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The Castle Tower

iPhoneOgraphy – 10 Jun 2016 (Day 162/366)

A fortified tower (also defensive tower or castle tower or, in context, just tower) is one of the defensive structures used in fortifications, such as castles, along with curtain walls. Castle towers can have a variety of different shapes and fulfil different functions.

Square or rectangular towers are easy to construct and give a good amount of usable internal space. Their disadvantage is that the corners are vulnerable to mining. Despite this vulnerability, rectangular towers continued to be used, and Muslim military architecture generally favoured them.

Wall towers, also known as mural towers, provide flanking fire (from crossbows or other projectile weapons) to a straight part of the curtain wall. Corner towers enfilade the two adjoining wall faces. If corner towers are far apart, additional flanking towers may be added between them. Towers in an outer curtain wall are often open at the back.

Particularly large towers are often the strongest point of the castle: the keep or the bergfried. As the gate is always a vulnerable point of a castle, towers may be built near it to strengthen the defences at this point. In crusader castles, there is often a gate tower, with the gate passage leading through the base of the tower itself. In European castles, it is more common to have flanking towers on either side of the gatehouse.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

The Horseshoe Arch

iPhoneOgraphy – 09 Jun 2016 (Day 161/366)

The horseshoe arch, also called the Moorish arch and the Keyhole arch, is the emblematic arch of Islamic architecture. Horseshoe arches can take rounded, pointed or lobed form.

Horseshoe arches are known from pre-Islamic Syria where the form was used in the fourth century CE in the Baptistery of Mar Ya’qub (St. Jacob) at Nisibin. However , it was in Spain and North Africa that horseshoe arches developed their characteristic form. Prior to the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Visigoths used them as one of their main architectural features. The Visigothic form was adopted and developed by the Umayyads who accentuated the curvature of the horseshoe and added the alternating colours to accentuate the effect of its shape. This can be seen at a large scale in their major work, the Great Mosque of Còrdoba. This style of horseshoe arch then spread all over the Caliphate and adjacent areas, and was adopted by the successor Muslim emirates of the peninsula, the taifas, as well as by the Almoravids, Almohads and the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, although also lobed, round, pointed and multifoil arches were also used at that time. The Mozarabs also adopted this style of arch into their architecture and illuminated manuscripts.

Horseshoe arches were also used in the Mosque of Uqba, in Kairouan and, in a slightly pointed form, in the Mosque of Muhammad bin Khairun, Tunisia. Mudéjar style, developed from the 12th to the 17th centuries, continued the tradition of horseshoe arches in the Iberian Peninsula which had been started in the 7th century by the Visigoths.

In addition to their use across the Islamic world, horseshoe arches became popular in Western countries at the time of the Moorish Revival. They were widely used in Moorish revival synagogues. Horseshoe arches are also a feature of Indo-Saracenic architecture, a style associated with the British Raj.

Shot & Edited using iPhone 6+

The Jester…

Week 14/52

The Jester or named Jolly, it is typical for its floppy six pointed hat. Another distinctive feature of the Jolly is its constant laughter, also known as the Fool or ‘Buffone’ is one of the best known characters in drama the world over. First mentioned in ancient Roman times, the character is most closely associated with the Middle Ages. The Jester’s aim is to entertain and to point out the weaknesses of other characters – a kind of early satirist. In some early plays the Jester’s mask was a donkey’s head and the ‘Buffone’ mask reflects this. It’s a particularly distinctive one : it has ‘tines’ or points both above and below the head, each one finished with a tiny bell.  The tines are thought to represent the ears of an ass; the bells are to indicate fun and frolics.

Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnival (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.

History

Near the end of the Republic, the wearing of masks in daily life was severely restricted. By the 18th century, it was limited only to about three months from December 26. The masks were traditionally worn with decorative beads matching in colour.

F/8, 4 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6

Project #14

Engelberg – Mount Titlis Switzerland

The Titlis is the highest glacier excursion destination and biggest ski and snowboard paradise in Central Switzerland. The Titlis, Engelberg’s ‘house mountain’, At an altitude of 3020 metres above sea level with a fabulous view of the central Alps.

F/5, 1/200 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6

IMG_4668v1

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