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Letters from Jordan: Aqaba and Dead Sea, Pearls from the South!

My dear travellers and lovers of unusual trips, I hope you are well and ready to continue our adventure in Jordan! Today’s post is special and a bit sentimental as this is the last travelogue in the series of posts Letters from Jordan. This post will wrap up my Jordan adventure and I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful messages and numerous questions about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I sincerely hope that I managed to solve all your doubts and that your next destination will be this unusual country!

For all my dear travellers and fashionistas who didn’t get to read my previous travelogues and fashion stories from Jordan on the Mr.M blog or want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following links:

  1. The story about Amman and Jerash (travelogue)
  2. The story of Petra (travelogue)
  3. The story from Wadi Rum with Fratelli Rossetti (fashion story)
  4. The Fashionable Royal Blue adventure in Aqaba (fashion story)
  5. The story of Wadi Rum, the Moon Desert Princess (travelogue)
  6. The story of Petra with Loro Piana (fashion story)

Today I will share with you my experience in Aqaba and Dead Sea and I would like to thank the Visit Jordan for the kind invitation and the amazing experience to get to know Jordanian culture and customs.

Aqaba is the only seaport in the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as the largest and most populated city in the Gulf of Aqaba. Located in the southernmost part of Jordan, Aqaba is the administrative center of Aqaba Governorate. Today, over 150,000 people live in the city. Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy, through vibrant trade and tourism sectors. The port of Aqaba also serves other countries in the region. Aqaba’s ideal strategic location on the northeastern part of the Red Sea between the continents of Asia and Africa has made its port important for thousands of years.

The ancient city that was located in the area of today’s Aqaba was called Elat, adopted in Latin as Aela and in Arabic as Aila. Its strategic location and proximity to copper mines made it a regional hub for copper production and trade in the Chalcolithic period. Aela became a diocese under Byzantine rule and later became a Latin Catholic titular see after the Islamic conquest around 650 AD, when it became known as Ayla. The name Akaba appears in the Middle Ages. The Battle of Aqaba in the Great Arab Revolt, depicted in the film Lawrence of Arabia, resulted in a victory for the Arab forces over the Ottoman defenders.

Aqaba, next to Wadi Rum and Petra, is located in the famous golden Jordanian tourist triangle, which strengthened the location of the city on the world map and made it one of the main tourist attractions of the Kingdom of Jordan. The city is governed by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, which has turned Aqaba into a low-tax, duty-free city, attracting several mega projects such as Aila Oasis, Saraya Aqaba, Marsa Zayed and the expansion of Aqaba Port. It is expected to turn the city into a major tourist center in the region. However, industrial and commercial activities remain important, due to the city’s strategic position as the only seaport in the country. The city is located just across the border from Eilat, also Israel’s only port on the Red Sea. After the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace accord, there were plans and hopes for the establishment of a cross-border tourism and economic zone, but few of these plans came to fruition.

Since I know how much you love to read interesting historical facts, I made sure to find out how the only seaport in Jordan got its name. The name of the city was anciently Elat, Ailat. The name is probably derived from the Semitic name of a tree from the genus Pistacia. Modern Eilat (founded in 1947), located about 5 km northwest of Aqaba, is also named after an ancient settlement. In the Hellenistic period it was renamed Berenice, but the original name survived, and under Roman rule it was reintroduced in the forms Aila, Aela or Haila, adopted in Byzantine Greek as Aila Aila and in Arabic as Ayla, while the Crusaders called the city Elin.

The current name of Aqaba is shortened from ʿakabat Ailah – “mountain pass of Ailah”, which was first mentioned by Idrisi in the 12th century, at a time when the settlement was mainly reduced to a military stronghold, exactly referring to the pass northeast of the settlement.

Aqaba has a number of luxury hotels, including Tala Bay Resort, that cater to those who come to have fun on the beaches as well as to dive. It also offers activities that take advantage of its desert location. Its many cafes offer mansaf and knafeh and baklava desserts. Another very popular place is the Turkish bath (Hamam) built in 306 AD, where locals and visitors come to relax after a hot and tiring day.

Aqaba has been chosen as the site of a new waterfront construction project that would renovate Aqaba with new artificial water features, new high-rise residential and commercial buildings, and more tourism services to put Aqaba on the investment map and challenge other centers of waterfront development throughout the region. Aqaba was chosen as the best Arab tourist city in 2011.

During the five-day holiday at the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Jordanian and Western expatriates flock to the city with numbers reaching up to 50,000 visitors. During that time, the occupancy rate of most hotels there reaches as high as 90% and they are often fully booked.

The fact that Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan has successfully created a distinctive cuisine compared to other Jordanian cities. Main dishes include Saiadeiah, a combination of rice, fish and spices, a dish common in Arabian coastal cities. Kishnah is a famous dish that includes fish, tomatoes and onions cooked together. Bukhari dish consists of rice, meat, hummus beans, ghee and spices popular in wedding ceremonies. Treats in Aqaba include Al-Hooh, which consists of layers of pastry filled with nuts or dates that are then fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. Dates and ghee, which consists of fresh dates dipped in ghee, is a simple dessert that is also commonly presented to all tourists.

The Dead Sea, also known by other names, is a salt lake bordered by Jordan on the east and Israel and the West Bank. It lies in the valley of the Jordan River, and at the same time its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The lake is located about 430 meters below sea level, which makes the shores of the Dead Sea the lowest altitude on Earth. It is 304 meters deep and is the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2%, it is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, almost 10 times saltier than the ocean and has a density of 1.24 kg/l, making swimming akin to floating. This salinity creates a harsh environment where plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The main, northern basin of the Dead Sea is 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide at its widest point.

Since you know that I can’t swim, you must be wondering how I dared to enter the lake, since we know that lakes can be quite deep… After reading numerous articles in which scientists claimed that it was simply impossible that due to the salinity of the lake itself a man drowns, I decided to see for myself.

There are rules that you must follow if you want to feel the beauty and healing of this lake in a healthy way. Staying in the water is limited due to salinity.

What does it actually look like to have a Spa relaxing day on the Dead Sea? When you get to the lake you can stay in it for between 10 and 15 minutes, don’t get the area around your eyes and mouth wet because of the salt! After that, you can apply a layer of healing mud from the Dead Sea, which has many positive properties that can help people who have problems with some skin diseases. It is recommended to leave the mud on the body to dry for up to 20 minutes and after that period you can re-enter the Dead Sea to remove the mud more easily with the help of salt from the lake and take a good shower with plain water. It is recommended to do this once, maximum twice a day. If you have sensitive skin like me, my honest recommendation is to do this once a day or once every 2/3 days due to the salinity.

The interesting thing is that it was the Dead Sea that attracted visitors from the entire Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world’s first spas and supplied a wide range of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizer. Today, tourists visit the lake on its shores in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

The Dead Sea area has become a location for numerous health researches and a place for potential treatment of some diseases. The mineral content of the water, the low content of pollen and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth can have specific health effects. For example, people who have reduced respiratory function due to diseases such as cystic fibrosis benefit from increased atmospheric pressure.

The climate and low altitude of the region have made it a popular center for certain therapies:

Climatotherapy: A treatment that uses local climatic characteristics such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, barometric pressure and special atmospheric constituents
Heliotherapy: A treatment that uses the biological effects of solar radiation
Thalassotherapy: A treatment that uses bathing in the water of the Dead Sea

Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea can be a therapy for psoriasis by prolonged sunbathing in the area due to its location below sea level and the subsequent result that UV rays are partially blocked by the increased thickness of the atmosphere.

Patients with rhinosinusitis who received nasal irrigation with Dead Sea saline showed improved symptom relief compared to standard hypertonic saline spray in one study.

Dead Sea mud therapy has been suggested to temporarily relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. According to researchers at Ben Gurion University, treatment with mineral-enriched mud packs can be used to augment conventional medical therapy.

What does relaxation and rest look like when you apply mud from the Dead Sea. The picture was taken with the permission of all family members.

In the picture above, you can see a family enjoying their vacation at the Dead Sea and what the drying period of the mud looks like when applied to the skin. Today, the Dead Sea has become an ideal tourist destination for generations because everyone wants to experience the healing properties of the Dead Sea.

A clock located at the entrance to the lake where you can track your time in the water.
This is the area for swimming in the Dead Sea at the Kempinski Ishtar Hotel Resort

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the last special fourth travelogue about the Kingdom of Jordan where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the only sea port of Aqaba and the lowest point on Earth – the Dead Sea. This series of travelogues would not be possible without the selfless help of the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Jordanian culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Jordan.

I would like to especially thank the staff of the Kempinski Aqaba and Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea hotels for their warm welcome and having me in their incredible hotels. The stay in their hotels was exceptional, where I felt the warmth of my own home! Top full service that can be expected in 5* star hotels, pleasant staff, exceptional food, I have to put a special emphasis on the sweets! 🙂

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Western Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Aqaba and the Dead Sea? Have you had the chance to visit Jordan so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Jordan,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Jordan, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Jordan: Wadi Rum, The Moon Desert Princess…

My dear travellers and lovers of unique trips, I hope you are well and ready to continue our adventure in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Today I have a special story about Wadi Rum, Jordan’s famous thee moon desert princess.

For all my dear travellers and fashionistas who didn’t get to read my previous travelogues and fashion stories from Jordan on the Mr.M blog or want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following links:

  1. The story about Amman and Jerash (travelogue)
  2. The story of Petra (travelogue)
  3. The story from Wadi Rum with Fratelli Rossetti (fashion story)
  4. The Fashionable Royal Blue adventure in Aqaba (fashion story)

Today I will share with you my adventure in Wadi Rum and I would like to thank the Visit Jordan for the kind invitation and the amazing experience to get to know Jordanian culture and customs.

Wadi Rum is a natural tourist attraction, a valley located in southern Jordan. Why did it get the famous nickname Moon Valley? This epithet derives from the similarity of the Wadi Rum relief terrain to that of the Moon. In 2011, UNESCO included the Wadi Rum Protectorate in the World Natural Heritage List, and in 2019, the International Astronomical Union announced at a global press conference the naming of the star (VASP-80) as “Petra” and the name of the planet orbiting it as Wadi Rum.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a desert of varied terrain with a desert climate and is located within the boundaries of the Hismi Desert, one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. Its rocky mountains are characterised by white, yellow, red and brown colours, as well as characteristic geographical formations. Wadi Rum contains a group of narrow valleys, natural arches, steep cliffs and steep roads, as well as large piles of collapsed rocks, numerous caves and thousands of carvings and inscriptions. It also includes the highest mountain peaks of the southern Levant, namely: Jabal Umm al-Dami and Jabal Rum.

The Wadi Rum desert is home to some desert plants and an exotic group of small birds such as the desert lark, in addition to reptiles and numerous small mammals. Also here you can see numerous migratory birds that travel between Africa and Eastern Europe, especially birds of prey, which can be seen in large numbers in just one day.

One of the interesting things is that many films were shot in Wadi Rum, such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Al-Muraikhi”, because the valley attracted filmmakers, especially science fiction films that take place on Mars due to the great similarity between the terrain of Wadi Rum Ruma and the planet Mars. Today, Wadi Rum is one of the most visited tourist areas in Jordan.

Tourism has supported the development of agriculture and urban life in the region, and tourists can engage in many activities such as hiking, hot air balloon rides, horse and camel excursions or four-wheel drive, and a camel race is held every year, which is the first event of its kind in Jordan. In addition, Wadi Rum is considered one of the best places in Jordan for star and galaxy gazing, as well as meteor shower viewing.

The mystery about the name of this desert, as well as the real reason why Wadi Rum was called by this name is still unknown. There is a belief that the name “Rum” was taken from the Koran. Many today believe from an old legend that Wadi Rum was called “Aram” or “Iram” in ancient times, which means shapes and designs on stones (such as inscriptions). While some historians have mentioned that the region got its name from the leader of the Assyrians, who invaded the southern region of the Levant in the eighth century BC.

