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Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Flatiron Building

Toronto has its own version of New York City’s Flatiron building.

Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Mural Near Dog Park

Fun Trompe d’oeil mural on wall near a dog park in downtown Toronto. So cool that a bride and groom are taking photos here. Maybe they have a doggie? Some of the windows are real. Can you tell which ones?

 

Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Two Views of Toronto’s CN Tower

The CN Tower and a reflection of the Tower in an office building nearby, The tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa. It still remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.


Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Telephone in Casa Loma, Toronto

High tech telephones can be found in most of the rooms (even his bathroom) of Sir Henry Pellatt’s castle-like home, Casa Loma – and this was in 1913! 

Italy, Rome: St. Peter’s Dome, Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica has the tallest dome in the world. Michelangelo had a large part in its design. The lantern is 17 metres high. It was used as a model for other domes in the western world such as Saint Paul’s in London (1675), Les Invalides in Paris (1680-1691) and the Capitol building in Washington, DC (1794-1817).

 

 

Italy, Rome: Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world with the tallest dome in the world. This Renaissance architecture was designed over the centuries by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

On 1 January 1547, Michelangelo, then in his seventies, was Pope Paul III’s 3rd choice to be the superintendent of the building program. So way beyond the Sistine Chapel, he was the principal designer of most of the building as you see it today.

 Michelangelo, who did not want this job, wrote “I undertake this only for the love of God and in honour of the Apostle.” In order to take the assignment, he insisted he be given a free hand to achieve his ultimate design by whatever means he saw fit.

The Basilica is supposedly the burial site of Saint Peter, first Bishop of Rome whose tomb is supposedly directly below high altar.

Italy, Venice: Gondola Parking

Never thought about where you park your gondola when you are off work. Notice the other boats tucked along the buildings. Front doors are often on the canals.

Italy, Venice: Bridge of Sighs, Venice

The Bridge of Sighs is named for the sighs of the prisoners who were interrogated and charged in the Doge’s Palace building and had to walk across the canal on this bridge to the New Prison. The white limestone decorated bridge is enclosed but has windows with stone bars; It passes over the Rio di Palazzo.

France, Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral

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Notre-Dame Cathedral is a architectural masterpiece and you really need to walk around the outside of it to appreciate it all. It was begun in 1160 and completed by 1260. Just think about how long ago that was and here it still stands so magnificently; What are we building today that will last that long? This medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris is still widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture with its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the gargoyles and the enormous and colorful rose windows.

France, Paris: Hotel des Invalides

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Les Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides is a vast complex of buildings in Paris including museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. As per its name it was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Pictured here is the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris which contains the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon.

The complex had 15 courtyards for military parades. At the church, attendance was mandatory. Louis XIV also commissioned his architect Mansart to construct a separate royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (pictured). By combining a royal chapel with a veterans’ chapel, the King and his soldiers could attend mass at the same time while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by court etiquette at that time.

I’d like to think the gentleman sitting there (in the wheelchair and on the bench) are two of our veteran heros..