Saturday, October 24, 2009


I noticed these plants while walking throught the old city of Amersfoort. They are huge, 2 meters high or even higher.

They are called Hollyhock, derived from the name herbalist William Turner gave them in the 16th century: Holyoke. In Latin: Alcea rosea. In Dutch: Stokroos.

I have bought seeds and started cultivating them, so next year my garden will be filled with hollyhocks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Matthias Withoos - A Botanical Garden

A Botanical Garden (Botanische Tuin) by the Dutch painter Matthias Withoos, born in Amersfoort in 1627.

A photo of such a plant:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cows in Leusden

 I saw these cows in Leusden, a village near Amersfoort.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thessaloniki City Walls

Part of the extensive Byzantine city walls of Thessaloniki (Greece, formerly the capital of Macedonia).

Notice they look the same, as can be expected, as the previously shown Istanbul city wall.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Armenia & The Republic of Pontus

(East) Armenia
Present day Armenia is in fact only a small part of what could have been Armenia. For a long time Armenia, one of the oldest European countries, was diveded between the Turks and the Russians. The Russian part gained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

West Armenia
The Turkish part was conquered by the Russians in WW1, promised independence by the US, and gained independence by the Treaty of Sèvres (1920). But after Ataturk conquered Western Armania this treaty was cancelled and the area remained Turkish.

Republic of Pontus
The northern part was initially granted to Armenia to provide them with an outlet to the sea. This Trabzon province was not one of the 6 Armenian provinces (vilayets) during the Ottoman period. Since a lot of Greeks lived over there, the creation of an autonomous Greek state called ‘Republic of Pontus’ was considered, most likely as part of a Ponto-Armenian Federation, before the Greeks lost their war with the Turks in 1922.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maude Fealy

Her mother, Margaret Fealy, was a stage actress and head of an acting school in Denver for 25 years, once having Douglas Fairbanks as a pupil. From an early age, Maude would occasionally appear with her mother on stage. Maude was an aspiring actress and was coached by her mother. A young Douglas Fairbanks also spent time training with Margaret.

She played in numerous children’s roles until the age of ten, when she left theatre to attend the academy in Memphis. At this time, her mother opened an acting school, so that she could retire from the stage while Maude pursued her education.

She went on to work in some of the great theatres of the world, and eventually worked with Cecil B. DeMille in Hollywood. Considered one of the foremost actresses of her time, she came back to Denver in the later years.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Königsberg / Kaliningrad

Another look at the devastating Soviet city planning in Königsberg. The photo at the top shows the situation before WWII, the photo at the bottom shows the same location as it is today. For more info see the excellent website

Monday, October 5, 2009


Montreuil, sometimes called Montreuil-sur-Mer, is a small city in the north of France. Due to its strategic location it is surrounded by 17th century ramparts.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Alphonse Mucha - Moët & Chandon

Alfons Mucha: Moët & Chandon - White Star, 1899. Czech born Alfons Mucha lived in Paris while creating his famous works of art at the turn of the last century. He’s style was referred to as “Le Style Mucha” before it became known as Art Nouveau.


Gadgets By Spice Up Your Blog Real Time Web Analytics