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Catedral de Santa Eulalia
Cathedral of Barcelona
#About the Impressive Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona

The Cathedral of Barcelona, Cathedral of Saint Eulalia, is a large and impressive building, whose turrets are tall and decorated with decorations fitting the Gothic style of the 13th and 14th centuries. Around the cathedral is a protective thick and tall wall.

In the cathedral sits the Archbishop of the city. An Archbishop is an administrative title in Christianity, given to a bishop that stands at the head of provincial churches of a certain area. It was the third cathedral to be built in this place. Before it, two other ancient churches stood here, and before that the area was a pagan cult dedicated entirely to the Roman gods.

Today, many believers of all ages come to the cathedral. They drift to its size and power. The Catalan people and the religious residents of Barcelona, are still conducting religious ceremonies to this day.

On Sunday afternoons, you can come here and see the locals dancing the Sardana in the square before the cathedral - the traditional Catalonian dance. After visitors light a candle in the cathedral, they pray and take part in mass, then they will organize in big circles and dance the favorite dance.


#Architecture of the Cathedral

The cathedral is built in the Gothic style, a style that erupted around Europe in the Middle Ages. The prominent characteristics of the Gothic building are without a doubt the height of the cathedral, the sharp arches, the rounded twists and large windows. Inside the gloomy cathedral the vast wealth invested in the building can be felt. The columns inside reach 26 meters.

The cathedral is built of 28 chapels. The natural light floods the face of the cathedral

Under the cathedral floor are buried people, they can be identified according to symbols engraved on the floors. Notice the drawings of the baking plate with two rolls - the family symbol of a family of bakers buried here. In places where you will see the symbol of skulls, are likely buried here bodies of people who died from the plague that hit the city in 1348.

Even though it is ancient and has stood here for many years, the neo-Gothic exterior of the Cathedral was only created in the 19th century. During the first decade of the 21st century, it also went through another round of renovations. The scaffolding that accompanied the renovation, many steel pipes that helped support the building during the renovation, were removed only in 2012.



#Who Was Eulalia from Barcelona?

You were probably wondering about the meaning of the cathedral. The cathedral is dedicated to a saint that protects the city - the Eulalia from Barcelona. She lived during the Roman period, until she fell into Roman hands in 476. At the age of 13, Eulalia was an avid Christian believer. Even though the Emperor gave specific orders to leave the Christian faith in the Roman Empire, Eulalia refused, and she was given the death sentence. Roman soldiers stripped the girl naked and let her stand in the city square.

The Christian belief says that at this point snow started falling, and it covered the naked saint. The Roman soldiers were furious with anger and put her inside a barrel, that had knives sticking inside. They rolled the barrel down the street, hung her up on a cross, and finally, cut off her head. After her head was cut off, the terrible legend says, a dove flew from her neck to the sky.

In 1339 the body of Eulalia was moved to a gravesite inside the cathedral, in the ancient district of Barcelona. Eulalia, a young Christian lady, is remembered in the Barcelona streets, with statues of her around the city. Each year, on February 12, it is traditional to celebrate Eulalia's holiday.



#Entertainment

Come here on Sundays to see the Catalonians dancing the Sardana at the square in front of the cathedral. Starting at 12:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.



#Tips

The Christmas Market - each year it is set up in front of the cathedral, before Christmas, and visitors can experience the traditional Christmas, with hundreds of stalls, and a peek into the Christmas atmosphere.


Catalonians Dancing the Sardana Outside the Church:

https://youtu.be/slnGYnt4sXY
Monasterio de Pedralbes
Monastery of Pedralbes
#About the Medieval Monastery of Barcelona

Founded in 1327, the Monastery of Pedralbes (Monasterio de Pedralbes) is one of the most striking examples of the Gothic-Catalan style and will give you a magical glimpse into the life that took place here centuries ago.

The monastery was founded in 1326 by King James II of Aragon for his wife Elisenda de Montcada. Aragon was an autonomous community in northeastern Spain. The building was used by the Franciscan order, which consisted mainly of noble women. The Queen provided the convent with a series of privileges and rights. For Elisenda, a palace was also built in the monastery where she lived after her husband's death in 1327. Forty years later, she died there in 1367. The ruins of the palace were discovered in the 1970's.

During a deadly revolt (1640) the nuns were expelled, but later they returned. To this day, a small number of nuns still live in the compound. One of the charming rooms open to tourists is the queen's daily cabinate - the place where she studied, prayed, sewed and spent most of the day. The monastery was declared a national monument in 1991.

From 1993, the monastery became the home of the collection of paintings "Thyssen-Bornemisza." In the museum you can learn about the life stories of the nuns who lived here in the past. To see the furniture they used, the utensils, the sacred objects, the paintings, the sculptures, the documents and more. Today the museum presents collections from the History Museum of the City of Barcelona.

If you notice a broken floor, know that it was probably broken by a heavy cannon during Napoleon's conquest in 1809. The monastery was originally protected by a series of walls, but today there are only two towers and one gate.

You should also pay attention to the beautiful gardens outside the monastery and the fountain in the center of its yard.

A Closer Look at the Monastery:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps5wuPqXunc
Klementinum
Clementinum
#About the Impressive Religious University of the Jesuits

The Clementinum (Klementinum) is a Jesuit college, of the first in Bohemia. This is a complex of beautiful Baroque style buildings, spreading over 20 square kilometers. There are two churches, 3 chapels, a concert hall, a museum, and two impressive towers, one of them used to contain an observatory that was used by Johannes Kepler.

In the Clementinum are several wonderful concert halls, of the best in all of the Czech Republic.

As visitors, you can mainly walk around the garden areas. Entrance to the building is only allowed during a limited time - from the 20 of May for 4 days only.

