Monuments you hold the dearest

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
True, however there is a lot of space to be filled within a human soul. Without cultural creations, humans would have been much, much more empty, poor, and ultimately, less of what makes them truly human.
Also the people who created these monuments live on in a way in the monument and become immortal. Yes, I know that sounds a bit OTT, but my thinking is that the body is ephemeral, just an eyeblink in the vastness of time, while at least the more sturdy of the monuments will last many hundreds of years, and some for millennia. It's conceivable that the largest pyramids will outlast us as a species, and may, even after geological eons have passed, be the only remnants left of us to show we had thoughts and could build.

In the case of these medieval cathedrals, if they fall, then so falls those who built them and the countless numbers, millions, of people who worshipped there and who made pilgrimage to them. In the case of accident there's not much that can be done of course, but when it is done by design, then that is an act of malicious vanity by those who are here today and gone tomorrow and think only of their own petty desires. Stabling horses in a cathedral may make some puritan/revolutionary feel better about themselves, but all they are doing is belittling themselves and spitting on their own ancestors.

And here's me a "heathen" saying this...
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,212
Welsh Marches
What a superb way to mark homecoming, that grand spire there!

I have to admit I'm also partial to Gothic cathedrals, as far as architecture is concerned, Gothic and ancient Greek are my preferred styles. Roman, Romanesque and baroque, not so much.


Is there a more English scenery than this? :)

Yes, Gothic and ancient Greek are the styles that I too like best; but to that I would add vernacular architecture built in local materials according to age-old patterns, the kind of buildings that almsot form part of the landscape in every part of Europe. The place where I live now is full of old half-timber buildings, whose construction seems to have more in common with ship-building than ordinary architecture.

Feathers-Hotel-500x333.jpg

Ludlow-YeOldBullringTavern.jpg
 
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Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
I don't have a favourite monument. I am usually more moved both by nature and the whole aura of a place. Very often a beautiful building that is comparatively unknown can move me much more than something that's been photographed a million times, as it feels much more real and human somehow. This is not to say that I do not appreciate monuments like the Notre Dame for example, I do - but I think a bridge, a late 19th century apartment building, the curvature on a street light can be just as evoking of feelings, sometimes more - depending on the context.

If I had to choose a particular one though, I'd like the Opera garnier in Paris. I love the aesthetics of it, and the way the lightning marries with the stone in the hall with the grand staircases. Being there was lovely.

I also have a strong fascination for old Greek theatres, and I find the feeling of being in one and the associations it invokes very moving... although I (and this is a point of shame for me) have actually never been to Greece - very 19th century, I know. Still, I can't help but feel a certain transcendental pleasure, pathetic as that sounds, by pictures like this.

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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,212
Welsh Marches
I agree with so much of that, and places lose their character when they become tourist places rather than living towns or cities; that is why I love Ghent, for instance, so much, because it hasn't suffered that fate to the extent that it deserves (if one may put it like that). I don't in fact know Notre Dame at all well because I have avoided it as tourist trap, preferring to wander around parts of Paris that retained more of their own life.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,357
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I can't speak for others but I try to limit the number of things in life capable of bringing me to tears. Sure its callous but life is tough. So I just realize that man made structures built in medieval era, however beautiful, are just objects that aren't worth getting upset about when they are destroyed a thousand years later. Churches are destroyed constantly. People's homes are destroyed constantly, filled with their treasured personal possessions. People die constantly. Little kids get cancer constantly. Prioritize misery and anguish.
The only historical thing that brought me close to tears as such was an exhibit of the shoes of Auswitz victims. Jusr seeing them lined up in hug rows gave ne a profound sense of sadness.

The other item that had an effect on me was a suit of armour sent from Japan by Tokugawa Hidetada to James I of England. It's on display in the Tower of London. It gave ne this really weierd feeling to think that I was looking at something that both these historical personages gad looked at as well, like I was somehow connected through 400 years to them.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,357
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I can't speak for others but I try to limit the number of things in life capable of bringing me to tears. Sure its callous but life is tough. So I just realize that man made structures built in medieval era, however beautiful, are just objects that aren't worth getting upset about when they are destroyed a thousand years later. Churches are destroyed constantly. People's homes are destroyed constantly, filled with their treasured personal possessions. People die constantly. Little kids get cancer constantly. Prioritize misery and anguish.
As an ex-military man, doesn't viiting something like (for example) the USS Iowa stir any feelings?
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,495
Netherlands
The Notre Dame reminded me of the Dom in Utrecht, which was also struck by disaster.
It misses the "middle ship" which collapsed because of a huge storm in 1674. Somehow the rest of the church remained standing.


 
Mar 2019
1,954
Kansas
[QUOTE="HardtackJuniper, post: 3127349, member: 51371"
Yes history is about people. And it is all about connecting to the past, understanding the past, knowing our place in the grand scheme of things and utilize the lessons learnt in the future. But these relics are the only living memories of those times, those people and their prowess.[/QUOTE]

Some of these monuments are the only connection we have with the past. The vast majority of us will move through life and leave no mark on this world at all. When I look at they pyramids. I dont see a huge monument glorifying a forgotten pharaoh. I see a community coming together to leave a mark that has lasted the test of time. I see a bunch of guys who loved a beer, who (by the graffiti they left) loved to trash talk as good as anybody 3500 years later.

Those monument have seen things. Alexander, the spread of Islam, Napoleon two world wars the list goes on
 
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