‘Astonishing, luminous beauty’: readers’ cultural highlights in Europe

1 week ago 14

Winning tip: Caravaggio successful his element, Malta

Commissioned successful the aboriginal 1600s by the Order of St John successful Malta, Caravaggio’s masterpiece, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, has been hung successful St John’s Co-Cathedral successful Valletta, Malta, ever since. It is uncommon to presumption a coating successful the abstraction intended by the artist, successful this lawsuit the Oratory, a spot of prayer, alternatively than the modern accumulation hall. And truthful it felt an tremendous privilege to acquisition this masterpiece, which is immense – 520 x 370cm – on with Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome Writing successful the soundlessness of the Oratory, and each for €15.
Sara Godfrey

Picasso successful Cologne

Cologne Cathedral and the Museum Ludwig.
Cologne Cathedral and the Museum Ludwig. Photograph: Joern Sackermann/Alamy

Of each the artists associated with Germany, Picasso was unexpected. Despite this, conscionable steps from the iconic, gothic Cologne Cathedral sits the Museum Ludwig (€12), location to 1 of the largest collections of the artist’s works successful the world. An exhibition hosted successful 2021-2022 shone aggravated airy connected the surreal Spaniard’s heavy transportation with a formerly divided Germany and present the airy halls of this assemblage are lined with immoderate of his astir noteworthy works. Also featuring are Warhols, Lichtensteins and Dalís; adjacent the Cologne Philharmonic plays here. A steadfast portion of the modern successful a medieval city.
Matthew Walsh

Medieval compartment paintings, Florence

Inside the Convent of San Marco. Photograph: Laura

Florence is afloat of world-famous sights, but successful the Convent of San Marco is simply a bid of tiny cells decorated successful the mid-15th period by Fra Angelico. Thick chromatic walls incorporate constrictive model openings into these confined small rooms; but peering in, you find paintings of the astir astonishing, luminous beauty. Nothing I’ve seen captures truthful perfectly the medieval operation of acold asceticism with transcendent glory. And it lone costs 4 euros to spell in.


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Guardian Travel readers' tips

Every week we inquire our readers for recommendations from their travels. A enactment of tips volition beryllium featured online and whitethorn look successful print. To participate the latest contention sojourn the readers' tips homepage


Museum with a view, Vienna

Museum of Natural History Vienna.
Museum of Natural History Vienna. Photograph: Emre Zengin/Alamy

For the sum of €8 (or astir 1 London pint) you tin get the astir magnificent presumption of Vienna from the extortion of the Natural History Museum. Available Friday done Sunday astatine 4pm, the circuit is tally successful German, but the presumption unsocial is worthy the fee. If you’re frightened of heights astatine the start, I tin committedness you won’t beryllium by the end.

Chaotic creator glory, Dublin

Reconstructed workplace  of Francis Bacon, The Hugh Lane.
Reconstructed workplace of Francis Bacon, The Hugh Lane. Photograph: Hemis/Alamy

James Joyce mightiness person enactment Dublin connected the map, but for an alternate taste ramble, hide Bloomsday and instrumentality successful the masterpieces of Ireland’s top 20th-century artists for escaped astatine the Hugh Lane Gallery, the oldest nationalist modern creation assemblage successful continuous beingness worldwide. Stunning arsenic the masterpieces by Renoir and Manet are, the existent highlights are the Irish artists connected display. Admire Francis Bacon’s painstakingly reconstructed London workplace successful each its chaotic glory; an full country of Sean Scully’s earthy tones; Harry Clarke’s stained-glass windows and works by Mainie Jellett, Mary Swanzy and Evie Hone, pioneering pistillate painters who brought cubism to Ireland successful the 1920s.
Selena Daly

Pre-Romanesque church, Oviedo, Spain

San Julian successful  Oviedo
The crucifix ‘seems to interval successful mid-air’. Photograph: Barbara Forbes

The portion of Asturias successful north-west Spain is celebrated for its pre-Romanesque buildings, and nary is much accessible than the church of San Julián successful Oviedo, precise adjacent to the metropolis centre. Built astir 830, its 3 naves person the emblematic arches and pillars of the period, but what bowls the visitant implicit are the partition paintings – geometric patterns, views arsenic if from a window, delicately coloured and intricately designed, each beautifully preserved and wide to spot successful airy flooding done the unusually ample windows. There is simply a stunning woody crucifix that seems to interval successful mid-air, with Jesus looking down benevolently astatine those who travel to regard successful awe and to springiness acknowledgment to those who ensured the endurance of this fantastic gem.
Barbara Forbes

Fun and pastry successful Poznan, Poland

Poznan’s croissant museum.
Poznan’s croissant museum. Photograph: Anna Gawlik/Shutterstock

I don’t cognize if you’re looking for thing much highbrow but I precocious visited the Rogalowe croissant museum successful Poznan. An hour-long show which is portion interactive cooking class, portion past acquisition and portion standup comedy, it reminded maine a small of The Generation Game, if that had ever been funny. The audience, from astir corners of Europe, were arsenic bemused and delighted arsenic we were talked done the past and accumulation of this delicious section saltation of the well-known French pastry. Varying degrees of enthusiasm from “willing” participants, cleanable comic timing from the hosts and a barroom to instrumentality location made this the item of our trip.

Budapest successful miniature

The miniature statues of Budapest are amazing. All done by Mihály Kolodko, they are absorbing and thought-provoking pieces, including observations of pistillate empowerment, the concern successful Ukraine and immoderate much amusive ones (representing cartoons oregon a Rubik’s cube). Hunting them down besides provides you with a large penetration into the city, including immoderate beauteous architecture (libraries, bid stations, a synagogue).
Vicki Black

Icons saved from communism, Albania

Roy Messenger Albania
The Korçë medieval creation museum’s Golden Wall shimmers with icons. Photograph: Roy Messenger

The National Museum of Medieval Art successful Korçë is stunning and contains icons saved from Orthodox churches erstwhile communists banned religion successful 1967. A Golden Wall, covering 2 floors, shimmers with icons by section artists, including Onufri, noted for his usage of the colour red. A country with reddish floor, walls and ceiling contains a representation of St Christopher with a dog’s face, owed to a mistranslation of the connection Canaanite, portion successful stark contrast, a agleam White Room had a singular icon. Finally, a Black Labyrinth Pavilion contains much Onufri icons, wherever the agleam reddish colours radiated connected achromatic walls.
Roy Messenger

Ancient Greek tech, Crete

Museum of Ancient Greek Technology successful  Heraklion.
A exemplary of a triremes astatine the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology successful Heraklion. Photograph: Kate Holbrook

We could person missed the biggest astonishment of our travel to Crete, the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology successful Heraklion. The knowledgable unit answered our questions with elemental demonstrations and models. This depository rearranged each our suppositions; this was not what we were taught successful school. The Greeks impressed audiences with analyzable theatre techniques. They were utilizing robots and pulley systems, conjuring up the powerfulness of the gods. Fountains spouted h2o done displacement of air. There are models of machines that built the acropolis, Greek triremes and automatic reloading crossbows. Their cognition of astronomy, improvement of clocks and computing systems was amazing.
Kate Holbrook

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