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“Alle Städte sind gleich, nur Venedig ist ein bissl anders.”

 – Friedrich Torberg,

Tutte le città sono uguali, solo Venezia è un po’ differente.”

“All the cities are the same, just Venice is a little bit different.”

Arbeitsblatt mit verschiedenen Übungen zum Herunterladen/foglio di lavoro con  diversi esercizi/worksheet with various exercises:Kreuzfahrt1

Diese Stadt war bis ins 16. Jahrhundert eine der grössten Handelsstädte und bis 1797 Hauptstadt der Republik Venedig. Das Kolonialreich reichte teilweise bis in die Krim und Kaufmannskolonien hatte Venedig z.B. auch in Konstantinopel oder Istanbul. Im 12Jahrhundert wurde Ostrom abhängig von Venedig und je reicher dieses wurde desto ärmer wurde Byzanz.

Venedig musste dann im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert seine Vormachtstellung im Mittelmeer und die meisten seiner Kolonien aufgeben. Es wurde dann aber zu einer ökonomischen Macht: TOURISMUS

Venedig soll die herausragendste Industrie im Schiffsbau gehabt haben und z.B. einen höchst effizienten Salzhandel . Von unserer Position auf dem vorbeiziehenden Schiff hatten wir diese einmalige Möglichkeit Venedig und seine Paläste, die von vergangener Macht dieser Stadt zeugen, einmal  aus einer anderen Perspektive zu sehen und ich muss sagen, wir fanden das  auch ganz toll. Auf dem obigen Foto könnt ihr den Dogenpalast sehen, wo seit dem 9. Jahrhundert der Sitz der Regierungs- und Justizorgane der Republik Venedig war. Dieser Palast soll einer der wichtigsten Profanbauten der Gotik überhaupt sein. Der Markusturm oder Campanile daneben ist das höchste Gebäude und Symbol der Stadt. Venedig und Tod werden immer wieder in einem Atemzug gesagt, weil viele Millionen Eichenpfähle seit Jahrhunderten unter den Häusern modern und die Stadt daher dem Untergang geweiht ist. Auch die Verschmutzung durch die vielen grossen Schiffe in der Lagune ist ein enormes Problem.

Hermann Hesse beschreibt Venedig in seinem Gedicht „Ankunft in Venedig“, wie folgt:


Du lautlos dunkler Kanal, (scuro, dark)
Verlassene Bucht, (baia persa/lost bay
Uralter Häuser graue Flucht, (case molto vecchie/very old houses)
Gotische Fenster und maurisch
verziertes Portal! (portale ornato/adorned portal)
Von tiefem Traum besiegt, (besiegen= sconfiggere/defeat)
Vom Tode eingewiegt (cullato/segnato da/signed by
Schläft hier die Zeit
Und alles Leben scheint so weit, so weit! (lontanto/far away)
Hier will ich ganz allein
Durch alte Gassen gehn(attraverso le vecchie stradine/across the old  narrow streets)
Bei Fackelschein(il lume di torcia/torch-light)
An Gondeltreppen stehn, (le scale delle gondole/the stairs of the gondolas)
In blinde Fenster sehn,(le finestre blindate/blind
Bang-glücklich wie ein Kind im (felice/happy)
Dunkel sein.(scuro/dark

Hermann Hesse

In Venedig darf man keine Fragen stellen, sondern soll einfach schauen und fühlen!

A Venezia non bisogna porrsi delle domande, ma si deve unicamente guardare e sentire!

In Venice you don’t have to ask questions, but just have to look and feel!


 Wenn ihr Lust habt könnt ihr euch drei Fragen anhören zu Venedig und versuchen diese zu beantworten:

Mögliche Lösungen stehen auf dem beigelegten Arbeitsblatt.Kreuzfahrt1


Constantinople or Istanbul was the capital city of East Rom or Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire and belongs now to Turkey, but is not its capital city despite the fact that it’s probably the best known city of the said country. From the second part of the 11th century onward Constantinople was threatened by the catholic Latin Empires from the West and especially by Venice and from the East by the Seljug Empire.


