Innisfallen Abbey, Innisfallen, Ireland


Innisfallen Oratory
Publisher closed 1906, but card dated 1912
Publiser: John Evelyn Wrench

Google Street View (approximate).

Innisfallen Abbey is located on a picturesque island on the lake of Lough Leane (“Lake of Learning”) in Killarney national park. Tradition holds that it was founded in the 6th Century as a leper colony by Saint Fionán (Saint Finnian), whose life was dedicated to tending the sick. The church was later established as an Augustinian priory, and quickly became a centre for education in the early Christian world. It’s greatest scholar was the monk Maelsuthain O’Carroll (‘chief doctor of the Western world’), who gained great eminence and respect amongst contemporary princes. He was friend to the famous king Brain Boru, and it is claimed that in the 10th Century, the king was educated under Maelsuthain’s care at Innisfallen, and Maelsuthain is later named as the king’s counsellor during his reign. Innisfallen’s remote location did not protect it entirely from the outside world. It was twice raided by Vikings, and in 1180AD, it was plundered by Maiilduin, son of Donal O’Donoghue. The monks quickly recovered from this setback, and the church continued to flourish as a centre of learning.
. . .
Although the abbey was formally dissolved in 1540AD, passing into the hands of Richard Harding, it is not known whether it was abandoned at this time. The monks of neighbouring Muckross Abbey remained in residence until the 1580s, and the remote location of Innisfallen may have allowed it some respite. It is know to have been abandoned by the time Oliver Cromwell’s troops ravaged Ireland, however, in the mid 17th Century.

Isle of Albion

While the abbey dates back to the seventh century, the oldest extant structure, dated to the tenth century, is the western two-thirds of the abbey church. The remainder of the church and the main abbey complex were constructed in the thirteenth century. A third structure, an oratory with a Hiberno-Romanesque doorway, dates from the twelfth century.
Wikipedia.

Aswan from Elphantine, Egypt


ASSOUAN, General View
c.1910
Pubished: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)

Google Street View.

Elephantine is an island on the Nile, forming part of the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt. . . . Known to the ancient Egyptians as ꜣbw (Elephant), the island of Elephantine stood at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was an excellent defensive site for a city and its location made it a natural cargo transfer point for river trade. This border is near the Tropic of Cancer, the most northerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon and from which it appears to reverse direction or “turn back” at the solstices. . . . According to ancient Egyptian religion, Elephantine was the dwelling place of Khnum, the ram-headed god of the cataracts, who guarded and controlled the waters of the Nile from caves beneath the island. He was worshipped here as part of a late triad of Egyptian deities. . . . Most of the present day southern tip of the island is taken up by the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. These, the oldest ruins still standing on the island, are composed of a granite step pyramid from the Third Dynasty and a small temple built for the local Sixth Dynasty nomarch, Heqaib. In the Middle Kingdom, many officials, such as the local governors Sarenput I or Heqaib III, dedicated statues and shrines into the temple.
Wikipedia.

The island of Elephantine rises out of the waters in the middle of the river. It has always been an object of wonder for travelers, and a certain Henry Light, sailing up the Nile from Cairo in 1814, described it as ”a scene composed of water, rocks, and buildings, which latter had the additional effect of being formed of cupolas, minarets, mosques, and ruins, interspersed amongst plantations of lofty palm-trees, and surrounded by mountains of deep red or sandy hue, on the tops and sides of which were other ruins of convents, churches and mosques.” Much of this scene remains. Elephantine still emerges from the water like a hallucination, upon it the now sparse ruins of the ancient city of Abu that once housed the frontier fortress of Egypt.
New York Time Magazine: Afloat on the Ancient Nile (2 October 1988)

Temple of Diane, Nimes, France


NIMES – Temple de Diane, Interieur
Dated 1928

Google Street View (other side).

