Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Europe Day Benches are here again

Europe Day is coming round again and everything has changed since 2014 when I first did a bench post for Europe. Brexit is kicking in and UK benches are on the way out.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/drb62/2543574049/

When the UK voted last June the Europeans tried to tell us to stay. From Lisbon to Ljubjana they yelled STAY!




In 2014 I invited Blogda to be an editor for the post about diverse benches and European unity. I did this because her country, Krappistan, was not in the EU and I thought this would make her unbiased in showing the brilliantly diverse yet strangely unified benches of the EU. 

Yeah, right. 





Krappistan is a country with serious problems. For a start, almost all its benches are missing.
www.getbracknell.co.uk

Or at least partially missing.



photo by Sheila B

The benches that remain are in a terrible state. It would be fair to say that Krappistan is a bench graveyard.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/279938667

Walking through the capital is a minefield of dangerous benches.




In the countryside too, Krappistani benches are in a bad way.




Well, don't let the broken benches of Krappistan fool you: now it's Krappistan on the way in and the UK on the way out. 

Blogda: I try to tell you Krappistan is great country. In EU Krappistan broken benches will get fixed. Stolen benches will come back. Everyone come to new EU country to see nice benches.

I fear Blogda may be right. The UK is in a fine old mess. Who will come to the UK when our benches have fallen into disrepair?


https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreajoseph/6995461668/

Who will want to see our sad, lonely benches?


photo by Helen Danby


Yes, after the Brexit vote we got some cards of sympathy. 



www.etsy.com/BeastCoutureShop

But now that we're on the way out, no one in Europe is proper gutted.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ElseeCrafts

We won't have a leg to stand on in these negotiations.  


https://www.flickr.com/photos/kennysarmy/9118090471/

Here in the UK, those of us who wanted to remain in the EU could say I told you so. But we don't, because as Remoaners, we're feeling very down in the dumps.


http://nnamdiart.com


But you know what? As a generous farewell gesture I've asked Blogda to show us the European benches again. All of them. Well, 27 of them. One for each of the remaining EU countries. 

Blogda: I show bench. I do straight-line talk.

That's great, Blogda. That's just what we want: one bench from each of the 28 27 countries of the European Union and not too much waffle. 

Blogda: Luxembourg. Is strange country. Very small. Very rich. But like Krappistan.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/4650358686/

Well, it's an interesting bench, Blogda. But I thought you came from a large, very poor country. How is Luxembourg like Krappistan?

Blogda: Pipes. We have this for rubbish waste. 

Yes, but this pipe bench is outside the Luxembourg Philharmony, where there are lots of amazing benches. Do you have a concert hall in Krappistan?

No. Just pipes. For sewerage. Also for hiding things to sell on black market.

Interesting. I wonder if we'll have a thriving black market here in the UK?

Black bench. Very nice. From Latvia. Made from volcano. 






Yes, this is the Manu Nest from Maffam Freeform in Riga, where Latvian designer Raimonds Cirulis has created unique furniture from volcanic fibers. 

Blogda: Too much information. Just bench.

We want some information, Blogda. It's not enough just to show the benches. We want to know something about the designers and what the benches are about. 

No deviation. Just bench. 


Now Austria. Light bench.

http://kielnhofer.at/blog/author/manfred/

Yes, this is Manfred Kielnhofer's Glowing Light Ball Bench which      

Blogda: No bench like this in my country. Need electric for hospital, not bench.

Yes, that makes sense. I guess you don't have much power in Krappistan?

Blogda: Have lots of power. You hiss me off, I crush you.

Hmmmm. I think we ought to move on with the benches. 

Blogda: Belgium. Black bench. I lust for this.

http://www.peterdonders.com/

Yes, I like this too. It's a carbon fiber bench made by Peter Donders, a designer in Belgium.

Blogda: Here is very nice bench from Krappistan.





Krappistan isn't in the EU though. The benches shown in this story have to be from one of the 28 27 EU nations. 



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HollysHobbiesUK

I know this. So why you tell me? You hiss me off. 

Sorry, Blogda. Shall we get on with our EU benches?

Portugal. Many colours. But no black.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/xpgomes4/4941792207

I love how trees are growing inside these benches. 

