Another building we discovered in Leicester was the former Leicestershire Banking Company building (more recently Midland Bank and HSBC). David and I were having coffee at a cafe across the street when I noticed the bank's amazing stained glass windows. "Wouldn't it be great to see what they look like from the inside?" I asked David.
After our pick-me-up, we crossed the street for a closer look.
We noticed there was some activity inside, though, so hoping to get in to see the stained glass, I went to the door and peered in. A sign on the door said ISKCON, which meant nothing to me.
A guy in robes, who seemed to be setting up for some kind of religious service, saw me looking and motioned us inside. I was a little concerned that we were intruding but he was very friendly.
I should have been tipped off by the colorful mandala on the steps -- the building is now occupied by the Hare Krishnas. (ISKCON stands for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.) They plan to turn it into a community center of sorts. They've submitted plans for a restaurant, library and other features.
We were graciously invited to look at the windows.
They actually go up even higher than this, and I couldn't begin to get photos of the vast beamed interior ceilings and the other amazing features of the building. It has a web site here.
Pretty cool, huh? I'm glad we just happened to come by at a time when it was open!