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Harbour Temple, Xanten

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 15 October 2008 in Architecture and Portfolio.

This is a partial reconstruction of the so-called Harbour temple of the Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana. (A small story of this city with some links to further information) Parts of this reconstruction are original remnants from the historic site. When we look at these temples we usually think of pure white 'classic' buildings: far from it! One of the pillars is partially painted in the old original colour: a vibrant orange!

Laurent from Lyon, France

superbly taken. simple but efficient composition, nice light, great sharpness and the person on the stairs gives the scale

15 Oct 2008 5:44am

@Laurent: Thanks, Laurent, much appreciated!

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

super framing

15 Oct 2008 6:19am

@Dimitrios: Thanks, Dimitrios!

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

That is really an amazing reconstruction. Fascinating that the color was originally a vibrant orange. I never would have guessed.

15 Oct 2008 12:34pm

@Laurie: I've read that antique cities were *shockingly* colourful. Perhaps that is the reason why archaeologists at Xanten only painted a small part of one peculiar pillar in this awful orange, as the overall effect of a completely painted temple would have been very disturbing to the viewer! :-)

shoti from Everywhere in the, Philippines

magnificent structure! awesome shot! the colors are great and the angle is nice, too!

15 Oct 2008 2:55pm

@shoti: Thank you very much, shoti! I'm glad that the sun was on the right side this time! :)

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Quite wonderful composition and a fine light displaying all that excellent detail.

15 Oct 2008 3:41pm

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks, Michael! We've been there in the afternoon and the sun was just right!

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Excellent. A trip to the past.

15 Oct 2008 5:34pm

@Ana Lúcia: I'm glad I don't have to travel too far for being able to see a Roman temple. :-)

Kaddy from Mumbai, India

very beautiful shot... lovely colors!!!

15 Oct 2008 6:01pm

@Kaddy: Thanks very much, Kaddy!

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, CA, United States

ooh! which one is vibrant orange?? that is faaabulous! what did it represent?? marvelous!!

15 Oct 2008 7:22pm

@dj.tigersprout: The orange paint is on the opposite side, you can't see it here. It's very - orange! :-)
Nobody knows what god this temple has been dedicated to; my assumption is that it was a god of water, as this temple was next to the river Rhine. This could have been the god Rhenus (Latin for Rhine) who might have identified with the Roman god Neptune.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

This is a great image and gives a good impression of how the complete temple might have looked. The four tallest pillars with the roof section projects the real size of the temple, and for that reason it's worth 5*

16 Oct 2008 12:24am

@Observing: Thanks very much, Mike! (If it was up to me, I would have reconstructed the whole temple. ;-)

joshi daniel from India

nice shot!

16 Oct 2008 4:58am

@joshi daniel: Thank you, Joshi!

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Yeah, all the paint has worn off enabling archeologists to create entire social histories conceptualized on the basis of the austerity reflected in ancient architecture. I have a book of drawings and watercolors made of the ruins in Egypt back at the turn of the 18th century when some of the color still existed.

17 Oct 2008 4:10pm

@Twelvebit: The even painted their statues. I imagine a Roman walking through neo-classical buildings and wondering why the architects forgot the paint.