Bourges Cathedral

The architecture of Bourges Cathedral is quite amazing!

  • Bourges Cathedral is a cathedral found in France’s Bourges, in Europe, that is used and was built by Roman Catholics.
  • ‘Bourges Cathedral’ is also known as ‘Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges’ in French.
  • The construction of Bourges Cathedral began around 1195, although other churches had already inhabited the site from the 200s.
  • Bourges Cathedral was likely used from 1214 onwards, as significant parts had been built, and the main part was completed by 1230, however the building was not consecrated until 1324, as construction continued until the late 1400s.
  • Bourges Cathedral has been largely preserved throughout conflicts such as the World Wars and the French Revolution, although nearby related buildings were destroyed.
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A View of Bourges Cathedral
Image courtesy of James Mitchell/Flickr
  • The nave, the central meeting area, of Bourges Cathedral reaches a height of 37 metres, and the cathedral covers an area of 5,900 square metres (63,500 feet), while it sits on an area of 8,500 square metres (91,500 square feet).
  • Bourges Cathedral has numerous features such as stained-glass windows, carvings, and a crypt, and is a great example of Gothic architecture, and as such was declared a Historical Monument in 1837, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
  • Bourges Cathedral is the base for the Archbishop of Bourges, who, from 2007, was Armand Maillard, while Henri de Sully, who died in 1200, was the archbishop who ordered the original construction of the cathedral.
  • Tourists may visit Bourges Cathedral on most days, except for Sunday morning when the cathedral holds services.
  • In 1506, soon after its completion, the northern tower of the Bourges Cathedral collapsed and had to be rebuilt, which was funded by donations and other means.
Bibliography:
Bourges Cathedral, 2012, French Monuments, http://www.frenchmoments.eu/bourges-cathedral/
Bourges Cathedral, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourges_Cathedral
Bourges Cathedral, 2014, UNESCO World Heritage Convention, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/635

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Metéora

Metéora is a mystical location of amazing architecture.

  • Metéora is a group of six remaining monasteries, of the 24 that were built in the area, located on the outskirts of the Plain of Thessaly, in central Greece.
  • The monasteries in Metéora are built atop sandstone rock cliffs that reach up to 400 metres (1312 feet) in height.
  • The first residents of Metéora were hermit monks, most likely in the 11th century, who sought refuge from Turkish armies in the caves during this period.
  • The Metéora monasteries were mostly constructed during the 1300 and 1400s, as a safe haven for monks and nuns who felt threatened by the political instability that was apparent in the area at the time.
  • Lengthy ladders, and ropes or nets were originally used to access the monasteries at Metéora, and there is now cable car access to some sites, although it wasn’t until the early 1900s that steps carved from rock were added for convenience.
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Part of Metéora
Image courtesy of Antonio Picascia/Flickr
  • Metéora’s rock pillars are believed to have been formed by tectonic movement and erosion by wind and water.
  • ‘Metéora’ means ‘suspended in the air’ or similar, in Greek, and the monasteries and the cliffs they sit upon have been used in. or inspired literature, music and film.
  • Metéora covers an area of 2.72 square kilometres (1.05 square miles) and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
  • Metéora has a large temperature range that varies from very cold to very hot, and has significant quantities of rain throughout the year.
  • Metéora is a popular tourist destination, visited by thousands annually, and to access the sites, steps or rock climbing are the two main options.
Bibliography:
Meteora, 2014, UNESCO WHC, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/455
Meteora, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteora
Meteora: The most photogenic spiritual site in Greece, 2014, Visit Greece, http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/destinations/meteora_the_most_photogenic_spiritual_site_in_greece

Saint Patrick’s Day

The real meaning behind Saint Patrick’s Day:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday originating from Europe’s Ireland observed on the 17 March every year, and is a public holiday in Ireland and a few other countries, but is celebrated throughout much of the world.
  • ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’ is also known as the ‘Feast of Saint Patrick’, ‘St. Patrick’s Day’, ‘Patrick’s Day’, ‘Paddy’s Day’ and ‘Patty’s Day’.
  • The 17th March, St Patrick’s Day, is believed to be the day that Saint Patrick, an important Ireland saint from the 5th century, died.
  • St Patrick’s Day celebrates Saint Patrick, who was originally from Roman Britain, and was captured and held captive by Irish pirates at age 16, eventually escaping six years later, only to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day was officially declared a feast day in the 1600s and the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Church of Ireland (Anglican) and Lutheran churches typically honour the day.

