, and even whipped with these punishments sometimes lasting for hours, and the whole city was welcome to stop and watch

The Land Gate is a masterpiece constructed by a Venetian architect in 1543; Zadar is famous for maraschino, a liqueur made from bittersweet cherries

The Land Gate is a masterpiece constructed by a Venetian architect in 1543; Zadar is famous for maraschino, a liqueur made from bittersweet cherries

The Church of Saint Simeon has kept the body of the town's patron saint since 1632; most of my visit was on a Sunday which meant sights were closed

The Church of Saint Simeon has kept the body of the town's patron saint since 1632; most of my visit was on a Sunday which meant sights were closed

The 13th century, late Renaissance City Sentinel is a popular place for locals to meet; Zadar is not as large as you might think and you can see most of the sights in an hour

The 13th century, late Renaissance City Sentinel is a popular place for locals to meet; Zadar is not as large as you might think and you can see most of the sights in an hour

The first two floors of the cathedral bell tower were built in 1452 but it wasn't finished until 1894; it seemed like everyone I saw in Zadar was eating ice cream

The first two floors of the cathedral bell tower were built in 1452 but it wasn't finished until 1894; it seemed like everyone I saw in Zadar was eating ice cream

Saint Anastasia's Cathedral built in the 12th to 13th century (high Romanesque style) is the largest cathedral in Dalmatia

Saint Anastasia's Cathedral built in the 12th to 13th century (high Romanesque style) is the largest cathedral in Dalmatia

The 13th century, pentagonal Captain's Tower was built by the Venetians to strengthen the city against Turkish attacks; much like Florida, afternoon heat here often leads to thunderstorms

The 13th century, pentagonal Captain's Tower was built by the Venetians to strengthen the city against Turkish attacks; much like Florida, afternoon heat here often leads to thunderstorms

The Roman Forum is the largest on the eastern side of the Adriatic, founded by the first Roman Emperor Augustus, as shown by two stone inscriptions about its completion dating from the 3rd century

The Roman Forum is the largest on the eastern side of the Adriatic, founded by the first Roman Emperor Augustus, as shown by two stone inscriptions about its completion dating from the 3rd century

It's not Greek, but it's sure hard to understand; google maps doesn't have Croatia public transit info which really makes getting around by bus more of a challenge

It's not Greek, but it's sure hard to understand; google maps doesn't have Croatia public transit info which really makes getting around by bus more of a challenge

In the 7th century, Zadar became the center of the Byzantine province of Dalmatia; it hasn't changed much since I first visited in 2003 with Ruben and Lee

In the 7th century, Zadar became the center of the Byzantine province of Dalmatia; it hasn't changed much since I first visited in 2003 with Ruben and Lee

Five Wells Square was built in 1574 to prevent the lack of fresh water because the Turks were closing in; the new cruise and ferry terminal is inconveniently located several miles south of town

Five Wells Square was built in 1574 to prevent the lack of fresh water because the Turks were closing in; the new cruise and ferry terminal is inconveniently located several miles south of town

The defensive system of fortified walls stretches for 3 kms around Zadar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Zadar is the 5th largest city in Croatia with just 75,000 people

The defensive system of fortified walls stretches for 3 kms around Zadar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Zadar is the 5th largest city in Croatia with just 75,000 people

These tourists are sitting on the sea organ, the most famous sight in Zadar; tide, waves and wind combine to push air through 35 vertically installed tubes of different lengths, diameters and slants

These tourists are sitting on the sea organ, the most famous sight in Zadar; tide, waves and wind combine to push air through 35 vertically installed tubes of different lengths, diameters and slants

As a complement to the Sea Organ, the new Sun Salutation has solar modules in panels programmed to display light effects at night; Alfred Hitchcock said Zadar had the most beautiful sunsets in the world

As a complement to the Sea Organ, the new Sun Salutation has solar modules in panels programmed to display light effects at night; Alfred Hitchcock said Zadar had the most beautiful sunsets in the world

For 800  years the barkajoli (like Venetian gondoliers) have been connecting the two ends of Zadar�s harbor with their small rowboats; this tradition has been passed on from father to son for centuries

