WPC: Shiny – Let’s Visit Worcester, UK

The WordPress Weekly challenge this week is “Shiny”, or, to use their description, “Diversions, Distractions, and Delightful Detours”. Things that catch your attention and divert you from your original goal or intention, something you can’t resist. It might, indeed, be something shiny but it could be really, anything.

When I’m traveling, I always have my camera handy. I’m always on the lookout and the things that might take my attention, things I can’t resist photographing are sometimes a unique architectural detail, something interesting, weird or wonderful in a shop window, or perhaps a small and unusual museum.

I was sitting in a very old pub once, The Cardinal’s Hat in the city of Worcester, with a friend and he looked at me, baffled as to why I appeared to be taking a photo of the wall beside me. I pointed out that there was an old door there. “Yes…..”. “Look at it.” “Erm….” What I was pointing out was the existence of two locks side by side on the door, a modern Yale type lock and a very old latch. This is the detail that caught my eye, such contrasts over time.

Old and NewThe building dates back to the fourteenth century and has had many names over the centuries. When I visited, in 2003, it was an Austrian bar and defied licensing laws by serving beer, not by the pint but by the litre! It has since been refurbished again. The building now mainly reflects the Georgian era so I presume that’s the origin of the latch.
The pub is on the main historical street, Friar Street, where you will also see old buildings such as the Alms House and Greyfriars and many of the shops on the street are housed in buildings with some origins as old as the Tudor era.

Worcester itself is an old city with a lovely cathedral overlooking the River Severn. There’s a beautiful Guildhall. There is the cathedral that has parts of the building dating back to the 10th century (crypts). Royal Worcester porcelain was still a going concern when I visited and could shop in the “seconds” outlet but it’s closed now. There is, I believe, a museum. Worcester is also the home of the famous Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce which is still made here. It was a Roman occupied area at one time and later, it was a Royalist city during the English Civil War. There was a battle nearby and a defeat for Charles I in 1751. Worcester was also chosen to be the retreat for the British government in case of a German invasion in WWII. It’s a really interesting city if you’re a history fan. Here are some of my old photos from my visit there, scans from film so they’re not the best quality but I think will represent some interesting aspects.

See more distractions and ‘shiny’ here

Advertisements

DP Challenge – Atop

The Daily Post at WordPress has a weekly challenge and this week’s is “Atop”. While browsing my archives and choosing things that are on top of tall things, I started to see a pattern that I thought would make a good theme. Clock towers! You will often see clocks fixed onto tall towers and places. It might be a building, a church tower/steeple, a freestanding clock tower. We in Halifax have a Town Clock high on Citadel Hill that was built so that the soldiers in the garrison would know the time and not be late reporting for duty. I don’t have a good photo of the town clock at hand

Here are some of my clock tower photos!

Boston Clock tower

Somewhere in Boston. Not only a clock, but canny little windows, too!

St Pancras Station

St. Pancras Station, London

Westminster

At Westminster Palace, London. The most famous clock of all. Elizabeth Tower, aka Big Ben which is actually the name of the bell inside the tower. Looking down from ATOP the London Eye!

Toronto Clock Tower

A little tower in Toronto

at Times Square

Seen in Times Square, New York City

Brighton Clock

Freestanding clock tower in Brighton, UK

Grote Markt Belfry

Brugges, Belgium, “Grote Markt” in the market square

Amsterdam Windows

Yes, it has been awhile since I’ve posted anything and I do apologize. This post is in answer to “A Lingering Look at Windows”  As you may know by now, I love taking pictures of windows and doors. This time the photos are all from our trip to Amsterdam in 2009 (was it that long ago!?)

Streetlamps and windows

Near Rembrandt square

Window Shutter detail

Shutter detail near the Floating Flower Market

Canal houses

Along one of the many canals

Begijnhof roofs

The black building is one of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in Amsterdam and is in the Begijnhof area.

Pathe Tuschinski detail

The Art Deco Pathe Tuchinski cinema

New Amsterdam public library

And a touch of modern Amsterdam, the new public library

The colours of Rome

In response to the weekly challenge at Where’s My Backpack (Pastel) I give you the colours of Rome. In fact, most of Italy’s towns and cities have buildings of similar hues. The only place I was startled to find brighter colours was on the Island of Burano in Venice.

Piazza navona

Piazza Navona, Rome

Piazza Monte Citorio building 2

Piazza Monte Cintorio, Rome

The Pope's Jeans?

Somewhere through the wall around Vatican City

Rome building 1

Random walking through the narrow streets finds gems like this

Rome pink yellow buildings

Love the warm colours!

Rome curvy church

Even the churches are painted

Eagle detail

Eagle detail

Rome Balcony

Balconies and rooftop gardens

Travel Theme – Looking up

Since I love to look at and photograph architecture, I always look up to see details on buildings, doors, windows, ceilings etc. to see details above eye level. On my travels, I take photos in all directions, “up” included. The interiors of churchs and cathedrals make it almost mandatory to look up. You miss so much that’s beautiful and interesting if you don’t.

