Wednesday, August 31, 2016

European Fine Art Fair

Executive summary by darmansjah

The European Fine Art Fair (abbreviated: TEFAF) is an annual art fair, organized by The European Fine Art Foundation in the MECC in Maastricht, Netherlands. It was first held in 1988. The 10-day fair, organized by dealers, attracts about 70,000 visitors and is considered the world's best and most important art fair.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

North Sea Jazz Festival

Executive summary by darmansjah

The North Sea Jazz Festival is an annual festival held each second weekend of July in the Netherlands at the Ahoy venue.It used to be in The Hague but since 2006 it has been held in Rotterdam. This is because the Statenhal where the festival was held before was demolished in 2006.

The founder of the three-day festival was Paul Acket, a businessman and jazz lover who had made fortune in the 1960s with his pop magazine publishing company. When Acket sold his company in 1975, he was able to start up and sponsor the North Sea Jazz Festival. Acket desired to present a great diversity of jazz music to the public, from American jazz to European avant-garde. In 1976 the first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place. It was an immediate success: six stages, thirty hours of music and 300 performances drew over 9000 visitors. Many great jazz legends were presented, like Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz.

Since 1985, the Bird Awards are presented at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Originally the prize was awarded in three categories: the Bird Award International, the Bird Award Netherlands and the Bird Award Special Appreciation. From 2001, however, the prize is only given in one category, and is especially meant for beginning artists that deserve more recognition. Also, from 1998 onward the Edison Jazz Awards are presented at the festival. The Edison is the award of the Dutch music industry for albums of a special quality.

In 1990, two sub-festivals were introduced: “North Sea Jazz Heats”, a free festival performed in pubs throughout The Hague, and the more exclusive “Midsummer Jazz Gala”.Both take place on the evening before the actual festival. Artists that have performed at the Midsummer Jazz Gala include; Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock and Oscar Peterson.

The festival has grown to fifteen stages, 1,200 artists and about 25,000 visitors a day. The festival is known worldwide for the many music styles it presents, from traditional New Orleans jazz to Swing, bebop, fusion, blues, gospel music, funk music, soul music and drum n bass.

The festival is acknowledged as the "biggest jazz festival in the world"] and has a strong reputation for showcasing many different areas of jazz from all eras. As well as established artists, it invites youth groups

Monday, August 29, 2016


Executive summary by darmansjah

Madeira  is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between 32°22.3′N 16°16.5′W and 33°7.8′N 17°16.65′W, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union. The archipelago comprises the major part of one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores located to the northwest), that includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands.

Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well as for its annual New Year celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognised by Guinness World Records in 2006.The main harbour in Funchal is the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa.

Tourism is an important sector in the region's economy since it contributes 20%[citation needed] to the region's GDP, providing support throughout the year for commercial, transport and other activities and constituting a significant market for local products. The share in Gross Value Added of hotels and restaurants (9%) also highlights this phenomenon. The island of Porto Santo, with its 9 km (5.6 mi) long beach and its climate, is entirely devoted to tourism. Over the past decade it has recorded a substantial increase in its hotel accommodation capacity.

Development in Madeira is considered to have future potential since the necessary infrastructure has been established and adequate investment incentives have been introduced for expanding its hotel and catering structure in a controlled manner. Nature conservation is seen as important because it is a major draw for tourists to Madeira.

Visitors are mainly from the European Union, with German, British, Scandinavian and Portuguese tourists providing the main contingents. The average annual occupancy rate was 60.3% in 2008, reaching its maximum in March and April, when it exceeds 70%.

European Union citizens of the Schengen Treaty area can enter the islands freely, while those from other regions need identification.

There were in 2009, 7,105 legal immigrants living in Madeira Islands. They come mostly from Brazil (1.300), the UK (912), Venezuela (732) and Ukraine (682), according to SEF.

The Islands have two airports, Funchal Airport on the Island of Madeira and the other in the island of Porto Santo. Flights to the islands are mostly made from Lisbon and Porto, but there are also direct flights from other major European cities and other countries, like Cape Verde and Venezuela.

Transport between the two main islands is by plane or ferries, the latter also carrying vehicles. Visiting the interior of the islands is now easy thanks to construction of the Vias Rápidas, major roads built during Portugal's economic boom. Modern roads reach all points of interest on the islands. The old, curving mountain roads are still an excellent way to tour the island. Funchal has an extensive public transportation system. Bus companies, including Horários do Funchal which has been operating for over a hundred years, have regularly scheduled routes to all points of interest on the island.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pousada Rainha Santa Isabel

Executive summary by darmansjah

During the ownership of Queen Santa Isabel, who died here in 1336, Estremoz became one of the main political centres of that reign, offering advice to important figures and being the private stage for royal politics during the end of the first dynasty. At the beginning of the twentieth century the grouping of the castle, the village walls, the so called Torre das Couraças (Towers of Armour) and the Queen Santa Chapel were classified as a National Monument since 1910.

    The Pousada of Estremoz is situated in a privileged place, as is the Castle Estremoz. It is an authentic museum which has a range of antic furniture, wall tapestries, iron decorative pieces and porcelain from other times.
    D. Dinis ordered the construction of this building for his wife the queen Santa Isabel, which has given its name to the Pousada. Placed in the old city, this was the stage of battles, love and treason.
    This luxury hotel in Estremoz offers from its gardens and pool, a magnificent panoramic view of Estremoz and the Alentejo plain.
    The Pousada’s 29 rooms are spacious and worthy of royalty with beautiful canopy beds which invite you to stay for a relaxing night.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Executive summary by darmansjah

Évora is a Portuguese city in the municipality of Évora. As of 2011, it had 56,596 inhabitants.

