Riga, Sigulda, Turaida, Jurmala – Latvia, August 2016: Visual and Textual Impressions

Old Churches, Neo-Classic and Ardeco Architecture, Park Design, Arts & Crafts, Old Castles, Mysterious Cemeteries, Legendary Withering Wooden Houses, And Surrealist Shops…

Thanks to the members of The Center of Inter-religious Peace for being companions to the journey, Nurit Fox and Amir Fox. This Presentation was edited by Gall Orian.

 

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Tonight my friends enjoy some views from the gardens and park of Riga old city. I am particularly hypnotized by floating ducks drawing transient water lines.

 

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Meditative bronze girl saluting the trees and plants. Bastejkalns ,Riga

 

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The tree who ignores the laws of direction preferring to burst sideways. Bastejkalns, Riga.

 

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Groups of different plants and bushes in various heights forming curved margins. Bastejkalns, Riga.

 

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A singular garden design responding to both order and organic freedom. Bastejkalns, Riga.

 

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Splendid trees beds… Bastejkalns, Riga.

 

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Trees, crown like flower beds, tree beds, grassy areas -reflect a unique way of gardening, combining both French and English gardens design as well as big stones from the Japanese garden design… Bastejkalns, Riga.

 

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Beautiful decorative hangers in an arty shop. Audeju st. Riga.

 

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INRI Jesus from Nazareth the King of the Jews, believed to be a descendant of King David. Thus the Star of David is placed high above in Riga ,the city where the massacre of Jews during world war 2 was abhorrent. The history of civilization has its irrational black holes.

 

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An 18th coats of arm. St Peter Church. Riga. Simplicity and Complexity.

 

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Another fashion exhibition. As in Kumu Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, the items are owned by the Russian fashion collector Alexander Vasilev. “Tamed Nature” in The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga, Latvia, reflects the basic paradox of the 18th and 19th centuries: People highly admired the world of the animals and birds and therefore to embellish their bodies, they killed birds for feathers and animals for furs and skin We have not taken any picture of these grotesque dresses and accessories.

 

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The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga. “Tamed Nature” Accessories emulating plants and flowers.

 

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Accessories imitating plants and flowers. “Tamed Nature”. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design ,Riga.

 

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Items out of wood and tree roots. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design,Riga.

 

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The splendid door of a hidden museum. the museum of Latvian pharmacology 17th century, Riga

 

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Doctors were pharmacists and prepared their remedies in their laboratory. When the separation between the two professions occurred the book of remedies was invented… The Museum of Latvian Pharmacology, Riga.

 

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The affinity between chemistry and alchemy. Just an additional clarification: though alchemists contributed to pharmacology their secret goal was the transformation of awareness from the state of basic automatic instincts to elevated unification of all aspects of the soul and spirit.

 

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A symbol of Latvian pharmacy using the ancient motif of the warrior or saint slaying the monster or dragon. The alchemist interpretation could be understood as slaying the ego or basic automatic instincts. Both eagles could represent the unification of the female and the male characteristics. Both representing the soul and the physical body.

 

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A pharmacy paraphernalia.

 

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An interesting text on the usage of the Latvian black bathhouse for the newborn the deceased and for brewing beer.

 

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An image of the black-bath house.

 

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“The Mushroom Tree” Esplanade Park, Riga.

 

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A small Orthodox Church in Riga. I loved the flower arrangement surrounding the icon

 

Sigulda And Turaida

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Turaida Museum Reserve Sigulda. Latvia among the greenest countries…

 

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Turaida Museum Reserve. In the language of the ancient inhabitants of Latvia the word means “The Garden of God.” Turaidas Muzejrezervats, Latvia.

 

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Turaida, Latvia. The garden and park design is unique in its splendorous Water plants and ducks.

 

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Krimulda Pagasts Cemetery, Latvia. Encountering one of the nature loving ghosts dwelling here.

 

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Still in the cemetery Krimulda pagasts. Latvia

 

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Magnificent affinity to Nature Beauty with private benches to withdraw from the daily labours and enliven the memory of the deceased as a consolation remedy in Krimulda pagasts Cemetery Latvia.

 

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Sigulda fortress, Latvia,

 

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Sigulda fortress ruins from the 13th century. Every stone is doomed to be destroyed but the grass is always green.

 

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This night I chose to send treescapes from parks surrounding past stone remains -symbols of Power, domination and control but also from a cemetery found on our way.

 

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Life and Death intertwined by the Magic and Mysteries of Nature.

 

Views of Jurmala:

 

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Tonight my friends I will share with you photos I took from a town named Jurmala, Latvia, which is considered to be a resort and a northern riviera. I have found it most interesting due to its old wooden houses. Below the small blue and gold Orthodox Church of St Valentine of wood and stone ,19th century ,as an architectural introduction.

 

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A deserted two stories bathhouse built during the years 1911-16, serving as one of the best medical institutions in the Soviet times. Latvia was occupied by the Nazi regime and too many of the Latvian co operated with the Nazis during WWI. It was re occupied by the Soviets as from 1944 till 1991. The once prestigious and luxurious healing place is a silent witness to earthly illusory grandeur.

 

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The wooden old houses ,which are not mentions as the main attraction of Jurmala Latvia ,may reflect in a surrealist way, the principles of Zen aesthetics. Each chosen house will exemplify one of these principles. The common ground of “Wabi-Sabi ” is the reference to the natural transmutation of matter due to the transience and weathering of all things… First principle: Simplicity.

 

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Second principle of Wabi-Sabi Zen Aesthetics, as I see it in the old houses of Jurmla, Latvia: Affinity to Nature in colour ,form and surrounding plants.

 

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The “wabi-Sabi” principle of diversity, non convention and freedom. Jurmala old wooden houses, Latvia.

 

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The Wabi-Sabi Zen aesthetics based on the beauty of the withering element turning every surface to something more complex and subtle. Principles of weathering and subtlety. Old wooden houses, Jurmala, Latvia.

 

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Last principle of Wabi-Sabi Zen Aesthetics that I chose to make visible through the old wooden houses of Jurmala, Latvia. irregularity.

 

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Last photo for the night. A beautiful grand villa which had lost the looks but not its allure.

 

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A small shop selling big surprises… Jurmala, Latvia.

 

 

 

 

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About Dr. Dorit Kedar

Forced to continuously change nations, cultures and schooling - I had to develop a wider sense of communication, a way of thinking-feeling-behaving which stresses the common denominators. The need to adapt new landscapes and land-souls has taught instinctive means to overcome separatism, prejudices, dogmatic beliefs and suspicions. While looking for the common gathering denominators, I have also increased the ability of perception and individuation. Being constantly in estranged places has triggered psychological processes to turn the unfamiliar into familiar. As an art critic in the Israeli press, a curator, a writer - have always dealt with the otherness, the different and the infinite variety of the Existent. My Book of Peace is the result.
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