This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Brno Architecture

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 28, 2017

Central nave of St. James’s Church, a late Gothic (13th century) structure. One advantage of a mirrorless camera is that it’s small and can be operated soundlessly. Because there were no other tourists around, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable photographing this interior with a big DSLR.

St. James's Church, Brno

Exterior of St. James’s Church.

St. James's Church, Brno

Detail of House of the Lords of Lipá, an extremely ornate 16th-century Renaissance building (the sgraffito facade is actually 19th century), now a shopping center.


Cool building decorations in central Brno.




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Munich Architecture

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 27, 2017

Munich architecture is a very interesting mix of styles. This colourful glass wall (“Bühnenfenster,” an installation by Olafur Eliasson, of Narima glass, by Schott) is the back of the Bavarian State Opera’s rehearsal hall.

Rehearsal Hall of Bavarian State Opera

The Max Planck Society, a research center, has a very cool interlocking stone sculpture flanking its main entrance.

ax-Planck-Gesellschaft, Generalverwaltung, Munich

Across the the street from the Max Planck Society is the Bavarian State Chancery, which was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in steel and glass. It’s so wide that I would have needed an extreme wide angle lens to photograph the entire building, so you’ll have to settle for the middle section.

Bayerische Staatskanzlei (Bavarian State Chancery), Munich

The New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) from the outside, below the tower. Our guide told us that the glockenspiel performance isn’t worth organizing your schedule around, but if you happen to be passing through Marienplatz just before 5 p.m., you might as well hang around for a few minutes to watch the mechanical jousting knights.

Neues Rathaus, Munich

Courtyard of the new city hall, in typical neo-Gothic style.


Highly decorated oriel windows in the courtyard of the new city hall.


Accordionist playing in what we would have assumed was a beer garden. Our guide told us that to be considered a beer garden (a place where you are welcome to bring your own food as long as you purchase the drinks), it has to be a permanent set-up. Since the tables and umbrellas are only out in good weather, apparently it’s not a true beer garden. The accordionist let out a yelp after each song so that people would notice and applaud.


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Conwy Castle in the Rain

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 12, 2014


Conwy Castle, in Conwy, Wales, was built by Edward I between 1283 and 1289. It is considered one of the best preserved and finest examples of military architecture of this period. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good photos of the castle from the outside, because it was raining heavily that morning (we were lucky that during our 10 days in the UK, we had only a half hour of heavy rain). Many of the towers have been strengthened and you can climb to the top.




Conwy Castle was an integral part of the city walls and fortifications.



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More Shots of Jaffa

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 23, 2014


(Above) Alley in Old Jaffa

(Below) Doorway to nowhere. Well-preserved door mounted against a stone wall.


Another doorway to nowhere:




Enclosed balconies across from the marina:


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Interior of St. Vitus Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 21, 2013


Above: Polychrome decorated choir in the south transcept. The vaulting is much less elaborate than in the nave.

Below: Wohlmut’s choir (organ gallery) on the north transcept.


Carved wooden map of Prague, dated 1620.


Tomb of St. John of Nepomuch (1345-93), a national Czech saint and considered the first martyr of the seal of the confessional. This monument is cast silver and silver gilt, designed by the Austrian sculptor Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach  (1656-1723).


Altarpiece of Lady Chapel with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The main section depicts the Visitation.


Polychrome Gothic altar. I don’t recall which chapel.


Altarpiece of the St. Anne chapel. The neoclassical style of the figures is unusual because most of the altarpieces in the cathedral seem to be gothic (I admit I didn’t do a survey and I’m relying on my memory).


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St. Vitus Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 21, 2013


St. Vitus Cathedral, located in the Prague Castle complex, could be called the Altneu cathedral. Although it was founded in 1344, much of the building was constructed later. The neo-gothic facade (above) was designed around the turn of the 20th century by Josef Mocker and finished in the 1950s. Construction was rather slow for 600 years. The St. Wenceslas Jubilee in 1929 provided the final push in the 1920s. The entire western half (i.e., the entrance, above) of the cathedral is neo-Gothic (Victorian period), but the elements blend together well. The cathedral is the largest church in the country (124 x 60 meters) and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. The photo above doesn’t really do it justice. The courtyard in front of the cathedral is rather small, so I had to use a wide angle lens and stand directly in front.

