Category Archives: Statues

Statue of Christopher Columbus (Columbia, South Carolina)

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Statue of Christopher Columbus
* 312 Laurel Street * Columbia, SC 29201 *

Created by American sculptors Stavros Alexander Chrysostomides (1923-2007) and Estelle Hampton Frierson with funding by the South Carolina State Society Daughters of the American Revolution as a gift to the city of Columbia, South Carolina. It is a full length figure of explorer Christopher Columbus, wearing slippers, a skirt, and decorative shirt with a wool-like collar, decorative wrist and sleeve bands, on a calf-length coat facing the city of Columbia atop a rectangular base. Upon the base is the inscription: “CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: 1451-1506. A gift to Columbia, this monument stands in tribute to the courageous spirit of that Genoese mariner who challenged the unknown to discover this land, … the hope of the world and the … of freedom for all.”

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Stone of Hope (5 Points – Columbia, South Carolina)

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Stone of Hope
* Five Points * Columbia, South Carolina * N 34 00.047 W 081 00.899 * 17S E 498616 N 3762242 *

Just on the edge of Five Points center, right down Greene street from the Post Office, is a unique stone carved as a globe atop a UN-capped pyramid as a memorial to Martin Luther King. The stone looks like it could be representing the “all seeing” eye. The fountain is circular. A stone before it is carved with part of his “I have a dream” speech. Some say the park from Google Earth looks like the tail of a snake with this monument at its tail, and some think this could represent the ouroboris. This monument description stone quotes MLK’s speech “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out a mountain of disrepair, a stone of hope.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Washington, D.C. August 28, 1968). Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

    Inscription: “The honorary designation of Hardin Street and installation of markers in the name of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Blvd, recognizes the achievements of a man who inspired the world to embrace equality and non-violence to which he dedicated his life. Dr King served as Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. At age 35, Dr King was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1966, he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny, whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. ~ Letter from Birmingham City Jail: Birmingham, Alabama: April 16, 1965.” “The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued that self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world. ~ Nobel Peace Lecture: Oslo, Norway – December 11, 1964.” “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps. It is even worse to tell a man to lift himself by his bootstraps when somebody is standing on the boot. – Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution ~ National Cathedral (Episcopal), Washington, DC: March 31, 1968.” “I just want to do God’s will, and he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the promised land. – I’ve been to the Mountain Top ~ Memphis, Tennessee: April 3, 1968 ~ (Dr King’s last speech before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968)” “I have a dream, my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. – I Have a Dream speech. March on Washington, DC: August 28, 1963”. “And when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children–black men and white men, jew and gentiles, catholics and protestants–will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’ – I Have a Dream speech: March on Washington, DC: August 28, 1963.”

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Greek and Roman busts/statues at the Nashville Parthenon

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The Greek and Roman Statues at the Nashville Parthenon
Nashville, Tennessee

The replica of the Greek Parthenon is a stunning attraction, left over from the Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee. It is filled with statues of Greek and Roman nature, these are a fabulous addition to one’s visit, though overlooked and walked by quickly by the un-educated. These are located in the Naos and adorn the walls lining up to Athena. The Naos is 93 feet long and 63 feet wide and has a two-story colonnade around three sides. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos (the east room of the main hall) are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 BC. Many fragments of the originals are housed in the British Museum in London. Others are at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

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The Pineapple Fountain of Charleston, South Carolina

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The Pineapple Fountain of Charleston
Charleston Waterfront Park * Concord Street * Charleston * South Carolina * 29401 * 1-800-868-8118 *

Charleston is known for its pineapple motifs, and this is one such magnificent portrayal of the cities fascination with the fruit. It is said to represent “hospitality”. Sitting in the Charleston Waterfront Park, this fountain is one of Charleston’s most iconic elements of the park. It can be viewed 6 am until midnight and has no admission.

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John Wesley Statue (Savannah, Georgia)

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* Reynold’s Square * Abercorn street * Savannah, Georgia *

in the center and heart of historic Reynold’s square, Savannah, Georgia is a bronze memorial statue of John Wesley (1969), the founder of Methodism and one of the first rectors of Savannah’s Christ Church. The statue was done by Marshall Daugherty to honor him because of the visit he took for mission work in Savannah from 1735-1738. He was also the founder of the first Sunday School in America. It is believed that his home was on this very spot. In this small wooden parish house, were held weekly meetings of the Christ Church congregation. John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of Methodism in 1729 when he met with three others at Oxford, created the faith, and their second meeting was in Savannah in 1736 at this place with 20-30 others. The statue consists of a stepped and blocked rectangular granite pedestal inscribed around its base, atop of which is a bronze cast statue of John Wesley, depicted as a young man wearing his Church of England vestments looking up from his bible to his congregation ready to speak with outstretched right arm in love, invitation and exhortion. He got his start in Savannah as Oglethorpe’s secretary, then as the rector for Christ Church until he was sent back to England with his brother. Statue was dedicated in 1969 by sculptor Marshall Daugherty.

References/recommended readings:

  • Ghost in My Suitcase: Reynolds Square. Website: http://www.ghostinmysuitcase.com/places/reynolds/ referenced in May 2013.
  • Visit Historic Savannah: Reynolds Square & John Wesley Statue. Website: http://www.visit-historic-savannah.com/reynoldssquare.html, http://www.visit-historic-savannah.com/john-wesley-monument.html. Website visited and referenced May 2013.
  • Wikipedia: Squares of Savannah, Georgia. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squares_of_Savannah,_Georgia#Reynolds_Square referenced in May 2013.

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The Meeting Place Statue, a.k.a. “The Hags with the Bags” (Dublin)

The Meeting Place Statue ~ aka The Hags with the Bags
* Lower Liffey Street * (near Ha’penny Bridge) * Dublin, Ireland *

Just across the Ha’penny Bridge, one will find the statue of two women engaged in conversation with shopping bags at their feet. This one is nicknamed “The Hags with the Bags” but is officially called “The Meeting Place Statue”. On one of the bags is written “Arnotts”. This is located along Lower Liffey Street. It was sculpted by Jakki McKenna in 1988. It was designed to reflect everyday life in Dublin’s marketplace to which it greets people to one of the area’s most popular shopping areas on Henry & Jervis streets, just after one crosses the Ha’penny bridge from Temple Bar.


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Viking Art Stone, Borre, Norway


Viking Art/Rune Stone, Borre Viking Marked, Borre, Norway

The Viking Art Stone
Borrehaugene National Park, Borre, Norway

In the Borrehaugene National Park lies a modern artistic replication of a Viking runic stone as one walks towards the grave mounds. The Park is home to the largest number of burial mounds from the Viking age – which were contemporaneous to the famous boat graves at Oseberg and the trading centre Kaupang in Tjlling. It is suggested that this burial site was used for burying Norwegian kings descending from the Ynglinge dynasty. I unfortunately could not find any information about who created this piece of art on the boulder, if the boulder was added to the park or was a currently standing one, and what is the age of the painting. It does however look very modern.

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Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh (Dublin)


Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh

* Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland *

The Modern Statue of Queen Maedbh / Maedhbh / Maeve standing strong and naked while holding a bull’s head. Located on Burlington Road, Dublin, Ireland. Photo take June 6, 2012. The statue was presented in 2004, and sculpted by Patrick O’Reilly. It depicts a modern re-telling of Queen Maeve, representing the power & equality of Celtic women, told by its viewers as a symbol of brutality, kitch, polyandry, and obsession of a power hungry queen. As a ruler of both mortals and the legendary fae, she was a female ruler in Irish History, dominating over western Ireland (Connacht) around the 1st century B.C.E. Strong, powerful, beautiful, and passionate about love and war. She was legendary for her large armies and rumored to have slept with many of her commanders, motivating them for her tasks at hand, and using them at her will. This statue was supposedly created to symbolize this power of her, represented by her large giant fomorian-like stature, naked, with a verocious sexual appetite. Legend has it that she could sleep with over 30 men a day. Her holding the head of a bull in the right hand represents her main myth, the Cattle Raid of Cooley. As her husband owned a bull of superior strength, that outranked her fortune. She couldn’t have that, so as she needed one to compete, she went to war to take the best bull known in Ireland. “The bull of Ulster”. The spear represents her as a warrior, the bird her freedom as well as her enchantment. It is one of Dublin’s little most known statues down a street not often frequented by the public.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews and/or research articles are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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The Linesman bronze sculpture by Dony Mac Manus

The Linesman bronze sculpture by Dony Mac Manus

The Linesman bronze sculpture
* by Dony Mac Manus * Dublin, Ireland *

As the flavor of Dublin is famous for with its statues, sculptures, and artwork … “The Linesman” begs no difference in popularity. This beautiful bronze sculpture by Dony Mac Manus is classified as a “figurative public sculpture” and is located on the Campshire along the City Quay (N 53 20.826 W 006 14.946 / 29U E 683109 N 5914411) being un-veiled in 1999 as a commission by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority from the artist to commemorate the tradition of docking in the area which disappeared after the arrival and containerisation of shipping cargo symbolizing life along the Quays of the River Liffey. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.

The Linesman bronze sculpture by Dony Mac Manus

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Molly Malone


Statue of Molly Malone

Molly Malone
Statue in Dublin, Ireland

A crafty statue sits at the bottom of Grafton Street in honor and memory of the infamous legendary Molly Malone. Depicting Molly as a busty young woman in her 17th century dress. This statue was commemorated and designed by Jeanne Rynhart in 1987 to celebrate Dublin’s first millenium. It was unveiled by Alderman Ben Briscoe (Lord Mayor of Dublin) at the 1988 Dublin Millenium celebrations and began the event of June 13th being branded Molly Malone Day. The statue is nicknamed “The Tart With The Cart”, “The Dish With The Fish”, “The Trollop With the Scallops”, “The Flirt in the Skirt”, and “The Dolly With Trolley”. Her low cut dress and large breast were at first a controversy, but justified on the grounds that “women breastfed publicly in Molly’s time and breasts popped out all over the place all the time”. Molly is most known as the fair maiden in the popular Dublin song “Cockles and Mussels” or “Molly Malone”. The song is about a beautiful fishmonger or female pirate who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin and had died young of the fever. The song is not recorded before 1883 when it was published in Cambridge, Massachusetts and later published by the Francis Brothers and Day in London in 1884. No evidence that Molly actually existed, though rumors state she was a real woman who was a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night.

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Dublinia Museum

Dublina Viking & Medieval History Museum
* http://www.dublinia.ie/ * St Michaels Hill * Christchurch, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland * 01 679 4611 *
Located within and connected to the infamous Christ Church Cathedral of Dublin (a.k.a. “The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity”) is now one of Dublin’s most spectacular and interactive museums/tourist attractions. Christ Church is the elder of Dublin’s two medieval cathedrals, next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Christ Church is officially claimed as a set of both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic archbishops in Dublin. The Museum and Cathedral sits in the former heart of medieval Dublin next to WOod Quay at the end of Lord Edward Street. Christ Church is the only one of the three cathedrals that can be seen from the River Liffey. It is the home of the purported tomb of “Strongbow” – the medieval Norman-Welch warlord who came to Ireland and marking the start of English involvement in Ireland. The Dublinia Museum tells the story about how Dublin was settled by the Vikings and that is was an important medieval mecca at one time. It was established by the Medieval Trust in the rooms of the disused Synod Hall. The concentration of the museum is between the 11th century and the Reformation. The museum is a living history museum, with hands-on displays, and typical museum artifact displays. Reconstructed dioramas give glimpses of Dublin in the Middle Ages. The Museum gets quite crowded and is sometimes difficult to navigate around. The museum also houses the archaeological finds and a presentation of the current excavations of Wood Quay. The museum is linked by a bridge to Christ Church. Parts of the building are visible and climbing the tower will give you spectacular views of Dublin’s skyline. There are three prime exhibitions in Dublinia: (1) Viking Dublin Exhibition, (2) Medieval Dublin Exhibition, and (3) History Hunter’s Exhibition. Visitors can explore the Viking times of Dublin, its settlement, what life is like on a Viking warship, the clothing, what it is like to be a slave, and how cramped Viking homes were. Visitors can learn the runic alphabet and learn the mythos of the time. Visitors can see medieval Dublin – following history from Strongbow to the Reformation, what warfare and crime/punishment was like in the times, and about the Black Death. Visitors can get a glimpse of the historic Dubin Faire. Tourists can also gain insight into modern archaeological practices and current digs in the area, the technology they use, and the tools they utilize. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Sidewalk outside Dublina

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“Cliff Dreamers” & The “Mia Golden Goddess Figurine”

The “Goddess Quest”
Promotion Adventure for “Cliff Dreamers”

During my visit this summer to Saveok Archaeological Site, upon meeting the magical and inspirational Jacqui Wood … I was introduced to the fantastical tale of “Cliff Dreamers”. “Cliff Dreamers” is a amazing novel written by Experimental Archaeologist Jacqui Wood as a ‘fantasy’ fiction tale rocketing you into Europe around 6,000 B.C.E. where Jacqui weaves her knowledge into a mystical adventure tale about a heroine named Mia who is rescued from an evil shaman by some log boat traders and discovers she is the reincarnated high priestess of an ancient Goddess Cult. As she becomes aware of her powers she has at her fingertips, the dark lord Zundel notices her, and she battles to stop him from pulling her into his Dark Realm. She is between the worlds as she holds on to her Mother Crystal of light and becomes invisible to the dark forces. She flies off into the future on Swan’s wings and begins to remember a past life in which she left a Golden Goddess for herself to find 6,000 years later when she knows the Goddess power will be needed again. It is the first of seven novels.

Several years ago, in October of 2006, Jacqui Wood had weaved together a magical quest for participants to enter for free to find the treasure known as the “Mia Goddess Figurine”. This was prompted by many readers of her first book that wanted to help Jacqui get a publishing deal – and couldn’t understand why publishers weren’t jumping at the opportunity to print her book – so they donated gold, diamonds, and precious stones to have a brilliant craftsman create the figurine. This magnificent work of art was created by Kif Wood from gold and gemstones donated to the fundraiser that would help promote Jacqui’s book “Cliff Dreamers” and get it national publicity. The hair of this amazing figurine was made of twisted gold, eyes vibrant blue with a turquoise topaz upon the head surrounded by a golden arc. Pearl breasts with ruby and gold nipples, a skirt of gold cords with a rainbow of sapphires and green garnets with red rubies cascading from her waist to her toes. A cluster of diamonds and opals hang from her right hip below a upheld hand with a diamond embedded into the palm. She holds a golden staff upon which hangs a crescent moon holding three diamonds. The “Mia Goddess” represents the Goddess in all her golden awe and glory as reminding us of a magical age gone that will be renewed into the future. The figurine is estimated value of 10,000. Once residing on a now defunct web site called www.cliffdreamers.com, Jacqui’s book was revealed to the explorers seeking the treasure. Clues, hidden secrets, and challenges awaited the contestants on these pages. Contestants went to sign into the Quest Book at the Queens Hotel at the Promenade in Penzance where they were given clues by cloaked Quest Mastes at each quest site. Adventurers were give 28 hours to find the Figurine. The Winner was presented the Mia Goddess Figurine atop St. Michael’s Mount in Marizion near Penzance.
It was an amazing journey. The figurine was won by a valliant group of women who teamed together in horrendous weather to be the new owners of this magical statuette. 5 groups of 18 people met the two quest masters atop a hill on Bodmin Moor, then made it to the beach fire on Porthtowan beach, then ending up on Trencrom hill where the winners were greeted. The books can be obtained thru lulu.com as
Cliff Dreamers paperback 11.12 (471 pages)
Journey through the Inland Sea paperback 11.63 (510 pages)
Mallata paperback 8.33 (256 pages)

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part A (4/10) -Leaving Amsterdam for Mons, Belgium to the “Trolls et Legendes” festival …

