Kölner Dom sketch

I really wish I had done this sketch on location but that was impossible because I had my family with me and I wouldn’t want them to be stucked with me at one place for few hours just to wait for me to finish. I opt for drawing from photograph instead. I hope I will be able to draw on location next time when I go solo travel. 🙂

kolnerdomPencil and Prismacolor markers on Daler Rowney sketchbook.

Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom, is a renowned monument of Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. It is 144.5 metres (474 ft) long, 86.5 m (284 ft) wide and its towers are approximately 157 m (515 ft) tall. It is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.


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Architecture and Art: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

On my last day in Abu Dhabi, I went to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. The mosque site is equivalent to the size five football fields approximately.

szgmPen and watercolor on Daler Rowney Sketchbook.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s design and construction ‘unites the world’, using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and United Arab Emirates. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.

Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueThis is the view from main entrance of Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by both Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by both Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Mughal and Moorish architecture.

archwayBeautiful columns at the archway.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many special and unique elements: The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool (originating from New Zealand and Iran). There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet and it took approximately two years to complete.

inside mosqueInside mosque. 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.

chandelierBeautiful chandelier.

The 99 names (qualities or attributes) of God (Allah) are featured on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufic calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher – Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.



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Jubilee Clock Tower, Georgetown, Penang

My son and I took a trishaw around Penang Esplanade and at the intersection of Light Street, Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and King Edward’s Place (Persiaran King Edward), we saw a clock tower.We managed to see part of the inscription written on the tower ‘This clock tower was presented to Penang….

Jubilee Clock Tower, Penang


After doing some reading online, I learned the name of the tower; The Jubilee Clock Tower.

Previously known as QueenVictoria Memorial Clock Tower, the clock tower is a free-standing clock tower at the intersection of Light Street, Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and King Edward’s Place (Persiaran King Edward). Completed in 1902 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the clock tower rises to 60 feet to mark the 60-year reign of Queen Victoria.

The full inscription on the tower reads ‘This clock tower was presented to Penang by Cheah Chen Eok in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee 1937-1897‘.

This clock tower comprises of 4 tiers; the base is octagon-shaped and the following two tiers comprise four distinct sections with elaborate windows, balconies and a clock face on each side. The topmost tier is rounded off with Roman pillars and topped with a golden dome cupola.

The total cost of construction came to$35,000, a princely sum in those days, borne by Cheah Chen Eok, a wealthy businessman. Chen Eok was also a Justice of Peace, Municipal Commissioner of Penang, member of the Chinese Advisory Board, a trustee of the Penang Free School and member of all local clubs. Chen Eok regarded himself as a loyal British subject and when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, he offered to fully fund the erection of a clock tower in commemorating the event.

During the Second World War, many bombs were dropped around the nearby government buildings and interestingly, this resulted in the slight lean of the clock tower.





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Römerberg, Frankfurt

Finally, Römerberg is now on my list of places that I have visited.

Römerberg is one of the city’s most important landmarks and is famous for its most legendary buildings in Germany.

Römerberg’s famous facade (west).

Formerly called the Samstagsberg, Römerberg has been the site of markets and fairs, tournaments and festivals, executions and imperial elections and coronations. In the 16th century it was considered the most beautiful square in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. It is from this era that the fountain of justice in the middle of the square also originates. Adorned with a statue of Justice with unbound eyes, a scale and sword, this was the first fountain in Frankfurt. A few steps away from the fountain there is a plaque in the cobblestones that commemorates the book burning by the National Socialists in 1933.

Eastern facade where the Rathaus (The Römer) is located.

The entire three-storey building complex occupies about 10,000 square metres and consists of nine houses, encircling six courtyards. The famous three-peaked façade has medieval elements of design. The left-hand corner of the Alt-Limpurg displays the so-called Frankfurtia, the female embodiment of the city. In the middle, the Haus Römer shows the four kaisers of the Holy Roman Empire, two city coats of arms, a clock face, and a placard describing the most important facts about the building. The four kaisers are Frederick Barbarossa (the first king to be elected in Frankfurt), Louis the Bavarian (who gave convention rights to the city and allowed an expansion of the city), Charles IV (who made Frankfurt the location of the Kaiser selection vote), and Maximilian II (the first kaiser to be crowned in Frankfurt cathedral).

Here are more pictures of The Römer.


Information source:

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Cape Town Clock Tower

I am starting a series of buildings I visited and this one will be the first one.

The Clock Tower building from the bridge angle.

In 1860, the very first load of stone for the V&A Waterfront’s breakwater was laid. The resulting harbour would become instrumental in establishing a trade route that would turn a small coastal town into a thriving community. It was here, at the water’s edge, that the Clock Tower played host to the Captain’s Office – a vantage point from which he directed the trade that built an entire city. This was the original Port Captain’s Office completed in 1882.

The Victorian clocktower with its Gothic characteristics has always been an icon of the old docks at  Table Bay Harbour, Cape Town (now V & A Waterfront) and has become an important focal point in the Waterfront’s recent urban design. Restoration of the Clock Tower was completed towards the end of 1997. The topmost floor housed the clock mechanism, while the bottom floor housed the elaborate tide-gauge operated by a float on the water below. This clock tower is listed as one of the heritage sites in the Cape by the South African Heritage Resource Agency.

The Clock Tower Centre, across the swingbridge from the Pierhead, is the latest addition to the V&A Waterfront’s retail offering. It brings South African crafts, arts, designs and foods together in one centre, along with facilities appealing to tourists and locals alike.

So if you are in Cape Town, do visit this clock tower situated at V & A Waterfront. Here are more pictures from my archive:

The Clock Tower from across-the-swingbridge angle.

My husband adding to Clock Tower picturesqueness.

Seagulls like to perch on the roof.

Close-up of the clock, shot using my power lens.

Birds perching on the iron railing at the topmost floor.


Information about the building:



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