By examining certain writings, scientists have come to the knowledge that Wadi Rum was inhabited several thousand years ago and that these people struggled to survive in the harsh environment. These people were hunters, shepherds, farmers and traders. The Nabateans also once inhabited the area of Wadi Rum, leaving behind many monuments and inscriptions, including a temple known today as the “Nabatean Temple”.

Research and found inscriptions indicate that the first human settlement in Wadi Rum dates back to the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, and that the area was full of springs, a temperate climate and abundant groundwater. Many civilizations and nations have thrived in Wadi Rum due to its prominent geographical location between the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, such as the Edomites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Nabateans and others.

Perhaps the Roman historian Ptolemy first mentioned Wadi Rum, which he named (Aramoa) in his list of cities located in Arabia Felix, indicating that the valley was part of a regional trade network. Archaeologists have largely considered the isolated site to be connected to the Nabatean economic centers of Petra and Isla. In the 1990s, two scientists from the University of Victoria led a project to survey the valley and restore its antiquities, and studies revealed the existence of a palace complex and a bath complex belonging to the Nabateans located on a small hill next to the eastern side of Jebel Rum. Scientists have hypothesized that the complex complex of villas built in this arid environment was built to impress travellers passing through the area.

The inhabitants of the valley joined the forces of the Great Arab Revolt led by King Faisal and fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia during the Great Arab Revolt of 1916 against the Turkish and German armies. Perhaps the credit for the fame of Wadi Rum belongs to Lawrence of Arabia, who crossed it several times during the war and then settled there. The Mountain of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom is located in Wadi Rum.

All the inhabitants living in and around Wadi Rum today are Bedouin, and until recently they lived a Bedouin life, relying on raising their own goats and camels. Although some of them live in modern cement houses today, they still maintain Bedouin customs and Arab dress traditions. Knitting goat hair tents all summer. They are hospitable people and are largely responsible for the development of Wadi Rum as a tourist destination, and many tourists find that sharing food or drinking coffee with the Bedouins is one of the best memories of their lives.

Visitors to Wadi Rum usually have the opportunity to see very few animals as most desert creatures are active at night and avoid sunlight during the day. The number of these animals has decreased dramatically over time, but there are still a large number of interesting birds, insects, reptiles and some desert plants.

Trees are rare in Wadi Rum, except for the acacia trees, which are characterized by flat tops and scattered thorny branches. A small number of low, woody shrubs spread across the desert. These plants are an important source of food for goats and camels, especially in the summer months when all other succulent desert plants are drying up. In Wadi Rum, certain types of plants grow in nature that are adapted to the harsh climatic conditions of the desert areas, such as al-Mughira, al-Rumm, al-Ghadi, al-Tarfa and al-Baitran trees.

Tourism activity in Wadi Rum began in 1984, when a British climbing team led by Tony Howard requested permission from the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism to explore the possibilities of hiking in Wadi Rum and its surroundings. The attempt succeeded with the help of the Bedouins and the support of the ministry. Since then, Bedouins belonging to the prominent Al-Huwaitat tribe in the area have collaborated to organize tourism, investing the proceeds in building houses and schools and buying buses to connect the area with the cities of Aqaba and Wadi Musa. In the mid-90s, there was a boom in tourism that is still active today.

Wadi Rum is full of tourist camps that replace hotels, because it is a nature reserve where hotels are not allowed. Tourism promotion of this area began in the late eighties, after a movie (Lawrence of Arabia) was shot there in the sixties. Today, tourism has become a source of income for many residents who work in it as guides or other jobs.

The Jordanian Ministry of Tourism counts Wadi Rum as part of the Golden Tourism Triangle, which includes Wadi Rum, Petra and Aqaba. Tourist activities in this area include camping and trips between the mountains on horses and camels or using four-wheel vehicles, and hiking is also practiced there. The visitor can spend the night in camps that provide food and other services. When you come to Wadi Rum, you have the opportunity to enjoy countless possibilities and to experience a different way of life at least for a moment.

Some of the activities: hiking, watching camel races, hot air balloon rides, star gazing, 4 wheel drive motorbikes, camel and horse riding and enjoying local Bedouin cuisine.

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of this third special travelogue from the Kingdom of Jordan about the moon desert princess Wadi Rum, which would not have been possible without help of the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan in collaboration with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and the beauty of Jordanian culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Jordan.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Western Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Wadi Rum? Have you had the chance to visit Jordan so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Wadi Rum,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Jordan, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Jordan: Petra, the Ancient City of Secrets…

My dear travellers and lovers of unique journeys, I hope you are doing great and ready to continue our Jordanian adventure! Today we continue our adventure and together we visit one of the most mysterious ancient cities in the world that still keeps its secrets in stone – Petra.

If by any chance you didn’t get to read the first travelogue from Jordan on the Mr.M blog or you want to remember some details from magical Amman and Jerash, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following link.

Today I will share with you my impressions of ancient Petra and I would like to thank the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know Jordanian culture and customs better.

Petra, originally known to its inhabitants as Raqmu, is located near the mountains of Jabal Al-Madbah, in a basin surrounded by mountains that form the eastern part of the Arabah Valley that stretches from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Scientists have come to some knowledge that the area around today’s Petra has been inhabited since 7000 BC, and the Nabateans may have settled in what would become the capital of their kingdom as early as the 4th century BC. Archaeological work has revealed only evidence of the presence of the Nabateans dating back to the second century BC, when Petra became their capital.

Who were the Nabateans? The Nabateans were nomadic Arabs who contributed to the development of Peter through their investments. The convenient geographical location and proximity to the incense trade routes allowed Petra to become a major regional trade center.

The trading business provided the Nabataeans with an extraordinary income and Petra became the center of their wealth. The Nabateans were accustomed to living in barren deserts, unlike their enemies, and were able to repel attacks by taking advantage of the area’s mountainous terrain. They were especially skilled in rainwater harvesting, agriculture and stone-cutting. Petra saw its heyday in the 1st century AD, when its famous Al-Khazneh building – believed to be the mausoleum of the Nabataean king Areta IV – was built, a time when the population of Petra reached an incredible 20,000 inhabitants for that time.

Although the Nabatean Kingdom became a state under the administration of the Roman Empire in the first century BC, it did not lose its independence until 106 AD. Petra fell into the hands of the Romans, who annexed Nabatea and renamed it Arabia Petraea. The importance of Petra declined as sea trade routes appeared, and after an earthquake in 363 it destroyed many buildings. In the Byzantine era, several Christian churches were built, but the city continued to decline, and by the early Islamic era it was abandoned, but a small number of nomads were present. Petra was forgotten and unknown to the public until it was rediscovered by Johann Ludwig Burkhard in 1812.

To approach the Petra city, one must pass through a 1.2 kilometer long gorge called the Siq, which leads directly to Khazneh. Known for its stone-carved architecture and plumbing system, Petra is also called the “City of Roses” because of the color of the stone from which the entire city is carved. UNESCO described this world heritage in 1985 as “one of the most precious cultural assets of human cultural heritage”. At the beginning of the 21st century, more precisely in 2007, Al-Khazneh was declared one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Petra is a symbol of Jordan, as well as the most visited tourist attraction of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Statistics maintained by the Ministry of Tourism show that the number of tourists who visited Petra peaked in 2019, when there were over a million tourists. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the number of tourists dropped, but again in 2021, Petra had almost 300,000 visitors, which is an impressive figure if we consider the problems in tourism caused by the pandemic itself.

As you walk to Petra, stop by the souvenir shop where you will have the opportunity to learn more about Petra from the locals and get to know the history and culture of this ancient city. Souvenirs are very interesting, so take a few minutes of your time when visiting Petra and experience this city in a completely different way. There is only one souvenir shop, so you are sure to find this interesting place!

One of the interesting things Petra is known for is its Hellenistic architecture. The facades of the tombs at Petra show this type of architecture and also provide information on the different types of cultures with which the Nabataeans traded. Most of them contain information about the type of burials in niches carved into the stone.

Perhaps the most significant resemblance to the Hellenistic style comes with its treasury, which is 24 meters wide and 37 meters high and recalls the architecture of Alexandria. The facade of the Treasury has a broken pediment with a central tholos inside, and two obelisks appear to be forming in the rock at the top. Near the bottom of the Treasury are the twin Greek gods Castor and Pollux, who protect travelers on their journeys. Near the top of the Treasury, symbols of two victories can be seen in the form of a female figure on a tholos. This female figure is believed to be Isis-Tyche, Isis being an Egyptian goddess and Tyche the Greek goddess of fortune.

Al-Khazneh means “Treasury” in Arabic, the name derives from the legend of an ornamental stone urn high up on the second level, which is in reality solid sandstone.

There are several legends associated with the Treasury, but one legend says that an Egyptian pharaoh and part of his army escaped the closing of the Red Sea, magically created Al-Khazneh as a safe place for their treasury, and continued their search for Moses. This led to the name Khazneh el-Far’oun, “Treasury of the Pharaoh”.

Swiss researcher Johann Ludwig Burkhardt wrote about another local legend that “ancient pharaonic treasures” were hidden in the urn. The urn shows significant bullet damage, which the Jordanian government attributes to the Bedouins who believed in the legend.

Al-Khazneh was originally built as a mausoleum and crypt in the early 1st century AD during the reign of Areta IV Philopatris. Many of the building’s architectural details have eroded over the two thousand years since it was carved and sculpted from the cliff. The sculptures are believed to be of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife. At the top are the figures of four eagles that would take away souls. The figures on the upper level are dancing Amazons with double axes. The entrance is surrounded by statues of the twins Castor and Pollux who lived partly on Olympus and partly in the underworld.

Another excellent example of Hellenistic architecture presented in Petra is the monastery, which is the largest monument of Petra and another building carved into the rocks of Petra. The monastery shows more Nabataean touches while at the same time incorporating elements of Greek architecture. Its only source of light is the entrance, which is 8 meters high. Outside the monastery is a large area, which was specially leveled for religious purposes. Earlier, in the Byzantine period, this was a place for Christian worship, but now it is a holy place for pilgrims.

At the end of a narrow gorge, the Siq, is the most complex ruin of Petra, popularly known as Al-Khazneh (“the treasury”), carved into the sandstone cliff. Although it remains in a remarkably well-preserved state, the face of the structure is pockmarked with hundreds of bullet holes made by local Bedouin tribes who hoped to dislodge the riches rumored to have once been hidden within. Not far from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called En-Nair, is a huge theatre, placed so that the greatest number of tombs can be seen. At the point where the valley opens into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect.

During construction, the theater was cut into the hillside and into several tombs. The rectangular gaps in the seats are still visible. It is surrounded on almost three sides by pink mountain walls, divided into groups by deep cracks and covered with mounds cut into the rock in the form of towers. It is believed that the theater can host around 8,500 people. Performances that the audience could attend here were poetry and drama readings. Gladiator fights were also held here and are thought to have attracted the largest crowds, although no gladiator was able to gain momentum or fame due to the high death rate that came with it. The theater was one of many buildings in Petra that suffered significant damage in the Galilee earthquake of 363 AD.

The Petra swimming pool and garden complex is a series of buildings in the city center. It was originally said to be a market area, but detailed excavations at the site have allowed scientists to come to the conclusion that it was actually a complex Nabatean garden, which included a large pool, an island pavilion and a complex hydraulic system.

In front of the Petra pool and garden complex is a colonnaded street, which is among the few artifacts of Petra that are constructed rather than natural. This street once held a semicircular nymphaeum, now in ruins due to flash floods, and once held a single Petra tree. This was meant to be a symbol of the peaceful atmosphere that the Nabateans were able to build in Petra. When the Romans took control of the city, the colonnaded street was narrowed to make a side walk.

Petra is a place at the crossroads of natural and cultural heritage that forms a unique cultural landscape. Since the rediscovery of Petra by Johann Ludwig Burkhard aka Sheikh Ibrahim in 1812, the cultural heritage has attracted a large number of interested people who share an interest in the ancient history and culture of the Nabataeans, such as travelers, pilgrims, painters and scientists.