This city with its magical atmosphere has been built on two continents, Europe and Asia, which are connected by the Bosporus Bridge and if you want to go from the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea you have to cross the strait of the Bosporus. The city has about 15 million inhabitants and to me it seemed that they were all somehow on the streets, in the Tokapi Palace,in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or in other words The Blue Mosque or in the Hagia Sophia museum. The only free space was the beautiful waterspout fountain.

The other day they have opened a new tunnel that goes from one part of the city to the other and there are big hopes that it will help to reduce the caotic traffic situation in Instanbul.


The Blue Mosque was built between 1609-1616 and its popular name comes from the blue and white tiles which adorn the intern walls of the mosque which has 6 minarets. Our guide told us that, these in Iznic produced tiles of inestimable value, which represent many different flower, fruit or tree designs, are even stolen nowadays and sold at auctions in England. The mosque is still used for prayers. Despite all the people around me it was very touching to admire these marvellous mosque.

Die Hagia Sofia ist nun wieder eine Moschee Dank dem türkischenStaatspräsidenten Recep Tayyip Erdogan /

We were, in any case, very lucky, because there were no queues when we arrived at the Hagia Sofia, which has been turned into a national museum by the founder of the modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. who also became the new republik’s  first president after the 1st World war which the Ottoman Empire lost and secularized the country. Hagia Sophia is considered the epitome of byzantine architecture and to admire its breathtakingly beautiful mosaics is a great pleasure. It seems that it has revolutionized architecture in the sense that it had been the first time in the 6th century that a round dome was placed on a rectangular construction which would probably, however, have collapsed, if the famous Turkish architect SINAN  had not added buttresses to sustain the exterior walls in the 16th century.


Worksheet with and wordlist/Arbeitsblatt mit Vokabelliste/Foglio di lavoro con lista di vocaboli :KRIM


Catherine the Great made not only war against the Ottoman Empire between 1768-1774 but also invaded and captured the Crimea. She also acquired a right of passage through the straits by Constantinople into the Mediterranean. I fell, however, in love the at first sight with Catherine the Great’s Odessa, Ukraine which she founded in 1794 and which reminded me of St. Petersburg because of its gorgeous palaces/houses of various architectural styles even in one and the same building and wide streets or boulevards. Anyway, this city has been multicultural with German colonisations ever since its foundation. Unfortunately in the 30ies, due to intensive and violent russification the society changed completely.

The port is also very impressive and the Potemkin stairs, of course , which are considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea are  the best known symbol of the city and a tourist attraction . Potemkin was Catherine’s co-ruler, lover, secret husband, best friend and one of the most brilliant statesmen of the 18th century.

Right behind the stairs, there is also a to the “Duc” de Richelieu. He commanded a division in the Turkish war and after his return to France even became Prime Minister.

There is also a very famous film „Battleship Potemkin“ a classic masterpiece of silent film from director Sergej Eisenstein from 1925 where these stairs are important. The film is based on the true events of the Russian Revolution of 1905. The film had an incredible impact on the development of cinema and was a masterful example of montage editing.

At the Prince Gagarin Palace, now literature museum, we could attend a lovely classical concert. Another important building is, of course, the opera in new baroque style or the Tolstoy Palace which also became a museum. I was also looking for the Ephrussi Bank, famous because of the book “ The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund De Waal. It’s right opposite the opera but I couldn’t take a picture but it was grey and didn’t appear to me so outstanding.

 Link to my summary of “THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES” (The Ephrussi came from Odessa)

The Government and the Pushkin monument are at the southern end of the Primorski Boulevard. The famous writer was exiled to this city in 1823/24 and was forced to work for the city administration. He wrote more than 30 poems while he was in Odessa and also started with “THE GYPSIES and I like it very much. By the way on the monument you can see that he is showing his behind to the government!