Part A


Hunting for the hostel in Mons

Friday, 10 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Mons, Belgium

The adventurers had a pretty interesting night partying in Amsterdam with the pub crawl. Awaking early with a hangover was not the best start to the day that Sir Thomas Leaf could have. Onwards to check out from the Zeesburg hostel after a good night rest. Princess Breanna took advantage of the free breakfast and chatting with friends before their departure, Sir Thomas Leaf was certainly too groggy and needed to catch up on winks. A short bus ride from the hostel to the Zeesburg park-n-ride, the party was soon into their rental auto-carriage and off on the road to Belgium – the land of chocolate and fries. The roads getting out of Amsterdam were pretty congested and a headache, but once into Belgium, the traffic alleviated somewhat. It was afterall Easter weekend and since European’s are big on travel and vacations, one would be sure to run into crowds hitting the roads for their Easter vacation plans. The party drove through Brussels, but didn’t stop, as they wanted to get to Mons to find their hostel and the festival center so they could see the opening acts at http://www.trolls-et-legendes.be/. Sir Thomas Leaf has 6 years of French under his belt so was quite excited to try it out – unfortunately he sucks at comprehension and pronunciation, so it was no better that he knew French as he was still stuck with English. It however was much easier for him to manage in Belgium than Germany and other countries he felt. The roads in the historic section of Mons were an absolute nightmare. Cobbled roads all one way, roads the GPS was saying existed either didn’t or were blocked off, the frustrated duo, arguing over directions, finally two hours of driving around in circles parked and hoofed it on foot dragging their luggage. They weren’t too far off as the looming castle of a hostel was right in front of them the whole time, it was just shut off from driving to it because of road constructions and restorations. Checking in, they were blessed with their own private room, as the apparently “full” hostel on the web, wasn’t so full in person. One could spot a few of the festival goers in their outfits that were staying at the hostel as well. Unfortunately, the duo really struggled getting around because no one knew English and with Sir Thomas Leaf’s poor french, it was a struggle finding out where to go. The woman at the hostel desk knew decent English so was able to guide them to the Central station so they could catch a bus to the festival center.

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part A (4/10) -Leaving Amsterdam for Mons, Belgium to the “Trolls et Legendes” festival …

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Mons, Belgium

Mons, Belgium
Population [2006] is 91,221 (47.78% male / 52.22% female)
Mons is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut and is considered a Walloon city (French). At Spiennes some of the best flint tools in Europe were found dating from the Neolithic period and were the first signs of activity in the region. 1st century BC, Julius Caesar entered the region and settled by the the Nervii the settlement of Castrilocus consisting of a castrum where the name was derived. The name was later changed into Montes for the hills upon which the castrum was built. 7th century – Saint Ghislain and his two disciples built an oratory/chapel dedicated to Saints Peter and paul near the Mons hill. 12th century, Baldwin IV, the Count of Hainaut fortified the city – causing the population to grow fast, trade to flourish, and several commercial buildings, town halls, and churches constructed near the Grand’Place. 13th century saw a population of 4,700; by end of the 15th century grew to 8,900. 1515 Charles V took an oath here as Count of Hainaut. Beginning in 1572 various occupations began – Protestant takeover by Louis of Nassau, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre murder of de Coligny, the Duke of Alba took control in that September for the Catholics. The city was laid to ruin and many of its inhabitants were arrested. 1580-1584 Mons was the capital of the Southern Netherlands. Continue reading Mons, Belgium

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Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

Part B


Entering the Begijnhof

Thursday, 9 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sir Thomas Leaf was inspired by the healing energies of the plaza that was mythologically known for its healing and the bread that doesn’t burn. From the crazy wild partying city of Amsterdam – a walk through a door to another dimension – into a Dutch square where it was sacred, quiet, and tranquil. Intriguing thoughts about the key swarmed Leaf’s mind. He realized he is closer yet to discovering the ‘key of life’. After the tranquility, Kevin led the band to oogle over the Dutch masterpiece painting and learning about the seals and marks of Amsterdam. The tour ended at Anne Frank’s house where the story of “tolerant” Amsterdam stood up against the Nazis and the tragedies befell that struggle. Hungry for Thai food, Sir Thomas Leaf and Princess Brea headed over to the Asian District to try out the highly recommended “Bird Thai” restaurant which they quite enjoyed. Wandering back to the hostel for a nap and down time before exploring the nightlife with the New Amsterdam Tour’s Pub Crawl.

Read my telling and review about the Amsterdam Miracle and the Begijnhof / Chapel here …

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

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Multatuli Statue (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)



Multatuli Statue

Amsterdam, Holland

The Multatuli statue was an inspirational work of contemporary Dutch artist Hans Bayens (b. 1924) as a tribute to Eduard Douwens Dekker. Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887) who was a strong critic of Dutch imperialism and a popular Dutch satirist of the 19th century. He revelled and was famous for his skewering of the middle classes in their classism and racism. Dekker was actually born in Amsterdam as his father was a ship’s captain. His father intended for Dekker to follow in his footsteps but trade disgusted Dekker and in 1838 he became a civil servant in Java and eventually became the assistant-resident at Ambon. In 1857 he was transferred to the Bantam residency of Java in Lebak gaining all the secrets of the Dutch administration in his career progressions. He really hated the abuses of the colonial system and was threatened with dismissal from his office for his verbal protests. Upon his resignation and return to the Netherlands, he became much more vocal about his indignation and desire to expose all of the scandals he witnessed. He did so by the sword of the pen in newspaper articles and pamphlets, and finally in 1860 with his novel “Max Havelaar” under the pseudonym of “Multatuli”. This name was derived from Latin and means “I have suffered (or witnessed) much”. He exposed the abuse of free labour in the Dutch Indies and caused quite a controversy. He went on to publish Love Letters in 1861 which were mordant unsparing satires. After Dekker left the Netherlands to live in Wiesbaden, he became interested in theater. He wrote the School for Princes (1875 in the fourth volume of Ideas) which expressed his non-conformist views on politics, society and religion. He eventually moved his residence to Nieder Ingelheim, on the Rhine, where he died in 1887. By 2002 the Society for Dutch Literature proclaimed Multatuli the most important Dutch writer of all time.