However, it was not until the end of the 19th century that archaeological researchers systematically approached the ruins. Since then, regular archaeological excavations and research into the Nabatean culture are part of today’s UNESCO world cultural heritage. Through excavations in the Archaeological Park of Petra, an increasing number of Nabataean cultural heritage is exposed to environmental impact. The large number of discoveries and the exposure of structures require numerous conservation measures respecting the interrelationship between the natural landscape and the cultural heritage, as this connection in particular is a central challenge at the UNECSO World Heritage Site.

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of this second special travelogue about the ancient city of Petra, which would not have been possible without the help of the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Jordanian culture and traditions. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Jordan.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Western Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about an ancient Petra? Have you had the chance to visit Jordan so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Petra,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Jordan, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Jordan: Amman and Jerash, Jewels of the Middle East you will love!

My dear travellers and lovers of unique trips, welcome to another new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today we officially start a new series of travelogues about an exotic oriental country that is not known much about and therefore represents an unexplored gem of Western Asia – Jordan.

In today’s post, we will enjoy the beauty of two cities together: Amman, the capital of Jordan, and Jerash, an ancient city. Before starting today’s post, I would like to thank the National Tourism Board of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – Visit Jordan for the warm invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the Jordanian culture and customs.

The view from my hotel room

As you are used to, I will first introduce you to some basic information about the country we are visiting. Jordan, the official name of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a country in Western Asia. It is located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe in the Levant region, on the east bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north and the Palestinian West Bank, Israel and the Dead Sea to the west. It has a coastline of less than 30 kilometers on the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea in the southwest. The Gulf of Aqaba separates Jordan from Egypt. Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan, as well as its economic, political and cultural center.

Today’s Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic era. Three stable kingdoms appeared there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. The later empires that arose were: the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Nabatean Kingdom, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates and the Ottoman Empire.

After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was divided by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was founded in 1921 by Hashemite, then Emir Abdullah I, and the Emirate became a British protectorate. In the mid-20th century, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1949. Jordan is one of the founders of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy, but the king has broad executive and legislative powers.

Jordan is a semi-arid country, covering an area of 89,342 km2, with a population of 10 million, making it the eleventh most populous Arab country. The dominant majority, or about 95% of the country’s population, are Sunni Muslims, with a predominantly Arab Christian minority. Jordan has been repeatedly referred to as an “oasis of stability” in the turbulent Middle East region. The country remained largely unscathed by the violence that gripped the region after the 2010 Arab Spring. Interesting information that Jordan has accepted refugees from several neighboring countries in conflict since the middle of the 20th century. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan. The kingdom is also a haven for thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution by the Islamic State.

The graffiti you can see on the left represents the equality of men and women, this is considered a modern piece of Street Art.

Jordan has a high human development index, ranking 102nd, and is considered an upper-middle-income economy. Jordan’s economy, one of the smallest in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based on its skilled workforce. The country is a major tourist destination, which also attracts medical tourism due to its well-developed health sector.

Amman is the capital and at the same time the largest economic, political and cultural city of Jordan with slightly more than 4 million inhabitants. , Amman is the largest city in the Levant region, the fifth largest city in the Arab world and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the Middle East.

Some of the first official evidence of settlement in the area of present-day Amman dates back to the 8th millennium BC, at the Neolithic site known as Ain Ghazal, where the world’s oldest human-shaped statues were discovered. During the Iron Age, the city was known as Rabath Ammon and served as the capital of the Ammon Kingdom. In the 3rd century BC, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, rebuilt the city and renamed it “Philadelphia”, making it a regional center of Hellenistic culture. Under Roman rule, Philadelphia was one of the ten Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis before being ruled directly as part of the province of Arabia Petraea.

The Rashidun Caliphate conquered the city from the Byzantines in the 7th century AD, restored its ancient Semitic name and called it Amman. During the Middle Ages, the city alternated between periods of destruction and abandonment and periods of relative prosperity as the center of the Balka region. Amman was largely abandoned from the 15th century until the end of the 19th century, when the Ottoman authorities began to settle the Circassians.

The first municipal council of Amman was established at the beginning of the 20th century. Amman witnessed rapid growth after being declared the capital of Transjordan in 1921, receiving migrants from various Jordanian and Levantine cities, and after several successive waves of refugees: Palestinians in 1948 and 1967; Iraqis in 1990 and 2003 and Syrians in 2011. It was originally built on seven hills, but now extends over 19 hills combining 22 areas, administered by the Greater Amman Municipality. The areas of Amman are named after the hills (Jabal) or the valleys (Wadi) they occupy, such as Jabal Lwaybde and Wadi Abdun. Eastern Amman is predominantly filled with historical sites that often host cultural activities, while western Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city.

Over a million tourists visited Amman in 2018, officially making it the 89th most visited city in the world and the 12th most visited Arab city. Amman has a relatively fast growing economy and is ranked as a Beta-Global City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Moreover, it has been declared one of the best cities in the Middle East and North Africa according to economic, labor, environmental and socio-cultural factors. The city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations to open their regional offices, alongside Doha and Dubai.

Roman Forum and Theater

Amman is considered one of the most liberal cities in the Arab world. The city has become one of the most popular destinations for expats and students who want to live, study or work in the Middle East or the Arab world in general. The city’s culinary scene has changed from shawarma and falafel stands to include many popular international restaurants and fast food joints such as Asian restaurants, French bistros and Italian trattorias. The city has become famous for its fine dining scene among Western expats and tourists from the Persian Gulf.

The famous market located very close to the center of Amman

Souk Jara is one of the most famous outdoor markets managed by the Jabal Amman Residents Association (JARA). Large shopping malls were built during the 2000s in Amman, including Mecca Mall, Abdoun Mall, City Mall, Al-Baraka Mall, Taj Mall, Zara Mall, Avenue Mall and Abdali Mall in Al Abdali. Wakalat Street is the first pedestrian zone in Amman and famous fashion brands can be found here. The Sweifieh area is considered the main shopping district of Amman.

Nightclubs, music bars and shisha lounges are present all over Amman, changing the old image of the city as the conservative capital of the kingdom. This burgeoning new nightlife scene has been shaped by Jordan’s younger generations. In addition to a wide range of places to party, drink and dance in the company of the city’s rich entertainment, Amman hosts numerous cultural entertainment events, including the annual Amman Summer Festival. Souk Yara is Jordan’s weekly flea market event that takes place every Friday during the summer.

Local cuisine is considered a fusion of several cuisines in the region. It is known as the food of the Levant – an ancient word for the area bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula. But the food here is not just the sum of its calories. However, the real street food scene in the city makes Amman cuisine recognizable in the world.

Central streets of Amman

Many events take place in Amman, including events sponsored by Red Bull Soundclash and the Soapbox Race, the second part of the Jerash Festival, the Al-Balad Music Festival, the Amman Marathon, the Made in Jordan Festival, the Amman Book Festival and the New Think Festival. Venues for such cultural events often include the Roman Theater and Odeon Theater in the city center, Ras al Ain Hangar, King Hussein Business Park, Rainbow Theater and Shams Theatre, Royal Film Commission, Shoman Libraries and Darat al Funun, and the Royal Cultural Center in City Sports . In addition to major events and institutional planning, scholars highlight tactical urbanism as a key element of the city’s cultural fabric.

Downtown Amman

What is important to visit in Amman? When you came to the capital of Jordan, I think you should visit the Roman amphitheater that was built in the second century BC. Also, the Roman Theater is located in a place that is still the heart of the old part of Amman. A large part of the theater has been renovated, so many events are held there. In the immediate vicinity on the hill is the Citadel, from which you can enjoy the view of the city and the old part of the city.

Citadel

The Citadel was once the acropolis of the ancient city, of course even today visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the preserved ruins. One of the ruins is the Temple of Hercules, built in honor of Marcus Aurelius. The temple had four Corinthian columns, of which unfortunately only two survive today. Also on the Citadel you will find the remains of a Byzantine church from the 6th century, as well as numerous monuments that marked the beginning of Arab rule.

The Citadel has a long history of occupation by many great civilizations. Evidence of habitation has been found since the Neolithic, and the hill was fortified during the Bronze Age. The hill became the capital of the Kingdom of Amon sometime after 1200 BC. Later it came under the rule of empires such as the Neo-Assyrian Empire (8th century BC), the Neo-Babylonian Empire (6th century BC), the Ptolemies, the Seleucids (3rd century BC), the Romans (1st century BC), Byzantines (3rd century AD) and Umayyads (7th century AD). After the Umayyads, there was a period of decline and for most of the time until 1878, the former city became an abandoned pile of ruins used only sporadically by Bedouins and seasonal farmers. Despite this gap, the Amman Citadel is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world.

Most of the ruins still visible at the site date from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods. The main remains on the site are the Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine church and the Umayyad palace. The Archaeological Museum of Jordan was built on the hill in 1951. Although the fortification walls enclose the heart of the site, the ancient periods of occupation covered large areas.

The historic buildings, tombs, arches, walls and steps have no modern boundaries, and therefore there is significant archaeological potential at this site, as well as in the surrounding lands, as well as throughout Amman. Archaeologists have worked on the site since the 1920s, including Italian, British, French, Spanish and Jordanian projects, but much of the Citadel remains unexcavated.

The Jordan Archaeological Museum is located in the Amman Citadel. It was built in the middle of the 20th century and presents artifacts from archaeological sites in Jordan, dating from prehistoric times to the 15th century. The collections are arranged in chronological order and include objects from everyday life such as flint, glass, metal and pottery, as well as more artistic objects such as jewelry and statues. The museum also contains a collection of coins.

The museum previously housed some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the only copper scroll, which is now on display in the newly established Jordan Museum, along with the Ain Ghazal statues, which are among the oldest statues ever made by human civilization.

Jerash is a city in northern Jordan. The city is the administrative center of Jerash province and has a little more than 50,000 inhabitants. The first evidence of settlement in Jerash is found at the Neolithic site known as Tal Abu Sowan, where rare human remains dating back to 7500 BC have been discovered. Jerash flourished during the Greek and Roman periods until the middle of the eighth century. However, in 1120, Zahir ad-Din Toghtekin, the atabeg of Damascus, ordered a garrison of forty men to build a fort at an unknown site in the ruins of the ancient city, probably the highest point of the city walls in the north-eastern hills. It was captured in 1121 by Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem, and then completely destroyed. Then the crusaders immediately left Jerash and retreated to Saqib.

Jerash was then abandoned until the Ottomans reappeared until the beginning of Ottoman rule in the early 16th century. However, archaeologists have found some evidence – a small Mamluk hamlet in the northwest quarter that indicates that Jerash was resettled before the Ottoman era. The ancient city was gradually discovered through a series of excavations that began in 1925 and continue to this day.

Today, Jerash is home to one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities, earning it the nickname “Pompeii of the East.” Approximately 330,000 visitors The Jerash Festival is held here, one of the leading cultural events in the Middle East that attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The Jerash archaeological site has two museums where archaeological materials and relevant information about the site and its rich history are displayed. The Jerash Archaeological Museum, which is the older of the two museums, is located on top of a hill known as “Camp Hill” east of Cardo and overlooks the Oval Plaza (circular square). The small museum contains a chronological display of artifacts found in and around Jerash from prehistory to Islamic times.

The museum displays a unique group of small statues of a group identified as Muses of the Olympic Pantheon that were discovered in Jerash in 2016. The statues, which are of Roman date, were found in a fragmentary state and have been partially restored. The museum also contains a well-preserved late 4th to 5th century lead sarcophagus featuring Christian and pagan symbolism. The museum also has numerous sculptures, altars and mosaics on display outside.

The Jerash Visitor Center serves as a recent archaeological museum and presents the site of Jerash in a thematic approach focusing on the evolution and development of the city of Jerash over time, as well as the economy, technology, religion and daily life. The center also displays further sculptures discovered in Jerash in 2016, including restored statues of Zeus and Aphrodite, as well as a marble head thought to represent the Roman empress Julia Domna.

I would like to share with you another interesting fact about this amazing place. The legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed for the first time in Jordan at the Oval Forum, the archaeological site of Jerash. The concert was held on September 18, 2017 organized by Friends of Jordan Festivals.