For the Daily Post challenge – Look Up and also for the Travel Theme – Indoors, from Where’s My Backpack

The scissor arch in Wells Cathedral.

The scissor arch in Wells Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City

St Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral, the altar canopy

Sacre Coeur interior dome

Sacre Coeur, Paris

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

 

A Lingering Look at Windows – July

Some of my favourite subjects to photograph are windows and doors.  I love architectural details and they seem to be one of the ones that varies the most from building to building. Here are a few from my travels. See more of them here. 

Port Royal Fenetre

Port Royal, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Green Gables Marilla's Window

Green Gables, Marilla’s Room, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

Tower Windows

Toronto

Bounty's window

HMS Bounty (Replica). The ship was built for the Hollywood production Mutiny on the Bounty in the early 1960s (Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard)

Ordsall Hall window detail

Ordsall Hall, Salford. Manor dates back to Tudor era

A Photo a Week Challenge: Tower

Here’s a new photo challenge I discovered today, at Nancy Merrill Photography. This week’s challenge is Tower. Architecture is one of my most favourite things to photograph. Here are my entries.

BT Tower

BT Tower, London

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Round Tower

Rundtower (“Round Tower”), Copenhagen

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The "crumpled" building

A newish condo building in New York City designed by Frank Gehry, the tallest residential building in the USA

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Tower WhiteTower

And finally, the notorious Tower of London

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A Lingering Look at Windows – February

Here’s a new one, from the folks at The Day After. Once a month they invite people to share photos of windows and as you all may remember, I love taking photos of doors and windows, from the inside or out. Here are some of my shots, mostly looking out through the windows. See more at this month’s A Lingering Look at Windows, here.

Window detail in the Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels

Through a window in the ruins of Riveaulx Abbey, Yorkshire

Looking through my friend Katherine’s window in her 150+ year old manse, old Quebec City

Ordsall Hall, some parts of the house dating to Tudor times, Salford UK

In a building in the Open Air Museum, Arnhem, The Netherlands

New York City Criminal Court building, with lovely Art Deco style windows.

DP Challenge – Doors

Doors, another of my favourite things to photograph. Such a simple thing, a door or a window.  Someone once commented that perhaps I take pictures of doors and windows because I wonder what’s behind them. Perhaps that’s part of it. But I also find there’s often a lot of wonderful decoration around these architectural features.  Sometimes you see a door or a window in an odd location. Doors often have windows in them, too. Here’s a few of my favourites from my travels:

My absolute favourite, seen in Paris in the Montmartre district

Brighton, UK, behind a shop in the Lanes, the oldest part of Brighton

Seen while walking through Fowey, in Cornwall. Gives “below stairs” a different meaning.

St. Bernard, large stone church in a tiny village near St. Ann’s, Nova Scotia along the French speaking North Shore of the province

More doors on the WordPress weekly challenge.

Travel theme: Handmade

This week’s travel theme at Where’s My Backpack is Handmade. Your first train of thought probably goes to handcrafted goods, perhaps ceramics or handpainted items, exquisite jewellry,  woolen knitted items or other fabric creations. I admit my first instinct was to post a few photos of markets where you can get locally made items. Then, as I was browsing my photos, I came upon my collections of two very different types of things though related in one aspect.

I remember the first time I went into a cathedral. St. Paul’s in London was my first, and then to Salisbury Cathedral after that.  Besides being cathdrals, though built in different eras, they have something else in common. They were built by hand. The stone was cut by hand. The most advanced technology for putting them together was rope and pulley, scaffolding and sweat. Both of these buildings and many other medieval cathedrals and churches that I’ve visited  amaze me. They are decorated with hand carving, gilding and exquisite stained glass. The size of the buildings, the soaring towers and spires, and the technology invented to keep them up is astonishing.

Every cathedral and basilica that I’ve visited has a different feel. While almost all of them are very nice in side, some have left me underwhelmed and others have left me with a real connection. The one in Glasgow is one of my favourites. It’s not really very big compared to many of the others but it has a very inviting interior. The photos below of Canterbury cathedral really did inspire awe from the soaring vaulted ceilings to the dark, blue lit chapel in the back. All built by hand.

I really don’t think something like this could be built today.  The cost alone would be prohibitive and that’s what seems to matter these days. These buildings took generations to complete. Lives were lost. Money was found from somewhere. Sometimes they were left unfinished until more could be found but eventually they stood whole.

I’ve only really had the opportunity to visit Christian churches and cathdrals but I have seen photos of buildings like Istanbul’s Blue Mosque and others and I would dearly love to  see them some day.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

St. Augustine's Chair, Canterbury Cathedral

St. Augustine’s Chair, Canterbury Cathedral