If you cut across to th e sidewalk on the other side, you will be able to see the grotesque decorations on the Clementinum.



#History of the Clementinum

The story of the magnificent institution begins in the 16th century, when King Ferdinand I granted the territory to the Jesuits in order to restore the Czechs to the Catholic religion. The Jesuits began building the university of the Dominican convent of St. Clement. This is where the name of the institution comes from, that became a university.

The Jesuits also built an observatory here, where the pretty towers of the Clementinum are located. The well-known astronomer Johannes Kepler conducted many experiments here that were important and ground breaking.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/zYpK9OsUvH0



The Library, of the Prettiest in the World:

https://youtu.be/E8D-ARBXgU0
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
#About the Orthodox Cathedral of the City

Alongside the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, the central church in Varna, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is one of the most interesting churches in the city.

The Orthodox Church is located in Kirill Square and Methodius, about 300 meters west of the Archaeological Museum in Varna. It belongs to the stream of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Since it was inaugurated in 1886, at the time the highest place in the city, it is a landmark in the city. Nowadays it is also illuminated at night by a charming light.

In the early 1940s they completed the beautiful bell tower and designed the beautiful copper domes above it. In the church, too, the sights are beautiful. There you will see quite a few very impressive decorations and frescoes.

If you ascend the 133 steps to the top of the bell tower, you will have an excellent view of the surrounding Varna.


Easter near the church:

https://youtu.be/N9E3Exa6vO8


Inside:

https://youtu.be/ss6hJ_mWq2o


And a Church Wedding:

https://youtu.be/bVmUHr4Cdc0

Christianity

Ružica Church
Ružica Church
#About the Church with the Climbing Vegetation

The Ružica Church is easy to spot, mainly because of the plants that climb its walls from the outside. Indeed, the meaning of the name of this Orthodox Church is "Little Rose."

The Church of Ružica was built on the ruins of an ancient church of the same name that was damaged and destroyed by the Ottoman bombardments, when Belgrade was conquered in 1521. During World War I, the new church was also severely damaged, but it has since been restored.

Apart from the external beauty of the climbing vegetation covering its exterior walls and its unique construction, the frescoes that adorn the interior of the church can also be enjoyed in the Ružica Church.


#Tips

If you have the time, it is worth spending a little while strolling around the green park surrounding the beautiful church.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/gh01HLmJJlA


Inside:

https://youtu.be/xapzsYbYIgQ
San Luigi dei Francesi
Church of St. Louis of the French
#The French Church of Rome

It looks relatively modest on the outside, but very impressive inside - the Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi de Francesi). It is located near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Denis and the King of France, Louis IX, the patron saint of the Catholic Church.

In the church you can see statues and paintings of national heroes and saints such as Charlemagne, King Clovis, Saint Clotilde and more.

The church was built between 1518 and 1589. In 1527 the construction was put on hold due to a crisis in Rome, but it was eventually completed by the Queen of France Caterina de Medici and her generous financial aid.



#The Artwork in the Church

In the fifth chapel, also known as the Cappella Contarelli, you can see the three famous works of the painter Caravaggio, who was a prominent artist during the Renaissance Era. Despite his turbulent life and being the murderous painter of art history, Caravaggio, who in 1906 escaped from Rome after killing a man in a fight, left his artwork in the city and fled.

In the three works on the walls of the church painted between 1598 and 1601, you will learn about the life of Saint Matteo. Above the altar is the work "The Muse of St. Matthew" and on the wall you can see the "Martyrdom of St. Matthew."

The works are characterized by many colors, detailed realism, a play between light and shadow which was innovative at the time. These artworks also created some resistance, for church leaders thought that the realism of the works indicated a lack of respect for the religion.

Apart from Caravaggio, you can also see works by other artists: Cavalier d'Arpino and more.

A recommended continuation route from the church is a visit to the famous square of Rome, Piazza Navona, the bustling square of the city.



#About Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the Murderer Artist

Yes, he was a revolutionary artist, one of the most talented painters in history, a genius with an innovative and groundbreaking artistic conception and yet ... a murderer.

Caravaggio was a man of many components and faces. On the one hand he was a violent character, a chronic drinker and drunk, who eventually murdered someone. However on the other hand, he was one of the greatest artists, a man of strong religious faith, whose paintings express an unprecedented emotion, a painter of incredibly precise detail, whose groundbreaking art depicted biblical scenes and stories of Christian saints drawn in the form of ordinary people.

Caravaggio painted his paintings on large, impressive canvases. The church did not really like his paintings, especially the religious paintings. However, wealthy Italians loved and acquired his powerful and polished paintings, which showed a great deal of passion.

In his paintings "The Call to Matthew" and the "Crucifixion of St. Peter," one can see its prominent characteristics: sharp realism, games and contrasts of light and shadow, as well as the genius of using color and placing figures and objects in space. Caravaggio chose carefully what details to emphasize in the light in his paintings and unique models.

Although he died in 1610 and at the young age of 39 years old, his influence on the history of art is enormous. Not many painters have influenced, for so long, the art of painting. Many artists have been influenced by him. Catholic painters from Utrecht in the Netherlands, who in the 17th century went to study in Rome and were known as "Caravagists of Utrecht", admired him along with the great masters such as Rubens, Vermeer, Velazquez and Rembrandt.

In 1606, at the height of his career in Rome, Caravaggio was involved in a fight and killed a man. He ran quickly to found a new patron in Naples and later in Malta. Two years later, he was thrown out of there as well because of his involvements in more fights. After Malta he moved to Sicily and his paintings, like his life, became gradually darker and more shadowed. His moods worsened, he even used a sword to slash paintings that received negative feedback.

