Washington, New York, London, Paris, Munich, Rome, Berlin.
Seasonal PhotosThe Christmas season is over, but it is not too late to look at some of the seasonal photos. Let us start with the photos from
Washington, DC, USA
- In 1962, I joined the faculty of the University of Maryland as an assistant
professor of physics, and I am now a professor emeritus. During the fall semester
of 1962 (my first teaching semester), Paul A. M. Dirac came stayed for one
week at the University of Maryland.
I was his servant during his stay, but I had an opportunity to listen to him. This was the beginning of my research program, and I could summarize the result of my life-time research with this webpage.
- The campus of the University is about 16 km from the White House.
When I came in 1962, John F. Kennedy was the president of the United States.
These days, Barack Obama and his family are the occupants of the White House.
Presumably because I stayed in the Washington area long enough, the Obamas send me their Christmas card every year. I would like to share with you their Christmas greetings.
- This page should include some photos of the Christmas decorations on the
the Ellipse, called the President's Park. The above photo shows the
National Christmas Tree and its surroundings. The White House back porch is
also seen. Let us see more photos.
- 2012. National Christmas Tree surrounded
by 50 state trees.
- White House Back Porch seen with the trees.
- Closer view of the Back Porch.
- Infant Jesus and Three Wise Men
from the East.
- The presidential Christmas tree of 2008 and the tree of 1972.
- The Willard Intercontinental Hotel is a luxury hotel one block east of the White House. There are many parties held here during the Christmas season.
- Click here for more photos of
the White House and its vicinity.
- If you are not the president? I am too old to put decorations on my house. However, I enjoy taking photos of the decorations in my residential area. My area is about 6 kilometers north of the campus.
- Lincoln Center in New York.
The Opera House is in the center between the New York State Theater
(left) and the Avery Fisher Philharmonic Hall (right). This photo was
taken in 2004.
- Christmas tree
at the Lincoln Center. In the background is the Avery Fisher Symphony
- Avery Fisher Hall for symphonies. Daytime view.
- Metropolitan Opera House.
- Juliard School of Music.
- Cafe Fiorello. Many people
come to this Italian restaurant after their events at the Lincoln Center.
You can meet some interesting people here, often from your own hometown.
Here is what you can see
in this restaurant.
- Christmas tree at the Lincoln Center. In the background is the Avery Fisher Symphony Hall (2007).
- Living Nativity at the Radio City
Music Hall. Jesus was born!
- Main entrance of the Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue (Avenue of Americas).
- A noble man travels to Bethlehem to pay his respect to his new King.
- Rockettes (Radio City Dancers) perform on the stage.
- Happy people dancing under the bright sun.
- Folk dance performed by Rockettes.
- Christmas party on stage.
- Statue of a Rockette dancer.
There is a small museum in the lower floor of the music hall. This
museum contains historical items collected since this music hall
was opened in 1933.
- Nativity of 1975 at the Radio City Music Hall.
- Nativity of 1961. The photo quality is not great, but I was there with my camera.
- Nativity Scene of 1945. I saw my first Nativity scene at my childhood church in Korea. North or South? Korea used to be one country until 1945. Click here for the history of this church.
- Pometheus at the Rockefeller
- Another View of the Pometheus (summer).
- Summer-time Restaurant in front of
at the Pometheus (1970).
- Three Ponds at the Center (1970).
- Three Ponds in 2009.
- Christmas season. Beyond these ponds, there is a department store on the east side of 5th Avenue. This is how the building looks during the night.
- Interesting people. There are a number of specialty shops attracting sophisticated shoppers. I met a group of ladies at a shop offering British items.
- Click here for more photos from
- Einstein's Christmas. Einstein spent his final years in Princeton about one hour of train ride from New York. Click here for photos from Princeton.
LondonIn London, there are many things to see and many things to learn. Let us start with some must-see events and places. Then we shall try to learn something.
- New Year's Eve in London and the Thames Fireworks.
Londoners take their New Year's Eve very seriously, because their new year is the
true New Year. Sydney's new is eleven hours earlier, and New York's new year is five
hours later. There are so many people moving around, the ticket machines on their
underground system cannot count them. Thus, it is free to ride the trains from
11:00 PM to 4:30 AM GMT.
About 250,000 people come to the Thames River banks to watch the fireworks. You have to be there six hours earlier to get a reasonable spot to take photos. I was there only two hours before, and got the worst place. I managed to take some photos with my pocket camera from a far-away place without a tripod. Thus, the photos came out to be fuzzy enough to be impressionistic.
