Windows Around the World

Windows, wisteria, Speyer, Germany, Viking

Windows on a house in Speyer, Germany

I like to take pictures through windows, both because the view is interesting and because the window often frames it in an artistic way. Sometimes the frame adds to the interest with angles, muntins, and reflections. Other times, it presents an obstacle that I try to shoot through.

Some windows are interesting all by themselves, while some highlight what you see through them. For whatever reason, they catch my eye.

I have taken many window photos while on excursions with Viking River Cruises because we often go into unusual or historic buildings. On the other hand, opportunities for such pictures present themselves right where I live.

Windows Around the World

Here is a collection of window photos that I have take with some information on the where and when. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Valentino, Restaurant, Lucerne, Switzerland, windowRistorante Valentino
Lucerne, Switzerland
Viking River Cruise: Rhine Getaway
April, 2022

Our Viking tour guide pointed it out Valentino to us and recommended its food. It was too chilly to eat outside, so we went in and enjoyed an early lunch. It was excellent.

I climbed the twisty stairs up to the second floor because that’s where the restrooms are. Turning, I saw this artfully decorated window with a view of Lucerne beyond. The arrangement, composition, and colors appealed to me. They were worth a trip up the stairs all by themselves.

First Parish of Sudbury
Sudbury MA, USA
Spring, 2019

First Parish of Sudbury, Meetinghouse, window, sunsetThis historic meetinghouse was built in 1797, replacing the 1722 building that served as the core of a new community. On this evening, I was waiting for choir practice to begin and happened to look out the window. The colors of the sunset caught my eye.

2022 marks the meetinghouse’s 300th anniversary and I think about how many other people saw beautiful sunsets through these windows over the centuries.

Chateau de Fléchère
Near Lyon, France
Viking River Cruise: France’s Finest
June, 2019

Chateau de Flechere, Lyon, Provence and Lyon, gardenWe toured this lovely 17th-century chateau toward the end of the first leg of our river cruise from Avignon to Lyon. It’s being lovingly restored by a wealthy owner, whom we met, and has beautifully furnished rooms that include historical murals and silk wallpaper.

I took this photo of the formal gardens behind the chateau using the warm stone of the sill on the left to balance the angular black shade cast on the right. The gardens extend into the distance, anchored by a mossy old fountain at the center.

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC
May 2018

Philllips Collection, art museum, Washington DC, stairwell windowPerhaps because I had been looking at paintings in the museum’s wonderful collection, this window on the staircase struck me as a contemporary work. The black muntins with the geometric shapes beyond, in different colors, looked like a Mondrian composition.

Granted, the photo doesn’t do that observation justice. Take my word for it that the buildings outside had more impact than they do here. For a while, I actually thought about painting this. Fortunately for the world , my enthusiasm had waned by the time we got home.

Mauritshuis Museum
The Hague, Netherlands
Viking River Cruise: Rhine Getaway
April, 2022

Mauritshuis, Hofvijver, Court Pond, The Hague, Den HaagWe mastered Holland’s public transportation system to reach The Hague so I could add The Maurithuis to my life list of art museums. My targets were Vermeer’s “The Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch,” and Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson” but there was so much else to admire in this exquisite collection.

On my way from Room 4 to Room 3, I looked out the window and saw this view of the Hofvijver, or Court Pond, a small lake in the center of The Hague. This was one case where the window got in the way. It’s a casement and I struggle to get a photo that wasn’t divided down the middle by a thick black line. I chose instead to use it as a bar on the left side of the photo.

The Nantucket Lightship
Boston Harbor
Boston By Foot Tour
2013

Nantucket Lightship, Boston, waterfront, sailboats, portholeWhile on a private tour of the lightship for Boston By Foot docents, I snapped this picture of Boston’s waterfront through one of the portholes. Here’s the porthole framed the picture into a nice oval and the sailboats in the middle distance almost looked like water birds.

Lightships once served the same function as lighthouses, but were anchored in open ocean to warn boats away from shoals. Each one was named atter this shoal it lit up and this one was, of course, on the Nantucket Shoal.

I remember that is was really cold that day with a strong wind whipping off the harbor. I’m sure the folks on those sailboats had a great time but I was happy to get warm again when the tour was over.

Bruhl Palaces, formal garden, Archbishop's Palace, window, Viking River CruiseThe Brühl Palaces: Archbishop’s Summer Residence
Brühl, Germany
Viking River Cruise: Rhine Getaway
April, 2022

In the Rococo splendor of this amazing building, it’s difficult to know where to look next. But we only had a few seconds to peer through an open shutter at the formal gardens behind the palace before our guide closed them again.

Still, this gave us the best perspective because the formal design was more apparent from the second-floor window that it was at ground level. We went out into the gardens afterward and I took some pictures there, but I prefer this one, looking down on it.

Cook Inlet, Alaska
United Airlines
July, 2014

Ted Steven International Airport, Chugatch Mountains, Alaska, Cook Inlet, Turnagain ArmI have done a lot of traveling and flown into a lot of airports but Anchorage is in a category of its own. Planes going into and out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport fly straight down Cook Inlet. That puts the Chugatch Mountains on the east and the even more impressive Alaska Range to the west.

In this case, I shot through the airplane window because, well, I had no choice.

If you go there, make sure you have a window seat so you can appreciate the spectacular views. Only airplanes and eagles get to see these mountains from high above them. Take full advantage of your bird’s-eye view.

Musée Alphonse-Georges Poulain
Vernon, France
Viking River Cruise: France’s Finest
June, 2019

Musee Georges-Alphonse Poulain, Vernon, France, windowI took advantage of some free time after our tour of Vernon on Viking’s Paris & the Heart of Normandy, the second leg of the France’s Finest cruise, to visit this small but exquisite museum.

The heart of its collection is artwork, both paintings and sculpture, that features animals. On my way down from the second floor, I looked out this window and was enchanted by its rippled glass. It turned the town outside watery, as if it was reflected in a pond.

The End of My World Tour

That’s the end of my Windows Around the World tour. I hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures that let you travel without leaving your home. If so, let me know. I have lots of other ideas that you might like: towers and turrets, arches, stone faces, and gardens. Let me know.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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