Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MySpot: Slow Down, Take Time

"Once she stopped rushing through life, 
she was amazed how much more life she had time for."


Sunday, August 20, 2017

MySpot: How I Go to the Woods (Romania - Mogosoaia Palace III)

"How I Go to the Woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, 
with not a single friend, 
for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. 
I have my way of praying, 
as you no doubt have yours. 

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. 
I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, 
until the foxes run by unconcerned. 
I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much."

Mary Oliver

MySpot: A Summer Palace (Romania - Mogosoaia Palace II)

"Once upon a time there was an empress, 
trapped as a ghost in the ruins of a jewelled palace, cursed to find another soul to take her place. 
At least, that's what the empress heard. 
But, as it turned out, stories can have any ending you like."

Kirsty Logan -  The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

Romania - Mogosoaia Palace

Located about 10 km away from Bucharest, Mogoșoaia Palace was built between 1698-1702 by Constantin Brâncoveanu 
in what is called the Romanian Renaissance style or Brancovenesc style, a combination of Venetian and Ottoman elements. 
The Palace was to a large extent rebuilt in the 1920s by Princess Martha Bibescu (1886 – 1973).
The palace bears the name of the widow of the Romanian boyar Mogoș, who owned the land it was built on. 

Mogoasoaia Palace is an architectural monument having the façade dominated by traditional staircase balconies, 
and by the arcades and columns with capitals, specific to the Brancovenesc style, 
but has also some Byzantine decorative features and adornments 
which join stylistic elements characteristic both of the Italian Renaissance and the Baroque. 
It is considered to be the crowning of the Romanian Renaissance architectural style for laic monuments.

The main building of the complex is the palace, which housed the Brâncoveanu family’s apartments at the first floor. 
These could be reached directly from the courtyard, by means of an exterior staircase and balcony. 
The ground floor included the servants’ rooms, while at the basement there was the cellar. 
The palace’s facade presents many arches, which rise to the level of the first floor. 
Apart from these features, characteristic to the Brâncovenesc style, 
the palace also borrowed Venetian and Ottoman architectural elements which contribute to its beauty.

The story of this palace begins in 1702, when the first construction was built on the shore of the Mogoşoaia Lake, 
but according to the documents, this first building was different from today’s palace. 
At the beginning, the vast court of the palace was filled with servant’s quarters, the kitchen, the icehouse, 
while the apartaments were to be found upstairs. 
In those times, the palace often hosted big parties and dances, and therefore was very popular. 
This blissful times came to an end after the beheading of Constantin Brâncoveanu, 
when the palace became for a while a Turkish inn. 
Soon after, it’s structure will be severely damaged by the Ottoman raids, in the 18th century.

When the last Brâncoveanu died, the palace was taken over by Bibescu family, descendants of the Brâncoveanu family. 
The new owners took great care in restoring the Palace around 1850 and extending it.

At the beginning of the 20th century Prince George Valentin Bibescu gave the palace to his wife, 
the poet and writer Martha Bibescu, 
but unfortunatelly by then the palace was ruined and abandoned. 
Martha Bibescu decided to once again bring it to it’s full glory, to turn the palace into the house of her dreams. 
After completing the work, the Mogoşoaia Palace was the new meeting place for intelectuals, writers, artists of the inter-war period. 
She spent all her wealth from the many books she wrote in the palace reconstruction, 
and it became the meeting place for politicians and international high society, 
a quiet retreat during the growing turmoil of the 1930s. 
Prince George died in 1941 and was buried in the small, white church on the grounds of the Palace. 

In 1945, shortly before the change of political regime, Martha Bibescu donated the estate to the Romanian state, 
to be included on the list of historical monuments. 
In the ’50s it was used to host the Medieval section of the Art Museum
In 1957, the palace became the headquarters of the feudal section of the National Art Museum. 

After the 1977 earthquake that damaged it, the chimneys collapsed and were replaced with the actual ugly factory-like chimneys. 
After the 1989 changes, it was deserted for a while and nowadays it is a museum and the interiors can be visited – 
as they host art exhibitions. 
The palace, as it can be seen today, is made of a loggia, the cuhnia, the gate tower, the palace proper and a secondary left wing. 
Supposed to be the most important non-religious monument in Wallachia, 
Mogoşoaia Palace currently houses a museum and an art gallery. 
Together with the other attractions of the Mogoşoaia Palace Museum Complex, it forms an important tourist attraction.

The palace is like all the monuments raised by Brâncoveanu, a fine and harmonious blend of Renaissance elements with traces of Baroque and features taken from the traditional households in Romania.
The Mogosoaia palace is a beautiful architectural and artistic achievement, 
but also the huge park which surrounds it is just as beautiful. 
Situated near the Mogoşoaia Lake, it is aranged in the Italian way, 
with a loggia, columns, even a small labyrinth made out of living hedge. 
However, even though all these constructions are really beautiful pieces of art and culture, 
the best asset of this place are the gardens and the lake.
The area is actually an island of fresh air, amazing flowers, calmness and peaceful waters.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

MySpot: Garden of Mint

"She sprouted love like flowers,
Grew a garden in her mind,
And even on the darkest days,
From her smile the sun still shined."

Erin Hanson