Thursday, 12 January 2012

Good and bad Skyways

The decline in standards in skyway (covered bridges linking buildings) design in the 20th century is well illustrated by two examples from Oxford. One, from the start of the century, is the well-known 'Bridge of Signs' (Hertford Bridge), New College Lane. Design wise, it owes a debt to the Rialto Bridge in Venice, but it is daintier and its its proportions are more pleasing. There is also a Baroque flourish to the central section.

The other was was one from the later part of the century, which I noticed during a relatively recent visit.


There is also a 'Bridge of Sighs' in Cambridge, which I haven't seen, and this looks nothing like the Bridge of Sighs in Venice either. (Which I have). The original Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace and the prison, convicts were taken across it after trial in the palace, and it is named after their sighs of woe. (Well might they have sighed, especially the poor ones who couldn not pay to be kept in a cell above the water line). Still at least the Venetians took the time to make the bridge pretty from the outside.

There is also a fine covered bridge in Dublin, attached to Christchurch cathedral.

This made a suitably gothic background for the cover I did for 'Kiss Me Deadly' a vampire-hunter comic set in the city. I made it higher off the ground in order to fit the composition, but hopefully it is still recognizable.

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