Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If You Build It...

by Anna Campbell

I came up with the idea for this blog last week when I mentioned how much I love the building that houses the National Library of Australia in Canberra. I still don't know why I like it so much - this picture certainly doesn't do it justice. But somehow when you're in it, it's just right.

I thought I'd talk about some other buildings I've been in that share that feeling of being just right. I think their dimensions might have something to do with that - you walk into the space and automatically your heart lifts. This blog will also give me the chance to put up some pretty photos. Although I've realized as I've searched through Google images that one of the characteristics of a really great building is a mere picture can never do it justice. You need to experience the space and the physical presence.

That's great! I think it's wonderful that in this virtual world, if you really want to appreciate a great piece of architecture, the only real solution is to go there!

I'm not going to talk about old houses in the UK or palaces or cathedrals. Although they might be good topics in the future, especially the old houses. Well, actually that's not completely true about today's blog. There's a cathedral tucked inside one of the buildings I picked!

Anyway, here goes. I'm going to talk about a few places that I walked into and they absolutely took my breath away.

And to put in another proviso, that's definitely not true of the first building I've chosen. The Sydney Opera House is absolutely amazing - on the outside. One of the things I realized, living near it and seeing it several times a week, sometimes more often, is that really great architecture never loses its impact. I still got that same thrill when I saw it after living in Sydney for eleven years as I did when I first saw it, with those glorious shells still under construction, as a little girl of eight.

Sadly, inside it's a disaster, horrible gray 70s brutal concrete everywhere. Although there's always the consolation that those lovely big windows mean you don't have to look at your surroundings, you can stare out at one of the world's most beautiful harbors. But don't you think this is just the perfect building for this setting? Joern Utzon was a genius!

For my next building, we move from the modern (well, the 1950s!) to one of the jewels of the medieval age. 15th-century Kings College Chapel in Cambridge is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever been in - and as I'm sure you're gathering, I've been in a lotta buildings! There's a legend that John Milton, the poet, stopped Cromwell (for whom he worked as a secretary) from smashing all the glass and defacing the chapel.

Outside, Kings College Chapel is elegant and austere. Then you walk inside and it's like entering a forest of golden stone. Again, this picture can't do it justice. It's hard to descibe the sheer sense of perfect space, the soaring height of those fan-vaulted ceilings, the rich colors of the glass.

I was lucky enough to go to an evensong with the world-famous choir there - it was January in 1985 and the congregation was small on a bitterly cold winter's night. The boys and the men walked in wearing their late medieval costumes, carrying candles and singing like angels just as the sun set, making all those windows glow like gemstones on fire. A transcendent moment! And one inextricably linked to the glorious building that housed the service.

My next building is also religious and even older. It's the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Andalusia. The Moors who ruled Spain at the time started it in the 7th century and largely completed it in the 9th century.

Again you don't get a sense of the huge size of this building from the picture although it does give an idea of the endless mysterious arcades of columns in marble and alabaster so that you feel like you're in a great, dark cave. Instead of the soaring height of perpendicular gothic at Kings College Chapel, the ceiling is low, like you're cradled, held safe. The sensation is extraordinary, like you've entered eternity.

If you ever get a chance to see the Mosque, don't miss it. It's unlike anything else I can think of. Oh, and rather incongruously, there's a whole baroque cathedral tucked away among these pillars!

Actually I had trouble choosing an example of this next architect's work. When I had four months in the UK in 2004, I had time and opportunity to see a lot of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's work (not that a lot survives!). I was going to pick Hill House at Helensburgh just outside Glasgow. It's the only example of his domestic architecture still basically as he left it and the site is magnificent, high on a ridge overlooking the Clyde estuary.

But I ended up choosing the library from the Glasgow School of Art, built in the years leading up to the First World War. The building still functions as an art school so a tour there has a wonderful sense of life and vibrancy that you sometimes miss in the museum-style buildings that no longer fulfil the function for which they were designed. My favorite room was the library which again, is like a forest, but a dark, mysterious one. CRM designed it purposely to give that impression - he did everything, the furniture, the fittings, the room.

Again, no photograph can do justice to what it feels like to stand in that space full of books and polished wood and gold sunlight falling through the window panes to hit the floor like light dapples a forest floor. Magic!

My final building is Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Bear Run, Pennsylvania. It was built in the 1930s, yet manages to look completely modern, while still conveying a feeling that it's grown organically from its spectacular situation. Of course, here I'm completely working off pictures because I haven't yet managed to get there. One day!

I almost went to the Romantic Times Convention last year because it was in Pittsburgh and one of the pre-conference excursions was a trip to Fallingwater. Isn't that a glorious house?

So enough of my raving. Do you have a favorite building? Why is it your favorite building? Is there a building you'd love to see that you haven't yet made it to?


limecello said...


Virginia said...

Darn your quick limecello! Have fun with him!

PinkPeony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
limecello said...

Hm... favorite building? There are a ton of them I'd love to see in Europe. Haven't been there yet. Have managed to go to a few of the world's tallest buildings (at the time) - but those aren't quite as special to me. Some great government buildings as well...
But the coliseum. Parthenon. Pantheon. St. Peter's Basilica. All places I'd love to see. The Sydney Opera House - the list goes on and on. The Louvre.
However, a favorite building that comes to mind would be the new physics research building at my undergrad uni. It's funny because I've never taken a physics course in my life, and I never will. Ever. Yet somehow I stumbled into (Ok, so I went in because I was curious. The construction took forever, and I like "new" and "pretty" buildings.) it, and fell in love with it. I'd sit in one of the many alcoves - with couches, between class and read. It was airy, spacious, extremely well lit with huge windows, yet cozy.

Virginia said...

Anna, I love that Falling Water Building. I want to go and see it. I love any place that has falling water, it is such a peaceful sound. I can't think of any famous buildings around here.

jo robertson said...

What an interesting topic, Anna! I love the pictures you've displayed and the wide range of buildings.

Don't you think one of the things we appreciate about these lovely structures is the absolute genius that went into designing and building them?

What of my favorite places is Thomas Jefferson's home in Charlottesvile, Virginia -- Monticello -- which he designed himself. I haven't been there in ages, but I still remember how beautiful it was.

PinkPeony said...

Great subject! The Falling Water House would be in my top 10 wanna see buildings. I think Hitchcock filmed a scene in that house in North by Northwest, but I'm not sure. It was the scene with James Mason doing the dastardly on Eva Marie Saint. I was also a kid when I was in Sydney and I remember those giant hulls on the opera house. I have a weird thing for train station architecture, whether it be old or modern. I loved the Georgian style townhouses in London...that is until I realized how much they cost. Oy! =:0

Nancy said...

