Ideas Inspiration Imaginary World http://ideasrex.com Exploring the world of mythology, art, history, travel together through collaborative streams of internet Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:16:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Travel through Cascais in Portugal, sharing with the world a mysterious places like Boca do Inferno http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-cascais-in-portugal-sharing-with-the-world-a-mysterious-places-like-boca-do-inferno/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-cascais-in-portugal-sharing-with-the-world-a-mysterious-places-like-boca-do-inferno/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 19:37:28 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=997

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Cascais, Portugal

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

We are in the land of Vasco da Gama, a first official connection by the sea between Europe and Asia to the Portuguese establishing a colonial empire in Asia. Vasco da Gama represented a composite mixture of exploratory leadership, politically astute and ruthless, a potent combination that brought him fame in that Age of Discovery and beyond. Portuguese marked themselves on the map of geography and history as an empire and started colonizing. It was the monopoly of spices that gave special power to Portugal shortly after among many other goods, as they established control over the trade.

Adamastor (untamed) a mythological figure (clearly influenced by the ancient Greek myth related to Poseidon) a symbol of force of nature, in control of the sea, storm and wind according to legend made the sea calm and allowed Vasco da Gama to pass by the Cape of Good Hope and on to India. It was not running away or trying to avoid the phantom’s wrath but simply facing down the fear and asking him “Who are you?” that disarmed Adamastor’s powers and transformed not only an otherwise notorious reputation but also the name of what was previously known by Portuguese sailors as Cape of Storms to the Cape of Good Hope.

Now that we touched upon the drive that made the exploring more powerful than the power of the sea, we should explore the substance that creates many stories around it and his name is Lusus. The son of Bacchus (Dionysus) admiring wine, spontaneous behavior and celebrating life. A myth with a very complex formation of the name and it’s origin signifies how important those values are for Portuguese people, and not without reason.

There is a sense of relaxation and spontaneity, both of which are in scarcity in our society, due to pursuit for “success” and “happiness” as if the two were ever related. One may be a stimulus to the other, but never a full conditioning and then even the definition of success alone should be under a question mark. Should we look into the past and reassess our values so that we don’t get devoured by our own ambitions and strip the places we live in of that vital atmosphere, the invisible cloak that every city or village has. To that end let’s explore:

Cascais (mountain of shells) goes back to the late Paleolithic period, with many settlements established and due to the configuration of it’s terrain and many natural grottoes, they were used as burial sites. It was a place of transformation and people had to focus on the immaterial, sacred and divine from the earliest of the times. The angel of death (in any sense of that word) is sometimes very powerfully invoking in us the ability to dive deep into the subconscious mind and explore what we can’t understand. It is usually those things that we can’t understand that inspire the imagination and creates a whole new world, almost self sufficient and independent of outside events.

As for outside events here, Cascais has witnessed many empires passing through including Romans, Muslim settlers, and starting from the 12 century Cascais started to slowly emerge from obscurity to prosperity,…. and as it often goes the prosperity often requires protection and more complex forms of hierarchy and this happened as Portugal started becoming a colonial force, and an empire. Cascais began as a fishing village in the shadow of Sintra, a city to the north but later it became the holiday residency of royalty which sealed the significance of the place in the hierarchical distribution of powers.

Location

Cascais, Portugal
Date Autumn 2017
Exploring Vasco da Gama, Portugal, history, asia, geography, cape of good hope, india, cascais, village, azylejo, boca da inferno, Jorge O’Neill, Moorish
Connecting Adamastor, Poseidon, Lucus, Paula Rego, Old lore, Oriental culture, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Mountain of shells, Bacchus, Dionysus, Age of Discovery

Charlie and Earling explored Cascais much more than any other place in Portugal, it is a place where cobbled stone opens a totally different dimension. A famous painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva comes to mind with the intermingled multidimensional world, fully expressed through infinite number of rectangles, just like the cobbled stones in so many cities of Portugal.

Charlie: I think it is one of the most frequent themes in the paintings of the 20th century, the language of rectangular form. Perhaps architecture, that shell of human habitation and safety, brought forward the artificial form of rectangle but then Suprematism sealed it as a purely human invention.

Earling: It is almost like a human against the nature to the extent of subduing the nature with sharp objects but at the same time imitating it through the prism of rectangular mosaics. Maria Helena Vieira da Silva speaks through the language of spatial illusion evoking the sense of time passage. Almost like a world of architecture that melts before our eyes in search for absolute truth and the core that keeps it together.

Charlie: There are many visual mosaics that furnished the insides and outsides of human habitation throughout Portugal, that go by the name of Azulejo tiles, at first invented for a purely functional purpose (to maintain the temperature) but then fictionally to imprint greater meaning into architecture and make people see deeper into the reality of represented universe through patterns, clearly an influence from Oriental cultures.

Earling: Now that we explored some of the more universal aspects of cobbled stones, mosaics and historical overview, I want to lead you to Boca da Inferno (Hell’s mouth) one of the most significant natural sites in Cascais. Possibly the source of many stories furnished with vivid imagination, especially at the time when natural grottoes on the Cascais coast were used for ritual burials during the Palaeolithic times, Boca Da Inferno currently speaks the story of a castle in which a wizard lived who wanted to marry the most beautiful woman whom he managed to capture, being the sorcerer. However things did not go well, he became consumed with his jealousy and decided to lock her away and have her guarded by his most loyal man, who was never allowed to see her. Eventually as the only company to both of them was a pure loneliness, the sight of the ocean, sun/moon marking the passage of time, the guard finally decided to actually see the lady. The fire of curiosity kept burning, and wondering what kind of creature deserved the fate of solitude that caused him to share it. Eventually they saw each other and as they already shared the same lifestyle, their destiny was one step closer to merging, which they did and then trying to escape on a white horse. The wizard, of course, saw that and summoned all the powers which opened the depth of ocean and the rocks which swallowed them. The storm were calmed but the resulting dramatic rock formation stands the changes of time and reminds us of the powers of water and imaginary magic.

Charlie: It is an interesting story, typical of romantic Earthlings, you got so attached to romantic period that be it architecture or legends, there always has to be a damsel in distress and an evil wizard or a witch.

Earling: A topic that I want to touch on is one that has a contemporary social aspect and that is the works of art of Paula Rego, who wanted to uncover the invisible, suppressed worlds particular to women, as members of family, as members of society that judges them based on their looks, based on their behavior and restricts their freedom. As the story above, there is a great solitude that many women felt surrounded by society and family members that want to tame them.

Charlie: Society’s pendulum has always alternated between the matriarchal and patriarchal and I believe revealing the suppressed especially through the narration of old stories integral to many individuals, would bring the society one step closer to the equalization before it tipped over towards the other side of the spectrum.

Earling: I want to conclude this traveloid journey with another notable person Jorge O’Neill who commissioned some of the most famous Cascais buildings at the turn of the beginning of the 20th century. He was a descendant of one of the principal Irish Royal Families whose members were living in Portugal since the 18th century. Jorge O’Neill, a wealthy man in tobacco industry and a close friend of King Carlos I of Portugal commissioned buildings which were among the most luxurious in Cascais. Now they are mostly museums, and the architectural style which he demanded was to focus on an unique blend of styles and disregard of European rules. Casa Santa Maria is one of the finest examples, designed by Raul Lino, and influenced by the Moorish style of construction evident in many substantial buildings in Portugal.

Travel through Cascais in Portugal, sharing with the world a mysterious places like Boca do Inferno

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Travel through Lisbon with me as we explore historical, ancient, mythological Age of Discovery http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-lisbon-with-me-as-we-explore-historical-ancient-mythological-age-of-discovery/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-lisbon-with-me-as-we-explore-historical-ancient-mythological-age-of-discovery/#respond Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:13:51 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=962

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Lisbon, Portugal

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

Lisbon, possibly the oldest city in Europe, goes back in time through very interesting history when it comes to diversity of settlements and the identities they brought and formed, at first Iberian, Greek, Pre-Celtic,….later Roman, replaced by Suebi, Visigoths then Moors,…. all focused around the river of Tagus, the longest river on the Iberian peninsula. A story tells of Odysseus, the Greek mythological hero who after fleeing Troy arrived at Tagus and founded the city. Of course, this story starts and ends within the vast space of imagination. History preaches of many tribes and empires establishing themselves there and one of the most prominent more in the sense of trading than anything else, the Phoenicians called it Puerto Sereno, the “Serene Port”. Indeed that seems to be the prevailing atmosphere of this whole region, maybe facing the fears and Adamastor so early in the Age of Discovery made them realize that serenity is the most powerful of collective human attributes.