The researchers estimate that when he returned to Naples, he was apparently the victim of an attack that injured him and caused severe infection. He must have tried to return to Tuscany, in order to gain forgiveness for his crimes in Rome. It is not clear exactly when and where his life was abruptly put to an end.

It is not only the life story of the "killer painter" that caused great controversy and curiosity; his death was also a mystery. His turbulent character, evident in his paintings, often entangled him in fights, and in the end, perhaps led to his death.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, named after his hometown in Italy, was considered the pioneer of the baroque style which developed in Europe in the period following his death. He was a genius who was ahead of his time and even hundreds of years after his death. He continued to influence great painters, but inside was a man who was haunted, violent, psychotic, perverse and complicated.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4oGQlR293U
Santa Maria in Trastevere
Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere
#About the Church

One of the most ancient important churches in Rome is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Santa Maria in Trastevere). The meaning of the name is "Saint Mary of Trastevere." It is located in the Trastevere district, built around the year 340 AD and was the first to have Christian religious ceremonies and open mass ceremonies held inside it.

The current structure was built in the 12th century. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times before. Therefore, it is possible to see elements from different periods in this stunning building. The Popes invested in it quite a lot and transferred many art objects, such as columns from the baths of Caracalla.

The statue of Madonna and Baby is in the Church on top of the tower, as well as fresco drawings on the wall - these are impressive frescoes.

Pay particular attention to mosaics located in various places in the church. On the one side of the basilica there are mosaics from the 13th and 14th centuries, depicting Mary's life. There are those in Apsis during the years 1140 to 1143, and those on the top of the window under Apsis including "Scenes from the life of Mary" telling the story of the Holy Trinity by the painter Pietro Cavallini dating to 1291.

Pay attention to the inscription on the "Bishop's Chair." This inscription indicates that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary. However this fact is historically wrong - the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was also dedicated to Mary, was established before this one...
La Almudena
La Almudena
#About the Cathedral that Took 350 Years to Build

Don't let the neo-Gothic style of the La Almudena Cathedral, and the neo-Classical style of the facade scare you off. This cathedral was inaugurated by the pope in 1993. Even though this building began being built almost 120 years before, in the 19th century. The construction took until the end of the 20th century for historic events like the Civil War and the Franco Dictatorship.

The roots of this cathedral are impressive, at least in the ideas of its construction, which already back in the 16th century. History teaches that already in 1518 the King of Spain Carlos I meant to build the cathedral.

It took 350 years until the beginning of construction, and almost another 120 until construction was finalized. It is named after the Virgin Mary, the patron of the city of Madrid, since in 712 a photo of the Virgin was found in the city walls. This was moments before the invasion of the Arabs to Spain. The name of the church comes from the name La Almudena, meaning city walls.


#Architecture of the Cathedral

The outside style of the cathedral La Almudena has been changed throughout the years, to fit the look of the Royal Palace next to it. By looking closely you can see the combination between the entrance gates, that remind of the gates from the Castilian fortresses, and the decorated bronze door, that has clear neo-Gothic influences and symbols.

With its outside beauty, a visit inside is not necessary. If you still walked in, look up and try to find the hexagrams in the Star of David shape on the ceiling. Historians still do not know how Jewish symbols came to be here, that were added from the original design.

In the cathedral, 104 meters long and 76 meters wide, there is a dome with a diameter of 20 meters. The design inside is modern and modest, especially in comparison to other richer ancient churches. This did not stop the heir to the Spanish throne in 2004 to get married here.



#Tips

If you want a viewpoint of the city view, go no the top balcony that is under the cathedral dome.

During the summer months, its worth it to visit here during the hot hours and enjoy an escape from the heat, in the cool cathedral.


A Closer Look at La Almudena Cathedral:

https://youtu.be/NTTB9mhCXwA


Sacre-Coeur Basilica
Sacred Heart Basilica
#About the Sacre Coeur - The Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Ever since the Romans days, Montmartre, which is now a lively entertainment area, is associated with worship. The Gallic Druids saw it as a sacred site and the Romans built there temples dedicated to Mars and Mercury. In the 19th century, during the difficult war between France and Prussia, when Paris was in one of the lowest moments in its history, when the siege and hunger were unbearable, two of the city's residents vowed that if Paris were saved from the German blockade, they would set up a church on the top of the holy hill - dedicated to the holy heart of Jesus. This is also the reason the basilica is called the "national vow."

The construction of the Church in question, Sacred Heart Basilica (Sacre-Coeur Basilica) was the responsibility of Paul Abadi, who won the competition for its construction. The church was built in direct partnership with the government of the Third Republic and was funded by France as part of a national fund. The construction was completed at the beginning of the twentieth century, but because of World War I it was not officially inaugurated until 1919.

The church's impressive dome is the second highest point in Paris. To get to its famous balcony you must climb many stairs or ride a cable car. But despite the effort, the climb is worth it.



#The Architecture of the Sacre-Coeur

The Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which is large and impressive, is seen by many as a huge wedding cake. It was built in a Byzantine-Romanesque style. The basilica was constructed from travertine, which contains a material that ensures that the structure will remain white, will not be affected by the weather and will be noticeable from many points in the city. The basilica has 4 domes, the main one being 80 meters high. It includes a large number of windows that bring lots of natural light into entirety of the church.

The main hall is 100 meters long and 50 meters wide.

The entrance of the basilica is especially impressive. Above the main entrance there are two guards, two horsemen, who are religious and national symbols of France - Joan of Arc and Louis Lepre.