For 800+ years the barkajoli (like Venetian gondoliers) have been connecting the two ends of Zadar´s harbor with their small rowboats; this tradition has been passed on from father to son for centuries

The Harbor Gate dates from 1573; the well-protected harbor has fishing boats but also some large yachts and island hopping craft

The Harbor Gate dates from 1573; the well-protected harbor has fishing boats but also some large yachts and island hopping craft

The old pedestrian bridge connecting the historic center to the more modern part of Zadar was destroyed in World War 2; Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city

The old pedestrian bridge connecting the historic center to the more modern part of Zadar was destroyed in World War 2; Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city

Peter Zoranica Square has a single, Roman column and other ruins that were discovered; also on the square is a stone sarcophagus said to contain the remains of a 1st century monk

Peter Zoranica Square has a single, Roman column and other ruins that were discovered; also on the square is a stone sarcophagus said to contain the remains of a 1st century monk

I had a great time showing Marilyn and Dorothy Zadar on a very quick walking tour; their cruise ship conveniently docked right next to the old town

I had a great time showing Marilyn and Dorothy Zadar on a very quick walking tour; their cruise ship conveniently docked right next to the old town

Rector's Palace has an Andy Warhol (born into a poor family of Slovak emigrants) exhibition that ran through September featuring 90 works; last year, the palace hosted a Chagall exhibition

Rector's Palace has an Andy Warhol (born into a poor family of Slovak emigrants) exhibition that ran through September featuring 90 works; last year, the palace hosted a Chagall exhibition

The City Lodge on People's Square is now an exhibition space; currently, it houses a spectacle about snakes

The City Lodge on People's Square is now an exhibition space; currently, it houses a spectacle about snakes

These little tennis balls are some kind of candy; Zadar played host as Croatia and the US faced-off in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup in September

These little tennis balls are some kind of candy; Zadar played host as Croatia and the US faced-off in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup in September

By popular request, I'll be taking fewer selfies (too many hair complaints); the scenery around me is always much nicer to see anyway

By popular request, I'll be taking fewer selfies (too many hair complaints); the scenery around me is always much nicer to see anyway

The 9th century Church of Saint Donatus is the most important preserved structure of its period in Dalmatia; the massive dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a vaulted, two-story gallery

The 9th century Church of Saint Donatus is the most important preserved structure of its period in Dalmatia; the massive dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a vaulted, two-story gallery

The Church of Saint Donatus is part of the large Episcopal complex that includes the cathedral, bishop's palace, seminary, episcopium and bell tower

The Church of Saint Donatus is part of the large Episcopal complex that includes the cathedral, bishop's palace, seminary, episcopium and bell tower

Saint Mary's Church, which retains a fine Romanesque campanile from 1105, belongs to a Benedictine Convent founded in 1066; the city of Zadar is pronounced to rhyme with otter

Saint Mary's Church, which retains a fine Romanesque campanile from 1105, belongs to a Benedictine Convent founded in 1066; the city of Zadar is pronounced to rhyme with otter

Zadar is today one of the most popular Croatian tourist destinations, named entertainment center of the Adriatic by The Times and Croatia's new capital of cool by The Guardian

Zadar is today one of the most popular Croatian tourist destinations, named entertainment center of the Adriatic by The Times and Croatia's new capital of cool by The Guardian

The Archaeological Museum is representative of many of the Communist-era buildings; the old town is a mix of ancient buildings and ugly 20th century buildings

The Archaeological Museum is representative of many of the Communist-era buildings; the old town is a mix of ancient buildings and ugly 20th century buildings

The city is still basking in the glory of Croatia's epic World Cup performance; nearby is the Museum of Antique Glass that exhibits objects dating from the 1st century BC that were excavated in the region

The city is still basking in the glory of Croatia's epic World Cup performance; nearby is the Museum of Antique Glass that exhibits objects dating from the 1st century BC that were excavated in the region

Posted by RNRiggins 23:55 Comments (0)

Renaissance chateau and castle ruins in Beaufort, Luxembourg

The medieval castle of Beaufort was built in 4 different stages between 1050 and 1650; from the second half of the 18th century it was uninhabited and often used as a quarry for the town

