During my recent excursion to see the Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles in southern Bavaria, I made an unexpected visit to the Benedictine cloister of St. Mang and its adjacent Basilica. Mangus of Füssen (aka Saint Mang) was the venerated saint of Füssen and the founder of the abbey in 9th century AD. The complex was rebuilt between 1696 and 1726 in the Baroque style. The irregular medieval architecture was transformed into a massive Baroque church, based on Venetian models.
The exterior of the church is rather austere, owing to its medieval roots, but just a few steps inside the church, and you’ll be awed by the size and opulence of the Baroque interior. Hoping to grab some photos of the sanctuary, I soon realized a hand-held shot was too shaky to capture the grandeur as an HDR photo composite. Surreptitiously, I set up my tripod and camera on an elevated level separating the church organ from the nave and another shot capturing the high altar from the transept. The lighting was very dim, so I prepared a long exposure (up to 20s!) on the +2EV setting with a low ISO setting to ensure minimal noise. I have since explored hand-held interior shots using very fast ISO (3200) and was pleasantly surprised with the clarity.
Enjoy the photo results below. For larger photos, more photography notes, and other church photos from around the world, please visit my Flickr page.
Located in the heart of Munich’s bustling city, Marienplatz (Mary’s Square) has been the city’s market center since the 12th Century. Today, old traditions intermingle with new as vendor stalls dot the pedestrian mall next to trendy fashion boutiques. Marienplatz is a must-see destination when visiting Munich. During my recent visit to Munich, I took the U-Bahn underground rail system to the Marienplatz stop, a major transportation hub that serves the urban and suburban mass transit lines. As you disembark, you walked through an ultra-modern subway tunnel with glistening orange ceramic tiles, then up the escalator to the street level of Marienplatz, where you’re greeted by Gothic architecture—what a visual contrast! Read more…
With the rapid decline of railroad transportation in the early ‘80s, rail districts throughout the U.S. slid into urban decay. The rail yards and adjacent neighborhoods of Santa Fe, New Mexico were declared a blighted area in 1987, characterized by property abandonment, unemployment, crime, and barren urban landscapes.
Fast-forward twenty years and you will see the same urban geography has been redefined by a vibrant, revitalized community. The design process involved hundreds of participants: citizens, land planners, architects, and city council members. The resulting redevelopment—dubbed The Railyard Santa Fe—incorporates an eclectic mix of performing art venues, restaurants, retail, art studios and galleries, a permanent structure for Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, and 13 acres of open space including a park, plaza, and pedestrian promenade.
During my recent trip to Santa Fe, I visited The Railyard and was surprised how well the redevelopment project integrates with the surrounding urban and natural landscape. The hard-edged, rugged look of the buildings reflects the city’s intention to preserve the industrial feel of the original rail complex. The shinny corrugated metal surfaces, exposed hardware, and strong rectilinear walls unexpectedly harmonize with the prevailing adobe architecture.
The multi-use Railyard Park is a real gem, with its eco-friendly, drought-resistant garden with outdoor performance and picnic areas, playground, and walking-biking trails. Original iron rails and rusted rail car wheels are cleverly integrated into the linear walkways and gardens.
The Railyard marks its one-year anniversary this September. Enjoy my picture gallery (click on the water tower image) and let me hear your comments. For more information on The Railyard, visit www.railyardsantafe.com.
I thought I’d start off my architectural photo blog series on the lighter side. Click on the adjacent photo and have a look at the gallery of contractor mishaps from around the world. Let me know which one you think qualifies for Contractor Blooper of the Year Award.