Limecello, congratulations! Virginia, better luck next time. :-)

Limecello, I'd also like to see the Parthenon. And the Colosseum. And the Louvre, if I had all day.

Nancy said...

Virginia and PinkPeony, the dh loves Fallingwater. I think he'd have been an architect if he hadn't decided to be a teacher instead.

My architectural tastes run more toward the classical--like Monticello (hi, Jo!)--or the very old, like the fort at Agra I saw Tony Bourdain visit on his show one night. Or the Taj Mahal. Or, as noted, the Parthenon and Colosseum.

I would dearly love to visit Westminster Hall, in the Houses of Parliament. It's one of the few remnants of the medieval Palace of Westminster. But you have to get special permission and arrange it way ahead of time, so that seems doubtful.

Joan said...

Humph, a girl spends 30 min. watching an interview with the crew of US Airways 1549 and misses out by THAT much!

Cool post, Anna. There is a museum building in NYC....can't remember the EXACT name of it, but it held a Native American exhibit for a long time and is down by Wall Street/Bryant Park area. It's all majestic with curving marble staircases, the outside blends with the surrounding trees. Kind of nestled in amongst the huge, tall buildings.

Oh, and my Parochial elementary school...LOVE the 1940's interior.

Elyssa Papa said...

My dad co-owns a masonry construction business with one of his brothers, so I grew up looking at the buildings/construction sites he was working on. One of my faves is the Sydney Opera House; it's just so cool to look at. I also love the Taj Mahal and the story behind it.

limecello said...

Nancy - true, I'd need a lot of time. And... I'm big on personal space, so I'll have to hope to be famous so they close off the sites for a day for me :P (A girl can dream, right?)
Also color my mortified. I was hoping my rendition/spelling that firefox accepted would be right. Alas. I should have simply said Flavian Amphitheatre. So since I'm posting more - the pyramids. Machu Picchu. Stonehenge. The great wall. Fallingwater would be great too. (Can you tell I like older stuff? And that I'm dead serious when I say my "dream vacation [spot]" would be a world tour?) :P

PinkPeony said...

Nancy...One of these days I'm going to take a trip to see Monticello, Mt. Vernon and old mansions in the South. I live in CA and I think the oldest buildings we have are the missions built by the Jesuit priests. And I would love to go to the Parliament building and sit in on a session. I looked into it once but we didn't have enough time to put a request through.

Jane said...

I think Joan is thinking of the National Museum of the American Indian. My favorite buildings include the Hagia Sophia, St. Peter's Basilica, Balmoral Castle and the Great Temple at Abu Simbel.

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Anna - As I was reading your post with so many ancient buildings, I was trying to think of something as magnificent in fairly young America and I thought of Fallingwater. Then I noted you included Fallingwater!

It is a magnificent piece of architecture that isn't totally visible in the photo. Frank Lloyd Wright incorporated many elements of the landscape into the building itself - like a huge boulder that is part inside the house and part outside. Each bedroom has it's own outside deck/porch and there's a water-gate in the living area that emphasizes the sound of the waterfall and brings it into the house. I can imagine it was a wonderful peaceful retreat for the owners. All the furniture is built into the structure. (The architect was a bit of a control freak).

Love the photos and hope to see the actual structures myself one day.

flchen1 said...

Wow, Anna, those are some gorgeous buildings! There are tons I'd love to see--some of them are the oldies that Lime and others have mentioned; some are the newer beautiful ones. I loved seeing Notre Dame in person, and the Great Wall (although that isn't really a building). It's incredible how these places started as an idea, and hard work and people's efforts made them into reality.

Congrats on the GR, Limecello!

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, Limecello and Virginia, you really WERE neck and neck! Congratulations, Limecello!

Hey, interesting about your new physics building. Maybe it's got a bit of the ambience of the national library building. I WISH I knew why I loved that so much ;-) Of all the buildings you listed, my favorite is the Pantheon. Again, it's the space when you go into it. It's hard to describe but you really can feel your soul expanding. Again I don't know why - it's really petty empty. Oh, apart from Raphael's tomb which when I visited in 1985 had a single red rose on it which I thought was a lovely touch. Actually I've never been to Greece so the Parthenon is still on my list.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I think that use of water in architecture is really magical too. One day, I WILL see Falling Water!

I'm hoping to see Monticello when I visit for RWA, Jo. In fact, there's a whole stack of great architecture I'm hoping to feast my eyes upon when I'm there. The monuments and the Library of Congress at the very least. Yes, I think there's something to be said for that influence of one person on the building although I'm sure the Mosque and Kings College were probably designed by several people. In fact, design as we know it was probably completely unknown to them. Which makes it even more miraculous that they preserve that integrity of feeling when you walk into them.

Anna Campbell said...

PP (can I call you Jen and out you?), I remember that house in North by Northwest. I didn't realise it actually was Falling Water. It certainly had that cantilevered style that FW has. Wasn't Eva Marie Saint gorgeous in that film, not to mention Cary!

I can remember seeing the Opera House for the first time - it was the late 60s or perhaps 1970. It was so strange to my eyes then! Yet I absolutely loved it right from the first. The way the white tiles that coat it catch the light is just magical and that's something photos don't really do justice to. It's like someone cast a fine fishing net over the sails.

Anna Campbell said...

Speaking of the Opera House, Paul Robeson sang to the workers there at a free concert before it was opened. I always think it's amazing that one of the first voices those sails 'heard' was that magnificent bass.

Nancy, haven't you been to the Louvre. Actually as a building, I found it fairly oppressive. Sort of like a less charming version of Versailles. And if people know how little charm Versailles has, they'll know what I'm talking about! ;-) The Colosseum just struck me as big!

Nancy, I've never been to Westminster Hall. I must go. London is full of architectural gems. In 2004, I visited the Banqueting House for the first time. It's where Charles I had his head chopped off but it's also magnificent architecturally. Inigo Jones designed it and it really expresses that divine right of Kings thing down to the last brick. Oh, and nice toilets too ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, my dad wanted to be an architect and I think would have been a very good one. It's probably where I get the taste from, now I think about it! Hadn't thought of the connection when I did the post.

JT, I'll have to check out the museum you're talking about. It sounds amazing. I haven't been to the Guggenheim yet. Must make it on one of my trips. The problem with NYC is that there is just SOOOO much to see!

Helen said...

Congrats limcello have fun with him

Those buildings are beautiful I too love the Falling Water building it is awesome.

I watched the Opera House being built as well and love it from the outside but have never been inside and I have not been in the National Library in Canberra either I do love the new Parlimant House in Canberra though very modern and tastefully decorated.