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The Escutcheon of Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies Trading Company

The Dutch East Indies Trading Company

The Dutch East Indies Trading Company was the first trading company in Amsterdam, and often set out fleets of twenty ships at a time unlike the one ship at a time that other countries sent. This is how the Dutch escape and minimize pirates, bad weather, and mechanical difficulties that often sank ships during transporation and adventures.



The Mark or Escutcheon of Amsterdam
The flag or mark of Amsterdam is the official mark / flag of Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands. It displays three Saint Andrew’s Crosses and is based on the escutcheon in the coat of arms of Amsterdam. The coat of arms of Amsterdam is the red field of the escutcheon (heraldic shield). This is charged with three vertically ordered silver or white Saint Andrew’s Crosses on top of a black pale. The field and the pale result in three vertical bands in the colours red, black, and red. It is believed that these represent the three dangers of ancient Amsterdam – fire, floods, and the Black Death. Others believe it originated with the shield of the noble family Persijn 1280-1282 which refers to “pale water”. The black pale in the escutcheon of Amsterdam would refer to the river Amstel. Both the colours and the crosses are also found in the escutcheons of two towns near Amsterdam: the village of Ouder-Amstel on the banks of the river Amstel to the southeast, and Nieuwer-Amstel (now the suburb Amstelveen) to the southwest. Both villages were also the property of the Persijn family. The three Saint Andrew’s Crosses are used in the logo of the city government and also as decorations on the typical Amsterdam bollards called Amsterdammertjes. These coats of arms are all effectively in the public domain, as the municipalities cannot claim copyright.[wikipedia]

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The Miracle of Amsterdam, Begijnhof and Chapel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Begijnhof and Chapel
*Zandvoorterweg 78 * 2111 GZ Aerdenhout * Tel. 023-5246229 * Fax. 023-5440081 * info: info@stille-omgang.nl * website: www.stille-omgang.nl
Amsterdam, Holland
http://www.begijnhofamsterdam.nl/
It was here, at the Begijnhof that a few days before Palm Sunday on March 15, 1345 a sick man in the Kalverstraat took the Sacrament of the sick from the local priest. The man vomited up the host, which was caught in a basin and thrown on the fire where it “appeared” to “float above the flames”. It was an amazing miracle. A woman then stretched out her hand into the flames to seize the host from the fire and put it in a case. She remained unburnt and unharmed from putting her hand in the fire when touching the host. The priest, who was from the Oude Kerkwas sent for and took the host back to the “Old Church”. The next day a woman in the house in the Kalverstraat opened the case and saw that the host had magically transported back. She sent for the priest again, and again he took the magic host back to the Old Church. The next day for a third time, the host transported back to the case in the sick man’s room. The miracle of the bread that didn’t burn and wouldn’t leave the house became known widespread. Again, the priest took the host, but this time returning to the Old Church with a solemn procession. The next year the Bishop Jan van Arkel declared this host to be a genuine miracle. Two years later, a church was built on the very spot where the miracle took place. As people joined a procession to take the holy sacrement through the streets of Amsterdam in mid-march to celebrate the Miracle. The Holy Stead Chapel (The Ter Heylighen Stede) was consecrated by the vicar-general of Bishop Jan van Arkel, the Bishop of Utrecht in 1347.

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Oude Kerk (Old Church) (Amsterdam, Holland)

The Old Church (Oude Kerk) in the Red Light District
* http://www.oudekerk.nl/ * Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Oude Kerk is the oldest parish church in Amsterdam. It was consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht and is located in the De Wallen, Amsterdam’s main red-light district. The church spans over 3,000 square meters. Its foundation was set upon an artificial mound. Its roof is the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe. The floor is primarily gravestones as the church was built atop a cemetery. The planks are Estonian and date to 1390. The church has gone through numerous renovations through its history. The first set of alterations occured in the 1350’s where the aisles were lengthened and wrapped around the choir in a half circle to support the structure. During the 15th century, the north and south transepts were added creating a cross formation. This work was completed in 1460. Before the Alteratie or “Reformation” in 1578 the Church was primarily “Catholic”. The Church then became Protestant. The 16th century saw many battles leading to the Church becoming looted and defaced. It became a public space where the locals gossiped, peddlers selling their wares, beggars sought shelter, but in 1681 the Calvinists fed up with the homeless kicked them out. The Church was closed off with a brass screen. Then the Church became a center for the registry of marriages, followed by the city archives. Local citizens continued to be buried underneath the church up until 1865 with a total count of 2500 graves containing over 10,000 Amsterdam citizens. Pipe organs were built in 1658 with the cabinet organ constructed in 1767. The third was built by the German Christian Vater in 1724 establishing the finest baroque organs in Europe. Today, many concerts are performed here including the BBC Singers and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. This is now a center for both religious and cultural activities and can be rented for presentations, receptions, and dinner parties. Continue reading Oude Kerk (Old Church) (Amsterdam, Holland)

