Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the theme columns and vertical lines.
The Alphabet starts with “A” and that is the subject of Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week, starting appropriately with the amazing letter A!
I have a file of letter-shaped things. I got the idea for it when I saw this cute little ladder in our neighborhood and immediately thought of the letter A!
My brother-in-law sings in a barbershop chorus called The Arlingtones. It is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
In Cairo we visited the Museum of Islamic Art. Arabic writing is an art form in itself!
In the spring, swans mate and lay their eggs. In early April, the female has laid 2 eggs and by the end of April, she has laid all her eggs!
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her theme “all about buildings” and this week’s topic is colorful buildings.
In Amsterdam, Holland:
the red light district
De Pijp neighborhood (across from our Airbnb)
the Town Hall (Rathaus)
Wurzburg’s colorful cathedral:
Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico:
Sports stadium in Aswan, Egypt:
Tucumcari, New Mexico, USA on Route 66:
Shamrock, Texas (Route 66):
Cuba, Missouri (Route 66):
Uranus, Missouri (Route 66):
Norm’s Thursday Doors is back! I haven’t been anywhere, like most of us. So I went into my archives and found photos of this charming place that we stayed one night at in Abu Simbel City, in southern Egypt. This region, which is today southern Egypt and northern Sudan, was traditionally the home of the Nubian people. Nubia (also known as “Kush” in ancient times) was often fought over, conquered and reconquered by the Egyptians while the Nubians rebelled for independence; in the end, Nubia became a part of Egyptian society while retaining some local cultural elements. Egypt even had a few Nubian pharaohs.
Traditional Nubian villages were colorful collections of domed houses. They used dome structures because clay bricks made from the mud produced by the Nile’s annual inundation were conducive to this architectural style. Also the domes kept their houses cool in the hot weather. The men painted the house interiors white, while the women were in charge of painting the exteriors and they chose colorful pigments – blues, oranges, yellows, etc.
Here are some photos of Nubian-style buildings, taken from our tour bus as we drove through Abu Simbel City.
Many Nubian villages were displaced from their land with the building of the Aswan High Dam and had to be relocated, so in the years from 1960-1967, they were moved to a remote area in the desert north of Aswan. The Egyptian government provided them with houses made of concrete, with flat roofs. This caused the interior of the homes to be very hot in the summer. Furthermore, these houses were inadequate because of their size – while previously Nubian families enjoyed houses with nine rooms, they were now forced to live in 4-room houses shared by two families. Crowding combined with the heat caused sanitary conditions to deteriorate. Nubian children began to attend Egyptian schools in which the language of instruction was Arabic. As fewer Nubians grew up reading and writing their native language, their culture threatened to die out.
In recent decades, the Nubian people have sought a revival of their culture and their written language.
The Eskaleh Lodge belongs to a musician and his wife who wanted to share their culture with the world, and is decorated with Nubian arts and crafts. The lodge is built in traditional Nubian style, characterized by domed roofs and archways. The domed ceilings keep the rooms cool. The lodge is a series of hallways and courtyards flanked by rooms.
There is native artwork on display in hallways and public areas.
Traditional Nubian music is heard in the public areas of Eskaleh Lodge. A professor who came to give us a lecture about Nubian history and culture played for us on a mandolin-type instrument.
Most interesting was an instrument called a kisir. This 5-string harp-like instrument became katar (something like this) in Arabic, and in Spain it became “guitar.” The kisir is played by moving one’s fingers on and off the strings as the other hand strummed, much like how the guitar is played today.
Abu Simbel City is a colorful town in which the Nubians have begun to construct their buildings in the traditional way and return to some of their customs. Until recently, few tourists visited the area because it was so remote or took day trips from Aswan (about 2 hours each way) to see the Abu Simbel temples. That is why the Eskaleh Lodge is so important – there are still few lodgings in Abu Simbel and the lodge is a beautiful example of the revival of Nubian culture.
Cee has a new theme for her Fun Foto Challenge, which is all about buildings. This week the topic is modern houses and apartments. I decided to concentrate on apartment buildings, which tend to be more modern than houses (at least around here).
The Dohany St. Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue, in Budapest, Hungary, is the largest synagogue in Europe and the 4th largest in the world. It can accommodate close to 3,000 worshippers.
The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, incorporating decoration based on Islamic models from North Africa and la Alhambra in Granada, Spain. The Viennese architect reasoned that no distinctive Jewish style of architecture could be identified, so he used elements from the people most closely related to the Israelites, most particularly the Arabs.
The synagogue constituted the border of the Jewish Ghetto in Budapest during the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and the complex includes the Jewish Museum, Heroes’ Temple, the graveyard and Holocaust Memorial.
The Dohany St. Synagogue is the center of the Reform Jewish denomination in Budapest. From there, you can take a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter, an interesting historic area in the Pest part of the city.
Posted for Ludwig’s Monday Window photo challenge.
Information obtained from Wikipedia.
If you were a bird living in a European urban environment, what would you consider desirable places to perch, or possibly even make a nest? Birds can be found everywhere, but the higher they are, the safer, perhaps. So for Day 17 of Becky’s July Squares: Perspective, I present excellent places to get a bird’s eye view: spires!
For Ludwig’s Monday Window Challenge, I am looking back at a cruise we took to the Panama Canal, stopping at several Central American Pacific ports on the way back. All these windows have grates. One of them, however, was taken in Jerusalem last year.
The purple sashes were there because it was Holy Week.
Actually, I think these windows have shutters, not grates.
Todos Santos, Mexico
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week is things that are long.
Long necks and long legs!
Long stem (bell stand) and long trunk (palm tree)
The Sphinx’s long front legs
Long (and tall) bridge
Tall obelisks (they were long before they were hoisted into position 😉 )
Very long building! (and this is only a partial view!)
The Iowa state capitol in Des Moines is atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown. The exterior is entirely of stone with elaborate columns, cornices and capitals.
Looking up inside toward the top of the dome
Posted for Becky’s April Squares with the topic TOP.
The Iowa state capitol building is one of the prettiest I have seen, so I am including more photos highlighting the decorative tile floors and ceilings. The interior is constructed with several types of Iowan wood as well as 29 types of imported marble.
The House of Representatives, looking down:
and above, elaborate decor.
Colorful designs mark the floors, stairways and ceilings.
Looking toward the center of the building, the rotunda below
The library is a real gem!
If you are ever in Des Moines, the state capitol is worth a visit – bring your camera!
Wikipedia: Iowa State Capitol