Amidst these ruins is also one unexpected survivor. Here it is:
In the ruins of the World Trade Center now stands a Memorial to remember those who have died in the September 11 attack. The Memorial has the names of each one of these innocent persons who happened to be there doing their everyday work or just visiting.
Amidst these ruins is also one unexpected survivor. Here it is:
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus is the main building and within is this 4 billion transport hub called the World Trade Centre. As you can see in the picture above, it is an organic form rising amidst the various towers and the Memorial which stood on top of the September 11 debris.
The Oculus consists of white ribs interlocking high above the ground, looking like an eagle rising from the ashes. Inside is even more breath taking. Below is a view of the Oculus from the Memorial Fountain.
The Oculus from the Memorial Fountain
The Inside of the Oculus
To go in, you must go to the Brookfield Place and from there go inside this 4 billion Station. As you go in, you immediately see the expanse and lightness of the building. You feel you are lifted up as you go inside and as you go up and have a view of the Station from the upper floor, the sight is astounding as you can see below.
How to Find the Oculus
The Westfield Trade Centre
Inside the Oculus is also the Westfield Trade Center where stores and restaurants offer retail. What we enjoyed most was having a light lunch of soup and sandwich in Epicerie Boulud, a cafe owned by the famous Michelin star restaurateur, Daniel Boulud.
If you haven't been yet to the September, 2011 Memorial, then, you're in for a very enjoyable visit of the Memorial and the Oculus.
Address: Church St, New York, NY 10006, USA
Europe, for years, has dominated the Christmas Market experience. You never thought you'll find one in Toronto but, unbeknownst to me who in the past have avoided Canadian winters, the Christmas market has been now been a feature for years in this city.
So, last Sunday, I got very excited when our grandson invited me to go there. "There" is the Distillery District in Toronto. This district in Toronto is a 13-acre area of 10 streets and 40 heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. Founded in 1832, at its peak of production, it was supplying the world with over 2 million gallons of whiskey. These days, the buildings have been renovated to house cafes, fabulous restaurants and quaint shops which sells items you seldom find in the malls. It is the perfect location for a Christmas market. Below in the huge 54 ft. Christmas tree in the market.
You must go when it's dark. As you can see in the pictures, the lights are fabulous at night. The place becomes magical and what's even better is that you can have drinks and food there. The market opened on November 15 and will go on till December 23 so there is still time to enjoy it.
Food is abundant. You can get a turkey leg, a crepe, pretzel and more. For drinks, I recommend you try the warm sake and the mulled wine.
You can reach the Distillery District using the Toronto Transit Commission"s bus route, 121 Fort York-Esplanade, and the 514 Cherry Streetcar.
Founded around 897 by Earl Guifre Borrell whose burial site, on the left side of the Church as you enter, helped in ascertaining the date of the Church founding, Sant Pau del Camp (St. Paul of the Fields) was a simple Church so named because it was built in the agricultural plain in what was considered at that time the outskirts of the city of Barcelona. It is now the oldest surviving Church in the city of Barcelona.
Today, it is like an oasis in the midst of a busy and crowded section of the city called Raval. Raval is where it all happens. It is colourful, full of bars and restaurants and peoples from different cultures as this is the place where most immigrants end up living. It is in here that this old and tiny Church of Sant Pau is located.
Where is Sant Pau del Camp?
Address: Carrer de Sant Pau, 101
Telephone: 34 934 410 001
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Reconstructed by Geribert Guitard and his wife Rotlandis, it became a Benedictine monastery, a priory of the Monastery of Sant Cugat but in 1835, the monasteries in Spain were secularized so the monks abandoned it. In 1879, it was declared a National Monument. Below is what remained of the Monastery.
You can see in the next photo the entrance of the Church. Decorations are from nature.
Some of the Interesting Features Inside the Church of Sant Pau del Camp
The Romanesque nave with the altar is very simple with not too many decorations to distract one from worship. The tiny windows just give enough light adding mystery to the Church.
When we visited the first time, there was a Japanese lady musician from Okinawa practicing for a concert. It is a pity we did not have time to go back for it. She claims that the Church has one of the best acoustics she has ever played in.
The Church floors are all mosaic with different designs. On the left of the main altar is where the Blessed Sacrament is located. Here, there are candles you can light in prayer for whatever intentions you have.
Unlike the other major Cathedrals in the city where there are so many things to see and many other tourists vying for front view, this Church in its simplicity invites one to pray or to sit in silence. It speaks of age and wisdom, of what a Church should be, a connection to the unknown, to God.
Gaudi deserves all the visibility he gets but Barcelona is not a one trick pony. Catalans try to express their uniqueness especially in the arts. and an architect named Lluis Domenech i Montaner created the perfect showcase for their music in the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
Like Gaudi, Montaner did it all: architecture, engineering, design, interior design, artistic design and did it all on budget through public subscription in 1905. The organ alone deserves an essay with its 5000 pipes delivering the Fugue in D as an assault on eternity. When you join a tour of the Palau, the guide plays some music just to tease you how good the acoustic of the place is.
The building will tell its own story in the pictures inside but when you hear the Catalans saying they are a special people remember this building.
Both the inside and the outside are magnificent. It makes Rococo look bland and Thompson and Gehry look preprogrammed. Every centimetre fits into a great floral bouquet dominated by the roses of St. George yet featuring subtleties in acoustic engineering that are amazing for the late 19th century.
Built between 1905 and 1908, the Palau is the best example of Catalan Art Nouveau architecture. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Palau today hosts 300 concerts a year and some of the great artists and orchestras of our time have played there. Because it’s privately owned, it has infinite flexibility in its programming and in the message it sends out so when you visit Barcelona, of course, you must see the great Gaudi treasures but if you miss the Palau, you will not understand the heart and soul of Catalonia.
Who is Lluis Domenech i Montaner?
A Catalan architect who was highly influential in Art Nouveau, Montaner was also a politician. He played a very influential role in Catalan's Nationalist Movement. Registered as an architect in 1873, he also was the director of the Escola d'Arquitectura, Barcelona's school of architecture.
Montaner is a genius in Art Nouveau architecture and to see this you must visit his other work, the Hospital de Saint Pau now called the Saint Pau Art Nouveau Site. Some people think this is even much more beautiful. Here's a peek at this beautiful site.