A place I truly love is the War Memorial in Canberra although not a true building there is such a feeling that I get when I walk through there.

I would love to visit some castles in Scotland and some of the older buildings in England one day.

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Fabulous post, Anna - and how wonderful to include a building just down the road from me - King's College Chapel!

Some of my favourite buildings? I love the memorials in DC. Nothing more romantic than sitting on the steps of the Lincoln at sunset and gazing across the Reflecting Pool to the Washington.

The Chrysler Building in NYC and the Empire State are such fabulous examples of all that is New York.

London is, of course, filled with amazing buildings. The most fun and ingenious is the Tate Modern - a converted power station.

In Beverley, where we used to live, there are two amazing churches - the Minster and St Mary's. Both 11th century masterpieces. St Mary's though has so many cute features - like a ceiling which charts all the kings and queens of England, and statues of the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat believed to have inspired Lewis Carrol.

Anna Sugden said...

Buildings I'd love to see - Sydney's Opera House, The Taj Mahal, Macchu Picchu to name but a few.

I'm so excited because this summer I'm going to see a special building that isn't great architecture, but is the home where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up, in De Smet, SD! That and the farm that inspired Anne of Green Gables have been on my Life List forever!

Oh and I forgot to mention, for a sports fan - there is nothing quite like going to an arena or stadium to see your favourite team play. The Hallowed turf of The Theatre of Dreams (Manchester United's Old Trafford ground), The Rock (The New Jersey Devils home ice aka The Prudential Center) and FedEx Field (home of the Washington Redskins) are awe-inspiring.

Laurie said...

House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin also by Frank Lloyd Wright. BEAUTIFUL views from ALL the rooms.
Madison, Wisconsin's capital building has an amazing dome rotunda.
The Memorial Union also in Madison, WI.... The Terrace, The Rathscellar... gorgeous setting on Lake Mendota.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Anna, lovely post! I agree, the Sydney Opera house must be one of the most distinctive buildings in the world, and so perfect for its setting.

One of the most amazing places I've been to was the cloisters at Canterbury cathedral where those knights hunted down Thomas Beckett. I could almost see it happening--the place was so atmospheric.

I'd love to visit the pyramids in Egypt before I die. I'd have to re-read all my Elizabeth Peters books again before I go, though! I'd also love to go to 'Aunty Arabella's' estate in Scotland, which my grandmother always talked about. Lots of stories there!

Congrats on the bird, Limecello!

Elyssa Papa said...

Christine, I would love to see Egypt, too. Especially the pyramids. They're so magnificent and majestic. And hold lots of secrets.

Tiffany Chalmers said...

I can never remember the name of the places I have visited! I have been to some beautiful churches in Quebec City and Montreal. Historic ones too, but I can't even think of what they were called.

This post makes me want to travel. I have yet to see the world and the architecture. And I really want to see that mosque.

Marisa O'Neill said...

Anna, great post. I too love Falling Water and having lived in Chicago was very lucky to have visited many of the houses FLW built there.

I love buildings that speak to me. When I went to the Sistine Chapel I was mesmerized for hours.

One of my favorite buildings in New York is the Chrysler building. And I can stand in the main building of Grand Central Station for hours. So much to see.

Caren Crane said...

Limecello, congrats on being so quick out of the gate! Hope the GR behaves...if that's possible.

Anna, I adore architechture. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to visit most of the places I find most inspiring. The ways things look now, I might never get there. :-(

I have a real thing for cathedrals and would love to do a cathedral tour of Europe. That would be heaven! I also love old stone houses and medieval halls with enormously high ceilings, that are cold, drafty and have echoes that never end. I'm a sick puppy that way. *g*

On the opposite end, I adore tiny cottages (like the one Cameron Diaz stayed in for "The Holiday"). We stayed in the Baby Chalet while we were at Our Chalet (the WAGGGS center in Adelboden, Switzerland). It was the cutest thing ever, with stairs to the loft that were so steep you needed a rope to get up and down and a ceiling so low under the eaves it was a safety hazard. Adorable!

Gillian Layne said...

Good morning, Anna! :)

I love the Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's a beautiful, timeless structure that is so very peaceful. Here's the website: http://www.thorncrown.com/

My other favorite building is my parent's home. They live in a massive red, white, and blue dairy barn on their farm. They remodeled the bottom front half of the barn, turning grain bins into bedrooms and then have a large main room, with massive exposed beams. When you open the back door it goes straight into the old cow runs, which now the dogs sleep in. And the very back of the barn holds any sick cows or small calves that need shelter from the weather. So they can tend some chores (not many, but a few!) without going outside. Upstairs is a massive hay loft, they've got storage and my girls can play up their in the winter. It's great.

Carol said...

Dear lady you are not raving, you are showing us all what we are missing...Out of all your wonderful photos..the Frank Lloyd Wright home would be the one I most want to see! (along with the trip to the USA thrown in for good measure!)
And the Taj Mahal...
(except I don't want to go to India ...I don't think I could bear to see the little children and the poverty - head in the sand here!)
Another although not a building, but I would like to see the Vietnam/American war Memorial Wall in Washington...a stunning sculpture! It apparently also uses space in an amazing way!

Congrats limecello on nabbing the GR...very nifty.

Cheers Carol

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Anna! What an interesting topic! I have to admit, I don't have a lot of places or buildings that speak to me. I don't know much about architecture so maybe it's my ignorance that's tripping me up.

But in terms of places I've been that speak to me immediately? Temperance River on the North Shore of Lake Superior comes to mind. It's the gorgeous two mile or so stretch where a pretty little river tumbles & winds its way through the basalt cliffs of the North Shore & eventually crashes into Lake Superior. I go there at least once a year & every time it feels like come home.

sarabelle said...

Good Morning Banditas. WTG Limecello. I love these pictures Anna, they are extraordinary.
I wanted to jump in here and let everyone know that Anna's book TTD is up for book of the month for March over on Jennifer's Random Musings blog and you all need to go over there and vote for it. Please and Thank you.
Now on to my choice of buildings I do beleive I would love to see some of the castles in Scotland. The really old ones if you please, just like the ones that I read about.

Treethyme said...

Oddly, one of my favorite buildings is a library, too: the old Chicago Public Library on State Street (South Loop), now called the Harold Washington Library.

I've always thought it looks as if it should be in a Batman movie!

Here's a link that shows what it looks like:


Joan said...

Then I noted you included Fallingwater!

I once watched this landmark house recreated in molded chocolate and rice krispie treats....does that count?

sarabelle said...

Joan did you watch that on FoodNetwork, one of those Challenges for $10000. if so then I do believe I watched the same show. lol

Joan said...


IS there any other cable network?


