I love walking the streets of history-filled cities and looking at old buildings and openings in walls. Aged walls and the old doors and windows within them are often what give places their soul. I find these architectural features aesthetically interesting. Often, many layers of paint or patches cover them, creating an exciting visual focus. Furthermore, I often wonder about the lives these silent witnesses saw, as well as about the generations of people who lived behind them. Who walked through these doors, I wonder; Who opened and closed these windows?
Sometimes there is an open crack in a door, or a window is left unclosed. These openings in walls are then teasing, allowing a quick, yet partial peek into the lives that currently hide beyond. At other times everything is shut, leaving things to the imagination.
My family and I recently visited Israel, where old neighborhoods abound. While there, I found myself surrounded by the beauty of the past. Remnants of different historical periods were clashing and co-existing all over. History seeped from every corner.
These windows, for example, peeked at me from walls in the old city of Jerusalem. Once traditionally and now by regulations, Jerusalem stone covers all the buildings in the capital:
In the Lower Galilee, meanwhile, I admired old buildings built from black basalt rock. The black rocks create a very different visual effect when compared to the light Jerusalem stone. I saw these beautiful openings, for example, in the¬†Circassian village of Kafr Kama: