monumental structures

Despite the mountain’s brittle screams and wails of condemnation, making every effort to throw this evil into cold oblivion, in the hopes to drown it in the relentless storms that carried their rage.

This wraith persisted, defied, fought through the obstacles the mountains presented to it. Serpentine, were the movements. But it was far from graceful, there was no grace in describing such a abomination. With every step, climbing ever closer to the place where this creature’s previous life began. 

A ledge he found, in the frozen peaks he stood. Anchored to the cliff face he saw through the snow-blanched veil and glimpsed monumental structures in the distance. 

The mountains could not hide such secrets from him and alas the curtain fell.

Flags dancing with the winds atop spires of gold, brick work as white as the snow that fell. Chimes, songs of the pure. He heard them. Yes he heard them. 

It stirred something in his thoughts, deja vu brought on by the memories of the day he first looked upon this place. Kamar-Taj.

For a moment his body shook, feathered mantel ruffled, spine cracked and the black eyeless snakes that licked and clung to his shadow and his form, wreathed in excitement….he could smell the magic that emanated from it. 

Multitudes of piecing eyes revealed themselves in the folds of his cloak….something foul clung to the stark figure like a parasite. He was wrought with something incurable, something wretched.

But….he had returned baptised in the blood of the Old Gods…

It was only a matter of time before the old magus reached the holy ground and consumed the light there as well…..

for he only knew of the abyss…and slept in the dreams of his masters who dwell there.

X

Part 1

Part 3

This photo makes me so happy. It makes me think back to the day that consisted of us staggering/running/dancing up the Eiffel Tower to the quality of musical sound the speakers on an iPod provide, with a bag of Haribo gummy bears and a smoothie carton in hand. Upon entering the clearing, I remember noticing the colorful sprinkle of people scattered beneath the tower. I remember wondering what the reason behind their travel was and when and from where and with whom they commenced their journey so as to ultimately arrive at the same destination as me. I wanted to know their story. Being in the very presence of a structure so monumental was an undeniably magnificent experience all in itself, but sharing that lawn with different human beings from all over the world, each having embarked on their own unique adventure, made the moment that much more magical. 💫

Architecture (Part 8): Greco-Roman Temples

A Hellenistic Macedonian family ruled Egypt during the Ptolemaic Dynasty (305-30 BC).  Under their rule, a revival of Egyptian traditions & forms occurred, but with a change – instead of the temples’ previous “public majesty”, they were now darkened and mysterious.  Large building projects were carried out, temples were rebuilt or enlarged, and Egyptian religious beliefs were preserved by the foreigners.

The basic elements of temple construction & room arrangement were still used, with the pronaos and a free-standing central sanctuary (instead of against the back wall) added to them.  Under the later kings of this dynasty, the temples still provided a strong social function, serving as the town’s focus, and giving it administrative & economic value as well as spiritual value.

The Temple of Edfu was built from sandstone on the Nile’s west bank in Edfu, over a period of 180 years.  Its layout was complex, but streamlined.

Temple of Edfu.

Statues of Horus outside the entrance (close-up).

Stairways inside the pylons led to the roof.  The entrance led to a large courtyard, after which was the pronaos, hypostyle hall, small antechamber, and finally a free-standing sanctuary, surrounded by a corridor.

Decorative hieroglyphic texts state that the temple was built according to the ancient ideal, which re-emphasized its dedication to the cult.

Edfu was dedicated to Horus (the falcon god), and displays all the typical major temple elements: broken-lintel doorway (two partial lintels reach only a short way, with a large gap in the middle); elaborate column capitals; a screen wall across the hypostyle hall; and the roof was used for ritual.

A winged sun-disc over the pylon entrance represented Behdet, the creator & protector of the world.  The courtyard is flanked by colonnaded porticoes.  It gave an impressive public aspect to the temple, with elaborate, brightly-decorated capitals, and the large statue of Horus as a falcon at the back.

Courtyard (looking back to the pylons).

The pronaos was also called the Hall before the Great Seat”. This is the temple’s fore-hall (i.e. before the hypostyle hall).  It has three rows of six columns each.  The only light came in through a square aperture in the roof, thus emphasizing the transition between the physical & spiritual worlds.

Behind the first row of columns is a screen wall, to restrict the amount of light entering the pronaos.  This created an environment for cleansing before approaching the sanctuary.  The screen wall is made of thin stone, and is highly-decorated with images of the king & queen, cult themes, and mythological motifs, thus emphasizing the cult of the pharaoh.

In the courtyard, looking to the first row of columns.

Hypostyle hall.

The Temple of Hathor in the Dendera Temple Complex was built during the 00’s BC.  The columns supporting its hypostyle hall were crowned with 4-sided Hathor-head capitals.  The upper part of the capitals depicted the mammisi (birth house), which was identified with divine descent.  Hathor was the goddess of love.

Temple of Hathor.

Columns in the hypostyle hall.

