“Pic of the Week”, September 25, 2020: Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West

Basilica of St. Mary’s, Key West 00

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 …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, September 25, 2020: Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West
.All Trips / Europe / Luxembourg

Luxembourg City’s Notre-Dame Cathedral

00 Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg

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.

Lion Fountain outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg

Lion Fountain outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg


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 …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

St Francis Xavier’s Church, Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya St, Francis Xavier Church (1)

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.

St, Francis Xavier Church. Nuwara Eliya

St, Francis Xavier Church. Nuwara Eliya

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 …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Milan’s San Bernardino alle Ossa

00 San Bernardino alle Ossa (10)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 5, 2019: Union Point Church, Manitoba.

03 Trip to Morris (11)

Sometimes it’s good to stop at places you’ve driven by hundreds of times and actually explore them.  Such was the case with my visit to the Union Point Church south of St. Agathe in southern Manitoba.

The church is situated between the north and south-bound lanes of highway 75, the road that connects Winnipeg to southern Manitoba and North Dakota.  It’s a fairly important road, so thousands of people drive by the church every day but I suspect hardly anyone ever stops for a visit.

Union Point church was originally built in 1887, destroyed by fire in 1939, and rebuilt in 1940. There’s a small cemetery beside the church with tombstones dating to the late 19th century.  There was once also a …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, April 5, 2019: Union Point Church, Manitoba.
.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

A Visit to St. Michael’s Church, Charleston

15 St. Michaels, charleston

Sitting prominently on the corner of Broad and Meeting, across from the old Post Office building, St. Michael’s is the oldest church in Charleston.  Today’s church stands on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia.  It’s a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

In the 1680’s a small wooden church was built on this spot and named St. Philip’s. By 1727 the church had become too small for the growing congregation and a new larger church was built on Church Street, but it was destroyed by fire in 1835 and had to be replaced.

St. Michael’s Church, Charleston

By 1751, St. Philip’s was again too small for its flock so a larger structure — named St. …

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.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

St. Mary’s in the Mountain, Virginia City, Nevada

‘s in the Mountains

Virginia City is an interesting destination, being one of the best preserved “Wild West” towns I’ve ever visited.  Once a prosperous mining city, it was one of the largest communities in northwestern Nevada during the late 19th century.  Thousands of people flocked here when silver and gold were discovered in the Comstock, including many Irish Catholic immigrants.  Those of you who remember the popular television series, Bonanza, will remember that the Cartwrights frequently visited Virginia City to conduct their business.  They were not alone, as Virginia City provided services to local miners, ranchers and timber men. There’s lots to see in this old town, still a center of commerce but now catering mostly to tourists rather than locals.

I thought the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Malta

A Visit to Beautiful St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valetta

‘s Co-Cathedral, Valleta

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 …

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