Here we are back in Contovello (go to Thursday for the first part). At the bottom of this quiet lane is the old church (1634), whose bell tower was intentionally built low to withstand the strong Bora gusts.
The gate into the medieval hamlet of Contovello, which lies a few kilometres outside Trieste.
This is all that remains of the hamlet, and it is surrounded by houses built much more recently. The village, perched on the karst ridge with a stunning view over the gulf, has nevertheless kept its timeless charm.
The Ursus, the aquatic dinosaur you can clearly see in the centre of the photo, was built in 1914, it weighs 2200 tons and is 75 metres high. The floating platform on which the crane rests, is 54 metres long and 24 metres wide.
The rotating crane used to lift a load of 150 tons as high as 70 metres on only one hook. It could move independently thanks to two engines and two rudders. It had 18 crew members to guarantee the functioning of this huge machine. At full power and with a calm sea it could reach 4 miles per hour.
It was the pride of our dockyards and of the busy commercial city of Trieste. It was built to lift huge engines and move them into the bellies of transatlantic liners, and to carry cannons on the Austrian navy warships. It lifted locomotives and railroad wagons and during the postwar period it rescued shipwrecks sunk in the gulfs of Trieste and Muggia.
Today, after years of inactivity and a recent brief renovation, it wanders about the Gulf, moving from place to place, waiting to know its future destiny. There are no resources available at the moment to fund its conversion, but the idea is to turn it into a museum eventually.
Just as I was taking a photo of the graffiti on the door and the rubbish skip, this man strolled past up the hill. Then, lo and behold, he turned round and strolled past for my second attempt! So, as it is street number 2, I thought I'd put the 2 of him onto the same photo, for an odd shot.
Click on over to Katney's Kaboodle to the rest of the Oddshots from around the planet.
Few people had a go at guessing, but Luisa soon let the cat out of the bag. Yesterday's photo showed a small area inside the "National Temple dedicated to Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen".This very unusual church, constructed in 1945 and consecrated in 1966, rises majestically up on the ridge of Monte Grisa at 350 m above sea level and can be seen from many parts of the city. It has two floors, and is made up entirely of triangles . This is why the people of Trieste refer affectionately to this temple as "El formagin" ("the little cheese", a term used to refer to cheese triangles).
"It may not be by chance that the Duino Elegies came to life in a castle perched on a bluff, which, much like human existence, looks out of a few windows, my own included, over an immeasurably open stretch of sea, onto Everything" (from a letter from Rilke to Hedwig Fischer, 1911)
One of the many illustrious guests of Duino castle was the Prague-born poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who found the inspiration for Duino Elegies during his stay here. In memory of this event, a panoramic path of about 2 km has been named after the poet. The path runs high up along the sheer rocky cliff between Duino and Sistiana bay. In this photo, taken from one of the castle windows, the rocky cliff is easily visible. The path runs right along its top edge. The view is breathtaking.
We have already glimpsed Duino castle in this old post, but we were really a long way away. This time we are in the castle courtyard.
The new castle of Duino dates back to about the year 1400, when the family Wallsee commissioned the construction of a strong fortress. Over time, the Wallsee family disappeared and the castle, after being used as a prison, became the residence of the Luogar and Hofer. At the end of the 19th century it became the property of Prince Alexander Johann Vincenz Rudolf Hugo Karl Lamoral Eligius von Thurn und Taxis from the Czech Branch of the House of Thurn und Taxis. It remains with the family to this day with his great-grandson Prince Carlo Alessandro della Torre e Tasso, Duke of Castel Duino the current owner. The castle has been opened to the public as a museum and park (wiki).
The small harbour of Duino, a coastal village in the province of Trieste. The two castles are its main attraction. The older castle, dating back to the eleventh century, is in ruins, while the newer castle is inhabited to this day and can be visited by tourists, and we will visit it in the posts over the next few days.
Even though we know that there are several climbing routes behind the natural tunnel, which lies along the main coastal road leading into Trieste, it always gives you a bit of a frisson to see a climber at such close quarters while you're driving home!
Biancosarti is a sweet liqueur, a distillate of herbs, spices and flowers, with a unique flavour deriving from the presence of rinds and roots; it is a strong alcoholic aperitif (28%). The publicity slogan, l'aperitivo vigoroso che mette il fuoco nelle vene (the vigorous aperitif that puts fire in the veins) is part of the "cultural baggage" of all Italians (or at least it is of anyone my age). There was also an unforgettable seventies advertisement for Biancosarti starring the greatTelly Savalas. (see the video on youtube).