Perhaps never before nor since has a color achieved such status. Isn’t it fascinating that humans were marking the territory of dominance and superiority with something as immaterial as color, and it seemed incredibly important among Romans, Greeks and many others who escalated the status of this color and restricted it’s use and availability to royalty alone.

We often think critically of our society as being too excessive in spending and creating status symbols but to produce to produce a sufficient amount of Tyrian purple dye, even for only part of a garment it was necessary to collect 12,000 sea-snails. It is important to note that the intensity of color wouldn’t diminish with time but instead intensify, something even our current technology, or at least mass producing technologies would have difficulty in accomplishing. As it was an item of luxury more valuable than gold, great economy revolved around it and it ran through the veins of the old world not only in a practical sense but also in its imaginary life.

Location

Lisbon, Portugal
Date Autumn 2017
Exploring History of Lisbon, Moors, Tagus, Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Mediterranean, celts, Jorge, Castle, Praca do Comercio
Connecting Age of Discovery, Royal color, purple, Adamastor, Hercules, Tyrus, Tyrian, Mondrian, Carlos Botelho, Van Gogh, Monumental, architecture

Greeks placed the story of Hercules and Tyrus to be the discovery of Tyrian Purple, namely, when his dog ate the shellfish and his mouth turned brilliant purple, nymth Tyrus whom he loved requested a robe of that same intense color, which he fulfilled as the Mediterranean sea was within easy command for him to collect such a great quantity of status-producing sea-snails.

As for the command of Portugal, even though history goes way beyond Homo Sapiens 400.000 years ago when it was populated by Homo Heidelbergensis, the more recent ancient history claims that Celts inhabited the region in the first millennium BC until the Romans came and were in turn supplanted and replaced by the first of many succeeding empires until the “Age of Discovery” which created sufficient power to propel Portugal into an era of colonial imperialism.

Lisbon, a center of water communication with the world turned into a center of gravity commencing with the 15th and 16th centuries of discoveries. Geography was at the time the most powerful of sciences, equivalent to today’s computer technology. Whole empires depended on the discoveries, brevity, vision and geographical knowledge of their explorers. The octopus head of Portugal spread her tentacles into Asia, South America, Africa and the Atlantic islands but for now we will focus on Lisbon and how it was perceived by two entities visiting from future.

Charlie and Earling went on to explore as they float through their quantum existence. In their weightless shells they are not only able to see what we see but also see the multidimensionality of all the alternative, parallel existences. They are also possibly in a position to understand the reason why those alternative options didn’t happen to our realm. In a way we live in a Goldilocks zone on many levels, a golden balance, a world of Mondrian where various forces rise and fall but only the one in the middle is the living one.

Charlie: Let’s start this Lisbon experience by seeing it through Carlos Botelho’s eyes, mind and canvases as the subject of his work so fervently focuses on Lisbon and Portugal in general. He is a prime example of artist that was breathing in and out the social and political changes, through the comic publications that he worked on for twenty years, amidst all the censorship and wars raging, he was still able to express the trends and ridiculousness of the everchanging and raging world around him.

Earling: It seems that Van Gogh left perhaps the greatest imprint on the artist’s painting, the strivings towards expressionism and abstractionism, but also the fact that he lived in central Lisbon, near Sao Jorge Castle was perhaps also a factor in the vitality of the buzzing world, full of people, almost merged with the architecture that he conveyed. The paintings are strangely devoid of people, but the buildings seem to have that aura of living, even the choice of color sometimes creates a reminiscence of human skin under various atmospheric lights.

Charlie: Botelho went through various stages but for me his sense of archetypal city is the most fascinating, it is akin to giving life to something previously inanimate and it begins a life of it’s own. That seems to be the universal truth of art and architecture and now I want to explore this very concept through some of the buildings we visited in central Lisbon, a city of seven hills.

Earling: One such example is Praca do Comercio (Commerce Square), once a location of the Royal Palace, a tsunami and earthquake of 1755 completely destroying what human hand/vision created to serve the Royal family and the powerful trade and administration required to run an empire of colonies.

Charlie: It is interesting how nature rebelled and rewrote the architectural expression of the whole square, the river Tagus that nurtured and provided the communication with the world decided to destroy. I could only imagine the interpretation that the local community that experienced such a power put on it at the time. All the metaphysical and mystical experiences linked to it.

Earling: This way or another, it must have been a humbling experience, a reminder that humans are just a tiny element in the greater scheme of things called nature, terra, sky. Statue of King Jose I was erected at the center of the square. A work by Joaquim Machado de Castro, one of the greatest classical Portuguese sculptors, also an analytical mind as he went into extensive details in describing the process of creating statue of D.Jose I. Created after Earthquake of 1775, it demonstrates the power of care and careful planning. Much later, in 1873, a triumphal arch Arco da Rua Augusta was built and designed by Verissimo da Costa. It is a monumental piece with statues that speak of glory, ingenuity and valor.

Earling: The sense of heaviness is an obvious sign of confidence and rebellion commemorating the earthquake that destroyed in 1755 and they wanted to bring closer to God the figures from the past such as Viriatus, Vasco da Gama, Marquis of Pombal almost like a security against a raging nature. There is a sense of Biblical offerings to the God in pieces such as this one.

Charlie: The monumental vision and scale of the architectural pieces doesn’t end there with the Arco da Rua Augusta. Stepping back chronologically, it was and is also in Lisbon Cathedral built in the 12th and 13th century. It survived many earthquakes, alterations and idealistic crusaders, being a Gothic royal pantheon, hosted brotherhoods, and acted as a Catholic charitable institution. This architectural piece is a relic and reminiscence of the times and space at the crossings of powerful Eastern and Western empires, mixing their styles and finding solace in it’s monumental scale heaviness.

Travel through Cascais in Portugal, sharing with the world a mysterious places like Boca do Inferno

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Travel through Milan, explore with me history, Leonardo da Vinci, Sforza family and much more http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-milan-explore-with-me-history-leonardo-da-vinci-sforza-family-and-much-more/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-milan-explore-with-me-history-leonardo-da-vinci-sforza-family-and-much-more/#respond Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:42:17 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=912

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Milan, Italy

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

Milan was once a Mediolanum (meaning “sanctuary”) founded by Insubres, a Gaulish population that settled on this side of Alps, as the area was a fertile plain, it meant abundance but also wars. They managed the abundance through an oligarchic society, in the hands of a few lords, and they traded with Scorpion Lion illustrated silver coins. Celts would often illustrate the animals on their coins, and those shown were usually the ones they respected greatly such as bears, deers and boars

According to legend, it was a vision in the mind of the Celtic chief Belloveso in which the divine directed him towards the area that was later to become today’s Milan. Upon arriving he supposedly found a mythological animal called Scrofa Semilanuta (a half-woollen boar) and, as we know, the boar being one of the most important animals in the Celtic belief system, greatly appreciated for their power, admired and representing the sacred animal, this was an obvious sign to establish a settlement.

Delving a little deeper, it was Moccus (which may have later transmogrified into Roman Mercury) and Veteris were Celtic gods who in particular were linked to the animal boar Moccus even taking the form of the animal and serving was a protector of hunters and warriors, whereas Veteris was very popular among the Roman army living in Roman Britain.

Milan was a crossroads not only of routes but also ideologies that passed through, and eventually, maybe most importantly for Roman history, it became a capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. Emperor Constantine also issued the Edict of Milan which put an end to the persecutions against Christians, providing for some years prosperity and peace.

