Asokaramaya Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Interior View of the Asoka Ramaya Temple, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon
Publishers: Plâté Ltd, Colombo, (1890+)

Google Maps.

A 100+ year old temple in Colombo. It is known for it spectacular murals of early 20th century Buddhist art which has distinctive
western influences.

Wikimapia

Ashokaramaya Buddhist Temple in Kirulapone is one of the most unassuming temples you will come across in Sri Lanka. Not to be confused with the Ashokaramaya in Kalutara; this Colombo temple is an entirely different world of color and stories. The exterior in contrast is rather dull and normal looking; and as a result this temple is not very well known. However, recently with its paintings being redone; the temple has had an increase in the level of fame.
Lakpura Tours

Personal history, Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple Colombo Sri Lanka

Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England


Glastonbury Abbey – Judges Ltd
Publisher: Judges Ltd

Google Street View.

Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Investigations 1904–79 (online book)

The abbey holds a special place in English identity and popular culture. In the middle ages it was reputed to be the burial place of the legendary King Arthur and his queen Guinevere, and was regarded as the site of the earliest church in Britain, thought to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea. According to the Gospels, Joseph was the man who had donated his own tomb for the body of Christ following the crucifixion.
Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology

“The First Christian Church in Britain.”

The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th. It was destroyed by a major fire in 1184, but subsequently rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey controlled large tracts of the surrounding land and was instrumental in major drainage projects on the Somerset Levels. The abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting (Whyting), was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on Glastonbury Tor in 1539.
Wikipedia

When the monastic buildings were destroyed in the fire of 1184, the medieval monks needed to find a new place to worship. There is evidence that the 12th century nave was renovated and used for this purpose for almost 30 years, until some of the work was completed on the new church. The monks reconsecrated the Great Church and began services there on Christmas Day, 1213, most likely before it was entirely completed.
Glastonbury Abbey


Choir & Site of High Altar, Glastonbury Abbey
c.1920
Same publisher as “Abbot’s Kitchen” card at bottom

Read moreGlastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England

Thuburbo Majus, Tunisia


Thuburbo Majus – Le Capitole
c.1930
Publiser: E.M.Cliche

Google Street View.

Archnet (images)
Rome in the Footsteps of an XVIIIth Century Traveller
Plan of town (in Italian)
Plan of ruins
“Visual reconstruction” of forum

Thuburbo Majus or Colonia Julia Aurelia Commoda, its Roman name, was originally a Punic town, later founded as a Roman veteran colony by Augustus in 27 BC. Military veterans were sent to Thuburbo, among other sites, by Augustus to allow them to start their post-army lives with land of their own. Its strategic location and access to trade routes made it an important establishment. Ruins of the town are in the middle of the countryside with no towns in close proximity. Most of the town was built around 150–200 and restored in the 4th century after the Crisis of the Third Century. It received a Capitolium in 168. The town was a productive grower of grain, olives, and fruit.[5] Under Hadrian it was made a municipium, helping cause a growth in wealth, and Commodus made it a colony.

A 1916 excavation found a tetrastyle temple. The building was decorated with statues of Apollo, Venus, Silvanus, Bacchus, the Dioscuri, and a satyr. Three perfume vases showed dogs pursuing rabbits. In 1920 an inscription found in Thuburbo Majus written in honor of C. Vettius Sabinianus proved that several other inscriptions bearing that name were referring to the same person. Remains of the house of Bacchus and Ariadne dating back to the early 5th century were excavated in 1925.
Wikipedia.

