Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for January, 2020

A View of Slovenia

By Linda Tancs

With views stretching as far as Slovenia, the castle fortress known as Veliki Tabor in northwestern Croatia has a storied past. Some of its parts date to the 12th century. Later, it was remodeled by a family that ruled for three centuries. It would undergo several transformations since then, including use as a prison, a nunnery and a warehouse. Now a museum, a guided tour includes a walk through the fort center and the courtyard gallery, highlighting the castle’s  architectural elements, from Late Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque.

Grey Towers

By Linda Tancs

Gifford Pinchot is legendary in Pennsylvania. Son of a wealthy wallpaper merchant, he was twice Governor of Pennsylvania and the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. His family’s summer home, Grey Towers, is in Milford, under the care of the Forest Service. Designed in the style of a French château to reflect the family’s French heritage, it’s open for guided tours during the summer season. The stunning grounds, however, are open year-round.

MUM in Binche

By Linda Tancs

Think of all the carnivals in the world and the masks traditionally associated with them, sometimes accompanied by parades, flamboyant costumes or all-night parties. Maybe Venice or Rio comes to mind. If you can’t possibly attend them, don’t despair. You can experience many of them at the International Museum of Carnival and Mask (MÜM) in Binche, Belgium. A permanent exhibition there journeys across the continents, exploring the European winter festivals, the ceremonies of North America and Latin America, customs of Africa and traditions of Asia and Oceania.

Older Than Dinosaurs in Chemnitz

By Linda Tancs

Chemnitz in eastern Germany might be better known as a city formerly named after Karl Marx, whose colossal monument still graces Brückenstrasse. That, you might say, is ancient history, but not nearly as ancient as the petrified tree stumps dating back hundreds of years. They were discovered in the city around the 16th century and can be viewed in the inner courtyard of the DAStietz cultural center.

A Thousand Minarets

By Linda Tancs

Its preponderance of Islamic architecture has earned Cairo, Egypt, the moniker “the city of a thousand minarets.” Indeed, there’s no shortage of minarets piercing the city’s skyline. One of many standouts is the Alabaster Mosque (alabaster being very common to ancient Egypt and Greece), reported to be the most visited mosque in Egypt. Its unusually high minarets offer sweeping views, including the Giza Plateau. Another mosque, Al-Azhar, sits in the heart of Islamic Cairo. Not only is it almost as old as Cairo itself but it also houses the world’s oldest university and claims to have originated the black graduation gown worn universally today.

Wren’s Legacy in Missouri

By Linda Tancs

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, is a 17th-century English church located in Fulton, Missouri. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 devastated London (and subsequently badly damaged during the Blitz), it was shipped piece-by-piece to its current location at Westminster College in Fulton, where it was faithfully restored to Wren’s specifications and serves as the only building in the U.S. designed by him. Beneath the church is the National Churchill Museum, honoring the prime minister’s visit to the college in 1946 and recognized in 2009 by  Congress as America’s permanent tribute to him.

The Pearl of Minsk

By Linda Tancs

The capital of Belarus, Minsk is a colorful city full of historical places, monuments and sports centers. Among its many offerings, a true gem is Trinity Suburb, located in the historic part of Minsk, on the left bank of the Svisloch River. Dating to around the 12th century, the development then known as Trinity Hill was a thriving commercial center. No less so today, this picturesque setting with pastel-colored homes boasts museums, antique shops, souvenir stores (bearing items with iconic views of Trinity), cafes, restaurants and art galleries. Get there via Niamiha station on the metro.

%d bloggers like this: