Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Maude Fealy

Maude Fealy

next episode: Monsieur Taria

Sunday, May 26, 2013

blog tip: Adjust Size of Displayed Image

When you look at the HTML code of the image in your post it will look like this:

<a href="http://blogspot.com/v4cahi8WcKQ/s1600/imagename.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">

<img border="0" height="640" n4="true" src="http://blogspot.com/ /v4cahi8WcKQ/s1600/imagename.jpg" width="532" /></a>

The first statement determines where you will go when you click on the image. The second statement determines how large the image will be when shown in your blog post.

To change the size of the image displayed in your post, adjust the blue numbers, or add them to the HTML code when they are not there.

Make sure you're always downsizing an image, otherwise you'll loose resolution. To be sure you can first selected 'original size' by clicking on the image, and then add the desired height and width statements into the HTML code yourself.

Some upload sites like Blogger's Picasa use the red numbers, which are the maximum size of the image when it is loaded into you post. You can change this number in the second statement to make the image appear smaller; if the orientation of the image is landscape then the number will correspond to the width, in case of a portrait he number will correspond to the height. When you do this you can remove the blue statements. To remove all limitation use s0 (s zero) (make sure to remove the blue numbers first by selecting 'original size').

next episode: Maude

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Deserted City of Ani

Church of The Redeemer (source)

Ani (Armenian: Անի)] is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site situated in the Turkish province of Kars, near the border with Armenia. It was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present day Armenia and eastern Turkey.

The landscape today. The Church of The Redeemer is the white building at the right side. The Cathedral of Ani is the building at the left side of the photo (source)

Called the 'City of 1001 Churches', Ani stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. Between 100.000 and 200.000 people lived here at its prime, rivaling in importance with cities like Bagdad, Cairo or Constantinople. 

The remains of the huge Cathedral of Ani (two tourists are resting at the right side) (source)

Since it is located in the border region between The Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Persia (Iran) and Russia it suffered heavily from wars (and also from various earthquakes). The city was entirely abandoned by the middle of the 18th century. Today only a few buildings still (albeit just partly) stand.

city walls: the Kars gate (source)

birds eye view (source)

next episode: a tip

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Zurück zum Vaterland! 1935 Volksabstimmung Saarbrücken (Bernt Zander, 1935).

The Saarland is one of Germany's sixteen federal states. The capital is Saarbrücken and it has a population of 1 million inhabitants.

Saarland is located at the German-France border .

After WWI, under the Treaty of Versailles, the 'Territory of the Saar Basin' (with a wealth of coal deposits and large-scale industrial exploitation) was occupied and governed by the United Kingdom and France for a period of fifteen years. Prior to its creation as a territory the Saarland did not exist as a unified entity. The inhabitants voted to rejoin Germany in a plebiscite held in 1935.


After WWII the Saarland was a French-occupied territory (the Saar Protectorate). In 1955, in another plebiscite, 68% of the voters rejected the independence offered by France, despite the public support of West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer for this plan. The rejection was interpreted as support  to join Germany, and so Saarland did on January 1, 1957.

next episode: Ani

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Zwolle City Wall

Zwolle (2010 population: 120.000), a former member of the Hanseatic League, has some parts of their city walls beautifully restored. Zwolle is located 50 miles northeast of Amersfoort.

The Sassenpoort (late 14th - early 15th century) (source:albertscorner.web-log)

A piece of restored city wall  

Wijndragerstoren (Wine Carrier Tower) (photo by Michiel Verbeek)

next episode: Saar

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Villa Aldobrandini at Frascati

 Caspar Van Wittel  - A view of the Villa Aldobrandini from the Piazza Municipale at Frascati

Caspar Van Wittel (aka Gaspar Vanvitelli) (Amersfoort, 1653 - Rome, 1736). Click on the image for a larger version.


Grotere kaart weergeven

next episode: Zwolle

Friday, May 10, 2013

German invasion of The Netherlands

 Motorcyclists of the SS-Regiment ‘Der Führer’ in the Hoogstraat in Wageningen driving to the Grebbeberg, 13-15 May 1940 (source). 

On the morning of May 10th, 1940 the Dutch awoke to the sound of aircraft engines roaring in the sky. Germany had commenced operation Fall Gelb (Case Yellow) and attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg, in the case of the Low Countries without a declaration of war given before hostilities.

next episode: Italy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Amersfoort Liberation Day

Parade of British Troops (photo Fortgens, Amersfoort) 

On Monday May 7th, 1945 the Canadian Allied Forces entered Amersfoort. The photo shows a parade of British troops on the Hof square a few days later. Welch Fusiliers, the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Essex Regiment paraded on the central town square. In those days the Amersfoortse Kei, the town symbol, was exhibited over there.

Nationwide Liberation Day is celebrated on May 5th. On May 4th the victims of World War II are commemorated.

next episode: invaded.... 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The 335 Years' War

Dutch Fleet (Willem van de Velde the Younger, 1658)

There has been a state of war between The Islands of Scilly and The Netherlands for 335 years. This war has been extended for so long by the lack of a peace treaty. Without a single shot being fired, it makes it one of the world's longest wars and a bloodless wars.

During the English Civil War the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) led by Oliver Cromwell had fought the Cavaliers (Royalists) led by king Charles II to the edges of England. In 1648, Cornwall was in the hands of Cromwell and the Royalist Navy was forced to retreat to the Isles of Scilly.

Oliver Cromwell (usurpator)

The governor of the Scilly Isles was John Grenville, a close friend and adviser of king Charles. During 1649-51 he directed Royalist pirates from Scilly in a lucrative campaign against English and Dutch merchantmen to raise prize money for Charles II's court-in-exile (The Dutch Republic was allied with the Parliamentarians).

Charles II (king)

The Dutch Navy was suffering heavy losses, so they dispatched twelve warships to the islands. On 30 March 1651, Admiral Maarten Tromp arrived in Scilly to demand reparation for the Dutch ships and goods taken by them. After receiving no satisfactory answer war was declared specifically upon the Isles of Scilly.

Maarten Tromp (Dutch naval hero)

The Parliamentarians promised to resolve the problem and in June 1651 they forced the Royalist fleet to surrender. Tromp, who was cruising the neighborhood looking for places to attack, left without firing a shot. Due to the obscurity of the declaration of war the Dutch did not officially declare peace.

In 1985, Roy Duncan, historian and Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Council, wrote to the Dutch Embassy in London about the myth that the islands were still at war. The embassy staff found the myth to be accurate (although a real declaration of war could not be found, it is questionable Tromp was to qualified to declare war). Duncan invited the Dutch ambassador Huydecoper to visit the islands and sign a peace treaty. Peace was declared on April 17, 1986, 335 years after the 'war' began.

next episode: veteran

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Isles of Scilly

Tresco Abbey Gardens (source: ukriversguidebook)

The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago 278 miles off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. There are 5 inhabited islands (population:2.200) and around 140 islets. Influenced by the North Atlantic Current the climate is almost subtropical. 

Scilly has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The islands have been visited by among others Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and even Viking king Olaf I of Norway. At certain low tides the sea becomes shallow enough for people to walk between some of the islands, and ancient field walls become visible below the high tide line. It is therefore likely that the islands used to be joined together into one island; rising sea levels flooded the central plain around 400–500 AD, forming the current islands.

The 'c' in Scilly is silent, so the pronunciation is the same as the word 'silly'. Therefore the Scillonians prefer the islands to be referred to as 'The Isles of Scilly' instead of 'The Scilly Islands'.

next episode: The Scilly's at war with the Dutch


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