This is one of the first pictures I encountered on searching for camels in Tripoli. It’s not the Tripoli I was looking for, but it led me to an oddity I never knew about before (as well as making me happy by being a camel statue that actually ought to be where it is, unlike the ones I dealt in a previous Camel of the Day post). This is the astonishing Moorish revival style of architecture that characterises the building this camel and its friend are kneeling in front of.
Here’s the “Tripoli Shrine Temple”, a secular Masonic building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from distance:
The original photographer’s listed as ‘Sulfur’ on wikipedia, but their link doesn’t work. Ho hum.
There seems to be something about this style that makes it characteristic of leisure and opulence in most contexts that it’s used in globally, with the interesting exception that it’s the approach that’s been adopted for many of the world’s most famous synagogues. But it strikes me that the very uselessness and excessive ornamentation of it is exactly what too many of us miss in contemporary architecture. Just like Brianna Rennix and Nathan J. Robinson point out very articulately (and with really good pictures) here.
It’s better to find our excess in the beauty of the buildings we look at, than in the greed that characterises too much of what happens inside them. And it’s better again when they have camels in front of them.