Here is Part 2 of my cruise around Europe looking at stunning buildings and lovely carved and panelled timber doors.
My previous Blog Cruising Europe Part 1 ended in the hilltop village of Taormina, Sicily. Next stop was the island of Corfu, a place new to me, although I have visited Greece before. We visited the Achilleion Palace in Gastouri, built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria (know as Sissi) in 1890 as her summer palace. The gardens exhibit neoclassical Greek statues, with columns showing the ancient orders of architecture, the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Palace is named after the Homeric hero Achilles of which there is a statue in the garden. The interiors have beautiful, tall, classic doors with deep panels in natural timber or painted finishes; unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs to share with you.
That evening we crossed the Adriatic Sea and awoke to the stunning sight of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, passing a drowned river canyon, considered to be the deepest and biggest fjord in Southern Europe (technically not a fjord as it was not glacial). With the immense cliffs raising from the sea and an eerie atmosphere due to early morning mist the sight was breathtaking, as was the drive up the mountains to the village of Njegusi, the birthplace of King Nicola 1. In the town of Cetinje we visited the museum, housed in a previous home of King Nicola 1st. Photography was not allowed but the interiors of this relatively modest property was abundant with furniture and artefacts from the early 19th century. The tall internal doors were the typical European, double door sets in wide casements, usually with 3 beaded panels.
Our next port of call was Dubrovnik, Croatia and after a scenic drive to Cavtat along the Riviera we investigated the astonishing walled Old Town. Dubrovnik dates back to the 7th century and is now a UNESCO heritage site and still undergoing restoration work after the damage sustained during the 1990’s conflict in the area. The town is a well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city with astonishing Renaissance and Baroque monuments and imposing, monumental gates to enter the walls. The Church of St Saviour is Renaissance; the Rectors Palace is Gothic-Renaissance and has a beautiful front door to the entrance, the façade being depicted on a Croatian banknote.
Our next sailing was back over the Adriatic to Ancona then Venice. Look out for my next Blog on the dazzling water city of Venice.