Its Capitol – the most important temple in Roman cities – is among the best preserved in Tunisia. Its façade was made of six elegant Corinthian columns, with four of them still intact, overlooking a large staircase and the Forum.
Tunisia Tourism

Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, Ahmedabad, India


Carved Windows, Ahmedabad
c.1910

Google Street View

Early in Ahmedabad’s history, under Ahmed Shah, builders fused Hindu craftsmanship with Persian architecture, giving rise to the Indo-Saracenic style. Many mosques in the city were built in this fashion. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque was built in the last year of the Sultanate of Gujarat. It is entirely arched and has ten stone latticework windows or jali on the side and rear arches.
Wikipedia

This screen was basically made so that the mosque remains fully lighted from inside at all times of the day. The size of this artistic jali is around 16 feet and is in semi circular shape. It is situated at the height of around 20 feet above the ground level. The art work on these jails is so fine that a magnifying glass is required to view its internal intricate design in detail. The design consists of the flowers arrangement in various symmetrical shapes. They are made of smooth white stones and the fine engraving is done with human hands. Sadly, there does not seem to be any information about the actual craftsman who designed the jali. But it took around six years to get each of these jalis completed. Around 45 main artists worked on it, day and night.
The Symbol of Ahmedabad

The Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is a sublime ode in stone to the extraordinary architectural legacy of the African diaspora in India. Although their forefathers were originally brought to India as slaves and maritime laborers, the descendants of these Africans rose to positions of power as military commanders in the armies of the sultans and became great patrons of art and architecture. Called Sidis (or Siddis), an appellation of Africans, or Habshis, from the Arabic-Persian word for “people from Abyssinia or Ethiopia,” one of them was Shaykh Sayyid al-Habshi Sultani, or Sidi Saiyyed, who constructed his eponymous mosque.

Built in 1573, the last year of the Gujarat Sultanate before the Mughals invaded, the mosque is one of the finest specimens of the prodigious architectural accomplishments of the Sidis in India. Situated in the heart of the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad, the design of the mosque is entirely in the arcuate system of construction, involving arches, domes, squinches, and vaults. The mosque is set up like a theatre without a fourth wall, celebrated for the intricately carved filigree work on its jalis (screen windows).
Atlas Obscura

Dilwara Temples, Mount Abu, India


Temple Mount Abu
c.1910
Publisher: Moorli Dhur & Sons

Google Maps.

The Dilwara Temples or Delvada Temples are located about ​2 1⁄2 kilometres from the Mount Abu settlement, Rajasthan’s only hill station. These Jain temples were built by Vimal Shah and designed by Vastupala, Jain minister of Dholka, between the 11th and 16th centuries and are famous for their use of white marble and intricate marble carvings. They are a pilgrimage place of the Jains, and a popular general tourist attraction.

The temple complex is in the midst of a range of forested hills. There are five temples in all, each with its own unique identity. All the five temples are enclosed within a single high walled compound. The group is named after the small village of Dilwara or Delvara in which they are located. The five temples are:

Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Shri Adinatha
Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Neminatha.
Pittalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Shri Adinatha.
Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Parshvanatha.
Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Shri Mahaviraswami.
Wikipedia

Jain architecture is an offshoot of Hindu and Bhuddhist styles. In the intial years, many Jain temples were made adjoining the Bhuddhist temples following the Bhuddhist rock-cut architecture. Initially these temples were mainly carved out of rock faces and the use of bricks was almost negligible. However, in later years Jains started building temple cities hills based on the concept of “mountains of immortality.

Jain temples have numerous pillars having a well designed structure, forming square.
The squares thus formed create chambers, used as small chapels and contains the image of a deity.
From these pillars are richly carved brackets that emerge at about two third of their height.
The rooms of these temples have pointy domes and wherever there is dome, the pillars are omitted to create an octagonal space within.
The only variation in architecture specific to Jain temples is the frequently seen four-faced or chaumukh design.
In these four faced temples, the image of a Tirthankar faces back to back to faces four cardinal directions.
Entry into these temples are also from four doors that face the cardial directions.
Jain Temple Architecture

Ubudiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsar, Malaysia


The Ubad Aiah Mosque, Kuala Kangsa
1930s

Google Street View.