- Here are some Fireworks Photos taken by an impressionist photographer.
- Italians from Naples. I enjoy talking with everybody in the world. I like Italians, especially from those from Naples. They also came to the Thames bank to celebrate the Happy New Year (2012).
- Here is a professionally version of the Thames Fireworks.
- Piccadilly Circus
is one of the must-see places in London. It is like the Times Square in New York.
- The Circus is a circular area centered around this structure. According to Wikipedia, this is a statue of Eros, the angel of Christian charity. Here is a close-up view of the angel.
- The Circus of 1896. The statue was built earlier. Do you know when it was built?
- There are always people around the statue.
- Everybody becomes happy when he/she comes to the Circus, especially during the Christmas season.
- Taxis cabs running around the Circus. More London cabs.
- The Samsung ad is always there.
- Regent street goes to from the
Piccadilly to the Oxford Circus. The distance between these two spots is
about 2 km, comfortable walking distance filled with civilization.
- Another photo taken from the Piccadilly Circus, during the Christmas season.
- Regent Street with London buses during the summer months.
- Haymarket runs southeast toward
the River Thames. There are many shops and theaters along this street.
The London Eye is seen.
- Another photo of the Haymarket.
- Aberdeen Steak House is seen on this street.
- Close-up view of this house. This moderately priced beef house is a very popular restaurant. I dine there whenever I go to the Piccadilly Circus.
- Believe It or Not is another eye-catching building in this area. What is happening there?
- Oxford Circus. Here, Oxford Street (east-west)
crosses Regent Street (south-north). Both are shopping streets.
- Merry Christmas from Regent Street.
- Merry Christmas from Oxford Street.
- Christmas deco on Regent Street at the Oxford Circus.
- More decos along Regent Street.
- Christmas Star on Oxford Street.
- The star during the day time.
- The star with an umbrella.
- Christmas balloons on Oxford Street.
- Shoppers on Oxford Street.
- Marks and Spencer, and department stores
along Oxford Street.
- House of Fraser.
- Debenhams, and another photo
- Disney store is next to the
- John Lewis is another giant store.
- His Master's Voice is still there.
- Street Vendors sell things at prices lower than those at the department stores.
- The Selfridge is one of the most admired
department stores in London. It is at the northwestern corner of the Circus.
The store building is occupies two blocks
along Oxford Street.
- Entrance to store before the Christmas.
- Store building with Christmas balloons.
- One of the escalators in the building.
- Interior of the building during the Christmas season.
- Gift shop for the season.
- Show window based on the Charlie Brown story.
- High-heel shoe with creative design.
- Show window with usable items.
- High-heel shoe with creative decoration.
- Show window with extensive items.
- Show window with toy trains.
Two old-fashioned women. Their old photo was hanging at the coffee shop of the Selfridge Store. They transformed Selfridge from a billionaire to a homeless person.
- Portrait of Selfrage's girlfriends
at the coffee shop inside the store.
Harry Gordon Selfridge had two girl friends in his later years. They
were largely responsible for transforming Selfridge from a billionaire
to a homeless man.
Who was Selfridge? He was born in Wisconsin (USA 1857). He started his business career as the lowest-ranking sales person at a department store in Chicago. While women were ignored in those days, he found out women could be the best money spenders during the day time. The only problem for them was that they could not drive and could not come to the store.
He thus opened a store near the Oxford Circus subway station. Women could use the public transportation. He then used the first floor of his store exclusively for women. Yes, he set up this tradition. Go to any department store in the world. You can smell perfume as soon as you enter the store.
Though he was quite successful in the department store business, he did not manage his personal property wisely. He was penniless when he died in 1947.
- Click here for more photos from London.
|New Year's Morning of 2012.|
|Italians from Naples.|
- Let us first go to Champs-Elysees.
This is how the Arch of Triumph looks during the Christmas season.
- The Champs during the night hours.
- The Champs during the night hours.
- Blue lights and
orange lights. They take turns. Many
many people enjoying their holidays.
- Talent show. These people are eager to show their talents.
- Talent show seen from the top
of the Arch of Triumph.
- Renault Dealer one of the Champs.
- Santa is coming one of the shops.
- Noel en Alsace. This is a tourism office, but it is also an excellent restaurant. I dined there several times.
- Fouquet's is one of the classy restaurants on the Champs. Many famous people dined there. I spent some amount of money there, and the manager and employees appeared to be happy with me.
From the top of the Arch, I took photos, and the Champs looked
The Paris air was clean enough for me to see the Concorde Square and
its obelisk. In addition, I noticed something you normally do not
see in Paris. It was a big wheel behind the obelisk.
