Glendalough

Glendalough (County Wicklow -Ireland) is a remarkable and scenic place with rich history and archaeology.
In this gallery the Monastic City with the Round Tower, the Cathedral and the remains of several Churchs of the 10th-13th century AD.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 5D Mark IV – Canon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

 

Sant’Emidio alle Grotte (Temple of Sant’Emidio)

The Baroque church of Sant’Emidio in Ascoli Piceno consists of a travertine frontage which precedes three grottoes housing the saint’s sepulture and a necropolis with arcosolias were carved out of the living rock in catacombs.

It was built in 1721 by commission of bishop Giovanni Gambi, a relative of Pope Clement XI.  The Bishop and Pope symbols are on the dome of the church.

Its name refers to Saint Emygdius (Emidius). According to legend, after having been beheaded in 309 near the current church of Sant’Emidio Rosso in Ascoli Piceno, the saint walked here with his head in his hands to be buried.

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6DCanon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM and Canon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM

Hell’s gorge and hermatage of St. Leonardo

The Hell’s gorge, in italian “Gole dell’Infernaccio” in the Marche region (Italy) earned their name in the days when this was one of the few routes through the Apennine mountains between Adriatic coast and Rome.

With long steep-sided gorges and wild mountains around, it was famous for brigands waiting to ambush travellers.

Today it’s a beautiful, peaceful and easy walk through deep wooded ravines, alongside a stream with wildflowers and dragonflies, which opens finally into cattle pastures leading up to the Passo Cattivo (Evil Pass).

There is an optional pathway to a small church, the hermatage of St. Leonardo (eremo di San Leonardo).

The church was built almost single handed by a monk named Padre Pietro, well-known as “The bricklayer of God”, who began the work in 1971.

He lived up there in total solitude, and unfortunately, Padre Pietro is deceased on august the 9th of 2015, at 88 year old.

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6D and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM

Sanctuary of San Luca – Bologna

The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca in Bologna is a Basilica church sited atop of Monte della Guardia, in a forested hill some 300 meters above the plain, just south-west of the historical center of Bologna.

It is easily spotted from afar as one nears Bologna.

Sanctuary is connected to the city walls by the world’s longest monumental portico (the Portico of San Luca), held aloft by 666 arches, beginning at Piazza di Porta Saragozza.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 1000D and Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM

Old Fortress – Corfu (Kerkyra)

The Old Castle is the best known and most famous castle in Corfu. It dates back to the Byzantine period but the main fortification was built by the Venetians.

It is very well preserved, and so, great place to visit, but unfortunately none of the buildings constructed by the Venetians survived until today, and the buildings which you will see in the castle today were constructed by the British much later.

The church of St. George is one of the buildings constructed by the British in the style of a Doric temple.

The Fortress houses the Public library of Corfu and the Hellenic Music Research Lab of the Ionian University in the old British barracks.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D,  Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Rennes-le-Château – Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Here’s a little photo gallery of Rennes-le-Château in Languedoc region in southern France, and his incredible atmosphere full of mystery and history.

This small village is internationally known following the publication of a series of books dealing with a mystery concerning a nineteenth century priest who lived in the village and, of course, for being at the center of Dan Brown’s world bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The region of Rennes-le-Château is known for beautiful scenery, but also for his very interesting history. The Languedoc were central to the battle between the Catholic church and the Cathar heretics at the beginning of the 13th century.

RennesLesChateau 21The modern reputation of Rennes-le-Château rises mainly from claims and stories concerning the local 19th-century Abbe Saunière, that had become rich by finding a royal treasure inside one of the pillars in his church in the late 19th century.

These stories influenced the authors of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 80’s, and that work in turn influenced Dan Brown when he wrote the worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The stories told about Rennes-le-Château and Bérenger Saunière consist of many theories, revolving around all matters of conspiracies involving the the Merovingians, the Knights Templar, the Cathars, and later, the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, and the remains of Jesus Christ.

