Roshan-ud-Daula Kothi, Lucknow, India


Lucknow, The Kaisar Pasind
c. 1910

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The construction of #Roshan ud-Daula Kothi now known as #Old UP State Archeology Department was built by the Ghazi-ud-din’s chief minister, Roshan-ud-Daula(1827- 1837). #Nawab Wajid Ali Shah confiscated the building from him in around 1847. The Kothi is wonderful example of European and Mughal Architecture.
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It has been the case with most of the States in India, and it was the same with the rule of Nawabs in Awadh, that corruption in its administration was a dominant factor that allowed the East India Company to use the nobles and officers of the Court to be unfaithful to the Nawabs or Kings and pre-empt resistance to their cunning devices. The employees of the Nawabs profited from both sides [the King and the British Resident as well]. When they feared any action and expected the King’s wrath, they were protected by the British, who would shelter them and even provide a source of income for their sustinance at Kanpur or any other place under their control. We have the examples of two Chief Ministers of Awadh as such. Coincidently, both of them built palatial buildings that vied in their lavish extravagance, decoration and ornamentation with the King’s palaces. One of these Chief Ministers was Mohammed Hussain Khan, mostly known by his title of Roshan-ud-Daulah. He held the Chief ministership for a major part of the second King, Naseer-ud-Din Haiders reign (1827-1837). Having the backing of the British East India Company and with the King’s liking for European ways, he was unhindered in deriving much benefit for himself and his near and dear ones.

It is not unusual then that the Kothi built by Roshan-ud-Daulah for himself in the Indo-French style was unique in its grandeur and vied with the palaces built by the Nawabs and Kings of Awadh. When H.G. Keene [in A Handbook for visitors to Lucknow] described the Kothi in 1896, he said that it was ‘a still more fantastic structure than the great palace itself with which, however, it tallies well. Iconic columns, balustrades with globe like finials, Moorish minarets, Hindu umbrellas, arches, pediments, lanterns are all blended in a confusion which the eye may long seek vainly to disentangle, and surmounted with a gilt band’. Post-Mutiny photographs of the original Kothi show a semi-circular gilt band on the top of the six storeyed building. Four square kiosks with canopies in the French fashion, along with small chhatries and gumbads (dome) appear at a lower level. They also show an impressive garden and a small mosque attached to the building on one side.
Lucknow.me

Roshan-ud-Daula built a palatial house that costed a lot of money and took great deal of time too. In the house Roshan-ud-Daula placed a life-size painting of King Nasir-ud-Din Haider that actually impressed the King so much that the King named this Kothi (large palatial house of royalty is so referred) as ‘Qaiser Pasand’. Though there is a bit of difference in this fact among some old historians, some opine that Qaiser Pasand was a different building though also built by Roshan-ud-Daula. . . . rimarily it was a four storey rectangular stricture with angled (oblique) corners, a kind of canted facade similar to Baroque architecture on one of the front, while regular bay on another and yet another front has a huge portico. The building has small balconies and courtyards along with stairs on each of its side. This building came up on a tank which was much lower than the normal ground level and that is the reason that the ground floor is lower than usual. . . .The ceilings of the two grand halls are still the same as they were earlier and there has been no structural change in that, even though periodic changes were made after 1860s when this building came under the British and was converted into an office. The weight of the building is evenly distributed through many small beams onto a large one which resets of the wide walls, though these walls too are not that wide considering the size and number floors that Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula has. Copper covered domes and interestingly a half dome too, adorned the top of the building with extensive use of pottery along with copper ware in this building. The half dome or call it a ‘sliced dome’ resembles the rising sun and all the domes of Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula when existed were covered with copper.

