Category Archives: Architecture

Barcelona: A Snapshot

Portrait

Portrait

I travelled to Barcelona for the Primavera music festival recently. Here are some of the photos I took.

Metro Stairs

Metro Stairs

Faces

Faces

Stairs

Stairs

Laughing Lads

Laughing Lads

Dancing

Dancing

Drumming

Drumming

Peeking

Peeking

Bunting

Bunting

More bunting

More bunting

Volleyball

Serving

Lobster by the Port

Lobster by the Port

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (public market)

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (public market)

Music in the market

Music in the market

Walking the dog

Walking the dog

Building sandcastles

Building sandcastles

Kite

Kite

Caught in the break

Caught in the break

Making music

Making music

Having dinner in the shade

Having dinner in the shade

Looking up at Sagrada Familia

Looking up at Sagrada Familia

The sun behind Sagrada Familia

The sun behind Sagrada Familia

Primavera

Primavera

Reaching for the sky

Reaching for the sky

Fountain

Lounging by the fountain

Angel

Little angel

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square

Flowers at Plaça de Catalunya

Flowers at Plaça de Catalunya

Feeding the pigeons

Feeding the pigeons

Chewing

Chewing

Park Güell

Park Güell

Tiles

Tiles

Park Güell

Park Güell

Street Lamps

Street Lamps

Great day for drying

Great day for drying

The Copper Fish

The Copper Fish

Unrequited...

Unrequited…

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A Good Good Friday

Flying a kite at Bull Island

Flying a kite at Bull Island

So, with city centre cabin fever setting in, Laura and I travelled the very short distance to one of Dublin’s gems, Bull Island, yesterday, Good Friday.

It was very cold, as it has been lately, with a biting wind, but the sun was shining and the fresh, sea air was heaven-sent.

Afterwards, we stopped in across the road (almost literally) to the beautiful and somewhat underrated St Anne’s Park for a short while.

The photos aren’t great, but it was nice to get the camera back in my hands again, it has been all-too-rare lately.

But, we get an extra hour this weekend and – even though it doesn’t feel like it in this unseasonably cold weather – summer is coming.

I feel a photo-revival coming on!

The smokestacks seen from one of the bathing shelters on Bull Island

The smokestacks seen from one of the bathing shelters on Bull Island

Bull Island's Realt na Mara (Star of the Sea) statue

Bull Island’s Realt na Mara (Star of the Sea) statue

Laura

Laura at the end of the North Bull Wall

The Telegraph Car sign...

The Telegraph Car post on Bull Island…

... and a close up

… and a close up

One of the bathing shelters on Bull Island. There actually was a lady using this. She was suffering the icy waters in the hope it would help with a persistent running injury. However, while the "Gents" and "Ladies" shelters remain, the segregation doesn't.

One of the bathing shelters on Bull Island. There actually was a lady using this! She was suffering the icy waters in the hope it would help with a persistent running injury. However, while the “Gents” and “Ladies” shelters remain, the segregation doesn’t!

Laura

Laura, with Dollymount Strand in the background

Watch your step! Looking out into Dublin Bay from the top of the North Bull Wall

Watch your step! Looking out into Dublin Bay from the top of the North Bull Wall

Dog chasing after a stone at Bull Island

A dog chasing after a stone at Bull Island

St Anne's Park

St Anne’s Park

St Anne's Park

St Anne’s Park

Laura checking out the trees at St Anne's Park

Laura checking out the trees at St Anne’s Park

St Anne's Park

St Anne’s Park

Enjoying a walk at St Anne's Park

Enjoying a walk at St Anne’s Park

Laura

Laura

And, we're back in the city centre!

And, we’re back in the city centre!

Dun Laoghaire Baths

A short history of Dun Laoghaire Baths

Plans for redevelopment? 

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Prague Photo

Oops, I only went and left probably my favourite Prague photo out of my post of photos from our visit there last weekend.

This narrow and short street was tucked in behind our apartment and, apart from a lot of graffiti, it contained a photo gallery. Above the gallery door sat a lady, with a bright red heart shining out from beneath her white breast.

It’s visible in the photo, if you click through to the big version and have a closer look.

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Weekend in Prague

Images from last weekend in Prague, with Laura.