Mr. Bocelli is an international classical crossover tenor and has attracted many music lovers with the beauty of classical music. His performances were attended by many eminent figures from the world of politics, art and religious leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a magnificent event that the people of Jordan still remember today.

Jerash has developed dramatically with the growing importance of the tourism industry in the city. Jerash is now the second most popular tourist attraction in Jordan, after the ruins of Petra. On the western side of the city, which contained most of the representative buildings, the ruins have been carefully preserved and spared from encroachment, and the modern city stretches east of the river that once divided ancient Jerash in two.

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of this first special post about the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan in collaboration with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Jordanian culture. and traditions. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Jordan.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Western Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about the Amman and Jerash? Have you had the chance to visit Jordan so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Amman,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Jordan, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from the Kingdom of Sweden: Nationalmuseum, the greatest Art Treasure in the Heart of Scandinavia!

My dear travellers and lovers of extraordinary trips, I hope you are well and ready for a new adventure on the Mr.M blog. Today’s post will be the last post for the month of July (sorry for the confusion that I made with the previous post) and also the last letter in the series of posts from Sweden.

Before I start today’s post, I would like to remind you of some of the previous posts from the edition of letters from the Kingdom of Sweden, so if you haven’t had time to read the previous stories or maybe you want to remind yourself of some interesting details, spare a few minutes of your time and by clicking on the following links, visit some of the previous travelogues from Sweden:

1) Stockholm: A Modern Green City of Culture on the Water

2) Everything you need to know about the Royal Palace in Stockholm

3) Vasa, The Story of the sunken legendary luxurious warship…

Today I will share with you my impressions of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and I would like to thank the Visit Stockholm for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the culture and customs in the heart of Scandinavia.

The Nationalmuseum (National Museum of Fine Arts) is the central Swedish state museum in Stockholm, and also the largest Swedish art museum. The collections of this extraordinary art treasure house consist of various works of painting, sculpture and art on paper from around the 16th century to the 20th century, as well as arts and crafts and design objects from the 16th century to the present day. The total number of exhibited works reaches an incredible figure of almost 700,000 objects. The National Museum is located on Blasieholmen in Stockholm in a building designed for this purpose by the German architect Friedrich August Stühler. The building was completed in 1866, but the museum’s history is older than that and goes back to June 28, 1792, when the Royal Museum was founded. The National Museum is therefore one of the oldest art museums in Europe.

The collections were moved to Blasieholmen after previously being partially housed in the Royal Museum, which opened in 1794 in the north wing of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. As with several other national art museums, the collections are largely based on generations of royal collectors, which for various reasons passed into state ownership. For example, works that belonged to Gustav Vasa can be seen today in the Nationalmuseum.

The museum’s activities also go outside the box, so you can see certain works outside the building on Blasieholmen. The National Museum also includes a collection of portraits of the Swedish state exhibited in Gripsholm Castle. In addition, objects from the museum’s collections are exhibited in a number of museum institutions throughout Sweden.

This museum has a long history and I will try my best to briefly explain some of the most important historical moments related to this institution. In the early history of the National Museum, as with several other European national galleries, the history of the National Museum is largely synonymous with the development of royal, state and more widely available collections. In Sweden, the foundation for today’s state art collections was laid in the 18th century. Several works included in the collection of the National Museum, for example a part of French paintings from the 18th century were once owned by Queen Louisa Ulrike. By 1777, the queen’s financial situation had become unsustainable, partly as a result of a large and expensive investment in art. The debts were settled by her son, the then Swedish king Gustav III, in exchange for her giving up her collections and Drottningholm Castle.

For today’s Nationalmuseum, it is important that the king did not use his own financial means, but the state’s, which prevented the collections from being dispersed during the succession. It is likely that state funds were also used when Gustav III, after the death of his father Adolf Frederick, acquired several works of art, including Chardin’s Tecnarin. At the same time, the king also made an important acquisition of the collection of drawings by Carl Gustav Tessin that Adolf Fredrik had bought from him in 1755. The collection of drawings was immediately donated to the Royal Library, but was then transferred to the Royal Museum when it opened in 1794.

How did that transformation from a royal art collection to a state museum take place? There are no official records that can explain to us what Gustav III intended with his museum arrangement. It was believed that he was targeting a publicly accessible institution, but recent research has shown that there is no reliable evidence for this. It should be remembered that the significance of making something available to the public was somewhat different then than it is today, which is why it is believed that the royal museum would have become a private matter, accessible to those who could be considered competent. Regardless of Gustav III’s intentions, the Royal Museum was founded on June 28, 1792, just three months after the king’s death.

At that time, they did not have prepared rooms for exhibitions, and the work on the building was not finished after the king’s death. The transfer of the artistic heritage was carried out in December 1792 and was of great importance for the future of the museum. During the work on the registry office, the significance of the financial resources (state or private) used by the king for the acquisition of art collections was highlighted. At that time, there were no firm laws governing what was considered the king’s private property and what was state property.

Through the transfer of inheritance, all the king’s art collections became state property. In this way, the king’s art collections became the property of the people, but only later would they become fully publicly available.

The first decades of the 19th century were an extremely difficult period for the museum. The lack of interest combined with very little resources bordering on non-existent meant that the work was kept alive by the energy of the museum’s dedicated staff. The lack of funds made new acquisitions largely impossible. At the same time, many of the great museum collections in Europe were created at this time thanks to an aggressive acquisition policy, supported by more concerned courts and the bourgeoisie. From 1817 the Royal Museum did receive an annual grant from the State, but this was insufficient for anything more than the maintenance necessary to save the collections from total decay. However, the donations saved the museum because they legitimized the museum as its own authority.

However, rather poor economic conditions made it difficult for the first part of the 19th century to pass completely uneventfully. The most significant thing that happened at that time was the large acquisition of sculptures by Johann Tobias Sergel in 1815. After Sergel’s death, the Royal Museum was able to acquire all the sketches of plaster and terracotta sculptures that were part of his work.

It can be said that the acquisition and installation of Sergel’s sculptures marked a turning point in the exhibition activities of the museum because it represents both classicism and indigenous art. Because, at the same time when the Sergel collection was presented to the public in artistic Sweden, voices were raised who wanted to shift the focus from classicism to domestic and nationally oriented art. In this context, it may be noted that in 1818, King Carl XIV Johan commissioned from Bengt Erland Fogelberg colossal sculptures representing the gods Asa Oden, Thor and Balder. They will later be placed in the Royal Museum.

Later in the 19th century, painting will have a more significant place in museum activities, as can be seen from the documentation on the drastic changes initiated by the museum director. The director took the museum into the 19th century in a completely different way with a new color scheme, associated above all with the Danish and German Biedermeier, and the exhibitions were arranged in a modern way for that time, from the classically oriented Enlightenment principle to the provoking imagination, romantically suggestive exhibition aesthetics.

The 20th century brought certain innovations, so the department of modern art was founded in 1952. The first exhibition was a tour of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica in October 1956, when the renovation of the museum was completed, the facility was named “Moderna Muzeet”, which was officially opened on May 9, 1958. Until 1975, the Modern Museum was a subdivision of the National Museum.

Later, the Modern Museum became a unique separate institution, which together with the Nationalmuseum and the East Asian Museum was part of the joint body Statens konstmuseer. When the Modern Museum became an independent institution in 1999, the Statens konstmuseer changed its name to the Nationalmuseum from Valdemarsudde Prins Eugen. At the same time, the East Asian Museum was transferred to the newly formed State Museum of World Culture. A few years ago, in 2017 to be exact, Valdemarsudde became an independent foundation again, and the authority has since been called the Nationalmuseum.

A large number of works in the museum’s collections come from the royal collections of many generations. From the gallery of Gustav Vasa’s paintings that were in Gripsholm Castle, it is possible to identify with certainty several paintings that are now in the National Museum. Gustav Vasa’s collection consisted mainly of works of art by Northern European painters.

Of the works with a past in royal ownership, many were acquired on the background of various personal preferences, but also several examples of objects that came to royal collections in the 17th century as war booty.

A large part of the works that today are considered to form the core of the Nationalmuseum’s collection of paintings before 1800 mainly come from several collections: Karl Gustav Tessin, Queen Lovisa Ulrike, King Adolf Fredrik and Gustav III. However, several of the most important works in the royal collections were acquired through Tessin in various ways.

These collections were dominated by French, Dutch and Gustavian Swedish painting, which greatly influenced the composition of the National Museum’s collection as it looks today. Several of the museum’s Rembrandt works are owned by these people, as well as other important works from 17th-century Holland and some from Flanders from the same period.

One ff these four collectors, Carl Gustaf Tessin undoubtedly had the greatest importance, not least because a large part of the collections of Adolf Fredrik and Lovisa Ulrike ended up there under his care. At the age of nineteen, Tessin went on a grand tour during which he stayed in Paris between 1714 and 1716. He would later return several times, but during this first visit he acquired a large number of master drawings and 23 so-called contre-epreuves by Antoine Vato and met several artists of that time.

Later, Tessin returned to Paris, now in better financial conditions as he was appointed overseer responsible for the building of a castle in Stockholm, succeeded his father and married a wealthy heiress. He now acquired paintings by artists such as Francois Lemoine, Francois Desport, Nicolas Lancrat and Jean-Baptiste Pater.

However, he did not buy anything from Watteau, whom he held in high esteem. The explanation for this can be seen in the fact that the artist has now passed away and that Tessin has concentrated on living artists and that the prices of Watteau’s works have risen. Being in Paris also meant buying art in the name of building a castle. From Paris he traveled to Venice to try to negotiate a contract with Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, but without success.

Later, in 1739 Tessin returned to Paris again, where the art scene behaved differently with the re-established salon from 1737. During this visit, he focused on François Boucher and Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, acquiring among others Boucher’s Triumph of Venus, which was shown at the Salon of 1740. Tessin also made several purchases of Dutch paintings on the Paris market, mostly through the art dealer Edme – François Gersen. Among those works, Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Young Woman in Profile and Constantin Verhout’s Sleeping Student are significant.

Until 2013, when the Nationalmuseum building on Blasieholmen in Stockholm was closed for renovations, several temporary large exhibitions were shown annually. Some examples were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Design by Sigward Bernadotte, Terribly Beautiful, Deceit the Eye, Pre-Raphaelites, Caspar David Friedrich, Rubens and van Dyck, Concept Design, The Shape of Time, and Slow Art. In the gallery of engravers, smaller exhibitions with works mainly from their own collections are shown.

The museum borrows a large number of works for exhibitions in other museums in Sweden and abroad. In the Nationalmuseum, research is carried out on the basis of its own collections as a starting point, as well as its own publishing activities.

The Nationalmuseum also has a picture archive. The museum is also in charge of the Art Library, which is one of the largest art libraries in the Nordic countries and is a joint library of the Nationalmuseum and the Modern Museum.

The museum has a department for conservation, photography and art management with orientations according to the objects of each collection. The department works on the preservation of objects and cooperates with the Department of Collections and Research on technical research.

The Nationalmuseum manages, in whole or in part, the collections of objects in a large number of visitor destinations throughout the country. These include, for example, Drottningholm Castle, Gripsholm Castle, Ulriksdal Castle, Nines Castle, Lacko Castle, Lovstabruk Castle, Vadstena Castle and the Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory. The Orangery Museum in Ulriksdal Castle and the Museum de Vries in Drottningholmsmalmen preserve the central parts of the museum’s sculpture collection. Since 2018, the National Museum has a branch in Ostersund – the Jamtli National Museum.

Until July 1, 2017, Prins Eugens Valdemarsudde belonged to the competent National Museum with Prins Eugens Valdemarsudde. The authority (now called only the Nationalmuseum) falls under the Department of Culture. The association of friends of the Nationalmusei vanner museum was founded in 1911 by the then Crown Prince Gustaf (VI) Adolf and over the years has made a significant contribution to the museum’s collections.

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm was closed on February 3, 2013 for renovations. The museum was in need of extensive restoration and renovation, as the building was badly worn from heavy use. Several technical systems in the museum have reached their useful life.