Slovenia. No trees. Stol.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/54395392@N06/9664130316/ 

I think you mean stool? Stool is another word for chair.

Blogda: I no lie. Stol. Name LLStol.

Oh, I see what you mean. It's the LLStol by designers Luka Locicnik and Tadej Glazar in Ljubljana.

Also Estonia stool. 

Black. White. Red. I like black.


http://www.keha3.ee/moobel/peatakana

This is the Peatakana, designed by Tarmo Luisk in Estonia. 

I say this already. I mean what I say. Why you repeat? 

Sorry, Blogda. I just want to be sure we describe the benches accurately and don't lose the thread of the story.

Thread bench. Sweden. 

 http://www.olagiertz.se/

I love this bench by Ola Giertz. We've had this before on Benchsite, for the Red Benches in February.

Blogda: Same bench. Same joke. 

Yes, there are a few benches which I've shown elsewhere on Benchsite. For example, this intriguing white Bench Chair by Thomas Schnur in Germany.



http://www.thomasschnur.com/ 


Is bench or is chair? 

Well, that's an interesting question, often raised by arty benches throughout Europe. 

This orange one is in the Netherlands.


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20100727-004_Amersfoortg


Netherlands has blog already. Dutch designer alphabet.

Yes, that's true. I've already shown some of the vast array of interesting benches in the Netherlands.

And Greece. Done already.

We still need to show a Greek bench for the European Union. I like this one from the Athens Benchmark competition in 2010.



http://www.yatzer.com/

Some letters is upside down. 

That's how it's supposed to be.

OK. Now Poland. Pretty. 

Looks like cage. Maybe I keep my hens there.

 http://thepolytope.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/undo.html

No, Blogda, this is not a cage. This is the Undo bench by Polish designer Kamil Kiendzierski, who won an award for it. 

My imaginary friend Miggy loves this bench. She would like to have it outside her cake shop.

This one Miggy is too fat. And cake shop is rubbish. Cakes is much better in Krappistan.

Miggy would be broken-hearted to hear that, Blogda. 

Broken bench I have. Finland. 

 http://byjalmari.com/portfolio/broken-overview/

Broken wood. Ragged ends. Very good. 

I show Krappistan bench now.





There are two problems here, Blogda. One is that Krappistan is not in the EU so it cannot have a bench in this story. Not yet anyway. 

And two is that I know this is in Austria because I took the photo myself at a pub along the Danube.

Ok. Is Austria bench then.

You've already done the Austrian bench. Please move on now with the other countries. 

Cutter bench. Denmark.


http://www.strand-hvass.com/

This is exquisite! My two husbands have a workshop. I wish His Excellency would make me a bench like this.

Your husband like Napoleon. Small man. Big opinions.

Well, sometimes, perhaps . . .

Bratislava. Slovakia. Napoleon. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamgtr/7582794082

You made a smooth link there, Blogda. Good work.

Now France. Metro bench. Quite nice. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/23748404@N00/8244742195/

Yes, these are in the metro station Champs-Elysees Clemenceau in central Paris. 

No good for watering mule. Big hole in dishes.

Yes, but of course they're not intended to hold water.

Mule needs water

What mule? We don't have a mule in Fribble-under-Par.

Unless you mean Lord Brassica's horse Tonks?



That man Broccoli very bad farmer. Paid to grow nothing.

Well, yes, that's how the European Union does things sometimes. They pay farm subsidies to regulate the market.

Stupid. And that mule useless. Does no ploughing. Make meal with it. 

In the EU we don't eat horses. Well, at least some of us don't. Not if we can help it. 

In Krappistan we eat everything. Even mushroom bench from Czech Republic.




I'm sure you don't eat benches, Blogda. I think you're full of Blarney. 

That's a bench in Ireland, by the way.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/10040187875

Lots of castles in Ireland. Lots of blarney. No snakes. 

That's true. And speaking of creepy crawlie benches, here's a millipede bench from designer Aleksandr Dubickij in Lithuania.


http://www.behance.net/gallery/6233205/millipede-bench

Head of insect missing. Maybe somebody in UK very hungry, eat head.

