The Church Growth Kit

Ministry Letters

Ministry Letters Version 2.0 is a software tool that contains letter templates for pastors and secretaries. The powerful software program helps men of God locate just that right letter to send out to either congregation or committee members, and begin to encourage people in ways you have never dreamed of before. The software will make your life simple and stress-free, as well as making sending letters to church members easy and quick. Ministry Letters Version 2.0 comes in an easy-to-download PDF format and is easy to use by virtually anyone. Ministry Letters Version 2.0 is a great product that will make your life easier as a pastor or church secretary. The software includes hundreds of letter templates that you can simply edit and send to the members of the church.Grab the Ministry Letters Version 2.0 and make your life easier.

Ministry Letters Summary

Rating:

4.6 stars out of 11 votes

Contents: Software
Price: $19.95

My Ministry Letters Review

Highly Recommended

The interface is user friendly with its intuitive layout. Also, the addition of the prompt, with expert advice sets it apart from all the other similar programs. The Ministry Letters installation process is clean and without any unpleasant surprises like hidden toolbars, adds or anything like that. However, the installation process takes a bit longer than expected and you actually have to go through ten steps before the installation is complete, but that can hardly be considered a downside though.

I personally recommend to buy this software. The quality is excellent and for this low price and 100% Money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

Download Now

St Johns Parish Church

Like many of the parish churches, St John's typically English with its arched doors and windows and graceful tower was first built in the mid-seventeenth century but, following severe hurricane damage in the great storm of 1831, now dates from around 1836.The floor of the church is paved with ancient memorial tablets dating back as far as the 1660s, rescued from earlier versions of the building, and a Madonna and child sculpture by Richard Westmacott stands to the left of the main entrance. Most attractive of all is the reddish-brown pulpit, superbly hand-carved from four local woods (mahogany, ebony, manchineel and locust) and imported oak and pine. Outside, the expansive graveyard is perched on top of the cliff, One of the oldest tombs in the St John's graveyard is that of Ferdinand Paleologus, thought to have been the final surviving descendant of the brother of Constantine XI - the last emperor of the Byzantine Greeks - who was killed in battle when...

Christ Church Cathedral

The mother of all of Dublin's churches is Christ Church Cathedral (Church of the Holy Trinity Map p84 677 8099 www.cccdub.le Christ Church PI adult student 5 2.50 S 9.45am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pmSat& Sun), just south of the river and west of Temple Bar. It was founded in 1030 on what was then the southern edge of Dublin's Viking settlement. It was later smack in the middle of medieval Dublin Dublin Castle, the Tholsel (Town Hall demolished in 1809) and the original Four Courts (demolished in 1796) were all close by. Nearby, on Back Lane, is the only remaining guildhall in Dublin. The 1706 Tailors Hall was due for demolition in the 1960s, but survived to become the office of An Taisce (National Trust for Ireland Map p84). The original wooden church in this spot wasn't really a keeper, so the Normans rebuilt the lot in stone from 1172, mostly under the impetus of Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke (better known as Strongbow), the Anglo-Norman noble who invaded Ireland in 1170. Throughout...

Moldavia the Painted Churches of Southern Bucovina

Great (who ruled 1457-1504) and his successor, Petrus Rare . Military success ensured a cultural renaissance, evidenced in Moldavia's beautiful painted monasteries that have earned great artistic acclaim, and attract visitors from around the world. The most precious of these churches are all with a 60km (37-mile) radius of the city of Suceava once the princely seat of the Moldavian rulers, but thoroughly ruined during Ceasc's reign, this is still a useful base from which to explore the churches. Mostly situated in remote rural villages in lush landscapes, the churches of these monastic complexes have almost all been painted inside and out with such astonishingly unique and vivid frescoes that they have been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status and are considered one of the great artistic treasures of Romania. Today, Moldavia's capital is Ia i, the country's second-largest city, with an important university. While it's not an obvious travel destination, it has some significant urban...

St Peters Parish Church

Daily 9am-5pm. Across from the Speightstown's Esplanade, this church was first built in the 1630s, making it one of the oldest churches in Barbados. Destroyed by the 1831 hurricane, the Georgian building was rebuilt in a graceful Greek Revival style though with the standard tower tacked on for good measure and the present incarnation was superbly restored after the place was gutted by fire in 1980. Its an airy, peaceful place as you'd expect, though there's nothing particular to catch the eye.

