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Sainte-Chapelle
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 de Paris
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
Biserica Stavropoleos
Stavropoleos Monastery
#About the Stavropoleos Monastery

The Orthodox Church in which you are was built in 1724 in a Brankovina architectural style. Although it is not particularly large, its beauty attracts quite a bit of attention.

The Stavropoleos Monastery (Biserica Stavropoleos) was founded during the reign of the prince of Wallachia, Nicolae Mavrocordat. A devout Christian, he built the church and abbey that once stood here in the courtyard of his inn. After he died, in 1742, he was buried in the church he had built, he was 61 years of age.

Over the years, the church itself has suffered quite a bit. Contributing to this were earthquakes, which led to the collapse of the dome. More and more destruction caused only the church itself to survive.

The paintings on the walls of the church were also damaged and restored only in the early 20th century, with the construction of the new building, designed by architect Ion Mincu. This building now has a library and conference room.

In addition to religious worship, the church is also engaged in the reconstruction of ancient icons and books. There is also a neo-Byzantine chorus in the church, a very rare monolithic style in today's Romanian churches.

The church includes an inner courtyard, known for its tombstones. There are pretty arches and columns, plants, and many decorations.

UNESCO declared the church as a protected site, and it is included in the list of historical Romanian monuments.


The Church Choir:

https://youtu.be/yT5y3tfReuY
Palatul Patriarhiei
Palace of the Patriarchate
#About the Metropolitan Church

It is not the most beautiful and not the oldest in Bucharest, but it is alive, kicking and active to this day. This is the Palace of the Patriarchate (Palatul Patriarhiei), located on the patriarchal hill in the city.

The Palace of the Patriarchate was founded by Prince Constantine and his wife between 1654-1658. Since then it has been reconstructed quite a few times and therefore the building has not preserved its original shape, mainly due to the additions added to it and the various adjustments made over the years.

This church is the heart of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Notice the beautiful frescoes in the front of the building. Enter through the arches of the entrance and observe the decorated altar.

Inside the church, you will find beautiful Byzantine icons and altars. If you visit around Easter, you should come to hear the midnight mass sung by the famous choir of the church.

To this day, the church is included in the list of historical monuments in Romania.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Mll1zpT5zSw

Churches

San Jeronimo el Real
San Jeronimo el Real
#About the Church that Made History

In the San Jeronimo el Real, democracy was officially announced in Spain. This happened on November 20, 1975, with the crowning of Juan Carlos I, the grandson of King Alfonso, as the King of Spain.

San Jeronimo el Real, near the Prado Museum, is a Catholic Church from the 16th century. The church, a part of a former monastery, went through many renovations in the past centuries, that succeeded in almost completely hiding the original look of the building.

Throughout history the church was used as a shelter for the Kings of Spain, and was the place where many Parliament members were sworn in. Here, the marriage of King Alfonso XIII took place, in a ceremony for which stairs were built towards the road, so the entrance from the road will be more impressive.

Inside the church, you can see today a variety of paintings and impressive statues, as well as typical glass windows.



#Tips

Entrance to the church is free.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Im_an3yA_WA


From the Inside:

https://youtu.be/GFvhZmA_A3g
Agios Georgios
Agios Georgios
#About the Small Church on Mount Lycabettus

The Church of St. George (Agios Georgios), is a church located at the top of Mount Lycabettus, at 277 meters, in the Plaka district in central Athens.

If you arrive here on Sunday mornings, you can see the local community arriving for mass. In the northern part of the hill, near the church, you can see a small theater that is nice to visit.

An attraction that catches the eye is the terrace with the wonderful view, overlooking all of Athens. From here you will see the entire city around, the Acropolis that stands tall above, and the contrasting famous Port of Piraeus


#Tips

You can ascend to the small church with stairs, or with the cable car on Ploutarhou Street for a price of 6 euros.

Near the entrance are a few restaurants for tourists.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/fc7FqgVSx8Q
Rotunda
Rotunda of Saint Martin
#About Vyšehrad's Round Church

The Rotunda of the Holy Cross is a cylindrical, circular church located in the Vyšehrad Fortress in Prague. The one here is actually called Rotunda of Saint Martin and was built in the 11th century. This is one of the city's original Romanesque rotundas.

The word rotunda comes from Italian, and in general describes a structure, or part of an architectural structure, built in the form of a cylinder. The characteristic of the rotunda structures is symmetry in all directions and planning around the center, where rotunda buildings usually have a dome or cone roof.

