Archive for the ‘ history ’ Category

Pompeii Past

It’s been an interesting week on eyeonwales, lots and lots and lots of political ranting, which has all been fun and games, but time for something different now, and a return to the travel journals. This is a collection of images that we had forgotten still existed, but nice to stumble over them once more in the archives. Taken in heavy rain, with a battered camera lens, there is a certain rustic charm to some of these (or perhaps that’s a generous way of saying that the images are just not that great 😉 , either way, we enjoyed taking them).

Making up Pyramids.

Enigmatic things are pyramids – capturing the imagination and the tourist pound, if there is a chance of making an argument for having a pyramid on your doorstep, few would skip out on the chance to tell that story. Few examples illustrate this better than the pyramids of Gßímar. Found in Tenerife, this heavily invested archaeological site invites visitors to surrender a hefty sum of money at the door, in order to explore this, no doubt interesting, ‘pyramid complex’.

If you are in no mood to start scratching at the surface of this site, you would be forgiven for accepting that these are indeed evidence of a complex society, developing pyramidal structures, aligned perfectly for solstice based events – for who knows what form of mystical rituals or ceremonies. Of course, that is only half of the story.

The site does recognise in it’s interpretation that there is an alternative narrative to be had here. While one argument is presented that makes the case for this being a prehistoric site of world significance, the other story is one of 19th century farming structures, the likes of which you can see scattered all over the country. Both can be found in the on site literature, however, in terms of the spin, there is little doubt as to where this ‘museum’ has invested its interests.

For the museum/business at Gßímar, this is almost certainly a site of prehistoric importance. They recognise of course that there is no evidence to support such a theory, apart from wild comparative inferences that requires no physical archaeological data to support the argument, yet there is no institutional reservation about spinning the story.

Visit this site, and you will enjoy some fine scenery, and some impressively well preserved, though abandoned, 19th century farmsteads. You will most certainly not find yourself in the middle of a complex prehistoric spiritual landscape. But take the on site interpretation on face value alone, and you would be forgiven for coming away thinking just that.

A site to be treated with extreme caution.


A Return to the Stadio Olimpico

Just when I think we’ve got the Rome backlog of images broken, out leaps another set. The Stadio Olympico is covered in many places, but pondering the fact that such a massive amount of fascist material still survives, and is maintained here, is staggering, and a fascinating subject for discussion. It might appal many, but the rights and wrongs of its preservation, or destruction, are far from clear-cut.

A Museum on the Streets of Rome

As new adventures will shortly be following, we thought best to try and get through some of the final images to be recorded from the most recent adventure in Rome. These images, taken outside of the Mausoleum of Augustus, show a bizarre on street installation project, a museum of the street, an archive of the tourist perhaps, however you want to brand it, please enjoy.

The 'entrance'.

In case of emergency...

Natural History Gallery...


Waiting Room...

Biblical History...

Art Gallery...

‘Gogwatch’ and the execution of the Welsh language.

We were introduced this week to the political musings of Gogwatch, an online community who present themselves as having ‘been set up by a group of people who care passionately about Wales and the Welsh people’. Yet, they qualify their intentions by making clear that they ‘are opposed to how the Welsh language is being forced upon our nation as a matter of principle’. Now, in such stated notions there is nothing inherently wrong you might think; free speech and all that. If you are concerned about the impacts of the forced application of the learning of the Welsh language then you would be standing by your beliefs by speaking out against it yes? Yet when working through the pages of this so called ‘voice of the silent majority’, there appears to be something far more sinister at work.

A selection of titles of Gogwatch blog entries offers a clear indication towards the intent of these people. ‘I come from Pembrokeshire – the Welsh language doesn’t belong here’, ‘Quest for “Welshness” is ruining our children’s education’, ‘Welsh education policy is serving nationalism ― not our children’, ‘Don’t speak Welsh? That’s OK, we might discriminate against you!’, and of course, ‘Dying for the Welsh language?’. The last title is particularly revealing, as Gogwatch attempt to paint a picture, where an emphasis on the support of the Welsh language, is the direct cause of cancer related deaths in Wales! These are pages of fear, constructive scare mongering that would make cold war propaganda experts particularly proud.