During the rebellion of 1857 this building was controlled by the rebel forces and the godown of Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula was used by the mutineers to imprison the British captured alive. Most of these British were captured in Dhaurahra, estate near Lakhimpur Kheri, many were killed there itself while those alive were brought here. A few British among the imprisoned tried to escape through a tunnel dug by them for the purpose. All these were caught before they could escape and were taken to another site close by to be killed all together. One of the rebel leaders, Raja Jiya Lal was held responsible for all these killings and was hanged on 1st of October 1859. After surviving the mindless destruction of Kaserbagh and its periphery by the British in revenge of the mutiny of 1857-58, Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula in early 1900s for some reason was devoid of top two floors, that made it much shorter than originally it was and the glorious crown atop this magnificent building was gone, so was it devoid of arches and the domes. Today Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula houses the office of state archaeology, Lucknow district’s election office and a store of government files and records.
Tornos India

Government House/Raj Bhavan, Calcutta, India

Government House. Calcutta.
7026. Photo Johnston & Hoffmann
Posted 1904

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The Raj Bhavan is not just a heritage building, it is Kolkata’s outstanding landmark evoking the past and sublimating it.Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, the erstwhile Government House, used to be the seat of British Imperial power. Built in the years 1799-1803 when Marquis Wellesley was the Governor General, this historic and magnificent building was designed on the lines of Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, the ancestral house of Lord Curzon who later lived here as the Viceroy and the Governor General exactly 100 years after Wellesley.

This three-storied building with a magnificent central area consisting of large halls has curved corridors on all four sides radiating to detached wings, each constituting a house in itself. Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, was built over 1799 and 1803. Governor General Lord Wellesley took up residence in Government House, as it was then called, in 1803, even before the last of the artisans had vacated the mansion. Such was his impatience to live in a home worthy of a ruler of the British Empire in India. The magnificent edifice of Kolkata’s Raj Bhavan, or the Government House, was completed on January 18, 1803. Twenty-three Governors-General and, later, Viceroys lived in this house, until the capital shifted to Delhi in 1912.

In keeping with Lord Metcalfe’s imperial vision, this meticulously structured building was specially created away from the rest of the metropolis, magnificently proportioned amidst acres of formal gardens. Tall intricately patterned wrought iron gates with massive lions perched atop reiterated the same regal majestic message. The ‘plebeian’ and the ‘common man’ were to be kept out of what was the abode of the Governor General, the symbol of the power and might of the Monarch and the Throne.
Raj Bhavan, West Bengal (official website)

Story of Governor’s House (pdfs), Raj Bhavan, West Bengal website

In the early nineteenth century Calcutta (Kolkata) was at the height of its golden age. Known as the City of Palaces or St. Petersburg of the East, Calcutta was the richest, largest and the most elegant colonial cities of India. It was during this time that one of Calcutta’s finest colonial structures, Government House (later Raj Bhavan), was constructed. Before 1799, the Governor-General resided in a rented house, called Bukimham House, located in the same location. The land belonged to Mohammad Reza Khan, a Nawab of Chitpur. It was in 1799 that the then Governor-General of India, The 1st Marquess Wellesley, took the initiative of building a palace, because he believed that India should be ruled from a palace and not from a country house. Lord Wellesley wanted to make a statement to the imperial authority and power and so the building was done on a grand scale. After 4 years construction it was completed at a colossal cost of £63,291 (about £3.8 million in today’s estimate).

After the transfer of power from the East India Company to the British Crown in 1858, it became the official residence of the Viceroy of India, shifting here from the Belvedere Estate. With the shifting of capital to Delhi in 1911 it became the official residence of Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.
Wikipedia

St Mary’s Church, Pune, India

St Marys Church, Poona
Published: F.B. Stewart & Son, Poona. c.1910

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St. Mary’s Church (CNI) located in the Cantonment-Camp area of Pune city is the oldest standing church structure in the mid-western region of India and was called ‘The Mother Church of the Deccan’ by the former Metropolitan of the then Anglican Communion in this part of the world, The Most Reverend Bishop Reginald Heber.