The Rotunda in Vyšehrad was built in the 11th century, in the Romanesque style, and is considered one of the pearls of the eastern bank of the Vltava.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/a6xIp8qVuiA


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/Lo8V2fIk5sg?t=1m35s&end=3m25s
Bazilika Svatho Petra a Pavla
Saint Peter and Paul Basilica
#About the Vyšehrad Gothic Basilica

The Saint Peter and Paul Basilica (Bazilika Svatého Petra a Pavla) is an impressive basilica, in the style of the Gothic Revival, located inside the Vyšehrad Fortress in Prague. Its two towers are central to the horizon of the high citadel and are well visible from the city center on the other side of the river.

The church is named after the saints Peter and Paul. It was built during the 19th century, but was severely damaged by a fire. At the beginning of the 20th century it was rebuilt.

The two matching towers of this basilica are its prominent symbols from the outside. As you enter it and you can see the impressive mosaic above the main entrance.

Do not miss the church's unique and beautiful stained glass windows.

If you go out behind the holy church of Saint Peter and Paul, you can see the Vyšehrad Cemetery, where many of the greatest Czechs have been buried in recent generations.



A 360-Degree View of the Church at the Vyšehrad Fortress:

https://youtu.be/MvWH946vin8


Tyn Cathedral
Church of Our Lady before Týn
#About the Church with the Organ that Mozart Played

The Church of Our Lady before Týn (Tyn Cathedral, Kostel Matky Boží Před Týnem) is an impressive Gothic Cathedral from the Middle Ages.

The Church is one of the bases of reformist activity in Christianity. From the death of Jan Hus until 1620, it was the stronghold of the Hussites in Prague.



#The Church's Architecture

The Týn Cathedral was built between 1511-1536, at the height of the Middle Ages.

The church's two black turrets take over the Old City skyline and stand at the height of 80 meters.

Inside the cathedral you can see the Gothic cross of the alter, and next to it the church organ, from the Rococo period.



#About the Women-Chasing Astronomer Buried in the Church

To the left of the entrance you will see the tomb of the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. He was the astronomer of Emperor Rudolph II, apart from astronomy he was also interested in something else...

Tycho Brahe was a drinker and an ardent female pursuer. What does ardent mean exactly? - Once he even lost part of his nose in a duel with a jealous husband. Since then he used to put a metal piece on his face. Brahe died in 1601 during an excessive drinking night and it is told that this silver nose was buried with him here.



A View from Above at Týn Cathedral and the Area:

https://youtu.be/SA0SukowWtQ
St. Nicholas Church
#About Prague's Big Baroque Church

You are in the biggest and most famous cathedral in Prague. The St. Nicholas Church dominates the square in Lesser Town. It was built between the years 1704-1755 and was designed by two of the most important architects in Prague
- father and son Christophe and Kilian-Ignatz Diesenhofer.

Look and see the white organ where angels can climb up and down. Mozart played on this organ while he was staying in Prague, in 1787. The organ is working up to today during concerts that take place in the church.

The gold and marble decorated church is rich and impressive. With many decorations and a green dome, the church ceiling is awe inspiring. The impressive fresco, considered the largest fresco in Europe, adds to its beauty. The fresco describes scenes from the life of St. Nicholas.



#About the Curious Priest who is Written in History as a Peeper

Legend tells of Johann Kracker, the Viennese artist who painted the fresco, and was unwilling to reveal his work to anyone until it was finished. One of the priests, intrigued by curiosity, crept up and watched the artist paint. Although Kracker realized that he was not alone in the room and noticed the secret priest, he did not reveal this, and instead immortalized the priest who peeped by adding him to the painting itself. If you look closely at the ceiling paintings you will see a small figure hiding behind one of the pillars. It is the curious priest, who has entered history as the painted peeper of the St. Nicholas Cathedral.




#Tips

During the spring months be sure to look for concerts at the church, which many times includes the organ, played by the famous composer Mozart while staying in the city.




A Closer Look at the Fancy Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5UBWzoLcBc
5. The Cyrenian Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
#5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

Have you seen any of the pilgrims, the Christian pilgrims, kissing the hollowed stone to the right of the chapel on Tariq al-Suri Street? - Christian tradition sees in the hollow of the wall as the place where Jesus leaned against the wall and because of that, according to tradition, he created the hollow area here. This is the fifth stop in Via Dolorosa.

Here Jesus finds it hard to bear the cross. The Roman soldiers force Simon of Cyrene, a pilgrim who came to Jerusalem from the city of Cyrene in Libya, then a Greek colony, to help Jesus carry the unbearable cross.

