Local Heart, Global Soul

June 22, 2020

A Very Generous Staircase…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During “Monumentendag” 2019, when historic buildings are open to the public for one or two days of the Monumentendag weekend, I visited the Queen’s/Kings waiting room inside Hollandspoor train Station in the Hague.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is both a practical hub to wait and freshen up after a long train journey, or a carriage ride from one of the royal palaces, and a massive showing-off-piece of Dutch industry.

Showcasing the best quality workmanship with best quality materials, this in-your-face  over the top exhibition of grandeur was expected to Wow visiting Heads of State and VIP’s as they first stepped into the city.

The staircase is no less impressive and certainly not the “usual* staircase that 90% of Dutch homes would have (known for being ridiculously steep and occasionally a bit scary at first for new non-dutch visitors). In fact, Himself and I are having a new kitchen installed and it arrives next week. I’m having my refrigerator dream of an American style fridge installed and in order to get it up our staircase, we will have to not only have to remove the hand rail, but also all of the banisters as well.

The Dutch architects of the past usually seemed to view staircases as a necessity that is actually a waste of space, making them as compact as possible as a trade off to allow as much extra living space as possible. The staircase here has no such problem and Royal groups would not have had their travelling clothes unduly ruffled in the slightest as they made their way up or down. The wrought iron is a work of beauty as well. even more icing on this very fancy cake.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 26, 2013

People Fade Into History, But Their Footsteps Remain…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page in my last summer’s diary as I tour Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, England with my Singaporean friend “Velvetine”.

She and I are kindred spirits when it comes to appreciating the visual arts. We both adore carved stone or wood, stained glass and ironwork, and appreciate the history of the pieces and the skill of the craftsmen who made them.

In this post we were both photographing different aspects of ironwork we found and some of the motifs in the floor…  a flight of stairs caught our attention because you think of stone being hard and indestructible and yet  it’s no match for nine hundred years of human footfall, wearing  the stone into distinctive patterns.

Negotiating these steps on crutches was one of the hardest parts of the day, but fortunately Velvetine was on hand to help with a steady hand and I wasn’t trying to do these in a hurry.

Ironwork in the form of some decorative gates and railings catch Velvetine’s eye and camera lens, whilst I found some different metalwork to put into the frame.Then there are the patterns in the floor, some of them very old by the look of them…  just goes to show that there is more than enough to see here, from the views high up to the views literally under your feet.

Between these beautiful patterns and the stone staircase it just goes to show: generations of people may have long faded into history, but in some strange way their footprints remain.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(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 ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

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