Friday, July 31, 2009

Bench of the week (19)

Some may say that this week's bench is not a bench, but a seat - indeed a row of seats. But is not that the definition of a bench? However that may be - this is what I have chosen to present today. It may at the first glance look like an ordinary row of seats at some kind of ordinary sports arena. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as will become clear as you scroll down.

It is in fact from an outdoor theatre: Agder Teater-Fjæreheia.

This theatre is situated outside the town of Grimstad, Norway. One unique feature is that it is built in a closed quarry, where a characteristic red granite was mined. Before WW2 there where several small quarries here, but Albert Speer, Hitler's infamous "Minister of Armaments and War Production", dedeceided after the Nazi invasion of Norway to use this granite to build a new gigantic stadium in Nuremberg. Thus a new quarry was opened and much stone was mined, but none of it reached Germany before the war was over. Instead it was used in various local constructions after the war.

Agder Theatre bought the quarry in 1995, and in the summer of 1999 built a new amphitheatre with 1000 seats. Since the opening in 1999 there have been many different types of arrangement at Fjæreheia. There has been everything from musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar to film presentations and readings of the poem "Terje Vigen" and rock concerts. (Wikipedia) .

If you look closely at the photos you will see actors and dancers practising on ledges and ladders before a performance. You really have to look before you leap in this theatre.

And that the granite is red is obvious from these steps.

My own interest in benches stems from the site published by PERBS and Kerri and the site published by Malyss. Also, others have shown an interest in the subject, so I have started to take photos of benches when I "stumble" across one and post them on Fridays. It is not a "proper" meme, but if anyone else would like to join me in publishing benches on Fridays, they are of course welcome to do so. Give me a hint and I'll come visiting - summer permitting :-)

37 comments:

Pam said...

Great photos! We have a quarry here in Adelaide, South Australia, used once to stage an international production for the Festival of Arts.As a venue it would never be able to compete with a quarry as spectacular as the one you have featured!Yours is indeed a quarry with an astounding and important history.Thanks for a fascinating post and bench photo invitation - mine's posted.

Marka said...

That must be quite the place to see a production of any kind. Is the amphitheatre designed such that the performance can be heard without additional amplification?

smalltownmom said...

That is a stunning venue. Wow!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Ooh, I'd love to attend a performance here! It looks like a stunning site. I bet the acoustics are wonderful, and the applause must echo around!

Gallow said...

What an incredible place. I bet the directors and choreographers could be very creative in this use of this space.

I've posted a bench of the week on my blog as well. This is number 3 for me.

http://sg-photo.blogspot.com/2009/07/bench-of-week-3.html

Lew said...

Interesting place for an amphitheater! It looks rather steep. I'm glad the stone was put to good use in Norway.

Jeni said...

What a great way to continue using a quarry after the stone has been taken out! Not only is the very functional but it is beautiful too.

PERBS said...

Well, I will let you fudge on this one . . . but really? A bench? Ü Very inteesting story and photos.

Mine is up and I even have a bit of the environment along with the bench this time.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is so a beautiful place !! Shots are amazing !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

ArneA said...

Veldig bra. Trodde med det første at det var tribunene på Stadion med Brann i hjemme kamp
:)

Eamon said...

G treat contrasts - and if you say it's a bench that's good enough for me!

Heges fotoblogg said...

Skikkelig tøff teaterscene det der! Skulle gjerne opplevd en forestilling der.

Setene fungerer bra som benk, de er ihvertfall like ukomfortable ;-)

Tom said...

Hi Rune
As a bench shot.. this post might not be the best shot of one.. atfirst glance... but who could resist sitting on them seats for a show. I can well imagine the sound reverberating around those rocks.. I can also imagine the colours dancing around off the rocks when lit up at night.. The atmosphere produced in a place such as this would add so much to any act, or show. Fantastic posting Rune... I also like how the old workings have been kept.. the marks on the rocks from drilling and splitting.. it really is a great place nd one when I would spend much time.
As you know theres many old local quarries near by where I live and I regular visit them to get shots.
I'm off now to do some more visiting but know I will be back again later to look at this again.

Tom

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Works for me, Rune. The shot of the many seats is a stunner. I like the way you captured the curve of the rows. This is a great use for an old quarry.

I have a bench shot this week at
http://eastgwillimburywow.blogspot.com/2009/07/swimming-hole-bench.html

Abraham Lincoln said...

I love this post. I am almost finished reading Spandau, by Albert Speer and it is one of the most interesting books about his recollections and his relationship with other unhanged Nazis in this famous prison.

I have seen the benches thing before today but never had time to post something. But I will next Friday. I have some bench pictures here at home and won't have to leave home with the oxygen tank to photograph them. Count on me next Friday and please don't hesitate to remind me on Thursday.

