Posts about Savoir Vivre

Paris: The stage of a glamorous Montmartre Show.

Paris. Montmartre – a sphere in its own right

12.04.2024

The Making of a Bohemian Microcosm

Montmartre evolved following a massive urban reconstruction and relocation scheme initiated by a great man of the 19th century: Napoleon III. Together with his ambitious town planning prefect Baron Haussmann, he aimed at creating a mundane Paris of dazzling allure and wanted it to become „the most beautiful city of Europe“ – not without granting spacious plots of land in prime locations to Haussmann, his many friends and financial supporters. By rigorously stomping unsightly areas into the ground and by replacing humble housing by posh manorial edifices and narrow crooked alleyways by grandiose and airy boulevards and squares, Paris’s face was substantially lifted and embellished – albeit at the expense of the less privileged population, who became early victims of gentrification.

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Feasting in the streets: Adelaide's Food and Wine Festivals are legendary.

South Australia: All-rounder Adelaide

14.06.2023

Where the living is easy, fish are jumping and the conferencing is green

The dynamic city of Adelaide, situated west of where the cotton is high on the Australian continent, seems to have struck it lucky in many respects. Blessed not only with a mild, mediterranean climate and the flattering reputation of being cultured and inspiring, its fortunate citizens also benefit from a value-for-money ratio that allows them to maintain a pleasant and easy-going existence in a safe and clean environment close to a deep-blue sea brimming with resources. Adelaide also throws the frequent mouth-watering feast or festival, lushly catering to the gourmet side of life, and is thus rightly considered South Australia’s undisputed capital of fine cuisine and a good drop of wine here and there. Renowned wine regions – such as the Barossa – are a mere stone’s throw from the city.

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Pink for girls: Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland Paris - excellent fairy-tale stuff.

Germany’s Blockbuster: Neuschwanstein Castle

3.05.2023

When the King is a Queen

As is endorsed, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany’s prime tourist attraction perched on a steep rugged rock deep in Bavaria, served as a role model for what was to become the epitome of a castle eligible for the classical Disney story. Its silhouette was even chosen for the logo of the Walt Disney Studios. The elaborate palace is a real estate shrouded in ever-lasting mystery and thus an ideal venue for the incarcerated, bewitched or poisoned princess desperately waiting to be rescued.

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Buenos Aires: An ageless Latin Seductress

15.04.2023

The most enchanting characteristics of Argentina’s capital may not be entirely genetic in terms of having grown from an indigenous seed – as accounts perhaps for other metropolises. Buenos Aires’ obvious charm is much rather the result of the Old World wanting to settle in the new one without abandoning their familiar ways and traditions. Immigrants arriving to the country during the nineteenth century created a fascinating mix of distinct ‘European’ style neighbourhoods by lending their foreign identities to acquired territory: Madrid is now in Avenida de Mayo, Paris in Recoleta and Alvear Avenue or Naples in La Boca. Downtown Buenos Aires exudes the atmosphere of grand colonial times to this date. Spanish, Italian and French cultures made sure to also leave their legacy in sectors such as education, art, architecture and gastronomy.

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The Smetana Hall + Obceni Dum in Prague

Prague: Obecní dům – a Genius Loci of fine Art Nouveau

25.02.2023

Great sculptors and painters of their time have created an architectural treasure, whose masterly opulence bears witness to their genius to this day. Jan Preisler, Mikoláš Aleš, Max Švabinský, František Ženíšek, Ladislav Šaloun, Josef Mařatka, Josef Václav Myslbek or Alfons Mucha – names difficult to pronounce – were but a small fraction within the remarkable group of skillful artists involved in building and decorating Obecní dům – the Municipal House located right in the heart of Prague. Since its inauguration in January of 1912, the extraordinary building has served as a splendid stage for atmospheric concerts, grand festive balls as well as fancy fashion shows and is justly listed a national heritage site. Its protagonists – the Smetana Hall and the Municipal House Restaurant – alone may well be worth the trip to Prague, from whichever corner of the globe it may have to commence.

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