Arch of the Sergii

Pula, Croatia

29-27 BCE

The arch commemorates three brothers of the Sergii family, specifically Lucius Sergius Lepidus, a tribune serving in the twenty-ninth legion that participated in the Battle of Actium and disbanded in 27 BCE . This suggests an approximate date of construction: 29-27 BCE. The arch stood behind the original naval gate of the early Roman colony. The Sergii were a powerful family of officials in the colony and retained their power for centuries.

The honorary triumphal arch, originally a city gate, was erected as a symbol of the victory at Actium. It was paid for by the wife of Lepidus, Salvia Postuma Sergia, sister of the three brothers. Both of their names are carved in the stone along with Lucius Sergius and Gaius Sergius, the honoree’s father and uncle respectively. In its original form, statues of the two elders flanked Lepidus on both sides on the top of the arch. On either side of the inscription, a frieze depicts cupids, garlands and bucrania.

This small arch with pairs of crenelated Corinthian columns and winged victories in the spandrels, was built on the facade of a gate (Porta Aurea) in the walls, so the part, visible from the town-side, was decorated. The decoration is late hellenistic, with major Asia Minor influences. The low relief on the frieze represents a scene with a war chariot drawn by horses.

Carew Castle, Wales

The present castle, which replaced an earlier stone keep, is constructed almost entirely from the local Carboniferous limestone, except for some of the Tudor architectural features such as window frames, which are made from imported Cotswold stone. Although originally a Norman stronghold the castle maintains a mixture of architectural styles as modifications were made to the structure over successive centuries.

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an empty gun

(so, uh. that letter in percy’s pocket, huh? sure did read kind of like a suicide note… sure hope someone in vox machina picks up on that… sure hope this severely traumatised early-twenties kid gets some explicit mental health support real soon…)

warnings for discussions of suicide, mild suicidal ideation, brief mentions of canonical torture, mental health issues


“So,” says Scanlan, when he finally finds Percy. He’s high up on the ramparts of Castle Whitestone, on the thin walkway that runs behind the crenellated wall, just… standing. Watching. His coat, still torn through with bullet holes and stained russet-red with dried blood, his blood, flaps faintly in the breeze. “I’m sure the others aren’t going to appreciate me telling you this, but we found that letter of yours.”

The air up this high is cold, far colder than it is on the ground, and the wind is something fierce. It bites at exposed skin, grabs and tugs at any loose items of clothing. Though Scanlan’s sheltered somewhat by the wall, waist-height for humans and head-height for gnomes, Percy’s hair is blown back against his scalp, the tails of his coat snapping audibly behind him. In the several long seconds it takes Percy to answer, Scanlan can’t help but wonder whether his words have been stolen away by the sound of the howling almost-gale.

“Letter?” asks Percy, eventually, absently, still staring that thousand-yard-stare out over the quiet streets of Whitestone and the misty forest beyond. He doesn’t seem entirely there, if Scanlan’s being honest – hasn’t since they brought him back. As though death has filed his edges down, numbed him. As though he’s missing something.

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Eastend House

The earliest origins of Eastend are unclear, but there is thought to have been a castle on this site owned by the Carmichael family since the 13th century. Unfortunately the majority of the family’s papers from before 1677 were accidentally destroyed. 

The Carmichaels also owned the castle of Carmichael nearby. It is not known which of the two branches of the family is the oldest, some sources asserting that the Carmichaels of Carmichael are older than the Carmichaels of Eastend, while others insist the opposite. It may also have been the case originally that Eastend was used by the eldest son and heir of the head of the family at Carmichael. One version has it that Eastend became the home of a branch of the Carmichaels of Carmichael which separated from the main line around 1500. The oldest visible part of the building, a rectangular keep, dates from around this time, although it is said to incorporate earlier work. The keep was originally three storeys in height, plus a garret within a crenellated walkway with bartizans at each corner. It had a vaulted basement, with the main doorway being at first floor level.

