The Crumbling Subterranean Stepwells Of Ancient India

So beautiful. So crumbling. Everything is ephemeral in our world…even stone.


Journalist Spends Four Years Traversing India to Document Crumbling Subterranean Stepwells Before they Disappear

by Christopher Jobson (COLOSSAL)


Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.31.10 AM


Doesn’t that look like an M.C. Escher piece?


“Across India an entire category of architecture is slowly crumbling into obscurity, and you’ve probably never even heard it. Such was the case 30 years ago when Chicago journalist Victoria Lautman made her first trip to the country and discovered the impressive structures called stepwells. Like gates to the underworld, the massive subterranean temples were designed as a primary way to access the water table in regions where the climate vacillates between swelteringly dry during most months, with a few weeks of torrential monsoons in the spring.


Thousands of stepwells were built in India starting around the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. where they first appeared as rudimentary trenches but slowly evolved into much more elaborate feats of engineering and art. By the 11th century some stepwells were commissioned by wealthy or powerful philanthropists (almost a fourth of whom were female) as monumental tributes that would last for eternity. Lautman shares with Arch Daily about the ingenious construction of the giant wells that plunge into the ground up to 10 stories deep…”


For the rest, and spectacular photos. click here.



Scandal In The Nunnery

A mystery of the most creepy and dark nature — there is good story fodder here for a very dark book…


Could it be true?


Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk (1836)

(The Public Domain Review)


Awful disclosures of Maria Monk, as exhibited in a narrative of her sufferings during a residence of five years as a novice, and two years as a black nun, in the Hôtel Dieu nunnery at Montreal. By Maria Monk; in London.


“In the prevailing anti-Catholic atmosphere of early-nineteenth-century America, and fresh after the Ursuline Convent riots of August 1834 in Massachusetts (in which a convent of the Roman Catholic Ursuline nuns burned down by the hands of a Protestant mob), the publication of Maria Monk’s revelations of her time at the Hôtel-Dieu convent in Montreal became a sensation. With nuns forced to engage in sexual acts with priests and being locked in the cellar as a punishment for disobeying, the story had similarities to the popular Gothic novels of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Maria also tells of how any babies that were born as a result of these liaisons were immediately baptized, strangled, and buried under the convent. It was from this fate that she wanted to save her unborn child which led her to escape and consequently publish her exposé.


Although the preface claims the events and persons described to be real, after the initial sensation died down some began to question the veracity of Maria’s tale. American journalist William L. Stone traveled to Montreal and visited the convent, later writing that the descriptions found in Maria’s book bore no resemblance to the actual building…”


For the rest, click here.


The Wrath of Vesuvius

So stunning, so poignant.


Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.44.23 PM


Imprisoned in Ash: The Plaster Citizens of Pompeii

By Atlas Obscura/Salon


“Those that did not flee the city of Pompeii in August of 79 AD were doomed. Buried for 1,700 years under 30 feet of mud and ash and reduced by the centuries to skeletons, they remained entombed until excavations took place in the early 19th century…”


Click here for a gallery of incredible photographs of the plaster casts, and links to more about the world’s hidden wonders.


Next Page »