Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

The theme for this week’s WordPress.com Weekly Photo Challenge is Inside. The topic made me think about things we usually admire from the outside, but normally don’t see on the inside.

When I was nine or ten, I went to the Statue of Liberty, and my mom and I climbed the winding staircase inside Eiffel’s framework. So cool. My dad was a civil engineer like his dad before him, and Gustave Eiffel was an inspiration to them both.  (At the end of WWI, my grandfather was actually able to stay in Europe to study briefly with Eiffel, who was then in his 80’s – an experience Grandpa always cherished.)

Of course, when we were last in Paris, my beloved and I went up inside the Eiffel Tower, and enjoyed walking down looking at the structure!


But the coolest statue/monument I’ve been inside is the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) of Kamakura in Japan. In 1998, we went to our first Olympic Games, in Nagano, Japan. We stayed for most of our trip with a friend and his family. They took us to see many wonderful sights during our trip, and on a rainy day, we traveled to see the Daibutsu, which is incredibly beautiful. The bronze statue was finished in 1252. It has survived earthquakes and floods, and has undergone repairs several times in the last century. It’s under 50 feet high, but knowing its historical and spiritual significance makes it larger than life.


The inside of the Great Buddha – the brown strips are repairs made in the 1960’s to support the neck:

That’s my “inside story.” To see what’s inside other bloggers’ entries for this challenge, click here.

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45 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

  1. It must have been a very spiritual experince. Being inside the giant Buddha like that has to be a massive feeling. You are vey fortunate to have had the experience. Great post.


  2. Beautiful capture 😛


  3. Angelia Sims says:

    That is so cool! A giant Buddha! There is something to say about it surviving all those earthquakes, huh? I saw the Eiffel Tower when I was 16, but I wasn’t able to go up. It is an amazing sight. Great photos!


  4. Anita Mac says:

    So awesome! I really regret not having gone inside the Eiffel Tower while in Paris. Great photo!


    • Thanks! Most monuments like the Statue of Liberty, the Great Buddha, and many towers, have a skin that covers the inner skeleton. The Eiffel Tower, though, had to be functional and aesthetically pleasing – walking down those stairs gave me a real appreciation of that!


  5. Paula says:

    A fascinating entry :). Love the Buddha inside pics. My dad was a civil engineer too.


  6. Connie T says:

    Great inside pictures and story.


  7. Penny says:

    How cool! I don’t know if I’ll make it to Asia in this lifetime but the culture does fascinate me.
    If you are in Italy definitely try to make a stop in Lucca.


  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Tay in Europe

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge : Inside « Cheryl Andrews

  10. Great pix. Love The Great Buddah, and the shot from inside the Eiffel Tower, and… 🙂


  11. lolakojane says:

    I did not know about this Buddha statue…how fascinating, and nice family story about your grandfather studying with Eiffel. That tower is among the most iconic structures in the world!


  12. Fantastic shots! Perfect for the theme. 🙂


  13. coastalcrone says:

    Thanks for the inside story!


  14. topher79 says:

    I’ve been in and taken friends inside the Buddha statue on a number of vacations, I’m quite fortunate to live close to Kamakura these days. Don’t recommend going in on a hot summer day though 😉


  15. adinparadise says:

    Wow, that Buddha has quite a history. Lucky you to see it and climb inside. 😉


  16. bluebee says:

    Very interesting about your grandfather and Eiffel. I’ve seen inside the Eiffel Tower, but not inside the Buddha – amazing that it’s made from bronze


    • I believe the original was made of wood, but a storm ruined it, so they remade it in bronze. It was originally inside a shrine, but a tsunami took the building.. There is also a temple at the site.


  17. melouisef says:

    Such interesting places to see the inside of…


  18. Madhu says:

    The Buddha is indeed cool! Lovely photos!


  19. Wonderful story and fascinating insights into the physical monument that made an appearance in my own life just today via the NY Times Arts section with a review by Ben Ratliff regarding a new biography of John Cage, which features a photo of Cage with Toshi Ichiyanagi and David Tudor in front of the temple of the Great Buddha. The title of the book is ‘Where the Heart Beats’ by Kay Larson which goes into how Buddhism changed the direction of Cage’s life and music.


    • That’s wonderful, Gale – I’ll look the article up! Rudyard Kipling (at the beginning of Kim) and other travelers and artists have been affected by this. Did you know about Grandpa and Dr. Eiffel?


  20. Marianne says:

    Fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing that story. 🙂


  21. Great post! Thank you so much! Z


  22. eof737 says:

    Great pictures.. . I have fond memories of it too. 😉


  23. horimasa says:

    Reblogged this on Japan Reblogged and commented:
    Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan. The inside of Daibutsu in Kamakura.


  24. sutira says:

    I didn’t know you could go inside the Giant Buddha. Totally cool!


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