The beguiling Ayasofya Mosque in Istanbul started out as a Christian Orthodox Cathedral called Agia Sofia when Istanbul was named Constantinople. Built in 537, it was converted to a mosque when the city fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. When Ataturk founded the new secular Turkey a few years after WWI, the mosque was […]
Santiago is Cuba’s second city and was the centre of attention following the Revolution, as it was here that Fidel Castro announced that they had won the power struggle, in front of enthusiastic crowds. The cathedral dominates the main square where Castro made his proclamation and is a fine example of colonial Spanish architecture.
Today is Easter Sunday in the Orthodox calendar. A day of celebration for Greeks, Russians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Georgians, Armenians, Latvians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Belorussians and a host of others. Here are a few Orthodox cathedrals & churches that I have visited over the years. Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Today’s blue coloured picture to help beat the Monday morning blues comes from this Saturday in the Latvian Baltic Coast town of Majori. Majori itself has lovely golden beaches and some ornate wooden villas which were built to accommodate the great and the good of the Soviet rulers, who favoured the resort as a bolt […]
An hour south-west from Paris Gare du Montparnasse by train, Chartres makes an excellent option for a few hours out if the capital. The small city is dominated by its huge cathedral, a classic Gothic structure with its vaulted ceilings, flying buttresses, beautiful stained-glass windows and amazing carvings inside and out. Add to that the […]
Did you know that Peterborough Cathedral was the original burial site of both Mary Queen of Scots and Catherine of Aragon? Me neither! The Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew to give its proper name, is a stunning example of Norman architecture built in the 12th & 13th centuries. Along with […]
The Flanders city situated close to the Belgian border is one of the most easily accessible big cities from London. At just 1 hour 25 minutes by Eurostar train from St Pancras, it is as close as Birmingham and no disrespect to England’s second city, but the chance to experience some French ambience wins in […]
Germany and Austria are considered as the homeland of Weihnachtsstimmung (Christmas mood) and the German speaking world takes the credit as the source of the modern Christmas. They were the first nation to bring a tree into the house and decorate it and are also the original region for Christmas markets. Their traditions have of […]