Berlin, Canada, Castle, Frederick the Great, Germany, Ottawa, Rideau Hall
Well we have gone through 2 days of extreme cold weather endangering human life with winds of 80km per hour. Howling winds at that, so we stayed indoors. Many people and businesses have seen their water pipes freeze in this weather, it has now passed us. The map shows below what the temperature were around Nova Scotia and PEI, the white portion of the map is all -40 C.
As I look at various sites on the Internet I come across some interesting photos about topics I follow.
This is a side view of the underside of the St-Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Built between 1500 and 1600 to replace the original basilica built in the 4th Century AD. This is the biggest church in the world and one that is also the lease used. In front of the Papal Altar there is a staircase to take you to the tomb of St-Peter and to the tombs of some of the other Popes, not all of them, some are buried elsewhere. This part of the Basilica is not really interesting what is truly interesting is the portion underneath it which is only accessible from a small door on the side of the Basilica and you need reservation to get in with a guide. This portion is an old Roman cemetery of the first century and a street Via Cornelia lined with Roman mausoleum of various families. The map shows you in white the area in question. The site of the current St-Peter’s basilica was during the time of Emperor Nero a great Circus for public games and displays and Via Cornelia was to one side of this Circus. It also had the great Egyptian obelisk you see today in the middle of St-Peter’s square. In this area in 1950 miraculously, searchers found the tomb of St-Peter. What they actually found looked more like chicken bones, very small for a human being and very few bones but Pope Pius XII was very happy about the discovery and that was that.
Sans Souci, a Chateau built as a private home for King Frederic II the Great of Prussia. It is not a palace, it is more like a grand mansion. Frederic lived here by himself surrounded by his dogs. His wife lived in the Palace of Charlottenburg in Berlin and only allowed once to visit here. Frederic would invite friends and people he liked to visit, Voltaire visited many times and resided in Potsdam near the chateau for a long time. Many other writers, intellectuals, musicians like J.S.Bach and one of his sons came to play and compose music for Frederic who was an amateur musician himself playing the flute. I really love visiting Sans Souci and make a point if I am in Berlin to go to Potsdam. The park and all the other buildings and pavilions like the Chinese tea House are charming. In this photo we see a little plot of grass and a slab with a potato and a bowl with a green plant some yellow roses. This is the grave of Frederic the Great who died at Sans Souci in 1786 and asked to be buried in the garden by his home and amongst his beloved dogs there are 7 of them, all Whippets. His wish to be buried here was only granted in 1991. People bring flowers and potatoes to his grave, the reason for the potato, Frederic introduced it to Prussia and encouraged farmers to cultivate it as a source of plentiful food. The inside of the chateau is left as it was when he died, with lots of books, paintings and furniture, including the chair he died in by the fireplace in his bedroom. His nephew who inherited the crown was not interested in living in Sans Souci, so he closed it and moved down the park avenue to another palace also built by Frederic II, the new Palace.
This picture is taken from the roof top restaurant of the rebuilt Royal City Palace in Berlin. Looking West, looking to the left is the new Building of the Foreign Ministry of Germany. The brick corner structure is all that is left of a very famous architectural school and the first building to have a steel skeleton, known as Schinkel Bauakademie built in 1832. It was destroyed by bombs in 1945. It apparently will be rebuilt in the years to come.
The church in red brick is now a museum, the Friedrichswerder Church built in 1824 by Carl F. Schinkel was a Huguenot Calvinist church. It is now a sculpture museum of the old National Gallery. The other buildings in the area are expensive condos. In the distance on the left the tall towers are remnants of East German apartment complexes.
This disney like castle is the family home to this day of the Imperial House of Hohenzollern who ruled Germany until 1918. There has been a castle on this mountain top since the 11th century. It is open to the public and can be visited, it is located in Southern Germany in the Swabian Alps. H.I.R.H. Prince George Frederick of Prussia, and his family live in the Castle, the family standard flies high on the flag tower. Since 1952, the castle has been filled with art and historical artifacts from the collections of the Hohenzollern family. Including the Crown Jewels of Germany.
This painting from the 19th century, shows Unter Den Linden ave. If you stood today on the sidewalk from where the painter sketched and painted this scene, you would see exactly the same view, except for the car traffic which replaced the horses.
This last picture is of Ottawa and was taken by a friend of ours C.P. from her room. The large building surrounded by a large treed park is Rideau Hall, the Official Residence of H.E. the Governor General of Canada.
Rideau Hall has 175 rooms and covers a space of 95,000 sq. feet. The park covers 79 acres.