“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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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

The Church of our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta, Argentina

Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemeteryand Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar tower  080

The historic and beautiful cathedral, Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar (The Church of Our Lady of Pilar), is situated in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta.  The church adjoins the famous Recoleta cemetery, which we’ve previously visited on this website.

Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Pilar is considered one of the most beautiful examples of Buenos Aires’ Colonial architecture.  It’s the city’s second oldest church and has retained its original altarpiece and icons.   The church is named in honor of the patron saint of the city of Zaragoza in Spain, and was completed in 1732.  Its original architect was a Jesuit, Andres Bianchi, and was built in conjunction with a convent of Franciscans.

Altarpiece, The Church of Our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta

Altarpiece, The Church of Our Lady of Pilar, Recoleta

The monks of Recoletos were expelled from …

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.All Trips / Europe / France

Saint Chapelle: A Kaleidoscope of Colors

02 Saint Chapelle

Not nearly as large, well-known or frequently visited as its big sister only a few blocks away (Notre-Dame Basilica), Sainte-Chapelle was hands down my favorite church in Paris.

Sainte-Chapelle (sant-shah-pel) is a truly magnificent site, in my opinion one of the best attractions in Paris.  Situated in Palace of Justice complex (under high security because it adjoins the French Supreme Court) on historic Ile de la Cite’, the island that birthed Paris, the Gothic Church was built by pious King Louis IX in the 13th century. The king had purchased priceless relics of the Passion (including the crown of thorns and a fragment of the cross) from the Byzantine emperor, and wanted an appropriate place to display these relics, …

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.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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“Pic of the Week”. July 18, 2014: St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk

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Small Cockburn Town, on the island of Grand Turk, is the capitol of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  A small sparsely populated island, we visited it one day during a Carribean cruise.

One building that caught my eye along Front Street, on the waterfront, was this small Anglican Church.  Built in 1899, and having survived hurricanes, it has a pleasing look.  With its fresh white-painted walls contrasted by its red shutters and trim, St. Mary the Virgin is a colorful landmark.  As I was snapping photos of the church, a horse-drawn carriage passed us.  A reminder that life on this island definitely moves at a slower pace.

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