Location

Milan, Italy
Date Winter 2017
Exploring history, Leonardo da Vinci, Minerva, The Last Supper, history, Druidic, Duomo, Renaissance, Gothic Art
Connecting Visconti, Sforza, art, gothic, ostrogoths, Atilla the Hun, Barbarossa, Constantine, Gorgon, Roman Mythology

From the 5th century until the Middle ages, Milan found itself in a whirlpool of various powers from all directions, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Attilla the Hun, in 452AD, Gothic Wars,… In the 11st century the rebellion against the German emperors happened when Milan becomes a city-state which gave it some prominence but also a target for another level of fighting for territory. Frederich I Barbarossa brought his wrath in the 12th century upon the city trying to uproot it through humiliation, destruction, famine and fire, but it bounced back because the core of a city is rarely in it’s buildings.

Sometimes the kernal of the city for centuries afterwards gets mentioned through the art that was created in it and in this case, significant for our current history was the Gothic Art that flourished in Milan during 14th century as Milan came under the control and influence of the ruling Visconti family.

The most famous example of gothic art in Italy is the Cathedral or Duomo.
Renaissance, arriving in Milan as a shift in ruling family from Visconti to Sforza was occurring. Ludovico il Moro of the Sforzas in particular had a great interest in art and wanted to concentrate the greatest minds of the time including Leonardo da Vinci and Il Bramante.

No drama is complete without mentioning Baroque art and the appearance of Caravaggio, the famous painter, who contrasted light and dark in such a way that it was illusion but was only visible upon inspection as the composition of his pieces was so powerful and convincing.

Charlie and Earling arrived to Italy in January 2018, still in their weightless body but this time feeling the heaviness of history a little bit stronger, as they learn how much blood was shed in order for the civilization to go forward.

Earling: Roman history is particularly interesting, as they absorbed from Greek and rose to a power that eventually consumed them. Every single empire has to go down and wait in the turmoil of it’s own ability to reinvent itself, until something new, fresh and flexible replaces it.

Charlie: The process is almost the one of calcification, once they slow down and become calcified, it is the beginning of the end, Romans had to be refreshed from the core of their beings and belief. As an example let’s explore the myth of Minerva. The Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, arts, strategy, and war later.

Earling: Reminds of Athena, but they say it was the Etruscan whose goddess was named Menrva which means “to remember” who was the basis for invention of the myth of Minerva.

Charlie: She came to this world out of the head of Jupiter, fully formed and armed, ready for the challenges that the Earthly existence would present to her. She also promoted craftsmanship and was greatly esteemed as a war goddess, in fact displacing the great Mars in the Roman pantheon. Ovid called her the “goddess of a thousands works” because of her multidisciplinary abilities and noble and competent approach to so many disciplines.

Earling: Speaking of multidisciplinary abilities and impacts made in a true Renaissance way we naturally arrive to the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who actually walked these same streets of Milan for almost 20 years of his life. Paintings are only small fraction of what he did for Milan.

Charlie: The Last Supper was created in Milan, unfortunately, Leonardo experimented with materials so it is a wonder that we are able to even see it today as it started deteriorating very fast. Among the polyphony of ideas, inventions and research Leonardo da Vinci worked on were the sculptures, paintings, anatomical studies, architectural and construction solutions especially relating to water and channels of Milan.

Earling: It was Sforza family, who was the most dominant in Milan at the time, that supported Leonardo da Vinci and his genius to live, explore, create and share his work with Milan and now, and eventually as they lost control just like their predecessors Visconti, Leonardo had to leave for greener pastures.

However he left with this realization as the years spent in Milan were his years of youth:
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Charlie: Under the patronage of the most powerful families, artists of those times were touching the divine. In a way it is no wonder that the language that they had to use was representational so that it is more easily accessible to those unprepared for the flight among the stars of the immaterial.

Earling: It may not be correct but I heard that both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo studied the water in particular believing that elements can teach and are teaching but only if we watch close enough – they were philosophers, thinkers and intellectuals first of all, for their art would have been craft if they weren’t.

Earling: Let’s transport ourselves to the times of the Druidic interpretation of the world, the metaphysical first and then through various steps, actions/reactions representation the material reflects the invisible that came first.

Charlie: Celtic art and views into the minds that observed the world through patterns, balance and thus they found elegance while merging with the powerful forces surrounding them. At the moment I am in the area of Insubres while they face the growth of Roman Empire, a Gorgon watches

Earling: Gorgon may be watching but the beginning of 20th century was very prosperous for Italy and even though the wars were raging Artistic movement futurism arrived together with Umberto Boccioni. He summarized the phenomenon of time in the context of speed and space which was in alignment with discoveries of physics at the time. He depicted the transformation that war brings and the city in such a way that only a conception stays but the flux of material objects are dancing the eternal dance, it becomes obvious that everything is connected.

Charlie: Italy today surprisingly is the accumulation of many social movements throughout history and they have kept a very strong union, even elements of strong socialism that keeps most of the population happy, although it is always criticism that truly pushes forward change for the better.

Travel through Cascais in Portugal, sharing with the world a mysterious places like Boca do Inferno

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Cascais, Portugal Venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary We are in the land of Vasco da Gama, a first official connection by the sea between Europe and Asia to the Portuguese establishing a colonial...

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Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Milan, Italy Venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary Milan was once a Mediolanum (meaning “sanctuary”) founded by Insubres, a Gaulish population that settled on this side of Alps, as the area was a fertile...

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Traveloid by ideasrex.com  Through Genoa, Italy

Venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary

Genoa, one of the most significant ports of the Mediterranean, it’s human habitation dating back at least to the fifth millennium BC.

The history of more recent times starts with the Ligurians who left material evidence of their settlements there, mixing with Greeks and Etruscans in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Described as smaller than Gauls but stronger and fiercer as warriors, they gained a notorious reputation for their mercenary skills. Be it as it may, Genoa revolved around the port and became a trading center from early times.

The origins of the name Genoa is multi faceted ,starting with the Latin word for “knee” to Etruscan “new city” but perhaps the most significant, and my personal favorite, is the association to Janus, a Roman god who represents two faces, just like Genoa, as it looks both towards the sea and towards the mountains. Besides the concept of duality, Janus is also connected to the concepts of birth, gate, passage, transition, new beginning and also the month of January.

Janus, unlike many others in Roman mythology mostly inherited from Greeks, was distinctly indigenous god and thus was present as a gatekeeper to most ceremonies, regardless of the deity being venerated on the occasion. Often starting with evoking of Janus, even the gates of a building in Rome were named after Janus who seems to have been able to live not only through the passage of time as in the start of the day, month, year, hour, solstice (in particular winter solstice as it marks a beginning) but also in space relating to doors, boundaries, passages, gates, bridges.

Genoa’s Cathedral holds the inscription “Janus, primus Rex Italiae de progenie gigantum, qui fundavit Genuam temporae Abrahae, meaning “Janus, the first King of Italy of the progeny of the giants, who founded Genoa in the days of Abraham.” It is not hard to imagine that while Janus was significant throughout Italy and surrounds, he seemed to have settled in the minds of the population more deeply in here.

Location

Genoa, Italy
Date Winter 2017
Exploring history, Etruscans, Gauls, origins, knee, myth of janus, beginnings, gates, bridge, gothic
Connecting Marco Polo, Rubens, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, Paganini, Stendhal, VR and AR as AI progresses, Byzantium, Columbus, Crystallization of love

Charlie: As the Byzantine empire started to fade, Genoa being aware of an opportunity used a Carpe Diem attitude in negotiating and as a result accumulated great wealth. This later resulted in the city becoming a center for many artists and architects to further the boundaries of their imagination into the material world.

Earling: I want to use Janus and look into the future here because as we learn about the past the possibilities through which the future can be expressed multiply. For example, the 21st century is experiencing a merging with technology in which so many things are possible but some people view this with an impoverished mind. The Flammarion engraving for example is something that illustrates the ability to wonder about the functioning of this world. VR and AR and even AI of the 21st century are almost shielding conduits through which a human mind goes into a different dimension of their own reality.

