While on a cruise around Italy my wife, B, along with my sister, Judy Lewis and her husband, Bill Lewis, took a different excursion than me and my brother and sister-in-law. B and Bill were on the motor coach seated behind two ladies from the United Kingdom. The streets in town were very narrow and so their window was close to the buildings along the street.
From time to time one or other of the ladies would look out the window and loudly exclaim:
Look at those knockers!
In the area that Bill grew up “knockers” were one of the terms used to mean female breasts. As a result he and B were chuckling every time the ladies pointed out the lovely door knockers on the buildings.
On a subsequent trip to Europe B and I spent some time appreciating the workmanship and overall beauty not only for doors and their ornamentation, but also floors, manhole covers, and the like. While not particularly challenging to photograph (as compared to a bird in flight) the images are satisfying and help remind us of our trip.
The Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria is on a hill overlooking the Danube River. The interior of the abbey is stunning. We were there in December, so the gardens were closed. We intend to go back in springtime to tour the grounds of the abbey.
The abbey was heated with huge wood stoves in many of the rooms. There were passages within the walls through which people could stoke the fires and empty the ashes from the passage so that wood debris and ashes would not dirty the main halls. This miniature door was the access to the inner passages. The size, detail of the hinges and inlay of the door itself caught our eye.
Seeing doors like this in Germany makes me wish I didn’t live in a condo where all of the outer doors have to be uniform. This is an outer door, so was taken without a flash. The main challenge in getting interior doors is reflection of the flash on the shiny wood finishes.
I believe this was also in Passau, Germany. I love the hand carved detail. Some flash reflection is noticeable, but overall a nice representation of the woodworking from the area.
Here we have an intricate mosaic floor in the cathedral in Cologne Germany. The cathedral was completed in 1880, but I am not sure how old the mosaic is. Having done just one small tile project, I am in awe at this level of craftsmanship.
Here are examples of a beautiful courtyard, a tile floor and a palace carpet. Love the patterns.
Finally, how about these knockers?
I find that focusing in on these types of architectural details deepens my appreciation of beauty to be found in every day objects.