The Nationalmuseum reopened on October 13, 2018, and the opening ceremony was personally performed by King Carl XVI Gustaf in the presence of members of the royal family, Minister of Culture Alice Bach Kunke and thousands of visitors. The museum’s exhibition space has been expanded and can now accommodate twice as many visitors and display almost three times as many works of art. In addition to the technical update, previously blocked windows and skylights have been opened to create more daylight and views towards the city. The noisy restaurant got a better, quieter location and was replaced by an airy and quiet sculpture garden. The museum has restored a color scheme inspired by the original palette.

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the fourth and at the same time last special post from the Letters from the Kingdom of Sweden, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Visit Stockholm in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Swedish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Sweden.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual city in Scandinavia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm? Have you had the chance to visit the heart of Scandinavia so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Stockholm,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Stockholm, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from The Kingdom of Sweden: Vasa, the Story of the sunken legendary luxurious warship…

My dear travellers and lovers of unique trips, I hope you are well and ready for new adventures! This is the last post for this month and I wanted to share with you an unusual legend about a luxurious Swedish warship, the Vasa.

Before I start today’s post, I would like to remind you of some of the previous posts from the edition of letters from the Kingdom of Sweden, so if you haven’t had time to read the previous stories or maybe you want to remind yourself of some interesting details, spare a few minutes of your time and by clicking on the given links, visit some of the previous travelogues from Sweden:

1) Stockholm: A Modern Green City of Culture on the Water

2) Everything you need to know about the Royal Palace in Stockholm

Today I will share with you my impressions of the Vasa Museum and the legend of this amazing warship and I would like to thank the Visit Stockholm for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the culture and customs in the heart of Scandinavia.

I think the older generations remember the legend of a magnificent warship that was supposed to show power and strength with its beauty and luxury, but sank after traveling 1300 meters from the port… How this ship went from being a great shame to the pride of Sweden, we will discover together in today’s post on the Mr.M blog.

Vasa or Wasa is a famous Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship sank after sailing approximately 1,300 m on its maiden voyage on August 16, 1628, at dusk.

Since the Vasa was one of the most expensive ships of all time with modern war equipment and exquisite craftsmanship, you must be wondering what went wrong?

Many questions were asked: Was the ship properly prepared for the wind? Was the crew sober? Is the ballast properly stored? Were the weapons properly secured? However, no one was ready to take the blame. The crew members and the shipbuilders formed two groups and each of them tried to blame the other and all of them swore that they had performed their duty without fault and during the investigation the details of the stability demonstration were revealed.

Then attention was focused on shipbuilders. “Why did you make a ship so narrow, so bad and without enough bottom that it capsized?” the prosecutor asked the shipbuilder Jakobson. Jakobson stated that he built the ship according to the instructions of the master shipbuilder, who in turn followed a specification approved by the king himself. Jacobson actually widened the ship by about half a meter (50 cm) after he took over construction, but the construction of the ship was too far advanced to allow further expansion.

In the end, no culprit could be found. Arent de Groot’s answer, which became legendary, when asked by the court why the ship sank was “Only God knows”. Gustav Adolf approved all the measurements and armament, and the ship was built according to the instructions and loaded with a certain number of guns. In the end, no one was punished or found guilty of negligence, and the blame practically fell on Henrik Hibbertsson.

Some research today has shown that the Vasa sank because it had very little initial stability, which can be thought of as resistance to heeling under the action of wind or waves acting on the hull. The reason for this is that the distribution of mass in the hull structure and the ballast, guns, cargo and other items loaded onto the ship add too much weight to the ship. The center of gravity is too high, so it takes very little force to capsize the ship, and there isn’t enough righting moment, the force that tries to force the ship back into an upright position.

The reason the ship has such a high center of gravity is not because of the cannons. They weighed slightly more than 60 tons or about 5% of the total displacement of the loaded ship. This is relatively light weight and should be manageable on a boat of this size. The problem is in the hull construction itself. The part of the hull above the waterline is too tall and too heavily built for the amount of hull in the water. The headroom on the decks is more than necessary for the crew members who were on average not quite 1.70 meters tall and therefore the weight of the deck and the weapons they carry is more above the waterline than necessary. In addition, the deck beams and their supporting timbers are oversized and spaced too closely together for the load they carry, thus adding too much weight to the already tall and heavy superstructure.

This ship spent 330 years submerged and there were several attempts to bring the wreckage to the surface. The ship was salvaged with a mostly intact hull in 1961. It was housed in a temporary museum called Vasavarvet (“Vasa Shipyard”) until 1988, and then moved permanently to the Vasa Museum in the Royal National City Park[ in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions and has been seen by over 35 million visitors since 1961. Vasa became a universally recognized symbol of the Swedish Empire.

The ship was built on the orders of the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus as part of the military expansion he initiated in the war with Poland and Lithuania (1621–1629). She was constructed at the Stockholm Naval Shipyard under contract to private entrepreneurs and armed primarily with bronze cannons cast in Stockholm. Richly decorated as a symbol of the king’s ambitions for Sweden and himself, when completed she was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. However, Vasa was dangerously unstable, with too much weight in the upper hull structure. Despite this lack of stability, she was ordered out to sea and sank just minutes after encountering a breeze stronger than a breeze. The order to sail was the result of a combination of factors. The king, who commanded the army in Poland at the time of her maiden voyage, was anxious to see Vasa take the place of flagship of the reserve squadron at Alvsnabben in the Stockholm Archipelago. At the same time, the king’s subordinates lacked the political courage to openly discuss the ship’s problems or to delay the maiden voyage. The Swedish Privy Council organized an investigation to find those responsible for the disaster, but in the end no one was punished.

During an investigation of the wreck in 1961, marine archaeologists found thousands of artifacts and the remains of at least 15 people in and around Vasa’s hull. Among the many items found were clothing, weapons, cannons, tools, coins, cutlery, food, drink and six out of ten sails. The artifacts and the ship itself have provided scholars with invaluable insight into the details of naval warfare, shipbuilding techniques and daily life in early 17th-century Sweden. Today, the Vasa is the best-preserved ship from the 17th century in the world and also the most visited museum in Scandinavia. The Vasa wreck is continuously being monitored and researched on how to best preserve this historical specimen.

What does Vasa look like as a wreck and what is left? The Vasa has four preserved decks: the upper and lower gun decks, the storeroom and the orlop. Due to the constraints of preparing the ship for conservation, archaeologists had to work quickly, in 13-hour shifts during the first week of excavation. The upper gun deck was heavily disturbed by various salvage projects between 1628 and 1961 and contained not only material that had fallen from the rigging and the upper deck, but more than three centuries of harbor debris.

The decks below are less and less destroyed. The decks contained not only gun carriages, three surviving cannons and other items of a military nature, but were also the places where most of the sailors’ personal belongings were placed at the time of the sinking. This included a wide variety of scattered finds, as well as crates and barrels of spare clothing and footwear, tools and repair materials, money, privately purchased groceries and all items of daily use. necessary for life at sea.

Most of the objects found are made of wood, which testifies not only to the simple life on board, but also to the generally unsophisticated state of Swedish material culture at the beginning of the 17th century. The lower decks were primarily used for storage, so the hold was filled with kegs of provisions and gunpowder, coils of anchor cable, iron shot for guns, and some officers’ personal belongings. On the orlop deck, a small compartment contained six of the ship’s ten sails, spares for rigging, and working parts for the ship’s pumps. Another compartment contained the ship’s carpenter’s belongings, including a large tool chest.

After the ship itself was salvaged and excavated, the site of the loss was thoroughly excavated during 1963–1967. This produced many pieces of rigging as well as structural timber falling off, particularly from the bill head and stern castle. Most of the sculptures that decorated the exterior of the hull were also found in the mud, along with the ship’s anchors and the skeletons of at least four people. The last item mentioned was a nearly 12 meter long boat, called an esping in Swedish, found lying parallel to the ship and believed to have been towed by Vasa when it sank.

The Vasa Museum is something you must not miss when you come to Stockholm. There are various exhibitions in the museum with different themes such as life on board and its historical context. The film about you is shown in different languages. There is also an audio guide in different languages, which visitors use on their mobile devices. The museum has free Wi-Fi internet. In addition, there is a well-stocked shop and a pleasant restaurant for lunch and fika (a wonderful and unusual Swedish custom that you must try). It is important to note that admission to the museum is free for children under 18 years of age.

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the third special post about the legendary luxurious Swedish warship Vasa, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Visit Stockholm in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Swedish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Sweden.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual city in Scandinavia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Royal Palace of Stockholm? Have you had the chance to visit the heart of Scandinavia so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Stockholm,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Stockholm, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from Sweden: Everything You need to know about The Royal Palace in Stockholm…

My dear travellers and lovers of unique trips, I hope you are well and ready to continue our adventure in the heart of Scandinavia and the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden – Stockholm. As I promised you in the previous post, in the following posts I will share with you some more detailed information about certain sights that caught my attention and that I am sure will intrigue you. Today’s post will be dedicated to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, as well as the royal complex.

If by any chance you didn’t have time to read the first travelogue about Stockholm on the Mr.M blog or you want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following link.

Today I will share with you my impressions of the Royal Palace in Stockholm and I would like to thank the Visit Stockholm for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the culture and customs in the heart of Scandinavia.

Before I start my story about the Royal Palace today, I think we should get to know the members of the Swedish Royal Family better. Since 1818, the Swedish royal family has consisted of members of the Swedish royal house of Bernadotte, closely related to the King of Sweden. Today, those recognized by the government are entitled to royal titles and perform official duties and ceremonial state duties. The extended royal family consists of other close relatives who are not directly from the royal family and therefore do not officially represent the country.

Throne room – “Hall of State”

The Swedish royal family, closely related to the head of state, could be identified as having existed since the 10th century AD, with more precise details added during the two or three centuries that followed. An exception is the case of Saint Bridget, who became known outside of Sweden as the Princess of Nericia, which seems to have been a noble and not a royal title, since she was not the daughter of a king. Historically confirmed monarchs are officially listed by the Swedish Royal Court.

Until the 1620s, the Swedish provinces were granted as territorial appanages to royal princes who, as their dukes, ruled semi-autonomously. Beginning with the reign of Gustavus III, and as codified in 1772, the provincial duchies existed in the royal family only as nominal non-hereditary titles, without any inherent ownership or trust in them, although several members of the royal family maintained a special public connection with and sometimes secondary residence in “his or her duchy”.

The son of the Swedish king usually held the princely title as a royal dynast (such as Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland), but on rare occasions also as a noble rank (such as Fursten Prince Friedrich William of Hessenstein), or as a courtesy to a former dynast ( such as Prince Oscar Bernadotte).

The Swedish Royal Court lists the following persons as members of the Royal House:

1) King Carl XVI Gustaf (born in 1946)
2) Queen Silvia (King’s wife, born in 1943)
3) Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergotland (King’s elder daughter, born 1977)
4) Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergotland (son-in-law of the King, born in 1973, husband of Princess Victoria)
5) Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland (granddaughter of the King, born in 2012, daughter of Princess Victoria)
6) Prince Oscar, Duke of Scone, (grandson of the King, born in 2016, son of Princess Victoria)
7) Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Vermland (the king’s only son, born in 1979)
8) Princess Sofia, Duchess of Vermland (King’s daughter-in-law, born 1984, wife of Prince Carl Philip) 9) Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland (King’s grandson, born 2016, son of Prince Carl Philip)
10) Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna (king’s grandson, born 2017, son of Prince Carl Philip)
11) Prince Julian, Duke of Halland (King’s grandson, born 2021, son of Prince Carl Philip) 12) Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Halsingland and Gastricland (King’s younger daughter, born 1982) 13) Princess Leonora, Duchess of Gotland (granddaughter of the King, born in 2014, daughter of Princess Madeleine)
14) Prince Nikola, Duke of Angermanland (king’s grandson, born in 2015, son of Princess Madeleine)
15) Princess Adrienne, Duchess of Blackingham (granddaughter of the King, born in 2018, daughter of Princess Madeleine)
16) Princess Margareta, the King’s first sister, born in 1934
17) Princess Desiree, Baroness Silfverschiold (the King’s third sister, born in 1938), widow of Baron Niclas Silfverschiold.
18) Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnusson (King’s fourth sister, born in 1943), married to Consul General Tord Magnusson.
19) Marianna Bernadotte (born 1924), widow of the king’s uncle Sigvard Bernadotte.
20) Princess Birgitta, Princess of Hohenzollern (the King’s second sister, born in 1937), widow of Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.

