The Swedish Royal Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, is one of two major museums of natural history in Sweden.
The museum was founded in 1819 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, but goes back to the collections acquired mostly through donations by the academy since its foundation in 1739. These collections had first been made available to the public in 1786. The museum was separated from the Academy in 1965.
The present buildings for the museum in Frescati, Stockholm, was designed by the architect Axel Anderberg and completed in 1916, topped with a dome. As of 2014 it is the largest museum building in Sweden.
The Stockholm Underground (tunnelbana) opened in 1950, and today the system has 100 stations in use, of which 47 are underground and 53 above ground. Traffic in underground moves on left-hand side, because cars still drove on the left in Sweden when the underground system opened.
In 2017, the underground carried 353 million passengers, which corresponds to 1,2 million in a normal weekday. The 105.7-kilometre-long underground system has been called ‘the world’s longest art gallery’, with more than 90 of the network’s 100 stations decorated with sculptures, rock formations, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 different artists. (Wikipedia)
Millesgården can be termed a work of art in its own right, a nicely balanced stage design of terraces, fountains, stairways, sculptures and columns, coupled with a diversity of vegetation and an immense vista across the waters of Värtan from the rocky heights of Herserud.
It was in 1906 the sculptor Carl Milles bought a plot of land on the island of Lidingö, and in 1908 he had a house and a studio built here. Carl and Olga remained in this lovely home until 1931. A magnificent donation by Carl and Olga Milles established, in 1936, the Carl and Olga Milles Lidingöhem Foundation. Millesgården was first opened for the general public in the closing years of the 1930s.
Millesgården is still run by the foundation, which includes representatives of the Swedish Government and the Municipality of Lidingö. This unique setting, one of Sweden’s foremost tourist attractions, welcomes thousands of visitors every year. It is open all the year round and the intention is for the museum, aided by exhibitions and activities of various kinds, to continue in the visionary spirit of Carl Milles himself (Link).
The train was riding smoothly. Not too full. Only few people standing. It was difficult to tell the age of the man sitting few rows from me. he was probably younger than he looked. Scrappy beard. Worn out baseball hat. Oversize jeans. Old jacket. Metal rings to his hands. A bottle of beer half full in his right hand.
The was talking aloud but not anyone in particular. The other passengers let him speak. At one point he put the bottle between his feet and kicked it. The beer started to flow on the floor of the carriage. Passengers lifted their feet and took their bags. He began to speak with a loud voice. Getting angrier. The people next to him stood up and moved away which made him apparently angrier. He pointed his hands towards some of the other passengers and shouted things I could not understand.
All the seats next to him were empty now. Only one person remained sitting. A young girl. Who had taken the earplugs off and began to talk talk to him. He first shouted to her btu stopped almost immediately looking almost surprised that a young teenager would not be scared by his behaviour and anger fit. She spoke with a soft tone. No judgment. No anger. The train stopped. Two security guards appeared and took the man out from the train. He did no resist them. Before leaving the carriage he gave a last look at the young girl who was still sitting alone and was putting the earplugs back on.
The Scrovegni Chapel, dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by Giotto, upon the commission of Enrico degli Scrovegni, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. The frescoes, which narrate events in the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ, cover the entire walls. On the wall opposite the altar is the grandiose Universal Judgement, which concludes the story of human salvation. The chapel was originally attached to the Scrovegni family palace, built after 1300, following the elliptical outline of the remains of the Roman arena. The Chapel was acquired by the City of Padova in 1880, and the vulnerable frescoes were subjected to several specialized restoration operations during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Enrico Scrovegni was a Paduan money-lender who lived around the time of Giotto and Dante. He was the son of Reginaldo degli Scrovegni and Capellina Malacapelli, and was married twice, first to a member of the Carrara family, then to Jacopina (Giacomina) d’Este, daughter of Francesco d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara. He may have been a member of the Cavalieri Gaudenti. Enrico is most famous as the patron of Giotto, commissioning the great painter to paint the famous Scrovegni Chapel, c.1303-5, which he also commissioned. There is a tradition that he hired Giotto to atone for the sin of usury, although there is debate about whether this idea has any foundation. Dante placed his father in the Seventh Circle of Hell for his notoriously ill-gotten gains, and Enrico himself was a moneylender on a grand scale; it is these facts that have given rise to the tradition. Against the idea that he founded the chapel as an act of atonement may be cited the fact that it was a very sumptuous commission for his own personal use, attached to the grand palace that he built for himself. In 1320 Enrico Scrovegni fled the wars and civil strife that plagued Padua at the time, and settled in Venice. He was formally banished from Padua in 1328, and died in Venice in 1336
The announcement was clear. The train from Milan that we had to catch was travelling with 55 min delay. Instead of 21:15, we would (maybe) leave by after 22:00. We were in Mantova. We had come from Ferrara and had been travelling for three days. We had walked a lot. Visited great cities. All we wanted was to get home. We had to kill time at an empty station where everything but the toilets was closed.