- Here is a telescope view of the wheel.
- From the Pont Royal (bridge across the Seine connecting the Louvre and Orsay Museums), the wheel looks like this.
- I took this photo about 50 meters north-east of the wheel at the Concorde Square. The Obelisk and the Eiffel Tower are in the photo.
- After this season, this wheel was removed, and these photos are now collector's items.
While in Paris in January of 2012, I stayed at hotel two blocks behind the Cafe de Flore. This cafe is just west of the cafe Les Deux Magots. If you regard yourself as a scholar, you should recognize these two classy restaurants in Paris. They are located at the Place Saint German des Pres. I am of course talking about Jean-Paul Sartre.
- This hotel manager
appeared to be very young, but she said she is old enough to see Sartre. She
in this area, and saw Sartre walking around. She heard that he was a famous
philosopher, but she was too young to ask questions to ask him. She was afraid
Jean-Paul Sartre used to spend his times at the Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots. He was thinking and writing when he was alone. He was talking when he was with young people in these two cafes.
- Two Sartre Cafes during
the Christmas season. Cafe de Flore on left, and Les Deux Magots on right.
- Jean Paul Sartre (1905-80) was a great French thinker, and his writings mean
many things to many people of the world. When he died in 1980 his funeral cortege
was followed as many as 50,000 young Europeans. However, what does Sartre mean to
In order to answer this question, let us review the events that took place in France during World War II.
Paris of 1940. We all know from our French colleagues that French
men and women are mighty proud of their country. However, Parisians had to witness this scene in 1940.
Yet, they knew they could not fight back in France. Thus
many young men fled to England to join the Free French Forces being organized
by General Charles de Gaulle.
Stalingrad in Paris. When Parisians heard of the annihilation
of Hitler's 6th Army in Stalingrad, it was like the second coming of Jesus.
This is the reason why there is a metro station called Stalingrad in Paris.
Image from Wikipedia.
- In Nice (southern Mediterranean city), where German influence was relatively
weak, French artists resisted German invasion in their own way. I wonder
whether you have seen a French film entitled
du Paradis or Children of Paradise. It is based on a traditional
French love story.
The point is its logistics. It takes more than a camera to make movies. It requires money, manpower, engineering, set-ups, and cooperation from authorities. I do have an experience of going through the bloody Korean war, and I know how difficult thing are during the war time. Thus, I cannot see how those French artists could put in that much into this 3-hour movie.
The Children of Paradise was produced by Marcel Carne, and is regarded as a French counterpart to the "Gone with the Wind" produced by Americans in 1935.
Click here for a bigger map.
- How about French intellectuals? They also did their best by "thinking and
But, in order to think, they had to talk with others. The traditional
meeting place consisted of two French cafes called "Cafe de Flore" and
"Les Deux Magots" near the intersection of on Bd Saint-German (east-west)
and Rue Bonaparte (north-south). Among those thinking people, Jean-Paul
Sartre was most popular among the young people. He was respected for
providing visions for them.
In Paris maps, this area is called "Place Saint-German-des-Pres." In 2000, the city of Paris decided to give an additional name. The new name is "Place Jean-Paul Sartre," but you cannot see this new name on paris maps. The new map should look like this.
There is an empty space between Rue Bonaparte and Les Deux Magots, as indicated in my map. I choose to call this area "Sartre Square." Many interesting events take place on this square.
Table sheet at the Cafe de Flore.
- During the war, there was a young man living with his mother.
To the mother, her son was everything. Thus, he had to stay home.
On the other hand, this young man strongly felt that he had to fight
for his country, and the only way was to flee to England and join the
French Liberation Army. If he leaves for England, his mother would
lose everything. What should he do? He could not make his decision,
and went to Sartre for his advice. Sartre said
You have two excellent choices.
You are free to choose.
- This is not your first time to hear this Sartre story. Yet, it is quoted
often. It is like some Bible stories. For instance, Nicodemus was a
Pharisee (Jewish upper-class man), and he had troubles with himself and
with his environment. He went to Jesus and asked him what he should do.
He got a totally un-expected answer. This story is in the Gospel of John.
I quote this Nicodemus story often in my conference talks, and
this is my story.
- Click here for more Sartre stories.