My brother was over the other day when I was watching "Chocolate Landmarks" competition. He was griping because the guy who'd sculpted the Taj Mahal out of white chocolate was not authentic enough to put in the reflecting pool.

I coolly informed him THAT would be on the Sugar Art show :-)

terrio said...

I'm ashamed to say I grew up just outside Pittsburgh and lived in the city for four years, yet have never heard of Fallingwaters. Huh.

There are about a million places I want to go, but have yet to get here. However, I have been fortunate enough to see the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC. I know I've mentioned it here before, but it really is the most amazing place. From the sheer size of the estate (which is a fraction of what it originally was and still huge) to the gardens to the home itself. It's a step back in time and amazingly well-preserved.

AvonLadyJerrica said...

What a great post, Anna! Beautiful buildings you found to talk about.

For me, London is a playground of my favorite architecture. Little alleyways that remind me of my favorite Dickens stories, St. Paul's Cathedral, and everything in between. If there were an architectural heaven, London would be it :) Now I have to go pull up the 600+ pics I took in London last time we were there to revisit all my favorite places!

Thanks for the post!

Beth said...

My father and brothers are carpenters so I prefer houses over buildings (if that makes sense *g*)

When I was young, we used to be able to go through houses they were building. I still love touring homes - during the holidays our town has a Holiday House Tour and I never miss it :-)

I especially love Victorian houses but sadly, many of the Victorians in my town have been converted into apartments or even businesses.

Anna Campbell said...

Ely, the Taj Mahal is definitely on my list of places to see before I kick the bucket (is that where the term bucket list comes from?). Did you know there was a plan to build a black mirror image of it for the Emperor on the other side of the river? Wouldn't that have been spectacular if it had happened?

Actually as you can probably guess, narrowing down my buildings to five or six was REALLY tough!

Anna Campbell said...

Limecello, can I come on your world tour with you? Sounds like we'd have a great time! Actually what's odd about great architecture, for me anyway, is that I have no particular preference for style or period. If it pleases me, it can come from any time, really. Which might mean I have no discrimination at all!

PP, I was lucky enough to see two of the missions on my last visit. The one at Carmel is absolutely amazing! Actually I've been thinking about this architecture business since I went to bed last night - I think one of the things I love about a great building is that it tells you so much about the people who built it, whether it's one individual or a whole group. People have to LIVE in the building or use it - and something of that flavor comes through in the bricks and mortar somehow. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I found the missions at Carmel and Sonoma really spoke to me so strongly about those early years in California. In a way, really nothing else did, much as I loved the scenery.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, PP, maybe I just love old buildings because Australia is even younger than America. There's a couple of early 19th century buildings in Sydney and in Tasmania but really nothing earlier than that.

Jane, have you actually seen those buildings? Lucky you! Strangely, I'd love to see the Egyptian Temples even more than the Pyramids (Abu Simbel and the temple complex is it at Luxor or Thebes? You know the big one with the lotus columns).

I've never been to Balmoral although it's on my list. I know I'll sound like an absolute Philistine, but St Peter's is just too big and oppressive for my taste. I've been to it a couple of times and it just doesn't move me. Odd, hey? There's absolutely magnificent things in it but the building as a whole just doesn't touch my heart.

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, have you been to Fallingwater? I remember seeing a doco on it a few years ago and just yearning to see it in the 'flesh'. It does look like it's organically grown out of the landscape, doesn't it? I love that aspect!

Fedora, you've seen the Great Wall? Wow! That must have been amazing! Actually I love the gothic cathedrals like Notre Dame. And I can't helping thinking how a medieval pilgrim must have felt going into that space when he'd come from a village where most of the buildings were wood and mud and a few feet high. He really must have felt as if God lives there.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I haven't been to the war memorial in Canberra (it's another one on the list). I've heard other people say that there's a special atmosphere there. Have you been to the war memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney? It always moves me to tears. It's quite simple and yet somehow that building and the reflective pool in front of it is just right too. I've taken quite a few oveseas visitors there too and they always have the same reaction I do.

I remember I was so disappointed when I first went inside the Opera House (another reaction my overseas visitors have had). All that soaring beauty on the outside. Lumps of concrete inside. Sigh.

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, I LOVE the Tate Modern. That big main hall when you walk in just takes your breath away, doesn't it? Again, space and proportion. I must say, though, I've never seen an exhibition there to rival the architecture which seems rather sad! I love the Chrysler Building - it just says New York, doesn't it? Actually that's another interesting thing about a really great building, it says something about its setting and is setting says something about it. They're indivisible.

Oh, I'm so looking forward to visiting you. You don't think you're getting out of showing me those churches, do you?

Actually one of the things I love about the English countryside is that so many villages have these small gems of architecture like the parish church. And so many of them then have these amazing hidden histories like the Lewis Carroll connection. I have a friend who lives not far from you and her parish church is part of an abbey that was built in the 6th century. Doesn't that just blow your mind?

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, how fantastic that you're doing that literary pilgrimage! I remember in 1985, I went to Haworth to see the Bronte parsonage. Again, not great architecture but to stand in that tiny house and imagine all those huge imaginations inhabiting it. Because it wasn't just the girls, it was Patrick and Branwell as well - and you suspect the sisters who died were all major personalities as well. To see the tiny little books they wrote as children and bound up like doll's books. To look out the window and see just how close that graveyard is. So much about that claustrophobic world that created genius was really clear to me!

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, I'm definitely putting those buildings on my list. Sounds like I need to put Wisconsin on my list. I'm hoping one day there's an RWA in Chicago (I'm seeing the USA courtesy of RWA!). I'd love to see the architecture there too.

Christine, given your recent world travels, I'm sure the pyramids are only a breath away!

Sometimes when you see where a historical event happened, it gives it so much context and atmosphere, doesn't it? What's funny is sometimes it gives you no atmosphere at all!

Anna Campbell said...

Tiff, that Mosque is mindblowing. I loved a lot of the architecture in Spain. The Alhambra, the last Moorish palace in Granada, is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen too. And again the setting is breathtaking - it's set high on a high with snowy peaks behind it. Or at least they were snowy when I was there in spring. But when I had to decide, there was no question the mosque was the pick. One day, I'd love to see the Islamic architecture in Central Asia like Samarkand and Bokhara. And I'd love to see Hagia Sophia - Jane mentioned it and I thought, ooh, yeah, baby, let me at it!

Beth said...

We are building a house right now so some days it is my favorite building and some days, well not so much. I live pretty close to Falling Waters but I haven't seen it yet, it is definitely on the list of places to see. I also love Durham Cathedral, what a beautiful place, you just feel surrounded by history.

Anna Campbell said...

