Sunday, September 25, 2016

France, Loire Valley - Château d'Azay-le-Rideau I

The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is located in the town of Azay-le-Rideau in the French département of Indre-et-Loire. 
It was built by a wealthy financier, Gilles Berthelot, during the reign of Francis I, between 1518-1527. 

A subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor, 
it is an icon of the new art of building in the Loire Valley in the 16th century. 

Set on an island in the middle of the Indre, the château seems to rise straight out of the waters of the river, 
which reflect the castle's façades so that the château appears to float in its own image. 
The writer Balzac, who lived nearby and was occasionally a guest at the château, deeply admired the building, 
describing it as 'a facetted diamond, set in the Indre'. 

This striking setting has helped Azay-le-Rideau to become one of the most famous of the Loire's many châteaux.
Its successive owners have helped to make it the most architecturally harmonious treasure in the Loire Valley. 
In 1905, the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau came under State ownership.

Sibiu - The Stairs Tower

It is the only one of the three access gates which was preserved; 
it dates from the 13th century, being the oldest construction in Sibiu. 
The tower presents itself in the form of a one-story massive brick construction, 
hosting at the first floor an arched passage way 
through which one can arrive at the stairs connecting the “Upper Town” with the “Lower Town”.

Sibiu - Unnamed Abandoned House

"A house cannot be made habitable in a day; 
and, after all, how few days go to make up a century."

Bram Stoker

Sibiu - Purple Flowers

"It is a wonderful study of flickering light and grateful shade in midsummer..."

Alice Morse Earle

Sibiu - The Streets

Sibiu rejoiced in the last years of a significant acknowledgement of its beauty and touristic potential at an international level. 
Consequently, the prestigious Forbes magazine ranks Sibiu on the 8th place of the list containing "the most idyllic places to visit", 
in 2014 The Huffington Post included Sibiu in the list containing "The most charming cities in Europe you’ll want to visit", 
the city being mentioned in numerous articles of the most important newspapers in Europe and the US. 
Michelin awarded Sibiu a quotation of three stars (Green Guide Stars), 
the maximum quotation and the highest awarded to a city in Romania. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sibiu - Yellow / Orange Houses

"The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin."

Wallace Stevens