The medieval castle of Beaufort was built in 4 different stages between 1050 and 1650; from the second half of the 18th century it was uninhabited and often used as a quarry for the town

The Renaissance Castle can only be seen by guided tour; my tour was in Dutch and German although I got the idea because I had read about the castle in my guide book

The Renaissance Castle can only be seen by guided tour; my tour was in Dutch and German although I got the idea because I had read about the castle in my guide book

The exterior walls of the castle remain largely intact; a brochure guides visitors around the castle explaining what functions the different rooms had but you really have to use your imagination

The exterior walls of the castle remain largely intact; a brochure guides visitors around the castle explaining what functions the different rooms had but you really have to use your imagination

Beaufort's Renaissance Castle remains virtually unchanged from when it was built 360 years ago; it was built by a prominent military figure

Beaufort's Renaissance Castle remains virtually unchanged from when it was built 360 years ago; it was built by a prominent military figure

Huge crowd enjoying Rock Classics at Beaufort Castle; what a great venue for a concert!

Huge crowd enjoying Rock Classics at Beaufort Castle; what a great venue for a concert!

This model shows how impressive the castle was in its heyday; you don't get that same feeling walking through the ruins that remain today

This model shows how impressive the castle was in its heyday; you don't get that same feeling walking through the ruins that remain today

The 14th century gate house is now a torture chamber; I think the room was mainly for kids since there was little in the castle complex to interest children

The 14th century gate house is now a torture chamber; I think the room was mainly for kids since there was little in the castle complex to interest children

The castle's homemade black currant liqueur is renowned and a free sample was included with the tour although I skipped it; the black currants are grown locally

The castle's homemade black currant liqueur is renowned and a free sample was included with the tour although I skipped it; the black currants are grown locally

1890 carriage pulled by one horse with a coachman; it was built for the grandparents of Mrs. Linckets (the last governess)

1890 carriage pulled by one horse with a coachman; it was built for the grandparents of Mrs. Linckets (the last governess)

The ivy-covered building is the distillery which operated from 1875 to the 1960s; there was also a factory for making tin

The ivy-covered building is the distillery which operated from 1875 to the 1960s; there was also a factory for making tin

The dining room was renovated in 1909 by combining two rooms; a neo-Renaissance fireplace and family portraits adorn the room

The dining room was renovated in 1909 by combining two rooms; a neo-Renaissance fireplace and family portraits adorn the room

Anne-Marie Linckels lived in the castle until her death; she actively managed the castle well into her 90s and the castle is presented as she left it

Anne-Marie Linckels lived in the castle until her death; she actively managed the castle well into her 90s and the castle is presented as she left it

The capstone at the top of the entrance to the Renaissance Castle shows the date it was built - 1649; imagine living here with World War 2 raging nearby

The capstone at the top of the entrance to the Renaissance Castle shows the date it was built - 1649; imagine living here with World War 2 raging nearby

This wing is the oldest part of the castle containing the well and the upper rooms as well as the lower part of the main tower

This wing is the oldest part of the castle containing the well and the upper rooms as well as the lower part of the main tower

Sled carriage; Beaufort is a small town of 1800 in eastern Luxembourg on the border of the Little Switzerland region

Sled carriage; Beaufort is a small town of 1800 in eastern Luxembourg on the border of the Little Switzerland region

The old castle is connected to the Renaissance Castle by this bridge; I can see the pros and cons of leaving the castle in ruins versus rebuilding it

The old castle is connected to the Renaissance Castle by this bridge; I can see the pros and cons of leaving the castle in ruins versus rebuilding it

Luxembourg's national motto translates as -we want to remain what we are; considering their turbulent history that makes perfect sense

Luxembourg's national motto translates as -we want to remain what we are; considering their turbulent history that makes perfect sense

In 1928 a new owner removed the vegetation covering the ruins and cleared out 300 years of neglect; the castle was then opened to the public in 1932

In 1928 a new owner removed the vegetation covering the ruins and cleared out 300 years of neglect; the castle was then opened to the public in 1932

This was originally an altar before being purchased for the castle; most of the furniture is from the 18th and 19th centuries

This was originally an altar before being purchased for the castle; most of the furniture is from the 18th and 19th centuries