Although Carmichael appears on early maps, Eastend doesn’t appear to. However a castle named Wairnhill does appear on Joan Blaeu’s map of 1654, based on a late 16th century Timothy Pont map. Wairnhill’s location could be interpreted as approximately where Eastend is – south-east of Carmichael and west of Covington Tower. 

Warrenhill is the name of the Carmichael farm midway between Carmichael and Eastend. Could Wairnhill / Warrenhill be an earlier name for what is now known as Eastend?

When the castle at Carmichael was destroyed by Cromwell, Eastend appears to have escaped unharmed. It has been suggested that while the Carmichaels of Carmichael were Royalists, the Carmichaels of Eastend may have been loyal to the Government. Four story wings were added to the east and west sides of the keep in 1673, with crow-stepped gables, forming a U-plan in shape. At this time the vaulting was removed from the ground floor of the keep, and much of its interior gutted during the installation of a grand wooden staircase. A string course was added between the ground floor and first floor levels, and the windows in the keep were enlarged.

The space between the two new wings was filled in in the 18th century with the addition of bow-fronted façade. When a John Carmichael died unmarried and without an heir in 1789, Eastend passed to his nephew Maurice Carmichael, son of Michael Carmichael of Hessilhead. Maurice’s son, another Michael, married Mary MacQueen Thomson Honyman, the daughter and heiress of William Thomson Honyman of Mansfield, Ayrshire. Upon their marriage, they took the name of Thomson-Carmichael. In 1851 they commissioned a large Scots baronial wing was added to the west by David Bryce.

During the occupation of Poland in 1939 - 1945, the house was used as a HQ for the general staff of the Polish National Army. With the liberation of Poland in 1945, it was left empty and was acquired by the McNeil Hamiltons, and following Edith’s death in 1959 it passed to two of her daughters, Miriam Millicent and Enid McNeill Hamilton. Enid died in 1979, but Miriam continued to live at Eastend until her death in 1991.

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Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad, India | Sean Patrick McAuliffe

The Golkonda Fort used to have a vault where once the famous Kohinoor and Hope diamonds were stored along with other diamonds including the current Crown Jewel. 

The Golconda fort was first built by Kakatiya as part of their western defenses. It was built in 945 CE-970 CE[1] on the lines of the Kondapalli fort. The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (400 ft) high and is surrounded by massive crenelated ramparts. The fort was rebuilt and strengthened by Pratapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty.[2] The fort was further strengthened by Musunuri Nayaks who overthrew the Tughlak army occupying Warangal. The fort was ceded by the Musunuri chief, Kapaya Nayaka to the Bahmanis as part of the treaty in 1364 AD.[3] The fort became the capital of a major province in the Sultanate and after its collapse the capital of the Qutb Shahi kings. The fort finally fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.

After the collapse of the Bahmani Sultanat, Golkonda rose to prominence as the seat of the Qutb Shahi dynasty around 1507. Over a period of 62 years the mud fort was expanded by the first three Qutb Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite, extending around 5 km in circumference. It remained the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty until 1590 when the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. The Qutb Shahis expanded the fort, whose 7 km outer wall enclosed the city. The state became a focal point for Shia Islam in India, for instance, in the 17th century, Bahraini clerics, Sheikh Ja`far bin Kamal al-Din and Sheikh Salih Al-Karzakani both emigrated to Golkonda.[4]


She was no stranger to waiting, after all. Her men had always made her wait. “Watch for me, little cat,” her father would always tell her, when he rode off to court or fair or battle. And she would, standing patiently on the battlements of Riverrun as the waters of the Red Fork and the Tumblestone flowed by. He did not always come when he said he would, and days would ofttimes pass as Catelyn stood her vigil, peering out between crenels and through arrow loops until she caught a glimpse of Lord Hoster on his old brown gelding, trotting along the river-shore toward the landing. “Did you watch for me?” he’d ask when he bent to hug her. “Did you, little cat?”