- Paris of 1940. We all know from our French colleagues that French men and women are mighty proud of their country. However, Parisians had to witness this scene in 1940. Yet, they knew they could not fight back in France. Thus many young men fled to England to join the Free French Forces being organized by General Charles de Gaulle.
|She was the manager of the hotel where I stayed. She saw Jean-Paul Sartre.|
Let us stop the serious talk. The best way to appreciate Jean-Paul Sartre is to spend a few days at the Place Jean-Paul Sartre. I was fortunate enough to stay four nights during the second week of January (2012) at a hotel in that area. I would like to share with you some of the photos I took there.
- Cafe de Flore. I was there in 1995,
and went there many times since then.
- During evening hours, the cafe is busy and lively. Seen from Bd Saint-German.
- Seen from Rue Saint-Benoit, which is perpendicular to Bd Saint-German. I stayed in a hotel about 50 meters north along this street.
- Cafe de Flore during the Christmas season. Street trees were converted to wine glasses.
- Sidewalk open space.
People like fresh air, and talk freely. I talked to
these French ladies.
They are all cheerful Parisians.
- Sartre's pen, glasses, his handwriting from one of the table sheet.
- Souvenirs from old days. There are many items on the second floor.
- Sartre's French money. I
still have some old French coins and show them off to young people whenever I go to
Les Deux Magots was also Sartre's favorite cafe.
Les Deux Magots during the Christmas season.
- Les Deux Magots was also
Sartre's favorite place. I was there also in 1995 to have this photo. I go there
whenever I am in Paris to meet interesting people.
- During the Christmas season, the place becomes artistic.
- From Luxemburg. I met these ladies during the breakfast hour (January 2012). They said they came here for business. What business? I asked them. They said "Shopping." If you think deeply, shopping is a very important business for everybody. During the first two weeks of every year, Paris shops offer deep discounts for most of their items to reduce their inventories accumulated for the year-end holiday season.
- During the fall season, Les Deux Magots looks like this. People prefer sitting outside in spite of chilly temperature.
- During the winter time, the restaurant looks like this with a glass-enclosed outside space. This photo was taken during the breakfast time.
- During the summer time, Les Deux Magots extends its business area to the Sartre Square (open space toward Rue Bonaparte).
- Sartre Square. The open
space between Les Deux Magots and Rue Bonaparte could be called the Sartre Square.
Many interesting events take place.
- Sartre Square in the morning. Unlit Christmas lights are on the trees.
- Rue Bonaparte and Rue de Rennes seen from the Square. The Montparnasse Tower is at the end of Rue de Rennes.
- Lighted Lips in front of Les Deux Magots.
- With those lips, how do I look? These lips stayed there for only one night. They were gone next night.
- Roasted chestnuts in nine
different languages, telling that the Square is an international arena.
- Food fair in the morning before the sun rise.
- Food fair continued throughout the morning hours.
- French chefs who came to
the Square to show off their creative talents.
- One of those chefs, I had a photo with.
- She was very proud of her position.
- Let us look at where she works.
- Breakfast packages prepared
by La Closerie des Lilas, located at the intersection of Bd Saint-Michel and Bd.
Montparnasse, 2 kilometers south-east of the Sartre Square. This cafe is used to
be a meeting place for many famous writers including Ernest Hemingway of the
United States. I was there four times since 1995, and had
this photo there in January of 2012. The poster says "Cafe de Flore." Am I at a wrong place? No. The same owner owns both Cafe de Flore and La Closerie Lilas.
- Click here for more photos from Paris.
MunichI spent three days in Munich during the first week of 2016. I have been there several times in earlier years. Germans in this area are called Bavarians, and they are fun-loving people. I enjoy taking photos wherever I go.
Karlsplatz is about one 500m east of Munich's main railroad station.
There are many interesting events going on throughout the year. What is
happening during the Christmas season. Let us look at some photos.
- Ice Skating Rink at Karlsplaztz.
- The link consists of one huge piece of ice.
- Gingerbread house, and
- The Galeria Kaufhof is seen at the south-west corner of the Platz. There is another Galeria at the Marienplatz.
- McDonald's in Arabic and Russian, as well as in English, but not in German. How do they write in German? Makdonaltz ?
- Entrance to Neuhauser Str. (main shopping street in Munich).
- On the east side of the Entrance Gate,.
there is a pedestrian street called Neuhaouser Strasse which continues
eastward as Kaufinger Strasse until it reaches the Marienplatz.
Trees with green leaves during the summer
Near the Gate, there is the department store called
with its long history.
- This is a daytime photo of the store with a Louis Vuiton show window.
- During the Christmas season the store
is covered by pink lights, and the color
changes at regular intervals.
- Christmas inside the store.
- Crystal dinnerware sets.
- Chocolate store, and the food court.
- Luxury items from the Louis Vuiton.