Marisa, Pink Peony mentioned railway architecture and I agree with her and with you. And there's something fascinating to think of all the life-changing journeys that have started at that spot. Last time I was in London, I stayed just down the road from Paddington Station which is a bit of a cathedral for train spotters. Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed it as the terminus for the famous Great Western Railway. The building still says so much about Victorian confidence and the opening up of travel to normal people, not just the rich and famous. It soars above your head and it really IS like a cathedral.

Oh, lucky you, seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. I've admired his work at a distance for years!

Anna Campbell said...

Marisa, the Sistine Chapel is amazing, isn't it? I got such a sore neck!

Caren, I hope you make your dream one day! Never say never! I'd love to do an architectural tour too. As you can tell it's something I have an enormous enthusiasm for and I'd love to know more! I've seen a lot of the European cathedrals (to the point where my travelling companions start to scream at me at the idea of yet another cathedral!). But every one is different and every one is fascinating. And not just for the medieval bits always. I remember at Lincoln Cathedral, I was moved to tears by the memorials to the pilots who died in World War II. There was a big airfield very close to Lincoln so a chapel has become a tribute to those men who died. So sad but really beautifully done.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, what an absolutely amazing building. I'd never even heard of it before. Thank you! And it's another one that's absolutely one with its setting, isn't it? Actually often the simplest structures are the most moving. On the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, they have these stone beehive-shaped huts which is where the hermits lived in the 5th century. You can still visit them and they're pretty well intact. There's something really heart-stopping about sitting in those simple structures and looking out across the wild land to the sea that probably hasn't changed terrifically much since St Patrick wandered around on his missions.

I love the sound of your parents' home! It sounds like its full of warmth and love. I still miss our farmhouse. It was a basically a fibro shed when we moved in but Dad, who as I said, had a gift for this stuff, built around it. It would never make a feature in architectural digest but it was the most fantastic house to live in, on the peak of a hill looking across Moreton Bay to the islands. It was big and airy and simple with a huge verandah and I always loved it. Man, I cried when we sold the farm!

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! And I'm so glad I've found some fellow architecture nuts! It's the sort of subject that can make people's eyes glaze!

As you can imagine, I'm so excited about my trip to Washington in July. The other thing I'm excited about is that I'll see all the monuments and buildings as a complex. That's something else you get when you visit these places - that sense of connection between the buildings. I remember when I went to Pisa to see the leaning tower that I was amazed at how it's just part of a whole complex of beautiful structures.

I hope you get your trip to the US!

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, I hear you on the natural world giving you that sense of space and proportion. And I actually think really great architecture borrows its virtues from nature. That river sounds absolutely gorgeous!

Hey, Sarabelle, thanks for the plug! Definitely, Bandits, go over and vote for MOI!!!! Tosses hair like Miss Piggy, snork!


Anna Campbell said...

Sarabelle, some of the castles in Scotland are amazing. Edinburgh Castle has that fabulous setting right on top of its rock looking down over the New Town. Another favorite is Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. It has an oubliette where they used to drop people and just leave them. Eeeek! And a flag that a fairy gave a laird to keep the family safe. And outside seals bask on the rocks and you can do a boat trip out to see them. Pretty spectacular! Another favorite is Torosay Castle on the Isle of Mull. It has the most gorgeous gardens and probably the friendliest welcome of any stately home I know of. They actually put up signs saying sit in the chairs, look at the books, walk on the grass. And there are some amazing family stories you discover there.

Anna Campbell said...

Becke, wow, what a way cool building! Last time I was in New York, I stayed just up the road from that creepy building that they used in Ghostbusters with the gargoyles. Wow, that was a cool building too!

JT, you crack me up!!! I'm sure it counts!

Oh, no, you and Sarabelle sound like obsessive foodies! Pie fight coming up!

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, I'd love to see the Biltmore Estate. Would you believe the first person I heard about that from was Stephanie Laurens. She was going there to stay after the Atlanta Conference and I felt most ignorant when she started to talk about it. It sounds absolutely magnificent!

Hey, AvonLadyJerrica! Are you new to the lair? Here, have a margarita and a cabana boy, not necessarily in that order! Pull up a chair! Spill the goss! ;-)

I'm so glad you enjoyed my post! I love London's buildings too. As you say, they're so redolent of thousands of years of history. It blew my mind when I went on a guided walk on my first visit and actually saw some of the Roman Wall. Can you imagine that? Stuff bulit yesterday and stuff built in the first century jostling for space? Wow! Do you know the Sir John Soane Museum? It's free (always a benefit in the UK!) and absolutely fascinating. He was a famous architect who apparently had his greatest influence in the US so I think an American would find it fascinating.

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, I've got to say I'm a complete tart when it comes to houses and buildings. Although I love that sense of lives lived you get in a house. Even a big one like Blenheim!

Different Beth LOL, isn't Durham cathedral amazing? It stands on that outcrop like the prow of a big ship, doesn't it? It's one of my favorites too.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, FO!

WTG on the bird, Limecello!

And actually, Nancy, you need about THREE days to see everything in the Louvre. Architecturally, I prefer the d'Orsay museum in Paris. It's a converted train station.

I think my favorite building of all is the Chrysler building in NYC, though the Guggenheim museum (also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) is a close second. Seems like every movie filmed in New York shows one or the other of these, or BOTH. (the Guggenheim is in the opening scene in Men In Black where Will Smith chases the guy up all those circular ramps to the top)

For cathedrals, most of them are so BIG AND DARK. I prefer the smaller ones like the cathedral in Toledo Spain, or the Duomo in Siena Italy. My favorite is probably York Minster, which is BIG but not dark and gloomy, at least not the time I visited. ;-)

My favorite palaces/castles are Neuschwannstein in Bavaria and The Alhambra in Granada Spain. The latter is simply breath-taking with the blend of Moorish and Western.

DARN! I'm itching to go back to all those great places and some of the others everyone has mentioned. Unfortunately, the only place I can go right now is back into the writing cave. :-P


jo robertson said...

Hi, Pink Peony! You're correct about the set of North by Northwest being designed after FLW's famous Fallingwater House. It was a set, however, not the real setting. Apparently Hitchcock instructed the set designers to model the house in that final scene after FWH.

I loved that movie!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Nancy, yes! on Monticello. I like the classic lines too.

I was going to mention Dome of the Rock that sits on the Temple Mount. It's awesome from the outside, but even more compelling from the inside.

I remember that I was "inappropriately" dressed and they almost didn't let me in -- those wild western women. I had on a shirt with capped sleeves. Finally they gave me a wrapping and allowed me in. So glad!

jo robertson said...

