Wat Samphran is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Amphoe Sam Phran, around 40 kilometers to the west of Bangkok. The temple is notable for its 17-story tall pink cylindrical building with a gigantic dragon sculpture curling around the entire height. The interior of the dragon sculpture contains a staircase, a huge buddha statue as well as many additional Buddhist statues. Known for the hollow dragon’s head that encircles the temple, visitors are welcome to ascend the 17-story superstructure to touch the dragon’s beard, or climb inside the belly of the beast.
Castelinho da Rua Apa is a residential building from the early 20th century, built by the family “Dos Reis” in 1912, having as a mold the French castles. In addition to its historical and cultural value, the Castelinho is known to have harbored a family tragedy in 1937, in which all the residents – mother and two children – were found shot dead and to this day it is unknown who was responsible – which makes Castelinho a mysterious haunted place. After the family tragedy the property was left without heirs passing to the patrimony of the Federal Government.
In 1996, the non-governmental organization Club de Mães do Brasil was granted the rights to use Castelinho da Rua Apa. Maria Eulina dos Reis Hilsenbeck is the founder and president of the Club and has been using the space ever since. Little Castle’s restoration was completed in April 2017, and now operates as a social assistance business, providing help to the homeless and chemical dependents in Sao Paulo.
Continue reading Brazil’s Little Castle of Horror
A backstuga (literally “hill cottage”) is a cottage built into the southern slope of a hill, alternatively with a low floor and its walls stretched halfway down into the ground. This phenomenon is known from the early 1600s and was disliked by the government seeing it as a way to evade taxes. Such cottages were typically raised on land useless for farming. Backstugas may have been inhabited by craftsmen, or by those of the peasantry not active in the productive life of the community, such as old people who could no longer work, retired servants and the community destitute who had no relatives to care for them. Nowadays earthen cabins built partially buried in the ground can be rent on Airbnb.
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.
18th century English gardens and French landscape gardening often featured mock Roman temples, symbolizing classical virtues. Other 18th century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids, ruined abbeys, or Tatar tents, to represent different continents or historical eras.
Broadway Tower, Worcestershire, England
Filled with mystery and intrigue, the ancient pyramids have been admired by humans throughout the ages. In modern times the iconic structure of the pyramid has inspired many architectural projects all around the world. The modern day behemoths, mostly built from glass and steel, are employed as architectural statement pieces.
The Louvre Pyramid in Paris
Piers have been built for several purposes, and because these different purposes have distinct regional variances the term is principally associated with the image of a Victorian cast iron pleasure pier. However, the earliest piers predate the Victorian age and were of wooden construction. Providing a walkway out to sea, pleasure piers often include amusements and theaters as part of the attraction. Such a pier may be open air or partly open, partly closed.
Morning mist on Lake Mapourika, New Zealand.
photographer: Richard Palmer (image source)
A spite house is a building constructed or modified to irritate neighbors or any party with land stakes. Spite houses may create obstructions, such as blocking out light or blocking access to neighboring buildings or can be just symbols of defiance. Because long-term occupation is at best a secondary consideration, spite houses frequently sport strange and impractical structures.
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In 1806, Thomas McCobb, heir to his father’s land and shipbuilding business, returned home to Phippsburg, Maine, from sea to discover that his stepbrother Mark had inherited the family “Mansion in the Wilderness”. Upset about his loss, McCobb built a house directly across from the McCobb mansion to spite his stepbrother.