Inside the church, in the choir area, is a huge mosaic describing Jesus and the Sacred Heart. On his left side stand Michael and the Virgin from Orleans and on the right, King Louis the 16th and his family. The interior of the basilica is built in the shape of a Greek cross and is decorated with amazing mosaics, which are located on the roof of the apse, the semicircular niche on the eastern wall of the classical basilicas. The largest mosaic in France is located there, covering 475 square meters.

Other unique points in the church include France's largest bell and one of the largest in the world (18.5 tons). The bell is located in the square tower. The church also has a very impressive organ, which sounds great.


#Detective Mission

Try to find the decorated mosaic of the Star of David in the basilica.


#Religion and Tourism in the Basilica

The basilica was built in 1870, after the hard war between the French and the Prussians. After France's defeat in the war, the political upheavals from within and from the outside drove the nation into a terrible depression. Groups of Catholic believers fed up with the atheist spirit of France set themselves the goal of building a spectacular church on Montmartre Hill, which would be a symbol of renewed hope and repentance.

Despite the declaration of construction as a "public benefit" taking place in 1873, the construction itself only began three years later, and out of the 78 plans submitted to the committee, the one chosen belonged to architect Paul Abadi. The construction wasn't fast enough, was filled with problems and difficulties that caused the whole project to be delayed.

In 1919 the church was opened to the faithful, that saw it as a place of religious and patriotic identification as one.

The church is a focal point for many tourist to this day, especially in the spring and summer months. These tourists sit on the wide stairs leading to the church and use them to view the magnificent view of Paris, that opens in front of them from the hilltops.



#Joan of Arc

At the entrance of the basilica stands a statue of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), the French general who was executed when she was only 19 years old. Joan of Arc was the one who led the resistance for the liberation of France from the English occupation during the Hundred Years War, in the 15th century. In a heroic struggle she led the French army to war against mighty England.

The devout Catholic girl was hearing voices in her head since her childhood. In order to convince her that she, a villager, has been chosen by God to lead France, she came for a meeting with King Charles, went straight to his room, and in a series of quick tests proved her supernormal abilities and "her connection with God." King Charles gave her the army and in a series of brilliant battles, dressed in male clothing, she broke the blockade on the city of Orleans and brought about the surrender of the English. She conquered the city Reims and formally crowned Charles as the rightful king of France, also under the law.

The young maiden proved to be a brilliant general when she realized that the English were always victorious because of the great battles they fought. Therefore, she replaced the French army's poor war tactics with superior guerilla warfare tactics and repeatedly defeated the British with her soldiers. However, after being injured 3 times, she was captured and sent to the English. After a long trial conducted by the church she was declared guilty of witchcraft, of connections with Satan, and of other offenses.

Joan of Arc was sentenced to death by fire. Legend has it that an English soldier who was present at the execution cried in horror, "Oh the holiness we burned!"

In 1456, a couple years after the execution, a retrial was made for Joan of Arc. The verdict of the trial was a total acquittal and "Miss Orleans" became an official national heroin of France. In 1920, the Catholic Church also declared her as a saint and finally recognized the greatness of the young girl.



#About the Basilica

The Sacred Heart Basilica was built at the end of the 19th century in an attempt to atone for the sins of France, which led, according to popular belief, to the defeat of the French against the Prussians in 1871.

Because of the style of the basilica, a combination of Neo-Romanesque influences with neo-Byzantine elements, not many Parisians will say that the structure is refined and beautiful in their eyes. However, over the years the basilica became a wanted and popular sight in the French capital skyline.

If you stand in front of the church, you will see the whole center of Paris spread in front of you. On a bright day you can even notice statues and other points of interests in the city. You will probably find the Montparnasse Tower with its 56 floors, that much before its establishment, bohemian and avant-garde people would walk there in the Montparnasse district. They did so after abandoning Montmartre, in the post-World War I period.

If you agree to climb more that 230 stairs to the dome of Sacre Coeur, you get to enjoy a spectacular view. You may buy the entry tickets to the dome in the entrance to the chapel.

A staircase leads from the basilica to the bottom of the hill. You can also go down through a Funicular - a tiny cable train.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g799q-jMls
Sainte-Chapelle
#About the Church
Sainte-Chapelle is a Gothic church located in the Ile de la Cité in Paris. Small and intimate, beautiful and exciting, you will find the most beautiful glass windows in Paris. Note the floor of the lower hall, which is made of tombstones that are located below it.

Go from the lower hall to the upper hall there will be a few steps. In the upper hall you will discover the oldest and most beautiful stained glass windows in Paris, dating back to the 13th century. These windows, made of glass, display more than 1,000 scenes from the Old and New Testaments, covering a total area of ​​618 square meters.

During the Middle Ages, the believers imagined the place to be the Gate of Heaven, and not by accident - the narrow Gothic columns, 15 meters high, the vaulted ceilings, the stars, the colors and the game with the sun's rays that bring in the light of day, make the place enchanting and exciting.

In the upper chapel you will find the glass windows and impressive wooden sculptures. Look for the Round Rose Window. It is called "Rosetta" and describes the vision of the End of Days. The church's organ, incidentally, is the largest in France and has 6,100 pipes.

This church is especially busy during the afternoons and weekends, but this is not excuse to miss a visiting here. Masses are no longer held here, but you will notice that there are frequent concerts.



#History
The church was built by Louis IX, the king of France, after acquiring the crown of thorns of Jesus and decided to build a royal chapel in order to store it. This was at a time when nobles used to steal holy remain and the king feared for the safety of the item. The church was built between 1242-1248 and cost 40,000 pounds.

The construction of the chapel presents Louis IX's ambition to make France an important Christian kingdom. Just as the emperor could pass privately from his palace to the Basilica of the Hagia Sophia, Louis was able to move directly between his palace and Saint Chapelle. In 1297 the church granted Louis IX the status of a Christian saint.