Click on any of the images for the larger versions. I have uploaded fairly big files as I feel the details in some of the buildings and landscapes are worth it.

Prague is a beautiful city.

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The Crucifix and Calvary, one of the 30 impressive statues on Charles Bridge

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Charles Bridge at night

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I had a lot of time to appreciate Petrin Hill as it took me a long time to get down it (with bones intact) in the most innapropriate footwear for icy Prague hills!

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St Vitus Cathedral

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Laura enjoying a snowy Saturday morning

View from inside the Astronomical Clock Tower

View from inside the Astronomical Clock Tower

Looking back towards the Old Town and our apartment for the weekend

Looking back towards the Old Town and our apartment for the weekend

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Tram passes between the entrance to Charles Bridge (reflected in the tram door) and the Old Town

The Astronomical Clock

The Astronomical Clock

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Charles Bridge

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“Take my photo”. A view through the bridge tower to the rather unfortunately (and unfairly!) named Malá Strana, or “Lesser Town”

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A night time view towards Petrin Observation Tower (a small version of the Eiffel Tower) from Prague Castle

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Laura looking…

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And laughing.

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On the bank of the river Vltava

A view from Petrin Observation Tower

A view from Petrin Observation Tower

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The Statue of Harmony (Sri Chinmoy). “If you can create harmony in your life this harmony will enter into vast world”

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Smoke billows on the west bank of the river Vltava

Prague has some pretty great doors

Prague has some pretty great doors

Over the door

Over the door decorations are common too

View towards a water mill from Charles Bridge

View towards a water mill from Charles Bridge

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Looking out from the Dailborka Tower at Prague Castle

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St Wenceslas

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St Vitus Cathedral

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The first Czech president, Vaclav Havel

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Faces on their way to Charles Bridge

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Old Town Square

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View down the steps up to Prague Castle

Cathedral

St Vitus Cathedral

Snow melting on the base of a lamp post on Charles Bridge

Snow melting on the base of a lamp post on Charles Bridge

One of Prague's many ornate wells

A fountain, dating from 1560

Old Town

Old Town

The Dancing House: Photo by Laura

The Dancing House: Photo by Laura

David Černý sculpture outside the Kampa museum, which houses the permanent collection of work by the abstract artist František Kupka

David Černý sculpture outside the Kampa museum, which houses the permanent collection of work by the abstract artist František Kupka

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Just another Prague building!

And another...

And another…

Okay, last one!

Okay, last one!

Another shot of my favourite statue on Charles Bridge, this time at night

Another shot of my favourite statue on Charles Bridge, The Crucifix and Calvary, this time at night

Looking down from Petrin Observation Tower

Looking down from Petrin Observation Tower

Old Town

Old Town

Laura jumping on Petrin Hill

Laura jumping on Petrin Hill

The Vltava flowing under Charles Bridge

The Vltava flowing under Charles Bridge

Mixed Bag!

So, I’ll level with you here.

if I hadn’t been so busy lately these photos wouldn’t be up here.

Getting some quality time with my camera has been increasingly difficult, but I’ll be addressing that next weekend – in some style I hope!

Until then, dear reader, please look kindly on this mixed bag of photos from recent weeks, most of which were taken on a stroll around Dublin, which took in St Stephen’s Green and the Iveagh Gardens.

Others were just random snaps when something caught my eye when the camera was close by.

I’ll try caption them, as best I can.

Laura getting ready

Laura getting ready

Feeding the swans in St Stephen's Green

Feeding the swans in St Stephen’s Green

Louis Copeland Outfitters

Louis Copeland Outfitters

Iveagh Gardens

Iveagh Gardens

Taking flight in St Stephen's Green

Taking flight in St Stephen’s Green

Lonely Cherub

Lonely Cherub

Andrew's Lane Theatre

Andrew’s Lane Theatre

Andrew's Lane

Andrew’s Lane

Letter box, Iveagh Gardens

Letter box, Iveagh Gardens

Church of the Sacred Heart, Arbour Hilll

Church of the Sacred Heart, Arbour Hill

Strolling through the Iveagh Gardens

Strolling through the Iveagh Gardens

Crane Lane

Crane Lane

Trees light the bike lane on Dublin's south quay

Trees light the bike lane on Dublin’s south quay

Iveagh Garden Angel

Iveagh Garden Angel

Cuckoo Lane

Cuckoo Lane

Face to face in St Stephen's Green

Face to face in St Stephen’s Green

True love?

