Monday, November 12, 2018
Ten Inspiring Interiors
LA SAGRADA FAMÍLIA CATHEDRAL
If you only see one building in Barcelona, see Antoni Gaudí’s magnificent Sagrada Família Cathedral. None of the surfaces are flat. Abstract shapes combine smooth curves and jagged points. The stone staircases are extraordinary, as is the nave which towers into the heavens, its pillars branching out like a forest of trees. The exterior is equally inspiring. When Gaudí was asked why he paid so much attention to the tops of the spires when no would see them, he answered, “The angels will see them.”
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Discover the world-famous Colón Theater, Buenos Aires’s main opera house and one of the most iconic venues in the world. Known for its outstanding acoustics and architectural splendor, the theater originally opened in 1857 and was most recently refurbished in 2010. Admire the rich red and gold décor and glittering chandelier of this auditorium that has hosted opera legends such as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, ballet dancers Vaslav Nijinsky and Mikhail Baryshnikov and conductors Arturo Toscanini and Herbert von Karajan.
CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR ON SPILLED BLOOD
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
With so many incredible buildings in Scandinavia and the Baltic, how do you choose just one? We narrowed the choice to the one place that quite literally leaves you speechless—the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg. It is completely spellbinding. Every square inch of space is decorated with the most extraordinary art and mosaics of gold leaf and semiprecious stones. The effect is one of shimmering beauty. See it and be awed.
We could have chosen the remarkably preserved Roman city of Herculaneum. Or, we could have chosen the opulent rooms of Venice’s Doge’s Palace. Instead, we chose the 14th-century trulli houses in the village of Alberobello. Beautifully simple and simply beautiful, trulli are tiny, beehive-shaped dwellings with white-tipped conical roofs. Step inside the thick stone walls and you will find it pleasantly cool, with its rustic simplicity cozy and welcoming.
ALCÁZAR DE COLÓN
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
In the historic heart of the Dominican Republic’s oldest city sits the 16th-century Alcázar de Colón. Originally the home of Diego Columbus, the governor of the colony and Christopher Columbus’s son, the palace is an exceptional example of Spanish colonial architecture. Now a museum, its many rooms and open air loggias are decorated with paintings, tapestries and antique furnishings. Imagine which courtiers would have once entertained distinguished Spanish explorers such as Hernán Cortés and Vasco Núñez de Balboa.
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Few buildings are more instantly recognizable than the Sydney Opera House. And there is no more spectacular way to approach it than through the Sydney Harbor. The gleaming white sails of Jørn Utzon’s design are different from every angle, and during different times of the day. The iconic structure is home to seven performance venues, each one an inspiring place to watch and listen to live music and theater.
On Gharapuri (renamed Elephanta Island by the Portuguese) near Mumbai is a labyrinth of cave temples. Hewed from solid rock, the UNESCO-listed complex was created between 450 and 750 AD. It consists of a network of chambers, halls, pillars, courtyards and shrines, and is described as a “masterpiece of Gupta-Chalukyan art.” The most important sculpture in the caves is the Trimurti, a 20-foot-high image depicting a three-faced Shiva, as the destroyer, creator and preserver of the universe.
One of Bangkok’s lesser-known treasures and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. King Ramathibodi I founded the city in 1350 AD and it served as the kingdom’s capital for 417 years, until it was conquered and destroyed by the Burmese in 1767 AD. Admire its stunning temples, statues and gardens. Be sure to see the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace, a captivating collection of pavilions in a variety of architectural styles set amid a beautiful garden.
ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL
You will not want to miss the magnificent 17th-century St. Stephen’s Cathedral when you visit charming Passau. This baroque wonder houses Europe’s largest pipe organ, with more than 17,000 pipes, and inspired composer Franz Liszt to write his Hungarian Coronation Mass. Admire the cathedral’s elegant white interior, its elaborate stucco painted by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Carlone and the intricate frescos created by painter Carpoforo Tencalla.
THE OCULUS AND 9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
This sacred and powerful memorial honoring the lives of those we lost is sobering yet inspiring. The underground museum space was built within the remnants of the original World Trade Center. Outside, two enormous waterfalls flow into two pools, around which are carved the names of those
who perished. Equally extraordinary is the Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a mind-boggling glass-and-steel structure designed to look like a dove in flight. The vast, pure white interior of the main hall is like a modern-day cathedral, with light pouring through the ribbed ceiling. And, just like in a cathedral, the effect is incredibly moving.
Dream Vacations - The Operach Team is a travel agency based in Overland Park, Kansas. We take pride in working with clients across the country who love to travel. We build vacation experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime. Our team has specialties across a wide range of vacation options; custom Europe itineraries, Alaska, escorted tours, all-inclusive resorts, Disney, Caribbean, Hawaii, South Pacific, cruise holidays, and river cruises.
We look forward to making your dream vacations come true!!