Sunday 23 September 2012

Sofia from above and the cathedral Alexander Nevski

If there is a building which is an unmistakable symbol of my home town Sofia then this is, without any doubt, the majestic cathedral Alexander Nevski. This architecture masterpiece was built in the period 1904-1912 and is the most colourful and glorious way of the Bulgarians saying "thank you" to the Russians. The cathedral was created in honour to the Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, as a result of which Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule.
But enough of history here... I would like to show you that this fantastic basilica cant be missed even when landing in Sofia. The first picture I have taken from my plane on the way to the Sofia airport. The building itself is decorated with a lot of gold (the 45m high dome and 53m high bell tower), marmor, onyx and plenty of mosaics of various saints. The temple has 12 bells with total weight of 23 tons, the heaviest weighing 12 tons and the lightest 10 kilogrammes. The colourful inside walls are almost completely covered with icons (unfortunately no photos are allowed). I have prepared a small selection of pictures I have made through the last 6-7 years. You can find pictures of the cathedral by night, in the snow or just bathing in the Sofia sun...

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Lost in colours in the middle of Sofia: the paintings of Wladimir Dimitrov, the Master

Last weekend I was incredibly happy to visit the absolutely beautiful expo honouring 130 years of the birth of one of the most amazing Bulgarian painters, Vladimir Dimitrov, known also as the Master (Majstora)...Masterpieces from different corners of Bulgaria were gathered and put on display in the halls of the National Art Gallery...My favourite painter was born in 1882 and for some 78 years he had kept on capturing the beauty of the people living&working in the nature. Most of his works depict his friends and/ or neighbours during their daily life, on the field or by fruit picking. A lot of apples, pears and flowers are present in his happy-making and heart-warming masterpieces! I hope you get a bit of the feeling of this lovely event from my pictures!
For a lot of the paintings the sketches done by the painter, were available next to art piece, as the one below.
Another thing I would like to draw your attention to is the building where the National Art Gallery is located in Sofia (and also where this expo took place). The  Bulgaria's national gallery houses over 50,000 pieces of Bulgarian art. It is located on Battenberg Square, occupying most of the historic and imposing edifice of the former royal palace of Bulgaria.

Sunday 9 September 2012

About the herbs, their healing powers and the insects around them

While helping& learning in the herbal farm "Stilfser Bergkräuter" I was spending a lot of time among colourful flowers and came very close to a lot of hungry and thirsty insects....we were meeting every day at the same place around and on the flowers. Not only are we, people, collecting the flowers for teas, but the bees, butterflies and other  insects enjoy their nectar too . If I judge by the aroma of the herbal fields I understand them.
But of course there is the (secret) site of their healing power too. Did you know that:
- the peppermint (pic 1 and 2, in GE "Pfefferminze") delivers good effects by pains in the stomach-intestines-area and by colds;
- the calendula (in pic 3, in GE "Ringelblume") is used (because of its anti-flammatory influence) in cremes for wounds and scars;

- the bea balm (picture 4, in GE "Indianerssel") has an amazing bergamot-aroma and in tea supports us getting rid of nasty colds;
- the white common yarrow (last picture, in GE "Schafgarbe") is helping by problems with the digestive system as well as by women problems;
Last but not least, most of the leaves/blossom may be enjoyed raw, like below I prepared myself a dark bread with goat butter and sage& oregano leaves and fresh flowers from mallow and nasturtium, very yummy was it!

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Prader Open-Air museum with American-Indian art by Lorenz/ Freilichtmuseum bei Lorenz in Prad, Südtirol

In the middle of the majestic and green North Italian mountains, on the winding road to the famous Stilfser Joch, just after the small Südtiroler village Prad one may encounter an amazing open air museum. The colours of its masterpieces and their shapes are so unusual and exotic, that you will be intrigued already by sighting them from the road...
Since 20 years Lorenz from Südtirol, also know by his American Indian name, the one who talks with the breeze ("der mit dem Winhauch spricht"), exposes his works in front of his house as well as in the middle of his big fruit and veggie garden. The long space between the road and the river is covered with colourful wooden sculptures and manually carved stones. The carvings and painting on the objects of art are inspired by the American Indian and Canadian totems...A guided tour and explanations are proposed to all visitors.
An impressive way to integrate far away culture into the nature of Südtirol!
All the working materials are coming from the nature: fallen down trees, stones smoothed by the river, bones from animals brought by the water...