Charlie: I could certainly imagine the population of then prospering Genoa expanding the mind as they were competing with those most ancient of status symbols, wealth and luxury, through Via Garibaldi building as they were numerous 17th century palaces with incredibly beautiful courtyards, arches, revivals of the finest architectural ideas from antiquity and decorated interiors with famous paintings. Charles Dickens wrote about the street in his travellog through Italy with the utmost awe.

Earling: Genoa was competing with Venice but collaborated with Byzantium which gave great advantage in terms of wealth and trading routes. Architecturally also it seems it inherited the heaviness of times past, invoking the infinite grand visions of Antiquity.

Charlie: Speaking of grand visions and circulation of information in those historical times, that leader in the expansion of the frontiers of known geography Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa and he gave one tenth of the wealth that he accumulated from the discovery of America to the Bank of Saint George in Genoa, one of the finest examples of external paintings on the buildings at the time.

Earling: Entering the domain of story telling and trades of which Marco Polo was a master he was imprisoned in Genoa, just behind the famous Bank of Saint George was the place where they held him. As there was a war between Venice and Genoa at the time, he used the time of his imprisonment to dictate the stories of his travel and the book “The Travels of Marco Polo” was born.

Charlie: A floating through Genoa is not complete without a mention of Genoa’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence, a truly eclectic creation in terms of architectural styles, with Gothic facade, Romanesque structure, its site goes back to the 5th and 6th centuries AD where a Roman burial ground was situated, later in it’s stead the church was built and dedicated to The Twelve Apostles. The Cathedral in the shape that we see however dates back to the 12th century, somehow surviving many fires, demolitions, construction, restorations and it’s final shape that we see today was finished in the 17th century. It contains many significant artworks, frescoes, and artefacts; also it’s seven bells are tuned in the major scale of C#.

Earling: “Beauty is the promise of happiness” Stendhal and his Crystallization of love is really very interesting. I always had prejudice towards this period in human history but his truth is way beyond his times, An object of love is less about what it is and more about what we imagine it to be as the time we invest is almost always the most important, just as with music.

Charlie: Speaking of music Paganini was born in Genoa, and lived through his brilliant music that he tamed, crystallizing the idea of an uplifted, perfect world that reflects only dimly upon the material existence of Earth.

Genoa like many cities had to endure Gothic wars, many invasions and dominance by the Frankish Empire before becoming an independent city state in the 12th century.

Banking, trading, sailing and the expression Genuensis ergo mercator (“From Genoa therefore merchants”) were born and maintained. The Republic of Genoa was independent between the 11th and 18th centuries and became well known for the accumulation of power, success in trading and this lead in turn to many notable people, among others whom were Marco Polo, Columbus, Rubens, Caravaggio, Van Dyck and later, Paganini and Stendhal all touching this place with their presence at their respective times in history.

Charlie and Earling were synchronized to explore Genoa at a point of transition timewise between last year 2017 and 2018 as a new year, just as one head of Janus looks to the past and his other head looks to the future. The whole journey for Charlie and Earling is about that way of learning about the world around them. Even though they possess the quantum computer capable of calculating anything (both the point of the future and the point of the past) based on velocity and position of the molecular world, sometimes it is much more interesting to derive conclusions without ready made answers, just as many notable people have done throughout history.

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Traveloid by ideasrex.com
Through Verona, Italy

Come venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary

The origins of Verona go back to the 6th century BC and possibly to many different peoples including Euganei, Cenomani, Arusnates, Etruscans and Raetians but as to the historical certainty, we will have to wait for further discoveries or for technology to be able to peek into the pre-Roman period either through understanding and manipulating time so that we can twist it, or maybe through calculating the particles with super computers so that various scenarios could be fed into the machine, and all we have to do is press start and put on the VR glasses. Maybe that is how future generations will be learning history, by virtually experiencing it.

When it comes to Verona uncertainty continues as to the name as well, because the Eastern Gauls called it “in the direction of Rome” (Versus Romae), ancient Romans Vae Romae (Alas Rome). Verona seemed to have been a boundary between the Romans and the Barbarians as they were perceived by the Romans. Maybe the most practical is the connection in name to the river that floes through the city, by the name Adige, but the name of the river was “Vera” and -ona means settlement over it.

The true glory and significance of Verona starts with Roman colonization that made it municipium in 1st century BC.

Location

Verona, Italy
Date Winter 2018
Exploring history of Verona, Ponte Pietra from the 1st century, Castel San Pietro, Roman Amphitheatre, Scala, Congrande, Scaligeri
Connecting Myth of Mars, Nemesis, humanism, Shakespeare, Byzantine, Venetians, Giotto, Dante, Divine Comedy

Charlie and Earling were amazed at Verona, exploring the Roman network of roads interlacing from one side of the u bend to another of the river Adige that surrounds it. This view is possible from the original foundation of the city on the nearby hill where San Pietro stands.

Earling: I always think of human civilization as a collection of concentric circles within each other that constantly test the ways through history and it seems to be a rule within those circles that every now and again, especially during the Middle Ages, a triangle happens with one family dominating all the others in a certain area. In Verona it was a family of della Scala and in particular Congrande I who was an acclaimed warrior and leader, but even more importantly a great patron of arts.

Charlie: Dante, Petrarch and Giotto were protected by Congrande I and it is inspiring and interesting to think of what parts of Verona were incorporated into a Divine Comedy by Dante, as he contemplated upon the Axis Mundi of human morality, trying to find the center so that all the other concentric circles would be placed in proportion.

Earling: Giotto came back to the realism or rather reinvented it after 200 years of defined rules/forms from Byzantine inheritance (as everything happens in circles) in the search for authenticity he realized the power of perception and tried to define it more closely – this is analogous to 21st century humans, now that they are beyond industry of any type and they try to nurture and express their originality in the best way they can.

Charlie: Speaking of the circles and various movements, thoughts and trends, Humanism came to be, and it was Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) who pioneered the measure of everything in accordance with the human values, a birth of Humanism, but also a strong representative of Italian Renaissance. He was also “the first tourist” as he traveled just for sake of traveling, as well as climbing Mount Ventoux. It was him that coined the term “The Dark Ages” referring to the ignorance of the times before his era.

Earling: This however is a universal statement as the past always looks like a Dark Age, but at the same time we feel melancholic towards those sweet times of safety (nothing unpleasant can happen as it is already cemented in the past).

Charlie: The domination of Scaligeri family ended with the coming of Venice to Verona and tranfer of control through the peaceful route of negotiation which is marked by the statue Lion of Saint Mark located in Piazza delle Erbe. There are many impressive buildings that the Venetians left and strategically built next to the medieval castles that belonged to the ruling families.

Earling: Later it was Shakespeare who dominated Verona in thoughts and written word, as even today his three pieces were situated in Verona, more famously Romeo and Juliet, that is lived and relived by many visitors that believe in ideal love that happens externally without any effort

A Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge) was built in 100 BC, the oldest bridge in Verona over the river Adige which was rebuilt several times due to military destruction, but with original materials and following the original design. It actually has a hole to let the water through in case of higher levels of water. It was probably Janus who roamed the minds of those using the bridge over 2000 years ago as Janus in Roman mythology represents the connecting point, a two faced deity that looks to the past and future equally and gives birth to new beginnings.

The Roman Amphitheatre in Verona certainly witnessed many beginnings and endings, the type of entertainment (named “ludi” which means games) that sometimes had a greater priority than food itself. It seems that the type of distraction that gladiators, animals fights and the rest of the suffering provided incredible interest that made any other issues fade into insignificance or at least for a while, as long as the games were going.