The castles were originally surrounded by a moat; the location of the castles seems like a poor choice since there are so many spots in the country that would be easier to defend

The castles were originally surrounded by a moat; the location of the castles seems like a poor choice since there are so many spots in the country that would be easier to defend

The Renaissance Castle was occupied as a private residence until 2012 when the last governess of the castle died at the age of 97

The Renaissance Castle was occupied as a private residence until 2012 when the last governess of the castle died at the age of 97

This terrace was added in 1910; a vegetable and rose garden are here although the roses were in sorry shape

This terrace was added in 1910; a vegetable and rose garden are here although the roses were in sorry shape

The prime minister of Luxembourg was previously mayor of Luxembourg City; Xavier Bettel is only 45 and 1 of 3 openly gay leaders in the world (Ireland and Serbia are the others)

The prime minister of Luxembourg was previously mayor of Luxembourg City; Xavier Bettel is only 45 and 1 of 3 openly gay leaders in the world (Ireland and Serbia are the others)

1920 sporting carriage; the castle is unusual in that it lies in a small hollow with the town on a ridge 100 meters away

1920 sporting carriage; the castle is unusual in that it lies in a small hollow with the town on a ridge 100 meters away

Beaufort Castle was the first castle opened to the public in the Grand Duchy; the owner was the president of the national tourist office from 1932 to 1940

Beaufort Castle was the first castle opened to the public in the Grand Duchy; the owner was the president of the national tourist office from 1932 to 1940

The small country of Luxembourg has more than 100 castles with Beaufort being the third oldest!; some are now privately owned while others are public buildings

The small country of Luxembourg has more than 100 castles with Beaufort being the third oldest!; some are now privately owned while others are public buildings

Before becoming a banking center, Luxembourg's wealth came from steel; by far the world's largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, is based in Luxembourg

Before becoming a banking center, Luxembourg's wealth came from steel; by far the world's largest steel company, ArcelorMittal, is based in Luxembourg

I don't think I'd make a special trip to see Beaufort Castle but since it's in an area with lots of attractions it wasn't out of the way

I don't think I'd make a special trip to see Beaufort Castle but since it's in an area with lots of attractions it wasn't out of the way

The current castle entrance is located in a remnant of the lower bailey's curtain wall extended in the first half of the 15th century

The current castle entrance is located in a remnant of the lower bailey's curtain wall extended in the first half of the 15th century

Posted by RNRiggins 19:52 Comments (0)

Old art vs contemporary art from Munich museums

Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, 1663; one of only 34 known Vermeer works to survive, this is on temporary loan from the Rijksmuseum

Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, 1663; one of only 34 known Vermeer works to survive, this is on temporary loan from the Rijksmuseum

Altdorfer, Susanna and the Elders, 1526; the technical skill and attention to detail attracted me to this gorgeous, 500 year old work

Altdorfer, Susanna and the Elders, 1526; the technical skill and attention to detail attracted me to this gorgeous, 500 year old work

De Kooning, Stowaway, 1986; he was born in Rotterdam, but moved to the US and became a member of the New York school of abstract expressionists

De Kooning, Stowaway, 1986; he was born in Rotterdam, but moved to the US and became a member of the New York school of abstract expressionists

Rubens, The Great Last Judgement, 1612; it's hard to imagine how Rubens completed so many works when his canvases are enormous and detailed

Rubens, The Great Last Judgement, 1612; it's hard to imagine how Rubens completed so many works when his canvases are enormous and detailed

Kandinsky, Dreamy Improvisation, 1913; rather than have descriptors on each painting, there was just one page in the corner of the room describing that room's artworks which I found frustrating

Kandinsky, Dreamy Improvisation, 1913; rather than have descriptors on each painting, there was just one page in the corner of the room describing that room's artworks which I found frustrating

Boucher, Madame de Pompadour, 1756; Rick Steve's likes the Alte Pinokothek better than the Neue Pinokothek but my tastes would have them reversed

Boucher, Madame de Pompadour, 1756; Rick Steve's likes the Alte Pinokothek better than the Neue Pinokothek but my tastes would have them reversed

