I was completely overwhelmed when I entered this small house at the borders of Aix-en-Provence. It was here in this place where Cézanne painted all his still lifes. When I studied art at high-school, those still lives where my subject for more than a year and I knew all the objects I saw there by heart. The scenery of the room, of its garden and with its colors even made me understand some of his technical choices.
Everything is kept meticulously in its old order in this place. It’s quite a location to visit because of its complete serenity. Even if you don’t know a lot about this wonderful painter who was the biggest pioneer of Modern Art.
After the atelier we went a little further uphill to the place where Cézanne painted his numerous pictures of Montagne Sainte Victoire, one of his preferred motifs. And in the crazy hot light of the afternoon one can entirely understand, why he painted this magic mountain again and again.
Aix-en-Provence is a small very picturesque city in the heart of Provence. 40.000 of its 140.000 inhabitants are students. The wonderful cathedral Saint-Sauveur
When winter becomes really cold we’ll get the pleasure to walk on the lakes we swim in in summer. Small Teufelssee in Grunewald was full with ice skaters and I was unhappy to have no skates. On the other hand: The bumps on the ice where rather big and I saw more than one skater […]
On the last picture you can see that the lake was frozen on the opposite side. We guess it has to do with stronger currents on the side we hiked. Location: Rüdersdorf, Strausberger Strasse – along Stienitzsee, western shore – (be careful: the way from the shore back to the path in the forest […]
You know it before visiting the building only by seeing it from far: Romanias former socialist dictator and principal of this building, Nicolae Ceaușescu, was mad.
Worldwide the second biggest administrational building directly after the Pentagon. 65.000 m², 5.000 rooms, 480 chandeliers, 150.000 bulbs, 52.000 m² carpets, 2.000 km of electric lines, 1.000.000 m³ marble from Transsylvania and 6 Mio € operation costs per year only for light and heating.
But only when entering this incarnation of the phantasy of a pathologically narcissistic mind, and passing through some of its enormous, church-like, but most of the time completely empty rooms, you get an impression what this numbers mean and in the next moment you are able to feel ashamed for this unworthy, ugly building which is nothing but a superficial copy of a mix of European classic architecture, the castle of an evil phantasy emperor without any aesthetic education. I remember having seen as a child the movie Nero which described the reign of a crazy guy over Ancient Rome and everything inside the palace reminded me of the ignorant attitude shown there.
Ceaușescu was born in a small Romanian village as the son of a farmers family. He went to school only for a small amount of years and became a shoemaker afterwards. Due to a stay in prison he got to know some important people and became the President of Romania some years later. For a long time, he was an internationally acknowledged leader, the queen declared him Knight of the British Empire (this title was deprived in 1978) and he got the most important medal of the Federal Republic of Germany.
But everything changed then. Bucharest at the time was saddled by several crises and the people had nothing to feed their children with. But when the president came back from North Corea where he saw the adoration of the actual Kim, he wanted to have the same. He ordered a very big building who was able to represent his adorability.
In 1977 an earthquake hit Bucharest heavily and destroyed a big part of the town. But the area on the hill was spared. So it was the ideal location for the palace of the people. Ceaușescu threw 40.000 already starving people out of their houses and demolished them to build the palace at their place.
The crazy leader—who let himself call The Genie of Carpates, Titan of the Titans or simply The Chosen One—organized an architectural competition and 28-years-old Anca Petrescu won. Probably because her model of the palace—on which she and her friends worked for months—was the biggest one.
Ceaușescu never had the chance to use the palace. Our guide at the palace expressed his regrets for that.
The building today houses the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and an international conference center. 70% of the house is empty.
Socialist and Capitalist interior remains
After Ecuador mainland and eight days on the islands we went back in a mega arduous boat & flight marathon from Isabella to Santa Cruz to Guayaquil to Quito to Madrid to Berlin. I wouldn’t recommend the islands for people on a very tight budget but otherwise it was totally worth it: The nature, the diverse […]