A Palace to Remember

There is a magnificent palace in the heart of the city of Lodz, Poland. Built at the turn of the 20th century, it was the former residence of textile magnate Izrael Poznanski which now house the Museum of History of Lodz.

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The Poznanski palace is a neo-Baroque edifice that is richly decorated with architectural and sculptural details.

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Equally splendid are the interiors, as seen with these photos.

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For some reason while inside this old house I felt like I was in the house of the fictional character Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman. I should have looked for the secret passage way to the Bat Cave.

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The photo above and the one below, is the impressive dining hall. Note all the “unclothed” sculptures high above the walls. Should entering this room be PG-13?

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Below is a large auditorium where the guests of the previous resident of this palace where entertained. I would say that even if the events that occurred here were ordinary, the hall in itself is imposing.

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Below is the view to the outer court of the palace from one of the windows.

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Besides the palace which is already something to behold, the visitors of this museum will see exhibits tracing the history, people and culture of the city.

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As you can see, it also exhibit articles that once were part of our lives but now are historical artifacts like the typewriter and the phonograph. You can even insert yourself in the history of this place. Well, sort of.

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There are also rooms dedicated to the many former inhabitants of the city, including the world famous pianist, Artur Rubenstein. Note the Victorian furnitures and expensive porcelains. Can you spot the porcelain “arinola” (chamber pot)?

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Also in exhibit is a collection of paintings and artworks.

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My favorite art subject, anatomy.

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The photo below is an example of a clash in time. Looking at the mirror you see the design of the storied history, while looking outside the window you see billboards of modern fashion.

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Adjacent to this palace is a big shopping complex, named Manufaktura. Of course we visited it as well, as my wife find it irresistible not to wander there.

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Manufaktura is the site of the old sprawling textile factory built in the late 19th century, at the height of “steam-engine” industrialization, and was owned by Poznanski. This is now converted and renovated to a modern shopping and entertainment haven with hosts of stores, cinemas, restaurants, cafes and pubs. It is one of the biggest shopping complex in Europe.

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But what really brought us to the Poznanski palace is that it was the place of the “Koncert Laureatow” (translation: Winners’ Concert), where the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placers as well the honorable mentions of the 16th Milosz Magin International Piano Competition were invited to perform. The competition has 3 categories, the elementary level, the advanced, and the concert artists level.

The competition takes place every 2 years, and for the years past they were held in Paris, but this year it was moved to Lodz, the birthplace of the renowned pianist in whom the competition was named after.

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Warming up on the piano before the concert starts.

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As I am impressed with this beautiful place, I am equally impressed and proud of my kids who were privileged to be included in the Koncert Laureautow.

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As the concert was going on, I felt happy and blessed. For a day, I was the owner of the palace. And much more.

(*most photos were taken with an iPhone while a few were with Nikon DSLR)

 

Getting Around Getty

On our last California trip we visited the Getty Center. It is perched on top of a hill of the Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles. This is one of the two campuses of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The other campus is called the Getty Villa.

Getty Center is a $1.3 billion project that opened to the public in 1997. Admission to the museum is free, though you have to pay for parking. It is like the dinner is free, but you have to pay for the fork and knife.

We parked at the designated parking area which is on the foot of the hill. Then we took a 1-mile tram ride up the hill to the museum. You can also walk from the parking area to the center, but it is a rather steep climb. IMG_5041 The building itself is a work of art. It was designed by architect Richard Meier. IMG_5048 IMG_5047 Below is the central garden of the Getty Center. IMG_5072 The museum houses priceless treasures of art. This includes European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, and decorative art. It also have 19th and 20th-century American and European photographs. IMG_5052 IMG_5051 Below is my favorite subject for paintings. IMG_5050 Nudes? No.The cornucopia of fruits! Silly. IMG_9496_2 The works are from famous artists. From Rembrandt’s portraits… IMG_5054 To Picasso’s abstracts… IMG_9537 To Monet’s impressions…. IMG_9535 And van Gogh’s paintings. IMG_9538 Even if you are not really into arts, you can still enjoy the museum just by looking outside the window, for there is more to see than paintings. IMG_5049 The view from the center is picturesque. From the bustling downtown LA…. IMG_5044 Up to the rugged Santa Monica mountains…. IMG_5042 And to the serene Pacific ocean. IMG_5057 It is also a beautiful location for a photo shoot. IMG_5065 I enjoyed our visit to the Getty Center. And to cap the experience, we skip the tram ride and instead briskly walked down the scenic path back to the parking area. It was breath-taking. Literally.IMG_5061