Due to its well-preserved old town centre, still partially enclosed by medieval walls, and a large number of monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple, Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.

Évora is ranked number two in the Portuguese most livable cities survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso. It was ranked first in a study concerning competitiveness of the 18 Portuguese district capitals, according to a 2006 study made by Minho University economic researchers.

Main sights
UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Évora
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Evora-RomanTemple edit.jpg
Type      Cultural
Criteria                 ii, iv
Reference           361
UNESCO region                 Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription           1986 (10th Session)

    Água de Prata Aqueduct (Aqueduct of Silver Water): With its huge arches stretching for 9 kilometres (6 miles), this aqueduct was built in 1531–1537 by King João III to supply the city with water. Designed by the military architect Francisco de Arruda (who had previously built the Belém Tower), the aqueduct ended originally in the Praça do Giraldo. This impressive construction has even been mentioned in the epic poem Os Lusíadas by Luís de Camões. The end part of the aqueduct is remarkable with houses, shops and cafés built between the arches, e.g. in Rua da Cano street, Travessa das Nunes lane, Rua do Salvador street. In Travessa Alcárcova de Cima, a narrow lane in the historic center, a well-preserved part of a Roman wall and foundations of a Roman building in a cellar visible through a window are worth a visit.
    Cathedral of Évora: Mainly built between 1280 and 1340, it is one of the most important gothic monuments of Portugal. The cathedral has a notable main portal with statues of the Apostles (around 1335) and a beautiful nave and cloister. One transept chapel is Manueline and the outstanding main chapel is Baroque. The pipeorgan and choir stalls are renaissance (around 1566).
    S. Brás Chapel: Built around 1480, it is a good example of Mudéjar-Gothic with cylindrical buttresses. Only open for prayer.
    Saint Francis Church (Igreja de São Francisco): Built between the end of the 15th and the early 16th centuries in mixed Gothic-Manueline styles. The wide nave is a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. Contains many chapels decorated in Baroque style, including the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos), totally covered with human bones.
    Palace of Vasco da Gama: Vasco da Gama resided here in 1519 and 1524, the dates corresponding to his nomination as the Count of Vidigueira and Viceroy of India. The Manueline cloister and some of its Renaissance mural paintings are still preserved.
    Palace of the Counts of Basto: Primitive Moorish castle and residence of the kings of the Afonsine dynasty. Its outer architecture displays features of Gothic, Manueline, Mudéjar and Renaissance styles.
    Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval: The palace with its 17th-century façade is constituted in part by an old castle burnt in 1384; it is dominated by the architectural elements of the Manueline-Moorish period and by a tower called Tower of the Five Shields. This palace of the governor of Évora served from time to time as royal residence. The first-floor rooms houses a collection manuscripts, family portraits and religious art from the 16th century.
    Lóios Convent and Church: Built in the 15th century, contains a number of tombs; the church and the cloister are Gothic in style, with a Manueline chapterhouse with a magnificent portal. The church interior is covered in azulejos (ceramic tiles) from the 18th century. In 1965 it has been converted into a top-end pousada
    Royal Palace of Évora: Remnants of a palace built by King Manuel I in Gothic-Renaissance style. According to some chroniclers, it was in this palace, in 1497, that Vasco da Gama was given the command of the squadron he would lead on his maritime journey to India.

    Roman Temple of Évora: Improperly called Diana Temple, this 1st-century temple was probably dedicated to the Cult of Emperor Augustus (but some texts date it to the second or even the third century). It is one of a kind in Portugal. The temple was incorporated into a mediaeval building and thus survived destruction. It has become the city's most famous landmark. The temple in Corinthian style has six columns in front (Roman hexastyle) with in total fourteen granite columns remaining. The base of the temple, the capitals and the architraves are made of marble from nearby Estremoz. The intact columns are 7.68 m (25.20 ft) high. It can be compared to the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France.

    University of Évora: Formerly a Jesuit college built by Cardinal-King Henrique in 1559, it includes the 16th century Mannerist church and the academic buildings surrounding the large 17th-18th century cloister.

    Renaissance fountain at Largo das Portas de Moura: Built in 1556 in Renaissance style. This original fountain has the shape of a globe surrounded by water, a reference to the Age of Discovery.

    Giraldo Square (Praça do Geraldo): Centre of the city; in this square King Duarte built the Estaus Palace which even today maintains its Gothic look. The Renaissance fountain (fonte Henriquina) dates from 1570. Its eight jets symbolize the eight streets leading into the square. At the northern end of the quare lies St Anton's church (Igreja de Santo Antão) built by Manuel Pires, also from the 16th century. This is a rather plump church with three aisles. The antependium of the altar displays a valuable 13th century Roman-Gothic bas relief. In 1483 Fernando II, Duke of Braganza was decapitated on this square, in the presence of his brother-in-law king John II. This square also witnessed thousands of autos-da-fé during the period of the Inquisition; 22.000 condemnations, it seems, in about 200 years.

    Cromeleque dos Almendres, 15 km (9 mi) from Évora: Megalithic monument, a cromlech with archaeoastronomical interest.

    Anta Grande do Zambujeiro, about 10 km (6 mi) from Évora near Valverde: It is the larger dolmen in the region.