Romanesque Churches And Shrines

Cinque Terre's monumental wealth is expressed in its late Romanesque churches. Three have facades with beautiful rosettes, real stone flowers San Pietro in Corniglia, probably the most ancient, San Lorenzo in Manarola dominating the village and San Giovanni Battista in Monterosso with its Genoese fa ade in black and white stripes. The two 14th Century side portals on the Riomaggiore church are also worthy of note. The church in Vernazza, the only one built on the sea in the protected inlet of the port, has a fascinating octagonal bell tower. The ancient shrines built on the winding hill road have a wonderfully panoramic position, one for each village. Overlooking Monterosso there is N.S. di Soviore with its annexed lodge. Then there is the Madonna di Reggio above Vernazza, San Bernardino that overlooks Corniglia, the ancient Romanesque church of the Madonna della Salute above Manarola and the Madonna di Montenero at the top of Riomaggiore.

Ten or So Great English Churches

Visiting England's most important churches and cathedrals Discovering the magnificent architecture of these sacred places Churches and cathedrals are special places where you can come in direct contact with England's long history. Enter a church in just about any village, no matter how quiet and tiny, and you're in the place where countless generations have gathered to worship, celebrate, and grieve. Within the church, you may find a 900-year-old baptismal font, elaborate tombs with reclining figures, memorial stones, medieval brasses, ancient stained glass, and medieval carved figures and ornaments in wood and stone. Over the centuries, even the smallest churches become fascinating almanacs of changing styles. The country is also blessed with an amazing assortment of magnificent cathedrals, huge places where monarchs have been crowned and famous people are buried. No matter how great or small, England's churches are architectural treasures, and I urge you to visit some of those I...

Bornholms Round Churches

As the windmills are to Mykonos or the stone heads are to Easter Island, so are the four 12th-century round churches to Bornholm. The rundekirke (round churches) are the symbols of the island, immediately familiar to every Dane. Each was built with 2m-thick whitewashed walls and a black conical roof at a time when pirating Wends from eastern Germany were ravaging coastal areas throughout the Baltic Sea. They were designed not only as places of worship but also as refuges against enemy attacks - their upper storeys doubling as shooting galleries. They were also used as storehouses to protect valuable possessions and trading goods from being carried off by the pirates. Each church was built about 2km inland, and all four are sited high enough on knolls to offer a lookout to the sea. These striking and utterly unique churches have a stern, ponderous appearance, more typical of a fortress than of a place of worship. All four churches are still used for Sunday services. You'll find them at...

The Twelvemile Churches

This area is known for its twelve-mile churches, each 12 miles from the last. An early cleric planned the churches this distance apart, saying that no one would have the excuse of being too far away to attend church, since it would be only a six-mile ride at the most in one direction or the other. Among these are St. Anne's, All Hallows, St. James, All Saints in Sunderland, Christ Church, and a final one which burned. St. James, in Lothian, has the state's second-oldest tombstones.

Walking Tour To Churchill Park

From the Radhuspladsen, follow Str0get past the point where Nygade Vimmelskaftet becomes Amer-gertorv. the first place of note is the Church of the Holy Ghost (Helligandskirke see Churches, page 75). The area outside its low metal fence is popular with street performers and chess players. There are

Wooden Churches Around Bardejov

At the crossroads of Eastern and Western Christianity developed a particular form of sacral architecture - the dreveny kostol (wooden church). The simple, yet somehow sublime outward appearance belies the rich interiors packed with religious images. At the front you have the iconostasis, or icon screen, lined with the venerated representations of Christ and the saints. The most precious icons have been moved to the Saris museum (p428) in Bardejov and replicas put in their place. Some of the churches are still used for services but most remain locked during the week. The caretaker, upon seeing a stranger in the small village, may wander up and offer to open it. If not, politely asking the nearest older person - smile, point at the church, make a key gesture -seems to lead to finding someone who can let you in. (At least a 20Sk donation to the key guy and one to the church is appropriate.) The most easily accessible wooden churches around Bardejov Two Greek Catholic churches from the...