I'm not sure how we got onto this topic.

Serpent in Spain. Lots of colours. Not black.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4209976058

Yes, this is the beautiful mosaic Serpentine Bench by Antonio Gaudi. It's in the Park Guell in Barcelona. Gaudi is well known for

I show bench. You keep mouth closed.

Like UK businesses. Like bench in Hungary. 

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/helga_kepei/1448166683

Oh, I see what you mean. The bench is closed up and locked. Clever. I'm going to add this to my blog about anti-social benches

Decision daft.

Well, you might think so but I'm always combing the internet for interesting benches. 

You want comb. Here's comb.




 http://www.omcdesign.com/


Oh wow! This is a design by Onar Cobanli in Como in Italy. He's a prolific bench designer with over one hundred bench designs to his name. 

Too much talk. Not enough bench. Still many countries to show bench. 

Krappistan bench is very nice.


photo by Sheila B.


Excuse me Blogda, but you can't show a Krappistani bench here until Krappistan membership has been fully negotiated.  

But very good benches in Krappistan. No problem.


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broken_bench
It's broken.

Everything broke in Krappistan. Is no bad thing. My country very good for EU. Krappistan make great new country.

At this point Krappistan is only a glint in the eye of an EU commissioner. It still has to be accepted by all the European members.

Romania. One of the latest countries to join.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyoflife/27260076

Some of the EU countries may vote against Krappistan. 

Why they not let Krappistan in?

Well, the EU is leaning towards opening up the EU, that's for sure. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zlatkogr/3327715765  

I pray my country joins EU.

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/11050728586

This church isn't in Krappistan though. It's in Bulgaria. Everything in the church is painted because an unpainted wall is thought to attract evil. 

Evil is no good. I crush it. 

By the way, Blogda, I don't even know where Krappistan is. 


nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24190093

Now I show you my house. Very nice. Air condition.

photo by Sheila B

This isn't your house. It's one of those lovely shelters in Cyprus where the benches are protected from either rain or sun. They even have them at cemeteries.


photo by Sheila B

I light a candle for Krappistan to join EU. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/3086090493/

You're hissing me off now, Blogda. This bench is in a museum in Malta. It is nothing to do with Krappistan.

Please will you finish up showing the European Union benches. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/68531548@N00/2040071929

Croatia bench. Man waiting to join EU.

This is Antun Gustav Matos, a Croatian poet. And Croatia has already joined the EU, in 2013. 

OK, Switzerland.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/merlune/6871724209

Switzerland isn't in the EU. They never wanted to be.

OK, Norway.




Norway isn't in the EU either. They voted not to be. 

And, now, sadly, UK voters have decided they're going too. 

Good. UK not united in diversity so no bench for UK. Benches of EU countries all done now. 

Alright, I guess there's nothing left but to say goodbye.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pollyann/3292683030/

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go out and repair my bench. As I said earlier, our benches here in the UK are in a fine old mess. 




Credits

The idea of the European Union was formed in 1950 with the motto United in diversity. The EU certainly is diverse: it currently includes 28 27 nations with 503 million people and 24 languages. The first six countries joined in 1952: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. In 1973 they were joined by Denmark, Ireland, and the UK, then Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986. Another nine years went by before Sweden, Finland, and Austria joined. In 1989 the Iron Curtain came down and Eastern European countries began joining. In 2004 there was a huge expansion of new countries, including Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007 and finally, Croatia in 2013. Who's next? Bets are on Iceland and Montenegro. Krappistan's admittance is highly unlikely.  

Blogda is one of the many stroppy and difficult guest editors I have had to put up with on Benchsite. I first used animal editors dot com, which sent me the lazy cat Meredith and the irritable Eddie, who turned my St. George's Day dragon blog into a primate nightmare. I then tried vegetable editors dot com, who sent me the disastrous Jench de Bench from Potirons in France. Just when I despaired, I found the lovely Ursula, who is our Unicorn in Residence here in Fribble-under-Par. She did romantic white benches and the beautiful peace benches for World Peace Day. Couldn't you just do with some peace? I could. Unfortunately, I contracted Blogda to come back to do Cow Benches in June. She's bringing her cow, Larry, from Krappistan. 