Speaking of old schools, Joan, I love my old high school. It's evolved to a junior high and then an elem school, but it's one of those three-story brick structures they don't have here in CA. The lockers were inside (also don't have in CA) and I loved walking those halls.

jo robertson said...

The thing about our country, Anna, is that antiquity has a whole other meaning outside of native cultures. We're just babes in the wood as far as historical buildings and structures go. My sister, a Virginian, laughs when I talk about the "old" structures I visit here. The missions, of course, but our country courthouse was completed in 1890 or so, and it's considered old LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Aunty Cindy, the Orsay was still an operating train station last time I visited Paris. I remember that soaring ceiling. Amazing. I think they've kept that for the museum, haven't they? What's IN the Louvre is amazing - and I visited before they built the pyramid. But it did strike me as a very heavy, ornate building. Not particularly to my taste.

AC, isn't the cathedral in Toledo beautiful? And I too love York Minster (I've got an engraving of it hanging near my front door) and the Duomo in Siena. It's amazing, isn't it? That beautiful floor blew my mind!

Neuschwanstein is fabulous, isn't it? In all senses of the word! What a wild mind King Ludwig had. Did you go to any of the other palaces? I think my favorite was the mini Versailles that apparently cost so much, that was the final straw that got them to oust him. There's a Turkish bathing house in the grounds that's all gold and peacock colors that will blow your mind!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, thanks for checking the FW-Hitchcock connection. How interesting!

Jo, you've been to Jerusalem? What an amazing place to visit! It's definitely on my list. I must say my visit to Spain made me really interested in Islamic architecture - one day, I'd love the chance to see more.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, your school sounds lovely!

Jo, Australia is much the same in terms of 'old' architecture. I lived in a 1928 building in Sydney and it was considered old. The other thing too is tragically greedy developers and a lack of heritage legislation in the 1960s and 1970s meant that a lot of the old colonial buildings were ripped down and replaced with concrete brutal structures. I still break my heart over a beautiful Regency villa by a famous architect here called John Verge. It was pulled down to put in A CAR PARK!!! Makes me think of the Joni Mitchell song.

Joan said...

On the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, they have these stone beehive-shaped huts which is where the hermits lived in the 5th century. You can still visit them and they're pretty well intact. There's something really heart-stopping about sitting in those simple structures and looking out across the wild land to the sea that probably hasn't changed terrifically much since St Patrick wandered around on his missions.

Och, I was just managing to control my longing for the homeland of my heart (and DNA) since I can't make it there this year...Sniff {curls up into fetal position}

Anna Campbell said...

JT, do you know these beehive hermitages? I thought you would! Uncurl yourself and answer me, woman! ;-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Anna, I loved all the pictures even if I don't get the same feeling of being inside them. Your descriptions were great!

The one building I have been in that simply blew me away was Carenegie Hall.

I'd traveled to NY with my oldest daughter's eith grade girls choir, which was part of the National Children's choir that year. We toured NY, saw a Broadway musical, then they gave a concert at Carnegie Hall.

The place is round, and while not huge, the stage was hardwood and when the kids sang...the sound was beautiful. The dimensions of the building are such that the accoustics in the hall are phenominal!

The best part for me personally, was afterwards, all the kids came streaming out except my daughter. When I went to find her, she was standing alone on the stage in the beautiful dress her choir chose to wear. The lights were still on, and the director came out and asked her if something was wrong. (Here's the accoustics thing...I could hear this convo clear across the room and they weren't talking above a normal voice.) She said. "I want to remember this and someday come back to sing right here."

Yeah, I got all teary. She understood the exceptional experience she'd just had.

Helen said...

I have been to the War Memorial in Hyde Park although it has been a while and I agree there is just something about being these places I do love them.

After reading everyones posts there are some wonderful places in the world that I would love to visit.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, what a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope your daughter does get back there to sing one day. Wow, singing on the stage of Carnegie Hall.

Hey, I've sung at the Opera House. A friend of mine played French horn in the orchestra and got me in after hours one night. So I got to stand on that stage and shoot a few notes over the stalls. I'm an awful singer but in my imagination, I sounded great! ;-)

Helen, I must say this post has got my feet itching too. If only I had endless time and an endless bank account. I truly was born for a private fortune ;-)

Nancy said...

Limecello, I'd love to see Macchu Picchu also. And I share that personal space feeling. The NYC subway at rush hour is so not my favorite spot!

I saw Stonehenge as a student--took a bus tour. Alas, but other Americans in the group were letting their bratty kids climb on the stones despite admonitions and pleas from the guards to the contrary.

Having seen it that way, inside it but surrounded by brattiness, I prefer the way it is now. You can walk around but not through the monument. It actually seemed more majestic to me that way.

Nancy said...

PinkPeony, there's a little town in Georgia we used to drive through on our summer vacations. It's called Social Circle, and the highway went right down a street full of gorgeous antebellum homes.

We never stopped, and now the interstate doesn't go there, but it looked cool!

Nancy said...

Anna C., no, I've never been to the Louvre. Never been to France. I did go to the banqueting house when we were in London last, about 8 or 9 years ago, and it was beautiful, especially the ceilings. I watched the video in the more medieval-looking cellar. But I didn't check out the loo. Good to know about that! :-)

Nancy said...

Anna S., I'd love to see Kings College chapel. Will have to tell the dh about the church with the statutes. I'm not sure he knows about it, and Alice is one of his favorite books to teach!

Nancy said...

Terrio, I love Biltmore. The last time the dh and I were there, the boy was about four. I think we did the tour in record time. He was fascinated with the fainting couches ("little beds," he called them), so we blitzed through the bedrooms on a quest for little beds. The library, dining hall, and other rooms did not interest him greatly. We were done in half an hour. Luckily, the dh and I had been there before.

We also did a whirlwind tour of Edinburgh Castle with the boy, who was 6 or 7, on a quest for swords. ("No swords here. Let's look there.") Fifteen minutes, tops.

Nancy said...

AC, needing three days for the Louvre wouldn't surprise me. I could probably make do with one whole one. This is sort of why we didn't visit Gettysburg when we drove past. We had two hours--not enough time to scratch the surface, even!

jo robertson said...

Yeah, Anna, we did a month-long tour of the middle east in the seventies -- Cairo, Jerusalem, Jordan, Syria, Greece and Rome. Very educational. Wish I could go back. Some of those countries are too dangerous now and I wouldn't go, but I'd love to do Egypt again, in spite of the very bad case of Pharoah's Revenge we got LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I've only seen Stonehenge since they wired it off from the public. Must say I'd have loved the chance of getting close to the stones although I can understand their concerns. I think because of that Callanish in the Outer Hebrides seems so much more atmospheric. Also it was pretty empty when I was there - always adds to the atmosphere!

