September 9, 2017

Tourism 101: Wat Pathum Wanaram

Filed under: bangkok, thailand — Tags: , — cohn17 @ 4:53 pm

Central Bangkok is densely populated with shopping malls, hotels and office buildings, and during the day the sound of traffic is everywhere. Nevertheless, in the middle of the Siam Paragon, Siam Square and CentralWorld malls, you can find the relative quiet of the Wat Pathum Wanaram temple. Built in 1857 and shielded (somewhat) by high walls, the temple complex includes a main prayer hall; a stupa; an ordination hall, where the holiest of prayers ceremonies are conducted; a memorial hall; and a library and monks’ quarters.

The main prayer hall, standing between the stupa and (across the street) CentralWorld mall; building detail; the interior of the prayer hall; detail of the glass, gold leaf and enamel decoration.
The ordination hall, the stupa and the main hall, with SiamParagon mall as a backdrop; the interior of the ordination hall; the stupa spire; a multi headed snake stands guard outside the main prayer hall.

Surprisingly, the internet doesn’t have much else to say about the temple, but given how many amazing temples there are in Bangkok, this may be par for the course.

January 9, 2015

more antiquities: the temple of alea athena

Filed under: greece — Tags: , , — cohn17 @ 3:05 pm

one of the more interesting things (to me) about the ruins in greece is the way that you find them in quietest of places.  when you think of greek ruins, the acropolis might be the first thing to spring to mind, but there are many small archaelogical gems tucked away in villages or in the middle of an olive grove someplace.

for today’s example, we have the temple of alea athena in tegea. it’s not clear when the temple was built, but it burned down in 395 or 394 bc and was rebuilt in 350 bc.  the new temple was notable for its superstructure, made entirely from marble – a first for the peloponnese – and its triple row of columns. the greek historian pausanias writes:

the modern temple is far superior to all other temples in the peloponnesus on many grounds, especially for its size. its first row of pillars is doric, and the next to it corinthian; also, outside the temple, stand pillars of the ionic order.

it was also noted as a place for people seeking sanctuary from prosecution.  nonetheless, to see the temple today and in its current setting, you wouldn’t know the reputation it had in its time.

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next: still more antiquities

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