The bright Exit sign is a photo by Daniel R. Blume, who is originally from Toledo, Ohio but now lives in Orange County, California.  His profile quotes Herm Albright (1876-1944): A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/drb62/2543574049/in/photolist-4SLtWZ-EbvBJ-5g97zv-68b7ng-8B1qdo

The shouting woman was in Ljubjana, a photo I took whilst visiting Slovenia in 2014. What a fabulous place! 

The missing picnic tables were in a park in Bracknell in the UK and were removed to stop bad behaviour. www.getbracknell.co.uk  Lord Brassica is something of an authority on picnic tables and he is gutted to find that picnic tables can disappear like this. On the other hand, Bracknell has the longest picnic table in Britain, celebrated with a mass community picnic in summer 2012.

Sheila B lives in Cyprus and the UK. She is a brilliant photographer of benches wherever she goes. Colours, angles, interesting settings; she spots them everywhere. You'll find many of her lovely photos throughout my Benchsite stories, including the bench with a missing seat.

The pile of wood shown is a photograph by Lara in 2006. Lara is a casual games artist from Vancouver, who now lives in Seattle. Her albums are full of photos from Canada, the US, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/279938667

Why is a broken bench so moving? This is just one of the questions Andrea Joseph asked on her blog, andreajoseph24.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/i-drag-my-feet-like everyone. She got some great answers too: the fragility of life, the lost history, the beauty of decay. I love Andrea's illustrations on her Flickr photostream  https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreajoseph/6995461668/
She also has some brilliant colouring Books at her Etsy shop where she sells original zines/books about drawing, illustrations of the unusual, and prints of her work. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/385164924/colouring-in-book-by-andrea-joseph 

Helen Danby took the lovely photo of the little creature alone on a great big bench. The tiny cat on the (medium) bench is Fundy. The lovely bench is from an old Quaker Meeting House on the Isle of Wight. Helen bought Fundy at a charity fund-raising sale, thus the name Fundy. For some purrrfect cat benches, have a look at Meredith's cat blog. 

The fabulous Proper Gutted greeting card is by 

Louise Clark is from Whitley in England. Her shop is ElseeCrafts, where they make greeting cards, prints, mugs, and artwork in their own unique style. The Good Riddance Luck card seems appropriate for some situations and I think there may be one or two European countries who might be stocking up on these to send to the UK.  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ElseeCrafts

Kenny from Gloucester, UK  is a keen golfer and Flickr/photoshop addict.  He photographed a very nicely half-buried bench in 2013. His albums are full of great quality photos of, among other things, gardens, art, cars, and sporting events. Love the black and white ones!    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kennysarmy/9118090471/


They Are Waiting is a sculpture by Nnamdi Okonkwo. It's in downtown Mesa, Arizona and it shows three rather curvy women on a bench, languishing in the sun. Nnamdi Okonkwo was born in Eastern Nigeria and now lives in Fayetteville, Georgia. He creates monumental sculptures and paintings which depict the vibrance and colour of life. Even without the bench I'd love this work.  http://nnamdiart.com

Luxembourg - The purple pipe benches are behind the Philharmony of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, where there are lots of brilliant benches from different designers. These were photographed by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner from Wellington, New Zealand,  https://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/4650358686/  Kristina takes brilliant bench pictures, which I have used many times.   http://www.virtualbreath.net/curious  It's worth knowing that Luxembourg people speak more foreign languages than any other European country. Their own language is Luxembourgish but they also need to speak German and French. And quite a few of them also speak English. And Italian. And Dutch. 