Nancy, that town sounds gorgeous! Sadly when I visited Atlanta for RWA, it was just for the conference so I didn't get to see anything of the surrounding area.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, apparently they still use the Banqueting House for banquets and they'd just had one the night before I visited. So the loos were done up like the Queen's breakfast (hmm, not quite sure that analogy works). Fabric towels, flowers, clean as a whistle. The weird thing about the video is that even though I can't stand Charles I, I found the recounting of his last days really moving. He did go to his death very bravely. What a pity he couldn't have handled his life as well!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Nancy, how sad about the whirlwind tours. I've had a few of those because not driving, I've been on bus tours and they give you half an hour at a place that really deserves a whole day! Luckily I've hooked up with a couple of people in the UK (Nicola Cornick is one) who are happy to go over old houses with a finetoothed comb! In fact, I think Nicola is even slower than I am, which is saying something!

Jo, I've always wanted to see the Crusader castles in Syria. I think they'll still let you in if you're on an official tour. Oh, dear, so many places to see!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! I know I said I wasn't going to get over here today, but I have to say that the Cathedral de Notre Dame de Paris is one of my ab favs. I was priveledged to see Easter service there...ahhhhhh....heaven!

I like Henry HH Richardson - Richardson Romanesque - and all his works. I also love the Vanderbilt mansions in Asheville North Carolina (Biltmore House) and the mansions in Newport, RI. :>

St. Pats. Dulles Airport.

Okay, I'll stop and go back to edits. Grins.

PinkPeony said...

Nancy...ever since I was a kid reading books like GWTW and stuff by Gwen Bristow, Edna Ferber...I always longed to see an antebellum mansion and Spanish moss dripping from oak trees. There's this fascination with the South. Duke's Mayo, Krispy Kreme...at least we have KK here in CA now! I have a client in GA and I love to hear her talk. One day, she mentioned frog chokers. I had to ask. :)

PinkPeony said...

Anna...When I was a kid, I carved a model of Mission San Juan Bautista out of a styrofoam cooler!Glad you were able to visit the missions on your trip to CA. This sounds weird but I believe buildings are the reflection of the soul of the builder, that they're living, almost breathing testaments to history. Jo...North By Northwest is one of my favorite Hitch films. Frank Lloyd Wright may have been a brilliant architect, but his personal life was a mess. He left his wife waiting in a hotel room and took off to Europe with someone else's wife. An unredeemable rake.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jeanne, I thought I'd coax you out of your cave, at least for a quick visit! I got a shock when I saw Henry HH Richardson. Is he a well known architect? It's just one of our most famous classic writers is a woman who wrote as Henry Handel Richardson! I've read her stuff - it's mind-bogglingly depressing ;-)

Lucky you, getting to see an Easter service at Notre Dame. I visited it as a tourist but I love to see those old churches doing what they were designed for - being churches!

Anna Campbell said...

PP, I too have spent an awful lot of my life reading about the south. There's a whole school of romances set there, for a start! One day, I'd love to do a tour down there and see those places for real.

PP, I agree with you about buildings breathing the soul of their creators. I know exactly what you mean. There was a great Ken Burns doco series about Frank Lloyd Wright that was just fascinating. He was a bit of a rotter in real life.

PinkPeony said...

Anna...I saw the same documentary on Wright. And there was also an in-depth article in an old issue of Vanity Fair. Rotter. Describes him to a T. A tour of the Old South would be fantastic. Okay, it's not just the antebellum mansions that piques my interest...it's the lure of Southern style cooking too. :)

PJ said...

What beautiful buildings, Anna! I haven't been to any of the ones in your blog but your descriptions made me feel as if I was right there.

I've been fortunate to have traveled extensively and have been dazzled by some amazing architecture. I love the buildings of Barcelona. One that took my breath away with its uniqueness is Mila House, also known as La Pedrera, designed by Antoni Gaudi. The highlight of this building is the rooftop statuary garden of white marble.


Notre Dame de Paris is awe-inspiring. One of the highlights of my life was attending Sunday morning mass there.

There are so many buildings in Rome that touched me. The Colosseum was a very moving experience for me. Standing on the upper tier gazing down into the center of the structure was close to a spiritual experience. I closed my eyes and could almost hear the roaring crowds of 1st Century Rome. The Pantheon is beautiful in its simplicity. So much history in the architecture of that city.

Washington DC has some marvelous buildings and monuments. I recommend seeing the monuments both by day and by night. Each is a totally different experience.

PJ said...

When we first started taking family trips to Florida (from Michigan) there were no interstates. We drove on roads that wound through the countryside and small towns of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. The scenery was incredible, with rolling lawns, sprawling horse farms, beautiful town squares and gorgeous plantation houses everywhere you looked (or so it seemed to me). Interstates may get us there quickly but so much of our country's history and architecture is never seen or appreciated these days. It's a real shame.

Anna Campbell said...

PP, do you remember that amazing and quite horrific murder that took place in his family? I can't remember the details but I remember it was utterly shocking.

PJ, that Gaudi building looks absolutely breathtaking. I've been to Barcelona - for five minutes! All our luggage was stolen out of our car while we checked if the youth hostel was open (it wasn't!). So we got in the car and hightailed it out of there. I'd love to go back - the cathedral of the Holy Family looks amazing too.

Hey, great you know that feeling I'm talking about in the Pantheon. It really is nothing much else but space, is it? And your description of the Colosseum gave me goosebumps.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, I often feel like that when I'm on one of the motorways in England. You don't see anything except the truck in front and the caravan behind, sadly. Your trips through the back roads of the US sound magical!

PJ said...

Ouch! Not the best introduction to Barcelona, Anna. I hope you make it back there someday. Sagrada Familia is indeed an impressive architectural feat as is Guell Park. Gaudi was a creative genius.



Keira Soleore said...

Fo, that mosque is something else. We were scheduled to visit Morocco in October 2001, and of course, we had to cancel our plans that September. However, that is the one place where you're allowed to enter some of the mosques. I've never been to any yet, though I believe that nowadays there are visitors' galleries through which you can view the proceedings.

Another place of worship that I'd be really interested in visiting is the Fire Temple of the Zoroastrians, again another place that closed to people who're not Zoroastrian.

Most of my jaw-dropping moments have been inside places of worship: Saint Chapelle, Taj Mahal, Baroque churches of southwestern Germany, Ajanta/Ellora caves of India, copper domed church of Helsinki, and so many others.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, I'd love to go back to Spain. I found it a beautiful and fascinating country. And I loved the architecture ;-)

Keira Soleore said...

