PhotoPOSTcard: Looking Down on Stramberk

Surrounded by wooded hills and sitting in the shadow of a castle tower,  picturesque Stramberk in the Czech Republic is best known for the  gingerbread snack called Stramberk Ears.  This thin, cookie-like treat is made exclusively in this town by bakers who need to have a special permit and who carefully guard the recipe.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

Please note that the visit to Stramberk was hosted by Moravian-Silesian Tourism  but all content is my own.

PhotoPOSTcard: Romantic Sobotin Castle

The Sobotin Castle was completed in the late 19th century by the Klein brothers who also owned the nearby ironworks factory. Today, the castle is called Hotel Klein and is the romantic and luxurious component of the Sobotin Resort complex that consists of three hotel buildings catering to varying budgets. The resort also has a wellness spa and indoor pool, a restaurant and its own brewery. The resort is a perfect home base to explore the surrounding outdoor and historic activities in this less touristy Jeseniky Mountain region of the Czech Republic.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: The Fountains of Olomouc

Walk around Olomouc in the Czech Republic and you can’t help but notice the many large fountains decorating the squares of the old town. There are six large and old Baroque fountains that take their inspiration from the heroic characters of ancient mythology like Hercules and Neptune. There are now also two newer modern fountains. This one, the Arion fountain completed in 2002, also takes its inspiration from the ancient legend of the Greek poet, singer and kithara player Arion, who was rescued from the sea by a dolphin attracted by his singing.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Olomouc’s Holy Trinity Column

Olomouc’s Holy Trinity Column in the Lower Town Square is one of the many UNESCO listed heritage sites in the Czech Republic.The highly ornate baroque design was built between 1716 to 1754 as an expression of gratitude at the ending of the plague that had infected the region between 1713 and 1715. The column was as much an expression of patriotism as it was of faith. All the sculptured saints decorating the column have a connection to the town and the craftsman that produced the column were also all locals. Inside, there is actually a little chapel.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Climbing to New Heights in Ostrava’s Bolt Tower

The Bolt Tower in Ostrava, Czech Republic is a unique glass cafe and observation tower that was built on top of what was once an ironworks blast furnace. The wrap-around glass walkway is meant to look like the fire that once burned for real in the metal producing furnace below. At 250 feet high the Bolt Tower is the highest point in Ostrava and provides the best views of the city, especially at sunset. Would you have the nerve to stroll this glass walkway?

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Celebrating 100 Years of Stories

A local resident studies a photo exhibit depicting 100 years of Czech stories in Ostrava’s Masaryk Square. One hundred years ago, the Czech Republic was born as a nation. This year, the country is celebrating its centennial in a variety of ways, including a traveling photo exhibit from the archives of the Czech News Agency, which also started its existence 100 years ago. The exhibit depicts the last 100 years of stories in photos from the news agencies archives. The photo exhibit has been traveling to various cities in the Czech Republic throughout the year, including, as seen here, in Ostrava earlier this summer.

Thanks for visiting

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: A Salty Last Supper

Opened in the 13th century, the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland was one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world until it ceased production in 2007. But what put this mine on the original UNESCO list was the chapels and and intricate statues carved out of salt or carved directly into salt walls of the mine. In the largest and most elaborate St. Kinga’s Chapel, one of the wall reliefs is a salt carved version of Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Krakow’s New Ryszard Kuklinski Monument

As I walked out of Krakow’s Glowny Train Station, I passed an interesting monument and sculpture. Later, I learned that it had just recently been erected this past June to honor the controversial Polish Cold War hero Ryszard Kuklinski. Colonel Kuklinski worked as a NATO spy for ten years passing top secret Warsaw Pact documents to the CIA during the height of the Cold War. Interestingly, it is only fairly recently that his actions have been accepted in a positive light in Poland. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Kuklinski was initially deemed a traitor by the Polish government. The square in which the monument was erected is named after Jan Nowak-Jeziorański who was a World War II hero that spent his life fighting for an independent Poland.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Colorful Street Art in Krakow

Most of the old protective wall that once encircled Krakow’s Old Town is now gone, but a small section still remains on either side of the Florian Gate. Here, the old wall acts as an outdoor gallery for local artists displaying their colorful canvases. Each morning the artists use ladders to hang their creations, filling all the available vertical and horizontal wall space. An ever changing collage of street art in Krakow.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: A Study in Contrasts

As we were touring the  Sultan’s Palace Museum in Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar, a group of local students were also visiting on a school field trip. They were all dressed in what was clearly a school uniform – the boys in grey slacks and yellow polo shirts and the girls in ankle length grey skirts and yellow head scarves. I was struck by the contrast of the girls with their simple head coverings as they were studying one of the displays in the museum, and the painting behind them of a very elaborately dressed Empress Elizabeth of Austria. The painting was given as a gift when Zanzibar’s ruler, Sultan Barghash bin Said, signed a treaty with Austria-Hungary’s Emperor Franz Josef in 1888.

Thanks for visiting

Rose