Sunday, August 21, 2011


If you have been following my posts, you know that my interests are varied and many. This time I am inside the bowels of the Louvre Museum. Every time I visit, I am not only interested in the art inside, but the interior architecture. The most impressive feature to me is the Escalier Lefuel
or the Lefuel Staircase.

Napoleon III commissioned Hector-Martin Lefuel (1810-1880) to build an addition to the Louvre, known as the New Louvre. (The I.M. Pei renovation with the Pyramid is known as the Grand Louvre.)

In spite of it's imposing scale, it has a feeling of serenity. The light penetrates through the oval windows on the upper level softening the ambiance. The staircase is in the Richelieu wing. These
pictures were taken this June, when the museum was crowded with visitors. yet there is hardly anyone in sight. A wonderful refuge.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Petajavesi Old Church in Central Finland was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
The church was built between 1763 and 1765 by a local peasant master builder. What makes it unique, is it it's log construction and the skills of the peasant population. Stylistically it mixed Renaissance with older Gothic elements. I had the opportunity to visit the church this summer. The church is located on a picturesque peninsula, facilitating the access by boat in the summer and by ice in the winter. The grandson of the builder added the bell tower in 1821. In 1879 a new church was built in the center of Petajavesi and the old church was abandoned. In the 1920s an Austrian art historian Josef Strzygowski brought attention to it's historical and architectural value and since then the church has been repaired several times. Today it is used for weddings and services during the summer months and especially since becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been visited by tourists from around the world.

The above floor plan shows the cruciform shape of the church.

The initials of the builders can be seen on the unpainted surface of the beams. The decoration is red ochre.

The pulpit has charming depictions of angels and other religious figures.