Oh and one of the most bizarre places I've been in, architecturally and interior-wise, is House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin.


Keira Soleore said...

Here's that URL again: House on the Rock.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, Sainte Chapelle is amazing, isn't it? Actually it's the closest building I can think of to King's College chapel. It's that same feeling of standing in the middle of a jewelbox. Gosh, you've been some interesting places, buddy! Chartres is amazing too!

Keira Soleore said...

Ah yes, Chartres. Then there was Chambord in the Loire Valley.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, Laurie mentioned the House on the Rock too. I'd never heard of it until today! Just checked out the link. What an amazing place!

PJ said...

Hey Anna, you do know that I only live 90 minutes from Biltmore House. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, on that same trip that I went to Paris and Chartres, we had a week or so in the Loire Valley. What an amazing experience. Chambord was one of my favorites - do you remember that amazing staircase and the chimneys? I also loved Chenonceaux with the gallery built across the river and Azay Le Rideau. Both were breathtakingly romantic. Blois was really interesting too. I feel really lucky that I got to see those places!

Keira Soleore said...

Laurie wrote, "The Memorial Union also in Madison, WI.... The Terrace, The Rathscellar... gorgeous setting on Lake Mendota..."

Oh, this brings back such glorious memories. Best years of my life were spent in Madison. Thank you, Laurie.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, you know, I really DO have to come for a visit ;-) Dogs, chocolate turtles and the Biltmore Estate? Not to mention your own good self! Actually one day I'd love to come to the States just as a visitor, not as someone squeezing in tourist stuff around an RWA conference.

Louisa Cornell said...

Doing a driveby posting as I am working on revising a love scene and need to get my poor heroine out of the tub and into the bed.

Of course the Sydney Opera House is on my building bucket list for many reasons - not the least of which is its proximity to La Campbell and all of my Aussie Bandita buddies! I've tried to hitch a ride with the GR, but he doesn't pick up hitchhikers. He's afraid he'll pick up a serial fryer and end up in a bucket of KFC !

The Taj Mahal is definitely on my bucket list too. And the Pyramids and temples of the Valley of the Kings.

One of the most gorgeous buildings I have visited is the chapel at the American Memorial Cemetery in Cambridge England. That is one glorious building - clean lines, open, airy and a stained glass window for every state in the Union. Incredible.

The Paris Opera House is amazing as is Notre Dame. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Chatsworth, which I saw at the age of nine. Longleat which I saw when I was ten. The current Marquis of Bath is a lunatic, but the house at Longleat is incredible. The Alamo, just because of what happened there. St. Sebastian's Cathedral in Salzburg - not as big as the Dom (the big cathedral in town) but its delicate beauty will take your breath away.

Okay, back to the bathtub! Stay safe all our Aussie buddies! Hose yourself down with water or whatever it takes to make yourselves fire-proof. Hmm. Perhaps you should just wrap yourselves around a handsome fireman?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Of course, Anna. You're talking about architechture. How could I stay away?


Here's H.H. Richardson. Click on the one of Trinity Church. It's cool. And this GreatBuildings site is particularly fun.

Someone mentioned two other favs as well, St. Chapelle and Chartes.

Another of my all-time faves is Rosslyn Chapel in England. SO cool.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, I didn't know about the American chapel in Cambridge. I'll have to make sure Anna and I go there when I got and see her!

I haven't been to the Paris Opera House. I've seen the interior of La Scala but never been to a performance there. The Royal Opera House is gorgeous!

Actually there's a gorgeous church in Salzburg called St. Thomas's. I'm sure you know it! It was actually my favorite of all the Salburg churches. Smaller and less pretentious but just beautiful.

Good luck with your love scene!

Anna Campbell said...

Aha, Jeanne, you CAN'T stay away, can you? Bwahahahahahahaha! I haven't been to Rosslyn Chapel although obviously I read about it in the Da Vinci Code, like everybody else on the planet! Thanks for the link for the Richardson stuff. I love finding out about great new architects! Would you believe I hadn't heard of Charles Rennie Mackintosh until a few years ago when a friend of mine came back from Glasgow raving about his stuff?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, guys, I'm just heading out to have a high tea with Anna Campbell, snork! I'll check back in when I get back which for US people will probably be the early hours of tomorrow.

Thanks so much for sharing so many beautiful buildings with me! I've really enjoyed today's blog!

catslady said...

Im from Pittsburgh so you hit home with Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water. He also did a home called Kentuck Knob that I visited a couple of times. There are so many impressive and beautiful buildings that I wouldn't know where to start. We have a building in town - PPG - Pittsburgh Plate Glass - the entire building is made of glass and looks quite impressive.

Karin said...

I have to say that one of my favorite buildings is Bunratty Castle in Bunratty, Ireland. It's a totally refurbished 13th century castle that is open to the public during the day and then closed around 4:30 to be prepared for the medieval feasts held there each night. When I visited there 6 1/2 years ago, I got to walk all over the castle as I pleased and see what it really would've looked like. The turrets are even open to walk on and seeing the countryside from the top of the castle is something that will always stay with me.

Of course, another really fabulous building is the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. It's so vast that it's extremely easy to get lost. The architecture of all of the palaces that make up the hermitage is just amazing and the art held inside only enhances that.

Joan said...

Karin! Another Ireland reference? To some place I too love!!!

Bunratty is where I developed me taste for mead :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, the glass building sounds really spectacular. Hey, another Frank Lloyd Wright fan! Cool!

Ooh, Karin, I'm green with envy of your visit to the Hermitage. I'd love to go to Russia one day. I have long wanted to see all those palaces along the Neva in St. Petersburg. Bunratty sounds really cool! Hey, another building to add into the mix.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, JT, another fan of Bunratty! Sounds like a great place!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everyone, for a great day in the lair. I've had such fun hearing about all your favorite buildings!

Houston A.W. Knight said...


OMG, those pictures are awesome...My favorite being The Kings College Chapel...I can't believe the details...unbelievable.

Oh the home of Wrights...I've seen the inside of that one...beautiful lines there. That man was the last of his kind. Love his homes and buildings...Love the way he worked with nature.

I think the most beautiful thing I've ever seem in my life...goes beyond man made...it's god made, and it's the Grand Canyon. It is a MUST SEE! Everyone should see this place.
A picture can not show it's depth or beauty, sunrise, that's the best views for its colors! A full moon night is awesome as well.

Great blog!

Karin said...

Joan, I actually won a bottle of Bunratty mead at an Irish festival before I ever went to Ireland. The mead is so much better over there!

Anna, the Hermitage was fantastic. Both my brother and I wish we'd had more time to go through it because there's just way too much to see. I mean, really, it takes up five palaces!