Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy and commonly known as Il Duomo. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436. Unfortunately it is one of those places that is almost impossible to photograph without a crane or a drone.

It is located in the Piazza del Duomo surrounded small streets and thousands of people. This shot taken 20 years ago from across the river in The Piazza of Michelangelo gives you an idea of the size and scope. Click Here

In this close view you can see the beauty and the style of marble used to create this sanctuary.

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Il Duomo

Forty-Five… European Street Music

Recently we took a four week trip through Europe. We started in Amsterdam and finished in Prague. I made a vow to myself that I would take video of every street musician we saw. Some were great, some not so great but all provided an interesting taste of the countries we traveled through. What I like as much as the music is the action in the streets around the performers. Watch until the end and take a look at the “gold statues” behind the performers.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest and oldest castle in the world. It is actually not a castle but a complex of buildings including two cathedrals, the most famous being the St. Vitus Cathedral.The castle dates back to the early ninth century and is currently the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was previously a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.

This view is from the lower garden. It is too large to capture in one image and worthy of a panoramic photo project and is probably best viewed from the air.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle

View of Saint Francis Church Praha

There are so many churches in Praha (Prague) and so many church spires. I think that is why I was drawn to the view of this church from Prague Castle. It is one of the few that has a dome in addition to the spires. This is the Saint Francis of Assisi Church located near the foot of the Charles Bridge on the Prague Castle side. You can see this view from the upper garden of the castle below the St Vitus Cathedral.

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The Dome of St Francis

The Dome of St Francis

Strasbourg France

I have always kinda had a secret love affair with France. As a history student I always respected the role they played in securing our freedom from Britain. Yet Americans seem to love Britain and hate France. Go figure! I mean one of the symbols of our freedom was a gift from France.

Personally I married a French Teacher and 45 years later she still makes me melt when she speaks French to me. We have been to France together a couple of times but on this years junket through Europe we would only be in France for one day.

That day would be in Strasbourg which is a place we always wanted to visit. It is interesting because it is on the border between France and Germany and sovereignty has flipped back and forth many times over the centuries. It is a beautiful city and sits on an island between tributaries of the Rhine river.

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Strasbourg France

Strasbourg France

A View from Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest castle in the the world. It is more like a small city than just a Castle. There is a cathedral, two churches, streets with shops and cafes and at least two large garden and park areas. Currently the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic lives there so there is also a large military presence. This view was taken looking south from the upper garden.

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The view from Prague Castle

The view from Prague Castle

Changing of the Guard at Prague Castle

We were fortunate to be at Prague Castle during the changing of the guard. I did manage to get some video but it is a little jumpy because i was running backwards as they walked towards me. This is a still from the video which will be included in my upcoming video focused on European street musicians. Their marching cadence is a form of music if you ask me. The whole thing made me think of the movie Duck Soup for some reason.

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Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard