.All Trips / Europe / Italy

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

00 Church of San Maurizo, Milan

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).

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan


There are two parts to the church.  When you …

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.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

St. Andrews-on-the-Red, Manitoba

St Andrew’s Anglican Church 00

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 …

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“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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