During our visit, part of the museum was closed, due to preparations for a huge Rodin exhibition. Anyway, Lars and I started by viewing the contemporary art collection, representing both national and international artists.
The contemporary art collection wowed us! The modern art collection however is also worth a visit. It features national and international works of art as well and doesn’t restrict itself to paintings.
The Groninger Museum also has a beautiful gift shop and a cozy cafeteria serving drinks and light meals at affordable prices. The museum is, by the way, easy to find, since it is located opposite the main train-station of Groningen. You can find more information on their website.
Once you find yourself at ‘t Eilandje, it’s hard to ignore the MAS.
MAS stands for Museum Aan de Stroom, literally: Museum At the River. But this is more than a museum; it is also a monument, there is a restaurant, a pub, a shop, … In short: it is a meeting place. The museum itself tells the story of Antwerp and its harbor from different points of view: political, historical, cultural, … Take at least half a day when you visit it.
The building itself is simply stunning, with its combination of Indian red stone and glass. Thanks to this modern design, the MAS has already been considered to be one of the most beautiful museums of the world.
Want to know more? Check out the website: www.mas.be!
Brussels is a bilingual city; one of the consequences is that all the street names have a French and a Dutch variant. The funny thing is that the two names are not always the same. So in French we talk about the Marché aux Poissons (Fish Market), whereas in Dutch we refer to the same square as the Sint-Katelijneplein. To be more precise: it’s the square between the Baksteenkaai and the Brandhoutkaai (zoom in on the map to see the street names):
This is actually the square where you have the metro station Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne. According to Wikipedia,
The station is unique in Brussels for being located in the reclaimed and covered space of an old harbor dock. Because of this, the metro tunnel runs very shallow at this point, making the station one of the few in Brussels that lack an underground mezzanine. Entrances and exits from the station lead up into the middle of the Sainte Catherine square.
This neighborhood is known for its art galleries, seafood shops and restaurants. Not the cheapest ones! The most famous fish shop is called De Noordzee, and although they are not cheap, they do offer a huge variety of fish and seafood at a very high quality. And maybe the square looks a bit familiar; a part of the Christmas market takes place here every year.
One of the biggest attractions of Esbjerg is actually located outside the town, to the west and is called Men at Sea.
Men at Sea is a bit like the Danish version of the huge statues on the Easter Island. Or as Wikipedia says,
The Men at Sea is a 9 metre (30 feet) tall white monument of four seated males, located west of Esbjerg next to Sædding Beach on the southwest coast of Denmark. It is located opposite the Fisheries and Maritime Museum, is one of the area’s major tourist attractions, and is a famous landmark of Esbjerg.
The sculpture was designed by Svend Wiig Hansen and installed on 28th October 1995. It was funded by the municipality of Esbjerg, the Kunstfond (an art fund), and private sponsors, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the municipality in 1994.
The artist’s original idea for the location of the sculpture was Grenen, north of Skagen.
The monument can be seen from ships leaving or entering Esbjerg harbour.
This is the second time that I saw this monument. The first time I was quite unlucky with the weather; nothing but gray skies and a bit of rain. When I saw the pictures afterwards, it was sometimes difficult to tell where the monument ended and where the clouds started! But this time I was lucky: a lot of blue sky and just a couple of white clouds.
In the beginning I was a bit annoyed, because there were many people around. Afterwards I thought it would be a good idea to include them in the pictures, so that you can see how these statues are!
Since we hadn’t programmed any specific address on our GPS device, it took us right to the heart of Gorze. And what did we see there? The old collegiate church of Saint-Etienne. Looks like Saint-Etienne is quite a popular saint in this region of France, since the cathedral of Metz and the one in Toul are also dedicated to him.
The church of Gorze was built in the 12th – 13th century. It is actually the oldest Gothic building in Lorraine.
We were lucky that we were all alone in this church, so I could take my pictures at ease. I don’t know about you, but I really like the interior. From the outside it looked a bit somber, but inside we saw a lot of natural light coming in the church.
It already looked so beautiful at the outside, but as soon as Lars and I were inside the cathedral, we were simply blown away by its grandeur. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Saint-Stephen Cathedral is a RayonnantGothic edifice built with the local yellow Jaumont limestone. Like in French Gothic architecture, the building is compact, with slight projection of the transepts and subsidiary chapels. However, it displays singular, distinctive characteristics in both its ground plan and architecture compared to most of the other cathedrals. Because of topography of Moselle valley in Metz, the common west-east axis of the ground plan could not be applied and the church is oriented north-northeast. Moreover, unlike the French and German Gothic cathedrals having three portals surmounted by a rose window and two large towers, Saint-Stephen of Metz has a single porch at its western facade. One enters laterally in the edifice by another portal placed at the south-western side of the narthex, declining the usual alignment of the entrance with the choir.
The nave is supported by flying buttresses and culminates at 41.41 metres (135.9 ft) high, making one of the highest naves in the world. The height of the nave is contrasted by the relatively low height of the aisles with 14.3 metres (47 ft) high, reinforcing the sensation of tallness of the nave. This feature permitted the architects to create large, tall expanses of stained glass. Through its history, Saint-Stephen Cathedral was subjected to architectural and ornamental modifications with successive additions of Neoclassical and Neogothic elements.
Since Lars used to be a organ player in Denmark, the first thing he looks for in a church or a cathedral is the organ. We were a bit surprised to see that it wasn’t located at the back of the church, but rather next to the altar.
Anyway, we saw a lot of churches and cathedrals last year and this is one of the most beautiful ones! Our visit to Metz Cathedral was our last excursion of our first day in France. Afterwards, we went to the supermarket to buy some supplies for the days afterwards.
Photographing the backroads of Europe, exploring beauty and enjoying life at our own pace