Above: the Hall of the Earth in the Temples of Damanhur, Below: the foundations of the Tokyo Underground
The first photo comes with a fascinating story. During a raid on the premises of a cult-like community to investigate a charge of tax evasion, policemen stumbled upon a hidden chamber. They were stunned to find themselves in a grand temple hall complete with a huge stained-glass ceiling. This was only the first of many more magnificently-constructed and gloriously-decorated worship chambers of this reclusive community. As it turns out, the Temples of Damanhur (it's what they are called; the room pictured is named the Hall of the Earth) were built according to the instructions of the community's charismatic leader, Falco. Hard to imagine that such things still happen in this modern-day era; it reads so much like an ancient legend.
I'm delighted to say that I've found the poem mentioned in my earlier post, 'Birds and Statues', thanks to Ly. When she suggested that it was 'Ozymandias', the name just clicked in my head. Here it is, by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'