About the Multisensory Experience of a City

written by Bogdan Bogdanović


Once, in the city of Algiers, I got a chance to visit and get acquainted with the most minute details of a very stately Mediterranean mansion, built a long time ago by an Arab nobleman for his blind daughter.


“The miraculous palace was introverted…” – so I started to tell my unusual experience – “it was all pointing at itself, that is to say inwards. And it treasured, even for us who believe that we are capable of seeing everything there is to see, a whole previously undiscovered world. Its spaces were characterised by sounds of numerous fountains, which carried different tunes and the acoustic picture of the whole was enriched by a number of clever devices for rhythmical and melodic water flow. Her hearing enabled the beautiful girl to move easily through inner yards, alleys, passages beneath arcades, higher and lower, shadowy and sunny, which the artistry of craftsmen formed so that they echoed her steps. In that way, she recognised paths and by-ways, even the “streets”, “boulevards” and “squares” of her invisible city.