The Verona Arena was built in the 1st century with the capacity of 30,000 people; it is the third largest in the world and got an epithet of being a construction that is greater than human in it’s grandeur and architectural proportions. Gladiators would often pray to various Gods, depending on circumstances, as this was the pre-Christian era, they would often silently communicate with Pluto, God of death and Mars a God of war. Also three goddesses would enter their plea including Minerva, goddess of wisdom, Fortuna, a goddess of luck and fortune, and Nemesis a goddess of chance, fortunes and revenge. Those inside the arena on the podium comprised of sand were literally facing their fears and the way circumstances unfolded often meant either life or death for them. On many occasions life after successful survival of the arena meant riches, fortunes, fame and liberation.

As the Roman Empire started to lose it’s power and eat itself from within, Europe was brewing externally, numerous warring battles taking place in today’s Verona against the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Lombards. This brings us to the 7th century A.D. and the strategic hill on which Castel San Pietro, an Austrian Fortress from the 19th
century stands today. This very spot was also the secure and convenient founding point for Verona, with the first settlements.

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Travel with me through lakes Como and Garda in Italy as we explore history, myth, survival, human values http://ideasrex.com/travel-with-me-through-lakes-como-and-garda-in-italy-as-we-explore-history-myth-survival-human-values/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-with-me-through-lakes-como-and-garda-in-italy-as-we-explore-history-myth-survival-human-values/#respond Fri, 26 Jan 2018 11:00:25 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=817

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Lakes Como and Garda, Italy

Come venture forth with me, see what I see as we explore the imaginary

“A treasure whom the earth keeps to herself” were the words William Wordsworth wrote about Lake Como in his “Descriptive Sketches”.

Historically Lake Como has had 2000 years of human habitation spanning several empires on it’s shores. In the first century A.D., it was named Lake Larius by none other than Julius Caesar. Como is also famous for it’s silk production – it was Justinian who ordered the two monks in the 6th century A.D. to secretly bring the silkworms to Europe and develop the production of this magical material in Italy.

It was Wordsworth that helped shape the Romantic era in poetry and defined it in these words “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility,” while Caspar David Friedrich in his Wanderer, 1818, captures the similar feeling of a typical Romantic ideals “individual reached the heights of the mountainous terrain with the wonderful vistas before him but is also near the precipice.” This is a reminder of how powerful our emotions are once we decide to explore uncharted territory.

Carl Jung classified the emotions within the area of ego of the conscious mind which requires examining in the various stages of individuation. Jung proposes that the individual should face all the archetypes and in particular create awareness towards emotions and moods before pursuing his/her vision. This is somewhat philosophy of Buddhism and many Eastern teachings that emotions belong to the physical realm.

Ancient Hawaiian Huna teachings called the unconscious ‘Unihipili’ which means a grasshopper; many ancient texts point to water as a corresponding element. Ancient Egyptians worshiped several insects including a Grasshopper which was also associated to water.

Location

Como and Garda lakes, Italy
Date Winter 2018
Exploring Como and Garda areas history, myth of Orpheus, Wordsworth words about Como, the concept of water and emotion, Hawaiian Huna
Connecting Futuristic exploring of neural lace, birth of violin, Volta and technology developments, Romanticism and psychology of Carl Jung, individuation

Charlie: Now we are at the source of this emotional world, at the lake that borders so many countries, and bordered so many empires in the past. It is often the emotional that creates the mountains of either exhilaration or frustration in the human mind.

Earling: It is not only humans who are evolving with the help of emotional palette, but I am sure that many intelligent beings required a mix of emotions as well. Isn’t it interesting to explore the origin of caring for each other. In Earth terms, that actually goes back to the time when for the first time in history of animal existence, being small, adaptable and being able to live in the caves and holes underground meant survival so the age of rodents commenced.

Charlie: You must be referring to one of many cataclysmic events that happened to the planet, shaped it both in terms of terra forming but also in the context of the animal kingdom. Among several orbiting visits to this planet, once I remember picking up a radio signal that spoke of the origin of the human habit to collect things, especially unnecessary ones, being a genetic remnant of rodents that survived the cataclysm thanks to the accumulation of food. I can imagine how many times coming up out of the underground and exploring the scorched surface meant meant no food while spending huge amount of energy in the search for it.

Earling: Those were the decades of darkness but life persists as long as it is still within a Goldilocks zone, and eventually recovers. The process is reminiscent of the seasons, from winter that is both devastating but also purging to the spring and eventually summer. Now this visit to the lakes happens in the winter for the two of us and we must follow the following:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
– William Blake

Charlie: I wonder if this could be distributed and imprinted into the humankind through technology?

Earling: For the moment they choose and filter internet but in the future they might have to use neural lace which might be a much more direct information processing.

Charlie: There is something that is almost as powerful as neural lace; it is located right next to the sectors in the brain which are in command of emotion and language and thus with brain being in analogue, it makes it even more powerful – it is music.

Earling: Orpheus, the charmer of every living being, who was able to influence even stones with his eternal music speaks volume of the importance this civilization gave to music. The most immaterial of arts, existing in time, but measured in space, it vibrates through all but stays nowhere.

 

Lake Garda seems to be a birthplace of violin that has proved through history to beboth an instrument of angels and devils as it was the birthplace of Gasparo De Salo (b.1542) who developed the violin and gave it today’s shape. Later Braque assigned the violin a special prominence in his cubist exploratory journey that shocked the world and challenged the understanding of time/space.

Cubism brought forth a visual language that is very dense and contrasting almost hypnotically pulling the viewer into the distorted world where either time malfunctioned or space broke into pieces.

This is a memorable quote by Picasso that evokes the mystery that surrounds art especially the abstract movement: “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards, you can remove all traces of reality.”

Charlie: We started touching upon Lake Garda with music, but it seems we will finish it with visual, as it is fitting considering the beauty it radiates. It was formed during the last Ice Age, and the name Garda comes from the Germanic word “warda” meaning “a place of guarding” which is no wonder considering how important the territory especially with it’s body of water was historically.

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Travel with me through Graz as we explore various aspects of history, architecture, power of monarchy http://ideasrex.com/travel-with-me-through-graz-as-we-explore-various-aspects-of-history-architecture-power-of-monarchy/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-with-me-through-graz-as-we-explore-various-aspects-of-history-architecture-power-of-monarchy/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 22:15:18 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=786

Traveloid by ideasrex.com
Through Graz,Austria

Come venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary

History that shaped today

The first thing that comes to mind as we walk through the streets that witnessed the shape shifting history of Europe since the Middle Ages is the most impressive architecture and merging of the new and the old in cultural sense. During the rule of the Habsburg monarchy impressive buildings were created as a testament to their initiators and to the glory of empire. Visions of Italian Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architects and artists took a physical form through buildings, decoration and famous external frescos on buildings in the city center.

Currently the second largest city in Austria and the capital of Styria, it was such a discovery to experience the place where the polyphony of old and new seem to be intertwining from a vibrant modern art scene and famous music festivals to the traveling through times when it was founded by building Gradec fortress (hence the name), the power of Habsburg, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that sparked the First World War and changed the course of history. Graz is the place where Johannes Kepler lived for some time, exploring the stars while teaching at the University of Graz, which is one of the oldest in Austria dating back to 1585.

Graz has one of the best preserved historic city centers in Europe and was awarded the status of Europe’s cultural capital in 2003. It is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1999.

Location

Graz, Austria
Date Summer 2017
Exploring history of Graz, famous landmarks, architecture, Courtyards, external fresco, various churches and history surrounding them
Connecting Greco-Roman myth, Renaissance, military history, present and thinking about power and dominance, forming of vision for europe

Imaginary supersonic bubble is exploring

Charlie and Earling landed in Graz in August 2017 and here is the route that you can follow with them as Earling is explaining what, where and how to Charlie who is visiting from another world:

Earling: Let’s float around Landhaus Courtyard a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance architect Domenico Dell’Allio. The combination of his vision, planning, the willpower and execution of those who commissioned it lives on today in it’s full glory and hosts various festivities and serves as a meeting place of the regional parliament. It was constructed in several phases starting from early 16th century and finishing in 18th and 19th with monumental Baroque style furnishing. It is amongst the most significant secular buildings of the Renaissance period in Central Europe.

