PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR – of Central Europe by Richard Nebesky September 2017
This photography tour is about learning professional skills and discovering the most picturesque and exciting parts of the former Communist bloc in Central Europe. Non-photographers will also enjoy this trip as it is a tour of cultural and culinary discovery. We will visit medieval towns, Gothic castles, forests and mountains along the former Iron Curtain. Some of these places are well-known and others are off the beaten track such as the Tatryalpine-type scenery and a local folklore festival in Slovakia.
The next destination is Dresden, another city that was rebuilt from ruins of WWII. Sometimes calledThe Venice on the Elbe Riverincludes many grand Baroque structures such as the Zwinger Palace or the Cathedral that stand next to the dreary structures of the peoples’ Democratic Republic of Germany – the former Communist government.
On our second last day in Germany we will do a short round trip of the Saxon countryside. First visiting a charming romantic Baroque Moritzburg Castle surrounded by a lake. In the afternoon we will explore the Medieval small townof Meissenwhere the historical streets snake down from its castle to the bank of the Elbe River.
Prague would have to be undisputedly, the most historical charming capital city in Europe, if not the world. It is rare for a place to have examples of every style of European architecture spaning the last 1000 years. There is the Gothic Astronomical Clock with its moving 12 Apostles or statue covered Charles Bridge, Baroque St Nicholas Church, Art Nouveau Municipal House or the Prague Castle, where most architecture styles meet in one spot.
Most visitors to Europe just city hop, so again we will strike out into the heartland of Bohemia. In the morning the picture perfect Gothic Karlstejn Castle that was never conquered will gobsmack all who see it. After lunch the former Medieval silver mining town of Kutna Hora will unravel its secrets including thehighly esteemed Gothic Cathedral.
Cesky Krumlovis sometimes described as a mini-Prague but with the Vltava River snaking through its deep valley it is a very different site. Yes, there are cobblestone lined streets full of Renaissance and Baroque facades – an amazing atmosphere day and night.
Next we venture into the Sumava Mountains that for 40 years of Communist rule was a closed area to any mortal except the border guard police. We will come across evidence of the former iron curtain, see a copy of it and stay in hotel with great views of the rolling forest covered hills.
In Poland, we will get to photograph the country’s most amazing town of Krakowwith its Medieval centre and the domineering Wawel Castle on the banks of the Wisla River. The other destination is very photogenic but best on a cloudy and rainy day – Auschwitz. A depressing site but a must see.
Slovakia is mostly rural and like its neighbours has some amazing Medieval towns, picturesque 19th century villages and natural wonders such as the alpine-like Tatry Mountains.
On our way to Budapest we will break up the long journey by visiting several places in the Spis region. Levoca is a small town with a Medieval centre and a large square that includes a beautiful Gothic Church. We should have this little visited town almost to ourselves, and mostly only meet the locals. Next is the impressive ruined Spis Castle – the largest in that dominates the vast Spis Valley.
Budapest sits on the banks of the Danube River that is spanned by the historical Chain Bridge.Including the Castle, the Parliament and the tile decorated baths are some of the most exciting places to visit.
The extension of our trip will take us to the southern most point of the Carpathian Mountains in the Balkans. Here we will be visiting mostly Saxon built towns, monasteries and castles of Translavania.
Sighisoara – every European country has one – its best-known Medieval old town full of historical treasures built by the Saxons in a hilly terrain – it’s picture perfect. Bran Castle has its Medieval turrets rising from the defensive walls and looking down on the village in the valley. Two other unusual places we will visit are the unique fortified church atBiertanwith its painted walls and the walled village of Viscri. Rasnov Fortress is not as well-known as Bran but perhaps it is visually the most impressive and beautiful castle in Romania.
Sianaia Monastery and the 19th century Peles Chateauare the gems of Romania’s architecture. The former Royal summer residence is very impressive and photogenic.
Escorted by professional photographer and guide book author Richard Nebesky.
Planning and pricing is underway. expression of interest from those that may like to participate are welcome.