I started to think about the commuters to/from Milan who have to take this train everyday. Getting back home by 21:15 or 22:00 is really different, especially when you have to get on the train the following morning by 07:00. The kids are probably already sleeping when you get home and may be still asleep when you get up to get to the station in the morning. Then the frustration of the train being late every single day.
I walk to the toilet. A young woman with the cleaning cart is on the platform next to them and is chatting with a staff of the railways. There is no paper. I come out and ask her about paper. She says that the paper is finished. I see some paper on her cart and ask her if I can take it. She says she cannot give it to me as those are the last ones and the company that hires her has no money to buy more. She says that her salary has not been paid for for four months and adds that the railways have not been paying her company for the cleaning services they provide. The chap she is talking to nods as is he was to say: this is how things are in his country.
The speaker announces the arrival of the delayed train on track 4. We get there. The train slowly approaches the platform looking tired of being constantly late. The doors open after bip: bip, bip, bip. The commuters hurry off on their way to their homes knowing that tomorrow it will probably be the same.
Piazza delle Erbe is one of the many squares in the historic center of Padua. For centuries, with Piazza della Frutta, it was the commercial center of the city. In the two squares is one of the largest markets in Italy. Unlike Piazza dei Signori, the civic theater of celebrations, Piazza delle Erbe was the site of the folk festivities. The square is dominated by the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. The area was active in pre-Roman times. By the time of Imperial Rome, homes gave way to businesses. Its present design is from the tenth and eleventh centuries. The space was occupied by a number of shops and stalls selling all kinds of goods, from the edible to luxury goods. With the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione in the early thirteenth century that areas were assigned to specific types of goods. (Wikipedia)
The Pontifical Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Padova, dedicated to St. Anthony. Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua. The basilica is known locally as “il Santo”. It is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See. Construction of the Basilica probably began around 1232, just one year after the death of St. Anthony. It was completed in 1310 although several structural modifications (including the falling of the ambulatory and the construction of a new choir screen) took place between the end of the 14th and the mid-15th century. The Saint, according to his will, had been buried in the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, probably dating from the late 12th century and near which a convent was founded by him in 1229. This church was incorporated into the present basilica as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna). Sant’Antonio is a giant edifice without a precise architectural style. Over the centuries, it has grown under a variety of different influences as shown by the exterior details. (Wikipedia)
I had to take a break from Padova. I travelled last week and did not have the street photos from Padova with me. This is where I left it last week. I am sitting on a marble bench in downtown Padova. I wanted to sit after having walked the whole morning. I sit and feel my back stretching. I sip some water from my flask. People walk around me. Some eat an icecream. Others are into their calls on their smartphones. Some seem to be in a hurry. Some walk slowly as if they are killing time. I take my camera out. Zoom to about 35mm and start taking taking photos of pedestrians walking past me.
It is getting cold not that the sun has set. I need to get down to the lake and fetch some water for the sauna. I need to get the shovel to break the thin layer of ice that has formed during the day. I get the rubber boots and put them on. Gloves. The ice is not too thick but thick enough that I need to hit it few times before going through. I filled the buckets and start to walk back to the cottage. I can smell the firewood in the air. The sauna maybe needs 10-15 more minutes and it is then ready at the right temperature. Before walking up I turn to the lake. I can see the ice surface covered by snow. Silence. No wind. I look up. I see the tiny flashing lights of an plane flying high up and east, maybe Asia. The sound of the engines reaches me mid-way up towards the cottage.
Trees fall in the forest. Young trees as well. Sometime their roots cannot go deep enough due to stones and boulders. Sometime it is a storm that is too strong for them. Sometime the ground is too step. But even when they fall, they can survive as their rts find a way to get back into the ground and bring life back to the rest of the tree.
Commercial forests means that you may see a pine and birch tree forest growing for many years and at one point machines come in an cut the trees leaving only few standing. It is a strange view when you get on top of a hill and you see some barren hills next to hills where the trees are growing. When an area is cut, they always leave few older trees standing which may shed seeds and help the regrowth. These lonely trees have always looked like survivors to me.
There are no clouds in the sky. There won’t be many hours of daylight. So, better to hurry and go for a walk in the forest along the lake. The temperature has gone up and down around 0 C. During the days the ice sheet loosens up. At night time, when the temperature drops below zero, you can hear deep and mysterious sounds that runs along and below the ice surface when it tightens up again.
I need to stop the series of street photos from Padova. I am in Helsinki at Vantaa airport to get on a plane. I thoughts I had saved the photos on my hard disk and planned to continue to post them during the this coming week. I must have done something wrong while copying the files. So, I will post a series from last New Year when we spent a week at our cottage in Eastern Finland. I will resume to Padova series, when I get back in a week.