- St. Michael's Church in this
- Inside the church.
- Christmas inside the church.
- More stores on the east side of
the Church, and
a day-time photo of this area.
- Desigual department store, and Desigual during the day.
- Shops dressed up for Christmas at the Kaufingertor.
- The Hirmer is huge store for gentlemen only.
- Entrance to the Store. The store is dressed up for Christmas.
- Christmas spiral stairs inside the Store.
- Gentleman's suit shown in one of the stairway windows.
- Expensive jeans occupying the entire floor.
- Near the Gate, there is the department store called Oberpollinger, with its long history.
- Marienplatz is
an open space in front of the city hall. There are always exciting events
taking place at this square.
- How about a helicopter?
- Turkish people demonstrating against their own government.
- The puppet show on the city hall building every hour on the hour.
- Tight security in this area, with
so many people with different backgrounds.
- Christmas tree of 2015. The Heilig-Keist Church is seen on the eastern edge of the Platz.
- The monument of Virgin Mary with her
infant son. In the background are the city hall and the twin towers
- The monument with the Christmas tree with the city hall in the background.
- The Galeria Kaufhof is seen at the south-west corner of the Platz.
- The Ratskeller Restaurant is within
the city hall building. I was there during the first week of 2016. I was
there in 2013.
- Typical Bavarian dinner.
- The size of the wine barrel is the status symbol in this part of the world.
- In 2013 , in front of this wine barrel, I had photo with a British lady from Birmingham. She loves Munich and comes here very often
- One of the dining rooms. This restaurant likes to host guest with a degree of sophistication.
- In 2016, I had a photo with the manager of this restaurant.
Entrance lobby of the main building.
- Christmas tree in the main lobby of
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich is one of the oldest schools of
higher education in Europe. Many history making people spent their productive
years at this university. Among them were the physicists named
Werner Heisenberg, Ludwig Boltzmann, Arnold Sommerfeld, Max von Laue, Wilhelm Roentgen, and Theodor Hanch,
as well as many non-physicists including Pope Benedict XVI, Konrad Adenauer, Thomas Mann, and many more.
Here are some photos from this university.
- Subway station of the Campus.
- Main building of the Campus.
- Entrance lobby of the main building
- Entrance to the library.
- Entrance to the department of physics.
- Students working at their computer room.
- My photo with two graduate students
outside the building.
- Here is a small book store across the street from the physics department.
- At this book store, I met
two students from Birmingham. One of them was studying philosophy. I started
talking about Kant and Hegel. She filled in with Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur
I then asked her where Einstein stands among philosophers. She said she knew Einstein was a philosopher, but could not figure out his coordinate because she does not understand his physics. I said she does not need to know the details of Einstein's physics, and I then gave her my Einstein page.
- Oktoberfest is
a month-long celebration during the month of September. Farmers work hard
during the summer and celebrate their results during in the early fall.
This tradition exists everywhere in the world, but Germans in this area
do in a way to deserve attention from the world.
- Oktoberfest of 2011 in Munich. Two gentlemen in this photo are the veterans of the Normandy battle in 1944. Germany lost the war, but they are very proud of having been brave German soldiers. Great!
- Dressed as a witch
at the Oktoberfest in Munich (2011).
- Traditional German dresses. They are
- Here is another photo.
- They just arrived at the Festival ground.
- They arrived at Munich's main railroad station. They of came for the Fest.
- Crowd at the Fest ground. Another photo.
- Under one roof, so many people.
- Another beer hall.
- Too much to eat.
- Beer drinkers in one of the Festival halls, and everybody buys beer for everybody else.
The Hofbrauhaus is designed to be a year-around extension of the Oktoberfest.
Ir is Munich's most famous beer-and-sing place. You should
at least one evening there if you are a cultured man. I went there three times. The
first time, it was great. The second
time, it was OK. The third time, it was a disaster. Thus, you should go there and
have a great time once, but you should go somewhere else next time. There are many
other great places in Munich.
- Dancers on the stage.
- Musicians on the stage
- During their recess.
- Singers and dancers during their recess (June 2004).
- One of the Singers. She sold me two tape cassettes containing her songs (1994).
- Another Singer ten years later explaining her
songs on a CD (2004). After the business, we had a
- Hofbrauhaus during the Oktoberfest, and its band stand.
Christmas in the Vatican City (2015).
Christmas Eve mass in Saint Peter's Basilica in the evening of December 24, 2015.
The ceremony is supposed to be a reproduction of the Last Supper Jesus had with
his twelve disciples.
- The congregation is waiting for the Pope to come to the altar.