The most beautiful mosque in Perak is situated besides the Bukit Chandan Royal Mausoleum, Kuala Kangsar. The mosque was built at the royal command of Sultan Idris Murshidul Azam Shah, the 28th Sultan Perak (1887 – 1916) to fulfil his Royal Highness’ religious vow. Perak Government then instructed Colonel Huxley from the Public Services Office in Kuala Lumpur to design the plan for the mosque. The responsibility fell to Hubbeclk, a civil architect, and the building of the mosque was the responsibility of Caulfield who was Perak chief engineer at that time. On Friday, 26 September 1913, Sultan Idris Murshidul Azam Shah, set the foundation stone for the mosque. The building activity was interrupted for a few years due to the damage to the marbles caused by two elephants belonging to Sultan Idris and Raja Chulan.
The order of the marbles from Italy was interrupted caused by the World War I. In 1917, the most beautiful mosque in Perak was officially opened by Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasaruddin Shah, who replaced Sultan Idris who passed away in 1916. The cost of building the mosque at that time was estimated at RM200,000.

Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council

The mosque was built during the reign of the 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Murshidul Adzam Shah I Ibni Almarhum Raja Bendahara Alang Iskandar Teja, who commission its construction as thanksgiving for his recovery from an illness that plagued him in his later years. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 26 September 1913. The construction of the mosque was interrupted several times, once when two elephants belonging to the sultan’s and Raja Chulan fought, ran over and damaged the Italian marble tiles. The outbreak of the first world war also affected its construction. The mosque was finally completed in late 1917 at a total cost of $24,000 or RM200,000 – a considerable sum at that time. It was officially declared open by Sultan Abdul Jalil Karamtullah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Adzam Shah I Rahmatullah, successor to Sultan Idris who had died during its construction.
Wikipedia.

The Ubudiah Mosque was the brainchild of the 28th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah (1887-1916). Legend has it that following his return from England in 1911 (His Highness went to England to witness the coronation of King George V), His Highness the Sultan fell ill. He chose to stay in Port Dickson for respite. Whilst convalescing in Port Dickson, he made a vow to build a mosque in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, if he fully recuperated as thanksgiving. After his return to Kuala Kangsar when his health greatly improved, His Highness commanded Colonel Huxley of the Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur, to design a mosque which he wanted to build.
Heritage Buildings of Malaysia

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

Street View

St Botolph’s Priory, Colchester, England, UK


Colchester Abbey
Publisher: Christian Novels Publishing Co.

Google Street View

As can be seen from its ruins in the picture, there was once a considerable early Norman Church here. St Botolph’s Priory was founded in the late 11th century as the first British house of the Augustinian Canons. The church was built of rubble and also Roman bricks, brought from nearby Roman ruins in Colchester.
British Library: Inside View of St Botolph’s Priory at Colchester in Essex.

Founded about 1100, St Botolph’s was one of the first Augustinian priories in England. An impressive example of early Norman architecture, built in flint and reused Roman brick, the church displays massive circular pillars, round arches and an elaborate west front. It was badly damaged by cannon fire during the Civil War siege of 1648.
English Heritage

St. Botolph’s Priory was a medieval house of Augustinian canons in Colchester, Essex, founded c. 1093. The priory had the distinction of being the first and leading Augustinian convent in England until its dissolution in 1536. . . . The priory was dissolved in accordance with the Act of 1536. On 26 May in that year it was granted with all its possessions, including the manors of Blindknights, Canwikes and Dilbridge to Sir Thomas Audley. Audley had licence on 12 September 1540, to grant the site of the priory to John Golder and Anastasia his wife.

As the priory had been an Augustinian house, and therefore the church had both parochial and conventual functions, the nave was retained as a parish church. The choir, which had been solely for the use of the canons, was not spared however, and was demolished along with the cloisters, chapter house and associated buildings. The church remained this way until the Siege of Colchester in 1648 during the Second English Civil War.[6] A Royalist army had seized the town, which was then surrounded and bombarded by the New Model Army led by Thomas Fairfax, with St Botolph’s being caught in the crossfire of the assault on South Gate, reducing it to its present ruinous state.
Wikipedia.

