E.J.Wilkins

04 Dec 2007 573 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image Convent of Christ and Templar stronghold, Tomar

Convent of Christ and Templar stronghold, Tomar


Stairways.

My third group of pictures from Tomar.

Amazing isn't it, how something so utilitarian as a spiral staircase can be so beautiful and almost organic. These are just two of several within the residential parts of the complex at Tomar.

I've always been used to spiral stairways turning clockwise as you go up them. I was once told that it was to ensure that those going down the stairs, who may have held swords in their right hands, would face any opponents with a free sword hand. Yet at many places we have visited on the continent they turn in the other direction, as these do. This would give any attackers the greater opportunity, perhaps.

These two pictures were in different areas. I could have equalized them by fading the colours, but this is truly how they were on the day we were there with the red tiles bleached by the sunlight falling on them while the other was protected from the sun which, that day, gave a scorching 35 degrees centigrade.

.....

If you have a spare moment, please visit my vfxy
.

Convent of Christ and Templar stronghold, Tomar


Stairways.

My third group of pictures from Tomar.

Amazing isn't it, how something so utilitarian as a spiral staircase can be so beautiful and almost organic. These are just two of several within the residential parts of the complex at Tomar.

I've always been used to spiral stairways turning clockwise as you go up them. I was once told that it was to ensure that those going down the stairs, who may have held swords in their right hands, would face any opponents with a free sword hand. Yet at many places we have visited on the continent they turn in the other direction, as these do. This would give any attackers the greater opportunity, perhaps.

These two pictures were in different areas. I could have equalized them by fading the colours, but this is truly how they were on the day we were there with the red tiles bleached by the sunlight falling on them while the other was protected from the sun which, that day, gave a scorching 35 degrees centigrade.

.....

If you have a spare moment, please visit my vfxy
.

comments (20)

And who trod there... and why.

Thats the attraction.
EJWilkins: Oh yes, and especially when you can see a worn path on the stone floors.
Fascinating. I've honestly never given a thought, until now, to the direction of the spiral.
EJWilkins: There, then that's your 'new thing' for today smile
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 4 Dec 2007, 05:07
This is so good, I cannot think of any better English words now, to express what I thougth when I saw these pictures, but say it is Dutch will do no good to you, taking this picture and thinking about the nice curves is what it is, people don't see the beauty of things, they are to much in a hurry, but you captured it very well smile
EJWilkins: They were so good to look at that they almost demanded to be touched, weird really. I could have spent ages just looking at these. I hope one day you can go there too. Thank you for your lovely comment. smile
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 4 Dec 2007, 06:17
I had never thought of the direction of the spiral stairs either, Ellie. Wow! It makes sense. And now I'm wondering why our spiral to our apartment here In Amsterdam is going the other way? Maybe they didn't have to take swords into consideration?! grin

Interestingly, the shot on the left feels like it's wood, because of the color. I like that. You're getting all fancy on us these days, Ellie, with your collages. They're fun, aren't they! smile
EJWilkins: When I first spotted the one on the left I thought it was wood, then when I realised it wasn't I was amazed at what they had been able to do. I'm not so sure there are such skilled craftsmen/designers around today. This is several hundreds of years old.
You'd love this place Ginnie, and the town too .. two days you'd need to see them both properly. smile
surprenante photo et belle
EJWilkins: Merci beaucoup O-P smile
Those curves follow Hogarth's 'Line of Beauty' Have a look at http://www.cichw.net/pmanalysis.html
EJWilkins: I Have never, ever heard of that Ian .. interesting reading indeed, thanks. I've bookmarked that page and will try to learn some more. You're right, maybe that's why they look so good.
  • Ann
  • 4 Dec 2007, 10:15
Very beautiful places. As you say, they seem to be organic. I learnt something about stairs thanks to your comment ... Have a nice day ! Ann
EJWilkins: I did have a nice day, and I hope you did too. Thanks Ann smile
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 4 Dec 2007, 10:43
Beautiful, and informative, post, Ellie.
EJWilkins: Thanks Ray smile
these beautiful places you visit Ellie, I am glad, you share them with us, for if it wasn't for your photogrpahs here, I would have never given the direction of the stairs any thoughts. These are beautiful, indeed almost organic...
EJWilkins: There are so many beautiful places to see, all around the world. I've only experienced a few of them, will never have time to see everything no matter how hard I try, so I cherish the pictures I see on Shutterchance. I'm thrilled you like this one Patrick, imagine one of your ladies somewhere like this?
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 4 Dec 2007, 13:56
The idea of architecture influenced by the wish not to cross swords. Novel and most likely true.

Staircases are like window shutters - they are picture opportunities.
EJWilkins: Protection or otherwise? And you're right, they are picture opportunities.
(will reply to mail separately)
These are fascinating, and very thought provoking! I don`t believe I have ever considered the direction of spiral staircases, but what you say makes so much sense. (:o)
EJWilkins: I have no idea if it's true, but it seems right somehow. Thanks Ros ... enjoy your 201st picture smile
  • Martin
  • United States
  • 4 Dec 2007, 14:21
I especially like the one on the left. Somehow it doesn't look planned but rather like something that grew there. How old is this? It looks vaguely Gothic, but cleaner than what I am used to seeing in northern Europe, which leads me to believe it must be pretty early. Maybe 13th or 14th century?
EJWilkins: It's my favourite too Martin, the design and engineering is quite amazing. I think it must be about the dates you mention, when we get back there (one day I hope) I'll see if I can find out when. But, to me, it looked almost early 20th century design, art-nouveau almost. Nothing 'new' is there, not really?
Very nice pictures Ellie. Never thought of stairs turning one way or the other. I'll check in future. Thanks for information
EJWilkins: Thanks Richard ... just imagine, each time you use a spiral staircase you'll think of these pictures. Fame, at last! tongue
  • Bill Phillips
  • Droitwich-the Venice of Worcestershire
  • 4 Dec 2007, 18:59
Perhaps the original owners were left handed? wink Nice pair of pictures Ellie, very well presented.
EJWilkins: You know, I thought of that too, which set me off on a wander round the net looking to see where left handed people were most common, but I got side tracked along the way!
Interesting architectural details there Ellie, and nicely presented as well.
EJWilkins: Thanks Les
Funky shot. They hadn't left the Holy Grail lying about by any chance? All the best, Dave.
EJWilkins: Didn't have time to look ... will check out the cubby holes next time we visit wink
Beautiful photos, Ellie! I actually had a photo of the exact same stairs (the ones on the left), almost from the angle you chose, here at Shutterchance... I too was attracted to the amazing beauty of the design. So cool to know that you were here in Portugal... wink
Otra buena muestra de sombras y luces. Muy bien conseguidos los tonos!

Another good sample of shades and lights. Obtained the tones very well!
Again very beautiful, like the way you have combined these two pics...
Stairway to heaven? Nice ones

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a constructive critical comments icon ShMood©
camera unknown
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed unknown
aperture f/0.0
sensitivity unknown
focal length 0.0mm
Tallinn MemorialTallinn Memorial
Convent of Christ and Templar stronghold, TomarConvent of Chris...
Convent of Christ and Templar stronghold, TomarConvent of Chris...

Warning