Saturday, 28 April 2018

CNN Headquarters

I only had limited time in Atlanta so I had to make tough choices. After discussing it with a friend, I have opted to skip the World of Coca-Cola and visit instead the Headquarters of CNN.

CNN was the first news television in the world. It has a truly global reach and its logo is iconic.

In the inner courtyard of the building you can see lots of flags. Actually, I think these are flags of all the countries in the world, in alphabetic order. Except for the US flag, hanging proudly above all the others.

CNN belongs to the Time Warner Group. You can see in Atlanta also some of its sister companies.

How nice to meet some of those jolly good fellows. Though I must admit that this display is surprisingly close to suggesting that Elmo and the Cookie Monster founded a family together, with small furry offspring of blue and red.

But let us return to serious news. We shall take the escalator and go into the large globe we have just seen. This escalator is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest freestanding (supported only at the ends) escalator in the world at 196 feet long. It was built for the theme park that once occupied the building, and it is part of the building's structure and could not be removed.

And finally, were we come to a newsroom. You can feel as if you were the one to give news to the world. Or to be the Anchor, as they call them here.

Do not worry that you do not know what to say. It is enough that you read from the prompter.

Or maybe you prefer something more green? Any idea what this is about?

Still no clue? Then look into the small TV set. Yes, this is actually a weather forecast! Not easy to point in the right direction.

Why the screen is green? Actually this is becuase it was discovered that none of the skin types has in its pigmentation any shade of green. So there is not risk that the host will be overwritten with the weather map. Unless he wears an invisibility cloak, like Harry Potter. Or any green cloth as a matter of fact.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take pictures in the parts of the CNN Center where real broadcast is shoot. We have a long flight over the Atlantic ahead of us. So I propose that we return to your hotel now.

It is both comfortable and elegant so I hope that you will like it.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Downtown Atlanta

Today, I have one place on my mind.

And by Georgia, I definitely do not mean the beautiful country in Caucasus Mountains. No doubt that we are in USA.

My friends - welcome to Atlanta!

One of the most important place of downtown Atlanta is the Centennial Olympic Park. It was built for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

It is quite large. Though based on my experience, in most countries parks mean trees, while here it is more a large lawn.

Alright, there is one.

But to be honest, it is just on the edge of the park, next to SkyView Atlanta, the lovely Ferris wheel.

But let's get back to the Centennial Olympic Park. The tall structure represents the Olympic Torch. Though far smaller than the one we have seen in Beijing.

And here comes baron Coubertin that we have already met in Lausanne.

But this is not the only statue in the park. The other one is of John Pemberton, the inventor of coca-cola.

Because coca-cola was borne in Georgia. And it is still headquartered in Atlanta. You can even visit the World of Coca-Cola.

The entrance is not so crowded in case you want to take a look inside.

But if you are not so interested in commercial artefacts, you can choose the Center for Civil and Human Rights instead. It is just next to the World of Coca-Cola.

Those of you who prefer to stay in the sunshine, can follow me for a walk down the large streets of Atlanta. Or actually the interstate Georgia roads.

The buildings are tall.

So to make transfers easier, at times they are connected in surprising places.

Atlanta is the birth town of Martin Luther King who won a Nobel Prize for his pacifist fight with racial discrimination. But the road from laws to reality was long and required Freedom Riders. Literally.

Because a Vision need followers.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Holy Trinity Tserkva in Zhovkva

Before we leave Ukraine, we will make our last stop to take a look at the wooden Holy Trinity Church. It was built in a suburb of Zhovkva in 1720 on the place of a church that burned down in 1717.

On the church's walls one can find the plates confirming that the building is an architecture monument built in 1720.

The structure consisits of three wooden naves and a brick sacristy.

In the back you can admire the iconostasis consisting of about 50 icons painted by the masters of Zhovkva Painting and Carving School of Ivan Rutkovych in the beginning of 18th century. The iconostasis is made from linden wood carved by Ignatiy Stobenskyj. In 1978-79 iconostasis was restored.

On June 21, 2013 on the 37th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Cambodja the Holy Trinity Church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List among 16 wooden tserkvas of Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine. We have already seen another of those sixteen tserkvas when we were in Powroźnik.

The church belongs nowadays to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

I hope that you have enjoyed our sightseeing around Western Ukraine. Next week we will be aleady miles away.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans in Chernivtsi

In 1782, following the incorporation of Bukovina into the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the seat of the Moldavian Eastern Orthodox Bishops of Rădăuți was moved to Chernivtsi (then known as Czernowitz). Unfortunately the building given to them collapsed and they were obliged to move to rented rooms. In 1851-1852, bishop Hacman sent a series of reports to the administration in Lviv, complaining that this situation was undignified. In 1860, the Religious Affairs Ministry issued a decree announcing a contest to select an architect for a new episcopal residence.

Ladies, gentlemen & horses, welcome to the residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans in Chernivtsi.

The Czech architect Josef Hlávka was selected to develop the project. In preparing his designs, Hlávka researched the building traditions of the region. The resulting work combines Byzantine and Moorish style, with the Alhambra as one inspirations.

Hlávka's proposals for the complex included not only the bishop's palace but also administrative offices, meeting halls, a library, a choir school, a museum of church art and a chapel.

Construction commenced in 1864 and took over 18 years, because of substantial delays due to technical problems, the illness of Hlávka from 1872 onwards, and to disagreements between Hlávka and the local administration, which led to Hlávka's resignation.

Let's enter the residence through the main entrance.

And take the stairs to the first floor.

Through the windows we can admire the fantastic park surrounding the residence.

Let's enter the most representative room - The Synodal Hall, called also the marble hall.

Have you noticed the ceiling ?

The name of the hall comes from the many colours of marbles used to decorate the walls and columns.

And here comes the smaller representative room - the Red Hall, with all the walls covered with red Chineese silk.

Once again please raise your heads.

Let's go to the seminary church.

Here you can admire the iconostasis - a wall between the nave and the sanctuary, which is covered with icons.

What brings everyone's attentiom is the fantastic cealing, with feagures of many saints, starting with 4 evangelists.

One can also see stories from the key moments of Jesus life.

Inside an orthodox church everything looks amazing, like the manoualia with candles.

Here the visitors can see all the vessels used during celebrations.

And here comes the church in the full view.

After the World War II when the region came under Soviet control, the theological faculty was closed down; when the buildings began to be restored in 1955, they were transferred to the town's university.

It must be a great pleasure to learn in such a bautiful place.

Extensive restoration was carried out from 2004 onwards, resulting eventually in the ensemble being inscribed by UNESCO in its list of World Heritage Sites on 28 June 2011.

Next week let's smaller but also impressive tserkva, but in totally different style.