Archives for posts with tag: religion

Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters, Gloucestershire, England Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters, Gloucestershire, England

The  beautiful cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral are the earliest surviving fan vaults, having been designed between 1351 and 1377 by Thomas de Cambridge. The cloisters have featured as a location in three Harry Potter Films.

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Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Gloucestershire, England

Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Gloucestershire, England

Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Gloucestershire, England

Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Gloucestershire, England

Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Gloucestershire, England

The gothic choir of Gloucester cathedral is a unique and spectacular work, the walls so heavily panelled as to suggest a huge stone cage (disguising the Norman arches behind) crowned by a glorious net-like vault adorned with numerous bosses (those over the Altar with superb figures of Christ and angels) whilst the east wall is entirely glazing in delicate stone tracery, and still preserving most of it’s original 14th century stained glass. The soaring central tower, also richly panelled with delicate pinnacles, is another testament to the abbey’s increasing wealth at this time.

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Images available as limited edition prints and licensing contact me for pricing. 

Saint Catherine's Monastery below Mount Sinai

Saint Catherine’s Monastery below Mount Sinai

Mighty granite walls protect the monastery

Mighty granite walls protect the monastery

Much of the walls have stood for 14 centuries

Much of the walls have stood for fourteen centuries

Cross carved in the granite walls

Cross carved in the granite walls

At one point in history all of the doors were sealed up, and entrance was made through a lift, which was also used to haul up supplies.

At one point in history all of the doors were sealed up, and entrance was made through a lift, which was also used to haul up supplies.

Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt

The building sits in the wildest imaginable location

Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt

Detail of window in the corner buttress

Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt

The route to Mount Sinai starts at the left of the monastery

Lift structure and modern entrance.

Lift structure and modern entrance.

Bell tower (left) & Mosque Minaret (right) inside courtyard

Bell tower (left) & Mosque Minaret (right) inside courtyard

Bell tower, Built in 1871

Bell tower, Built in 1871

Cross carved in the granite walls

Cross carved in the granite walls

The monastery contains the Katholikon, various chapels, a amosque , library and cells for the monks.

The monastery contains the Katholikon, various chapels, a amosque , library and cells for the monks.

Bell tower (left) & Mosque Minaret (right)

Bell tower (left) & Mosque Minaret (right)

Saint Catherine's Monastery below Mount Sinai

Saint Catherine’s Monastery below Mount Sinai

The monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, is the oldest active Christian monastery in the world. It is the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the burning bush.

The monastery’s library holds a unique collection of Byzantine manuscripts second only to the vatican in scale. The site is sacred to both Christianity and Islam. A mosque was built within the walls of the monastery, but it has never been used since it is not correctly oriented towards Mecca.

Built between 548 and 565 the massive granite walls have stood for over fourteen centuries. The walls were repaired in 1801 during Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition. The bell tower was built in 1871 and contains nine bells of different sizes that were a gift of the Czars of Russia.

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Canterbury Cathedral. The western crossing, with a view of the fan vaulting in the “Angel Steeple.”

Canterbury Cathedral. The western crossing, with a view of the fan vaulting in the “Angel Steeple.”

Steps worn by the passing centuries of pilgrims feet…and knees

Steps worn by the passing centuries of pilgrims feet…and knees

The Nave, Canterbury Cathedral built in the late gothic Perpendicular style, 1480's

The Nave, Canterbury Cathedral built in the late gothic Perpendicular style, 1480’s

Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170

Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian buildings in England and one of the great pilgrimage sites of Europe in the medieval times.

Interior Dome of Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran.

Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque was completed in 1619 after nearly 20 years of construction by Architect Shaykh Bahai. Today, the mosque stands as a magnificent and detailed public work. However, when it was originally built it was a private and luxurious place of worship for Shah Abbas I and the women of his court.

North Iwan at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, (aka the Pink Mosque) Shiraz, Iran

Ceramic tiles ceiling decorating a muqarnas vault at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque,

Glazed tile Inscription dating from the 19th century in the northern iwan (semiopen.space on the edge of a courtyard wall), Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque. Flexible timber, visible poking out of the wall at the top of the image, is used for earthquake resistance. The text is from Al Imran, the 3rd chapter of the Koran

Ceramic tiles ceiling decorating a vault at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque

Detail of muqarnas at  Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, (aka the Pink Mosque) Shiraz, Iran.

Decorated tiled islamic inscription at Nasir al-Mulk Mosque

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, (aka the Pink Mosque) Shiraz, Iran

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, (aka the Pink Mosque) Shiraz, Iran is unique and delightful for the widespread use of pink tiling in the decoration. Built 1876 -1888. Architects: Muhammad Hasan-e-Memar and Muhammad Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi.

South Iwan, entrance to main sanctuary. Imam Mosque (Masjed-e Imam), Isfahan, Iran

Dome of the main sanctuary. Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

Courtyard of the Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

North iwan coverd in polychromatic tiles. Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

West iwan. Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

Dome of the main sanctuary. Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

Built during the Safavid period between 1611 to 1629 by architect Shaykh Baha, the Imam Mosque of Isfahan it is an excellent example of Islamic architecture of Iran, and regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian Architecture.  It is registered, along with the Naghsh-i Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the Imam mosque is massive and initially impressive, in my view the neighbouring Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque and the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan are of greater scuptural subtlety and sublime geometrical beauty.

Interior of Octagonal Pavilion Tomb of the Sheikh Abdolsamad, Natanz, Iran.

Detail view of khanqah portal; muqarnas semi-dome, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad Mosque, Natanz, Iran.

Portal of Abd-al-Samad-tomb

Facade of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad Mosque

Detail of mosaic tiling

Natanz gets in the news as the location of Iran’s nuclear facility but much more interesting is the beautiful Abdolsamad Tomb & Mosque. This is a large funerary complex which has grown up organically around the tomb of Abd al-Samad, a follower of the famous Sufi saint Abu Said who died in 1049. The central feature of the site is the octagonal tomb around which is built a four-iwan congregational mosque dated to 1309. Internally the tomb is a cruciform chamber which is converted to an octagon at roof level. The roof is a blue-tiled octagonal pyramid dome outside and internally comprises a tall muqarnas vault.

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