True love?

Andrew's Lane

Andrew’s Lane

Smithfield Square

Smithfield Square

Ringing the bell to clear the Iveagh Gardens/bring an end to this post!

Ringing the bell to clear the Iveagh Gardens/bring an end to this post!

Kilmainham Gaol

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A Bird’s Eye View of Dublin

A Bird's Eye View of Dublin

A Bird’s Eye View of Dublin

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So last night I put one of my Christmas presents up on the wall. It is a copy of an amazingly detailed drawing of Victorian Dublin, dating from 1890.

“A Bird’s Eye View of Dublin” was a present from my “Secret Santa” (as is now the tradition among the six Cullen siblings) and the Geographer in our family, Declan.

Amazingly, this panoramic of Dublin was issued as a supplement to “The Graphic” newspaper 123 years ago. Kind of puts the countless churned-out supplements you’ll get in the Sunday newspaper today into perspective, eh?

This drawing is by H.W. Brewer, who (according to the information I have found on Old Irish Maps, where they are selling an original copy of this map) was named by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) as the finest of all Victorian architectural draughtsmen.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Brewer was also a perfectionist. There is incredible clarity and detail in “A Bird’s Eye View of Dublin”, which the image above does not do justice to. Especially as it was taken late last night under artificial light  – Mr Brewer would not have approved!

As pointed out on Old Irish Maps, this is “an incredibly detailed original topographic panorama, church spires and street-scapes are shown with exacting precision. To look at the scene in High Street, as the eye is drawn from St. Audoen’s to Christchurch is akin to stepping back in time, with the minute detail of each house, window, door etc. delicately rendered”.

I’m writing this post from just in behind the Four Courts, the impressive building dominating this small section of the overall map, which, as well as the Four Courts, shows The Liberties, High Street and Christchurch in the foreground, and stretches out to include the Liffey as it flows into Dublin Bay, with Howth and Killiney also clearly visible in the background.

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How Mr Brewer achieved this fantastical view of Dublin before the age of helicopters and aerial photography has apparently been a matter of some conjecture since it was first produced.

According to Old Irish Maps, “that he invented it all using ground-level sketches and a bit of imagination is highly probable. And indeed would be a correct assumption, except for the fact that five years before this Dublin panorama was completed he produced a “Bird’s Eye View of Liverpool – As seen from a Balloon“, (1885). We guess it will remain a mystery!”

Oh and, on a final note, I have to say, Declan set the bar pretty high this year, as I also got this amazing book!

Chancery Park Fountain

I have been walking past Chancery Park at night for some time now, always looking longingly over the spiky railings as I stroll by.

Chancery Park is a grand title for what is essentially a small garden attached to a building comprising 27 flats (Chancery House), which you can read all about here, in Dublin’s north inner city. It is located just beside the Four Courts between the Luas (tram) tracks and the Quay.

The reason for the longing looks is that I have been particularly taken with the fountain there, which is lit up at night, with The Spire on O’Connell Street in the skyline behind it as you look at it from the Four Courts side (the second photo below).

However, you can never get in there at night as the park is only open a few hours a day and closes very early in the afternoon. This is apparently to do with anti-social behaviour and is mentioned in the piece I linked to above.

The fountain is the park’s centre piece and is surrounded by a few small benches. Several trees are placed closer to the nearby perimeter and that’s it. However, it’s still a very charming park. Albeit, one that I never see anyone in, though again this is probably due to the limited opening hours.

Anyway, last night I stopped looking longingly at the fountain and hopped the spiky railings to get my photo.

Apologies to Dublin City Council.

Earlier yesterday I had bought a tripod to replace the one I left behind at the beach on Christmas Day. It was fun to practice long exposures again.

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Aviva Stadium

I was driving home on Christmas Eve and I was tempted to stop loads of times in Dublin city by the sky, before I finally succumbed in Ringsend. where I took a photo from the bridge, down towards Lansdowne Road stadium, now known as the Aviva Stadium.

I like the stadium. It’s on my to-do list to photograph at night time, probably from the same spot.

After getting my photo fix I continued happily to Wexford.

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