One Word Photo Challenge: Eigengrau

This week Jennifer Nichole Wells presented the one word photo challenge: Eigengrau, which inspired me to post these first two photos.

The word, eigengrau, which I had never heard before, has come to mean the dark grey colour seen by the eyes in perfect darkness as a result of signals from the optic nerves. Its origin is German meaning ‘intrinsic grey’.

Although narrow slits cut into the tunnel wall allow some natural light to filter in, and low watt bulbs add a little more light to keep the tourists from tumbling, there is still a feeling of eigengrau in this long, but claustrophobic place. A large man would fill the width and height of the tunnel, and if tall, would have to stoop a bit to keep his head from being bruised.

Where is this, you may wonder…

I couldn’t help but include an exterior view, a view showing the ‘container’ of this eigengrau; the stone wall that connects the octagonal lookout tower with the fortress Rocca Maggiore in Assisi, Italy.


Although the first castle here was built in 773, the earliest reference to a fortress on this site dates from 1174. The octagonal tower wasn’t begun until 1458 and the wall containing the tunnel was finished in 1460.

Here is a gallery including a few more photos that I took of the Rocca Maggiore. Inside the tunnel it was dim and forbidding. Outside it was a glorious, light-filled day.

(Click an image to see it larger or to start slide show.)

For more info on the Rocca Maggiore you can click here.


Words and images copyright © Terry Boswell


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