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New Amsterdam Free Tour (Amsterdam, Holland)


New Amsterdam free tour meeting place at the monument in De Dam square

New Amsterdam Free Walking Tour
Rain or shine this tour meets every day at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm in front of Centraal Station, and Starts at 11:15 am and 1:15 pm at Dam Square in front of the National Monument. It is Free.
Again, I’m not a big fan of tours, but this tour is spectacular and quite informative – best yet it’s free. This is one of best orientations you could take of the city. Our tour guide was Kevin, a humorously fun and knowledgable man who guided us on a three-hour free walking tour through the history of Amsterdam, from its beginnings as a muddy village on the Amstel River to the prosperous industry it is now. He told the tales, the legends, the lore, and many tales that most won’t tell you about prostitution, drug decriminalization, Anne Frank and the Nazi occupation, the Old Church (including the sour occupants), the Red Light District, The Jewish Quarter, the Royal Palace, the Jordaan District, the Anne Frank House, the Dutch East India Company, The Begijnhof Convent, Masterpieces of Dutch Art, the Widest bridge and the narrowest house to name just a few of the sites we saw. We were blessed with a fantastic guide, Kevin, who was the perfect match for our crowd. According to the New AMsterdam site: “Kevin is originally from Boston, MA in the States. There, he went to the University of Massachusetts and began studying psychology. While studying abroad at the University of Amsterdam, he fell in love with the city and began working as a tour guide. Now, he still works as a tour guide, still goes to school in Amsterdam, and is eventually hoping to marry in to the European Union.” Excellent Job Kevin! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Continue reading New Amsterdam Free Tour (Amsterdam, Holland)

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Hand on Breast Sculpture (Amsterdam)


Hand on Breast sculpture

Hand on Breast Sculpture

Ouderkerksplein, Amsterdam, Holland
Embedded into the sidewalk, between the sidewalk stones of the Ouderkerksplein and the square that surrounds the Old Church in the Red Light District is a bronze/iron sculpture of a hand caressing a breast. The artist is unknown. This sculpture was left secretly in the wee hours of the night. Over the last 15 years, this same unknown artist has placed numerous bronze and iron statues all over town, anomynously in the night. It’s been discovered the artist is a local doctor who does the art in his spare time. The City of Amsterdam has since accepted his works as long as the identity of the artist is never revealed. This particular sculpture is a bronze female bust on the pavement in front of the Oude Kerk on Oudekerksplein square. It represents the women of the Red Light District. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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New Amsterdam Red Light District Tour

New Amsterdam Red Light District Tour
“The Red Light District Exposed”
The tour meets daily at 6:45 pm next to the Tourist Information Center directly in front of Centraal Staation. Look for the guides wearing red New Europe T-shirts. 10 Adults/8 Students
Now I’m not usually a real big fan of “tours” and the whole “tourist” “sightseeing” parts of travelling. I usually like to explore on my own. But this tour was very affordable and had an incredible tour guide who knew her history of the district and was extremely helpful with orientation to Amsterdam. I couldn’t recommend any other tour “more” other than the accompanying “free” tour of Amsterdam each morning by the same company. They market the tour as “The Red Light District Exposed” and they certainly do an incredible job talking about every sensual or creepy corner of the district. They advertise with “Intrigued by the Red Light District at night but don’t feel safe exploring it on your own?” and they perfectly show the area for its beauty, intrique, history, and that its quite safe – with a two hour walking tour wandering from coffee shops and jazz clubs to sex theaters and smart shops, prostitute windows, and condom shops, ending with free shots and cocktail specials at the infamous Belushi’s bar. The guides take you to the Proefokaal and other Historic Bars, the World’s first Stock Exchange, a stroll through China Town, window gazing at the Condomerie, to the Old Church, Jazz legend Chet Baker’s place of death, the Warmoestraat: hardcore leather neighorhood, S&M Specialist, Smart Shops and a talk about Mushrooms, visits to the Sex Shops, Video Cabins, the Elite Streets, The Bulldog: Amsterdam’s first “Coffeeshops”, The Prostitution Information Center, the Word’s first Sex Theater, the Newmarket, and many more intriguing locations. On the eve of April 8, 2009 – we were luckily blessed with a fabulous guide named “Stacey”. Stacey was born in Russia, has lived in Canada, the US, Italy, and Malaysia, and now Amsterdam. She’s studying Art History and completing her degree in Asian Studies. Friendly, courteous, and extremely intelligent, she’s one of the best guides on the planet. The tour is worth the 10 Euro just to pick her brain about great places to eat, see, and experience nightlife. Top rating 5 stars out of 5. Thanks Stacey!!! Continue reading New Amsterdam Red Light District Tour

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Sex Museum (Amsterdam, Holland)


Sex Museum
Damrak 18 * 1012 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands * +31 20 6228376 * http://www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl/
A fabulous little two house two-story museum dedicated to sex, erotica, and the history of the arts through the ages. From prehistoric application, to the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to modern day Amsterdam, one can walk through the history of copulation and play through the ages. It is also the world’s first and oldest sex museum, the “Venustempel” in Amsterdam. A leading museum on the theme of sensual love with an extensive collection of erotic pictures, paintings, objects, recordings, photographs and even attractions. All of the exhibits have been gathered together personally by the owners and can be viewed in their 17th century property on the Damrak. The collection is continually growing. One of my favorite stops in Amsterdam. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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The Dam (Amsterdam)