Originally, the lower chapel was built for the residents of the royal palace - servants and ordinary peasants, while the royal chapel above it was used by the royal family.

During the French Revolution, the chapel was used as an administrative office. The windows were hidden in cupboards full of folders. Because of this, the windows were not damaged, unlike the other elements - benches and wooden screens completely destroyed. The turret was then destroyed, and the remains of the holy items disappeared.

In the 19th century Sainte-Chapelle was restored and the turret was rebuilt, beginning in 1862, the church is now considered a national historical monument.


#Sainte-Chapelle Architecture
Although the Church is considered small and intimate, it has always been particularly prominent. It is 33 meters long, 17 meters wide and 76 meters high.

One of the most prominent and most beautiful objects are the stained-glass windows made of the finest materials. The windows are installed inside very delicate stonework.

Most of the church is built in the Gothic style, a style that began to develop in Paris during its construction, but during the 15th century a rose window was added, which is a large round window. It is decorated in the style of flames to the western front.

Above the church you will see a cone-shaped turret, rebuilt in 1853 at a height of 75 meters.


#Tips
Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.


A Closer Look at the Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0SfaD034X0&t=86s
Notre-Dame Cathedral
#About the Cathedral

The famous Notre-Dame Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Paris), one of the highlights of Gothic architecture, attracts thousands of tourists every year. Its name means "Our Lady's Cathedral," named for Maria, the mother of Jesus. Many kings were crowned and married in this cathedral, among them Napoleon.

The construction of the cathedral began in 1163 and ended about 200 years later, around 1345. You can see a variety of sculptures, but look especially for the "marginal sculpture." Pay attention to the monstrous and imaginary figures placed at the ends of the rain gutters, figures that symbolize the evil and the questioning and provide a glimpse into the world of the people of the Middle Ages.

After the French Revolution, the beautiful Cathedral was neglected, then in 1831 the building served as a background for the famous work of Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After the publication of Hugo's book, the French began to rehabilitate it. This was also the time when the famous gargoyles were added, who to this day are kneeling on the cathedral and making mocking faces at visitors.

Gargoyles are statues that were very common in Gothic architecture. These statues were usually used as decorative water gutters. They were always placed on the roof of the Gothic buildings, as decorated marshes. Interestingly they were designed as demon-like monsters or dragons, monsters who turn outwardly to frighten passers-by who stand at the foot of the building.

The cathedral is located in Notre Dame Square, on the Ile de la Cité, the island which is the historical starting point from which Paris developed. Geographers refer to the cathedral as the zero point from which distances are measured all over France. You can see the metal plate of the "zero point" in the square in front of the church.



#A small detective mission for children

Find the metal plate "zero point" in front of the church square, then explain to the rest of the family its meaning.



#The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The combination of one of the most respected writers in history, with one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities in our world, is a winning combination. Victor Hugo, who lived in Paris, incorporated the building as the central setting for all his works, and therefore this magical city is full of sites connected to him, his work and creations. The novel the Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of the greatest novels of its period, was published in 1831. The book has stirred up many generations of readers with a fascinating and powerful plot.

At the center of the plot is none other than the amazing cathedral where you are at these very moments. However, contrary to reality, in the book the building is located in the slums of Paris. The cathedral is the residence of a stern and severe Catholic priest, Claude Frollo, who adopts an abandoned child, whom he calls Quasimodo. Quasimodo is a distorted, deaf hunchback whose duty it will be to ring the church bells.

The novel is about the love story of Quasimodo the hunchback to Esmeralda, a Gypsy dancer. It is an epic story, full of beauty and sadness, that describes human suffering with strength and compassion. After Quasimodo is accused of trying to kidnap Esmeralda, he is tortured in front of all the city's residents. Whoever rescued him would be none other than Esmeralda herself. Priest Frollo, who is also in love with the dancer Esmeralda himself, tries to overcome the torments of his love and jealousy and plots an evil plan that will lead to the tragic development of the novel.

Hugo wrote the book after discovering in the bell tower a Greek inscription meaning "necessary / must" and was curious to know who wrote the inscription. Hugo's goal in writing the book was to present the treasures of the cathedral to the public at large, after the mass destruction of the cathedral during the French Revolution, which he saw as the symbol of power.



#Changes in the Cathedral

The decision to build the Notre Dame Cathedral was made by the local bishop who decided to establish a complex for the kings of Europe, in the classical Gothic church style - that is, a tall, illuminated, decorated church. The ambitious architectural design made it so a large number of architects were involved in the construction work that began in 1163 and ended about two hundred years later, around 1345.

Over the years, the original structure of the cathedral was damaged. During the French Revolution, the place was heavily damaged - the heads of the statues at the front and above the gates were "beheaded." All bells were melted down for use during the height of the weapon industry. The building itself was then used as a food storehouse. Kings as well tried to make their mark in the place over the years, adding rooms and renovating corners. Other minor damages were caused to the structure during the various world wars that severely hit it, but the structure retained more or less its original shape and is very similar to the structure that stood here during the Middle Ages.



#Saint Denis

All of Paris knows the image of Saint Denis, with his decapitated head, above the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral. It is told that the Romans had shaved his head, Saint Denis didn't even notice and carried his decapitated head in his hands ... Another statue of the saint is found in the Museum of the Middle Ages also located in Paris. But who was he?

Saint Denis, by his full name Dionysius, was a Christian saint of the 3rd century CE, who was the first Bishop of Paris. Dionysius was sent by Pope Fabianus to rebuild the Christian community in Paris. He built a church here, on an island on the Seine, and converted many residents to Christianity. But the Roman governor's mother-in-law took a stance against him, and the governor ordered to imprison Dionysius and his two companions, torment them, and decapitate them immediately.