Klee, The Light and More Besides, 1931; of the three modern art museums I visited in Munich, the Pinakothek der Moderne was easily the best

Klee, The Light and More Besides, 1931; of the three modern art museums I visited in Munich, the Pinakothek der Moderne was easily the best

The Museum Brandhorst has 200  works of Cy Twombly which occupy an entire floor; museum brochure-no other 20th century artist committed himself as fully to the zero point of modern art as Twombly

The Museum Brandhorst has 200+ works of Cy Twombly which occupy an entire floor; museum brochure-no other 20th century artist committed himself as fully to the zero point of modern art as Twombly

Beckmann, Before the Masked Ball, 1922; leading German artists were emphasized in the Pinakothek der Moderne

Beckmann, Before the Masked Ball, 1922; leading German artists were emphasized in the Pinakothek der Moderne

Brochure-we are invited to let our eyes trace the course of each line and establish where they begin, where they run out and where they overlap each other-every nuance of the painterly process is to be discerned and appreciated as a creative happening (looks like a kid's scribbles to me)

Brochure-we are invited to let our eyes trace the course of each line and establish where they begin, where they run out and where they overlap each other-every nuance of the painterly process is to be discerned and appreciated as a creative happening (looks like a kid's scribbles to me)

Rauschenberg, Vault, 1962; the artist was born in Port Arthur, TX and died on Captiva Island, FL

Rauschenberg, Vault, 1962; the artist was born in Port Arthur, TX and died on Captiva Island, FL

Memling, Advent and Triumph of Christ, 1480; originally made for a church in Brugges, this work shows 25 episodes from the life of Christ

Memling, Advent and Triumph of Christ, 1480; originally made for a church in Brugges, this work shows 25 episodes from the life of Christ

The Pinakothek der Moderne had a design wing focused on everyday products that had a unique flair; Rick Steves really liked this museum but I wasn't impressed

The Pinakothek der Moderne had a design wing focused on everyday products that had a unique flair; Rick Steves really liked this museum but I wasn't impressed

Durer, Self-Portrait, 1500; this was the last of three self-portraits Durer completed although he was only 28 at the time

Durer, Self-Portrait, 1500; this was the last of three self-portraits Durer completed although he was only 28 at the time

The Haus der Kunst is a contemporary art museum that went well beyond my limits for art appreciation; I just couldn't find anything I considered art at the expensive museum

The Haus der Kunst is a contemporary art museum that went well beyond my limits for art appreciation; I just couldn't find anything I considered art at the expensive museum

The Haus der Kunst used to have better shows before the Pinokathek der Moderne opened; this venue is also located away from the other museums

The Haus der Kunst used to have better shows before the Pinokathek der Moderne opened; this venue is also located away from the other museums

I simply couldn't find anything to appreciate in the work of Cy Twombly; how did an artist become famous, and his works pricey, for creating such scribbles?

I simply couldn't find anything to appreciate in the work of Cy Twombly; how did an artist become famous, and his works pricey, for creating such scribbles?

Altdorfer, The Battle of Issus, 1529; my hotel was within easy walking distance of the museums, but my room reminded me of Moody Towers at the University of Houston

Altdorfer, The Battle of Issus, 1529; my hotel was within easy walking distance of the museums, but my room reminded me of Moody Towers at the University of Houston

Klee, Landscape with the Yellow Church Tower, 1920; Klee was a member of the influential Munich Blue Rider Group along with Kandinsky

Klee, Landscape with the Yellow Church Tower, 1920; Klee was a member of the influential Munich Blue Rider Group along with Kandinsky

The Pinakothek der Moderne covers art from the 20th century in a variety of media but most of it I found was a waste of time; it's a massive building, poorly organized and very visitor unfriendly

The Pinakothek der Moderne covers art from the 20th century in a variety of media but most of it I found was a waste of time; it's a massive building, poorly organized and very visitor unfriendly

The Alte Pinakothek has world-class masterpieces from the 14th-19th centuries; the museum had dozens of Rubens' and a logical emphasis on German artists

The Alte Pinakothek has world-class masterpieces from the 14th-19th centuries; the museum had dozens of Rubens' and a logical emphasis on German artists

