The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #8


Readers are starting to get scary-good at this game. One writes:

Alright you bastard. This is the first one that looked familiar to me but only in a general way. I can't make out any specific clues, even when zooming in Photoshop. Sicily is as close as I can get. I can't see as how anyone gets closer than that, even using Google Maps/Google Earth as has been done previously.

Another writes:

The cobblestone courtyard indicates it's not North America and the 1728 (or 1723?) inscription on the fountain indicates it's probably not South America either. Also, there's that peaked roof in the background.  That's French (well, there's a neighborhood like that in Long Beach, CA, but that's not Long Beach).  So it feels southern French to us, because of the tile roofs. Something Provencal.  It's not Corsica, as the mountain in the distance isn't big enough.  My wife and I are going with Marseilles.


Not many clues to go on here. 1728? Nothing much happened according to Wikipedia. I'm not an expert but the blue car looks like a Peugeot, suggesting perhaps a French-speaking country. The pointy building behind the corrugated roof is reminiscent of central Europe. It also appears to be rather mountainous. So I'm going to guess St. Etienne, France.


This one isn't as easy as last week's.  I lean towards Europe, though the cloud cover seems to indicate it is not Mediterranean like I would have liked to guess.  The mountain in the background indicates a rough terrain, perhaps the Basque region?  I glanced into any 1728 references of Basques, and came up with possibly Spain, specifically Azpeitia - maybe the Sanctuary of Loyola?


I think this is a view from inside the University of Havana, Cuba, overlooking a fountain commemorating its founding in 1728.  (I looked up other 1728 establishments, but somehow I don't think this one is the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Uppsala.)


Western Europe for sure, but the architecture looks wrong for UK/Ireland. Also quite certain it's not Benulux, Scandinavia, Iberia or anywhere near the Alps ... which leaves us the big three.  It doesn't look dry or semi-tropical enough for Italy or southern France. The parking sign is definitely not a German one, and the license plate seems to be yellow (also not German).  So, best guess: Sedan, France.


I recognize many aspects as familiar but I couldn't place the location ... then I saw the pattern of the paving tiles!

I lived for 5 years or so in Northern Germany, as a street musician. I sat on, stood on, and stared at this exact pattern of paving the whole fucking time. I even took a photo of the pattern to use as a background for the back cover of a CD I produced. Does it help me? Not likely. It's Germany, I'm sure of - the tall roofed house, the street sign and lamp, the masonry - but even then these styles are common throughout that part of Europe. Hmmm. I've spent far too long on this already so I'm going with Hildesheim.


Not a lot of internet research or anything, but this looks an awfully lot like a little Plaza that I wandered into when I was exploring Cusco, in Peru.


The stonework and window treatments suggest a Venetian influence.  The tile and mountains make me think Croatia.  Could this be the old town in Korcula?


This jumped out at me as looking a lot like where I took my honeymoon - Porto, Portugal.   I actually looked at my pictures from the Porto Se Cathedral, but could not confirm that this was it.  I was going to try Google Images, but that sorta takes the sport out of the contest, no?


Just a guess here since I don't have the time to do the satellite analysis. The fountain looks typically Swiss, as do the mountains in the background. It all seems to be facing east, so I'm guessing Neuchatel.  I happen to be living in Switzerland right now, so I am probably biased towards seeing Switzerland everywhere.


Salzburg, Austria? The cobblestone pattern, courtyard aesthetic, date on the parkitecture, and solidity of the buildings walls suggest Europe – the orderly painted parking lines urge me toward the north.  The restoration of the building evident suggests perhaps a rebuilt German city.  But the yellow paint from where the photo was taken reminds me of the Salzburg.  And while the distant relief seems perhaps too low and the turquoise roof tops that are also distinctive in that city are absent, I’m sticking to my initial guess.  And since your obsessive readership will no doubt nail this down to the precise GPS latitude and longitude, I’ll guess somewhere near Mozart’s home on the western bank of the river in the hopes of being close enough.


This photo was taken in Lausanne, Switzerland, from a building overlooking Rue Cité-Devant at approximately 2/3 of the way from the Cathédrale to the Château Saint-Maire.  The view looks westerly past the Gymnase de la Cité toward the Palais de Rumine and the Place de la Riponne.  Coordinates approximately 46° 31'25.85 N, 6° 38'07.79 E.

Correct! Another reader was even more impressive:

This one was tough to crack, but there are bunch of clues that help narrow it down. First, the combination of an obviously European landscape, the yellow road paint, style of cobbles, white license plates on the car, design of the speed limit sign and lamppost all suggest Switzerland; the architecture (both close-up and in the distance) and roof tiles further narrow it down to the French-speaking part.

Definitely not Geneva: I live there and there isn’t anywhere that looks like that. The angle and length of the shadows suggests that the photographer is facing somewhere between West and North – which would make it likely that the hills in the background are the Jura mountains, which rules out Neuchatel. Basel and Bern don’t have the right topography in their old towns to get the landscape, and Yverdon is too flat.

Which leaves Lausanne. The fact the photographer wasn’t facing South was a bit of a head-scratcher for a while. Nevertheless, with a little help from Google maps, it’s possible to pinpoint the exact location: it’s taken from a West-facing first floor window (2nd floor in U.S. terminology) at the Amis de la Cité building on Rue Cité-Devant 11bis, Lausanne. Google map here.

More impressive still:

I found a photo of the window from which the picture is taken:

View of the 'view from your window' window

Another ups the ante forevermore:

I am an Australian living in Switzerland and have enjoyed your blog for several years. My family has been enjoying the VFYW contest and we were delighted to see one in our part of the world.  The architecture was clearly Swiss Vaudois, the mountains looked more like the Jura than the Alps, the height of the city made it most likely Lausanne, and the street looked like it was in the lanes behind the Cathedral.  So it was a good excuse to take my visiting parents for a Sunday drive and go VFYW hunting. Sure enough we had guessed correctly and found the fountain:

Parents Visit_969

Thanks for a fun afternoon.

Thanks to you!  Despite these impressive feats of Dishness - and 11 correct guesses in all - we just have to award the photo book to this couple (how could you not?):

It's Lausanne, Switzerland! Just today I was walking there with my wife. It's on a road called Rue Cité-Devant, which goes from the back of the beautiful Cathedral up to the Castle. Really a must-see. It's a picture taken from Rue Cité Devant #12 it would seem. The mountains in the back are the Jura mountains.

I knew I wanted to marry my wife when she and I stopped at that very fountain for a sip of water last year!

I love this contest!