Legend has it that after his head was cut off, Saint Denis lifted it off the ground and began to walk away, carrying his head and preaching to those around him. A few kilometers north of Montmartre (where this event was carried out), he met a Roman Catholic noblewoman, put his head in her hands and collapsed. The Basilica of Saint-Denis was built in the place where Dionysius collapsed, and this place became the burial grounds for the kings of France.



#The Notre Dame Church's Organ

An organ is a large keyboard instrument (in fact it is the world's largest instrument), producing a shuddering sound of air, unlike other keyboard instruments that produce sound from shaking strings. The sound in the organ is produced using air blowing through the tubes.

In the Notre Dame Cathedral organs have been installed since the building was first built, and today there are three organs - the large organ, the oldest of the cathedral's organs and installed under the window of the western Rosetta. There is the choir organ (a 30-year-old organ that was installed in the 19th century), and a mobile organ, whose purpose is to accompany the choir and singers.

The first organ was installed in the 18th century by Cliquot. Some of the original pipes by Cliquot are still being used today, more than 270 years after they were installed for the first time. The organ was renovated and almost completely rebuilt in the 19th century. At the beginning of 1989 another renovation was made that was finalized in 1992.

The big organ in the cathedral has 7,800 pipes, 900 of which are considered historical. There are 109 rows, 5 full rows with 56 keys each, and a pedal keyboard with 32 pedals.


The person who plays the organ in the Notre Dame Cathedral is considered one of the most lucrative and sought after positions in France.


#Tips
Free entry of the first Sunday of the month, from November to end of March.

Free for Under 18 and under 26 from the European Union.


A Closer Look at the Cathedral:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGqyo5rn1Tk
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin
#About Varna's Magnificent Cathedral

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is one of the most impressive and beautiful in Bulgaria and one of the symbols of the city of Varna. From almost every corner of the city the church's golden domes can be seen.

The magnificent cathedral is located in Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius Square in the center of the city. The cathedral is dedicated to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, patron of Bulgaria. In this orthodox cathedral sits Varna's bishop.

This is the largest cathedral in Varna, and the third-largest in all of Bulgaria. Its construction began at the end of the 19th century, and was inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century. Pretty fast the cathedral became the beautiful symbol of the city.

The cathedral is beautiful on the inside and out. Its magnificent façade draws visitors inside into the equally beautiful church. Pay close attention to the impressive frescoes, the magnificent stained glass windows, and the wonderfully beautiful icons.

Even in the early evening it is worth passing by the cathedral and seeing its wonderful lighting, even more impressive than the church's look during the day.


#History of the Cathedral

The cornerstone of the cathedral in Varna was laid in 1880 by the Bulgarian prince Alexander of Battenberg. The cathedral was designed in inspiration of the famous Peterhof Temple in St. Petersburg.

Even before the Ottoman conquest, Christianity was recognized as an official religion in the Bulgarian Empire and the construction of the cathedral was an important stage in the return of Christianity to the city of Varna, a city that was once considered one of the largest religious centers in the whole Bulgarian Empire.

This was the revival of Christianity in Bulgaria after the liberation of the Ottomans, the conquerors of the Bulgarian Empire, who destroyed some of the churches, and turn the rest into mosques.

During the late 19th century and early 20th century the impressive cathedral was built, and was inaugurated in the first half of the 20th century. It quickly became clear that, in addition pilgrims of devout Christianity who flocked to it, it became a focal point of interest for architectural enthusiasts, many came from far away to admire its beauty and its magnificent and invested architecture.

In the middle of the century, many resources were invested in its magnificent interior decoration.


#What to Pay Attention to Here?

From outside the cathedral you can admire the beautiful golden domes, as well as the bell tower. This tower, at a height of 38 meters, visitors can climb the 133 spiral steps leading to a wonderful view, which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

The main attractions in the cathedral are the impressive bishop chair, as well as the three magnificent altars, magnificent stained glass windows, well-preserved beautiful windows, beautiful artistic frescoes and iconostasis, an icon area full of the icon and popular in many churches - the collection of Christian saints here is particularly beautiful.


#Tips

Entrance is free.

It is worth walking up the 133 steps to the cathedral's bell tower for a spectacular view of the city. From here you will see the panoramic and surprisingly beautiful landscape of the city of Varna.

Opening hours: 8:00 am -6:00 pm all week long.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/CCvFYzk64oU
Temple Church
#About the Church

The rounded Temple Church was established in the 12th century in London and its impressive presence lent its name to the entire region. The round church is 16.7 meters in diameter and supported by marble pillars. It was first inaugurated in 1185.

Originally, the purpose of the church was to serve as Templar headquarters, a military order that operated during the Crusades. The Templars required a large site where they could meet. They purchased the area on which the church was located for this purpose. Buildings were erected to serve the Order: a training area, residential and leisure areas. The Knights Templar fell in the 14th century and the church became the property of the kingdom.

In 1215, negotiations were held between the nobles and King
John over the signing of the Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties. In the 14th century, after the fall of the order, the land of the church became the property of the kingdom and since then it has been the center of two of London's law offices.

Unbeknown to most, the circular structure of the church was designed in connection with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher located in the capital of Israel, Jerusalem. Graves in the church are of many familiar people, among them William Marshall and King John.

The church was completely destroyed during World War II and in the Great Fire of London in 1941, but it was renovated and restored in 1958.



#About the Magna Carta

There is no other historical symbol of the rule of law, human rights and democracy more iconic than the Magna Carta. It was a scroll that the English King John was forced to sign in 1215, by his barons, owners of great estates, who decided to limit king's unrestricted power. In a meeting between the king and his barons, his hand was forced to sign a waiver on his ownership of the noble lands. Although the 40 landlords forced him to sign, in order to avoid a situation where the king could blame a noble Baron who sinned and then confiscate his land or transfer it to another nobleman, this was the first time in history where constitutional monarchy was created and landowner rights were agreed upon.