View of the nave, looking towards the west. The rose window, which doesn’t show up very well in this photo, was designed by Frantisek Kysela in 1925-27.


View towards the eastern end of the nave, taken in the transcept.


Peter Parler’s splendid net vaults were possibly inspired by English Gothic architecture. Parler was the master builder who took over construction in 1352, when he was only 23 years old. The vault style is characterized by the doubled diagonal ribs and are not merely decorative. They provide additional support for the ceiling. (I took this photo with a wide angle lens in the transcept, looking straight up. That always makes me a bit dizzy.)


Southern portal, also called the Golden Gate, because of the gold mosaic of the Last Judgment.


South portal,  showing the Last Judgement mosaic, below the windows of the St. Wenceslas chapel. Kings entered through this doorway for coronation in the chapel.


Last Judgment mosaic


Gilded ironwork on south side.


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Trinity College Library: Cathedral of Books

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 9, 2013

Trinity College, Dublin

Although photography is not permitted in the Book of Kells exhibit, it is allowed in the Long Room of the Old Library. The Long Room was built between 1712 and 1732. The upper gallery was added in the 1850s to accommodate the growing collection.

Trinity College, Dublin

The Long Room is believed to have been the model for the Jedi library in George Lucas’s film Attack of the Clones.

Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College, Dublin

View looking up at the gallery

Trinity College, Dublin

Staircase to the gallery was not open to the public. Pity–I would have loved to photograph it from above!

Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College, Dublin

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Trinity College, Dublin

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 9, 2013

Trinity College, Dublin

If you only have seven hours to spend in Dublin, Trinity College is likely to be on the to-do list. The weather in Dublin changes very quickly. The photo above was taken during a rare moment of sunshine. This is the main entrance of the college, facing College Green.

Trinity College was founded in 1592, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. It was originally a Protestant enclave, and as late as 1970, Roman Catholics were forbidden (by the church, not the university) to attend without a letter of permission from their bishop. Catholics started attending the university quite early, although rules barring them from professorships and scholarships were not lifted until 1873.

Trinity College, Dublin

The Old Library houses the Book of Kells. There was quite a long line waiting to get in. (I didn’t get any photos — too dark.)

Trinity College, Dublin

The Campanile (bell tower) stands at one end of Parliament Square. Tradition holds that a student who walks underneath the Campanile while the bell tolls will fail his or her exams.

Trinity College, Dublin

The bronze sculpture below, in front of the Berkeley Library building, is Amaldo Pomodoro’s Sphere within Sphere. Last February it was yarn-bombed.

Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College, Dublin

Public Theatre building, on the right side of Parliament Square. The Old Library is visible on the left side of the photo below:

Trinity College, Dublin

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Dublin Snapshots

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 4, 2013


This memorable statue is Molly Malone, wheeling her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow. People line up to be photographed with her. I was very impressed by the mother’s fiery red hair colour (no idea whether it’s real). We spent about 8 hours in Dublin, flying in and out in one day.

Below: Ha’penny Bridge, built in 1816 over the River Liffey. Its official name is the Liffey Bridge, although its original name was the Wellington Bridge. It was nicknamed the Ha’penny Bride because that was the toll for crossing it.


Tired leprechaun about to remove his head.


Ireland’s first parliament building, now a Bank of Ireland.


In 2012, Ireland ranked fourth in beer consumption world-wide.


Lots of tourist junk sold everywhere.


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Manchester Town Hall

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 4, 2013

Manchester Town Hall

The Manchester Town Hall, completed in 1877, is a Victorian neo-Gothic building for the local city council and government offices.  Unfortunately, most of it was closed when I was there, so I took photos of staircases that I wasn’t allowed to explore. However, I was allowed to take photos. Photography is permitted.

This guy looks like he’s checking his mobile phone.

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

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