Masterpiece #2: Ottawa

After rereading Word Press‘s post about a masterpiece I had another idea. Cheri described the masterpiece the Sagrada de Familia a huge, amazing cathedral designed by Antio Gaudi. It is located in Barcelona, Spain and is still under construction over 100 years later. I saw it on TV when I was a teenager and I was impressed and vowed to myself one day I would go there and see if for real. Years later my dream came true. I remember the feeling of coming around a corner and there is stood. It took my breath away. It was truly a masterpiece and better in real life and more than I ever imagined or dreamed it could be. It certainly outlived my expectations. I expected the same reaction when I got to the Great Wall, but I was disappointed that I didn’t have that ‘take my breath away‘ reaction. That is not to say I wasn’t impressed, because I was. When I thought about something that gave me that little intake of breath I thought of this:

3 floors of books and a domed roof

3 floors of books and a domed roof

This is the library inside the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada, our nation’s capital. I had never been inside this building before and only made one other visit to Ottawa over 10 years ago. I didn’t have any preconceived notions or ideas of what it would look like, or really that such a thing existed. when we went inside it did take my breath away. Our tour group’s collective intake of breath was immediate. Our tour guide’s response…. “I know…. incredible!” He is still in awe after hundreds of tours. The lighting, design, details… just incredible. A true masterpiece in design.

The details and design amazing!

The details and design amazing!

We were so lucky to be there on a Saturday since tour groups are normally not allowed to take photos. During the week it is a working library and the staff do not want the distractions or constant flash and photos. Can’t say that I blame them.

a close up of some of the detail

it’s all in the details

As a book lover it was the most amazing thing I ever saw. Our guide told us it almost was lost to fire many years ago. A fire broke out inside the Parliament buildings in a near-by room. Luckily a quick thinking individual closed the large iron doors and the library was spared. The beauty, books and so much history would have been lost.

Statue that greets you as you enter

Statue that greets you as you enter

The statue is of a young Queen Victoria. The building was completed in 1876 in a Gothic Revival style. Click here to get more information. The photos certainly do not do this magnificent structure justice!

The domed roof

The domed roof

What has taken your breath away?

Stay tuned….

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Categories: Culture, Photography, post a week, reading, Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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25 thoughts on “Masterpiece #2: Ottawa

  1. Oh my…you’ve photographed heaven!

  2. menomama3

    I haven’t been there in years. It IS magnificent!

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  4. Lavendar

    ❤ All the books. I was able to tour the Vatican when the tours had access to much more. The art work was amazing and the Sistine Chapel was incredible. What I didn't expect was the 'take my breath away' moment of being in St. Peter's Basilica….I felt so small. It is amazing to see the scale of the work.

    • Yes that is true. I loved being able to see more too. Last trip we went inside (2009) most parts were closed within St Peters for whatever reason. I was so disappointed with that and the pushy crowds it certainly took that amazing feeling away. You were so lucky to experience it while you could!

  5. This is absolutely incredible! I can’t even imagine seeing this in person! Take your breath away? Good golly, yes!!!
    I can’t say that I’ve had my socks knocked off by something this magnificent – ever!

    • It was SO big and colourful and expertly arranged… And the details…. Each little flower different. I was pleasantly surprised. And for free admission you can’t go wrong (free July 2-Sept. something). My only wish we had more time to look around and explore.

  6. Its beautiful and how wonderful that books have such a good home, instead of the functional places that are so common.

    • I am curious what all these books are about. Our members of parliament are the only ones allowed to check out books, although we can apply to look at a book… And would be given an escort and small amount of time to look at one. I am sure they don’t have any Harry Potter, or Agatha Christie there 😉
      It does remind me of something you may see in Harry Potter though 😉

      Ps for some reason WP stopped sending me your posts, so I had to re-follow you. Glad I found you again 😉

  7. Beautiful post! Amazing wood shelves, books, windows, ceiling… Wow!
    The Great Wall is 5,500 miles, I only climbed 3 miles up and 3 miles down. I didn’t think I saw the big picture of the Wall…

    • We wished we had more time at the wall. I think that was part of me not getting that feeling of awe. I wished I had mor e time to ponder and explore.
      This library was a quick stop, but immediately took my breath away…

  8. May have to get on a helicopter to get a good view 🙂 Unlike the Library or any other architecture, the GW was built for defense.

  9. Great post. Architecture, woodwork and books: the perfect ingredients!

    Visiting Barcelona and Gaudi’s work is truly inspiring. But the Sagrada Familia transport you to a different level.

    • Yes that is for sure… Seeing the WP post of the interior is amazing… I was there in the 1990 s and I know so much has changed since then. One day I want to get back.

      Thanks very much for the visit and taking the time to comment. Nice to meet you 🙂

  10. No wonder it took your breath away…what a wonderful building and all those bookshelves just waiting

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