Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-nine

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

5 December 2012.

This is the Marathon Gate at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, a glorious piece of architecture. But the cold intermittent wind travelling through an open empty stadium makes eerie sounds, as if to challenge the visitor with questions of “who, what, and why.”

Is sport neutral and separate from politics?

In 1934 Germany, the ruling National Socialists (Nazis) commissioned the construction of a giant stadium in Berlin. Werner March designed the structure which took two years to build in time for the 1936 Summer Olympics. At those games, Black American athletes including Jesse Owens participated with great success, but their paths to Berlin were met with hostility and filled with obstructions. American policies regarding black athlete participation were similar to prejudicial policies enacted by Nazis against the German Jewish people. In fact, American legal and racist precedents of the day provided early examples for the Nazis to create their own anti-semitic legislation: the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935.

“Sport as an ideal is not a force for positive social good. Sport is a neutral form. It needs positive underpinnings. And, it requires human beings [running it] to assume a sense of responsibility.”

– Sara Bloomfield, director of U.S. Holocaust Museum (1999–today).

I made the image above on 5 Dec 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mK4.

My Vienna: Armenian Mekhitarist Community (since 1810)

From outside, the buildings don’t look particularly special. But they tell a tale of extraordinary migration: beginning in Armenia and ending here in Vienna’s 7th district, by way of present-day Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

At the corner of Neustiftgasse and Mechitaristengasse is a set of buildings for the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation.

If I’m in the city for a month, my curiosity demands to learn more. Through e-mail and by phone, I inquire with the monastery’s contact person about a visit, and I’m instructed to join a group of Americans for a guided tour.


Armenian Mekhitarists

The Mekhitarists are an order of Benedictine monks of the Armenian Catholic Church founded by Mekhitar Petrosean from Sebaste (now Sivas). Since 1810, the Mechitarists established (a second) headquarters in Vienna, whose modern presence includes monastery, church, museum, and a library containing the world’s third largest collection of Armenian manuscripts.

Understanding the sustaining power of the printed word to a fragile culture, Mekhitar and the order’s monks created a complete dictionary of the Armenian language. The first volume of the “Dictionary of Classical Armenian Language” (ԲԱՌԳԻՐՔ ՀԱՅԿԱԶԵԱՆ ԼԵԶՈՒԻ) was published after his death in 1749, and the second volume appeared in 1769. In 1837, the New Dictionary of Classical Armenian Language was published, whose contents have now been digitized.

With my love of books since childhood, I’m regularly on the look for (sources of) old manuscripts, which is obvious in the images below.

By tour’s end, I have a few quiet minutes for a couple of questions.

Q1. How many Armenians are there in Austria?
A1. With a total population of almost 9 million, Austria is home to about 8000 Armenians, of which about 5000 live in Vienna.

Q2. Who was Deodat/Diodato?
A2. Diodato was an Armenian merchant whose birth name was Owanes Astouatzatur. He is credited with opening Vienna’s first licensed coffee house in 1685. Today, that location happens to be occupied by another café with a memorial plaque inside.


Mekhitarist Timeline

•   1701: Mekhitar of Sebaste (1676–1749) establishes congregation in Constantinople (now Istanbul).
•   1706: Move to Greece’s Methon; new monastery established.
•   1717: Move to San Lazzaro, one of Venice’s islands.
•   1773: 2nd group breaks away from Venice, establishing monastery in Trieste in the Habsburg empire.
•   1775: Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa’s “Privilege” guarantees Armenian colony with permanent status.
•   1805: Napoleon seizes Trieste as French territory; Trieste’s Mekhitarists flee to Vienna.
•   1810: Habsburg Emperor Franz I grants Triestine Mekhitarists permission to settle in Vienna.
•   1811: Mekhitarists establish presence in Vienna’s St. Ulrich.
•   1811–1873, 1889–1898: Book printing press by the Mekhitarists in Vienna.
•   1837: after 1835 fire, new construction designed by Josef Kornhäusel begins in Neubau.
•   1874: Site expansion includes new church, also by Kornhäusel.
•   2000: The Venice and Vienna chapters reunite into single Mekhitarist order.


( Click here for images and more )

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-eight

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

27 November 2012.

Commonly found along the rooftop of cathedrals are stone gargoyles which are sculptural water spouts funnelling water down from the roof and away from the sides of the building. In southwestern Germany’s Freiburg im Breisgau, the south side of the cathedral (Minster, Münster) includes a rather “cheeky” gargoyle, the “Hinternentblösser” (butt-flasher). At minimum scandalous and most definitely a very pointed comment, it’s frankly amazing to see this butt-tastic sculpture remain as cathedral ornamentation.

I made the image on 27 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/20-sec, f/5.6, ISO200, and 55mm focal length (88mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mIl.

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-seven

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

16 November 2012.

For me, this familiar scene says a lot of “home”.

In this southeast view from Berlin’s Monbijou Bridge, lingering autumn fog and mist partly obscures city landmark Fernsehturm (Television Tower) in the background at left. Also visible are the Rotes Rathaus at centre-right and the imposing structure housing the Bode Museum on the Museum Island at right. Railway tracks cross the island, “squeezed” between the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. A bright-red Deutsche Bahn regional train crosses over the Spree river from left to right (east to west) on its way to Friedrichstrasse station and beyond to Central Station.

I made the image on 16 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/125-sec, f/8, ISO800, and 42mm focal length (67mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mIi.

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, forty-six

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

11 November 2012.

On this day, it’s only been 23 years and 2 days since the Fall of the Wall in 1989. This short corridor once connected outgoing rail passengers passing through the gauntlet of checks and inquiries by East German guards inside the checkpoint. To those denied, the worded sign is cruel: “Departures ahead: long-distance trains, S-Bahn trains, U-Bahn trains.” I’m inside Berlin’s Tränenpalast, the so-called “Palace of Tears”. The image of the connecting corridor shows the short stretch within reach, blocked now by a sheet of glass. Beyond the transparent obstruction is entry into Friedrichstrasse train station.

I made the image on 11 Nov 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/40-sec, f/4.5, ISO800, 25mm focal length (40mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-mHK.

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