A holiday like a work of art among archaeological sites museums abbeys churches and medieval little towns

Main streets called caruggi, precious marble, heavenly mansions, monuments, and castles these and many more are very good reasons to choose a holiday where you can discover the cultural heritage of Liguria. Going back in time to the ancient origins of a millenary civilisation, one comes across the graffiti of our ancestors who used to live in the caves called Balzi Rossi and Toirano. 130 sanctuaries, small churches and abbeys like the ones of Borzone, Tiglieto or San Pietro in Va rat el la are a precious spiritual heritage. Sacred buildings of various styles - early Medieval, Romanesque and Gothic - are only a few of the wonders scattered along the entire region from the church of S. Pietro, laying on top of the promontory of Porto Venere, to the abbey of San Fruttuoso di Camogli and the many churches hid den along the Genoa alleys. Villas, gardens, and luxurious palaces, that served once as summer residences of noble families, now attest to the rich oligarchy which, from the 16th...

Early Russian Church Architecture

Early Russian architecture is best viewed in the country's most historic churches, such as Novgorod's Cathedral of St Sophia (p329), dating from 1050. At their simplest, churches consisted of three aisles, each with an Church architects in Novgorod, Pskov and Vladimir-Suzdal developed the pattern with varying emphases in the 11th and 12th centuries. Roofs grew steeper to prevent heavy northern snows collecting and crushing them, and windows grew narrower to keep the cold out. Pskov builders invented the little kokoshnik gable, which was semicircular or spade-shaped and was usually found in rows supporting a dome or drum. Where stone replaced brick, as in Vladimir's Assumption Cathedral (p204), it was often carved into a glorious kaleidoscope of decorative images. Another Vladimir-Suzdal hallmark was the 'blind arcade' - a wall decoration resembling a row of arches. Early church-citadel complexes required protection, and thus developed sturdy, fortress-style walls replete with...

Historic monuments and Churches

From prehistoric sites such as Le Lazaret and Terra Amata to the architectural follies of the Belle Epoque, Nice has preserved numerous traces of its eventful past.The Old Town contains a treasure-trove of baroque art from the 17th and 18th centuries.Visit the Palais Lascaris and the many churches and chapels dotted around the narrow streets, but take your time, while enjoying a pleasant stroll.At the limits of the older neighbourhoods, you can also admire some fascinating buildings typical of 19th-century architecture the Palais de la Pr fecture, Palais de Justice, Opera House HISTORIC MONUMENTS AND CHURCHES

The Dome Church also known as St Marys Of Gothic design this

Church houses more than 100 medieval coats of arms. Estonian Open Air Museum Located in a picturesque bayside park, this cultural center features Estonian village architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries, including windmills, churches, and farmhouses. A folkloric show troupe performs traditional dances here.

For religiousarchitecture lovers More great churches

Rome counts 913 churches just in the historic center, ranging from the 8th to the 18th century (many have even older cores). All are lavishly decorated with masterpieces by the dominant artists of the period, and most deserve a visit. We had room to review only a couple in the previous section, but we feel many more deserve to share the top range. You would need years of dedication to achieve the ambitious task of visiting all of them, but here is our selection of the ones you would really regret not seeing.

Counterreformation Churches

The Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church's vicious response to the Protestant Reformation, was a turbulent time in Rome. Books were banned, freethinkers were branded heretics and tortured by the Inquisition, and the Jesuits were founded. Ironically, though, art and architecture thrived. As part of a sweeping propaganda campaign, the Church launched a costly building programme, employing architects to create huge churches to attract and overawe worshippers. The prime example of Counter-Reformation architecture is the magnificent Chiesa del Ges (p76), designed by the leading architect of the day, Giacomo della Porta (1533-1602). In a move away from the style of earlier Renaissance churches, the mannerist fa ade has pronounced architectural elements that create a contrast between surfaces and a play of light and shade. Della Porta also worked on the construction of St Peter's Basilica and designed the Palazzo della Sapienza (p80), seat of Rome's university until 1935.

Q Church of San Biagio

Although its front was added in the early 1700s, it's actually one of the oldest churches in Rome, rebuilt from an even earlier model dating to around 1070. The property of an Armenian Christian sect based in Venice, the church is named after an early Christian martyr (St. Biagio), a portion of whose throat is included among the sacred objects inside.

Wooden Churches Around Snina

Near the Ukrainian border are some beautiful examples of the traditional wooden churches reflective of the local Rusyn culture. By car, bike or foot is the only way to get around, as buses between villages are sporadic at best, and most don't run on weekends. Churches are locked except for services ask around for someone who can let you in. The first wooden church is 3km east of Snina in the village of Jalova. This tiny 1792 church was completely rebuilt by traditional methods in 2004. High on a hill, Topola, 13km east of Snina, is more impressive. The 18th-century iconostasis and 1819 Old Church Slovanic liturgy book are still inside the church. From Topola, instead of following the road, you can hike over the hill via the blue trail (2 hours) to Rusky Potok, 24km east of Snina. The church itself dates from the 1740s, but the rare liturgy books date from 1626 and 1654. Note the richly carved woodwork. A further 1 -hour hike east on the blue trail brings you to Ulicske Krive (1718),...

