We choose our doorways ...


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Walk with me through this portal into my house of rock. Close your eyes and look inside yourself, shut out the noise of your civilization and listen to the ageless stories of the Shona, buried deep inside the foundation stones of this once Great place, this Zimbabwe.

"The Shona built massive walled cities without utilizing a straight line, right angle or rectangle. Architecture was designed with curves. The round homes would nestle against the rounded outer walls in a perfect fit. In this manner, not a precious square inch of area would be lost. The walls were built from stones taken from nearby hills. Great rocks were cut using torches and then chiseled into blocks. Building blocks fitted so perfectly that mortar was not needed to hold the walls in place.The Shona used curved walls inside the city to section off living areas. Great Zimbabwe contained eighteen thousand people. Royalty lived within the city walls, farmers and workers lived outside. A Shona home would be thirty feet across, a two-three story building, with thick walls colored in red. Homes were packed together so they touched one another. At night, the cooking fires would create a smog over the city. The Shona traded in gold, ivory, beads, cloth, salt and cattle. The Shona built circular towers. The function of these towers remain a mystery. The towers were not used for observation or security concerns. They may have been built for aesthetic purposes or they may be spiritual homes of past nobles." Source of above information. I have never had the opportunity to visit this World Heritage Site, one of the places I intend going to hopefully early next year. I was entranced by FM's photos taken in this mysterious place and for me, they captured the archeological essence and indigenous spirit so well. I am completely entranced by the elegant simplicity and natural, environmentally perfect, design of this complex - something I wish contemporary architects would take a bit more heed of. Luke


3 Responses to “We choose our doorways ...”

  1. Blogger forgottenmachine 

    Hey....love what you've done with the place......

  2. Anonymous Fence 

    I always wanted a round house

  3. Blogger JP 

    Beautiful picture.

    Modern architects need someone to take all that glass and steel away from them. Doubt they'd know how to do without though.

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