- Pope Francis is making preparations for the Last Supper.
- The Pope is holding the holy bread. The holy bread is meant to be a piece of flesh of Jesus.
- Close-up view of the Pope holding the
- Nativity House set up in the Basilica.
- Angel and humble people in near the Nativity House.
- Angel and boy with a fishing rod.
- After the mass, I had a moment to reflect myself. I do not regard myself as a religious person. However, thanks to my strong Christian background, I was able to produce this webpage.
- I was then chased out. It was a great relief for the security agents. There was a serious bomb threat from terrorists, but nothing happened. I took this photo of the Plaza from the front door of the Basilica (higher ground). Everybody was going home happily.
- The Basilica and the Congregation getting ready for the Christmas day.
- After the mass, I met some interesting people.
- Polish Ambassador to Vatican. It is not surprising to see him there because Pope John Paul II (1978 - 2005) came from Poland. I told him I like his country. He was quite pleased when I reproduced the tune of the Polish national anthem.
- The Ambassador from Indonesia was also there. He was in his traditional Moslem costume. I asked him whether he is a Christian. He said No. He was a Moslem. His Moslem country maintains an embassy office in the Vatican city. I told him I am a Protestant. From the Catholic point of view, both Moslems and Protestants are non-Christians, but it does not matter these days.
- The Japanese Ambassador was also there. I was able to exchange words of greetings in Japanese. I forgot to ask whether he was a Christian. It does not matter. The fact is that Japan maintains a diplomatic relation with Vatican, even though Japan is not a Christian country.
- How about Americans? I was sitting next to this young lady from California. She is a navy officer and is serving as an electrical engineer for one of the destroyers of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Her ship is in Yokoska (near Tokyo), Japan. We had many things to talk about.
- In the morning of December 25, 2015, Pope Francis spoke again from the window
of Saint Peter's Basilica.
- Pope France speaking to the audience
in the Plaza from the front window of the Basilica.
- Vatican troops marching toward Saint Peter's Plaza. This photo was taken from a 4th-floor room of the Hotel Columbus two blocks east of the Plaza.
- During his sermon, the Plaza was
jam-packed, and many people have to listen to him on the street connection
the vatican City with Rome. The street is called
- Vatican troops retreating after the mass.
- Navy sailors among the troops. I do not know what combat duties these troops perform, but I am not supposed to ask this question.
- Pope France speaking to the audience in the Plaza from the front window of the Basilica.
- St. Peter's Plaza is a busy place throughout the year. It is more so during
the Christmas season. Let us look at some photos.
- The Plaza on December 24, 2015.
The security is very tight, and police
officers are asking questions to a suspicious-looking person.
- These police officers are looking for suspicious persons.
- The police officer in this car was very proud of his BMW.
- This TV reporter is making preparations for the big events throughout the day and evening.
- The Nativity House is also guarded by a police car.
- In 1998, this Nativity House was at the same place. I was not able to see any police officers then.
- Every Sunday, people come to the Plaza to listen to the Pope.
- They not only listen, but make their own cases known to the crowd (2000).
- Rock Concert during the Christmas season (1998).
- Two Swiss Army troops, very proud of guarding the Pope's residence.
- Nuns from Krakow (Poland) very proud of their Pope (from Poland). This photo was taken in 2000.
- The Basilica and Plaza seen from the Castel del Sant'Angelo. Photo taken in 2000.
- These police officers are looking for suspicious persons.
- The Plaza on December 24, 2015. The security is very tight, and police officers are asking questions to a suspicious-looking person.
- The Basilica is a great Museum, with
its unique interior, and
so many art items. Let us see some of the photos.
Some of the following photos are taken by me and others are from the
- Michelangelo's Pieta is in this
Basilica. I took a photo, but its quality is not satisfactory. You
are invited to
Wikipedia's Pieta for a professional-quality photo.
- Shrine of Saint Helena by Bolgi.
This art work appears often on TV and is familiar to us all.
Who was St. Helena ?
- Saint Peter's Chair
behind the main altar.
- Statue of Saint Peter, and
- Statue of St. Veronica by Mochi.
- Statue of St. Andrew by Dusquesnoy.
- Statue of St. Longinus by Bernini.
- Tomb of Alexander VII, with a
Click here for a professional-quality photo from the Wikipedia.
- Michelangelo's Pieta is in this Basilica. I took a photo, but its quality is not satisfactory. You are invited to Wikipedia's Pieta for a professional-quality photo.