Holly Hinton from Staffordshire runs Holly's Hobbies, a shop full of unique cross stitch charts featuring words, characters, symbols and geeky stuff, all available to download instantly. The 28 EU flags are beautifully done and you can't help but wonder how it will be until the Krappistan flag has to be added.  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HollysHobbiesUK#


Latvia - Maffam Freeform in Riga is the only workshop in the world manufacturing furniture from volcanic basalt fibre. The talented Latvian designer Raimonds Cirulis has created and patented a unique furniture manufacturing technology, building furniture from basalt fibre ‘hairs’ and natural resin.M
 http://www.maffamfree.com/   The furniture is light and stable and has a unique basalt pattern. Each one, including the Manu Nest suspended chair, is handmade & unique.  http://www.maffamfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2RK8913.jpg


Austria - The Glowing Light Ball Bench is by Manfred "KILI" Kielnhofer (b 1967), an Austrian painter, sculptor, and photographer. He is a freelance artist in Linz, where in 2005 he launched Gallery Artpark. His most famous work is Guardians of Time, which also features on Benchsite and is one of my favourite sculptures. Guardians of Time   His Glowing Light Ball Bench is a simple yet elegant design consisting of three light balls and two wooden boards. The artist intends that the work offers both intellectual debate and philosophical stimulation. http://kielnhofer.at/blog/
And if you're wanting more traditional alpine benches from Austria, follow our bench-seeking travels from summer 2014 at http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/getting-high-on-alpine-benches.html

Portugal - the coloured ball benches in Cais do Sodre in Lisbon were photographed in 2010 by xpgomes4.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/xpgomes4/4941792207

Belgium - Peter Donders (b 1965) is a furniture designer and craftsman who creates 3D design, modelling, prototyping, manufacturing and visualisation. He also does jewelry, ceramics, shelves, and lighting.
His works in carbon fiber and aluminium include the black carbon fiber bench made of 320 meters of fiber and weighing just six kilos.Peter explains that what started out as an experiment, playing around with the limits of technology, manufacturing and materials and bouncing up against what might still just be possible, or not, turned into a whole new art form. Fiberture?


Slovenia - The LLStol chair was designed by Luka Locicnik and Tadej Glazar  https://www.flickr.com/photos/54395392@N06/9664130316/   It's from the Silent Revolutions travelling exhibition  www.silentrevolutions.si/LLSTOL-Chair  MAO stands for Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje, the Museum of Architecture and Design, a national Slovene museum for architecture, industrial design, graphic design, visual communication and photography. MAO introduces the past work of architects, designers, and photographers as useful experiences, knowledge, and ideas for a better future. It houses nearly 150,000 different objects and almost all the prominent Slovene architects and designers from the twentieth century, as well as many photographers, are represented in the museum’s holdings, totalling more than a thousand artists altogether. 

Estonia - Made from recyclable materials, the Peatakana is a multifunctional and durable plastic bench for use in a yard of a home or in a public space. Inspired by windy Tallinn, it is weatherproof and can be used in three different sitting positions. It can be lighted for outside use. The designers of Peatakana are Tarmo Luisk, Margus Triibmann, and Ville Jehe. 

Sweden - The fabulous Thread Bench (2012) is by Ola Giertz, whose studio is in Helsingborg, Sweden. http://www.olagiertz.se/ Ola's designs are characterized by clarity, simplicity and a utilitarian approach. He creates timeless products in which design, material and form are matched in harmonious dimensions and which are designed to meet the needs of the user. He designs furniture, interiors and products. He sees his work as playful and experimental, gently twisting everyday objects and situations, but also materials and manufacturing processes, in new directions. 

Germany - German designer Thomas Schnur's Benchchair (2010) is fascinating from all angles.  http://www.thomasschnur.com/ It appeared previously on Benchsite in the story of romantic white benches. Thomas Schnur (b 1983) lives and works in Cologne. He explains that in his projects he always attempts to negotiate with the product he is to design. He negotiates on the weighting of materials, manufacturing, appearance, meaning and function. He explains that the Benchchair takes its inspiration from the famous Monobloc Chair but puts the associations that any chair evokes into a new context. Its curved shape is contorted into a voluminous body, there by creating an abstract space, such that observers are confronted with a transformed hybrid. Most recently, Thomas Schnur was nominated by the German Design Council for the German Design Award Newcomer 2014. 