"And when they brought him out of there, and brought them in one man, they came from the fie ld, and named after them a man of fire, and set up the threshing board to carry the other men" (Luk 23:26).

At this station, a Franciscan chapel was built that describes the event but does not enter it. The stone with the depression to the right of the chapel is the station and is an ancient stone that was incorporated in a church from the 19th century, when it was built here in 1889.



#Who was Simon of Cyrene?

There is considerable Christian controversy over Simon's act and his commemoration. What is known from the Bible is that he was a pilgrim, apparently a Jew, who came to Jerusalem from the city of Cyrene. Cyrene, a Greek city in present-day Libya, was a Greek colony at the time and Simon, who may have come to Jerusalem as a pilgrim for Passover.

It is known from the Bible that he was "the father of Alexander the Great" and the conclusion that he was a Jew is only according to his Jewish name.

Either way, Simon was commanded to help Jesus carry the unbearable crucifixion. Some see Simon as one of the first Jews to accept the Jesus, the so-called "scribes." Others maintain that this is not how things are described in the gospel according to Matthew and the Gospel according to Mark. In these letters it is written explicitly that the Romans forced Simon to help Jesus, against his will. So how does this relate to Simon's faith in Christ being the Messiah?



A Closer Look at Station 5, Simon of Cyrene Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem:

https://youtu.be/1qycKpNFwJ8
Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
#About the Abbey

The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest Abbey in Paris, in the past was a burial ground for the kings of Merovingian. The Merovingian dynasty was a Frankish Syriac dynasty, which came from the coastal region above the Rhine, today in the northern Netherlands.

The Abbey itself was built in the 6th century by Childebert I, and become one of the riches Abbeys in France.

Until the revolution the Abbey was the center of intellectual life for the French Catholic Church, until a fire erupted inside, and destroyed the Abbeys and its columns. The Abbey church survived the fire and is the same one you see in front of you today.

In 542, Childebert I returned to Paris, and with him holy remains: the cloak of Saint Vincent and golden crucifixes, which according to tradition belonged to King Solomon. He wanted to store the prize possessions, so he ordered a tall church so he could see it from the fields too. In 558 the construction of the church was completed and it was dedicated to Saint Germain on December 23 - the day that Childebert I passed away. Although the kings of the Merovingian dynasty were buried in the church in the 6th and 7th centuries, their graves were opened and destroyed during the French Revolution.

Throughout history the Abbey was looted many times. It was burned again in the 9th century by the Normans, and rebuilt in 1014. The church underwent many changes, but since the year 1000 the bell tower has almost not been changed at all.

During the 17th century this was a very popular area, and the Queen Marquerite de Valois pushed the father of the church to donate some of its land to her. She built a palace on this land, which added to the area's value and prestige.



#Fun Detective Activity

Inside of one of the side chapels of the church you can find, if you look, the grave of the philosopher Rene Descartes. Get going!

Found it? - You can learn online who he was...
Church of Saint-Sulpice
#About the Church

The impressive Church of Saint-Sulpice (Église Saint-Sulpice), tall and beautiful, attracts attention almost immediately. It began being built in 1646 under the direction of various architects, and was built for more than 100 years. Each of them added a small addition in the spirit of their style. The church is slightly smaller than the Notre Dame Cathedral: its length is 113 meters, its width is 58 meters and its height is 34 meters, making it the second largest church in Paris. At the foot of the church is a square where you can see the "Four Ghost Fountain," built of figures of four bishops who sit beside their pets and maintain order.

Inside the space of the church you can see its walls decorated with works by the artist Delacroix, whose must see piece is "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel." The windows of the church are also filled with magnificent stained glass.

In addition, the church is known for its impressive organ, which contains 6,588 keys and was built in 1862. The organ of Saint-Sulpice is one of the three "hundred stations" that exist throughout Europe. Besides necessary improvements and changes in the electronic and mechanical mechanisms, the organ is almost completely preserved.

In 1724 excavations were conducted in the vicinity of the church, revealing a tenth-century tomb. This proved that there was already a prayer house and a cemetery there.

Victor Hugo's wedding was inside the walls of the church.



#Sundial

In 1727 a sundial was added in the church. It is a clock that uses the movement of the shadow falling from a thin object positioned in the sun to show the estimated time. The clock was set there to help the church priest set the equinoxes (the day on which the day and night are equal) and set the date for Easter, which is always celebrated on the first Sunday after a full moon, immediately after the spring equinox.

