Thursday’s Windows: From Cornwall to Germany

Here are just a few pretty windows I saw on my travels in Cornwall and Germany last month.  Window boxes have an ancient history in Europe, and the earliest Terra Cotta ones dated back to Roman times, when it was the practice for households to cultivate cottage gardens to grow their vegetables, medicinal herbs, and plants used for religious rituals. Those who didn’t have enough space for a proper garden, grew these commodities in window boxes. Over time, the window boxes became more decorative than functional, with roses being the favourite flowers, followed by lilies, violets and pansies

This pic shows that even a modest little flower box can really brighten up a rather plain window. There are even a few brave little flowers pushing their way through the cracks in the cement to keep it company.

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This boarding house had a really spectacular display.

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We wanted to eat at this popular restaurant. It was so pretty, but fully booked.

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You could hardly see through these windows for flowers.

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In Germany, this one caught my eye as our coach passed by on the way to the Black Forest.

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I loved the combination of pink and blue here; so pretty.

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At the Black Forest tourist centre, the windows in the hotel were ablaze with colour.

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Here is a closeup of one of the beautifully decorated windows.

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That’s all my windows for this week. To see more, just click here to be taken to Dawn’s blog.

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Thursday’s windows: Cologne Cathedral

What a breathtaking sight is this Gothic masterpiece! The construction of Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248, and wasn’t completed until 1880. In 1530, work on the church stopped, but the crane stood on top of the building for 300 years, as a symbol of hope that it would one day be completed. When it was finished in 1880, it was the tallest building in the world. The foundations were 50 feet deep and there were 10,000 sq metres of glass in the windows. In 1996, the cathedral was added to the Unesco World Heritage list of culturally  important sites.

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On entering this magnificent building, I was absolutely amazed at the height of the ceilings and the light streaming in through the windows behind the altar, which seemed to bathe everything in a celestial glow.

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There are countless stained glass windows, each one very beautiful and quite different from the other.

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As you can imagine, it’s impossible to do the windows justice with photos. We were told that coloured glass was thought to be the nearest thing to Heaven’s light, and thus captured the imagination of the people of the Middle Ages. The faithful who were mostly illiterate, received the message of the Gospel verbally, and their faith was encouraged by such reinforcing visual images, created by light reflected from these windows.

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Most of the windows are original, as they were taken out and put in a place of safety before the bombings of the two world wars. Much of the church was damaged during the bombings, but the windows were luckily unscathed.

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The most recent window in the cathedral was unveiled in 2007. It was designed by the famous German artist, Gerhard Richter, and is made up of 11,200 identically sized squares of glass. This very modern window is a veritable kaleidoscope of colours, and some people don’t like it at all. What do you think?

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my windows for the Thursday theme. To see more of this week’s interpretations of the challenge, just click here.

Scene from my window

I see that there is a “Thursday’s Lingering Look at Windows” challenge going on, so today I thought I would post the view from my bedroom window. It’s such a lovely day here. The sea and sky are a beautiful blue, and those ships look rather grand.

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I was thinking about what I see through my windows, and was reminded of a couple of years ago when at dinner time, looking out of the window, my attention was often drawn to a cute courting couple on our neighbours’ TV aerial. Every evening they were there, sometimes they were standing close together, and occasionally, they would sit one each end, as though they’d had a fall out. One evening, I noticed that there was only one bird, and that she seemed to be looking all around in a state of extreme agitation.

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After quite a while she flew away, but a couple of minutes later she returned, closely followed by her boyfriend, who fluttered around her, trying to make up. She was however having none of it. She was obviously upset at being stood up, and wanted her boyfriend to suffer a bit,

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He was banished to the other end of the aerial. Doesn’t he look remorseful? That sure taught him not to be late for a date.

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They didn’t turn up for a few days, and then one grey evening, they returned, and I was so relieved to see that they were at least back on speaking terms.  I’m not a matchmaker, but I do take an interest. 🙂

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Windows are such interesting things to look out of, aren’t they? We take our clear glass windows for granted, but there was a time when only the very wealthy could afford to have such a luxury. I was reading about how window glass was developed and how dark people’s homes were before it became an affordable commodity.  http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/quick-history-windowsretrospect-165008

To see more contributions to this theme, just click here.