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St. John’s Co-Cathedral occupies a square block in the historic walled city of Valletta and has an unassuming plain exterior, but a beautiful ornate interior and a fascinating history (e.g. Knights of Malta) that certainly makes it well worth exploring.
St. Johns Co-Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It was built by the Order of St. John in 1572, completed in 1604 originally with a relatively plain interior, with the fancy baroque interior you see today completed in the late 17th century. The church is considered one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe.
St. John’s remained the church of the Order of St. John until the Order was expelled from Malta during the French …
One of the most popular attractions within Seville’s fabulous Cathedral is this unusual tomb, constructed in honor of famous resident, Christopher Columbus. The great 15th century explorer, widely celebrated for his successes, died in poverty in Valladolid. The tomb itself is more recent, from 1892, with statues of four royal bearers carrying the suspended tomb.
Columbus traveled far in life but likely even further in death. Posthumously his remains have journeyed from Northwestern Spain to Seville, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the USA and finally back to Seville. With all that travel, one might begin to wonder if this is indeed the remains of Christopher Columbus, but recent DNA tests were pretty convincing that this tomb does hold Columbus remains.
(Click on thumbnails …
A fun and recommended activity for those visiting Dublin is to do the Irish Musical Pub Crawl. Unlike the name implies, the consumption of alcohol is optional and everyone actually walked between the venues — no crawling observed! But it is an opportunity to try a pint of Guinness (not a brew I’m very fond of, but better here than when I’ve tried it elsewhere probably due to the freshness of the product). You do get to visit a total of 3 pubs, two in the Temple Bar area, with about a 30-40 minute set at each of the three places.
The tour features two professional Irish musicians, generally playing traditional songs on a guitar and violin. In …
A very popular snack in Madrid, especially for those nursing a hangover or having developed hunger pangs while waiting for a typical late 11 pm dinner, is the classic combination of hot chocolate with churros (a churro is a Spanish fried dough treat much like a donut). Arguably the best hot chocolate and churros in Madrid is found at Chocolateria San Gines, just off the Calle Arenal pedestrian zone of Puerta del Sol in Central Madrid.
Chocolatería San Ginés has been around since 1894, and it looks about the same as it must have on its opening day more than a century ago. The walls are lined with photos of local celebrities and even a few you might recognize.
You’ll be served cups …
Merrion Square is a beautiful garden square in south central Dublin. It was laid out after 1762 and was largely completed by the 19th century. It’s a wonderful place to visit when in Dublin, for a casual stroll or picnic or to relax in a bench and do some people-watching.
People like to linger here, but the most popular resident of the park is a colorful statue of Oscar Wilde. Commissioned by the Guinness Ireland Group, it was sculpted by Danny Osborne and was unveiled about 20 years ago.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish writer and poet who resided across the street from the park. Today he is best remembered for his novel The Picture of …
A scene of every day life in an historic city.
After having spent the morning exploring the great medieval cathedral in Chartres, we finished a fine lunch before heading into the medieval city down by the River. While on our journey we came across this seasoned citizen, walking his bike up an incline. Seems he is outfitted to go to the market. Just an everyday scene in an ancient city.
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Ireland is well known for its music, food, Guinness, whiskey, and friendly engaging people, all of which (and more) can be found and enjoyed in Temple Bar District.
Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. Many of the pubs in the area are hundreds of years old.
Temple Bar is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter, being the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting, as well as the Irish Stock Exchange …
One of the finest food markets I’ve ever visited, and supposedly one of the best in the world, is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually just called “La Boqueria“. It’s one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist spots — so much so that group tours are no longer allowed inside. You, the independent traveler, are welcome! The market is just off the popular pedestrian mall, La Rambla, not far from Barcelona’s opera house. A iron gate frames your entrance to the very diverse and fresh selection of food items within.
The first mention of the Boqueria market dates to 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470, a pig market was …