The Museum Brandhorst covers late 20th century art with art being very loosely defined; it's a great building but it only had works by 2 artists when I visited

The Museum Brandhorst covers late 20th century art with art being very loosely defined; it's a great building but it only had works by 2 artists when I visited

Posted by RNRiggins 16:08 Comments (0)

Selected highlights from a tiring day in Amsterdam

I really enjoyed the Van Gogh artwork, but his museum was way too crowded making for a frustrating experience; if you don't have a Museumkart, you need to reserve a timed entry admission online

I really enjoyed the Van Gogh artwork, but his museum was way too crowded making for a frustrating experience; if you don't have a Museumkart, you need to reserve a timed entry admission online

Amsterdam has 850,000 residents in the city proper with 2.4 million in the metro area; the city is home to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange which is the oldest in the world

Amsterdam has 850,000 residents in the city proper with 2.4 million in the metro area; the city is home to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange which is the oldest in the world

The Museumplein is a large green space around which the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Concert House are located

The Museumplein is a large green space around which the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Concert House are located

The world's leading museum for the Dutch Golden Age and a beautiful building; I had skipped the Rijksmuseum on prior visits to Amsterdam because of long lines

The world's leading museum for the Dutch Golden Age and a beautiful building; I had skipped the Rijksmuseum on prior visits to Amsterdam because of long lines

Rembrandt, The Night Watch aka The Militia Company of Frans Banninck Cocq, 1642; Rembrandt's most famous painting and the star attraction at the museum

Rembrandt, The Night Watch aka The Militia Company of Frans Banninck Cocq, 1642; Rembrandt's most famous painting and the star attraction at the museum

This cool fountain was called Hide and Seek; it's just outside the Rijksmuseum and the jets would stop briefly allowing people to get on the inside before the jets encircle them

This cool fountain was called Hide and Seek; it's just outside the Rijksmuseum and the jets would stop briefly allowing people to get on the inside before the jets encircle them

By purchasing a Museumkart you can visit any 5 museums from a long list of those in the Netherlands and avoid lines to buy a ticket on site; it doesn't save you much money but it does guarantee you entry

By purchasing a Museumkart you can visit any 5 museums from a long list of those in the Netherlands and avoid lines to buy a ticket on site; it doesn't save you much money but it does guarantee you entry

The Stedelijk Museum is the top modern art museum but I skipped it since my one day in Amsterdam was already full; at 15 euros it was pretty expensive too

The Stedelijk Museum is the top modern art museum but I skipped it since my one day in Amsterdam was already full; at 15 euros it was pretty expensive too

Strolling past the canals in Amsterdam brought back fond memories of my first trip back in 1990 with Tim and Sandy after UCLA graduation; the city is still packed with tourists in the summer

Strolling past the canals in Amsterdam brought back fond memories of my first trip back in 1990 with Tim and Sandy after UCLA graduation; the city is still packed with tourists in the summer

Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Conertgebouw is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world; built in 1886 it anchors one end of the Museumplein

Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Conertgebouw is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world; built in 1886 it anchors one end of the Museumplein

The National Monument on Dam Square dates from 1956 and commemorates the casualties of World War II and subsequent armed conflicts

The National Monument on Dam Square dates from 1956 and commemorates the casualties of World War II and subsequent armed conflicts

Amsterdam has great art museums but I stuck to the two I had always wanted to visit but had avoided because of long lines in the past; some of the art here just isn't my cup of tea

Amsterdam has great art museums but I stuck to the two I had always wanted to visit but had avoided because of long lines in the past; some of the art here just isn't my cup of tea

The Royal Palace was originally built to serve as Amsterdam City Hall in 1655 when the city was the most prosperous in the world; the building became a Royal Palace when Napoleon installed his brother as king in 1806

The Royal Palace was originally built to serve as Amsterdam City Hall in 1655 when the city was the most prosperous in the world; the building became a Royal Palace when Napoleon installed his brother as king in 1806

The Nieuw Kerk (New Church) is actually 600 years old; this is where many Dutch royals get married and where new monarchs are inaugurated

The Nieuw Kerk (New Church) is actually 600 years old; this is where many Dutch royals get married and where new monarchs are inaugurated

