Going Bananas in Cologne

The name Thomas Baumgartel may not be a household name, but his contribution to world art scene cannot be forgotten. He is affectionately known as “Banana Sprayer” in grafitti circles.

As you venture about Cologne, keep an eye out for Baumgartel’s handiwork. In 1987, he spraypainted a banana on the Museum Ludwig. Later that same night he was apprehended in a major sweep and spent the night in jail.

The banana tag is seen as a badge of honor, patrons could tell a museum was worth visiting if it had been deemed so by Baumgartel.

Want to learn more and see Baumgartel’s studio, click below…

Shrine of the Three Wisemen

Dreikönigsschrein, the Reliquary of the Three Kings is a tomb where they say that the remains of the Three Wise Men are enshrined. Set in a huge display case behind the main altar of the Cologne Cathedral, this is considered to be the largest shrine in the western world.

It took the world renowned goldsmith, Nicolau de Verdun spent half of a century building this masterpiece. The shrine was completed in 1225 and the remains of the Magi were laid to rest here.

This golden Reliquary of the Three Kings is made of wood, coated with gold, silver, enamel, and adorned with precious and semi-precious stones.

According to the legend, Queen Helena, mother of Constantine travelled to the Middle East to find the remains and bring them back to Cologne. The reliquary is comprised of three sarcophagi, two on the bottom and one on top.

More about the Three Wisemen can be found at this link…

http://projects.leadr.msu.edu/medievalart/exhibits/show/reliquary_cathedral_comparison/three_magi

Basilica Church of St. Ursula

Built on the ancient ruins of a Roman cemetery, where 11,000 virgins associated with the legend of Saint Ursula were supposedly buried. Inside the church is a reliquary featuring the bones of these martyred girls. The story of Saint Ursula is now considered to be fiction. It’s thought that there were originally 11 girls accompanying St. Ursula but over the years the letter M was mistaken for the Roman numeral for 1000.

Is Someone Watching Me?

In Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a carved figure with spout to move water away from the building and prevent damage from rainwater eroding the mortar between the bricks.

A gargoyle is often times a fantastic creature, an animal or grotesque creation.

The French word gargouille which means throat or gullet leads to the name and gargoyle calls to mind the sound of the water rushing out it’s mouth as it gargles.

A carved figure that does not act as a rainspout is called a Chimera or grotesque.

Boston: City of Angels and Demons

I grew up in and around Boston. I went to Emerson College in Boston and worked for various theatre companies around Boston.

One thing I love to do when I go home for a visit is to walk around the city. I always find something new and unique to photograph.

For a city as old as Boston, it can be magical in broad daylight.

High above Boylston Street, this Angelic face watches the masses of people below.

A winged Lion stands guard over the old Armory.

The Masks of Comedy and Tragedy adorn the Emerson Majestic Theatre. It’s hard to believe that this was once a run down movie house showing martial arts flicks. Now it’s been restored to it’s original glory.

These Gargoyles stare out from their perches high above Wall St.

I imagine that they come to life at night when the city is still and all of us humans have gone to bed.