Important principles that we now recognize as basic principles in civilized countries stemmed from the historical signature of the Magna Carta. For example, the fact that "no one is above the law" means that a king is not authorized to do as he pleases. He cannot attack other countries and then impose taxes on his citizens in order to finance these military expeditions. The same decision that a king cannot impose taxes at his will not only a financial matter - it is the basis of the rule of law, which was later established as a cornerstone of democracy.

The Magna Carta led to the establishment of parliaments and legislatures. Those fortunate enough to be voted in by the people are to represent the citizens and preserve their rights. The paramount right of due process – a fair trial and consequent punishment which can only be carried out after the accused has been found guilty. Furthermore, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to a fair trial are all principles born of this signature and have since become the rights of all citizens. It should be noted that in the Middle Ages, they were only intended for nobility. Today, all democratic states, starting from the American Revolution and other democracies declared since then, draw from the International Magna Carta declaring a demand for freedom and the protection of human rights for every person in the world.



A Closer Look at the Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD3zles4Hlg&t=52s
Vatican City
#About the Small Country That's Inside a City

In the miniature country, the smallest in the world - the Vatican City (Status Civitatis Vatican), has everything a self-respecting state should have: a flag, an anthem, a government, a radio station, a store and a newspaper.

The state also has its own religious laws. Its total area is 400 square kilometers and less than 1,000 citizens live in its territory, all of them religious figures. The Vatican City serves as the center of Catholic Christianity in the world. This is also why, by the way, there are quite a few interesting religious sites to visit: St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square, the Vatican Gardens and of course the Sistine Chapel.

Do not missunderstand, even though the pope is a sort of "prime minister" of Vatican City, this area is considered part of Rome. Though of course the Pope has everything he needs here-a house, churches, and offices.



#Art at the Vatican

The Vatican City is home to many works of art, and now houses the richest art collection in the world. St. Peter's Basilica, for example, is an outstanding architectural masterpiece from the Renaissance. In the Sistine Chapel you can see the frescoes and ceilings, the most spectacular ever created. Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Cosimo Roselli are just a small part of the great and famous artists who left their mark in the tiny country, the Papal State, Vatican City. This is also why in 1984 UNESCO declared this country a World Heritage Site.



#Being Photographed with Soldiers of the Swiss Guard

Children would be happy at a sneak peek, and especially to be photographed with the Vatican's Swiss guards. They can be identified by their unique uniforms. Some say that Michelangelo designed these uniforms, but it is worth knowing that this is a mistake. Actually it was the artist Rafael who influenced the uniforms. This was not done directly, but through Rafael's great influence on fashion during the Renaissance.

#Tips

Arrive here as early as possible, especially during tourist season. Otherwise it gets very crowded.


A Closer Look at the Vatican:

https://youtu.be/yliqnxm8xZs

Another look:

https://youtu.be/aodoRxRtg2o
San Bernardino alle Ossa
#The Church with the Skull Chapel

The Church of San Bernardino alle Ossa, in the center of Milan, is a church known for the unique and chilling design of its chapel.

The walls of this chapel are decorated with hundreds of human skulls and bones of unknown origin. The assumption is that they came from a hospital that was located near the church and that some of them may have belonged to the criminals who were sentenced to death.

Myths, legends, and conspiracy theories connect these bones to the illegitimate children of young women from local noble families. Another theory links them to tortured Christian martyrs who were executed.
The basilica itself is built in the form of an octagon. It was built in the 12th century, at around 1145 AD, and was restored over the years. The main renovation was done in the 17th century.

It is characterized by decorations from different periods, from Baroque decorations to Rococo motifs. The niches and the doors of the basilica, for example, are decorated with Rococo style, and in them, the motif of skulls and bones is also incorporated.

The church contains a variety of frescoes made over the centuries. These are frescoes that were painted here during the period between the 16th and the 18th centuries. These frescoes usually describe various saints whose stories appear in the New Testament. One of them also includes St. Ambrose, the patron of the city of Milan and who served as the bishop of Milan. Saint Ambrose is also known here as one who did not shrink from the fear of the Roman emperors and succeeded in establishing the church's control over their secular rule and the Roman Empire.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/lCEB8vPBAfs
Santa Maria delle Grazie
#The Basilica of da Vinci's Last Supper

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is an impressive basilica famous for having one of the most famous paintings in the history of art and the world – Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.

The painting is a prime tourist attraction, but the basilica itself is also worth the visit, as the basilica is a masterpiece of the famous Renaissance architect Donato Bramante. While its interior is full of bright lights and constitutes a real triumph of harmony, on the outside, it is gently carved. Its nave was built in a Gothic style.

The impressive dome built above the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is also one of the finest works of the Italian Renaissance. All these made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



#Tips

The entrance to the basilica is free. Payment is only for entering and viewing the "Last Supper," which is in a separate building.

The entrance to see the painting is for 25 visitors at a time. So, it is necessary to book tickets to look at the painting a few months before the visit here. See the tag of the Last Supper.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/QS66rVYl_Ts



Another Look:

https://youtu.be/QUFWEAAC19c
Berlin Cathedral Church
#About the Berliner Dom - Berlin's First Cathedral

The Berlin Cathedral Church, Berliner Dom, Berlin's Evangelist Cathedral, is an impressive cathedral, that once was more impressive. Today's structure is a partial reconstruction of the ‘Dom’ that was built at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries by the brilliant church builder Julius Karl Rachdorf. He built it at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II, in a style that was then called "historicism."

