Edith Cavell – A ‘Glorious Specimen Of Womanhood’

52I have passed by this memorial, just off the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square and across the road from the National Portrait Gallery, many times without even noticing it much less pausing to see that it is in memory of Edith Louisa Cavell, a British civilian nurse in World War I, who was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. Continue reading “Edith Cavell – A ‘Glorious Specimen Of Womanhood’”


Mt Lofty Summit – Panoramic View Of Adelaide


Mount Lofty summit (710m) is about 15 km east of the centre of Adelaide and affords reasonable panoramic views of the city and the Adelaide plains and foothills. I say reasonable instead of good or great as 15kms is a little far (even on a clear day) to see things in a lot of detail. Continue reading “Mt Lofty Summit – Panoramic View Of Adelaide”

Canberra Centenary Column


On 12 March, 1913 Lady Denman, wife of Governor General, Lord Denman, formally announced that Australia’s Capital city would be called Canberra. She did so standing on top of the Foundation Stone of a planned Commencement Column on Capital Hill, where Parliament House is located today. The planned column was never added to the Foundation Stone which is now located on the lawn in front of Parliament House, it having been moved a short distance, in the 1980s, to allow for the building of the Parliament building. Continue reading “Canberra Centenary Column”


Salaspils Concentration Camp Memorial


“The earth moans beyond this gate’

These are the words inscribed on the face of the massive concrete structure  which serves as the gateway to the former Salaspils (Kurtenhof) concentration camp. Continue reading “Salaspils Concentration Camp Memorial”


Ulugh Beg Monument


Having established that this intricately carved monument, tucked away in the north western part of Kronvalda Park, is of medieval ruler, scientist, mathematician, and astronomer Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay bin Shāhrukh (1394-1449), better known as Ulugh Beg, from Central Asia I got to wondering what links he had with Riga to be honoured here. Continue reading “Ulugh Beg Monument”


Maris Liepa Monument

Moving across from the Freedom Monument towards the Latvian National Opera I was attracted by this graceful brushed aluminium figure by the canal. It is a very modern and eye-catching sculpture of Maris-Rudolf Eduardovich Liepa, a Latvian ballet dancer whom I had never heard of. Continue reading “Maris Liepa Monument”


Freedom Monument


While it is not the largest monument in Riga (the Soviet Victory Monument takes that honour, by a long shot), the modernist Freedom Monument, dominating the view as you head east along Brivibas iela from the Old City, is certainly the peoples’ favourite. Continue reading “Freedom Monument”


Foundation Stone – What is it?


I first came across this about in mid 2012 and despite examining it closely I had no idea what it was. All I could tell from it was that three people including King (that was his first name not his title) O’Malley and two others had laid a stone on 12 March 1913 and the whole thing had been moved to its current location on 12 March 1988 (to make way for the construction of Parliament House). I took the attached photo (the first one!) and carried on about my business. Continue reading “Foundation Stone – What is it?”


Eternal Life Monument


Following the death of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, in 1994 and his subsequent elevation to the role of Eternal President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea his son and successor, Kim Jong-il decreed that eternal life monuments (Yeong Saeng) be erected throughout North Korea. These monuments, found in all cities and towns, are thought to number around 3,000 thousand and had the single purpose of reminding the people that Kim Il-sung is with them for ever. When built they were typically inscribed with the words, “Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung is with us for eternity”. Continue reading “Eternal Life Monument”


Barricades Monument

On 4 May, 1990 Latvia announced its independence from the USSR. This was not recognised by the USSR. Agitation for independence had begun in 1987, spurred on by the Soviet policy of perestroika, introduced by President, Michael Gorbachev. Continue reading “Barricades Monument”