Built in the early 1820s and consecrated on the 3rd of July, 1825, this church building has since then been a place of worship for people from different walks of life even as it has served as a historical landmark. Initially it was built for the purpose of worship for British military officers who were from the Protestant denomination of the Church of England, i.e. the Anglican Church. Gradually, apart from military officers, civilians too who were Christians and subscribed to the faith and practice of the Anglican Church in India, began to worship here.
St Mary’s Church, Camp, Pune (official website)

The British originally came to India to trade. Gradually they worked themselves into power, and India became one of the countries of the British Empire. In Pune [Poonah, Poona] and its suburb Khadki [Kirkee] they had a large military set-up. It was therefore only natural that the British felt the need to have a church for their military personnel. Thus garrison churches came into existence. This is the oldest established Church in Poona or its neighbourhood. The Church was built by Lieut. Nash of the East India Company’s Engineers. The tower at the west end of the church is surmounted by a mixture of lath and plaster.

On the north and south of the tower are respectively vestry and lamp room on the ground floor, with a staircase on the south leading up to the gallery. The interior of the church is 97 feet long from the west door of the church step, and transept 88 feet long from north to south. The width of the naive is 15 feet and transept 35 feet. The top of the spire is 103 feet from the ground. The eight round pillars, four on each side of the nave, are remarkable for the excellency of the chuna plastering with which they are covered having a surface almost like marble.

The church accommodates over 1000 worshippers. The bell in the tower at present replaced the original one and was brought from Kaira Church. The Church foundation were laid by Bishop Reginald Heber in 1825. The Bishop has left an excellent account of his journey up to Poona from Bombay. He describes the Church as spacious, convenient building but in bad architectural taste.
St Mary’s Church, Camp, Pune

Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy


NAPOLI – Teatro S. Carlo
1900s
Publisher: Adinolfi Domenico, Naples

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The Real Teatro di San Carlo (Royal Theatre of Saint Charles), its original name under the Bourbon monarchy but known today as simply the Teatro di San Carlo, is an opera house in Naples, Italy It is located adjacent to the central Piazza del Plebiscito, and connected to the Royal Palace. The San Carlo Theater, formerly Real Theater of San Carlo, often referred to as the San Carlo Theater, is a lyric opera in Naples, as well as one of the most famous and prestigious in the world. Overlooking the street and side streets of Trieste and Trento, the theater, in line with the other great architectural works of the period, such as the great Bourbon Bourges, was the symbol of a Naples that remarked its status as a major European capital. It is the oldest opera house in Europe and the world still active, being founded in 1737, as well as one of the most extensive Italian theaters of the peninsula. It can accommodate 1386 spectators and has a large square (22 × 28 × 23 m), five rows of horses, plus a large royal stage, a log cabin and a stage (34 × 33 m). Given its size, structure and antiquity, it has been a model for subsequent European theaters.
HiSoUR

On 13 February 1816 a fire broke out during a dress-rehearsal for a ballet performance and quickly spread to destroy a part of building. On the orders of King Ferdinand IV, another Bourbon monarch and son of Charles III, who used the services of Antonio Niccolini, Barbaia was able to rebuild the opera house within ten months. It was rebuilt as a traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium with 1,444 seats, and a proscenium, 33.5m wide and 30m high. The stage was 34.5m deep. Niccolini embellished in the inner of the bas-relief depicting “Time and the Hour”.

On 12 January 1817, the rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Johann Simon Mayr’s Il sogno di Partenope. Stendhal attended the second night of the inauguration and wrote: “There is nothing in all Europe, I won’t say comparable to this theatre, but which gives the slightest idea of what it is like…, it dazzles the eyes, it enraptures the soul…”. In 1844 the opera house was re-decorated under Niccolini, his son Fausto, and Francesco Maria dei Giudice. The main result was the change in appearance of the interior to the now-traditional red and gold.
Wikipedia.

San Carlo Opera House is one of the most original, logical and powerful of all theatre fronts, and a monument of Neodassicism. Its massive rustication is relieved on the lower level by garlands and heads, on the upper by a series of reliefs alluding to music and poetry. Above the balcony, in complete contrast, a graceful Ionic colonnade shields the large windows of the salon. Largeness of scale is emphasized by such details as the six-foot-high bollards.
Theatre Architecture Database