‘Hearing Voices’ - The Fairy Glen - Isle of Skye by Gavin Hardcastle - Fototripper
Via Flickr:
Imagine the chills I felt as for the second time I heard voices in the Fairy Glen - Scottish voices. This was my second visit to this mystical and enchanted Glen on the Isle of Skye on Scotland. The day before I felt sure I could just hear a faint conversation but as I stood atop the hill to survey the surrounding area not a soul could be seen. On the second day I’d completely forgotten about the mystery voices until once again they wafted my way. I couldn’t quite make out the words as they seemed to fade in and out, so I made a concerted effort to try strain my ears and listen harder. Again, the voices gently lapped over the crenellated hillocks and as I prepared to by awed by the magical whisperings of otherworldly fairies I finally heard this clear pronouncement. “Frae Fecks sake man, get yer feckin shayte together and pass me that feckin stack!” Magical, truly magical thought I. To this day I’m convinced it was the fairies and nothing to do with the middle aged man and boy working on a gate repair about half a kilometer away from the Glen. Enjoy Gavin Hardcastle


View of St Swithun’s Church in East Grinstead by Philip Bird
Via Flickr:
View of St Swithun’s Church in East Grinstead

209 Words To Describe Touch

Abrasive, Ample, Angular, Bald, Barbed, Bendable, Blemished, Blistered, Bloated, Blunt, Bristly, Broken, Bubbly, Bulging, Bulky, Bumpy, Bushy
Caked, Carved, Chafing, Chapped, Chunky, Circular, Clammy, Clean, Coarse, Cold, Cool, Corrugated, Cratered, Crenelated, Crocheted, Cushioned, Damaged, Damp, Dehydrated, Dense, Dented, Dirty, Distended, Distorted,  Doughy, Downy, Drenched, Dry, Dusty,
Embossed, Enamelled, Encrusted, Engorged, Engraved, Etched, Even
Fat, Feathery, Filmy, Firm, Flat, Fleecy, Flimsy, Fluffy, Fluted, Fragile, Freezing, Frigid, Frothy, Furry, Fuzzy, Gelatinous, Glassy, Glazed, Glossy, Glutinous, Gnarled, Gooey, Gossamer, Grainy, Granular, Grating, Gravelly, Greasy, Grimy, Gritty, Grooved, Grubby, Hairy, Hard, Harsh, Hollow, Hot, Icy, Impenetrable, Imprinted, Indented, Inflated, Inlaid, Inscribed, Ironed, Irregular, Itchy, Jagged, Knitted, Layered, Leathery, Level, Limp, Lined, Long-haired, Loose, Luke-warm, Lumpy, Malleable, Metallic, Moist, Mosaic, Mushy, Narrow, Neat, Oily, Ornamented, Padded, Patterned, Pleated, Pliable, Pockmarked, Pointed, Pointy, Polished, Pot-holed, Prickly, Printed, Pulpy, Ragged, Rasping, Razor-sharp, Refined, Ribbed, Ridged, Rigid, Rough, Rubbery, Rusty, Rutted, Sandy, Saturated, Scalding, Scarred, Scored, Scraped, Scratched, Sculptured, Serrated, Shaggy, Sharp-edged, Sheer, Silky, Slick, Slimy, Slippery, Smooth, Soaked, Soapy, Sodden, Soft, Soggy, Soiled, Solid, Sopping, Spiky, Spiny, Spongy, Springy, Steely, Stiff, Sticky, Stubbly, Stuccoed, Sweaty, Swollen, Syrupy, Thick, Thin, Thorny, Throbbing, Tiled, Tough, Tweedy, Unblemished, Unbreakable, Uncomfortable, Uneven, Unyielding, Varnished, Velvety, Veneered, Vibrating, Viscous, Warm, Waterlogged, Wavy, Wet, Wide, Wiry, Withered, Woollen, Woven, Wrinkled, Yielding, Zigzag

Nelly Rodriguez

Travel Diary | The Grand Waldhaus Hotel

For over a century, this crenellated fortress has attracted European intellectuals and loyal families drawn to its Old World charm and resolute lack of sleek amenities.

