With stunning seaside views and streets overflowing with visitors, it might be easy to overlook Dubrovnik’s impressive Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Yet Dubrovnik’s quirky maskerons and fanciful flourishes adorning palaces and cathedrals, are the city’s defining elements, and they are details in which to delight.
When it was a powerful city-state that rivaled the Republic of Venice, Dubrovnik was called Ragusa. Thanks to the maritime trade that thrived in Ragusa for nearly 500 years, the city grew into a formidable power. Studded with ornate cathedrals and palaces, as well as intricately-carved fountains, the city was protected by imposing walls that still wrap around it for roughly 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles).
Continue reading “The Fountains of Dubrovnik, Croatia”
Often referred to as Russia’s Versailles, the Peterhof Palace gardens (ПЕТЕРГО́Ф) offered us a picturesque spot through which to stroll during our visit to St. Petersburg earlier this month.
Under shadows cast by heavily-gilded cupolas, we were brusquely ushered through the grandiose palace complex past faces from all walks of life. When we crossed paths with artists dressed in Baroque garb, we tried to imagine Peterhof in its heyday shortly after its commissioning by Peter the Great in the 18th century.
And then we tried visualize the depths of its destruction at the hands of Nazi occupiers between 1941-1944. Reconstruction work and regular maintenance continue to this day.
We found the elegant gardens and cast of characters to be of the most interest as they brought life to the prim palace.
There were Russian school-children visiting the UNESCO-registered complex, yet some seemed more interested in games of hide & seek than in the ornate architecture.
There was even a bride that resembled a delicately-painted matryoshka doll.And aggressive salesmen, peddling matryoshka dolls, wooden structures with Eastern Orthodox spires and Siberian cashmere shawls. Some expressions evoked Cold War intrigue.
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Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.