Queen Silvia

Now that we’ve been introduced to the royal family, it’s time to learn a little more about the royal complex.

Stockholm Palace or Royal Palace is the official residence and main royal palace of the Swedish monarch (King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia use Drottningholm Palace as their usual residence). Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen in Stockholm. It is located near the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, other members of the Swedish royal family and the Royal Court of Sweden are located here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the king while performing his duties as head of state.

This royal residence has been in the same location by Norström in the northern part of Gamla stan in Stockholm since the mid-13th century when Tre Kronor Castle was built. In modern times the name refers to a building called Kungliga Slottet. The palace was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and was built on the same site as the medieval Tre Kronor Castle which was destroyed by fire on 7 May 1697.

Due to the costly Great Northern War that began in 1700, the construction of the palace was stopped. In 1727, construction continued six years after the end of the war. When Tessin the Younger died in 1728, the palace was completed by Carl Harlemann who also designed much of its Rococo interior. The palace was not ready for use until 1754, when King Adolf Frederik and Queen Louise Ulrika moved in, but some interior work continued until the 1770s.

No major changes have been made in the palace since its completion, only some adaptations, new interiors, modernization and remodeling for various regents and their families, coloring of facades and addition of palace museums. The palace is surrounded by Lejonbacken and Norrbro to the north, Logarden and Skeppsbron to the east, Slottsbacken and Storkirkan to the south, and the outer courtyard and Hogvaktsterrassen to the northwest.

As of 2009, the interior of the palace consists of 1,430 rooms. The palace contains apartments for royal families, representatives and ceremonies such as the State Apartments, Guest Apartments and Bernadotte Apartments. More features are the State Hall, the Royal Chapel, the Treasury with the regalia of Sweden, the Livrustkammaren and the Tre Kronor Museum in the remaining basement vaults from the former castle. The National Library of Sweden was housed in the northeast wing, Biblioteksfligeln (Library Wing), until 1878. Since 2014, it houses Bernadotte’s library. The Slottsarkivet is located in the wing of the office.

The palace houses the offices of the Royal Court of Sweden, a workplace for about 200 employees. The Royal Guard guarded the palace and the royal family since 1523. A comprehensive renovation of the facade began in 2011 to repair weather-damaged sandstone sections. The Royal Palace is owned by the Swedish state through the National Property Board of Sweden, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of the palace, while Stathallarambet (Office of the Governor of the Royal Palaces) administers the royal right to dispose of the palace. The palace belongs to the crown palaces in Sweden which are at the disposal of the King and the Royal Court of Sweden.

Artists such as Jean Eric Rehn and Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander were important to the magnificent interior of the palace during the late 18th and 19th centuries, when pilasters, columns, wall decorations and other details were added. Among those sculptors, painters and craftsmen who also contributed to the later renovations were Louis Masreliez (interior work in classicism and neoclassicism), Jean Baptiste Masreliez (interior work), Akel Magnus Fahlcrantz (Logarden wall and wrought iron fence in Logarden), Johann Niclas Bistrom (sculptures), Sven Scholander (restorations), Johan Akel Vetterlund (facade sculptures of prominent people and four allegorical groups on the Logarden wall), Julius Kronberg (paintings on the ceiling) and Kaspar Schroder (facade sculptures on the court lion mask facade).

Major changes to the facade were made during the reign of King Charles XIV John, which resulted in the repainting of the Harlemann light yellow color of the facade and in the early 20th century during the reign of King Oscar II when the decision was made to return Tessin to the original.

During the reign of King Oscar I, there was a renewed interest in the older styles and when the Vita Havet (White Sea Ballroom) was created to the design of Per Akel Nyström in 1844–1850, a compromise was made between the old and the new. Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander was the royal curator to King Charles XV and shared his taste in interior design, resulting in rooms such as the Victoriasalongen (Victoria Salon) in the exuberant revived Rococo style.

King Oscar II carried out numerous additions, improvements and modernization of the palace. Most of the empty facade niches during his reign were filled with sculptures. He gave an update on the technical installations of the palace, such as the installation of water pipes in 1873, electricity installation in 1883, telephone in 1884 and water central heating around 1900.

Since 2014, the property has been connected to district heating. The king’s interest extended to the decoration of the staircase, and he commissioned Julius Kronberg to paint the ceilings on the ceiling of the West Staircase. Author Georg Svensson wrote about King Oscar II that “his goal was to complete the construction of the palace according to Tessin’s plans in a manner worthy of this monument.”

During 1922 to 1930, Lawgarden was rebuilt from a former English park into a more open area with pools of water on either side of the promenade leading from the East Arch to Skepsbronn.

From 1956 to 1958, the Gustav III Museum of Antiquities was restored. The architect and chief intendant Ivar Tengbom was appointed for the works. The Treasury was opened in 1970, and the Tre Kronor Museum in 1999. 4 years ago, in 2018 to be exact, nearly 600 solar panels were installed on the roof of the palace and are expected to generate an annual output of 170 MWh or at least twelve percent of the palace’s annual electricity consumption.

According to data from 2014, the Royal Palace has 1,430 rooms.

Basement: There are 104 rooms in the basement, most of which were used as storerooms and prisons. The remains of the old Tre Kronor Castle are visible there. Certain parts of the basement are divided into two basement floors because of the large differences in headroom in the different parts. A royal wine cellar could be found under the west range in the late 1800s and 1900s, and is most likely still there.

The ground floor is the highest floor of the palace. The rooms there were mainly used by the court staff, and there are four portals (or arches) that form the entrances to the palace, as well as the State Hall and the Royal Chapel.

The middle floor or mezzanine has 115 rooms. Most of the rooms have retained their size since the construction of the palace, but their use has varied. The name is derived from the fact that the floor is only half as low as the other floors. The rooms were mainly used by the court staff, but there were also apartments of princes and princesses. In the mezzanine there is also a small apartment for guests, which consists of several rooms in the northern part of the western row.

The first floor has 67 rooms. The rooms have mostly kept their size since the palace was built, but their use has varied. The Bernadotte Apartments and the Hall of Pillars are located in the north row, and the east row has private rooms. King Carl XVI Gustaf and his family lived here until they moved to Drottningholm Palace in 1981.

The second floor has 57 rooms. Most of the rooms have retained their size since the construction of the palace, but their use has varied. Guest Suites, State Suites with Vita Havet Ballroom (White Sea), Cabinet Meeting Room and Prince Bertil Suite are on this floor.

The attic, has about 25 rooms, as well as the upper part and the arches that form the ceiling for the State Hall, the Royal Chapel and the southern staircase. The attic is mainly used for storage.

Treasury

Within the royal complex there are several separate museums that you can visit, namely: Royal Apartments with apartments for their guests, Treasury, Three Tre Kronor Museum, Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, Royal Chapel, Royal Armory Museum. Depending on your interests you can visit the museums that you think suit you, but I can tell you that each of them is special and unique, so you should visit each of them if you have enough time.

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is the official residence of His Majesty the King and is also the site of the monarchy’s official receptions, open to the public throughout the year. This unusual combination of a royal residence, a workplace and a cultural and historical monument open to visitors all year round makes the Royal Palace in Stockholm unique among European royal residences.

The palace contains many interesting things that are worth seeing. In addition to the royal apartments, there are three museums steeped in royal history: the Treasury of Regalia, the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) museum which depicts the medieval history of the palaces, and the Gustav III Museum of Sculpture and Antiquities. During the summer months, the Royal Chapel is also open, as well as Ridarholmen Church – the royal burial church five minutes’ walk from the palace, for which a combined ticket is available.

Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the second special post about the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Visit Stockholm in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Swedish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Sweden.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual city in Scandinavia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Royal Palace of Stockholm? Have you had the chance to visit the heart of Scandinavia so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Stockholm,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Stockholm, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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Letters from The Kingdom of Sweden: Stockholm, a Modern Green City of Culture on the Water

My dear travels and lovers of unique trips, welcome to a new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Today I have prepared for you a symbolic gift for summer and the beginning of July – the first travelogue in a series of posts about the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden – Stockholm.

I have always wanted to visit this country, as I am fascinated by the Scandinavian culture and way of life, so I wanted to visit the heart of Scandinavia – Stockholm. We all have our own associations for certain destinations, but Stockholm is special, a city that can hardly be described in just 3 terms, but I tried to put my thoughts together and came up with the following terms: Swedish Royal Family, Nobel Prize and Acne Studios . Those are my associations for Stockholm, I just saw that there is another important association – Green City.

Today I will share with you my impressions of this unusual city and I would like to thank the Visit Stockholm for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the culture and customs in the heart of Scandinavia.

The Swedes have a special respect for the cult of nature and are an extremely healthy nation, some researches that have been conducted have shown that the Swedes are one of the happiest peoples in Europe. Because they care about a healthy lifestyle and their environment, they make all their efforts to protect their environment and take care of sustainability in every sector.

Stockholm is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, built on a lake and meeting the sea, on fourteen islands and with eight centuries of rich history and culture, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Europe. Sectors such as fashion, technology, music, film, design and the gaming industry are experiencing incredible growth. Stockholm is a place where creativity grows and where many dreams come true and new ideas are born. Most important of all is the fact that Stockholm is a city with an open heart for everyone!

Stockholm is also one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe and an international model of global environmental and climate action. Five decades after the 1972 UN Conference in Stockholm, which created the link between the environment and poverty and put it at the forefront of the international agenda, Stockholm welcomed the world again in June 2022 for the conference “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for prosperity for all of us – our responsibility and our opportunity.”

Sweden is known for its design, amazing architecture and special approach to the fashion industry. Scandinavian design is known for mixing minimalism and functionality with style and innovation. Stockholm definitely remains the epicenter of Swedish design and is one of the best in the world when it comes to design and sustainability. Apart from the basic aspiration to make something well-made and attractive, design in Stockholm tends to be practical and applicable.

Each designed piece serves as a building block that can be mixed and matched with other design elements. From solid to bright pastel prints and heavy traditional patterns, fabrics also play an important role in the city’s design culture. All Stockholm designs are available for everyday practical use and there are a variety of high quality designs at different price points to suit everyone’s budget.

Historically, Swedish architects have been heavily influenced by movements and styles from abroad. But due to their geographical location, these cultural flows arrived later and evolved into something uniquely Swedish in style. When Art Deco came to Sweden in full force, it transformed into Nordic classicism to satisfy everyone’s taste and restore balance. Swedish tastes and functionalism grew into its Swedish offshoot “funkis”.

Modern Swedish architecture, both commercial and residential, is characterized by sustainability in harmony with nature. New projects are planned to work in accordance with environmental protection, and a lot of attention is paid to building materials that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. This has produced some truly spectacular projects.

When talking about the fashion sector, there are numerous success stories in Sweden from brands such as Acne Studios and Stutterheim to the newer fashion favorites of today such as Totême and Rodebjer. Swedish fashion always tries to introduce and connect many talented designers to the fashion world.

Also, not to forget, some major representatives of street fashion brands such as H&M and other brands Weekday, Monki, COS, Other Stories and Arket which are also popular brands that have won the hearts of people around the world. The novelty of some brands is that your gender should not dictate what you can wear. An example of this is the Swedish brand Hope, which for example was the first to apply the philosophy of making unisex clothes that look stunning and fantastic regardless of gender.

When we talk about fashion in Stockholm, it is very important to mention one fashion temple that you must visit when you come to the capital of Sweden. Nordiska Kompaniet (abbreviation NK) is the name of a department store located in Stockholm, and there is another one in another city in Sweden – Gothenburg.

