Ely Cathedral is another inspiring work of art.
- Ely Cathedral is a large Romanesque stone church, that is part of the Anglican Diocese of Ely and the home to its bishop, located in England’s Cambridgeshire, in Europe.
- ‘Ely Cathedral’ is also known as the ‘Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely’ and ‘the Ship of the Fens’.
- The highest point of Ely Cathedral is the west tower measuring 66 metres (216.5 feet) and the building spreads over a distance of nearly 164 metres (538 feet) and covers an area of 4273 square metres (46,000 square feet).
- Ely Cathedral is situated on the spot, that, in 673 AD, a monastery for both genders was established, by the saint, and Queen, Etheldreda, whose shrine existed at the site for many centuries.
- The original monastery at the location of Ely Cathedral was thought to be destroyed in the 9th century, by Vikings, while a revival in the area caused the re-establishment and rebuilding of the abbey from 970.
- Normans, who seized control of the monastery at the site of the Ely Cathedral in the 11th century, ordered the rebuilding of most monasteries, including Ely, and a number of additions were made to the cathedral over the centuries, and restoration works have been undertaken at various times.
- The construction of Ely Cathedral commenced during the 1080s by Abbot Simeon, although it was halted for a number of years after his death in 1093; and the first bishop was appointed in 1109.
- In 1322, the central tower of Ely Cathedral collapsed, and was reconstructed as an octagonal tower; while some time later, another part of the building gave way and was never repaired.
- The Ely Cathedral has numerous panels of stained glass artwork, mainly originating in the 1800s, and the building originally housed numerous sculptures, which were mostly destroyed along with other objects, in the reformation in the 1500s.
- Two main towers exist in the Ely Cathedral, the west tower comprising of almost 290 steps; and the site also has a number of chapels, a cafe, restaurant, shop, and a stained glass museum.
Angkor Wat is a list-worthy wonder.
- Angkor Wat is an extensive building and religious temple located in the Angkor region in Cambodia, in Southeast Asia.
- Angkor Wat is said to be the largest temple in the world, and it sits on an area of 820,000 square metres (980,712 square yards).
- The name ‘Angkor Wat’ comes from the native Cambodian Khmer words ‘angkor’ and ‘wat’, meaning ‘city’ and ‘temple grounds’ respectively.
- Angkor Wat is a prominent symbol of Cambodia, and it appears on the country’s national flag, making it only one of two nations in the world to have a building exist on their flag.
- The primary part of Angkor Wat was built around the early to mid 1100s by the native Khmers, under orders from ruler Suryavarman II, as a state temple for the king.
- Angkor Wat contains large quantities of bas-relief; is rich in Khmer architecture styles; and is made primarily of sandstone and laterite; and the temple features a moat, an outer area and the central area, which consists of various sections.
- Originally, Angkor Wat was used as a temple for the Hindu religion, but it was adopted by the Theravāda Buddhists from the late 1200s.
- The UNESCO World Heritage Convention declared Angkor Wat a World Heritage Site as part of the Angkor Archaeological Park in 1992.
- The temple of Angkor Wat was once part of the capital city originally located there, and over the years, it has undergone various conservation and restoration works, by various groups from around the globe.
- Angkor Wat is a prominent tourist site, being one of the most popular sites in the country, although the large number of visitors to the site has significantly impacted some local areas nearby.
Do you like a nice hot cross bun on Good Friday?
- Hot cross buns are food items, that are sweet dough based bread, that are generally spiced with mixed spice, a mixture that typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, among others.
- Flour, milk, sugar, butter, yeast, sultanas or raisins, currants and mixed spice are the traditional primary ingredients in making hot cross buns.
- Hot cross buns are typically eaten on Good Friday of the Easter period, although they are often sold all year round, peaking from January to April.
- It is thought that hot cross buns originated at a pagan Saxon festival, as a praise towards Eostre, a goddess, and the cross is said to have originally represented the seasons and the moon.
- A cross shape is found on the top of hot cross buns, and it is made of icing, pastry, or a water and flour paste, although it is said that originally the cross was most likely cut into the dough with a knife.
- Hot cross buns now come in an increasing variety of flavours, like chocolate, apple, orange, toffee or coffee, and they can also be fruitless.
