Posted on August 24, 2017
This angular building in Abu Dhabi is comparatively new, but reflects traditional architecture. It has the characteristic appearance of a wind tower – an old design that was able to capture the cooler breezes that circulate well above the ground and direct them down towards the ground.
Nowadays, of course, they have A/C.
Posted on August 23, 2017
Posted on August 17, 2017
The Abbaye de La Réau is an outstanding set of monastic buildings, some dating back to the 12th century, in the Vienne département of central France. In addition to the massive religious buildings, the site also includes the secular edifices that were a practical necessity to support the community of monks that lived here. The whole site is being sympathetically restored both internally and externally and a recent visit revealed many interesting doors – again, both internal and external – to be shared here over the next few weeks.
To begin with, though, some external views, starting with the great doorway of the Abbey itself:
The roof of the Abbey has completely gone, but the walls still look as solid as ever, even if some former doors have been closed up:
This is a view of the adjacent, and much more recent, residential block:
Although it seems clear from this image that some of the living accommodation was reclaimed from earlier uses:
This is in the grounds, next to what is now the Visitor Centre:
And finlly, for this time around, this building lies just outside the walls that enclose the complex:
Thursday Doors 17 August 2017
Posted on August 11, 2017
Last week I visited the grand old Franciscan Abbaye de la Réau, which is currently undergoing substantial restoration. On the first floor of the accommodation block is this long corridor with, it must be said, rather palaial ‘cells’ (more like ‘suites’) leading off it.
The combination of light and shadow is what makes this image particularly suitable for monochrome treatment. Further interest is added by the model of a monk sitting on a bench away in the distance on the left.
Posted on August 9, 2017
This partly overgrown double arched window can be found at the medieval Franciscan Abbaye de la Réau in the Vienne département of France. It looks like it’s had some restoration work done on it, but there’s a long way to go.
Posted on July 27, 2017
This week we have the second instalment of doors in the town of Meillant. Last week we focused on the imposing Chateau, but we are ranging a little further afield this time – although to begin with only as far as the family chapel, which stands in front of the main house:
Just inside the entrance to the site is this visitor centre, which houses a number of miniature models of the chateau and other prominent buildings:
All the doors so far have been in more or less pristine condition, but these two examples in the grounds of the Chateau are rather more neglected – and mysterious:
Finally, because there is a town (or village at any rate) outside the walls, two examples of where the other
half 99.9% live:
Thursday Doors 27 July 2017
Posted on July 20, 2017
After a visit to the restored Cistercian Abbey at Noirlac, feautured last week, we visited Chateau de Meillant, a very grand edifice that has ben in the same family for over 500 years.
How they made it through the French Revolution without an appointment with Madame Guillotine I don’t know, but the current owner lives in one wing, of which this is the main door:
The rest of the house is open to the public and is richly endowed with period features, taking photographs of which is forbidden – not least because they sell more guide-books that way. On the outside, though, there are plenty of Gothic doors to admire:
Behind the chateau is what used to be the servants’ quarters:
and the stable block, which now houses a collection of vintage cars:
Next week more from Chatea de Meillant, including some rather less pristine examples.
Thursday Doors 20 July 2017