.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

“Pic of the Week”, August 1, 2014″: Serra’s Church, Mission San Juan Capistrano

066 Mission San Juan Capistrano 03-2014. Serra’s Church

While exploring the grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano — known as the “Jewel” of the California Missions — you’ll come upon a small chapel.   It’s Serra Church, the oldest church in California, named after Father Junipero Serra who founded this mission (and eight other California missions).  Our highlighted photo includes the “Golden Altar”, an early Baroque-style retablo, which is a relatively recent addition to the church.  The altar is from Barcelona, handcrafted almost 400 years ago of cherry wood and overlaid in gold leaf.  It was installed in the Serra Church sometime between 1922-1924.

Serra Church was built in 1782, six years after Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded (on All Saint’s day, November 1, 1776).  It was one of the first …

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.All Trips / Europe / Ireland

A Visit to Ireland: Part 2) the Rock of Cashel

Rock-of-Cashel-2013-002 Residential Tower and Naive

There are few places in Ireland with a richer history than the Rock of Cashel.   Situated at the edge of the town of Cashel, the rock is a huge outcropping on top of which rests a complex of old buildings situated some 60m (200ft) above the rich green farmland of County Tipperary.
A brief history of the Rock of Cashel:

It was from this rocky prominence that the Irish Kings of Munster ruled for more than 700 years (370 to 1101 A.D.).  St. Patrick visited the Rock of Cashel and baptized King Aengus around 450 A.D.  Legend has it the saint accidentally impaled the King’s foot with the base of his crosier staff.  The …

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