This department store in Stockholm is visited annually by about twelve million visitors, and its history is almost 120 years long, and it is also the first department store that was opened in this area. This department store is home to many international well-known global fashion brands and you can also find many well-known Scandinavian brands as well as up-and-coming designers.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political and economic center of the Kingdom of Sweden. The Stockholm region alone accounts for more than a third of the country’s GDP and is among the top 10 regions in Europe in terms of GDP per capita. Rated as an alpha-global city, it is the largest in Scandinavia and the main center for corporate headquarters in Northern Europe. The city is home to some of the best universities in Europe, such as Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm School of Economics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University.

Stockholm is also known for hosting the annual Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the most respected museums in the city, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm subway, opened in 1950, is well known for the decoration of its stations, it is also known as the longest art gallery in the world.

Now we come to the most important part for all travelers and the answers to the famous questions: What to see in Stockholm? What should not be missed?

Stockholm is a wonderful city, rich in various cultural contents and I am sure that this city will meet all your expectations. In today’s post I will try to briefly give you some tips and guidelines on what you should visit in the capital of Sweden and show off your newfound knowledge to your friends! Some of the mentioned sights in today’s post, I will describe in more detail in the following letters from the Kingdom of Sweden, so don’t worry about the details! 🙂

The first stop that I consider important for getting to know Stockholm and the Kingdom of Sweden in general is a visit to the Royal Palace complex located in the heart of the Old Town. To get to the royal complex from the city center, it is enough to have comfortable shoes and from the NK department store to the royal complex is only a 5-10 minute walk! You will enjoy the beauty and greenery of the city’s parks and exceptional architecture, and you will see why Stockholm is said to be one of the most beautiful green cities on the water.

Within the royal complex there are several separate museums that you can visit, namely: Royal Apartments with apartmens for their guests, Treasury, Museum of the Three Crowns, Museum of the Gustav III Sculpture Collection, Royal Chapel, Museum of the Royal Armory. Depending on your interests, you can visit the museums that you think suit you, but I can tell you that each of them is special and unique, so you should visit each of them, if you have enough time.

In the following posts, I will pay more attention to certain sights, so that you will get more information and learn more details, so that you will go to visit the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden with excellent foreknowledge!

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is the official residence of His Majesty the King and is also the site of the monarchy’s official receptions, open to the public throughout the year. This unusual combination of a royal residence, a workplace and a cultural and historical monument open to visitors all year round makes the Royal Palace in Stockholm unique among European royal residences.

The palace was built in the Baroque style and has more than 600 rooms spread over eleven floors with the state apartment facing the city and smaller living rooms facing the inner courtyard. The palace contains many interesting things that are worth seeing. In addition to the royal apartments, there are three museums steeped in royal history: the Treasury of Regalia, the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) museum which depicts the medieval history of the palaces, and the Gustav III Museum of Sculpture and Antiquities.

During the summer months, the Royal Chapel is also open, as well as Ridarholmen Church – the royal burial church five minutes’ walk from the palace, for which a combined ticket is available.

Not far from the Royal Palace, there is the Nobel Prize Museum. The main objective of this museum is to spread knowledge and create interest and discussion about natural sciences and culture through creative learning, exhibition techniques and modern technology.

The Nobel Prize Museum illustrates a century of creativity, where visitors can trace the changes of the 20th century through the Nobel Prize and Nobel Prize winners. Explore the work and ideas of more than 900 creative minds represented through short films, original artifacts and computers. The Nobel Prize Museum is located in the heart of Stockholm, in the Old Town.

Be inspired by ideas that have changed the world. The Nobel Prize Museum contains all the essential information about the most prestigious prize in the world, Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize winners. Self-guided tours are possible, as well as guided tours. Aids such as films and various objects take you from idea to Nobel banquet. The bistro serving lunch, Nobel’s Ice Cream, is also able to order meals from previous banquets, but there is a long waiting list for that type of service, as well as much more. This is a museum worth visiting when you find yourself in the Old Town.

The next stop that could help you see art trends and art in Sweden and Scandinavia. The Nationalmuseum is a Swedish museum of art and design. The National Museum is also a government body with a mandate to preserve cultural heritage and promote art, interest in art and knowledge of art. The collections include paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints from 1500-1900. and applied art, design and portraits from the early Middle Ages to the present day.

After several years of renovation and modernization, the Nationalmuseum – Sweden’s main museum of art and design, reopened its doors in 2018. The new space is tailored, quite literally, to highlight the museum’s vast collection of classical art. Entrance to the museum is free, except for certain guest exhibitions. In one of the following posts, I will take you through the current exhibitions that are currently in the museum.

Now is the time for a museum that marked the history of Sweden – the Vasa Museum is a maritime museum. Located on the island of Djurgarden, the museum displays the only almost completely intact 17th-century ship ever to be salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The Vasa Museum was opened in 1990, and according to official information, this museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia. Together with other museums such as the Stockholm Maritime Museum, it belongs to the Swedish National Maritime Museums (SNMM).

There are various exhibits around the ship ranging from topics such as life on board and its historical context. The film about you is shown in different languages. There is also an audio guide in different languages, which visitors use on their mobile devices. Free entry for children up to 18 years old. In one of the next posts, I will write a little more about this ship and why it is very important for Swedish history and culture.

When we’re done with the cultural part of the tour of Stockholm, it’s time to have some fun, so I heard that there’s a popular amusement park in Stockholm and I went to see what kind of atmosphere there was!

Gröna Lund (literally translated “Green Grove”) or known locally as Gronan is the most famous amusement park that was founded in 1883 in the capital of Sweden. Located on the sea side of the island of Djurgarden, it is relatively small compared to other amusement parks, mainly due to its central location, which limits expansion. This interesting park has over 30 attractions and is a popular concert venue during the summer.

Gröna Lund has most of the attractions common to amusement parks, such as the Tunnel of Love and seven roller coasters. Gröna Lund is also known for hosting rock and pop music concerts. The park is easily accessible by tram number 7, bus 67 and by ferry from the city center. Its central location allows visitors to see large parts of Stockholm from higher attractions.

As we visited some interesting museums and entertainment venues, you could see through the pictures that Stockholm is one colorful city on the water. There are a number of tourist boats with which you can see the beauty of Stockholm from the water. In addition, if you use a transport ticket, there are also boats that are used as public city transport, so you can also get to know Stockholm that way.

As I said at the very beginning of this post, Stockholm is a unique city that is impossible to describe in a few words, it is a city that is open to everyone and should be experienced in its own way.

My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Visit Stockholm in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Swedish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Sweden.

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual city in Scandinavia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about green Stockholm? Have you had the chance to visit this part of Northern Europe so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Stockholm,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Stockholm, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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One Fashionable Letter from Heart of Lithuania: From Vilnius with Love!

Dear my fashionistas and travelers, welcome to the new fashion adventure on Mr.M blog! I know you love my travel stories, so despite the bad weather in the Lithuanian capital, I tried to make at least one fashion story.

Today we will talk more about fashion, but if by any chance you want to remember the travelogue from Vilnius, the heart of Lithuania, you can read travelogues about this unusual city at the following links:

  1. Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, the Pearl of the Baltic you will love!
  2. Letters from Lithuania: Vilnius, a City of Rich History and Fairy-tale Architecture…

I must be honest that I looked at the weather forecast several times before the trip to Lithuania, but I sincerely hoped that the weather would improve at least at some point during my stay in the heart of Lithuania, but all hopes sank with rain that did not stop falling… The highlight of this trip is that I “caught” a period of less than an hour to take pictures of my outfit.

Today’s outfit will be a combination of new pieces and some old ones that were dear to you and loved on the blog, so I hope we will remind you of some interesting brands that you liked to see on the Mr.M blog.

Since the weather in Lithuania was more similar to autumn – early winter in Germany, I decided it was safer to bring a winter jacket. Luckily, I wasn’t wrong, as you can see I also wore gloves, which you can notice how spring in the Baltics can be quite different than we can expect during the month of April…

As you know in fashion industry, winter jackets were big, quite bulky and heavy, while today it is completely different. Today, the mirror is of real quality when the jacket is light as a feather, and extremely warm and suitable for all winter conditions. So it is with my jacket – the parka I got from my friends from Paul&Shark. This is its 3rd season and I really have to praise this incredible jacket! We visited the coldest parts of the world together, including temperatures that went down to minus 25 in beautiful, but extremely cold St. Petersburg. We survived various rains and snows, but here we are still hanging out.

The new technologies of the Fill Power 700 and 900 from the Paul & Shark fashion house provide incredible comfort with excellent thermal properties, which allows the jacket to help you withstand even the lowest temperatures. Filling strength 700 and 900 denote the insulation strength by determining its weight-to-strength ratio: it is considered one of the best available jackets on the market, thanks to its high degree of thermal insulation compared to its size. Feathers create “small pockets of air” that create a thermal barrier, ensuring maximum protection.

Since I receive several messages and emails on a weekly basis with the questions: “Marko, do you really keep all these things and do you really wear them?”, I think you got my answer in today’s post. 🙂

There is no person in the world who can hide his joy when he feel the new Italian leather. Today we will meet again the Italian family workshop for handmade Restelli gloves, a place where the art, tradition and beauty of handicrafts meet every day, which is the true definition of the Italian style and way of life. Making gloves is not only a job but also a real art. After 100 years, passion, emotions, tradition and knowledge have been passed on to the third generation! Raffaella Restelli has fully accepted the challenges of the new fashion era in which the market and the way of selling have changed with deep respect and belief in tradition and love for masterpieces that last!

In today’s post, you have the opportunity to see Restelli gloves made of special deerskin. These luxury leather gloves are made of the highest quality leather. The lining of these gloves is made of cashmere. For my visit to Vilnius, I decided to take a walk in my navy blue gloves, which were extremely warm and a real fashion accessory for this unexpected “winter spring” in the Baltics!

Restelli gloves are not valued with money, but with tradition and history full of love and patience that are priceless.

One of the brands that has recognized positive energy and love for adventures and unusual journeys is the Swiss watch brand Certina. We have already met with this brand during the winter season on the Mr.M blog and if you are interested to know why this brand is so special and unique, read the story at this link.

Certina watches are known for their precision, reliability and sporty character. The sports watch brand has built an international reputation for quality Swiss workmanship, during its long history, which is more than 130 years long. Certina is a symbol of durability and longevity, which is why the mascot of the turtle armor brand symbolizes robustness and longevity – characteristics that all Certina watches, without exception. Therefore, it is no wonder that turtle armor has been a symbol of the brand since the 1960s. Today, the distinctive outline can still be found on almost every Certina watch, as well as on the brand logo. It evokes the exceptional endurance that characterizes every Certina watch.

Today, after 60 years, Certina DS Jubile adorns my hand. It is an unusual feeling when one such brand with unique watch designs is my new partner in my adventures. The watch you have the opportunity to see in today’s post is the DS Jubile model, which exists in two versions, the basic one with a steel bracelet and the other with a leather bracelet. This watch combines precious materials with maximum precision.

This elegant men’s watch is equipped with an 18K yellow gold frame. It is powered by an innovative PrecidriveTM quartz movement, whose precision and reliability are confirmed by COSC. The watch has a date display. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and stainless steel case make this watch durable and robust: the watch can withstand water pressures up to 10 ATM. Illuminated hands contrast with the background and thus always provide the best readability. The stainless steel bracelet, which is attached to the wrist together with the button, makes this model from Certina impressive!

Technical characteristics

Dial: analog with display of date,hour, minute and second, hands with luminous material. Bezel: 18k gold
Movement mechanism type: Quartz
Glass: Antireflection treatment on one side Sapphire crystal
Case: 316L stainless steel
Case diameter (mm): 40
Case thickness (mm): 7.75
Bracelet: 316L stainless steel
Water resistance: 10 ATM – 100m
Buckle: 316L stainless steel
Collection: Urban

Warranty: 3-Year Warranty

If you want to be updated and find out which models Certina has to offer, visit their Official Online Store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

This turtleneck sweater was your favorite because of the unusual color and it became very dear to me. Aida Barni turtleneck neon green color is made of 100% cashmere. A classic model with a zippered collar that is ideal for all occasions, whether it’s going to work or an casual city walk, this sweater is the right choice for every modern man with style. This sweater can be worn with classic trousers, but also with jeans, as I did in today’s post, to get an casual everyday look.