Charlie: Now I understand why this place served as an inspirational point for so many artists ——- to create

Earling: The Landhaus Well is without doubt one of my favorite soul nourishing sites in Graz, built in 1590, made of bronze and representing the Mannerism period which is very rare outside Italy, this piece is telling the story of satyrs, sylvan spirits in Greek mythology (possibly symbolising wine and lust) as well as Nereids (Mediterranean Sea nymphs) a warrior at the top and a panther on the right side all speak to the mysterious that was given shape and meaning through symbolism.

Charlie: The fact that it is water, one of the most important ingredients of life, that may have inspired such a rich story in bronze amazes me. I just wonder if those using the water from that particular well were thinking about all the associated stories.

Earling: Graz and the surrounding area were often a stronghold against the advancing Ottoman empire which is why the Armoury located just next to the Landhaus has one of the largest historical collection of antique weapons in the world, containing more than 30,000 pieces.

Charlie: Human civilization is like a crystallization process of a diamond for example, if there wasn’t sufficient pressure, only mediocre strength crystal would be formed, I guess many of the places that divided the empires went through this crystallization.

Earling: The saying “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” and it is the most resonant with that thought.

 

Take a walk with me through Graz while Charlie and Earling explore some of the main sights in written form, I did a live stream around the core sights in the city. Find it underneath in the embedded tweet

Let’s float further along the street of Herrengasse where we can admire the external fresco with the depiction of Greco-Roman mythology by Baroque artist Johann Mayer. Just a little further on as we are passing Hauptplatz (Town Hall) another decorated facade, Luegghaus greets us, this time with hidden mouths and noses among fruit and flower garlands.

Charlie: Very unusual, I just wonder where else on Earth can we find something like that ?

Earling: I don’t know I can only speak about what I have seen, but I am hoping that those commenting underneath may be kind enough to let us know if they have seen something similar. Everything we experience in here is the resonance of the collective.

Now we pass Stiegenkirche Church the oldest parish church from 1343, known as a church for students with incredible modern painting, it is located behind the walls of what at one time was Augustinian monastery.

Charlie: I can see so much stone shape shifting among the cobbled streets, eclectic mix of architecture and now we see before us the most extraordinary sight – a wooden shop!!!

Earling: This is Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax, a wooden shop-facade with beautiful details and with a double headed eagle, a bakery that goes back through history to the imperial era.

Charlie: Bread and wheat, the elements so crucial for human survival historically, and yet not the healthiest from the point of view of 21st century.

Earling: Now we enter something remarkable, Burg (Double Spiral Staircase) going back through time in the Gothic sphere built in 1499/50, an absolute stone masonry masterpiece by an unknown master builder. While it may not be the only one in architecture of Central Europe, it certainly is one of the most significant.

Charlie: What is it about the stairs that fascinates, the hidden symmetry which is an illusion and yet it is an attempt to capture the pattern of beauty, building blocks of life and organization in space.

Earling: Let’s go further towards the Cathedral built between 1438 and 1464 also has one of the oldest and most impressive outside frescos depicting the annus horribilis of 1480 when the whole area was affected by the Black Death, the army of the expanding Ottoman Empire and locusts – this is such an important site and right beside it the Mausoleum, yet another testament to the former glory of Habsburg rule, commissioned by Kaiser Ferdinand II, it is one of the most important in History of Art. The vision of Italian court artist Giovanni Pietro de Pomis made it a reality.

Charlie: This looks almost like a spiritual center inspired by what is behind life and the imagination that facing death brings.

Earling: Time can only go in one direction but we have the facility to capture the remnants through technology, our memory and genetics. Just look at this media material and document what is sparking your inner vision, your inner artist and let me know in comments. I would like to document your experience and perception.

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Traveling through Varazdin in Croatia, exploring history, architecture, times when it was a capital and center of nobility http://ideasrex.com/traveling-through-varazdin-in-croatia-exploring-history-architecture-times-when-it-was-a-capital-and-center-of-nobility/ http://ideasrex.com/traveling-through-varazdin-in-croatia-exploring-history-architecture-times-when-it-was-a-capital-and-center-of-nobility/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 17:27:45 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=755

Traveloid by ideasrex.com
Through Varazdin,Croatia

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

History that shaped today
Varazdin also known as “little Vienna” of Croatia is truly a special city. Located at the intersection of so many historical points of power, it served as a cultural and administrative center from which numerous noble families ruled. Written history first registers Varazdin in 1181 when King Bela III of Hungary mentioned it. From the beginning of the 13th century, various powers both of military and religious ideology ruled the city. The Hungarian king Andrew II declared it a free royal borough in 1209 thereby further empowering it. The Knights Hospitaller arrived in the 13th century providing care for poor, sick and injured, a noble vision that certainly left the imprints of awareness among the inhabitants.

The city was built defensively and around the fortress “Stari Grad (Old Town)” and whoever was the owner of the fortress was also the ruler of the city and the area. The families in charge of the Old Town changed several times until Count Thomas Erdody became owner in the 16th century. The fortress was thereafter in the possession of and the center of influence for the Erdody family until 1925.

As the position of Varazdin was very important for Hungarian and Habsburg rulers against the advancing Ottoman empire, there were many years of prosperity and aggregation of culture. As most of the nobility from neighbouring countries restive in utero of the Austrian Empire were gravitating towards Varazdin and it was favoured by the royal patronage of Empress Maria Theresa, the last of the House of Habsburg , it even became capital of Croatia for some time from 1756 until a horrendous city fire occurred in 1776 destroying most of the city.

Location

Varazdin, Croatia
Date Summer 2017
Exploring history of Varazdin, King Bela III, Erdody, old town castle, Hospitallers, Empress Maria Theresa, Habsburg monarchy
Connecting Domenico Dell’Allio, water-town, Rococo style, art and culture, music created in Varazdin as a result of Erdody expressing an interest, Mestrovic

Imaginary supersonic bubble is exploring

Charlie and Earling landed in Varazdin in August 2017 and were spellbound extending their visit for several weeks. It was not only the charm and general feel of peace, constructive vibrations and orderly behavior of the citizens, predominantly using transportation by bicycles, but also impressive architecture and history and practically really favorable position making it a center for so many other sites, fortresses and castles to visit, that made them stay and explore.

Earling: The gravity of power, influence and safety starts with the “Old Town” the famous invincible medieval fortress. Dating back to the 13th century it had many transformations over the centuries and in 16th century, then owners Ungnad family hired the Italian Renaissance architect Domenico Dell’Allio (the same architect who was in charge for the Landhaus in Graz).
The focus of this fortress was in making it water-town/Wasserburg which was accomplished at that time with double moat, incredibly thick walls and cannons that bought many years of prosperity to the ruling families and also to the town itself.

Charlie: I am fascinated with the use of water as a barrier and the energy spent on safety in those medieval times. I guess that those are also driving innovation, category 4 civilization has no concern for safety but instead use time and obsession on crystallising visions that gives birth to the future.

Earling: We are looking here at the first stages of this civilization, awakening takes long long time, and the cost of clashing powers is high. That is why Varazdin was able to prosper as the combination of engineering ingenuity, spiritual vision and cultural vibrancy pumped it’s veins full of life.

Now we float over some really impressive architecture and let’s tell their stories. The first one we are to encounter after exiting the old town fortress is Sermage Palace a representative of the Rococo style. It changed owners several times and it was the French noble family Sermage that owned it among others, hence the name. Currently it holds art collection, paintings ranging from old to new. The most famous is the “Madonna of the Grain” that originates from Ruben’s school.

Charlie: Isn’t it interesting how the old masters had their own circles of pupils that grew out of their unique seeds, only a few developing their own. This system is a hallmark of the future when we will have small circles of pupils rather than the industialized education that mass produces common opinion.

Earling: I know that you are always critical and mocking this system which is going through change, but let’s explore the concept of power, riches and influence that only being born in, for example, the Erdody family enticed.