Interior of the Temple of Diana at Nimes (Oil on canvas), 1783

Plan & details

The so-called Temple of Diana is a 1st-century ancient Roman building in Nîmes, Gard, built under Augustus. It is located near the gushing spring of “La Fontaine”, around which was an Augusteum, a sanctuary devoted to the cult of the emperor and his family, centred on a nymphaeum. Its basilica-like floor plan argues against it being a temple and there is no archaeological or literary evidence for its dedication to Diana. The building may instead have been a library. Its facade was rebuilt during the 2nd century and in the mediaeval era it housed a monastery, ensuring its survival.
. . .
Its roof construction is unusual in that it consists of several elaborate thick barrel-vaulted rooms using carefully cut ashlars supporting an upper floor. Partly dug into the side of Mount Cavalier, the building was originally flanked by annexes. The main facade is pierced by three large arches. The remains consist mainly of a vaulted hall of 14.5 x 9.5 m, flanked by two staircases to missing semi-detached buildings. The north side wall has a series of five rectangular niches surmounted by alternate triangular and semi-circular pediments. Between each niche was a column of composite order. Three other rooms have ceilings decorated with carved coffered ceilings.
Wikipedia.

Roman Forum, Rome


ROMA – Foro Romano.
Postmarked 1898

Google Street View.

Roma Antiqua: 3D Virtual Tour

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Wikipedia.

Three columns on the left:
The original Temple of Castor and Pollux was built in 484 BC by the roman dictator Postumius who vowed to build the temple if obtained a victory over the Tarquin Kings who had previously ruled Rome. According to the legend, Castor and Pollux, mythological twin brothers, helped the Roman army to victory. In republican times the temple served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate, and from the middle of the 2nd century BC the front of the podium served as a speaker’s platform. and announced the victory at the forum. Only three pillars remain of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the current ruins dating from its last reconstruction in 6 A.D
Tribunes and Triumphs

In the centre:
The Basilica Julia (Italian: Basilica Giulia) was a structure that once stood in the Roman Forum. It was a large, ornate, public building used for meetings and other official business during the Roman Empire. Its ruins have been excavated. What is left from its classical period are mostly foundations, floors, a small back corner wall with a few arches that are part of both the original building and later Imperial reconstructions and a single column from its first building phase. The Basilica Julia was built on the site of the earlier Basilica Sempronia (170 BC) along the south side of the Forum, opposite the Basilica Aemilia. It was initially dedicated in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, with building costs paid from the spoils of the Gallic War, and was completed by Augustus, who named the building after his adoptive father. The ruins which have been excavated date to a reconstruction of the Basilica by the Emperor Diocletian, after a fire in 283 AD destroyed the earlier structure.
Wikipedia.

Media Centre for Art History: panoramas

Colosseum & Meta Sudans, Rome


ROMA – Anfiteatro Flavio e Colosseo con la meta sudante
Flavian Amphitheater and Colosseum with the Meta Sudans
Publisher: F. Fichter, Rome

Google Street View.

The Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum, stands in the archaeological heart of Rome and welcomes large numbers of visitors daily, attracted by the fascination of its history and its complex architecture. The building became known as the Colosseum because of a colossal statue that stood nearby. It was built in the 1st century CE at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Until the end of the ancient period, it was used to present spectacles of great popular appeal, such as animal hunts and gladiatorial games. The building was, and still remains today, a spectacle in itself. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world, capable of presenting surprisingly complex stage machinery, as well as services for spectators.
Parco archeologico del Colosseo

Parco archeologico del Colosseo online resources

The Meta Sudans was a large monumental conical fountain in ancient Rome. The Meta Sudans was built some time between 89 and 96 under the Flavian emperors, a few years after the completion of the nearby Colosseum. It was built between the Colosseum and the Temple of Venus and Roma, close to the later Arch of Constantine, at the juncture of four regions of ancient Rome: regions I, III, IV, X (and perhaps II). A meta was a tall conical object in a Roman circus that stood at either end of the central spina, around which racing chariots would turn. The Meta Sudans had the same shape, and also functioned as a similar kind of turning point, in that it marked the spot where a Roman triumphal procession would turn left from the via Triumphalis along the east side of the Palatine onto the via Sacra and into the Forum Romanum itself.

Photos from the end of the 19th century show a conical structure of solid bricks next to the Arch of Constantine, surrounded by its own original, reflecting stone pool. The ruins of Meta Sudans survived until the 20th century. In 1936 Benito Mussolini had its remains wantonly demolished and paved over to make room for the new traffic circle around the Colosseum.

Wikipedia.

Thuburbo Majus, Tunisia


Thuburbo Majus – Le Capitole
c.1930
Publiser: E.M.Cliche

Google Street View.

