Tuesday, December 4, 2012
A ruin with a view?
I recently came across a Web site titled 'Abandoned Porn'. Contrary to any impressions the name might give, it consists of photographs of old ruins. (I imagine it gets all sorts of traffic from eager seekers after titillation, who must grind their teeth in frustration upon finding anything but what they were looking for!)
Be that as it may, I found it very interesting. For example, here are two photographs (reduced in size to fit here) of very old wells in Europe. Click each picture to be taken to its page at the Web site (from which the text below each image has been taken).
Initiation Well in the Town of Sintra, Portugal.
The 27 metre [about 89 feet] deep well, resembles an inverted tower, and depending on the direction you choose, either a journey down into the depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light, the journey through the earth is like a rebirth through mother natures womb, from where all things come and where one day all shall return.
The owner of Quinta da Regaleira, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, was a known Freemason, and with the help of Italian Architect Luigi Manini, set about designing and constructing the four hectare estate with its enigmatic buildings, parks and tunnels which are laden with symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians. There are obvious Hermetic/Rosicrucian connotations in the well:
“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing” - Hermes Trismegistus
The well is divided in nine platforms reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise. At the base of the well you will find a Rosicrucian Cross, which also happened to be the coat of arms of Carvalho Monteiro.
The Pozzo di San Patrizio is a historic well in Orvieto, Umbria, central Italy.
The name was inspired by medieval legends that St. Patrick’s Purgatory in Ireland gave access down to Purgatory, indicating something very deep.
The architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger surrounded the central well shaft with two spiral ramps in a double helix, accessed by two doors, which allowed mules to carry empty and full water vessels separately in downward and upward directions without obstruction. There are 248 steps and 70 windows provide illumination.
There are many more photographs at the link. Interesting and recommended reading.