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Melk Abbey

Photograph of Melk Abbey in Austria

Photograph of Melk Abbey in Austria

Driving from Vienna to Salzburg (Austria’s two most famous cities), the bright colours and imposing structure of Melk Abbey catches the eye. Located in the small town of Melk about an hour from Vienna, it was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1089. The Baroque abbey seen in the photograph was built in the early 18th century. The abbey houses the remains of several members of Austria’s first ruling dynasty, the House of Babenberg.

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Prague Skyline

Photograph of Prague Skyline

Photograph of Prague Skyline

Prague, like many European cities, has a wonderful blend of two opposite kinds of architecture: historical and modern. In this photograph, both of these types of architecture can be seen.

In the center of this photograph is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful buildings in all of Prague: the Church of Saint Nicholas. If one looks closely, the two black spires of another church can also be seen to the right of the massive green dome. On the other side of the dome, however, there is evidence of Prague’s modern side. Three skyscrapers dominate the skyline, and looking closely, one can see cranes in operation, perhaps constructing more, even taller buildings.

While development and infrastructural expansion is inevitable in cities all around the world, it should not come at the cost of the loss of historical heritage. It is the duty of city councils, builders and citizens to ensure that development is carried out responsibly and in a manner that is not threatening to historically or culturally valuable buildings. Prague is a fine example of a city where the historical heritage has been well preserved.

(Submitted to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: “Wanderlust“)

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Salzburg Cathedral

Photograph of Salzburg Cathedral

Photograph of Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg’s old town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its eventful history and incredible architecture. One of the structures that stands out is Salzburg Cathedral. Its huge dome, pictured here, is visible from much of the old town, and has become one of Salzburg’s most well-known symbols. The Cathedral, and the town of Salzburg in general, has become one of Europe’s top tourist destinations in the past few decades. Although many tourists visit Salzburg solely due to its connections to the Sound of Music and/or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, its architectural beauty deserves recognition and acclaim in itself.

(Submitted to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenges: “Wanderlust“, “Curve” and “Pure“)

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Railing

Photograph of a Railing

Photograph of a Railing

From politics to religion and from sports to one’s personal life, boundaries are everywhere. Humans seem to have this innate desire to segregate, to divide. We feel comfortable only when things are packed away neatly into distinctly classified boxes and when there is no ambiguity in matters.

While most boundaries are of the divisive sort, some actually do humanity good. Railings and fences, for example, while generally ordinary and boring, serve very noble purposes. They prevent people from falling off or out of things. This may seem menial, but such railings and fences have undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives.

The beautiful curved and ornate railing in the photograph above overlooks and protects a steep staircase inside the main building of Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria.

Intricate

Photograph of carving in Agra

Photograph of carving in Agra

Agra is full of old monuments dating back to the time of the Mughal dynasty. Everyone knows about the Taj Mahal, but there are several other structures worth recognition.

One such example is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. Not far from the Taj Mahal, this Mughal structure is often regarded as the rough draft of the Taj Mahal. It features some very intricate inlay work, not worthy of being called a ‘rough draft’. Also, unlike many of the carvings at the Taj Mahal, most of them at this Tomb are still intact. This is largely down to the relative lack of popularity of this Tomb compared to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal receives millions of visitors every year, so it is naturally more susceptible to damage. This Tomb however, passes under the radar of most tourists, so the burden on it is less.

(Submitted to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenges: “Details“, “Ornate” and “Symbol“)