Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: Abbaye de Montmajour And Arles

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Arles

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Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: Hiking around Moustier-Sainte-Marie

In Moustier-Sainte-Marie, on a beautiful hot morning, we took a little hike uphill through the flower fields and had some great views just up to Lac Sainte Croix and on this enchanted village build on the foot of its protecting mountain. Goal to this hike was a little chapel called Notre Dame de Beauvoir. You can see it from the village and it’s an ancient, dark and really silent place where you can still hear centuries of pilgrims praying for a better tomorrow.

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Notre Dame de Beauvoir

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Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: Aix-en-Provence By Night

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Bauhaus: Primacy Of Function?

On our way back from the wedding we had a short stop in Dessau and for the first time I saw the Bauhaus buildings—which I knew well, but only from books–—in reality. This visit made quite an impression on me and I started thinking if the form follows function rule, like it is used today, […]

The Great Indoors: Why I Don’t Post New Hikes Right Now

We are living in Berlin, this big and always busy city and it’s getting more and more crowded in the last years. So we decided to take a big step to buy a house outside of the city in the forest. First as a weekend home later maybe as our small, private Florida.

After some research we found an old house on a big  estate in a tiny settlement in the forest at the borders of a small town in the east of Berlin, I fell in love with it and he found it very reasonable. I guess he fell in love with it too, and I find it reasonable as well but the tendencies are quite clear (-:.

In 1927 architect and plasterer Kurt Milius build the house, small but with kind of a cosmopolite grandezza  – with a dome in the living room, waffled ceilings, built-in closets and rounded corners in vestibule – and his wife Charlotte lived there until she deceased at the age of 102.

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She was quite a collector of things and so our first move was to separate the good from the nasty. He found much more things to be nasty than I did and burned them in secret and I saved them in secret for their second life.

This is us just after having received the keys:
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And just after it we started to declutter big style. IMG_9953IMG_9906IMG_9962DSC_0025DSC_0993DSC_0017

 

 

 

 

Then we started to remove the centuries old wallpaper from the walls. We found quite some interesting articles from the 1930s underneath. About vacations in Sweden or on the rise of the Third Reich.
Thankfully my best friend Silvia was here to help for the Easter Weekend. She was my big motivation. Later on Saturday, Christian came to paint the very high waffled ceiling with paint primer. What a blessing to have such friends when you can’t feel your arms anymore.

 

 

 

 

Than we started painting …

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The Living Room:

 

 

The Dining Room:
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The Guest Room:

 

 

 

And while we worked, spring came to our garden without knocking:
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Bucharest Palace of the Parliament

Palace Of The Parliament in Bucharest: A Mad Mans Castle

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.

 

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