Friday, 13 February 2009

more or less anonymous walls, windows and doors, even if windows and doors are said to be no good in winter

ogives of Horezu monastery, built around 1690

old house on my street, surrounded by tall grass whose name I don't know, 2008

Bran Castle (now said to be Dracula's), built between 1377 and 1395

defence wall of the fortress-church in Prejmer, near Brasov, first mentioned in 1240

doors to the monks' chambers,
fortress-church in Prejmer, near Brasov, first mentioned in 1240

walls of a communist building, left unattended after 1989 and conquered by the mountain meadow

wall of Horezu monastery, built around 1690, in front of which a nun hesitates in the rain, 2007


  1. tremendous beauties & tragic stories I might imagine for those endless days of history in the place.. shadow & light of wax and wane of the individuals as well as the empires.. appreciate for sharing your eyes and the kind description. btw I really like your name..Roxana

  2. Some very intriguing images there, particularly the Prejmer one.

  3. I love them all, the little windows of the first and the many insertions and the hesitation in the last.
    It is said our country was explored by voyaging Polynesians in the 12 century, their first dwellings, without windows or doors.

  4. thank you. I like mostly the one where meadow is taking over the house, usually it is the other way around ;)

  5. hi, Peter, and thank you for visiting. for your nice words too. my mother has to take the credit for Roxana :-) it is actually an old Persian name, meaning 'light of dawn'.

  6. yes, Dave. I remember that a terrible storm was about to start while I was taking the pictures in Prejmer, and it began as I reached the gate, running for shelter.

  7. it is indeed a fascinating story, this of dwellings, isn't it, merc? in the region where I live, called Oltenia, some particular climate conditions made people build their houses like small huts under the earth, again no windows at all. and they were still inhabited by 1930. one can see them at the Village Museum in Bucharest, exactly as they were, in open air.

  8. thank you, eneles. yes, you are right there :-)

  9. I forget, merc: do you know Andrei Makine's lovely novel 'Once Upon the River Love'? people living under the snow, in the loneliness of the siberian steppes...

  10. No, but I can understand why Shamanism still exists there.

  11. hah! this time you have finally outdone yourself! You have even managed to make a communist building look aesthetic; though I guess it might have been much harder were it a finished work.

    i find myself much interested in the pictures of the churches and the monastries; i've always been very intrigued by the medieval history of this region; though so much obscured by rhetoric and superstition. I think I have read a description of that Dracula's castle in Elizabeth Kostova's The Librarian 9along with some church in a lake that is said to have his *real?* tomb; but i'm quite sure you will snort at this mention with the native's distaste for the local touristic cliche - like here in India we think of the Taj, or how in LA the local savvies would snigger at tourists in broad hats and shorts over at Universal Studios.
    I also loved the abstract quality of the picture of the walls (the one mentioned first in 1240 - when you were still a young girl). the first time i saw it, they looked like a line of obelisks rising above the mist - it took a while for to realize i was instead looking at crenelations in a wall!!

  12. peisajul nu ma incanta deloc ca forma de exprimare fotografica. mi se pare doar un xerox vag si fara gust dupa realitate.
    ce faci tu insa, este mult peste orice alt peisaj. este departe de asta de fapt. ce faci tu trezeste concepte, trairi, vise, amintigi, ganduri intr-un cuvant.
    ma pui pe ganduri si de cele mai multe ori ma coplesesti doar cu imagini.
    asta este magic.
    aici incepe fotografia.

    ma inclin!

  13. zuma, such a thoughtful comment! :-) (I see that you are trying now to 'wash away your sins', as we say in romanian :-P - but I know that you will answer that there is no such thing as a 'sin', the only sin being avidya).

    I have to look through my archives then and give you some more churches and monasteries. I don't mind if you mention Dracula, because there is such a fascinating mixture of reality and legend shaping his myth, it is really worth investigating. but I must confess I had never heard of this church in a lake. I have done some research and came up with: there is still a controversy as to where the Prince Vlad Tepes (the one that will eventually become Dracula in the myth) is burried. but there is strong evidence pointing to a monastery built on a kind of island, surrounded by ponds and lakes. however the initial building and the lakes don't exist anymore.

    ps. 1. thank you for making me one of the 'immortals' :-)
    2. I notice and write down your 'finally' in the first sentence :-P

  14. dan, ti-ai amintit de mine? asa de mult nu ai mai scris...

    nu cred ca peisajul este doar o copie, ma rog, poate sa fie si asta, dar poate sa fie si o proiectare interioara a celui care il priveste. asa cum se intampla in pictorialism

    dar sunt fericita ca te inclini :-)

    multumesc, si nu este o vorba in vant.

  15. "(I see that you are trying now to 'wash away your sins', as we say in romanian :-P)"

    Really? I thought thats how you say it in ENGLISH.

    about sin: finally you got something right about me. but then I'd given too much away on this point already

  16. P.s: yes the island; thats what i was referring to by "church in the lake" (what did you think - it was floating on a wooden platform since hallowed antiquity?)
    Do you know where it is? will you take me there if /i come to so the Romaninan version of the post Da Vinci code louvre tour?

  17. zuma!!!! don't mock my english :-) I had never heard this in english, I just translated it from romanian :-)

    about sin: glad to have FINALLY scored such a big point :-P

    about island: no, but I was genuinely suprised because I had never heard that story

    so you want to come on a vampire tour :-) don't you know what happens to strangers coming to transylvania? :-)
    but of course, if you or any other blog reader happens to travel to this part of europe, I'll be happy to show you around (da vinci code tour or not :-)

  18. am addicted to that more or less anonymous wall with ogives from the Horezu monastery: the pull of that cutting light/shade divide ....

  19. love the petterns on theat last one

  20. fff, where would we be without our little addictions? :-) I was not happy with my description for this picture, you know, I wanted to find some simple and true words for this light/dark division, but after a few attempts I gave it up. the image was stronger than anything.

  21. it is a very beautiful place, this Horezu monastery, I think you would love it, lotus.