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  • Saint Patrick’s Day is generally associated with the colour green, a colour affiliated with Ireland in general, and shamrocks (clover), which were said to be used as an illustration to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish, by Saint Patrick.
  • A rugby league match is held during the Saint Patrick’s Day period with Ireland and the United States competing.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day parades are very popular throughout the world, and the first was believed to have been held in the United State’s city of Boston in Massachusetts in 1737, where there was a significant population of Irish.
  • Occasionally, the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day is moved to a different date if it coincides with Holy Week, and this occurred in 1940 and 2008.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day traditions include going to church and having feasts, particularly with alcohol, and it is also commonly celebrated as a cultural Irish day.
Bibliography:
Saint Patrick’s Day, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick’s_Day
St. Patrick’s Day, 2014, Kidzworld, http://www.kidzworld.com/article/521-st-patricks-day

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Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

These facts are as grand as the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

  • The ‘Temple of Artemis at Ephesus’ is also known as the ‘Temple of Artemis’ and the ‘Temple of Artemis at Ephesos’, and it has also been referred to as the ‘Temple of Diana’.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a temple built by the Ancient Greeks to honour and worship Artemis, the goddess of fertility, the hunt and moon.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus has a long history, and it is believed that in 700 BC a temple was erected on the site, and later, in approximately 550 BC, Chersiphron, an architect from Cretan, and his son Metagenes, designed and rebuilt a temple on the site, with the financial help of King Croesus (King Kroisos as he is also known) of Lydia.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was situated in the ancient city of Ephesus, which can be found near Selçuk, a town in modern Turkey.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed and rebuilt at least three times, notably damaged by a flood and by fire, and was finally torched by the Goths in 268 AD and was probably not fully rebuilt after that.

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Ruins
Image courtesy of Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was larger the last time it was believed to be rebuilt in 323 BC, with the final temple measuring approximately 137 by 69 metres (450 by 226 feet) and as high as 18 metres (59 feet), with at least 127 columns.
  • The third Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is noted among the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • The remains of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus were first discovered in 1869, on a deliberate search by John Turtle Wood, who was originally an architect and engineer from Britain.
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was made mostly of marble, with many sculptures of high relief throughout the temple, as well as carved columns.
  • Not only was the temple used to worship Artemis, it is believed the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was also used as a marketplace.
Bibliography:
Temple of Artemis, 2011, Kusadasi.biz, http://www.kusadasi.biz/historical-places/temple-of-artemis.html
Temple of Artemis, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Artemis

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Hill of Crosses

Have you ever seen thousands of crosses in one place, like the Hill of Crosses?

  • The Hill of Crosses is a 60 metre (200 feet) long hill, covering more than 4500 square metres (1.1 acre), north of the city of Šiauliai, in Lithuania, in northern Europe.
  • The first crosses to be placed on the Hill of Crosses were probably erected there sometime after 1831, to remember dead relatives that were killed in a rebellion around that time.
  • In 1900, 130 crosses existed on the Hill of Crosses, and now it is believed to have a collection of more than 200,000 crosses on site.
  • The Hill of Crosses originally held a fortress that was destroyed, and now it attracts Catholic pilgrims, who bring, and leave there, crosses, crucifixes, carvings, rosaries, statues and the like.
  • During its history, more than 6,200 crosses and other items have been destroyed on the Hill of Crosses in many demolition attempts by the Soviet government, but these were quickly replaced by new crosses each time.

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Part of the Hill of Crosses
Image courtesy of Arian Zwegers/Flickr
  • The crosses placed on the Hill of Crosses are symbolic of faith, love and sacrifice, and many prayers for peace over the centuries have been offered, amid religious and political unrest.
  • Most crosses on the Hill of Crosses are made of wood, metal or plastic, and can be found in many different colours, shapes and sizes.
  • In 1993, the Hill of Crosses was visited by Pope John Paul II, which brought attention to the site, and caused it to gain in popularity.
  • Although entry onto the Hill of Crosses if free, parking at the base of the hill requires a fee.
  • At the pope’s urging, a monastery was built a few hundred metres away from the Hill of Crosses, and it was consecrated in the year 2000.
Bibliography:
Hill of Crosses, 2002, Sanctuaries and Pilgrimage Sites, http://www.lcn.lt/en/bl/sventoves/kryziuk/
Hill of Crosses, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_of_Crosses
History of the Hill of Crosses, 2012, HillofCrosses.com, http://www.hillofcrosses.com/hill-of-crosses-history.html

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Angel

Christmas Angel, wood, Crossed hands, White, Free Digital Photos, Ten Random Facts

These facts are like angels… they are shining.

  • Angels are said to be God’s messengers, and are often portrayed during the Christmas season.
  • Angels are typically depicted as humans with wings, and shine brightly.
  • Angels became popular starting from between 12th and 13th century, when Thomas Aquinas started teaching about them.
  • Angels are popular known as the bringers of the knowledge of the birth of Jesus Christ, particularly to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds.
  • Angels are popularly used as Christmas decorations, particularly as Christmas tree toppers.

Christmas Angel, wood, Crossed hands, White, Free Digital Photos, Ten Random Facts

 

Angel Figurine
Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre/ Free Digital Photos

  • The New Testament of the Bible states that angels rejoice when one is remorseful for one’s own sin, and asks for God’s forgiveness.
  • The word ‘angel’, is from the Greek word ‘angelos’, meaning ‘messenger’.
  • It is believed that every single person has there own protective angel, who cares for the person.
  • Some people have worshipped angels, and throughout history there have been various opinions about this practice.
  • Christmas angels often symbolise goodness or joyfulness.
Bibliography:
Christmas Angels, 2012, Christmas World, http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-angels.html
History of Angels, n.d, Angels: An Online Resource, http://www.cyodine.com/angels/History.htm

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