Carnivals / Fairs in Dam Square
Amsterdam, Holland

The “Dam Square” is the central most part of Amsterdam, minus Central Station. Its called “de Dam” in Dutch, or simply “The Dam”. Here resides notable buildings and events that bring together more visitors to the Netherlands than any other places in the country. Deep in the historical center of the city, it is located only 750 meters from “Centraal Station” – the main transportation hub. The square is rectangular in shape, roughly 200 x 100 meters in dimension. It connects Damrak, Rokin, Muntplein (Coin square), Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Damstraat, and Muttoren streets. The main Red Light District (de Wallen) is a hop and a skip from here. On the west end is the neoclassical Royal Palace, bordered by the 15th century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), and the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The National Monument is in its heart which is a white stone pillar designed by J.J.P. Oud in 1956 to memorialize the victims of WWII, and is one of the most famous meeting places in the city, and is where the New Amsterdam tours meet daily. The NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the upscale department store “De Bijenkorf” also border the square. The square was originally a Dam built in 1270 until 1544 in the river Amstel. As the dam built up, it became wide enough for a town square, as the city developed around it. The square began with the “Naatje of the Dam” statue in 1890, but was taken down in 1914. The weigh house that once stood here was demolished in 1808 by order of Louis Bonaparte who complained it blocked his view from the royal palace. The Damrak of the Amstel River was partially filled in during the 19th century and became the land blocked square it is now since then. The first stock exchange, the Beurs van Zocher was also originally housed here, where the department store now sits. The square became a “national” square well known to everyone in the Netherlands and became the main location for demonstrations, riots, street performers, meetings, and celebrations. Every May 4th it houses the National Memorial Day celebration at the monument. Queens Day hosts a big funfair in the center. Throughout the year various fairs and carnivals will set up here too.

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The Amsterdam Waag

The Amsterdam Waag
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

In the heart of Amsterdam lies a remnant of the former city walls known as the “Amsterdam Waag”. The walls were constructed here between 1481 and 1494. The Waag was constructed in 1488 and originally housed one of the city gates known as the “Sint Anthoniespoort”. The lower part of another gate also exists here called the Regulierspoort (“Munttoren”) and a defense tower known as the Schreierstoren. As the city wall disappeared, the New Market (Nieuwmarkt) began and the building housed the weighing scales. It became the predominant weigh house in Amsterdam. Weigh houses are buildings where scales are set up to weigh goods and levy taxes on goods transported through the area. From 1550-1690 those accused of witchcraft were sometimes brought here to be subjected to a “witch test” where if the person was found to be lighter than a set weight, s/he was deemed guilty. During the Spanish Inquisition, public executions took place here and to the left of this building you can find an inclined alleyway called the “Bloedstraat” (Blood street) where the blood from executions drained down. “Waag” means “scale” and his how the place got its name. In the late 16th century, as the city expanded, the wall was torn down and the gate lost its function. The defensive canal and palissade was turned into the market square, raising the ground, and filling in the canal. The upper floors housed four guilds – the smiths, the painters, the masons, and the surgeons. Each had its own entrance tower. This is the famous spot where in 1632 Rembrandt van Rijn was commissioned to paint the surgeons at work which is how the Anatomical Lesson of Dr. Tulp made his name. They added a theatrum anatomicum in 1691 so that paying members of the public could witness human dissections. the guilds were dissolved in 1795 leading to many different uses of the building, including a fire brigade and two museums before being taken over by a foundation in 1990. This foundation originally planned to partly destroy the building and build an addition designed by Philippe Starck but because the foundation went bankrupt they were unable to accomplish this feat. The local neighbourhood, historians, and the Amsterdam city council worked to restore it keeping its medieval background. In 1996 the Waag Society became the principal tenant. The Waag Society is the ICT research foundation that is working in the social and cultural domain of Amsterdam, and is a responsible group, according to locals, for its part in shutting down the Red Light district and cafes. The building also houses a very expensive cafe/restaurant on the ground floor that most locals recommend to avoid.


Amsterdam Waag

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The largest city in Holland (The Netherlands) and its capital, is world-famous “Amsterdam”. It is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands. It is also the headquarters for most Dutch institutions and 7 of the world’s top 500 countries including Philips and ING. Amsterdam is located in North Holland in the western portion of the country. Amsterdam boasts over a million people (2008) and merged with the northern part of the Randstad, is the 6th largest metropolitan area of Europe at over 6.7 million in population. Amsterdam is most popular for its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, its red light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops all of which draw over 4.2 million visitors a year. Amsterdam is named after a dam in the river “Amstel” where the Dam Square resides today. It started as a small fishing village in the late 12th century later becoming one of the most important port cities in the world during the Dutch Golden Age due to its innovative developments in trade. At this time it became a leading center for finance and diamonds. It was named as such when the inhabitants of the area built a bridge with a dam across the Amstel had been exempted from paying a bridge toll by Count Floris and had to bound together as a city. By 1327 it was well known as “Amsterdam”. Amsterdam was granted city rights by 1306. Continue reading Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Fortress Marienberg (Wurzburg, Germany)


