Local Heart, Global Soul

December 3, 2013

Beautiful Lions, Flags and Bicycles …and Pigeons too, For Once.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post we are arrived in Luxembourg City and managed by sheer good luck to have found the beautiful main square called “Place Guillaume II“.

There’s an imposing building on the far side of the square immediately identified as  the  “Hôtel de Ville” (City Hall) and whilst I love the neoclassical style of the building, it’s the imposing lion statues on plinths outside that grab most of my attention.

They appeal to my artistic fancy so I take photos from several angles for my art archive that I keep to refer to for inspiration at a later date.

The Luxembourg flag is one that could easily be mistaken for the Dutch one, because it’s the same tricolour formation and almost in the same colours: a horizontal red at the top, white in the centre and blue at the bottom… However the Luxembourg blue stripe is a far lighter shade than the Dutch one. Since The Netherlands can boast that  our flag has been in continuous use since 1572 and is the oldest tricolour flag  in the world still in national use, it’s clear who copied who. The colours originated from those used in Luxembourg’s Grand Duke’s coat of arms, and the coat of arms of Luxembourg, which consists of an ensign with light blue and white striped background with a large heraldic style red lion in the centre.

Some in Luxembourg have campaigned for the ensign flag to become the national flag because the current one is so often mistaken for that of The Netherlands, but so far without success. I also liked the beautiful cast iron lamps around the square, and the evidence that this is a bicycle friendly city. The cycle stand takes up the space of a singe car, as demonstrated with a large car-shaped cut-out and cycle routes abound. The paving cobbles are arranged in beautiful patterns, and the local pigeons were very tame indeed, I’ve never managed to get so close or get better photographs than these before.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 29, 2011

You know You’ve “Arrived” when One Owl beats Four Lions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think that this doorway probably is one most photographed doors in The Hague, and for good reason.

It’s located on the building that stands on the corner of  Kneuterdijk and Hoge Nieuwstraat, directly across the street  from the building in this post:  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/new-458/.

This door was made when you could  “make an entrance”  into a building in grand style,  it said something about the building, not just the address you were going to but that when you got here that you had indeed,  “arrived”.

And what an arrival… this grand doorway is recessed a little back from the pavement, but surely it’s beauty arrests any passing eye that processes  a love of detail, texture, architecture and ornament.  If it doesn’t, then I venture to declare that the world is blind indeed to the skill and craftsmanship that produced wonders in stone-masonry.

Every time I see this door and stop to look yet again,  my first dilemma is not knowing where to look first.  Your eye is drawn up, down, left and right as one detail after another grabs your attention.

The door itself is quite beautiful in it’s own right with decoration galore  from carved wood, wrought iron and decorative panels  to scroll-work and brass plates…. … but there is still so much to see…

The two sets of fierce lions placed on the outside columns usually get my first detailed attention, the lower set are in gray and the upper set are in white.

Then you notice the wrought iron and surrounding decorative bits both in the door and around it,  but invariably your eyes are drawn to the little owl that stands upon two bound volumes, peering down with his knowing eyes from his vantage point in the semi circular cartouche  at the top of the door.

There’s a Latin inscription set around him, but alas I am no scholar of Classical languages, so whilst this little bird sits on his books of knowledge, I can only enjoy in blissful ignorance.

I drink in this door, the photos do not do it justice. One day when I’m mobile I will be back and I am sure I will find new detail to photograph next time too…

Not bad for a humble door fame eh…?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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