While the gibbering anger on display is a source of both concern and amusement, it is the volume of traffic that this savage little entry to the Welsh political blogosphere that should be particularly concerning. While the comments sections of the majority of blog entries include a balance of views and opinions, it is clear that the moderators are siphoning out the more vocal responses that oppose the words of the so called ‘silent majority’…interesting how a group can complain about not being heard, while clearly looking to control the voice of those they claim to control them. Put simply, Gogwatch is not a forum for debate, it is a table upon which sits a royal crest, a rose of England, and a white flag of surrender, with serried ranks of the eager to pleasers, longing to suckle from the white elephant of English language, English culture and English control.

Make no mistake about it Wales, Gogwatch is no friend of the Welsh language – they claim to be a friend of Wales and the Welsh people, yet their intentions are transparent to the extreme. Gogwatch is a friend of the Wales that is no longer Welsh. That is not to say that you must speak Welsh to be Welsh, but a Wales without the Welsh language will no longer be Wales, put simply, it would be England. That is not to say that there is anything inherently wrong with England, but it is culturally distinct and unique from Wales, and the language plays an essential defining role in that distinction. A Wales without Welsh may as well abandon its rugby team, close down the Senedd (which of course Gogwatch would love to do), pull down the flag of the red dragon, place it in a box, then burnt and cast into the Celtic Sea, hoping that the charred remains might wash up upon the shores of Ireland, where someone across the water might recall their once having been a nation known as Wales.

Gogwatch has a single clear unstated goal – the execution of the Wales language. There is nothing balanced about their commentary, nothing inclusive about their community and no intention bar one, to march the Welsh language into a chamber at night when none are looking, and flood it with the toxic gas of the English word, hoping once and for all to finish the job of generations of invaders and traitors to the notion of Wales, the final solution to the problem of the Welsh language, its total and complete extermination.

Padlocks on the Milvian Bridge.

A series of images which rather tell their own story really, the historically significant Milvian Bridge is home to a wonderful little tradition, where lovers mark their affection by adding their names to a padlock, affixing it to the posts on the bridge, before flinging the keys into the Tiber – a lovely sentiment, and in the right light, an amazing glittering scene of commitments. We’ll let the images speak for themselves from here.


Hidden St Fagans

We keep returning to St Fagans, and with good reason. Through all the years, and all the visits, new features are still to be found, while old favourites serve to surprise when caught in the right moment.

St Teilos caught in shadow – I love this image, just the perfect tiptoe of shape over the blank canvas of the site.

A wonderfully creepy creature lurking out of the pond below the castle.

A number of the trees in St Fagans are suffering from one condition or another, yet their demise still serves to create some stunning visuals. This one almost looked as if it were being conquered by some moving mass.

More headstones, this time from the churchyard behind St Fagans. No overgrowth this time, but a rare example of this style.

I forget which building this was taken in, but lit up it seemed almost on fire that day.


Nature Tombs: Photo Blog

Following on from images of Coity Castle, in a churchyard hidden behind that same castle, were some amazing nature reclamations of many burial monuments. Here are just a selection of some of the nature tombs to be found.

Some examples saw nature taking the shape of certain monuments.

In other instances, form is lost as nature expands above and beyond the original construction.

While it is always a shame to see such monuments forgotten and left to decay, there remains something quite impressive about these images, as nature takes back body and monument together.

Coity Castle: Photo Blog

Adventures in and around Bridgend continue here, with a first set of images taken from Coity Castle. On the outskirts of Bridgend, this predominantly 14th century site (though established in the 11thc) overlooks the village of the same name – and is well worth a look during the summer months when performance events are held within the site. Also, the rather excellent Six Bells pub sits directly below the castle, and offers some impressive lunchtime meals!

A changing sky made for atmospheric conditions.

Looking into the distance, the local 14th century church can be seen, surrounded by impressive yew trees.

Well worth a visit, just a five minute drive from the centre of Bridgend.

St Cadoc’s, Llancarfan – Conservation

Some images and a video here: of ongoing conservation work at Llancarfan, a hugely important project just outside of Cardiff, uncovering some very exciting medieval wall paintings.

More here: