Tag-Archive for ◊ French Renaissance ◊

16 Apr 2010 Albert Park- From Active Volcano to the Centerpiece of Auckland

Remember the film the Chronicles of Narnia? Albert Park in Auckland, New Zealand is a real life park that is almost as unreal and scenic as the movie set. Albert Park is actually the site of the earliest volcanic eruptions in the Auckland area, a volcano is believed to have erupted here between 60,000 and 140,000 years ago.

A Maori settlement called Rangipuke flourished here before the arrival of European settlers and later the site became a defense post when the Albert Barracks were built in 1845. Later the Auckland city council decided to clear away the barracks and pathways and gardens were laid out, the gardener’s cottage was given a facelift and was turned in to the Albert Park House. In 1887 the newly constructed park opened to the public, it was designed in the French Renaissance style and a new building was built to house the Auckland Art Gallery.

The tasteful and beautifully carved Victorian fountain has been described as the centerpiece of the park by many visitors; the nearby statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled in 1899 in celebration of the 60th year of her reign. Two muzzle loading guns can also be seen on display here, they were originally brought to New Zealand in 1879 to protect the Auckland harbor. The guns were later hidden during the Second World War to hide them from enemy planes and were finally unearthed in 1977. Among the park’s more eccentric attractions is the Laidlaw floral clock; this electrically powered clock has a number of beautiful and fragrant flowers around the dial.

Among the more contemporary works of art that can be seen here are Neil Dawson’s Throwback sculpture and Chris Booth’s imposing Gateway sculpture. The private collection of Bruce Wilkinson can also be seen here and features a vast collection of ceramics and clocks. An interesting fact about Albert Park is that it is literally riddled with underground tunnels and bunkers that were dug during the Second World War as air raid shelters. Though plans were underway to open them to the public, the project has not yet transpired.

Located close to this relaxing park in the middle of this busy city are Auckland serviced apartments which are a great accommodation option for long stay travelers to New Zealand.

03 Apr 2010 Albert Park Offers a Host of Interesting Attractions

 

Set amidst one of Auckland most geo thermally active areas, it is impossible imagine that just sixty thousand years ago the lush Albert Park was in fact an area filled with volcanic ash and molten lava. Today Albert Auckland is an oasis of calm on contemplation set in the midst of one of New Zealand’s busiest cites and also serves as an exhibition area for modern art and sculpture.

 

The checkered history of the park can be traced back to an ancient Maori village that was here called Rangipuke. The village was later conquered by the Europeans in the middle of the 19th century and was converted in to a defense post. In an ironic twist the imprisoned Maori villagers were used as manpower during the construction of the defenses and the barracks.

 

Following the exit of the army from Auckland, the area was placed under the administration of the Auckland City Council who envisaged the creation of a public park. During the late 1800’s the committee set up to upgrade the park installed the Albert Fountain and converted an old gardener’s cottage into the Albert Park House. The building that now houses the Auckland Art Gallery was also built; a notable feature of this construction is its French Renaissance style architecture. An important phase in the life of Albert Park were the years following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, tunnels and shelters were dug under the park in case of aerial bombardment and the ornamental canons were hidden.

 

Among the attraction at this picturesque park is the Victorian style fountain, this has always been regarded as the central feature of the park. A statue honoring Queen Victoria was built later adjoining the fountain. Along the area bordering Princes Street is a rather eccentric contraption. This floral clock which is officially reffered to as the Laidlaw Floral Clock was unveiled in 1953 in honour of the Queen’s visit to Auckland.

 

Located in a highly residential urban area of Auckland, Albert Park can easily be accessed via the many streets and roads that converge here. Located in this area is an Auckland luxury hotel known as the Langham Hotel in Auckland. Unlike many Auckland hotels this hotel offers you an advantageous location and unparalleled access to the city’s most important areas.