We are now at the Capuchin Square staring at the Erdody Palace, one of the most impressive buildings, Erdody built it in order to have a different type, more modern at the time architectural break from the Medieval “Old town” castle. Today it hosts many notes, music, beats, and architecture of sound as it belongs to the music school.

Charlie: Ah music, the most fundamental that the senses perceive and yet the most mysterious, existing only in time but made out of space. My sources tell me that Johann Baptist Vaňhal (1739 – 1813) visited Varazdin multiple times from 1773 to 1779 thanks to the support of Ladislaus Erdody and the cultural importance that was attributed to music.

Earling: You seem to be in the musing mood today, but I would rather focus our attention on the architecture. The times and space it took to create a city museum, let’s float a bit further to the core of it where one of the oldest City Halls in Europe was built. 1523 marks the beginning of the stone building owned and built by Juraj Brandenburg which became the home to ‘magistratus’ (Magistrate) and ‘rihtar’ (Judge), the merging of the two becoming today’s Mayoral office. Isn’t it interesting to observe the language influence in those two words?

Charlie: Let’s get out of the material and see the sculptures or paintings that were created in such an atmosphere

Earling: Let’s observe Ivan Mestrovic’s masterpiece Gregory of Nin (Grgur Ninski) whose toe even today grants wishes. A much larger model is standing in Split, but let’s explore the ideology of the bishop that inspired Ivan Mestrovic. He went against the dominant thinking within the Catholic church by insisting that Mass should be celebrated in local language; he supported the vision of uniting and equality. Bishop Gregory of Nin lived in the 10th century.

Charlie: What is this magnificent vision of architecture in front of us?

Earling: This is Varazdin’s Croatian National Theatre, dating back to 1873, it is the architectural child designed by the famous architects Herman Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner. There are many more buildings that they envisioned. During it’s construction Herman Helmer fell in love with a lady from Varazdin and it is said that the romance influenced the building itself in terms of aesthetics.

Charlie: Here we are back in circles just as the period of Romanticism was maturing, life on Earth in those times was greatly influenced by the emotions. They say: life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think, it seems that there is purpose and beauty in both options and we can certainly observe the polyphony of these two elements across the architectural planet called Varazdin.

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Traveling through Zagreb and exploring the historical, architectural and cultural heritage http://ideasrex.com/traveling-through-zagreb-exploring-the-historical-architectural-and-cultural-heritage/ http://ideasrex.com/traveling-through-zagreb-exploring-the-historical-architectural-and-cultural-heritage/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 11:27:28 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=687

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Zagreb, Croatia

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary as we explore the history that shaped today

Zagreb, a stronghold for centuries against the advancing empires from East and South, became a capital among other interplay of circumstances, thanks to cultural institutions that came to life at the most crucial of times. The University, Academy of Arts and Sciences, a philharmonic orchestra, Theatre – all helped Zagreb in shaping it’s dominance, eventually becoming a capital in the second half of the 19th century.

Traveling back to the founding history, there existed settlements during Iron Age, but significant/recorded history started to be written about from the early 11th century under Hungarian rule, when they established control of the ancient town Gradec, while the nearby Kaptol was the center of episcopal buildings, cathedral, with an ecclesiastical community.

As sometimes happens between neighbours, these two were in continuous battles, only separated by the river and the watermills over which they fought. Eventually as various empires were forming in the vicinity and the pressures were mounting from all sides, Ottomans, Hungarians, Hubsburg Monarchy, Venetians, …the tension eventually subsided as they realised they had to fight the common enemy in order to survive.

The Sabor (assembly that resembles today’s parliament) was formed and the two towns merged in the 16th century. As the time passed through the 17th and 18th centuries, Varazdin was taking dominance, the Austrian empire regarding Zagreb as a military outpost. However, a catastrophic fire swept through Varazdin in 1776 and changed the course of history and the tides of power shifted in favor of Zagreb.

Location

Zagreb, Croatia
Date Summer 2017
Exploring history of Zagreb, Gradec, Kaptol, Hungarian,  Ottomans, Habsburg Monarchy, Krapina, Archeological museum, Cathedral, Old stone gate
Connecting art of Mestrovic, infinity, Herman Bolle, Mirogoj cemetery, Renaissance painters, Baroque, Gothic, with neo prefix

Imaginary supersonic bubble is exploring

Charlie and Earling landed in Zagreb in August 2017 and here is the route that you can take with them while Earling is explaining the what, where and how to Charlie who is visiting from another world

Earling: This is somewhat an unlikely float, as we visited most of the Croatian coast, Zagreb was always in the background in terms of mentality. Even though we are not Earthlings, there is something about a collective consciousness that makes us want to fit in and get their views on life if not through communication, then certainly through the design of the city, it’s architecture and the living soul. I want to start this exploratory journey with Kaptol and Gradec.

Let’s go first through our visit to Gradec, a historical core on the hill, accessible by famous funicular or by stairs (I know that you Charlie prefer the ascent by foot). Historically a place of military dominance and center from which strategic decisions were made regarding survival, today’s Gradec gives us an excellent panorama over Zagreb.

Charlie: I find it fascinating that most cities on Earth will make a special viewing point over any escalation, be it natural (hills) or artificial (skyscrapers) to watch over the roofs. Is this not something of a survival psychology left over from life in the mountains? The power of highland against the competitors, animals, and just plain ease of contemplation!

Earling: I am sure that ultimately as they progress technologically, and their Technium becomes much easier to distribute, mimicking of nature will take place large scale. For example a nearby prehistoric site with a fantastic collection dating back 125.000 years, called Krapina, is an example of a museum that wants to merge with nature. But, let’s go back to history of Zagreb as we go through the streets of Gradec, one of the most dominant is certainly St. Mark’s Square with St. Mark’s Church with colourful roof tiles depicting the coat of arms of Zagreb and Croatia. Many governmental buildings are situated in the immediate vicinity, as well as the house of famous artist Ivan Mestrovic.

Charlie: The Museum of Broken Relationships is an interesting concept; as we pass it, I sense a mix of idealism towards conformity and also a dominance play with the observing eye. Maybe Earth had to unite in something close to the experience of being human that is least materialistic.

Earling: Let’s go on towards Kaptol and focus on the spiritual, because that is what they promoted historically through various forms in this part of Zagreb. To reach Kaptol we stroll through the Old Stone Gate which is the oldest surviving building, and at one time the main eastern entrance to Gradec. It houses a famous 16th century icon of the Virgin, honored by believers, sometimes seeking spoken and unspoken wishes which is why people light many candles here.

Charlie: People enjoy symbolism and rituals, no wonder that a statue that survived the fire intact becomes special and thus an object for wish fulfillment.

Earling: As we pass many Baroque buildings, and bohemian vibe streets, we are finally in Kaptol, dominated by the famous Zagreb cathedral. The original cathedral dates back to early 13th century but the one in present form was built in the early 20th century in Neo-Gothic style by Viennese architects Herman Bolle and Friedrich von Schmidt after a devastating earthquake.

Charlie: The two spires are certainly impressive, a crowning of a growing city in hope that spiritual values, being true values will dominate all the others.

Earling: So many places to fly to and so little time, let’s go quickly through the main square called Square of Ban Jelacic. Originally it was known as a market place, collection point for local taxes, it changed many names and identities from Habsburg through Yugoslavian times. Viennese sculptor Fernkorn created a statue in 1866 of Ban Josip Jelacic, and it was positioned to face East symbolizing the direction of those then considered by Croats their enemies – Hungarians. Now it is facing South, possibly indicating the latest conflict with countries of former Yugoslavia.

Charlie: I really want to see more of history in here, that is why we are here, because this was the crossroads of numerous empires, tribes and individuals. Let’s explore those.

Earling: Wish granted through visiting Archaeological Museum that houses more than 450.000 pieces. Organized efforts towards systematic archaeological excavations through Croatian regions go back to 1880s, and the museum itself contains some of the most impressive in South East Europe, including Egyptian (the only one in the region), Greek, Roman, Prehistoric, Medieval and impressive Numismatic Collections which is one of the largest in Europe.

