Traveloid by ideasrex.com
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.
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.