The height of the main building, from the ground to the top of the golden cross at its top, was 114 meters. The octagon preaching church contained 2,100 seating places. The ‘Dom’ was actually the base for two churches, with its southern wing being the Church of Baptism and Faith, and in the northern wing the Church of Burial and Remembrance.

Because of to its proximity to the royal palace, the ‘Dom’ over the years became the church of the court and the burial site of the Hohenzollern rulers.

The bombings over Berlin in World War II destroyed the ‘Dom,’ and only in 1975 was it rebuilt, without the northern wing, and significantly reducing the height of the main building to 98 meters. Funding for the renovation was given by the German government, with contributions from all Evangelical churches in Germany. The reconstructed building was inaugurated in 1993, and six years later returned to display the Hohenzollern tombs.

Among the 90 tombs, one can see the sarcophagi of the greatest Prussian kings of the last 500 years, such as Frederick II (Frederick the Great) buried in the garden of his palace in Potsdam, or Queen Sophie Charlotte, wife of his father, Frederick I.

The Berliner Dom is located on the island of Shapere, east of Lustgarten and southeast of Museum Island.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyV9mPOTlsQ


French Cathedral
#About the French Cathedral

The French Cathedral (Französischer Dom) in Gendarmenmarkt Square is an inactive Protestant church. It was established between the years 1701-1705, for the Huguenot community of Berlin. The Huguenots were French Protestants - Calvinists, fleeing from their country and found refuge in Prussia, at the beginning of the 18th century.

During World War II, the cathedral was destroyed and was rebuilt only in the 1980’s.

A great advantage of the cathedral is the magnificent observation from its upper section, to reach it one must climb 524 steps. Feel free to buy a good bottle of wine and enjoy the breathtaking view!



#Tips

It is not as tall as the nearby TV tower, but the French Cathedral can is a great substitute if lines for the TV tower are too long.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/6Q8l6_hhQWs
Agios Nikolaos Ragavas
#About the Byzantine Church with the Freedom Bells of Athens

The Agios Nikolaos Ragavas is a Byzantine Chapel from the 11 century, located in the northern end of the Acropolis, on the higher side of the Epimarchou.

Agios Nikolos Ragavas is used as the background to many couple's photos for their weddings. At the front of the church are columns that, in architecture speak, have a secondary use, meaning they were taken from other destroyed buildings throughout the years.

In this church was installed the first church bell in Athens, right after the liberation from the Turkish occupation. From here, the bells were first heard in 1833, to announce the liberation and freedom from the Turks.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/sBXSSleFml8
Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
#About One of the Oldest Churches in Athens

In the center of Ermou Street, the main shopping street of Athens, is the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea, also called simply Kapnikarea.

The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea is a Greek-Orthodox Church built in the 11th century, around the year 1050, over the ruins of an ancient Greek temple. The building over the ancient Greek temple is not accidental. This was very common for Christian churches being built at that time period. Here the church was built over a Pagan temple that was dedicated to a Greek goddess, probably either Athena or Demeter.

This fact did not help the church to be built any faster. It was completed only in the 13th century about 200 years after construction began.

In an ironic turn of events, this church owes its existence to foreigners who have forbidden the Greeks to destroy it. This happened when King Otto brought a Bavarian architect, Leo von Klenze, to plan a new plan for the city of Athens. The church was then set to be demolished. It was ironically the king of Bavaria, Ludwig I, who opposed the decision and saved the church.

It seems that originally the Kapnikarea Church was a catholicon, the main church of the Orthodox Christian monastery. Mostly, the catholicon is placed in the center of the monastery. According to tradition, it was common to pray here only once a day, and secondary churches or chapels were built in the monasteries, where they prayed the rest of the prayers during the day.

The Kapnikarea was the most southern and large church of the two original buildings. It is shaped like a square cross topped with a dome. It is dated based on morphological criteria, to the second half of the 11th century.

Today, the Kapnikarea is built of 3 sections

a) The original southern church, dedicated to Mary.

b) The Chapel of Saint Barbara on the northern side.

c) The exonarthex, the typical lobby entrance to Byzantine churches, with a propylon, an entrance gate towards the west.



#Tips

The church is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. The rest of the days the church is only open until 2:00 pm.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/9j8QqxzkMZE


A Breakdance:

https://youtu.be/6DXQIlgAC4Y
St. Hach Armenian Church
#About the Ancient Armeninan Church in the City

The many Christian sects in Bulgaria and Burgas, gives visitors the opportunity to see the variety of beauty and architectural creations from the history of the city.

The St. Hach Orthodox Armenian Church (Surp Hach) was built in 1853 by the members of the Armenian community in the city, in the same place where once a church stood in the 17th century. This is a cultural meeting point in the city, and one of the oldest religious sites in Burgas.

The St. Hach Armenian Church, located along Aleksandrovska Street, right behind the tall Bulgaria hotel, where the large casino sits.

From an architectural point of view, the St. Hach Armenian Church is an impressive building, full of beauty and built in a different style from other Orthodox churches in the city. Be sure not to miss a visit to the inside of the church, it is especially beautiful from the inside.

At a small garden across the church you can see the monument for the victims of the Armenian people.

In 1878 at a ceremony at the St. Hach Church the Russian General Lermontov participated, the one who liberated the area from the Ottoman rule. The road where the church stands is named after the general today.



#Tips

Be sure to come here dressed modestly.

Entrance is free of charge.

After a visit here you can cross the street and get a drink at an authentic Armenian cafe.

Opening hours are daily between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.


Enter the Atmosphere:

https://youtu.be/TK2DBedCxQo
Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius
Church of Santa Anna
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
San Francisco el Grande
San Jeronimo el Real


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.