Last but not least I would like to add the link to Tennyson’s angry poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” with text concerning the Crimean war in 1854.


 Link to my summary of “THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES” (The Ephrussi came from Odessa)

Zu Yalta/About Yalta/In merito a Yalta/

23 replies »

    • Liebe Susanne, vielen Dank für dein Feedback. Ich bin mir zwar nicht ganz sicher, welche zwei Städte dir gefallen haben, weil ich ja von Venedig, Istanbul und Odessa geschrieben habe. Venedig mag ich vor allem im Herbst, Winter, wenn es neblig ist und beinahe ein wenig mysteriös. Eigentlich hat mich auch Odessa, die Stadt von Katherine der Grossen, sehr beeindruckt mit ihrern Boulevards, Palästen und Geschichte. L.G. Martina


      • Liebe Martina,
        :-), da habe ich schnell geschrieben:
        Venedig und Istanbul!
        In Venedig war ich bisher meistens im Sommer wegen den Sommerferien. Da ist es sehr überfüllt aber man kann den Charme über die Touristen hinweg spüren! Jetzt, wo mein Sohn aus dem Haus ist, kann ich auch mal im Frühjahr oder Herbst Venedig in Angriff nehmen, bestens zur Berlinale ….
        Istanbul habe ich vor über 20 Jahren besucht, es muss nun alles anders sein. Aber die Stadt brodelt. Egal, wo du bist, sie lebt.
        Nun wünsche ich dir einen schönen Tag, lg von Susanne


      • deine Erklärungen freuen mich sehr. Die Berlinale ist für
        dich so etwas, wie Honigbrot! In Istanbul war es wirklich chaotisch, aber ich glaube auch, dass das Zur Stadt einfach gehört.
        Solltest du dich mit dem Zug nach Venedig begeben, wäre es natürlich toll, wenn du in Bellinzona einen Boxenstopp machen würdest, damit wir uns treffen könnten. Ich hoffe erst einmal, dass du mit dem Umzug bald fertig bist. Buon tutto. Martina


      • Ja, Martina, das mache ich dann… die nächste Berlinale ist leider erst 2015 aber ich merke mir das….
        Es wird langsam immer ordentlicher in meiner Wohnung…..
        Ein Glück!
        Einen schönen Abend von Susanne


      • Ich war bisher nur einmal im Februar in Venedig. Es war eisig kalt, ich mußte mir erst einmal Handschuhe und eine Mütze kaufen. Aber wunderschön zu jener Zeit! Der Nebel, nicht zu viele Leute, nicht so ein Gedränge wie wahrscheinlich sonst.


      • Das sind ganz genau die Wetterbedingungen bei denes es mir in Venedig am besten gefallen hat. Hast du gehört, dass die grossen Schiffe nicht mehr in die Lagune kommen dürfen, wenigstens im Moment. Mir wurde gesagt, dass, sollte die Lagune für diese Schiffe tiefer gemacht werden, sich das ganze Ecosystem verändern würde und dies eine Kathastrophe wäre. Buona notte


    • Volevo mandarti il seguente comment sul tuo stupendo post di ogg, ma non sono riuscita, perciò lo mando qui:
      Ti ringrazio tantissimo per questa stupenda presentazione delle isole eoliche che hanno afascinato anche me. Ci abbiamo fatto delle stupende vacanze camminando tanto. Purtroppo non abbiamo visto Allicudi, ma siamo stati sullo Stromboli! Ci andrò per scrivere le mie “memoirs”.

      Tantissimi saluti dal Ticino.