- Vatican Museum contains many valuable historical items, covering Egyptian, Greek and
Roman civilizations. Its core is the Sistine Chapel consisting of Michelangelo's
masterpieces. You have to make at least one pilgrimage to this holy place if
you wish to be regarded as a civilized person.
- Entrance to the Vatican Museum.
Vatican is a walled city, and its entrance is one of the wall entrances.
This museum is not open everyday. You have to check the Museum schedule before
- Egyptian Human Pillars. From this, it becomes quite clear that Greek human pillars can be traced back to the Egyptian civilization. Many people are taking photos. I used to think Greeks invented this form of art. Click here.
- There are many Egyptian items
arranged to teach us lessons.
- Artemis was the Greek goddess of fertility. Apostle Paul got into trouble for saying a man-made idol is not a real god in the Greek city of Ephesus now in Turkey.
- Bust of Emperor Hadrian. Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire from 117 to 138 AD. He was a talented man. He was a gifted architect and built Rome's pantheon. He was also a brilliant military man. He consolidated the boundary of the Empire.
- Garden of Eden. This painting
catches your eyes. God created a woman by pulling out one rib from a
man's body. My grandmother told me I have one less rib on my left chest.
When I counted the ribs from my X-ray photo, I have the same number on
each side. Thus, I had to create my own theory of the Garden of Eden.
Click here if you are
- This Museum is high-rise building and employes modern technology. It has escalators as well as spiral stairways.
- It has an open space for fresh air.
The dome of St. Peter's Basilica
is seen. From this you can figure out how high this place is.
- Entrance to the Sistine Chapel. There some distance between the entrance to this Chapel and the entrance to the Museum. You have to walk, and you will get tired when you reach the Chapel.
- Sistine Chapel. You are not allowed to take photos in this chapel, but many people do. I also have took many photos there for my own collection. However, it would not be nice to post them to this webpage. Instead, I am asking you to go to this Wikipedia page for a comprehensive coverage of this important place.
- Entrance to the Vatican Museum. Vatican is a walled city, and its entrance is one of the wall entrances. This museum is not open everyday. You have to check the Museum schedule before going there.
BerlinBerlin is of course the capital city of Germany with its rich and stormy history. Let us look at some photos.
- On December 31, 2015, this area was a
police state, with more police vans
on the back street. They were there to protect the crowd celebrating the New Year's Eve.
On the back on the Gate (west side) was a music stage, as big as the Gate, where exciting
concerts were taking place. The stage was facing the west.
- Crowds were gathering on the west side of the Gate.
- Among the crowds was a man dressed like an
Indian Maharaja. I also met
three Japanese students from Osaka. It was
please to talk with then in Japanese.
- German mother and daughter came with bat masks. I mentioned "Die Fledermaus," meaning Johann Strauss' opera about a New Year's Eve party. They understood what I was saying, and I had a photo with them. When I told them I am a professor in the United States, the daughter, still a student, wanted have a photo with me without her mother.
- Exciting concerts were taking place on the stage in front of the Gate.
- Stage and crowd. All excited and waiting for the happy new year.
- During the peaceful times, the west side is like this. The Reichstag building, with its giant glass dome, is seen in this photo.
- On the back on the Gate (west side) was a music stage, as big as the Gate, where exciting concerts were taking place. The stage was facing the west.
- One block east side of the Brandenburg Gate,
there is the
Hotel Adlon Kenpinski, one block east of the Gate.
It is a very expensive five-star hotel, and many famous
people stayed in this hotel.
- This is the front side or out side of the Gate. How do you know this? Look at the top of the Gate.
- John F. Kennedy never stayed in this hotel, because this area was in East Berlin. Yet, the hotel dedicated one glass cage to him. While in Berlin in 1963, Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner."
- The main lobby in preparation for the New Year's Party on December 31, 2015.
- From the hotel balcony, the hotel quests were looking at what is going on in the Gate area from in the early evening of December 31, 2015. In 1945, Soviet soldiers stood at the same place.
- Along the street east of the Gate, along the street named
unter den Linden,
- People are waiting for the New Year fire work and celebration while eating and drinking.
- with plenty of beer ready for them.
- More people are coming as the evening is becoming darker.
- The fire work starts as the signal for a Happy New Year!
- Everybody busy with taking photos.
- The firework continues. Happy New Year to everybody.
The United States Embassy is 20 meters south of the Gate.
- The entrance to the Embassy. One police officer is standing in front of the entrance.
- Side view of the Embassy building from the west side of the Brandenburg Gate. The building is very big, and is separated from the rest of the city by barbed-wire fences. The size of this building and its proximity to the Gate tells how important Germany is to the United States, and vice versa.