Netherlands - the orange Art bench is by Dutch artist Frank Halmans (b 1963) whose work explores themes of domesticity and memory through his sculptural installations. http://www.frankhalmans.nl/ 
Art bench is in the park near the Ganskuyl in Dorrestein in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. It was photographed by Willem Nabuurs in 2010.  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20100727-004_Amersfoort_-_Kunstbank_Randenbroek.jpg  We've had glorious orange benches on Benchsite before. And for a complete A-Z of Dutch benches, see 

Greece - the black and white Athens Benchmark bench comes from the 2010 Athens Benchmark competition sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and supported by design journalists from Yatzer.com  The winning benches from the competition can be seen at http://www.yatzer.com/Winners-Announcement-Future-Bench-Mark   For lots more lovely Greek benches, see benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/greek-bench-mission-impossible.html

Poland - Kamil Kiendzierski is a Polish designer who makes wire furniture with spacial compositions. His prize-winning Undo Bench was made in 2010 and appeared on Benchsite before. He explains that wire furniture allows the designer to make spacial compositions. He was also a finalist in a competition at the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw.   http://thepolytope.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/undo.html

Finland - Jalmari Laihinen works with wood and likes to explore the natural properties of wood with all its cracks, breaks and defects. His Broken collection, launched in March 2014, features furniture and items which are 'broken' but made to last: tables, shelves, benches, a carved wood bowl   http://byjalmari.com/portfolio/broken-overview/   For Jalmari, the little quirks of wood and its dynamic qualities offer endless inspiration and amazement. 

In 2009 Mungo and I cycled along the Danube bike path from Passau in Germany to Vienna. We cycled on both sides of the river and on a very rainy day we stopped at a pub at Marsbach where the bar stools were decorated with skirts and pantaloons. I regret that I did not get the name of the place but it's on the north side of the river between Weseneufer and the famous Schlogen Meander. 

Denmark - the elegant Cutter Bench was created by Niels Hvass in 1999. It is part of his Cutter Collection for Skagerak, a Danish manufacturer whose designs are aesthetic and timeless with the consideration of generations to come. http://www.skagerak.dk/  The Cutter Bench comes in black, teak and oak. Niels Hvass now works with Christina Strand at  http://www.strand-hvass.com/

Slovakia - Apologies to my husband, His Excellency, who is nothing like Napoleon. The statue of Napoleon leaning over a bench is in Bratislava, photographed in 2012 by KamrenB, a student from Columbus, Missouri who started photography as a hobby in 2011. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamgtr/7582794082 

France - the Paris metro benches at Champs Elysees Clemenceau station were photographed by A. Currell in 2012. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23748404@N00/8244742195/in/photostream/#  A. Currell is apparently sometimes known as Ward and is way over age 21. He has an eclectic photostream which includes much travel, a few benches, and lots of cats. In one album he has Catified himself and his friends. Definitely worth a look. 

Czech - The mushroom shelter is the Amanita shelter in the Debr Valley, Mšeno, Mělník District, Central Bohemian Region, in the Czech Republic. It was photographed in 2010 by ŠJů (cs:ŠJůhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M%C5%A1eno,_Deb%C5%99,_Muchom%C5%AFrka,_pohled_nap%C5%99%C3%AD%C4%8D_%C3%BAdol%C3%ADm.jpg


Ireland - The Blarney Castle bench is outside Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland. You're meant to kiss the blarney stone, which apparently gives you the gift of the gab. I kissed it back in 1977 and I'm still waiting. The photograph is by Matt Brown, editor of Londonist.com and an all-round Londonophile. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/10040187875  For some brilliant Irish St. Patrick's Day benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/st-patricks-top-o-irish-benches.html


Lithuania - the Millipede Bench is from Lithuanian designer Aleksandr Dubickij in Vilnius.  http://www.behance.net/aleksandrd  He works through the Behance creative groups at  http://www.behance.net/gallery/6233205/millipede-bench

Spain - The much-photographed Serpentine Bench by Antonio Gaudi is in Park Guell in Barcelona. There are many angles of it, all beautiful. This one was photographed by Alex Proimos in 2009. https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4209976058 Originally from Sydney, Alex lives in Utrecht.  
  


