Category Archives: architects & architecture

Brits and Romanians in Ardent Heritage Work in Romania: The Mihai Eminescu Trust

THE ORIGINS OF THE TRUST  …. http://www.mihaieminescutrust.org/home

The past and the future
Are two sides of one page;
He who learns them will discover
A beginning’s found at the end of an age
.
Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)

The Mihai Eminescu Trust was formed during Ceaușescu’s dictatorship, to help persecuted dissident academics by smuggling in books and journals so that they could keep abreast with the civilisation they had once shared. Our clandestine contacts took us to strange places. In 1987 I visited the lonely mountain hut of Constantin Noica, a much-revered sage who told me the ancient villages around him were facing the imminent threat of “systematisation”—obliteration by bulldozing—to make room for factories and concrete apartment blocks.

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Preserving Heritage in Romania: The Hand of Prince Charles

During a recent holiday with a touring group by bus in Romania Shona and I came across several  interesting facets of Romanian history. Among these were (A) the imprint of medieval German Saxon settlements in particular localities dating back to the 12th century and thereafter; (B) the imprint of French architectural and town planning patterns in the capital city of Bucharest -dating back to the mid 19th century and the friendship between the respective rulers of the two countries: and (C) the deep interest shown by Prince Charles in preserving the architectural heritage and life-style of specific Romanian villages and localities, notably Viscri and Valea Zalnului.(information conveyed by our guide Adrian Buracu). SO: here we go with illustrated items on

A = The Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania …. &

B = The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PWCF) 

 

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The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland

Rotating Boat Lift: The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift is named after Falkirk, the town in which it is located. It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. It opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project.

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Amer in India

Amer Fort in Amer, Rajasthan, India

On top of the Cheel ka Teela (or Hill of Eagles) in India’s Rajasthan state is the Amer Fort, a princely marble and red sandstone structure of immense beauty. Roughly four centuries old, the fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 along with five other Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Amer Fort is a great attraction for sightseers, and it welcomes thousands of visitors each day during the peak season. The treasures within include doors sheathed in panels of raised silver reliefs (or repoussé), marble carved with botanical motifs, and fantastic ceiling tiles inlaid with thousands of small, glimmering mirrors. A fortress palace fit for a Maharaja, indeed.

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Sri Lanka’s Ancient Cities in Ultra High Definition Video

Preview YouTube video Ancient Sites in Sri Lanka in 4K Ultra HD

Amazing Places on Our Planet….Published on Aug 24, 2018

The major ancient historic sites in Sri Lanka, all UNESCO World Heritage sites: Sacred City of Anuradhapura and Mihintale, Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sacred City of Kandy. Anuradhapura was capital of Sri Lanka from the 4th century BCE until the end of the 10th century CE. Anuradhapura and the nearby Mihintale are the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka, from 1070 to 1310. The Golden Temple of Dambulla is a cave-temple complex, pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, with beautiful mural paintings and statues. Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is an ancient fortress on top of a 200 meter high rock, capital of Sri Lanka for a short time in the 5th century, and Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Kandy was the last old capital of Sri Lanka. Temple of the Tooth Relic is a famous pilgrimage site in Kandy, keeping the sacred tooth of the Buddha.

Recorded January 2016 in 4K Ultra HD with Sony AX100. Music: Mike Wall – Passage – 1 – Dawn of Light Licensed via ilicensemusic.com ————————————– Continue reading

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The Wolvendaal Church in Colombo

Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of The CEYLANKAN, Vol XXI, No. 3, August 2018

The Wolvendaal Church, that almost neglected but historical building in the Pettah, is unique in many ways. It is one of the few buildings in Sri Lanka which link the Portuguese period of occupation of Sri Lanka right through the Dutch and British periods, to independent Ceylon, and finally exists as a repository of culture of the Dutch who unsuccessfully sought to conquer the whole country. Some  recent photographs show weather related damage to the exterior of the building, which seem to be  receiving the attention of those who are in charge of the church.

Wolvendaal Church in 1938 – Pic by Lionel Wendt …. and

Dutch_Reformed_Church,_Colombo Watercolour painting of the Dutch Reformed Church (Wolvendaal), Colombo by J. L. K. van Dort (1888)Watercolour painting of the Dutch Reformed Church by J. L. K. van Dort (1888)

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Potency, Power and People in Groups– British Ceylon to Modern Times via Pictures

  Penance on road, Sri Maurpthy Pathirikaali Temple, 2009

This book is both a display and a reflective exercise on the power of imagery, whether from camera or painting or etching. Images can be as captivating as seductive as misleading.  They can serve as raw data that provides glimpses of facets of life lost to the modern generations. They must, of course, be deployed by social scientists with attention to context and in association with other forms of data.

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