The Aida Barni brand was created as an artistic expression of the way of life and existence, the essence of unstressed chic, refined luxury. A collection for men and women dedicated to everyone who loves timeless and elegant knitwear that encompasses true elegance in the preciousness of materials, shapes and details.

The man who wears Aida Barni knitwear does not follow trends, but creates and adapts them to the needs of everyday life. The men’s collection is made up of cult clothing items of sentimental value, which evoke a healthy and environmentally friendly way of life. Fans of the Aida Barney brand love natural and fine yarns, enjoy comfort, but do not give up the elegance and sophistication of cuts and models.

A new fashion detail that you met almost on Mr.M’s blog is this unusual backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, which was made entirely in Italy. Ideal for people from the business world and leisure, able to satisfy any practical functional or aesthetic need. The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of ranches, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.

FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight, aluminum-reinforced suitcases are inspired by antique suitcases, specifically designed to give you the endurance you need when traveling. The combination of Avante-Garde materials and motifs of Italian design, give these FPM suitcases a robust and safe look.

If you want to be updated and find out which models of suitcases and travel accessories the FPM Milano brand has in its offer, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

OUTFIT

Jacket: Paul&Shark

Backpack: FPM Milano

Sweater: Aida Barni

Jeans: Brunello Cucinelli

Gloves: Restelli

Scarf: Johnstons of Elgin

Watch: Certina

Boots: Etro

This colorful red fashion detail is a gift from my dear friends from Scotland – Johnstons of Elgin. The scarf is a famous Scottish print for which this exceptional country is famous.

My dear fashionistas, we have come to the end of this special fashion story where together we discovered the beauty and brilliance of some new pieces and pieces that we all gladly remember. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the beauty of the pearl of the Baltic – Vilnius, as well as that you got inspiration for some of your ideal outfit! See you soon and continue our fashion adventures on the Mr.M blog! How did you like my outfit today?

I really tried to prepare today’s post for you with a lot of love and I hope you will like it!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon, stay tuned!

With Love from Lithuania,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Paul&Shark, Aida Barni, Brunello Cucinelli, Certina, Restelli, FPM Milano and Johnstons of Elgin brands and represents my personal and honest review of their products.

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Letter from Türkiye: Alanya, Place where is Fun in the Sun!

My dear travelers, I hope you are well and ready for a new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Today I decided to delight you with a real summer travelogue about Alanya, a Mediterranean Turkish city where it is sunny almost during all four seasons and where the fun never stops! I am sure that this post will refresh you, so that all of us will start this June with only good moments!

How did I get to Alanya? While writing a blog post in May, I decided to take a break, because you know how creative work can sometimes make a person tired. During the break, I always try to check if there are any new messages or emails and I noticed an email from the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation – ALTAV. A kind invitation to feel all the beauties and charms of the Mediterranean coastal city in Turkey. Without thinking, I accepted the invitation and already in my mind I was in sunny Alanya!

Today I will share with you my impressions of this unusual city and I would like to thank the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation – ALTAV for the invitation and incredible experience to get to know better the culture and customs in this part of Turkey.

People say that red evokes happiness and attracts positive energy, which is why I decided to take my FPM Milano Bank Spinner 53 red cabin suitcase on my Turkish adventure, which brought me luck on my travels this year. Not only is it practical, light, but it is also a photogenic suitcase that many people asked me about at the airport where I bought it. So my little red suitcase and I heroically prepared and embarked on our new adventure together! I will write something more about this brand later, and now let’s start with the story of Alanya!

For the beginning, it would be helpful to tell you a few basic information about Alanya that will surely benefit you! Alanya is a Mediterranean coastal city in Turkey located near Antalya. Scientists have found writings proving that Alanya as a city was first inhabited since the 4th century BC, due to this incredible historical fact, one of the most important things in Alanya – a fortress built as the main witness of history in the heart of the city. , surrounded by walls, built on a peninsula that stretches towards the Mediterranean Sea.

The Alanya we know today developed in the area between the Taurus Mountains and the coast over 100 kilometers long. Yes, you read that right, the length of the coast is over 100 kilometers and that is why the locals and tourists have the opportunity to enjoy the numerous clean and spacious beaches that are natural and decorated according to international standards. Alanya is a city that, in addition to its rich cultural heritage, also has incredible natural charms and beauties.

What is the climate like in Alanya? Alanya has a typical Mediterranean climate to be desired, with refreshing winters as well as warm and dry summers. The average winter temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius, while the summer temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius, while the average water temperature in winter is around 20 degrees, while in summer it is between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. If you plan to visit Alanya during the winter, be sure that winter is beautiful in Alanya and that snow is considered a scientific phenomenon.

If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Alanya, you can visit the plateaus, which have a rich flora and fauna that are ideal for safaris and trekking. It is interesting that there are no industrial zones in Alanya and that is why all economic life depends on tourism and agriculture. If you have ever wondered what Alanya is best at, know that she is known for growing bananas and citrus fruits, which is why Alanya occupies an important place in Turkey.

Alanya is a city with extremely rich cultural and tourist content offer, so I am sure that even the most demanding tourists with refined taste will return with unforgettable impressions and recommend to their friends to spend their vacation in Alanya.

Holiday in Alanya can be relaxing, peaceful for body and soul, but it can also be active with numerous water sports and other kind of activities. In the previous pictures you can see the amazing landscapes from the Cable Car in Alanya which is located within the Alanya Fortress and provides an exit to the part known as Ehmedek. The cable car started operating in 2017 and in a short time it has become an unavoidable local attraction for all tourists who come to see the beauty of Alanya! Passing over the famous Damlataş Cave and Cleopatra Beach, the cable car takes you in a short period of time to the historic fortress of Alanya, a place where there is a spectacular and magnificent view with a special opportunity to see one history.

As I just mentioned, Alanya Fortress is a witness to the long and rich history of Alanya and it proudly occupies a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Also, the Alanya Fortress has been declared a state-protected area of ​​protected cultural property by the Turkish government. This medieval fortress is located on a peninsula about 250 meters above sea level. The interesting thing about this fortress are the layers within the walls that hide many secrets and traces of numerous cultures and customs that have lined up. There are certain historical writings that prove that the fortress of Alanya has been inhabited since the Hellenistic era, where people lived continuously.

Today’s appearance of the fortress can be attributed to the great reconstruction that was carried out during the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Kejkubat. In addition to the great renovation of the Alanya Fortress, buildings of exceptional importance were built during this period, such as the Red Tower (Kizilkule) and the shipyard (Tersane). The walls that surround the peninsula are about 6 kilometers long, and on the walls there are numerous fortifications, towers, as well as 6 gates and there are two inner fortresses.

ALTAV (Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation) really tried to get to know Alanya from different angles through this trip, and even today, while the impressions of this city are slowly fading in my head, I can’t describe the uniqueness and beauty of this Mediterranean Turkish city.

The Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation made an effort to made me feel the cuisine of this area and come back with a few extra pounds, but as people in Alanya like to say: “When you are in Alanya, do not think about kilograms, just enjoy on your vacation, and when you return home, start exercising ”. In collaboration with Mutfak Mirasi Alanya, the ALTAV has organised gastronomy workshop for my colleagues and me.

I have to admit how many countries I have visited and met different world cuisines, Alanya can boast of amazing specialties and the most famous world cuisines. You can start your day in Alanya with a light breakfast with a slice of white cheese, fresh vegetables and whole grain bread, while for lunch you can eat fresh fish just brought by fishermen from the deep waters of the Mediterranean… Dinner can be light with exotic types of “Shish kebabs ” and other traditional dishes of Alanya.

In addition to the opportunity to enjoy the sumptuous dishes of Alanya, ALTAV made an effort to organize for my fellow influencers and me a gastronomy workshop, small cooking school where we had the opportunity to learn to cook some local specialties! Since you all know my great love for Turkish delights, I of course immediately focused on making the famous helva, but according to an old recipe in Alanya, which is significantly different from the classic helva we have the opportunity to see on store shelves.

I have to admit that I enjoyed it and that I had a unique opportunity to learn how to prepare some of the most famous Turkish savory and sweet dishes. I will remember this cooking school, as well as the smiling women who shared with us their precious cooking skills with great patience.

Another activity that was unusual on this trip was a special Jeep Safari experience tour of the Sapadera Canyon with Race Tour Alanya. This charming green paradise of the Mediterranean region, you can complete a visit to Sapadere village, which is located about 40 km from Alanya.

Sapadere is an area where you can see all shades of greenery and is one of the most pristine places with the richest flora and fauna in the region. The area of the Alanya Sapadera Canyon gives great pleasure to the human eye to constantly admire this exceptional green landscape, as well as the Taurus mountain range with snow on the tops that go like steps towards the sky.

Sapadere Canyon is 360 meters long and is located 3 km from the village of Sapadere. Sapadera Canyon was created by erosion of water, ice and wind. Layers of rock have formed for thousands of years. Wooden paths provide easy access to all visitors. Believe me, you will be amazed by the speed of water gushing over a series of rocks, numerous waterfalls, rare plants and different species of animals and birds as you walk through this natural habitat. Clean, fresh air and cascading turquoise water above the rocks are therapeutic and refreshing for the human spirit…

At the end of the trail, 300 meters inside the entrance to the Sapadere canyon, there is a main attraction: an amazing waterfall. This is a popular place for photographing visitors, there is also the possibility of swimming in a natural pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Here, one can really refresh oneself because the water temperature barely reaches 12 degrees Celsius during the hottest summer season.

Sapadere Canyon is a karst canyon located in the village of Sapadere in Alanya County. The length of the canyon that formed Sapadere, after which the village got its name, is 600 m, and its height is 400 m. Chemical wear of limestone blocks was efficient in the formation of this canyon. At the point where the Sapadere emerges from the canyon, the bottom of the canyon is covered by a stream. In order to move inland, a 600 m long wooden bridge with iron bars on the side walls was built.

The waterfall is located at the end of the canyon after crossing the water flowing at the bottom of the canyon. A giant cauldron (natural pool) with very cold water was formed at the place where the waterfall overflowed. During the summer, people can swim in the cold waters of this natural pool.

Until recently, the canyon, which was known only to the locals, began to attract tourists through promotional activities of local governments. At the entrance to the canyon there are places to eat and drink where you can refresh yourself.

During my stay in Alanya, I had the opportunity to stay in one of the best hotels in the city – SunPrime C-lounge Hotel. This modern five-star luxury hotel for adults is housed in a newly built building across the beach from the Mediterranean Sea, just 8 km from Alanya Fortress.

The spacious and modern rooms have a balcony, sofa, Wi-Fi and flat TVs new generation, as well as a minibar and tea/coffee maker, which I had to try. Many rooms have sea views. The deluxe suits have a separate living room.

Within the hotel there are two restaurants (one is self-service) and bars. Other facilities of this hotel include a gym, spa and two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a hammam, a hot tub and a pool bar. There is a private area on the beach where guests can sunbathe. During your stay you can enjoy live music. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hotel management for their hospitality and dedication during my visit to Alanya.

In today’s post we are meeting up again with my friends from the FPM Milano brand and I present you a backpack from the Bank on the Road collection, as well as Bank Spinner 53 cabin suitcase from the Bank collection, both collections are made entirely in Italy, ideal for business people world and so for those who want to enjoy their vacation and free time to maximum, made to meet every practical, functional or aesthetic need.

The convenient internal pocket allows you to charge your tablet and smartphone anytime, anywhere. Modern, elegant line of backpacks, made of high quality and waterproof nylon with special attention to leather and metal details. The aluminum personalization is reminiscent of the innovative creativity of the FPM Bank collection.

FPM Milano luggage and accessories offers travelers convenience and style, all in one suitcase and backpack. Designed by Marc Sadler, these lightweight,