Silent Sunday…… off to Church

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Helsinki Cathedral, Finland

Standing high above the Senate Square in Helsinki, is the dramatic white building of Tvomiokirkko, the Cities Cathedral.

I loved this building for the mix of  architectural statements it makes……  Simple, yet big and bold, classic yet modern in interpretation, plain at first glance but also very detailed, an over statement and yet at the same time an understatement.  Certainly distinctive. Maybe just simply…  rather grand

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

A Silent Signal…….

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Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

Is this just a ‘Folly’ or was it constructed to fulfil a vital role as a ‘Signal Tower’ or Beacon.  The Tower was built long before the invention of instant signalling devises.  So I like to think it was  built of practical reasons…but also like the fun idea of having such a dominant building erected…. just because I could!.  You can make up your own minds…. here is the back story of  the most likely of theories and its History…

It was built on the whim of Lady Coventry who persuaded her husband the 6th Earl of Coventry to pay for the design and construction…  Her home was some 20 miles away from this hill on which the tower was to be built. The hill itself had been a “Beacon Point” for signal fires for several centuries.  Lady Coventry was not sure that she would have been able to see such a beacon signal, so two famous names in Landscaping and Architecture were commissioned to construct a Tower.

Capability Brown and James Wyatt collaborated to build Broadway Tower, it was completed in 1798….. and yes, Lady Coventry could gaze upon it from her distant home. . No real surprise as the hill stands at some 1024ft and the tower itself a height of 65ft.

Over the intervening years Broadway Tower has provided a useful function apart from being purely visual and decorative.

In 1822 Sir William Phillipps installed a printing Press from which to publish his catalogues of his large book collections.

This was followed in the 1880’s as a ‘Retreat’ for two famous Artists and Designers, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.  The Tower seemed to make a great impression upon them as they went onto to establish the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

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Today the Tower is part of a Country Park and is open for visitors to climb to the Tower and enjoy panoramic views over the Cotswolds, the Industrial Midlands, six counties and to the far-off Welsh Hills. 

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Well worth a visit but as always…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

The Name is the same….. Castle and Village

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CORFE CASTLE….

A battle scarred Castle stand above the village.  Both share the same name…Corfe Castle.

The Castle was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.  Its location, on high ground on the Isle of Purbeck* in the County of Dorset, made it a near perfect ‘lookout’ and defensive position.   During its history it has fulfilled its role as a fortress, as a Royal Palace and also as a Family home. If you want the full history then your favourite search engine will oblige!

Today, both the Castle and the Village, are  on the well trodden tourist trail.  But don’t let that put you off……  it is a great place to explore.  There is space for everyone and the Castle is much bigger than it looks.

*Isle of Purbeck is not an island, but a peninsula of land with an English Channel coastline.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

18th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

Grand Architecture…….

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Jens Bang’s House, Aalborg, Denmark

Early morning sunshine in Aalborg shows off the detail of this rather fabulous house.  Detailed brickwork, high gables and a cupola entrance above a stairway add to the fascination created by the architect.   It is know as Jens Bang’s  House and overlooks Nytorv Square.  Built in 1624 it has stood the test of time…… I do wonder if the designers, builders and owners ever dreamt that it would remain standing in 2020.

The building is also home to a Pharmacy,  which has shared the building for over 300 years, ( Swaneapotek (Swan Pharmacy)  it is still a Pharmacy to this day….. that must be some kind of record.

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I also understand that the roadway, in front of Jens Bang’s House, is actually over what was once the waterfront, the building having direct access to the quay.   As Bang’s was a Merchant and Trader I guess this made it the perfect location for his home and business enterprise.

One of the joys of travelling, is that of discovering buildings and their stories.  Aalborg had many surprises but this spectacular house will live long in our memories.

Wherever, and if you are able to travel,

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

13th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

Wordless Wednesday…. Another Favourite Place

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Location:-  Charles V Palace, The Palaces of Alhambra,  Granada of the Moors, Spain

Sometimes a Favourite place remains in ones memory even if the chances of a return visit are perhaps slim.  Alhambra is one such place.  It is perhaps the complexity of Alhambra as well as is beauty that makes it a special memory.  The reality is that Alhambra is not just one ‘place’ but a collection of Palaces of different ages from the days when the Moors where the dominant power.  Many of the Palaces follow a styled theme, each different, but still a recognisable style.

On most tours of the vast estate of  Palaces, The Palace of Charles V is one of the first you enter.  It is very deferent to all the other you will experience on your tour.  Although different it sets a scene of the size and detail of things to come.  It will also give you a taste of the crowds of visitors who you will share these special places with.  Enjoy and be prepared to be overwhelmed by the experience.

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CV19 is going to be with us for  a long time, so if we ever want to explore once again…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

 

12th August

(C) David Oakes 2020