Hungary - The closed and locked bench was photographed in Martonhegy in Budapest in 2007. https://www.flickr.com/photos/helga_kepei/1448166683The photographer is Helga, from Budapest. I wonder if the closed bench is still there and if so, whether it is still closed? For more about social and anti-social benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/friend-or-foe-social-and-anti-social.html    


Italy - inspired by, yes, a comb, the purple Comb Clone bench (2010) is made from tubular metal which is bended, welded, and then painted or chromed. It comes from designer Onar Cobanli in Como, Italy. Born in Istanbul in 1984, Onar studied design in Italy and got a PhD for his research into design competitions. He has featured in many magazines, including Milano Mod in April 2012 (that's him on the cover).   Onar Cobanli's company is www.omcdesign.com, which has the most amazing range of products I've seen, including more than 100 benches. And chaise lounges. And sofas. And chairs. Don't get me started on chairs. For some very tasty Italian benches see 
http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/tasty-italian-benches.html

The broken bench isn't in Krappistan, as you might have guessed. It was photographed by Tomwsulcer in Briant Pond Park, Summit, New Jersey in 2009. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broken_bench_Briant_Pond_Park_Summit_NJ_2009.jpg

Romania - the bench of Romania's flag colours was photographed in 2005 in Cluj, Romania.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyoflife/27260076  The photographer is Julie Kertesz, who describes herself as a Hungarian, born in Transylvania. She lived in France for 45 years, retired and started taking photos at age 70. She now lives in London where she writes a blog  Il y a de la vie après 70 ans


Two guys leaning on a bench in Ipiros, Greece, photographed by Ioannis Sachanidis in 2009 https://www.flickr.com/photos/zlatkogr/3327715765 



The man pointing to a map is William J. Young of DrouinVictoria in a photo taken in 1944. Drouin is obviously not in Krappistan; he's pointing to a map in Australia. The photo comes from the National Library of Australia on the glorious Flickr Commons site at   https://www.flickr.com/photos/national_library_of_australia_commons/6174070848   nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24190093

Cyprus - The benches under wooden shelters are two of many lovely photos taken by my friend Sheila B, who lives in Cyprus part of the year. Like many Cyprus benches, they're made of local wood and are a simple design. Sheila also photographed the broken bench shown earlier in the story.


Malta - the bench with wax candles is in a museum in Gozo, Gharb, in Malta. 
It was photographed by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner in 2005. https://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/3086090493/ Kristina, from Wellington, New Zealand, takes brilliant bench pictures which I have used many times.     http://www.virtualbreath.net/curious

Bulgaria - The church in Bulgaria covered in frescoes was photographed by Dennis Jarvis, who is from Halifax, Canada. Dennis has visited 55 countries and published many of his photographs.  

Croatia - The seated man is Antun Gustav Matoš (1873–1914), a Croatian writer. The statue was photographed in Gornji grad, Zagreb in 2007 by Green Melinda https://www.flickr.com/photos/68531548@N00/2040071929  Melinda lives in Boston and describes herself as a writer, of sorts. She has a nice set of photos from Croatia on her Flickr photostream. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreengirl/ 

Switzerland - James Forsyth from Geneva describes himself as an amateur enthusiast. He photographed these very icy benches in in 2012 at Versoix near Geneva.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/merlune/6871724209 He has photographed many icy things which are well worth a look. For more lovely benches from Switzerland see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/getting-high-on-alpine-benches.html

Norway -  The bright red Norwegian church benches were photographed in Narviks, Norway in 2010 by  Xauxa Håkan Svensson, who lives in Sweden. He takes photographs of buildings and churches, mainly in Sweden, Peru and Spain.  I saw them at 
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Narviks_kirke-church_benches.jpg


The little goodbye biscuit is a photo by M Kasahara, aka pollyann at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pollyann/3292683030/


If at the end of this story you have a lust for further travel, you can go lots of places here on Benchsite. Try Turkey. Or Ireland. See a fiesta of Mexican benches, for example, or an alphabet of Dutch benches. Get high on alpine benches, or tasty Italian ones. Every summer Miggy and Mungo and I go on our bench-finding missions; see our impossible Greek mission, or what happened when we cycled down the Danube. And for some truly amazing Japanese benches, see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/spring-comes-to-fribble-via-japan.html

For an even wider selection of benches around the world, see bus stop benchesbridge benches, or Mariner Mikey will show you benches from all the oceans of the world