One way which I love to explore a city, especially for the first time, is through their works of art. Both historical and right up to modern day. Art teaches us about the culture of people who made it. What was important to them, what moved them, what inspired them? Even what shaped them.
The Grand Canal or Canalazzo is the heart of Venice. Ever since the founding days of the Venetian empire, this canal served as the major thoroughfare for the Venetian people. The most important historical palaces and famous Venetian buildings wrap around the edges of the canal. Once upon a time, the Grand Canal was the like the Rodeo Drive for Venetian aristocrats. The who's who of Europe could be seen relaxing in gondolas, wearing the newest and most extravagant fashions, cruising up and down the river.
The Heavenly Bodies collection at the Cloisters focuses on the quiet, reflective nature of faith. The outfits are more complicated, require more thought and observation, and due to the remote location, allows you to have a more personal experience with the objects.
The Byzantine Galleries focus on designers who were influenced by Sacred Spaces; the interior of Cathedrals and churches, and who brought elements from those spaces into the garments. The dresses are paired with fragments of floor mosaics from the 5th century as well as pieces of Byzantine jewellery and silverware. The mannequins each stand high aloft of tall plinths. The dresses are still clearly visible and yet are somewhat separated from the historical art along the walls.
Heavenly Bodies explores "fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism." The Vatican collection provides a great reference for seeing the modern fashion in the rest of the exhibition.
There are hundreds of museums all over the world, and almost every one of them is worth a peek inside, but probably my favourite oddball museum is the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco. This place is truly a one of a kind collection of mechanical oddities saved by a devoted collector. Together they tell a story of a bygone era.
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located in the heart of the Japanese countryside. Nestled in between the green hills and valleys of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Almost most people who travel to the Hakone region come for the views and the onsens, not the art, I highly recommend making a stop here, trust me, you won't regret it!
Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria, and as of 2001, the entire town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been named the "City of Music" or the "The City of Dreams" and for good reason. Vienna is home to some of the most interesting architectural masterpieces in Europe.
St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the most astonishing churches in the world, and as such is filled with some of the most incredible pieces of art from across Europe. The best piece of art can be seen all over the walls. The stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral are some of the most transcendent works of art which blend religious history and powerful human emotion.
Valentines Day is upon us, and there is no better way to celebrate the season of love than by rounding up our favourite Museums around the world which will inspire passion, desire and tenderness.
The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (or Old Masters Gallery) is honestly the best art gallery I ever had the pleasure of visiting. It doesn't feel too big nor too small. It's like a grand old home that someone has decorated with exquisite pieces of arts — a stellar collection that's lovingly curated.
One of the museums I had been most looking forward to visiting in Glasgow, was the Kelvingrove. The Kelvingrove was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901, as the Palace of Fine Arts. It was supposed to be for the Glasgow International Exhibition that was going on that year but after the exhibition, it continued here showing off some of the best Scottish and international artists around the world.
Prague has some of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and although most of them are off-limits to the public, there are tours during certain times of the day which allow bibliophiles to soak up all the history and literary treasures that lie inside these old buildings.
The State Opera in Prague opened in 1888 was the New German Theatre. Although the outside of the building is rather drab, it is nothing compared to the incredible neo-renaissance decoration in the interior. The exterior of the building does feature decorations of busts of famous musicians such as Goethe, Mozart, Schiller as well as characters from mythology, always significant in Operas, such as Pegasus, Icarus, Cupid, Athena, Leda and others.
The first place I wanted to visit in Dresden was the fabled "Green Vault". The Green Vault or *Grünes Gewölbe* is Europe's largest collection of precious, historical treasures. It was the first public museum in all of Europe featuring a collection of crown jewels, royal bowls carved out of crystal, agate and ivory, golden figurines with multicoloured gems inlaid within and the ‘Dresden Green’ - the largest green diamond in the world. When walking up to the Green Vault, I suppose you expect to see a big green building but in fact, the gallery got its name a different way. During it's original construction, the columns and bases which held up the vaulted ceiling were all painted green - giving the entire place an Emerald city like vibe.
Along the side of the Georgentor, is one of the unique and valuable sites in Dresden. You'll walk by its dozens of times while visiting Dresden and I think it's worth more than a quick glance and few photos. This is the Procession of Princes of Fürstenzug.
The Porcelain Gallery is easy to find. It is right underneath the glockenspiel that rings in the Zwinger every hour. The bells on the outside are also made from the same famous porcelain that is on display inside the gallery.
The museum art and artefacts from all the world’s major religions. They feature a Zen garden and a sculpture showing Islamic calligraphy…. These works not only from all over the world but also from all sorts of periods of time in history.