Ra Paulette’s Hand-Carved Caves

American cave sculptor Ra Paulette digs into hillsides to sculpt elaborate artistic spaces inside mountains. Since he began sculpting in 1990, he has dug over a dozen caves in New Mexico. He works with hand tools only, such as shovels, pick axes, and scrapers. Paulette created Windows of the Earth Shrine in northern New Mexico for a resort north of Santa Fe. The current resort and retreat center, Origin at Rancho de San Juan, provides the public with the opportunity to view and visit the cave sanctuary on guided, docent led tours, by appointment.  Day visitors and overnight guests can hike a third of a mile, enjoy the view, and step inside the sandstone cave space to meditate, journal, enjoy the art, experience a sound bath with crystal singing bowls, or even hold a wedding photo shoot. The shrine took Paulette two and a half years to complete.
info source: wikipedia

By Max shred – Canon Digital Camera, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Continue reading Ra Paulette’s Hand-Carved Caves

Matisi grottoes – A mountain carved into a temple

The Matisi Grottoes are Buddhist cave temples in the administrative region of the Mati Tibetan community in the Chinese province of Gansu. It is a large group of different cave complexes that are scattered over 30 square kilometers in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains. The best accessible site is approximately 65 kilometers south of Zhangye city center. The first caves were dug about 1,600 years ago. It is named after the Mati Monastery (Mǎtísì), which literally means “Horse Hoof Monastery”. According to Chinese legend, the god Erlang stopped here so that his horse could rest. Tibetan tradition, however, attributes the horse’s hoof , which is seen as an imprint in a rock, to the riding horse of the famous hero king Gesar. The section of the cliff carved out as a pagoda is the most imposing part of Mati Si. It’s nearly 200 feet  in height. It’s divided into seven floors and houses seven grottoes, an intricate set of tunnels, and 200 Buddha statues.

Von Immanuel GielEigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Continue reading Matisi grottoes – A mountain carved into a temple

Via Krupp: a snake-like pathway on the island of Capri

On the Italian island of Capri, the most beautiful view is found on one of the world’s most beautiful footpaths. Via Krupp is a historic switchback paved footpath, connecting the Charterhouse of San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus area with Marina Piccola. The zigzagging Via Krupp, was carved into the island’s south coast between 1900 and 1902. Conceptualized by German industrialist Friedrich Krupp, the footpath was a connection for Krupp between his luxury hotel, Grand Hotel Quisisana, and Marina Piccola where his marine biology research vessel lay at anchor. Secretly however, this path also conveyed him to the Grotta di Fra Felice, a grotto where sex orgies with local youths took place. When the scandal surfaced, Krupp was asked to leave Italy in 1902. The path is surrounded by bushes of juniper and rosemary and covers an elevation difference of about 100 m.
info source: wikipedia

By Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Continue reading Via Krupp: a snake-like pathway on the island of Capri

Moon bridges

A moon bridge is a highly-rounded arched pedestrian bridge associated with gardens especially in China and Japan, where the design originated. In many areas, moon bridges are purely decorative, but at one time this type of bridge was originally designed to allow pedestrians to cross canals while allowing the passage of barges beneath. When constructed using the climbing ascent and descent, it has the further advantage of not using space from the adjoining fields for approaches to the bridge. The visual effect of this bridge makes it a popular design for gardens, particularly those with water or small paths.
info source: wikipedia

Moon bridge in The Japanese garden at Huntington Gardens in San Marino, California.- By https://www.flickr.com/photos/randysonofrobert/https://www.flickr.com/photos/randysonofrobert/464791157/, CC BY 2.0, Link

Continue reading Moon bridges

The Fairy Tale Clay Castle in the mountains of Transylvania

The hotel’s Romanian name is Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor, which translates to “Clay Castle of the Valley of the Fairies” in English. An eco-friendly “fairytale castle” in the mountains of Transylvania, made of “100% organic” clay, straw and sand, with all wooden pillars. The exterior plastering is of lime and sand and the towers are of river stone. Located near Porumbacu de Sus, Romania, the hotel has ten rooms with unique design and shapes, each with its own entrance.

Casa do Penedo – the Stone House

Casa do Penedo  is an architectural monument located between Celorico de Basto and Fafe, in northern Portugal. It received its name because it was built from four large boulders that serve as the foundation, walls and ceiling of the house. Its construction began in 1972 and lasted about two years. The residence was initially used by the owners as a holiday destination. Today, Casa de Penedo is a small museum of relics and photographs from Penedo’s history. Due to its unusual design and integration into the surrounding nature, the building has become a growing tourist attraction/
info source: wikipedia

By Pablo García ChaoOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Continue reading Casa do Penedo – the Stone House

Crannogs: Neolithic Artificial Islands

Crannog on Loch Tearnait – By Peter Bond, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A crannog is typically a partially or entirely artificial island, usually built in lakes, rivers, and estuarine waters of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Crannogs were used as dwellings over five millennia, from the European Neolithic Period to as late as the 17th/early 18th century. Crannogs took on many different forms and methods of construction based on what was available in the immediate landscape. The classic image of a prehistoric crannog comes from both post-medieval illustrations and highly influential excavations . The choice of a small islet as a home may seem odd today, yet waterways were the main channels for both communication and travel until the 19th century in much of Ireland and especially Highland Scotland. Crannogs are traditionally considered as simple prehistorical farmsteads. They are also interpreted as boltholes in times of danger, as status symbols with limited access and as inherited locations of power that imply a sense of legitimacy and ancestry towards ownership of the surrounding landscape. Today, crannogs typically appear as small, circular islets, often 10 to 30 metres (30 to 100 ft) in diameter, covered in dense vegetation due to their inaccessibility to grazing livestock.

info: Wikipedia

Continue reading Crannogs: Neolithic Artificial Islands