.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Doors of Milan’s Duomo

06 Doors of the Duomo

Construction of Milan’s great Cathedral (Duomo) began in the late 14th century and continued for half a millennium.  One of the last details to be completed were the main central entry doors, which date to the late 1800s. 

The church is lovely and its grand entry doors fit well with the overall opulence of the structure.  They are often admired, but only rarely opened.  These doors were crafted between 1894-1908 by Italian sculptor Ludovico Pogliaghi, themed on “stories from the life of Mary”.  Here are some of the features and panels which caught my eye.

The doors are busy and it’s easy to overlook the many exquisitely detailed panels in it. including scenes of Jesus’ life and death, as well as those …

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.All Trips / Europe / Spain

Granada’s Other Great Attraction — a Visit to the Granada Cathedral

06 Granada Cathedral (9)

Most visitors to Granada come to explore the fascinating and beautiful Alhambra, with good justification, but you shouldn’t skip the chance to stop by Granada’s Cathedral as well.  In fact, it’s most pleasant to walk through the relatively compact historic core of Granada.

After the expulsion of the Moors from Granada and take-over by Spanish Christian forces, it makes sense that a new Cathedral was called for, but that did not happen right away.  The war had been very expensive and other conflicts were diverting the monarch’s monies away from Granada.

View of Granada Cathedral from the Alhambra

It was not until 1523 (31 years after the conquest) that construction on the Cathedral began atop the site of a mosque.  The project was not finished for 181 years (in …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 20, 2018: Views of Seville

07 Seville views

For over 800 years the tower of Seville’s magnificent cathedral (the Giralda) stood as the tallest structure in the city, built at 103 m.  Completed in 1195, it was originally the minaret of the Aljama mosque before it became the bell tower of a Christian Church.  The structure took 12 years to build.

The name Giralda means “she who turns” after the weather vane on top of the tower.  The figure on the weather vane, called El Giraldillo, represents faith.

The Giralda, originally used for calling faithful Muslims to prayer and as an observatory,  was highly valued by the Moors.  There were plans to destroy it before the Christian conquest of the city in 1248, but a threat by King Alfonso X …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, April 20, 2018: Views of Seville
.All Trips / Europe / Spain

Seville’s Awesome Cathedral!

04 Seville Cathedral

Seville’s cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The cathedral was built in the 15th century (1401 to 1506 A.D.) on the site of the 12th century Aljama mosque.  Portions of the mosque survive within the Cathedral’s structure, most notably the belltower known as Giralda.

Seville’s Cathedral is very popular with visitors and unless you arrive early or late, you’ll likely have to wait in line to purchase your ticket.  It’s one of the most magnificent churches I’ve ever seen, and I found it well worth the wait and price of admission.  While you wait in line you’ll have time to study and enjoy some of the beautiful craftsmanship adorning the …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 13, 2017: Christopher Columbus’ tomb, Seville

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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 …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, October 13, 2017: Christopher Columbus’ tomb, Seville
.All Trips / D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA

Washington’s National Cathedral

22 Washington 501 National Cathedral

The idea of a National Church was first mentioned by the great General and first American President, George Washington, but this dream did not begin to take fruition for more than a century.  Like all great projects, it takes time and lots of money to make the dream a reality.  Today the completed church plays an important role in its nation’s history having hosted many national days of prayer and several presidential funerals.

The National Cathedral is a beautiful NeoGothic church situated on the highest point in the District of Columbia.  It’s built in the style of the great European cathedrals and has a tall central tower (30 stories high), 231 beautiful stained-glass windows (one of which has a moon rock …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2016: Wawel Cathedral, Krakow

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The Royal Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus, also known as Wawel Cathedral, is situated in Kraków, Poland.  The church is part of the Royal Palace complex atop Wawel Hill, where a church has been for more than 900 years.  Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II, was ordained to the priesthood at Wawel Cathedral and performed his first mass here.  Wawel Cathedral is where Polish kings were coronated and where many lie buried.

The current Gothic cathedral is the third church on the site and dates to the 14th century.  It is a small cathedral with elaborate and ornate side chapels.  Most of the church is open to the public and admission to the common areas is free.  Photos …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2016: Wawel Cathedral, Krakow
.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Breathtaking! Monreal Cathedral, Sicily

06 Montreal Cathedral (5b)

Situated a few miles from the coastal city of Palermo is a beautiful mosaic-filled  cathedral in the Sicilian hill town of Monreal.  This church and the other Arab-Norman cathedrals of Palermo recently received recognition as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Monreal cathedral and its adjoining abbey are often cited as Sicily’s best examples of its unique Arab-Norman architecture.  The cathedral dates to the 12th century when Norman ruler William II (William the Good) founded a monastery here and then added the Duomo (cathedral).  William wanted this to be an important royal church and he is buried here (although none of his successors are).

Outside the Duomo is a relatively plain church, with the exception of the beautifully designed apses.   As you …

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