Tina’s challenge this week is all about interesting architecture. As I guessed you would all have fantastic examples of modern buildings, I decided to focus on the birds and the bees…and only a little about human buildings. The opener shows weavers’ nests in the Amazon, Ecuador.
I am always impressed by magnificent woodpiles – and my grandfather was an excellent builder of these. But, while they often are set behind houses or hidden in a barn in Sweden, I found this special display in Switzerland. Elegantly leaning against the house and beautifully framing the window. One of a kind.
To me, one of the most interesting Nordic building is Hállgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Island. It looks almost like a spaceship icicle with smaller icicles attached to it. Everytime I visit Iceland – it is a must see again.
In Sweden we only have one skyscraper – Turning Torso by the famous architect Calatrava. I never liked it – despite it being beautifully built, it doesn’t fit in among the older buildings in Malmoe. I believe storks have better ideas about how and where to build a high rise building…Modern too – electrified!
Magpies often build high as well, and their nests are very intricate. They are durable, domed structures made of sticks and twigs and contain an interior mud cup and lining. Every nest has got two entrances – one close to the top and one from the side or under – and it can reach more than 1 meter in height. Not the nest to the far right though, that is a small but sturdy bird’s nest found during a winter walk.
The three middle pictures show the enormous European hornet’s nest we had in our summer house last summer. A fantastic and elaborate construction. Finally, my last image is from Bhutan and a monestary covered in bees’ ”pouches”. As the Buddhist monks care for everything living, they were happy to have the bees and their nests hanging there.
We thank you for your beautiful responses to last week’s “A Day in My Week” challenge – what a terrific variety of amazing days you shared with us!
We hope you’ll join us this week with some interesting architecture from around the corner or around the world. Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our reader, and to link to Tina’s original post.
We visited yet another castle on our tour to old friends some weeks ago. Läckö Castle, once voted the most beautiful Castle in Sweden.
I must confess I did not find it as interesting as Tjolöholm, but of course the looks of Läckö is maybe more of a castle with a princess waiting inside.
First we had a lecture in the King’s Hall, about the history of the castle, and then we were left to read ourselves and walk the tour on our own. There was not much of the original furniture left, but I did find a Narnia cupboard …
In the 17th century Sweden was a country of great power, so many of the paintings were from famous battles. Not my kind of art.
I found the floors to be an absolute dream though. They were laid like no other floors I have seen, and in fact this type of fitting the boards is called Läckö after the name of the castle.
There was a lovely walled garden too, and more of Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Thank you, Jude), a plant I have already ordered for my own garden next season. I just love this extravagant flower, and the story of the lady Willmott too – secretly dropping seeds of this flower in other people’s gardens…
The last picture shows a piece from the treasury at Läckö – the decorative vases used for single flowers in those days.
Tjolöholm Castle is in many respects a fairytale castle. The castle was built 1898-1904 by James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson. In fact it was Blanche who finished it, as her husband died shortly after the plans were ready.
The young architect, Lars Israel Wahlman, combined the Tudor style with modernities from the turn of the century such as showers with circularly flowing water, electricity, central heating, and a vaccuum cleaner (so big and heavy that it had to be drawn by horses). The intention was to create a home that was both comfortable and dignified.
Parts of the castle were being renovated when we visited, which of course made it more difficult to take decent photos.
Some of the most impressive ideas and rooms were the bathrooms with the special showers. All ordered from Liberty in London – the worksmen as well!
I also loved the fashion exhibition, grand royal 19th century, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert depicted from majestic festivities to the family’s private sphere. The Dickson family had moved from England and bought Tjolöholm to build a new home. The style is Arts and Crafts, and the whole interior is intact. A very unusual thing – rather fantastic. The furniture, tapestery and almost everything indoors was bought from Liberty in London – a company that still exists.
The lady’s riding costume certainly makes for the side saddle…
Rooms I really loved seeing were the children’s rooms and the flower arranging room.
Then…rooms with very special things in them or special thoughts guiding their interior decoration.
I especially want you to look at the green carpet room. The entrance to the room was meant to lead the eye along the (very) green broadloom (?) and through the window, out in the green of the garden. To create a feeling of wholeness – indoors and outdoors nature. The player piano or pianola in the last picture, is one of the last existing, working pianolas. The many boxes on top of it contains pieces of music for the instrument. The lady, one of the guides, offered to play the pianola for us. It worked perfectly well!
There is much more to be seen in this charming Tudor castle, so I suggest you visit yourself someday.
There will be one more post from me on the Castle – and the beautiful castle garden. Hope you enjoyed a piece of the cake – I enjoyed your coming along with me!
An Alphabet challenge! This week Patti invites us to share images that feature a subject on the letter A. We can also include signs and graffiti with the letter A. For an added challenge, Patti suggests capturing an image that illustrates a concept with the letter A, such as alone, abstract, or afraid.
I have chosen Art, Arch, Architecture and Abstract.
When it comes to impressive new artwork, one of my greatest favorites are The Kelpies in Scotland. We visited in 2014 when they were just put in place. The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-shifting water spirits), located near Falkirk, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Kelpies were designed by sculptor Andy Scott as a monument to horse-powered heritage across Scotland.
Thank you for all your inspirational entries for Tina’s challenge last week! A beautiful highlighting of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.
We are looking forward to seeing your new choices – please include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We hope you will join the fun!
Finally, stay tuned for Amy’s challenge next week – and until then, stay safe and well.
Hovdala is mentioned for the first time in 1130, but the presently visible castle complex began to be constructed during the early 16th century. The date 1511 can be read on one of the façades. In those days, Scania (Skåne) was a part of Denmark.
A renovation of the castle was initiated in 1993. In 2004, renovation project was awarded the Europa Nostra award for ”sensitive and intelligent restoration work.”
The castle was besieged twice by Swedish troops during the Kalmar War. But, Hovdala castle withstood both sieges.
Follow the road up in the forest behind the castle, and you will arrive at the Library Ruin – on which I have often posted. An unfinished octagon built by the owner of the castle – what a beautiful idea – to have a library in the forest! So, I will leave you there…for now.