The Brandenburg Gate Berlin's address No. 1, and with its rich history.
During the period from 1945 to 1990, when the city was separated into the
East and West regions, the Gate was on the western edge of East Berlin.
Thus, it served as a symbol of divided Berlin and divided Germany.
- In 1998, I was able to take this photo from the east side of the Gate.
- By 2010, the place became a photo place for tourists. I had this photo with a man pretending to be a Soviet soldier. I said a few words of greetings to him in Russian, but he was not able to understand. He was not a Russian.
- About 500 meter west of the Gate along the Strasse des 17 Juni is
the memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who came to Berlin in May of 1945.
- In 1998, I took this photo of the monument. I noted that the Soviet soldier has on his shoulder a Mosin-Nagant rifle. I also noted two T-34 tanks. I like those machines, because I know how to operate the Mosin-Nagant, well-designed machine. The T-34 tanks driven by north Korean soldiers were un-invited guests to my house in 1950. When NK soldiers retreated they left many of their rifles behind. I picked up one of them and learned how to operate.
- In 2010, I went there again to check whether everything was OK. Yes, the place was just like before, but the T-34 tanks were repainted with a lighter color. I took a photo of one of them with the Brandenburg Gate in the background.
- Click here for more tank photos.
- The Brandenburg Gate of 2010.
This photo was taken in on the east side
(front side) of the Gate. The wide area in front of the Gate is called
Paris Plaza, and there are always tourists with cameras in this area. From
this Plaza, the street named
unter den Linden
runs eastward. Indeed, this street is the cultural center of Berlin.
Unfortunately this area was under communist rule during the Cold War period
and the reconstruction process is still going on. There are many museums,
restaurants, theaters, stores along this street. The Berlin Opera House
is like this these days.
Toward the end of this street is the main campus of the Humboldt University. Let us look at some photos from this University.
The Humboldt University of Berlin is about 2 km east from the Brandenburg
Gate along the
Unter den Linden. Many world-changing persons spent their years
at this university as students and/or professors, including 40 Nobels.
Among those, 27 of them got their prizes while being paid by the university.
- The list of physicists includes Herman von Helmholtz, Max Planck, Albert
Einstein, Max Born, James Frank, Fritz Haber, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg,
Ernst Gehrcke, Gustav Ludwig Hertz,
Heinrich Hertz, Albert Abraham Michelson,
Gustav Kirchhoff, Max von Laue, Leise Meitner, John von Neumann, Erich Regene,
Erwin Schrödinger, and Wilhelm Wien,
Aomg the names of non-physicists are Otto von Bismarck, Karl Marx, Frederich Engels, Felix Mendelsson, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Heinrich Heine, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Alexander von Humboldt, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Karl Weierstrass.
- The main campus viewed from the Unter den Linden. The statues of Wilhelm Humboldt and Alender Humboldts are seen. Click here for a photo taken in the evening.
- Click here for a cose-up
view of their statues.
- Wilhelm von Humboldt was the founder of this University.
- Alexander von Humboldt was Wilhelm's younger brother. He was a philosopher interested in many things in the world. He traveled extensively around the world. Needless to say, his deep knowledge of the world his brother in setting out the plans for the university.
- Front of the entrance to the main
hall is a statute of
Helmholtz who formulated the consevation of energy. He was a professor
of physiology at this University.
- I had a photo with him in 2015.
- In 1998, I had a photo of myself at the base of his statue. The statue was being repaired at that time. I was younger then.
- Max Planck's statue is also at
the front yard, back of Wilhelm von Humboldt's statue.
- As soon as you enter the main hall, you will see
the marvel wall with what Karl Marx
said about philosophers. Marx says the same thing in English on
his tombstone at the Highgate
Cemetry in London. He says
The philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.
Marx talks about the philosophers. If you are not a philosopher, what does he tell you?
It is not enough for you to follow what big shots say. You have to create your own work.
Was Einstein a philosopher? Yes or No, depending on your subjective point of view. In either case, he changed the world. Click here for a story.
- Behind the Marx marvel wall is
a green-grass quadrangle, students worrying about their grades.
It is always a pleasure for me to talk with those students and have
photos with them. This is one of the
photos I had with the students.
- The Law School is across the street from the main hall. The name of this street is called Unter den Linden.
- The Humboldt University of Berlin is about 2 km east from the Brandenburg Gate along the Unter den Linden. Many world-changing persons spent their years at this university as students and/or professors, including 40 Nobels. Among those, 27 of them got their prizes while being paid by the university.