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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 […]

Prejmer (Brasov), best preserved fortified church in East Europe

German settlers built a lot of fortified churches allover Transylvania, but what makes Prejmer stand out from other similar monuments from UNESCO World Heritage list is the strength of the defense walls and the quality of the recent restoration. The styles and craftsmanship may vary from one construction to another, but you can still see […]

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 […]

Doge’s Palace, the splendor of Venetian Gothic

This palace is almost glued to St Mark’s Basilica, the only building that surpasses it in beauty and fame in the city on the lagoon. Doge’s Palace has on its side the advantage of being right next to the canal, which gives it an even more poetic look and emphasizes the floating effect that the […]

Stephansdom, St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, or when the Gothic gets scary

The story of the landmark church of Vienna starts almost nine hundred years ago, with what was started as a Romanesque edifice. From the very beginning it was dedicated to probably the first martyr of Christianity. St Stephen was killed with stones by the Jews that considered his faith a heresy against the law of […]

The Gothic cathedral of Milan, the result of 6 centuries of work

The works for this immense edifice, the fourth church in the world, began in 1386, by dismantling an older church. Ever since, the entire town was shaped around this dome. Gothic is not a popular style in Italy, but this church was influenced by two French architects who were employed at the beginning of the […]

Gothic Franciscan Church in Vienna (Minoritenkirche)

Though the place was assigned to Italians, the name Minoritenkirche does not signify the church of minorities, but is reminiscent of a Latin expression with which Francis of Assisi called his followers. “Fratres minores” meant “the little brothers”, or even the modest brothers, as the order emphasized poverty, humility and social involvement. The French Gothic […]

Romantic Benedictine church in Klagenfurt on Maria Worth See peninsula

Carinthia is the southern region of Austria, famous for its ski resorts in the Alps, for its splendid lakes and for the numerous hiking paths in the surrounding mountains. The region has a long border with the north of Italy, which is crossed by excellent highways that break through the Alps with many long tunnels. […]

Trogir: 2300 years of history and style in one of the best preserved medieval city in Europe

Eclipsed in fame and size by Dubrovnik on the same Adriatic coast, Trogir is like a very expensive perfume, kept in a tiny bottle. It would have been hard for a film crew to recreate such accurate sets for bringing to life an aristocratic society of hundreds of years ago. But Trogir looks perfect and […]

Rathaus, the Town Hall of Vienna in Friedrich Schmidt Platz

In a capital of architectural class like Vienna, the town hall couldn’t be anything less than a work of art. The Rathaus, as it is known, looks like an aristocratic palace but is in fact much recent than its look. The reason is that its architect, baron Friedrich Schmidt deliberately chose a historic architectural style […]

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