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black swan rising (2/?)

swan lake au; part one can be found here. again your friendly reminder that this is definitely NOT as fluffy as the royal au….

Moscow in winter, when the sun is out, is a beautiful place. A frozen wonderland of gingerbread spires and onion domes, the towering facades of Pushkinskaya Square and Red Square with their gothic spires and creneled walls united by the tiny fairytale confection of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the glittering edifice of the medieval Kremlin, the rambling parks (they take pride in having so much green space for a city so large and sprawling) with their bare trees and street lamps, and the curls of white snow that lie so smooth and deep, that fragile blue color of the sky at twilight when the sun is below the horizon but there is still that rose-pearl glow, etching your breath in silver. Muscovites in furs and parkas and scarfs, sweeping by on the tide, and tourists squinting at the unfamiliar Cyrillic characters and trying to match it up to the guidebook in whatever language they originally speak. Or they just take a picture on their smartphone and run it through Google Translate. Why make things harder than they need to be?

Emma speaks fairly good English, the result of so much time spent studying the international dance world, and she will usually take pity on a clearly struggling foreigner, point them in the right direction and thus reassure them that not all Russians are vodka-swilling Terminators scientifically incapable of expressing a single human emotion or giving a single measurable fuck, or whatever other caricatures they’ve come to imagine them as in the West. Privately, however, she is bitterly jealous of them. She has lived in Moscow or close to it her entire life – the farthest she’s ever been is Murmansk, one of her particularly unpleasant care homes – and the idea of their ability to come and go as they please, to cross the world, to see what they like, to go what they want – she can barely even imagine it. This is (at least in some ways) no longer the Soviet Union, where defection was the only way to leave and meant never coming home, but the Bolshoi is not likely to agree to let her out of the country. Goldovich practically said as much, the last time she saw him. That it would be a crying shame for a dancer as talented as her, as important to him and Neal, such a star, to end up in the pay of some inferior American or European company. He has plenty of powerful friends in the Kremlin, countless strings to pull. He’s probably already had them blacklist her.

Emma’s mouth tightens, and she gets up from the bench where she’s been sitting, trying to take in some air before heading back to the theater for afternoon rehearsals. Killian gave them a long break as a reward for an excellent morning, and she feels lethargic, sun-stupefied, as she tosses the rest of her crumbs to the voracious pigeons, heads down the Metro steps into the station, and takes the train three stops to Teatralnaya. She emerges into the square, jogs toward the dancers’ entrance, and must instinctively register something strange, something off, about the old-model black Bentley limousine in the car park, the men in dark sunglasses by the door, and the way they step sharply up before apparently recognizing her and waving her through. By the time she steps into the corridors, buzzing with whispers, she realizes what is going on.

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[Post-Becca RP]

semper-floreat, thunderbirdscolonelcasey

John raises his hand in a tentative knock on the wide Manor door, waiting for Parker to come to the door to let them in. The Creighton-Ward place looms above him like a castle; all crenelations and sweeping stone arches that would be terrifying right now if they weren’t so familiar. Both John and Colonel Casey on the step are being pelted with freezing rain; British summertime, John shakes his head, turning his head to stare out into the black of the night. The clouds are obscuring his stars.

The ride over in the GDF helicopter had been… tense. Thunder and lightning had cracked all around, shaking the craft and although his Godmother had assured him it was nothing to worry about, John had been… uneasy with it, especially after the events of the day. He’s never much liked thunder anyway; it’s too much like the sound of an avalanche coming down on your ski resort, and John, feeling very small, is dripping wet and shaking with not only the cold as the double doors swing wide open, and the Lady of the Manor answers it herself.

“Penelope.” John greets, aiming for a warm smile and hoping it doesn’t look too much like a grimace. “This isn’t quite how I’d pictured this evening going. I… This is Colonel Casey.” He introduces with a wide sweep of a pale hand, “My Godmother. I apologize for our intrusion.”