  1. Liebe Martina, das muss eine tolle Reise gewesen sein. Ich war bislang nur in Istanbul und die Stadt hat mich sehr beeindruckt. Venedig steht schon laenger auf meiner Wunschliste. Italien hat so viele tolle Staedte. Da brauche ich mal einen sehr langen Urlaub. Und danke, dass Du mich auf Odessa aufmerksam gemacht hast. Das klingt auch sehr verlockend. Liebe Gruesse, Peggy


    • Cara Peggy, ja, auf dieser Reise haben wir viele neue Eindücke gesammelt, auch wenn ein bisschen oberflächlich. Die Geschichte ist aber in Bezug auf alle besichtigten Orte so reichhaltig, dass man sich, so glaube ich wenigstens, noch lange damit beschäftigen kann. Wie gesagt, Odessa fand ich sehr speziell, weil es auch nicht gerade am Wege liegt, auch politisch gesehen. Mir kam auf jeden Fall auch Florence Nightingale und ihren Grosseinsatz im Krimkrieg in den Sinn. Ich habe keine Zweifel daran, dass du eines Tages nach Venedig reisen wirst, aber gehe solange es die Stadt noch gibt! Herzlichst und vielen Dank für deine Antwort. Martina


  2. I enjoyed your post, Martina. We have visited Venice and Istanbul, but not Odessa. Your description certainly has made me think of visiting. Also I saw Eisenstein’s film ‘Battleship Potemkin’ many years ago, and read ‘The hare with amber eyes’ earlier this year.

    I am interested in how the post came to deal with those three cities, other than the historical connection of Odessa and Istanbul with Venice. Did you visit all of them on the same cruise, or on the same holiday?


    • Good morning Cliff, I really rnjoy your comment and thank you very much for it. Yes, we visited all these cities and Yalta and Costanta on the same cruise. I really recommend you to go to the Crimea, also to Yalta which is all within beautiful trees. I would like to go back but have some doubt about the language problem. Ok, in the past one could speak French, of course, but now, frankly speaking, English is coming only slowly and I don’t know much Russian or Ukrainian. And you even know about the Eisenstein film which I have just watched recently and has touched me very much! Have a very good day. Bye Martina


      • Could you be so kind as to tell me the name of the cruise company and give me a reference to their web site? We have done some cruising in the region and I would be interested in doing some more. In 2011 we went on a cruise on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Split and back. About ten years ago we went on the public ferry from Istanbul to Anadolu Kavağı at the northern end of the Bosphorus.


      • We went with MSC Musica but I don’t know whether I would take the same company again. We had a problem with much too much noice at night in our cabin but have not been really helped. For us, life on such a ship is to unauthentic. We would have liked to listen more to Greek, Turkish or Russian music instead of international music. But, of course, it’s probably difficult to have all your wishes satisfied. I like Dubronik very much and all that coast. Your trip on the public ferry much have been exciting? Bye


  3. Very enjoyable post. I think that personal experiences are best when reading travel reports / posts. Venice is yet on our travel list. Istanbul “comme ci, comme ça”, Anyway we do not exclude it. The only place we have visited on Black Sea area is Batumi, Georgia in 1987.It was a real experience, for example cows were roaming on airport!

    We have been thinking some day to cruise on the Mediterranean are, but the case of Costa Concordia buried our plans. If we cruise, it will be on Caribbean area and maybe on some cruise ships built in Finland. Alaska is possible. Happy Saturday!


    • Venice, its history and its culture is just highly interesting. We shouldn’t forget the the Venician commerciants were very influential also in the Black Sea region, Georgia included! However, should you go there, I recommend you the winter season. I had to smile about what you experienced at the airport in that country. To visit these places is like going to another world. Finnish cruise ships are probably of higher quality! Alaska would certainly be a very outstanding trip and I hope that you will be able to realize it. Happy Saturday to you too.


    • Yes, it is very beautiful with all the gorgeous houses in various architectonical stiles. In the 19 th century it was an open port and also recently many cruises have arrived there and brought money. I don’t know how the situation is now as the situation is not very calm in that region as we all know.
      I hope you liked it in Nida and Kosice.:)


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