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The Abbey of Cârța, the last trace of Cistercians in Transylvania, 800 years ago

The abbey at Cârța was established in 1205, or maybe next year by the Cistercian monks at the behest of Hungarian king Emerich, who was continuing a project of the Arpad dynasty of colonizing Transylvania. Prior to that, these monks, coming from Burgundy, a region in the east of France had established the first monastery […]

Santa Maria Maggiore attests the beginnings of the cult of Mary

In this Italian basilica in Rome, no less than 6 popes are buried, along with other significant personalities. It’s not situated inside the Vatican, but just like an embassy it is considered papal territory. It is one of the 4 churches that has the title of papal Basilica in Rome, along with: Saint Peter’s, the […]

Fortified Gothic church of Saschiz

When taking the national road from Brașov to Sighișoara, you can’t help notice two monuments that remind you of the rich medieval history of Transylvania. The first is the peasant fortress of Rupea, and the other is the clock tower of Saschiz. The latter is a replica of the clock tower in Sighișoara, present in […]

Orthodox cathedral in Sighisoara

Sighișoara is the medieval fortress with the longest uninterrupted dwelling in Europe, so the typical images from this Romanian city would include Gothic churches, narrow cobble streets and bastions. But this city of Transylvania has it’s modern neighborhoods, where the bulk of the population lives, outside the walls of the hill fortress. Just a few […]

Saint Nicholas Orthodox church in Brașov, a monument dating from 1292

Though the Black Church in downtown Brașov is the most famous monument in the city, there is another religious building, not far away, that is about one century older: the Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas. Compared to the massive and grim Evangelical Black Church, the Orthodox church is slimmer and covered in Byzantine frescoes on […]

The blessed place of Sâmbăta de sus Monastery

Surrounded by the highest peaks in Romania (the Făgăraș Mountains, part of the Carpathian chain), this monastery assures you that God can be found where is beauty. The beauty of the natural surroundings and the spiritual tradition of Sâmbăta de Sus work together to create one of the most special places you will ever encounter. […]

The interior of Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican

As a Christian, I failed to sense the spiritual power of this place, but the impression of force and artistic achievement is overwhelming. Probably because Saint Peter’s Basilica is rather a museum, than a place of worship. It is the largest interior space any church has on the face of the Earth. And is the […]

Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, as modeled by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The most important church of the Catholic world, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, had to have a public square in front from which to be admired, to match its greatness. Though the curtain-like facade still blocks most of the height of the main dome, which can only be seen properly from a far, Piazza San […]

Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican (Rome). The exterior

„Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) With these famous words, Jesus Christ instituted the Christian Church, changing the name of Simon to Peter (meaning rock in Latin) to mark the new life of the first disciple that […]

The Campanile of Saint Mark, the place to get panoramic views over Venice

In the poetic scenery of Venice, where every building seems to be dressed up for the carnival, the bell tower in Piazza San Marco is the only skyscraper. Piercing the sky with its austere and simplistic look, is in dissonance with the rest of the setting. Compared with the bells and whistles of Saint Mark’s […]

The golden Basilica San Marco in Venice

St Mark’s cathedral is the most precious building in Venice, in front of which lays the famous plaza, where all tourists meet. It is connected with the other representative construction on the lagoon, Doge’s Palace, for which it once functioned as a private chapel. The golden interior of this cathedral is simply breathtaking. The 8.000 […]

Orthodox Cathedral in Thessaloniki, a fine example of modern Byzantine art and architecture

The second largest town of Greece is probably the place to see the most Byzantine artifacts in the world, whether it’s museum objects or standing buildings. But the thousand years long heritage of the Greco-Roman Christian empire is not only a museum exhibit, but a living tradition, preserved in daily religious life. The great Orthodox […]

Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the only Gothic church in Rome

You would not be able to tell it has a Gothic structure on the inside, from the unsuspecting, modest Baroque facade. That is a later addition and its flat low height wall only makes the church blend in with the rest of the buildings on the street. On the inside, the height of the church […]

How did the first Christian churches look like

There are such lucky towns that offer their visitors the opportunity of time traveling. For instance, when I entered the Byzantine Art Museum in Thessaloniki, I was met by a large print with what seemed to be a drawing after a crossing between an ancient temple and a modern church. While looking at that wall-size […]

Peterskirche, Saint Peter’s Baroque church in Vienna

This is the firs church in Vienna, or to be more exact, Peterskirche is built on the spot of the oldest church, that existed in 400 AD. Back then, Vienna was still part of the Roman empire, and it was less than a century since emperor Constantine allowed the Christian faith. The modest parish church […]

The other cathedral of Barcelona

Though it is six centuries old and still hosts the seat of the local Catholic bishop, this is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when one hears the phrase “the cathedral of Barcelona”. This is of course due to the fame achieved by Sagrada Familia, thanks to Gaudi’s genius. The two churches […]

The greatest Gothic cathedral in the world, the place where Christopher Columbus rests

Religious architecture is not only indicative of a community’s spiritual fervor, but also of its economical and technological status. For a thousand years, after the decay of Rome, Constantinople was the religious and economical capital of the world. And Hagia Sophia remained the largest religious building on the face of the Earth. Than even the […]

The white mosque on the Gibraltar rock

The place where Europe and Africa meet, through a narrow straight of less than 15 km width, is more a strategic and sentimental point. Technically, Gibraltar belongs to Great Britain, it has scrupulous check-points and her majesty’s Royal Police patrolling. Otherwise, this tiny limb of land is not separated from the Iberic Peninsula, and authorities […]

Inside Sagrada Familia cathedral, the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi

Our Saviour described the Kingdom of Heaven as something that can be taken by force. He made this intriguing remark when talking about the mission of John the Baptist, as the last of the prophets, and a bridge to the Christian age: until then, the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to those who obeyed the Law […]

The Nativity scene by Gaudi on the facade of Sagrada Familia

This is the only of the three facades made by Antoni Gaudi, and is tied to cathedral’s name – The Holy Family (Sagrada Familia). The second facade was done later in a more modern style, presenting the Passion of Christ with human figures done with rectangular shapes and mysterious portraits. The third facade, in progress […]

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