Nikiszowiec: Katowice’s old mining district

Katowice is a city of more than 300,000 inhabitants, at the centre of one of Europe’s principal coal-mining and iron-making regions. In the nineteenth century it was part of the Prussian province of Silesia, but from 1922 was incorporated into Poland. Nikiszowiec is a part of an administrative district Janów-Nikiszowiec of the city. Initially it was coal miners’ settlement of Giesche mine built on the land of Giszowiec manor between 1908–1918 on the mining metallurgical concern initiative Georg von Giesches Erben, a Silesian mining corporation that originated in the early…

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Sibiu, the romanan city where the roofs don’t sleep.

We are in Sibiu. Geographically, it is located in the southern part of Transylvania, close to the Carpathian mountains. Built in the 1100s by the Saxon settlers invited by the Hungarian King in Transylvania, Sibiu, also named Hermannstadt, managed to preserve untouched most of its architectural heritage. While walking around the Romanian city, you’ll start to notice something a bit odd, and you may even get the sense that someone, or something, is watching you. And, wnhile you gaze at the city’s architecture, you’ll start to realize are the houses…

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La maison dans la Loire: the sunken structure that looks like the victim of a catastrophic flood.

Known simply as “La maison dans la Loire” (literally the House in the Loire), the three-storey building looks like the victim of a flood that once swept it away, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving…. If you walk along the river Loire, near the town of Lavau-sur-Loire, just a stone throw away from Nantes, are a rather unusual sight: a tilted building located right in the middle of the river. You’d think it was brutally swept away by some catastrophic flood, or something similar, but it was actually placed there…

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Ravi Hongal, the Indian photograher that has built his house in the shape of a camera

Can a passion become almost an obsession? Yes, apparently it is possible, and this Indian man confirms it: he is so fond of photography that he named his three sons after iconic camera brands, Canon, Nikon and Epson, and, if this wasn’t enough, he live on a three-story villa shaped like a giant camera! Probably you hear the phrase “passionate about photography” a lot among photography enthusiasts and among all those who consider themselves (unjustly) photographers only because they hold a camera in their hand, but Ravi Hongal, a 49-year-old…

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Francesco Petrarca’s house: a modest museum in the final home of Italian poet

“In the Euganean Hills, I had a small house built, decorous and noble; here, I live out the last years of my life peacefully, recalling and embracing with constant memory my absent and deceased friends.” (Petrarch, Senili, XIII, 8, Letter to Matteo Longo, January 6 1371). Francesco Petrarca, one of the first humanists, was a founding figure in the Italian Renaissance, but also the poet who helped solidify modern Italian. He spent his final years tending vegetables in this incredibly old house, which predates even his own residence there. Years…

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The bloody history of Staten Island’s Kreischer Mansion

Sitting just off the Staten Island’s poetically named Arthur Kill Road is Kreischer Mansion, a lovely Victorian home that is said to be one of the most haunted places in all of New York, which may actually be true if one is referring to being haunted by memories of murder and death. It was one of two mansions built by German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer for two of his three sons. The surviving house belonged to son Edward Kreischer, the other to his brother Charles. When the brickmaker Balthasar Kreischer came…

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Macromural de Pachuca: the world’s largest mural covers a large swath of homes in Mexico.

We are just north of Mexico City, in Pachuca de Soto, the capital city of the Mexican State of Hidalgo. The city boasts one of the largest murals in the world. Murals have always been an example of artwork around the world. Excluding the luxurious wall murals in Pompeiian villas, or the various streetart inside lot of abandoned places, most murals, at least the modern ones, adorn building’s exteriors and are meant for public consumption. But in few cases are the murals so big that they stretch across multiple buildings,…

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Cairndhu House – a piece of history in Northern Ireland

We are in Northern Ireland, off the Coast road in Carnfunnock Country park, near Larne, County Antrim. Originally built as a grand summer residence around 1875 for Mr Stewart Clark who was a wealthy Scottish textile industrialist, Cairndhu House has a rich history of grandeur and ruin and now lies in extreme disrepair. Sir Thomas Dixon, 2nd Baronet, married Edith, youngest daughter of Mr Stewart Clark in 1906, at Dalmeny Church, South Queensferry. After their marriage, they lived for varying periods at Graymount House, Hillsborough Castle, Drumadarragh, Luttrelstown, and Lucan,…

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The curse of Milner Field – England ~

Nestled in a wood, reached only by a small country lane popular with walkers and cyclists, the ruins of Milner Field have lain hidden from view since the 1950s, when the mansion’s eerie reputation led to a failed demolition using dynamite. However, when even TNT couldn’t shift the seemingly cursed house, it was torn down instead. At least, as story goes. The mansion was built between 1871 and 1873, and it was the brainchild of Titus Salt Jr, the son of the wealthy Victorian industrialist and philanthropist Sir Titus Salt.…

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Georgetown Castle: an allegedly haunted mansion with a tragic, tawdry past.

Victorian house in Georgetown looked like a dream home to me at first. But after the stories I heard, I probably wouldn’t even spend a night alone in the “Georgetown Castle.” In fact, it seems that the house is home to a healthy population of ghosts! In the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, most of the buildings are single story homes and, of course, house shaped. But if you’re searching for something different wherever you go, look no further than this building, located in the old, industrial area of Seattle, WA,…

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