The cornice was a projecting ornamental moulding, on along the top of pylons and temple walls.  It was a standard part of Egyptian decoration.  The earliest designs were simple mud-brick and reed, and later elaborate designs were of detailed cult symbolism, such as the striking cobra and sun-disc.  Cornices gave elegance to monumental structures.

Ancients Meeting the Sun Trio
  • Britannia: I heard that we’re meeting new empires today… I wonder how they are…?

  • Rome: I hope you don’t scare them.

  • Britannia: what is THAT supposed to mean, idiot??

  • Aztec: HEY EVERYONE!!! Nice ta meet ya!
  • 
Rome: oh hey, you just be the new empires! What’re your names?
  • 
Aztec: The name’s Aztec and I used to live in present day Mexico! Oh, let me introduce my other friends over here! This is Maya, she’s the knowledgable one!
  • 
Maya: hi~
  • 
Aztec: and this is Inca, he’s quiet at times, but he’s crazy about administrating and stuff… Which I don’t really get, but oh well! 

  • Inca: hello there…
  • 
Aestii: hello~ are you all well known? I haven’t seen any of your faces before~
  • 
Maya: we are, but we live in Mesoamerica…
  • 
Most of Ancients: ….. Wut?
  • 
China: oh yeah, you guys weren’t here when the world finally knows about them-aru. They live in the Americas, and they were very well known empires in the Americas! They’re also good at math and astronomy as well.
  • 
Greece: oh… I see… Do you read?
  • 
Aztec: …. Nope! What’s that?
  • 
Britannia: HA! I’m not the only illiterate one here anymore!!
  • 
Maya: we use quipu and drawings instead…. But I really love math and astronomy… Especially architecture~
  • 
Greece: …. Math….. I’m more into philosophy though….
  • 
Anatolia: hmmm…. What are your favourite hobbies?
  • 
Inca: I like to build roads and govern.
  • 
Rome: you like roads too?!? Nice!! We’re going to be great friends!!
  • 
Persia: I love to govern too, tell me what you do.
  • 
Aztec: I like to conquer, pillage, and get offerings!
  • 
Britannia: pillaging and conquer… I like your style.
  • 
Gaul: this guy is amazing!
  • 
Carthage: how do you maintain your empire with only conquering and pillaging?
  • 
Aztec: I have my ways… And I’m really good at it!
  • 
Egypt: …. Architect?
  • 
Maya: yes, I love building stone monuments and pyramidal structures~
  • 
Egypt: …… We are now good friends…..
  • 
Maya: … Eh?
  • 
Egypt: do you like sacrifices?
  • 
Scandia: what kind of question is that??
  • 
Inca, Maya, and Aztec: YEAH!!
  • 
Germania: …. Very straight forward….
  • 
Maya: we also love the sun!
  • 
Inca: the sun is the best….
  • 
Egypt: …. Very good friends….
  • 
Rome: do you dislike anything?? You guys seem to like nearly everything…
  • 
Aztec: well, there are two people we don’t like…. Absolutely hate, actually!
  • 
Iberia: really? Who~? But you should love everyone…~
  • 
Maya: we don’t like Spain and Portugal.
  • 
Inca: they’re the worst. Destroying our empire, and later on, our existence!
  • 
Aztec: always saying that they’re the best when they actually just want our gold…. Which I don’t EVEN HAVE!!! Those are the kind of barbarians we hate! Ugh!
  • 
Iberia: ……………….
  • 
China: oh……
  • 
Rome: ….. Ermmmm….
  • 
Britannia: ….. Hmmmm….
  • 
Pontus: ……… Iberia……?
  • 
Maya: hm? What’s wrong?
  • 
Inca: did Spain and Portugal get you too? Though…. You guys are older than us…
  • 
Iberia: well…. They’re… Erm…. My sons….. 

  • Inca, Maya, and Aztec: ………………………… We can’t be friends then.
  • 
Iberia: nooooooooooo, waiitttttt~ *cries*
  • 
Maya: we’re okay with others, though…
  • 
Gaul: I see… So wanna go hunting?
  • 
Aztec: Yeah! Sure!
  • 
Iberia: wait…. Please like meeeeeeee~
10

Cool Hotels: THE OLD CLARE HOTEL, Sydney

Situated along Kensington Street, in the re-developed Chippendale district,  which has become the home of choice for dozens of art galleries, production houses, graphic and fashion design studios, plus Sydney’s most exciting new restaurants, cafés and bars, The Old Clare Hotel is housed in two heritage-listed buildings: the Clare Hotel and Carlton United Administration buildings, joined by a monumental glass and steel structure. Renovated respecting the buildings’ original architectural elements, by local architecture practice Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the hotel has designed to become both a cool place for visitors to stay and a hip hub for locals, with its three new restaurants from esteemed chefs Sam Miller, Clayton Wells and Jason Atherton, The Clare Bar, that serves as the hotel lobby bar,  and the soon-opening spa.

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segovia autumn castle by mariusz kluzniak   

© Mariusz Kluzniak