Charlie: As someone said in the live stream above, it is worth visiting this city if only to see the Archaeological Museum of Zagreb, a truly impressive collection and an insight into the past.

Earling: Now we are at the Art Pavilion that houses art exhibitions, a visionary result of the Austrian architect duo Fellner and Helmer, the building’s exterior also holds sculptures of three Renaissance painters of Croatian origins, Giulio Clovio, Andrea Schiavone, Vittore Carpaccio and the western facade has busts of the three masters Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.

Let’s explore this vision further on the following live streaming link with the walk around the Pavilion as well as the square of King Tomislav, the sculpture that greets new arrivals from the train station that faces it.

Charlie: It is an interesting combination to combine the military leadership of one ancient century with artistic vision that starts with Renaissance.

Earling: Last but not least, we have in front of us the National Theatre of Zagreb and Ivan Mestrovic’s master piece: Well of Life that brings in one place several phases of life that twists around the eternal energy that life is. Made in 1905, it is a testament to life’s eternal change and philosophy that the Mestrovic captured in this work..

As we lost ourselves in the work of Ivan Mestrovic, another building is fading out of the background and this is the Croatian National Theatre, a project again done by Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, a Neo Baroque architectural master piece.

Charlie: The style, thinking and striving of Zagreb seems to be inspired by the Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic,…. and many others in style. Perhaps it is not surprising that, resonating with glorious aspects of European history they also served as an inspiration for re-purposing, most of the building being completed in later periods, with a neo prefix.

Earling: The famous Mirogoj Cemetery, again the vision of Austrian architect Herman Bolle, built in late 19th century, presents one of the most impressive sites to visit in Zagreb.

Take a look at this short live stream from the place in August 2017

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Travel through Kotor as we explore the myth of Hydra, Cyclops and modern society that consumes itself

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Kotor, Montenegro Venture forth with me and see what I see as we explore the imaginary In Kotor, we go back through history till as some say it was seen through the eyes of Greeks as Dekatera (meaning “hot”). Just imagine the numerous...

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Travel through Kotor as we explore the myth of Hydra, Cyclops and modern society that consumes itself http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-kotor-as-we-explore-the-myth-of-hydra-cyclops-and-modern-society-that-consumes-itself/ http://ideasrex.com/travel-through-kotor-as-we-explore-the-myth-of-hydra-cyclops-and-modern-society-that-consumes-itself/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 17:33:41 +0000 http://ideasrex.com/?p=685

Traveloid by ideasrex.com Through Kotor, Montenegro

Venture forth with me and see what I see
as we explore the imaginary

In Kotor, we go back through history till as some say it was seen through the eyes of Greeks as Dekatera (meaning “hot”). Just imagine the numerous stories and myth of Greek imagination orally transmitted through the mountainous Kotorska Boka (Bay of Kotor often simply known as ‘Boka’) and the local population slowly absorbing the ideas. For example, the heads of Hydras, as they emerge from the water, reaching up into the sky exploring the surrounding, trying to fight the Cyclops from the mountains. Cyclops, one of the earliest forms of giants, conventionally blind from the human perspective but possessing the all seeing eye that perceives across time and space. Eventually as the new civilizations came and replaced the imagination of the collective, the Cyclops went to sleep and merged with the mountains. Now we can still see the rocky textures protruding from the vegetation of the steep mountain sides, dotted here and there with the Church or mostly an abandon village and we can still imagine the giant sleeping underneath it all.

Snapping back to the moment of now, October 2017, I often wonder about the architectural and cultural metamorphoses that lead to this moment where we witness the dance between the old and the new and the wants. What people want usually reflects on the environment, architecture and culture, and today’s collective want of this area seems to be focused on Salva me (help me).

Help me in finding myself, my purpose and my role in society and the world? This is a cry that so many people on this planet share and yet among all of our solutions, life coaches, inventions and advancement only a small percentage finds the correct balance. The question is how was this balance distributed in the medieval Kotor and surrounding Boka Bay, as the fight for territory, control and power meant a chessboard filled with human lives. It was Justinian of the Byzantine Roman Empire who left the notable mark, built a wall over the mountain, so that these days multitudes from the cruise ships can walk the steps that at one time meant protection, survival and control. It was the Ostrogoths that he managed to defeat and secure Ascruvium (as Kotor was once named) under Roman influence. Nearby Risan (Rhizon) was a municipium at the time and already the imagination of myth and super powers infiltrated the architecture through the Roman mosaics dating back to II century AD. The most notable depiction was of the God Hypnos, who ruled dreams and sleep.

Location

Kotor, Montenegro
Date Autumn 2017
Exploring history of Kotor, myth of Cyclops, Hydras, Odilon Redon, Roman God Hypnos, Homer’s Odyssey
Connecting art of Odilon Redon Cyclops piece, communist regime, morality of society, greed and natural balance, Dante and sphere of Mercury for Justinian

Charlie: Maybe Hypnos made Cyclops so dormant for so long and the only energy of discord was the invisible fumes that came out and created the rampant construction chase among the populations and those discovering the place from other countries in the recent years as it transitioned away from the Communist system.

Earling: How did you perceive all that? First we want to explore the vision of the artistic imaginary world versus material accumulation and how dark becomes light when there is no life and death. Let’s start with Cyclops!

Odeon Radon’s Cyclops is one such example where the artist pulls us into his world of chasing monsters and converting them into benevolent creatures. Polyphemus, a one- eyed Cyclops that consumes everything before him is looking in a non-threatening way over a Naiad Galatea. It is the innocence and tremendous power of nature that we admire and fear and interpret it through powerful creatures.

Charlie: Naiads represent the water spirits of springs, and Mountains around Kotor are abundant with springs, no wonder this vision can be translated across centuries in this present moment of associations and nature indeed is observing just like Polyphemus and Galatea and waits for the moment to attack and manifest the power like it did in Homer’s Odyssey.

Let’s traverse some more history that made the place what it is now.

Earling: The most famous and notable beside the old town itself is the fortification from Roman times (although the place was fortified during the Ilirian times the form we see today goes back to the Romans), called San Giovanni (St. John). The famous Roman emperor Justinian I sparked the impulse to built the fortification in the 6th century as he was trying to unite the Roman Empire that seemed to be on a continuous downward slope not only against rising powers but also because the nature seemed to be rebelling bringing forth volcanoes, meteor collision, earthquakes, plagues,….

Charlie: Dante Alighieri decided that Justinian’s place in the Divine Comedy was as a spirit residing on the sphere of Mercury, alongside those consumed by ambitions and thirst for achievement but not for the right motives. It seems that the all consuming fame dictated his action as opposed to what should have been a spiritual striving.

Earling: Kotor was a true crossroads of empires with the Venetian rule leaving the greatest mark, a mark of Stari Grad (Old Town) architecture. A Synonym for culture, civilization and system of values with which Marco Polo started exploring the world and taking it as a measure of everything he assembled. Today we have a world wide web, but our measure of reality depends on what we are surrounded with.

On the other hand Oldřich Koníček (1886-1932) in 1912 depicted what he saw in his painting Pohled na Boku Kotorskou (View over Kotor Bay) while Carlo Carra, one of the leading Futurist painters at the time may have easily influenced this painting. Early 20th century had it’s own version of world wide web and the connections made will only reveal the mystery as we plough through time in both directions.

Charlie: Do you think that the beauty of nature in it’s both ruthless and magnificent form influenced the events that happened as Ostrogoths, Saracens, the Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Grand Principality, Kingdom of Hungary, Bosnia, Venetian republic, and Ottomans, came and went?

Earling: In a way it preserved itself, the fact that mountains with their sleeping Cyclops and Naiads prevented massive movement and conquests, it was sufficiently out of the way so that the wilderness could spring forth every so often.

Charlie: Wilderness that crucial element, in these tame years of technological conquering, isn’t it interesting that sometimes wild is associated with a positive concept? It is a sign that imagination is still present.

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