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Austria, Innsbruck: Golden Roof, Innsbruck Austria

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The Goldenes Dachl or Golden Roof (built around 1500) is a landmark and famous symbol in Old Town (Altstadt) Innsbruck, Austria. The edifice was built for Emperor Maximilian I to mark his wedding to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan.  It served as a royal box where the Emperor and his imperial entourage could sit and enjoy festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square below. Since he did not wish to alienate the allies gained by his first marriage, to Maria of Burgundy, he had an image painted of himself on the balcony between the two women.The roof was decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles.

France, Paris: Gustave Eiffel’s Tower

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Gustave Eiffel had an apartment in the tower to entertain guests. And you too can be wined and dined there. There are 2 restaurants and then a champagne bar at the top. We totally enjoyed our entire dining and viewing experience at Alain Ducasse’s Jules Verne, which garnered one Michelin star. Though a set menu, it allows tourists to experience a “starred” moment in this famous city with less than sky high prices (but still expensive). Starting May 2019, it will be managed by three-star chef  Frédéric Anton. Guess we’ll have to go again!

 

France, Paris: Guess Where I Am?

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First visit to the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

France, Paris: A Different Perspective of the Eiffel Tower

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The Eiffel Tower from the bottom up.

France, Paris: Thar She Blow – The Eiffel Tower

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Now surrounded by security fences, and an airport-like clearance entrance, some of the freedom, joy, or innocence of the her majesty is lost.

France, Paris: Opera de Paris

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World over it’s known as the Opera de Paris however it does have a real name, the Palais Garnier named for its architect, Charles Garnier, and was built from 1861 to 1875. It became even more famous because of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially because of the later adaptations in films and the popular 1986 Broadway musical. It is as much a symbol of Paris as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

France, Paris: Liberty Leading the People in the Louvre

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Though foreigners flock to see the Mona Lisa, to the French, the most important painting in the Louvre – the unofficial national painting of France is this one, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix. The bare-breasted female figure, who is called Marianne became a symbol of Liberty for the French Republic. Though Delacroix painted the July Revolution of 1830, the broken bodies beneath the flag depict the 40 years of civil war, political and social upheavals necessary to conquer the monarchy in order to win a representative government. The huge 8′ by 10′ scale adds to the dramatic patriotism.

France, Paris: Arc de Triomphe

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Yup, the symbol of France is still there and still majestic. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is situated at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. Etoile means star and that refers to the twelve avenues which radiate from the arch.
The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in wars so it became the rallying point of French troops who paraded through it after successful military campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade. After the interment of the Unknown Soldier from WWI, however, parades have avoided marching through the actual arch and go around its side, out of respect for the tomb and its symbolism. Both Hitler in 1940 and de Gaulle in 1944 observed this custom. After WWI, in an event captured on newsreels, Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane under the arch’s primary vault.

The bas relief shown in pic 2 represents Liberty under the figure of a winged woman pushing against the enemy invasion.

US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com