The vast Citizen's Hall in the Royal Palace is 120 feet by 90 feet by 60 feet; the hall is used for hosting foreign dignitaries and royal family wedding receptions

The vast Citizen's Hall in the Royal Palace is 120 feet by 90 feet by 60 feet; the hall is used for hosting foreign dignitaries and royal family wedding receptions

The Rijksmuseum is the most visited in the Netherlands with 2.5  million guests; the 1885 building is the largest art museum in the country and includes signature pieces like Delftware

The Rijksmuseum is the most visited in the Netherlands with 2.5+ million guests; the 1885 building is the largest art museum in the country and includes signature pieces like Delftware

Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, is being cleaned after Gay Pride Week wrapped up the day before; tons of trash was quickly getting removed around town

Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, is being cleaned after Gay Pride Week wrapped up the day before; tons of trash was quickly getting removed around town

People were smiling and happy taking their photo with Anne Frank; I hope people haven't forgotten why she is famous and become complacent in preventing future atrocities

People were smiling and happy taking their photo with Anne Frank; I hope people haven't forgotten why she is famous and become complacent in preventing future atrocities

I did Rick Steves Jordaan neighborhood walk; I've discovered I'm not nearly as fast as Google Maps walking pace says I should be

I did Rick Steves Jordaan neighborhood walk; I've discovered I'm not nearly as fast as Google Maps walking pace says I should be

I'm amazed so many of these 400 year old buildings are still standing as they lean left and right, forward and back; many are resting on their neighbors and seem just a gust of wind away from collapse

I'm amazed so many of these 400 year old buildings are still standing as they lean left and right, forward and back; many are resting on their neighbors and seem just a gust of wind away from collapse

This huge building is now a shopping center but had been the main post office when it was built in 1899; so many transactions here are now cashless so you need a debit card with pin

This huge building is now a shopping center but had been the main post office when it was built in 1899; so many transactions here are now cashless so you need a debit card with pin

Amsterdam is one of the world's best cities in which to walk (or bike); museums and tourist sights are scattered around town but easily connected with public transit

Amsterdam is one of the world's best cities in which to walk (or bike); museums and tourist sights are scattered around town but easily connected with public transit

The Westerkerk was built in 1631 and Rembrandt is buried inside somewhere but no one knows exactly where; Anne Frank listened to the carillon bells every day which gave her hope

The Westerkerk was built in 1631 and Rembrandt is buried inside somewhere but no one knows exactly where; Anne Frank listened to the carillon bells every day which gave her hope

Just imagine the space taken up if each of these bicycles was a car!; it is very easy to get around central Amsterdam on foot now since there are few cars but you do have to pay attention to the bike lanes

Just imagine the space taken up if each of these bicycles was a car!; it is very easy to get around central Amsterdam on foot now since there are few cars but you do have to pay attention to the bike lanes

In Amsterdam the canals serve much the same function as the bayous do in Houston; they are part of the sewer system but, unlike Houston, here they have the flooding problem better controlled

In Amsterdam the canals serve much the same function as the bayous do in Houston; they are part of the sewer system but, unlike Houston, here they have the flooding problem better controlled

I've visited the Anne Frank House many times so I skipped it on this trip but it always evokes strong images of what life was like here during World War 2

I've visited the Anne Frank House many times so I skipped it on this trip but it always evokes strong images of what life was like here during World War 2

Like France, dogs are taken everywhere in the Netherlands; this pooch is cooling it in the grocery store but, compared to France, there are fewer dogs here and they are better cleaned up after

Like France, dogs are taken everywhere in the Netherlands; this pooch is cooling it in the grocery store but, compared to France, there are fewer dogs here and they are better cleaned up after

Locals were basking in the record high temperatures; with most places not having AC it was cooler outside but no one ventured swimming in the canals

Locals were basking in the record high temperatures; with most places not having AC it was cooler outside but no one ventured swimming in the canals

Amsterdam Central Station is the hub for city transit but easily manageable; you can take trams from here most anywhere in the city for 3 euros

Amsterdam Central Station is the hub for city transit but easily manageable; you can take trams from here most anywhere in the city for 3 euros

Posted by RNRiggins 08:56 Comments (0)

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