In this calendar you will discover 12 cities with a special meaning for Maflex during the first 25 years of business. The hand made drawings realized by the artist Guido Bartoli, are intended to pique your interest in discovering more about each city.
1. Why Lviv has become the coffee capital of Ukraine?
Today Lviv is a coffee capital of Ukraine. And it has good reasons for that – not only in the historical context.
In 1683, when the calendar was the twelfth day of the month of September, a battle took place near Vienna, known in history as the “Viennese Resistance” or “The Coffee Battle“. As a result, the long-standing Turkish siege of the Habsburg capital was lifted.
The decisive role in the victory was played by a Ukrainian, a native of the village in Lviv region, by Yuri-Franz Kulchytsky, who, as a reward for his achievements, received 300 bags of coffee left by the Turks.
Subsequently, he opened the first coffee shop in Vienna, which became the center of the Viennese elite. Ukrainian taught to drink coffee at first the Viennese elite and then later whole of Europe.
Kulchytskyi brought coffee beans to Lviv, where they began to cook from them the most unique beverage in the world.
It was from Lviv that the heart-rending aroma of coffee flew through the invisible veil of Europe, going into every home and soul.
Two largest Ukrainian coffee producers are located in Lviv. Lviv coffee shops are one of the most attractive tourist destinations along with architectural and historical monuments. Here, in Lviv, coffee festival “Na kavy do Lvova” is held every year. In Lviv coffee is drunk in a special way – without hurry, enjoying every sip and finding inspiration, transforming drinking coffee in a pleasant ritual. It is in this unique city “go to drink coffee” – that’s something more, that is, among other things, also means being Lviv citizen!
2. Why the panther is the signature animal of Lucca?
The Panther is the emblem of Lucca, one of the oldest already existing since 1182.
Its meaning reflects the indomitable pride in defending freedom on the part of the Lucca city.
The panther symbolism is linked to grace, protection, beauty, inner power.
We see panther holding up the coat of arms of the city of Lucca on the façade of Porta Santa Maria in Lucca.
3. How the Green Bay Packers story started?
In 1919, Curly Lambeau, who was the franchise’s founder, wanted to start a local football team in Green Bay, Wisconsin. At the time, he was working for the meat packing company, Indian Packing, as a shipping clerk, and he found a way to convince his employer to sponsor his new football team.
Indian Packing then approved to sponsor the team by providing athletic uniforms, financing the start of the club and offering the company’s football field for the team to train. In return, the team was named after the company, the “Packers” for advertising purposes.
He founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919 and was the team’s first playing star and its coach for 31 years.
A few years later, in 1921, Acme Packing bought out Indian Packing, and the club used the “Acme Packers” title on the players’ jerseys in their first year in the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the National Football League
The Acme Packers then became the Green Bay Packers.
4. Why the Cartwheeler is one of the most enduring symbols of Dusseldorf?
Theories about the history of the Cartwheeler vary widely, but each story, or myth, is interesting. A popular belief is that when a wheel of the wedding carriage of a royal couple came off, a boy cartwheeled alongside the carriage in place of the missing wheel to ward off bad luck. Some narrations add to it, saying that the bride was unhappy with the marriage and the boy’s antics had made her laugh in spite of her aching heart.
To keep this fun tradition alive, the Cartwheel Championship was introduced in 1937. Today, every summer, around 700 children from 15 countries arrive in Dusseldorf to fight for the coveted title of Cartwheel Champion by impressing judges with their skill, speed, style, and flexibility. The cartwheel track stretches for up to 65 feet on the Rhine bank.
In 2001, the Cartwheeler-Art Project (Radschläger-Kunst) was kicked off. As a part of this unique project, artists and sculptors created over 100 Cartwheeler sculptures, each two meters high, two meters wide, and 30 centimeters deep.
5. Do you know the most famous Turkish legend of the Maiden’s Tower?
The most popular legend of the Maiden’s Tower is about an emperor and a fortune teller.
The Byzantine emperor had a much loved daughter who was eternally precious to him.
One day, an oracle professed that she would be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday. The emperor took it upon himself to do whatever he could to overcome the oracles predictions and vowed to protect his daughter from death.
The emperor had a tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus, believing that if she was away from the mainland, no snake could come close to her.
He surmised that his daughter would remain in this tower until her 18th birthday when they had defied her promised death.
The only visitor that she would be allowed would be her loving father.As a gift on her 18th birthday, the emperor brought her a basket of exotic and sumptuous fruits.
Delighted that they had been able to prevent the prophecy, his daughter reached into the basket, salivating and desperate to eat the delicious fruit.
Just as she placed her hand in the basket, an asp that had been hiding among the fruit bit the young princess and she died in her father’s arms, just as the oracle had predicted.
There have since been no sightings of snakes on the islet, but the Maiden’s Tower keeps a basket of fruit on a table by the entrance as a stark reminder of the fateful legend that bestows the place.
6. See why Paris is called the “City of Lights”.
Most people assume that Paris is called ‘The City of Light’ because of its dazzling boulevards and bridges, and it’s easy to see why.
The real reason for the city’s name actually stems from the mid-17th century, when Louis XIV, otherwise known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was on the throne. After a prolonged period of war and domestic civil strife, the king was committed to restoring the public’s faith in law and order.
On March 15, 1667, Louis XIV made Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie the Lieutenant General of Police, entrusting him with the task of making Paris more safe. In addition to quadrupling the number of policemen in the city, one of the measures was to install more lighting. Lanterns were placed on almost every main street and residents were asked to light their windows with candles and oil lamps. The idea was to prevent lawbreakers from dodging the police or hiding in dark alleys, therefore reducing the crime rate. From here on, the city gained the nickname La Ville-Lumière (‘The City of Light’).