- The commonly accepted symbolic meaning of hot cross buns today, originates from the Christian worldview, representing the cross and crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday.
- Hot cross buns are often glazed with a heated sugar and water mixture, that is brushed on the top of the cooked buns while they are still hot.
- Typically, hot cross buns are served heated as a snack, and are commonly accompanied by a spread, such as butter.
- Hot cross buns are surrounded by many myths, such as the bun’s supposed protection against fire and its year-long resistance to mould if baked on the correct day.
The Great Sphinx of Giza has survived the ages.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue depicting a mythical sphinx – a lion with a human head, located near the Pyramids of Giza, near Cairo in Africa’s Egypt.
- ‘The Great Sphinx of Giza’ is also known as ‘the Sphinx’, and can be literally translated as ‘the terrifying one’ or ‘Father of Dread’.
- The height of the Great Sphinx of Giza reaches 20 metres (66 feet), while the statue is approximately 73 metres (239 feet) in length and 19 metres (63 feet) in width.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is the largest statue carved from a single rock and the oldest statue of its kind, in the world, and it is believed that the monument was carved from limestone around 2558 to 2532 BC, by the Ancient Egyptians.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is generally accepted to depict the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Khafre (or Khafra) who reigned at the time of its construction, although there are no known records of the Sphinx until the New Kingdom beginning 1550 BC.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza remained mostly covered by sand for thousands of years, although there were efforts to excavate it by some Ancient Egyptian pharaohs of the past, including Thutmose IV, around 1400 BC.
- The first excavations of modern times on the Great Sphinx of Giza, were performed in 1817 by Italian Giovanni Battista Caviglia, an Egyptologist, while the statue was fully uncovered by 1936, after multiple excavations in the 1800 and 1900s, led by various people.
- The nose of the Great Sphinx of Giza appears to have been chiselled or broken off on an unknown occasion in the past, and there is evidence the statue once featured a beard.
- The Great Sphinx of Giza has been commonly depicted, and occasionally mocked, in artistic media, with early depictions from the 1500s being notably amusing.
- There is evidence of the Great Sphinx of Giza being significantly eroded by wind-blown sand over thousands of years, and protecting the statue from further decline is of continual concern.
Merry Christmas to all! Be sure to have a great day and remember Jesus’ gift for you. Also, be sure to drop by these past posts and learn more about the nativity!
Luke 2:4 NIV
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
Birth of Jesus Christ
Luke 2:6-7 NIV
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:8-9 NIV
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Star of Bethlehem
Matthew 2:1-2 NIV
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
‘Matthew, Luke’ n.d., in The Bible, New International Version, BibleGateway,
Do you know the tradition of Christmas wreaths?
- A Christmas wreath is an ornamental object that is used during the Christmas season, and its use today originates from a Christian-based custom.
- Christmas wreaths are typically shaped as a ring, made with living, dried or imitation vegetation, including twigs, flowers and leaves, as well as ribbons and other Christmas-related objects.
- ‘Christmas wreaths’ are also known as ‘Christmas crowns’, ‘advent crowns’ or ‘advent wreaths’.
- The tradition of Christmas wreaths is said to have begun in Germany in the 1500s, by Lutherans, and the idea possibly stems from the use of wreaths in Ancient Greek and Roman times, that were used to crown those with significant achievements or community rank, or placed on their door.
- Traditionally, Christmas wreaths contained four candles; three purple and a pink, with one lit each week in December, often on a Sunday; and a fifth white candle was sometimes also included.
- The idea to use candles in Christmas wreaths to countdown the Advent, was possibly invented by a German pastor, Johann Wichern, in the mid 1800s, as a daily advent calendar for children.
- The traditional idea of a Christmas wreath has became a popular Christmas decoration and they started being hung on doors by the 1900s, and are now commonly found on doors without candles.
- Christmas wreaths are commercially available during the Christmas season, and the most common wreaths obtainable are factory made objects.
- Christmas wreaths are often made with the colours of red, green, white or purple, traditionally symbolising Jesus’ blood, life, joy and sacrifice or forgiveness.
- The making of Christmas wreaths is a common Christmas craft activity and the base can be made from wire, styrofoam, cane or other material, and other supplies can include fabric, wrapped lollies and candy, or numerous other items.