Friday, July 31, 2015

The Museums of Colorado Springs

An American Industry & Commerce Travel Itinerary
The Museums of Colorado Springs
Step back in time and explore the Wild West, enjoy the arts, culture and heritage of Colorado Springs and the many technological innovations in mining, agriculture and industry by visiting the museums of the Pikes Peak Region.
The Fine Arts Center, established in 1936, is home to world-class art galleries, Broadway-worthy live theatre, and an art school for all ages. Experience the art of gourmet at Taste with amazing patio views of Pikes Peak and browse the local art.
The Pioneers Museum is located downtown in the beautifully restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse. The museum preserves the history and culture of the Pikes Peak region, and features permanent exhibits on the history of the area and changing exhibits on topics of broad interest. Also, a nationally significant collections of quilts, art pottery and the finest regional landscape art collection in Colorado. Other collections relate to Native American influences in the region, the founding of the City, the area's mining and agricultural history, its early prominence as a health resort, and its more recent significance as a center for military training and operations.
The Cripple Creek Visitors Center a 11,600 square foot facility with hands-on exhibits improved by audio and video techniques. Immerse yourself in the old days of the World's Best Gold camp.
The Ghost Town Museum As a true preservation of Colorado’s western past, the Ghost Town Museum is a fun and historic look back at an old west town during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Lots of hands-on activities for all ages.
The Manitou Springs Heritage Center the Incline Exhibit relates the story of how the installation of a pipeline for a hydro-electric plant became a famous tourist amusement for 81 years and then was reincarnated into an even more famous location for people seeking an extreme physical challenge.
Planning Your Trip assumes uniquely local dimensions wherever you go; the activities that you, the visitor – local, or global –  select and irrespective of the length of your stay, are unique of the community you are visiting and rooted into the local economy, history and traditions.
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The Western Museum of Mining and Industry preserves and interprets the rich mining history of Colorado and the American West. A collection of over 4,000 artifacts is on display at the 27-acre indoor/outdoor exhibit site, including: a ten-stamp ore mill, a multi-purpose center with exhibits, a theater and a 5,000-volume research library. An exciting and exceptional tool for learning about Colorado history, mining and industrial technology, geology, and the environment.
Rock Ledge Ranch The history of the West comes to life at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. You are invited to explore lifestyles and homes of the Pikes Peak Region's early inhabitants. Knowledgeable interpreters will assist you on your journey through one of America’s premier historic sites.
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum for nearly two decades, the museum has been actively involved in the Colorado community and the preservation of classic and antique motorcycles and their history from around the world with a focus not only on the mechanical works of art we call motorcycles, but also on the people that have been such a huge part of the history. The names and faces of the pioneers of motorcycling and their contributions are captured in photographs and biographies throughout the museum. The display of this memorabilia ensures that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the history of early American two-wheeled ingenuity and preserve its legacy.
The Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation Colorado Springs’ first streetcar service was powered by horses. Initiated in 1887, the Colorado Springs & Manitou Street Railway Company line ran from Colorado College to the Central Business District. By 1888, a second line to the west was completed from the Santa Fe depot to 8th Street, and by 1889, the line along Tejon was extended north to Fontanero. At its peak, a total of 10 horse-drawn trolley cars operated in the city. In 1890, the Colorado Springs Rapid Transit Railway began the process of replacing the horse car lines with electric power, a system that numbered 44 electric cars by 1900; at its peak, the system covered 41 miles. In 1931, buses began replacing streetcars. Streetcar service ended shortly thereafter.

The Peterson Air and Space Museum was contained in one small building—the original airport passenger terminal for the City of Colorado Springs and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That same year, Colorado designated those buildings as a state historic district. Today, the museum is located right in the center of that 8.3 acre historic district on Peterson Air Force Base. The original Passenger Terminal, City Hangar and Broad- moor Hangar all have exhibits inside and anchor the award winning airpark.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Belriguardo Castle near Ferrara Italy

Renaissance Art  Archeology History and Regional Cuisine
Belriguardo Castle gets its name from a fifteenth century poet, so impressed with its beauty, that he exclaimed that he planned on bel riguardare, keep looking at it and admiring it!

It was built in 1435. At that time it had some of the characteristics of a castle - tower, battlements, drawbridge and a moat. However, all these elements had more of a decorative and less of a defensive function: in front of the tower there is a porch, behind the battlements there were no walk ways for the soldiers, along with many fixed bridges.

In practice, Belriguardo was a medieval castle turned into a Renaissance villa designed along the lines of a Greek one: the first courtyard had porticoes on three sides, with the second on all four sides. It was built as the summer residence of the Este family, rulers of nearby Ferrara from the 13th century until 1598. In fact, Belriguardo can be considered the first summer residence of a European ruling family; a precursor of Versailles for the French monarchy, Venaria for the Savoy dynasty, the Quirinale and Castel Gandolfo for the popes, the Tsars’ palaces and the Caserta royal palace for the Bourbon kings of Naples.

With as many as 360 frescoed halls, on one occasion Belriguardo hosted simultaneously the courts of Ferrara, Bologna, Milan and Mantua; at least two thousand people could eat and sleep at court and its stables could hold 800 horses. The Este family entertained its guests with naval battles in the fishpond.

Inside this UNESCO protected property, one can admire the Sala della Vigna (1536), built by Duke Ercole II, son of Lucrezia Borgia, as well as many 16th century frescoes by the Dossi brothers, Benvenuto Tisi and Girolamo da Carpi. The floor is one of the few orginals from this period.
The Civic Museum of Belriguardo is based in the castle and its archeological section includes the original wooden beams, known as composite beams, each in turn formed by seven smaller ones interlocked without the use of nails. Their design originates from a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing.

The Archaeological section contains finds from the Etruscan (IV-III century BC), Roman (I-III century AD) and Byzantine (VI-VII century AD) periods.  Some of the Roman period items are considered by researchers of great interest and a few are even unique in the world.

Belriguardo Castle is an excellent starting point for a visit to Ferrara and surrounding areas, one of the cradles of the Italian Renaissance. Nearby, you can taste the regional cuisine, considered the best in Italy.

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