I appreciate your response and comment on my comment about RAW on my blog about birds. My Birds Blog. I just wish more people would try it. I have read about it, don't really understand the technical details about it like I should, but I know and you know it is a far better photo if it is shot in RAW.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville, Ohio

John said...

I like the set of photos, and the text puts the whole thing in context. Like Abe, I have some bench shots (there's a Flickr group for empty benches) so I might put some up as well.

Malyss said...

Starting with seats among stones, we finally learn about history, Norway during 2nd World war, theater, entertainment, geology, architecture...
Technically, you did not post about benches today. But as your post is so interesting, the place you choosed so impressive, and your pictures wonderful, you'll be forgiven! (Ü)

James said...

That is a very interesting place. Your photos are very good.

RennyBA said...

I like your definition and try not to miss your bench posts - this was a great one too!

RennyBA's Terella

imac said...

What a great Post and Bench-es you have produced this week Rune, very interesting reading and what a great use of a disused Quarry.
PS See the birds havent found this quarry then? LOL.

Dina said...

Oh wow, wow! What a place, what a history! Great. Thanks for this, Rune.
I finally found some beautiful benches in Jerusalem (now that I know I have to look for them for Fridays). Not as dramatic a setting as yours today, but ...

lv2scpbk said...

Take your pick on seats. Great.

Stephany said...

Very interesting history! Beautiful and dramatic setting for a theatre.

Tammie Lee said...

such an interesting combination of stone and modern day. Wonderful captures of this.

Spirithelpers

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad Norway kept its granite. That is quite an unusual and breathtaking spot.

Anne-Berit said...

Skikkelig flott dette Rune.
God helg!

Wenche said...

Flott teaterscene og benkar! Kunne godt tenkt meg å sett eit teaterstykke der. Det må vere litt av ein opplevelse.

Rune (Bildebloggen) said...

Det må ha vært et fin opplevelse bare det å gå så langt ned, og mtp lyd og lys er det garantert flott der. Takk for titten og God helg!



- Ang duebildene så satt jeg et par-tre timer å beskuet dem før de ville gi seg til å "kysse", har en fast plass som de pleier å sitte heldigvis. Så det ble ikke mer enn tre bilder av det før det hele var over. Men da gjorde de helt andre ting, som kanskje passet til fredda'n enda bedre... hehe.

Barbara Martin said...

RuneE, amazing set of shots and the location's history very interesting.

Though a bit late, my bench is up.

AVCr8teur said...

This theatre has quite a history. It's odd to see the modern "benches" or "seats" in such an archaic setting. I wonder where those steep stairway where those people are walking on lead to.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i love theatres like this - how original to turn a quarry into a mine!

hope you have a good summer, even if you don't come to crete!

Kerri said...

Yikes, I didn't get a bench up for this week....hoping to next!
Love the bench seats!

Ida said...

Et spesielt og flott "minnesmerke" etter krigen dette.
Vel verdt et besøk, ser jeg.
Du bygger opp glimtene og fortellingen på en fabelaktig måte gjennom serien din her her.

-----------

Takk for hyggelig kommentar hos meg i dag - og ikke minst for godt tips igjen. :) Det er bra at du deler av dine kunnskaper med meg. Det føltes faktisk ganske overveldende å få kameraet i hendene med en gang. ;)
Det går bedre nå. Hehe.
Når det er sagt, så gleder jeg meg til å lære, knipse og leke.
Øvelse gjør mester, som kjent...
En makrolinse står på ønskelista, ja. En annen også, minst. ;)

Angående kontrolltime på Haukeland, så vet jeg at det sikkert må sterkere krutt til enn et brev fra fastlegen.
Har faktisk ringt og ringt på avdelingen.
Det er telefontid mellom 9-11.
Enten svarer det ikke, eller så er det opptatt. Presis kl. 11 får jeg svar. Via telefonsvarer,
der de opplyser om telefontidene....!
Dette er visst et kjent problem, sier en bekjent som jobber på det bruket. ;)
Jeg får testet tålmodigheten min på mange måter for tiden...

MEN nå er det lørdagskveld og vi skal kose oss her.
Det er den siste helgen hjemme denne perioden for husbonden.
Han drar til England tidlig neste uke. Til det verste landet å oppholde seg i for tiden, med tanke på den berømte influensaen, kanskje. Det var visst enda en bekymring likevel...

Håper at du går klar smitten. Det er vel ikke så bra for deg med tanke på transplantasjonen, medisiner og immunforsvaret?

God lørdagskveld ønskes deg og familien din. :)

Anne said...

Nå ligger der en benk til deg snart :-))

Rush said...

perfect..i loved ur photographs!!!

Phoenix C. said...

One gets a real sense of scale from your photos, of the vastness of this place! It must be a wonderful experience to perform here.

Ayie said...

wow! i would love to watch somthign here just ta feel the good seats and views of the the arena