The sundial is actually a line stretched across the floor that climbs an 11 meters high white marble pillar. At the top of the pillar is a ball with a cross. In the southern window, a lens system is installed so that the sun beam shines across the line. On the autumn equinox, the ray of the sun touches a copper elliptical plate that sits on the floor next to the altar. One of the reasons why Saint-Sulpice church was preserved during the French Revolution, while other churches were damaged and destroyed, was that the sundial was used for a variety of scientific experiments.



#Architecture

The western façade of the church is two floors high, with rows of decorated columns. A large arched window fills the interior with natural light, and on either side of the front door are seashells, on a rock-like base given to King Francois I as a gift by the Venetian Republic. In the 18th century the church added the sundial.

Shortly before the French Revolution broke out, the architect Jean-François Chalgrin, who also designed the Arc de Triomphe, planned the two towers that rose over the church. Some critics claim that the harmonious appearance of the church was damaged due to the mismatch between the pair of towers.

In the 19th century, following the damage of the revolution, the interior of the church, which now became the "temple of victory", was redesigned. Frescoes painted by renowned painter Eugene Delacroix were added. These adorn the walls of the side chapel. The most famous paintings are "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel" and "The Expulsion of Heliodorus."



A Closer Look at the Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUpwB-hNm4k
Bulgarian St. Stephen Church
#About the Church that was Brought here by Boat from Vienna

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Bulgar Kilisesi), is the church for the Bulgarian community in Istanbul. This church is special because it is entirely made of metal.

The pieces used to built this church were built in Vienna, Austria in 1871. After having built the pieces, they were loaded onto ships and shipped to Istanbul on the Danube River.

From a religious point of view, this church serves the Bulgarian community in Istanbul who are Greek-Orthodox. Legend has it that in the 19th century, the Bulgarians wanted to leave the Greek-Orthodox church and build the Bulgarian church. The Sultan agreed to their request only if the new church will be built in seven days. This is why the community ordered the finished model from Vienna, so the church could be built within the time framce given by the sulten.



#A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/g5h4iynRbCg


#Another Look:

https://youtu.be/_RhxtEeW6VU?t=10s
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
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
#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


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
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
Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore
#About the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore Verona

The Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is one of the largest and most impressive churches in Verona. The church is no less than a Romanesque masterpiece and many see it as the finest Romanesque building in northern Italy.

In fact, the church is the oldest building in Verona that has been preserved to this day. It was established in the 4th century, as a modest church, erected over the tomb of Zeno. Zeno was one of the first bishops of Verona and the patron of the city.

In the 9th century the old church was replaced by a larger church. But in the severe and famous earthquake that struck Verona in the 12th century, the Basilica of San Zeno was badly damaged. It is the same earthquake, incidentally, that destroyed parts of the city's Arena. Immediately after the earthquake the church was rebuilt - for the third time. The construction of the building this time began in 1045 and lasted about nine whole decades!

Since its establishment, the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore has served as the religious center of Verona. Between the walls of this church were married, according to the Shakespearean play named after them, Romeo and Juliet.


# What Will You See Here?

The façade of the great Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is a beautiful central façade, in ivory tones from the tufa layers, surrounded by a thin Romanesque Campanile from the years 1045-1178.

To the right of the church you can see the bell tower, dating to the 12th century. Also note the round rosette window decorating the church.

At the entrance to the elegant Romanesque church, you pass through a gate on its side. But note the bronze doors on the front gate and the unusual Romanesque reliefs on them, depicting various Biblical and secular scenes.

Inside the church, the inner space looks like a central hall with two wings, separated by a row of arches.

Notice the unusual wooden roof of the church. This roof is from the 14th century. At the aisles note the frescoes, created in the 13th to 15th centuries.

In the choir area you will see a marble statue from the 14th century. The statue is of St. Zeno, the Bishop of Verona and the one after whom the church is named.

No less special is the design of the tall and beautiful altar, on which you can see a Triptych, a three-part piece.

The wonderful Triptych on this impressive altar is called the Madonna and the Child with Angels and Saints. It was created by the artist Andrea Mantegna in the 15th century and is considered the Holy Mother, surrounded by various Christian saints.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/WEmaEDUDNOk


A Tour:

https://youtu.be/HBoKsJoTKys
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
Church of Saint Maurice al Monastero Maggiore
Santa Maria delle Grazie
San Bernardino alle Ossa
Moni Arkadiou
Berlin Cathedral Church


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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