At the time, Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt street lighting, but the nickname really gained the most traction during the Age of Enlightenment that followed.
Whilst some historians date the Age of Enlightenment between 1715 (the year that Louis XIV died) and 1789 (the beginning of the French Revolution), others say the movement was already present in Paris from the 1620s with the start of the scientific revolution.
From the late 18th century to the 19th century, the city of Paris became increasingly known as a centre of education and ideas throughout the whole of Europe, inspiring poets, philosophers, engineers and scientists galore. As well as the gradual increase in wattage, this context of innovation and enlightenment is what helped reinforce the symbolic significance of Paris as ‘The City of Light’.
7. How did the Thailand tuk-tuk get its name?
Tuk-tuks are the successor to the earlier cycle rickshaws, known in Thai as “Sam Lor” (literally ‘three wheels’). Sam Lors were introduced to Thailand in 1933, although shortly they were banned from the main streets due to safety reasons.
Fast forward 30 years and Thailand started to import motorized auto rickshaws from Japan, developed to replace the cycle rickshaws. Thailand tuk tuks themselves, though, are believed to get their out-of-the-ordinary name from the sound the engines make!
8. Do you know why the famous Miami Beach Lifeguard Towers are all different?
After Hurricane Andrew devastated the coast on the Florida in 1995, the design firm William Lane Architect design five lifeguard towers in Miami Beach to replace those towers that were destroyed. Quickly they became iconic figures, representing the urban revitalization of South Beach in the Nineties.
Almost twenty years later, the studio was invited by the city to revisit the original designs and create 6 new prototype to renovate the 36 lifeguard towers spreading across the shoreline, from the tip of Miami Beach at South Point Park to 86th Street.
Coming in contrast with the blue of the ocean, the structures express Miami Beach identity and features eye-catching colors and irregular shapes, recalling the futurism of Art Deco as well as the cracker style of the typical vernacular architecture. The towers aim to become activators of public space, hosting the lifeguards that will take care of security of the people on the beach.
9. Do you know why the hawk is the emblem of the UAE?
On the UAE’s emblem, a golden falcon features prominently, indicating the high regard that Emiratis have for the bird, long used by the Bedouin as a hunting aid in the desert. Falconry has played a fundamental social and economic role in the country’s history.
In the olden days, Bedouin Arabs used them mainly for hunting. In the arid deserts where food is scarce and walking on foot is difficult, falcons have been greatly helpful. Their sharp eyesight and swift flight aided the desert dwellers to capture Bustards and Curlews for food. Especially on special occasions when the Bedouins have to host eminent guests.
Today, falcons are used for sports more than anything else. They are also admired for their beauty and speed. Falcons are a symbol of pride and honor among Arabs.
What made falcons the favorite of Arabs for hunting was that they could be trained with a little effort. Falcons can also be trained to deliver the game without killing or eating any part of it. This was important to the Arabs because for the food to be permissible to eat (halaal), it has to be slaughtered by slitting the throat while it is alive.
Falconry is art for Emiratis. They take good care of the falcons while training them to form an everlasting bond. History has it that the Arabs spread falconry to ancient Rome and Persia during their trading expeditions.
In 2016, UNESCO added falconry to their list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
10. Why Barcelona’s tiles have flowers?
Panot (a tile with a flower inside) is a symbol of Barcelona and the evidence that the city is eclectic, creative and full of surprises. Panot is a tile made of cement, sand and water in the shape of a flower with four petals.
The story of how Barcelona got its unique panot tiles starts at a time when the city’s pavements were not as sophisticated as they are today. Up until the early 20th century, homeowners in Barcelona were responsible for paving outside their own houses. As a result, the pavements – where they were even bothered to be built – were often uneven, patched together with cement and asphalt. One local newspaper even published a satirical cartoon of Barcelona bogged down in mud and earned the city the nickname of Can Fanga, or ‘house of mud’. At the same time, Barcelona was undergoing rapid expansion, and construction of the Eixample – ‘extension’ in Catalan – was underway. Aware of the situation and eager to find a solution, in 1906 the city council launched a public tender for the manufacture of some 10,000 square metres of pavement tiles. At the time of the tender, the council published a series of drawings showing five models for the tiles. Some of these are believed to have already been in use before 1906, while others like the now-iconic Flor de Barcelona, or ‘Flower of Barcelona’, were designed especially for the project. Along with the four-tablet panot – a square divided by a cross into four smaller squares – these two designs are the most common in Barcelona today and, as a result, the ones considered to be most emblematic of the city.
11. What is the meaning of the Mexican skull with rose?
The skull in Mexican culture represents death and rebirth, the entire reason for Day of the Dead celebrations.
Local culture believes that the afterlife is as important if not more important than your life on earth.
The skull represents life and death while the rose represents beauty and love. Together, the skull and rose symbolize a struggle between the beautiful and the ugly in times of evil versus good.
Flowers, butterflies and skulls are typically used as symbols.
12. What’s so funny about the Sydney Opera House?
The roof structures of the Opera House are called ‘shells’. The design of the ‘shells’ was one of the most difficult aspects of the building’s design. The designer of the Sydney Opera House, Jorn Utzon, claimed that the final design of the shells, was inspired by peeling an orange. It is said that the shells of the 14 separate roofs, form a sphere if combined.