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Tony Cooper 02-01-2013 04:07 AM

Re: [SI] Steeples - What hasn't made the cut
On Fri, 01 Feb 2013 13:22:07 +1300, Eric Stevens
<> wrote:

>I've already explained that there are few worthwhile steeples within
>gunshot of where I live and that I am in any case presently restricted
>in my movements. Instead I've gone to recent archives to extract
>photographs of steeples and the like.
>All the photographs were taken under tourist conditions: no control of
>the site, the distance, the nature or direction of the light, or the
>weather in general. A good photograph is one without a stray head in
>One of my problems is I tend to value content as much the technical
>aspects. A technically lousy photograph of an interesting steeple
>still ranks highly in my general opinion. I know that not everyone
>holds that view (sigh). Anyway, I had to make a decision and the best
>way seemed to be put up the ones which didn't make the cut, thereby
>committing myself by implication to those that did make the cut.
>Here are two from Copenhagen:
> is the
>extraordinary spire of "Vor Frelsers Kirke" in Copenhagen. There is a
>stairway to the top of the spire but it runs up the outside! I met
>someone who has climbed it and he said once you get up a bit it feels
>much safer if you go up backwards on the seat of your trousers.

I walk past a picture of that church every day. In 1974 I took the
family to Denmark to visit my brother, who moved there in 1969. My
brother and I climbed those stairs but our wives declined. It's quite
an experience since the wind makes you feel you'll be blown off at any

Several years later I was in an antique shop in Florida and saw this
signed hand-colored etching of the church from a different side than
yours. The owner of the shop saw me looking at it and said "That's a
church in Brussels". I told her she was wrong, and that the church
was in Copenhagen. The right-hand spiral staircase marks it. I bought
the sketch, but couldn't convince her she was wrong.

Most European towers with helical stairs turn to the left so the
defender, retreating up the stairs, could brace his right foot on the
widest part of the pie shaped treads, left hand bracing against the
center shaft wall and had the room to swing his sword with his strong

The Wiki article on the church is wrong when it says "The steps wind
to the right as they should if the tower is to be defended with the
right hand while the left hand rests on the railing." That restricts
the sword arm.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida

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