Castle Marionburg, Germany

Fortress Marienberg / Castle Marionburg
http://www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch/palace/objects/wu_fest.htm
* Festung Marienberg * Nr. 239 * 97082 Wrzburg * Telephone (09 31) 3 55 17-50 *
Festung Marienberg is a humongous fortress along the Main river in Wurzburg, Germany. A fort since ancient times, it is one of the most prominent landmarks along the Main. Originally a Celtic settlement and shelter, the Marienkirche was built in 704 AD and by the 13th century was surrounded by its first fortifications. By 1492 the main castle was encircled by a medieval ring wall with the Scherenberg gate. In May of 1525 the Peasant’s War attempted unsuccessfully to sieze the castle – with 15,000 men failing. Their leader Florian Geyer went to Rothenburg ob der Tauber in early June to procure the heavy guns needed to breach these walls while the leaderless peasant army camped around the castle and thereby outflaked by the bishop’s professional army. More than 8,000 were slaughtered or blinded. In 1600 Julius Echter rebuilt the fortress into a Renaissance palace. Continue reading Fortress Marienberg (Wurzburg, Germany)

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Wurzburg, Germany


Entering Wurzburg

Wurzburg, Germany
Wurzburg is a Franconia city in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. It is located on the Main River approximately 120 kms from Frankfurt and Nuremberg by road and it is a center for culture, exports, trade, and commerce. It is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Unterfranken. It is a German speaking city with the regional dialect as Franconian. The city itself is not included in the district of Wurzburg but is its administrative seat and holds a population of roughly 131,320 (2006 census). Wurzburg started as a Celtic fortification in 1000 BC where the Castle Marienberg now stands. As it was Christianized in 686 by Kilian, Colman, and Totnan; a group of Irish missionaries wanting to convert the area. First called Vurteburch in 704, the first diocese was founded by Saint Boniface in 742 who appointed Saint Burkhard as the first bishop of Wurzburg. The bishops created a duchy in the center of the city which extended throughout the 12th century to Eastern Franconia. Wurzburg became the seat of several Imperial diets, including the one of 1180, in which Henry the Lion was banned from the Empire and his duchy was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach. [wikipedia] In 788, the first church was built and became the present Wrzburg Cathedral and was later consecrated that same year by Charlemagne. It was converted to Romanesque style from 1040 to 1225. Wurzburg is also home to the infamous University: The University of Wrzburg, which was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582.

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Ansbacher Markgrafengruft (Ansbach, Germany)


Cathedral, Ansbach, Germany

Ansbacher Markgrafengruft
Ansbach, Germany

Underneath the Gumbertuskirche is a crypt called the Grablege der Markgrafen or Ansbacher Markgrafengruft. Here some very important people are buried, with their caskets/coffins available for you to view during set hours with a custodian present to tell you the histories. The Solms-Laubach: Sophie (1594-1651) – spouse of Joachim Ernst (1583-1625) of Brandenburg-Ansbach; Sophia Margaretha (1634-1664) Oettingen – the 2nd spouse of Albrecht V [7]; Henriette Louise (1623-1650) – Wrttemberg, 1st spouse of Albrecht V [7]; The following of the Brandenburg-Ansbach: Albertina Louise (1646-1670), Sophia Elisabeth (1643-1643), Friedrich August (1685-1685), Charlotte Sophie (1679-1680), Albrecht Ernst (1659-1674), Johann Friedrich (1654-1686), Leopold Friedrich (1674-1676), Friedrich Karl (1715-1716), Eleonore Wilhelmine Charlotte (1714-1714), Carl Wilhelm Friedrich (1712-1757), Carl Friedrich August (1733-1737), Carl Albrecht (1675-1692), Wilhelm Friedrich (1686-1723), Sophia Amalia (1649-1649), Georg Friedrich (1678-1703), Louise Sophie (1652-1668), Albrecht V (1620-1667); The Baden Durlach Family: Johanna Elisabeth (1651-1680) – 1e spouse of Johann Friedrich [14]; The Wurrtemberg Dukes Family: Maximilian Emanuel (heart) (1694-1729), Christiane Charlotte (1694-1729) – spouse of Wilhelm Friedrich [4], ; The Kings of Prussia: Friederike Luise (1714-1784), ; The Saxe-Coburg-Gothal Family: Friederike Caroline (1735-1791). They ask for a Euro donation for the opening viewing, students are free. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Ansbach, Germany


Ansbach, Germany

Ansbach, Germany
www.ansbach.de
Ansbach or Anspach is a town of roughly 40,512 people in the Bavarian state of Germany (census 2004). It was originally called Onolzbach. It serves as the capital of the administrative region of Middle Franconia. 25 miles southwest of Nuremberg and 90 miles north of Munich, Ansbach has been an important center for Franconia and Bavaria. It resides on the Frankische Rezat, a tributary of the Main river. Ansbach started out as a Benedictine monastery in 748 by Gumbertus (a Franconian noble) who was later canonized. Centuries later, the monastery and its adjoining village called Onolzbach populated into the town that is now “Ansbach” (1221 AD). The counts of Oettigen ruled there until the Hohenzollern burgraves of Nuremberg took over in 1331 making the seat of their dynasty there until they acquired the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1415. With the death of Frederick I (Elector of Brandenburg) in 1440, the Franconian cadet branch of the family was not politically united with the main Brandenburg line remaining independent as “Brandenburg-Ansbach”. Continue reading Ansbach, Germany

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