Archnet (images)
Rome in the Footsteps of an XVIIIth Century Traveller
Plan of town (in Italian)
Plan of ruins
“Visual reconstruction” of forum

Thuburbo Majus or Colonia Julia Aurelia Commoda, its Roman name, was originally a Punic town, later founded as a Roman veteran colony by Augustus in 27 BC. Military veterans were sent to Thuburbo, among other sites, by Augustus to allow them to start their post-army lives with land of their own. Its strategic location and access to trade routes made it an important establishment. Ruins of the town are in the middle of the countryside with no towns in close proximity. Most of the town was built around 150–200 and restored in the 4th century after the Crisis of the Third Century. It received a Capitolium in 168. The town was a productive grower of grain, olives, and fruit.[5] Under Hadrian it was made a municipium, helping cause a growth in wealth, and Commodus made it a colony.

A 1916 excavation found a tetrastyle temple. The building was decorated with statues of Apollo, Venus, Silvanus, Bacchus, the Dioscuri, and a satyr. Three perfume vases showed dogs pursuing rabbits. In 1920 an inscription found in Thuburbo Majus written in honor of C. Vettius Sabinianus proved that several other inscriptions bearing that name were referring to the same person. Remains of the house of Bacchus and Ariadne dating back to the early 5th century were excavated in 1925.
Wikipedia.

Its Capitol – the most important temple in Roman cities – is among the best preserved in Tunisia. Its façade was made of six elegant Corinthian columns, with four of them still intact, overlooking a large staircase and the Forum.
Tunisia Tourism

Baalbek, Lebanon


BAALBEK (Syrie). Le Temple de Venus – La façade
Temple of Venus – the facade

On back:
Require PALMYRA HOTEL, the only first class hotel facing the ruins of Baalbek

Published: M. Harris, Baalbek.

Street View

The temple of Venus was built in the third century. It has a highly original design: built on a horseshoe-shaped platform, it consists of a circular shrine with a square entrance that is almost as big. The outer façade of the shrine is graced by five niches, which means that there is not a single square wall. In the niches are representations of doves and shells, which has been taken as evidence that the shrine was dedicated to Venus.
The square entrance probably was not one of those classical triangle-shaped pediments supported by columns. In fact, the straight horizontal line was broken by an elegant arch. This is certainly not without parallel, but the baroque ensemble suggests that the architect wanted to show off that he was the best and the brightest. He succeeded.

Livius.org

UNESCO Word Heritage listing
Rome in the Footsteps of an XVIIIth Century Traveller
The Baalbek Ruins in Lebanon (photos and write up from a tour of site)


Model of Baalbek (Photo by Franck Devedjian. from Wikipedia Commons

Plan of Temple Complex


BAALBEK (Syrie).BAALBEK (Syrie). La Grande Mosque arabe du VIIe siecle construite avec les colonnes de granit des Temples romains
The Grand Mosque of the 7th century built with the granite columns of Roman temples
On back:
Require PALMYRA HOTEL, the only first class hotel facing the ruins of Baalbek

Published: M. Harris, Baalbek.

Google Maps.

The Great Umayyad Mosque
Built in the first century after the Hegira, during the Umayyad reign, on the remains of a Byzantine church, it is the largest mosque of all Baalbek. It is 60 meters long and 50 meters wide. It contains in the middle 30 columns carried from roman temples neighboring the castle. Some of them are decorated with Corinthian capitals either of granite or of massive stones. The walls of the mosques rise for 8 meters. Its architecture is similar to the Umayyad mosque in Damascus. It includes a courtyard surrounded by porticoes and a square minaret that stands in the courtyard like a war tower. The mosque’s walls hold many inscriptions that are decrees belonging to the Mamluk age. It was left ruined for a long time during the Ottoman and the modern ages. Lately, it has been restored and rehabilitated to perform regular prayers in there.
Destination Lebanon

Interior photo

Umayayd Route, Baalbek: photos at bottom of page two (pdf)

Frigidarium, Baths of Caracalla, Rome


Stato attuale e restauro della grande sala “Frigidarium.
(Current state and restoration of the great “Frigidarium”)

On the back:
Les Thermes de Caracalla. A L’etat actuel et en restauration. De L’oeuvre recemment publiée. Par Le Chev. J. Ripostelli
La Grande Salle Avec Le Bassin Pour Les Bains. | D’eau Froide Frigidarium

(The Baths of Caracalla. At the current state and in restoration. From the newly published work* by the Chev. J. Ripostelli
The Great Room With The Basin For The Baths | Cold Water Frigidarium)
c.1910

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