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Situated in Alexanderplatz, beside the tall Soviet-era TV tower (Fernsehturm), sits a medieval church known as Marienkirche (St. Mary’s church). It’s one of the oldest churches in Berlin and is worth at least a quick visit if you’re in the area.
Construction of Marienkirche began around 1250 A.D. in the then recently established town of Berlin. In the late 14th century it was damaged by fire and rebuilt. Originally a Roman Catholic church, it has been Lutheran since the Protestant Reformation.
The church underwent an extensive overhaul in the 18th century yielding the appearance you visit today. During World War II, Marienkirche was heavily damaged by bombs and was nicely restored in the 1950s by East German authorities.
One of the most iconic and photographed islands in Europe is lovely Bled Island, located in Lake Bled.
Bled is a small town that has been a popular tourist destination for some time because it lies on the shore of Lake Bled, home of the only island in Slovenia. The lake is only of moderate size — 2,120 m (6,960 ft) long, 1,380 m (4,530 ft) wide, with a maximum depth of 29.5 m (97 ft) — but it is quite lovely. Bled Island and Lake are well known and photographs are commonly featured in magazines and on travel websites.
Bled Island is usually reached by paying for a seat on a boat known as a pletna — a type of gondola. These canopy-covered boats seat about 20 …
While the exterior of the church is bland and uninteresting, it’s when you step inside that you can see why San Maurizio is sometimes known as the “Sistine Chapel” of Milan. It’s filled with many beautiful, colorful, and well-preserved 16th century frescoes mostly depicting Biblical scenes and stories.
Churches have long stood at this site, and construction of the current San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore began in 1503. It was built incorporating several ancient walls that date back to Roman times, and was constructed as a Benedictine convent for nuns. Today a large part of the complex houses the Archaeological Museum of Milan (a completely separate attraction and not discussed in this blog).
There are two parts to the church. When you …
One of the oldest churches on the Canadian prairies is St. Andrews. It’s an Anglican (Episcopalian) church in the community of St. Andrews and is situated on the Red River — hence the name, St. Andrews-on-the-Red.
The church is more than 170 years old. In the 1820’s, the stretch of the Red River north of (what is now) Winnipeg was largely settled by former workers of the Hudson’s Bay and Northwest Trading Companies, many of whom were immigrants from the Orkney Islands. Archdeacon W. Cockran established a mission and built a wooden church here in 1831. This wooden church soon became too small to accommodate the congregation and a new stone church was begun in 1844 and completed in 1849. The …
As we walked down Truman Avenue on our way to Duvall Street — around which you’ll find the main sites of interest in Key West — we came across this pretty church. It’s the Basilica of St Mary Star of the Sea, one of the oldest parishes in Florida.
The first Catholic Church in Key West was constructed in 1851 and was dedicated as “Saint Mary Star of the Sea”. That church was destroyed by fire in 1901. Construction of the present church began in 1904 and was completed the following year.
The church is built directly onto the island’s coral limestone and is made of concrete blocks containing crushed limestone and sand. It’s exterior design is considered “American Victorian”. The church …
It was a cold rainy spring day when we visited Luxembourg City, admiring it’s tremendous ramparts and fortified walls and enjoying its historic charm. During our wandering, we came across a rather large church and as we were wet and cold, thought it might be a good opportunity to go inside, look around some, and dry out a bit.
There is a lovely statue of Virgin and Child positioned between the doors which you’ll see as you enter the cathedral, a statue which had a “newish” feel to it, although I’m not certain when it was crafted.
This was the Notre-Dame Cathedral (also called the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin), which was built between 1613 – 1621 by the Jesuits as the …
When I last visited Nuwara Eliya, situated high in the mountains of Sri Lanka’s tea country, I made a point of seeing some of the local sights. One of the my friends and traveling companions, a devout Catholic, wanted to visit St. Xavier’s Catholic Church, which I’m glad we did because it is quite lovely.
The church’s construction was begun in 1838, and it was completed over a 10 year period. It’s still a lovely building, a brown color with colonial architecture, so it fits in well with the overall appearance of the town.
The interior of the church is bright and cheery, and has some interesting mementos of the Saint it’s named for.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and right arrow to …
The most unusual chapel I’ve ever visited is this one in Milan. It’s located not far from the great Duomo — about a 10 minute walk — and probably would be interesting to most travelers. Some might argue it’s a morbid sight and I suppose that’s true, but many might regard being buried in a church a great honor. There are several other bone-filled churches in Europe, although I’ve never visited any before this one.
The main sanctuary of San Bernadino is nice but similar to thousands of other churches in Europe. Attractive but not very remarkable, in direct contrast to its unusual ossuary. To find San Bernardino’s famous chapel of bones you need to divert down a corridor to …