The village church dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, having been rebuilt several times until the 19th century, and was almost in ruins when Saunière arrived in Rennes-le-Château.The pillar

According to legend, by moving a heavy stone that served as the altar, Saunière found that one stone  (still preserved in the museum of the village) supporting the slab was hollow and contained four parchments.

Two of them detailed a genealogy, while the other two presented enigmatic writings that, once deciphered by experts in Paris, allowed Saunière to obtain some very strange messages.

Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above church entranceOne of the new features of the church after the Saunière rebuilt was the Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above the front doors, taken from the Common Dedication of a Church, which can be translated as: “This is a place of fear and amazement”.

Another feature Inside the church, is a devil holding up the holy water stoup, a rare, though not unheard of addition found in French churches in this particular style.

Abbé Bérenger Saunière also funded the construction of another structure dedicated to Mary Magdalene.Grave of Bérenger Saunière Named after his church, he built a nearby tower which he used as his library. The tower has a promenade linking it to the Villa Bethanie.

To this day, the secret of Saunière’s fortune remains a mystery. Many theories as to where he got the money have been developed, but none substantiated. We may never know the real story of Saunière and his fortune, the truth of which he most likely took to his grave when he passed away on 22 January 1917.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 40D, Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

 

 

Parga (Greece) by day

The small town of Parga, with its colorful houses  is the most popular summer destination in Epirus region in Greece.

An amazing green islet with a white church stands at the entrance of the port, while the ruined walls of a Venetian castle can be seen on top of a hill above the town.

It’s no wonder this place is as popular with the Greeks as it is with foreign holidaymakers.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D with Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC

Old and modern architecture in Copenaghen (Part #1)

Copenaghen is known for good contemporary design,  furniture, lights and… the absolutely stunning city architecture. Besides the major historic architecture, Copenhagen is filled with contemporary buildings of the highest quality.

Water, space, sustainability and light are the key elements in the recent architectural boom in maritime Copenhagen. Remarkably, you rarely find the new clashing with the old. More often than not, the contemporary architecture in Copenhagen actually heightens the experience of the historic buildings and streets.

So, in this first part of photo gallery dedicated to Copenaghen’s buildings, I blend together old buildings photos and modern building photos, as well as you can see walking in this beautiful city.

In this gallery:

  • Rosemborg Castle, a royal hermitage set in the King’s Garden in the heart of Copenhagen, built by the most famous Scandinavian king, Christian IV.
  • Marble Church, with the characteristic copper green dome is one of the most impressive churches of the city.
  • St. Paul’s Church, also colloquially known as Nyboder’s Church.
  • Copenaghen city hall.
  • Sølvgade Skole (Elementary school), contrary to appearances, is Denmark’s oldest school (built in 1847). Architect C.F. Møller has renovated the school and done an colorful modernistic  extension.
  • Some industrial buildings (warehouses, factories) converted for civil use, as school or houses.
  • Some modern houses on the water. One of these, with internal pier for small boats.
  • An angle of the Stroget (the longes pedestrian street in Europe)

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM II

The Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto

Some HDR night scenes in Loreto (Italy), outside the Basilica of the Holy House.

The late Gothic Basilica has been built in 1469, around the Holy House, and the sacred site attracts as many as 4 million Catholic pilgrims and visitors each year. Some of the greatest architects of the time worked on the construction of this basilica, Bramante and Vanvitelli for all.

Inside the basilica, the Holy House is, of course, the main attraction. It is a small stone building measuring 13 x 31 feet, with traces of medieval murals on the inner walls. An ancient tradition tells that the walls of the Shrine existed in Nazareth, Galilea: the Holy House is the same House where Our Lady Mary was born, grew up and received the angelic announcement.

This tradition, based on devotion and popular belief, ascribed the transportation of the House of Nazareth to an angelic mission; current historical studies have developed the hypothesis of a transportation carried out by Man, through sea and land, that came true with special assistance from above. That’s the way “to read between the lines” and give the most probable explanation to the Holy House event.

Curiosity: outside the place of the Basilica you can see an Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN of aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Aeronautica Militare. In 1910, Our Lady of Loreto became the patron saint of pilots, because of the tradition of the house’s flight from Nazareth.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM II