An Arts and Crafts Masterpiece

I can’t begin to imagine how many times I have driven past the sign to Watts Chapel along the A3 near Guildford in Surrey. Not knowing that this little gem lay hidden close by in Down Lane, Compton. Jenny of CharactersFromTheKitchen introduced me to this architectural delight a few months ago and I knew I would have to make the journey next time I was down in Surrey.

(Please click images to enlarge – there is an awful lot of detail in these images)

This morning, before the rain arrived again, I made my way to Watts Cemetery Chapel to the bright red brick of this Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Designed and decorated by Mary Seton Watts this example of Art Nouveau was completed in 1904. She dedicated it:

“to the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls, and for the comfort and help of those to whom the sorrow of separation remains”

A steep, slippery cobbled pathway meanders through ancient yew trees

The Exterior: The Sign of Eternity

Continue reading An Arts and Crafts Masterpiece

O for OBECNÍ DŮM

frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge

A_Z logo

Event Type: General Blogging

Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly

Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.

If you would like to join in then please click here

OBECNÍ DŮM / The Municipal House / Prague, Czech Republic

is Prague’s most prominent Art Nouveau building. It is a civic building and concert hall and located on Náměstí Republiky 5 next to the Powder Gate. It is a beautiful building from all aspects. The outside has intricate stonework, gold trimmings, frescos and stained glass windows.

The Smetana concert hall  is an architectural masterpiece, a mix of carved white stone and gold, illuminated by hundreds of lights, and with frescos by Karel Spillar adorning the walls. It is home to the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Postcard
Postcard
O (3)
Staircase
Lift / Elevator
Lift / Elevator

A couple of restaurants and an American bar can also be found inside the building though many of the rooms are closed to the public and open only for guided tours. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to time it right, so only had a glimpse of what lies inside.

Strolling around the Île de la Cité

I once read somewhere that “life is too short not to go to Paris as often as one can” but must admit to not having adhered to that having only been there three times in my life. The “City of Lights” or “La Ville-Lumière” as it was then called, comes from the fact that Paris was the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment and it was famous as a centre of education and ideas throughout Europe. The city’s early adoption of street lighting probably also contributed to its “City of Lights” tag.

Le quai des Grands-Augustins depuis le Pont-Neuf

My previous visit had been during the dull days between Christmas and New Year when everything seems flat. Leaving London Waterloo on Boxing Day seemed like a good idea at the time. Paris put on her usual glittering party frock and despite the bitter cold and wet weather the OH and I enjoyed a few days walking along the banks of the River Seine and exploring the usual tourist sites that we had both seen (though not together) in our late teens; eating expensive steaks and drinking expensive wine and taking rather bad photos (I blame the weather – too damn cold to take off the gloves)

Café EsmeraldaSo in 2010 when the opportunity to spend five days in Paris in early spring arose it was not to be sniffed at. Once again we took the Eurostar (this time from its new terminal in St Pancras station) to ‘gay Paree‘, hoping for a somewhat warmer welcome. As the OH was to be “au conference” pretty much the whole time it gave me an excuse to wander aimlessly and have a look at the hidden parts of Paris. There is nothing better for me than to venture into districts I have not been in and to look more closely at those I had. So armed with a good map, several metro tickets, camera and notebook, off I went to explore. Continue reading Strolling around the Île de la Cité