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2 (1907) “Houses of Austin canons: Priory of St Botolph, Colchester”

Fatehpur Sikri , India

Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city itself was founded as the capital of Mughal Empire in 1571 by Emperor Akbar, serving this role from 1571 to 1585, when Akbar abandoned it due to a campaign in Punjab and was later completely abandoned in 1610.
Wikipedia

Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
UNESCO World Heritage Listing

Fatehpur Sikri is the famous deserted city, about twenty-three miles from Agra, built by Akbar. It was formerly merely a village, called Sikri, celebrated as the abode of Sheikh Salîm Chishti, a Muhammadan pîr, or saint. In 1564, Akbar, returning from a campaign, halted near the cave in which the saint lived. The twin children of his Rajput wife, Mariam Zâmâni, had recently died, and he was anxious for an heir. He consulted the holy man, who advised him to come and live at Sikri. The Emperor did so, and nine months afterwards Mariam, who was taken to Chishti’s cell for her confinement, gave birth to a son, afterwards the Emperor Jahangir. He was called Sultan Salîm in honour of the saint. Jahangir, who describes all these circumstances in his memoirs, adds: “My revered father, regarding the village of Sikri, my birthplace, as fortunate to himself, made it his capital, and in the course of fourteen or fifteen years the hills and deserts, which abounded in beasts of prey, became converted into a magnificent city, comprising numerous gardens, elegant edifices and pavilions, and other places of great attraction and beauty. After the conquest of Gujarat, the village was named Fatehpur (the town of victory).”

The glory of Fatehpur Sikri was short-lived. Akbar held his court there for seventeen years, and then removed it to Agra; some say on account of the badness of the water supply, others that the saint, disturbed in his devotions by the bustle and gaieties of the great city, declared that either he or Akbar must go.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)


The Jodh Bai Palace, Fort Agra
c.1910
Published: K. Lall & Co., Agra

Not Fort Agra, but near Agra.

Google Street View
Plan of Fatehpur Sikri, 1917 (Jodh Bai Palace is #7)
Plan of Jodh Bai’s Palace

This imposing palace comprising the principal haramsara of Akbar has been wrongly ascribed to Jodh Bai who has nothing to do with Sikri. It is the most impressive of all the royal edifices. It consists of a large open quadrangle on the sides of which are suites of single-stories rooms with double stories blocks in the center and corners to break the sky-line. The Central block on the east forms a vestibule to the main entrance of the building and on the west is a small shrine supported on richly carved pillars. The shrine has niches for keeping images of Hindu deities and a platform for the principal deity. The Azure-blue glazed tiles of the rood of this palace are also noteworthy. It was most probably build between A.D 1570 and 1574.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fortified Ghost City of Mughal Empire

Though “Miriam’s House” is generally regarded as the abode of Mariam Zâmâni, there is a great deal to support the view that the spacious palace known as Jodh Bai’s Mahal, or Jahangiri Mahal, was really her residence. It is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings in Fatehpur.

We know that Akbar went there on Mariam’s account; and, after Jahangir’s birth, Akbar’s first care would be to build a palace for the mother and her child, his long-wished-for heir. Mariam was a Hindu, and this palace in all its construction and nearly all its ornamentation belongs to the Hindu and Jaina styles of Mariam’s native country, Rajputana. It even contains a Hindu temple.2 It is also the most important of all the palaces, and Mariam, as mother of the heir-apparent, would take precedence of all the other wives.

On the left of the entrance is a small guard-house. A simple but finely proportioned gateway leads through a vestibule into the inner quadrangle. The style of the whole palace is much less ornate than the other zanana buildings, but it is always dignified and in excellent taste. It must be remembered that the severity of the architectural design was relieved by bright colouring and rich purdahs, which were used to secure privacy for the ladies of the zanana and to diminish the glare of the sunlight.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Read moreFatehpur Sikri , India