Churches Religious Services

On Sunday, masses of Apians dress in sparkling white to attend morning church services. Most churches have several services on this day, usually lasting an hour and some conducted in English. Visitors are welcome The Anglican Church (Map p75 IfiifiSt) is a lovely, unassuming building, the only such church in Samoa. Although not an old building, it has some beautiful stained-glasswork in the windows. The cornerstone inscription states that it was laid on '3 December 1944, the 50th anniversary of the falling asleep of Tusitala', referring to the anniversary of Robert Louis Stevenson's death. When the Reverend John Williams of the London Missionary Society (LMS) was killed on 20 November 1839, on Erromanga in Vanuatu, he was subjected to the cannibalistic traditions of the Melanesians of the day. His bones were recovered, however, and buried on the site where the simple wood and stone architecture of the disused Congregational Christian Church (Map pp62-3 cnr Beach Rd & Fa leaIili St)...

Churches Cathedrals a Cemetery

Many of the churches listed below put on lunchtime concerts. Tickets are usually free, although it's customary to leave a small donation. The City Information Centre, St. Paul's Churchyard, EC4 (& 020 7332-1456), can give you a full list. It's open from 9 30am to 5pm, daily April through September and weekdays October through March, and 9 30am to 12 30pm on winter Saturdays. Brompton Oratory fj The priests of the Institute of the Oratory, founded by St. Philip Neri, serve this amazing church, which architect Herbert Gribble modeled after the Chiesa Nuova in Rome. Completed in 1884, its baroque extravagance marked a revival of English Catholicism. The marble statues of the apostles are by Mazzuoli and were originally in Siena Cathedral. The Oratory is famous for its beautiful musical services the organ has nearly 4,000 pipes and for the Latin mass, sung at 11am on Sunday. CHURCHES, CATHEDRALS & A CEMETERY

York Minster Englands Largest Gothic Church

When missionaries from Rome arrived in the late sixth century to convert England, York in the north, like Canterbury in the south, was established as an archbishopric. The importance of York as a city is reflected in the overwhelming size of its church. The largest Gothic church in England, York Minster has more rare medieval stained glass than any other church in the country. Many English cathedrals are built on the sites of earlier churches, but York Minster was built over a Roman military headquarters. If you visit, go down into the undercroft (the rooms below the church), where excavations have revealed Roman walls and streets. I describe York and its magnificent church in more detail in Chapter 21.

Kids The Bone Church in Sedlec

A visit to Kutna Hora isn't complete without a trip to Kostnicetf , the Bone Church. It's located 1.6km (1 mile) down the road in Sedlec. Those who don't want to walk can board a local bus on Masarykova Street. The fare is 8Kc (30i), and you have to have a ticket before boarding. Tickets are not sold on the bus but at newspaper stands (tabak). From the outside, Kostnice looks like most other Gothic churches. But from the moment you enter the front door, you know that this is no ordinary church all of the decorations are made from human bones. No kidding. Frantisek Rint, the church's interior decorator, created crosses of bone, columns of bone, chalices of bone, and even a coat of arms in bone for the Schwarzenberg family, who owned the church. The obvious questions are Where did the bones come from, and why were they used for decorations The first question is easier to answer The bones came from victims of the 14th-century plague and the 15th-century Hussite wars both events left...

Cizhong Catholic Church

This unexpected church (Cizhong Tianzhu Jiaotang), 80km south of Deqin in the middle of a quiet village (Cizhong), is based on the design of French cathedrals. (It actually isn't so surprising, given the number of churches to the west in the Nujiang Valley.) Built by French missionaries in 1867, it burned down in 1905 but was reconstructed by the local government over a period of 12 years. Wine is still made from vineyards planted by the missionaries. To get here take any bus bound for Weixi. There were no guesthouses open (although there used to be one) on a last pass through.

Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary

Passing beneath the flying buttresses of the Convent of St Monica, about 250m further along the road is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which stands on the top of a high bluff. It is one of the earliest churches in Goa - the legend has it that Albuquerque surveyed the attack on the Muslim city from the bluff and vowed to build a church there in thanks for his victory. The church, which has been beautifully restored, is Manueline in style, and refreshingly simple in design. There are excellent views of the Mandovi River and Divar Island from the church's dramatic position, but unfortunately the building is frequently locked. The only ornaments on the outside of the church are simple rope-twist devices, which bear testimony to Portugal's reliance on the sea. Inside the same is true the reredos is wonderfully plain after all the gold of those in the churches below, and the roof consists simply of a layer of tiles. Set into the floor in front of the altar is the tombstone of one of...

Church Of Our Saviouratilino

On the outside, the 14th-century Church of Our Saviour-at-llino (ul lllna adult student R60 30 S 10am-5pm Wed-Sun) has graffiti-like ornaments and lopsided gables that are almost playful. Inside are the only surviving frescoes by legendary Byzantine painter Theophanes the Greek (and they came close to extinction when the church served as a Nazi machine-gun nest). Recent restoration has exposed as much of the frescoes as possible, though they are still faint. A small exhibit upstairs includes reproductions with explanations in Russian. Note Theophanes' signature use of white warlike paint around the eyes and noses of his figures, and their piercing expressions. The church itself, east of Yaroslav's Court, is pure Novgorod style. OTHER CHURCHES & SIGHTS In contrast to the Church of Our Saviour-at-llino, the 17th-century Moscow-style Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign (adult student R40 22 S 10am-5pm Thu-Tue) across the street is more complex. Another interesting study in contrasting...

Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church

One of the symbols not just of Sofia but of Bulgaria itself, this massive, awe-inspiring church (Map p88 pi Aleksander Nevski) was built between 1882 and 1912 in memory of the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria's independence during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78). Designed by the esteemed Russian architect AN Pomerantsev, the church was built in the neo-Byzantine style favoured in Russia at the time and adorned with mosaics and gold-laden domes. The cavernous, incense-scented interior is decorated with naturalistic murals, pendulous chandeliers and elaborate onyx and alabaster thrones. A door to the left of the main entrance leads to the Aleksander Nevski Crypt (Museum of Icons 981 5775 admission 4 Iv S 10am-5.30pm Tue-Sat). It displays Bulgaria's biggest and best collection of religious icons from the last millennium, brought here from churches all over the country.

Church of Saints Peter and Paul O

The Church of Saints Peter and Paul (Kosciol sw sw Piotra i Pawla) is one of the most beautiful early Baroque churches in Poland. It was built for the Jesuits soon after their arrival in Cracow. Work began in 1596, but after a structural disaster in 1605, the church was almost completely rebuilt to the design of an architect who remains unknown to this day. The church is enclosed by railings topped with the twelve figures of the apostles dating from 1715-22. The interior of the building contains fine stuccowork by Giovanni Battista Falconi and rich Baroque furnishings. The high altar and the organ screen, designed Baroque fa ade of the Jesuit Church of Saints Peter and Paul Baroque fa ade of the Jesuit Church of Saints Peter and Paul

Castles Towers Churches Mosques Caves

Much of Transcaucasia's architectural heritage is set in impossibly beautiful locations. Start with Tbilisi's Metekhi Church (p55) and Narikala Fortress (p55), then move out to the old churches of Mtskheta (p70) and to the sublime Tsminda Sameba Church (pl02). Enjoy Kutaisi's Bagrati Cathedral (p79) and Gelati monastery (p81) before you head up to the towers ofSvaneti (p94). Don't miss the cave monasteries ofVardzia (pl21) and Davit Gareja (pi 13).

St Catharine Church And Abbey

There were two earlier churches on this site before the present one was constructed in the 15th century. During the Reformation it was converted into a parish church and hospital, but by the early 20th century the structure had declined so badly that a novel way of reclaiming it was utilized - namely, using numerous jacks underneath it (one still survives) to bring it back to the perpendicular. One of the outstanding features of Skt. Catharine is the charming cloister. Access to the church and abbey is only allowed when services are not in progress, and hours vary seasonally. From May to September, Sct. Catharine is open daily, 10 am to midday, and 2 to 5 pm. From October to April it closes at 4 pm. Admission is free for the church and DKK 3 for the Abbey.

St Peters Roman Catholic Church

The shrivelled litde head of the martyr St Oliver Plunkett (1629-81) is the main draw of the 19th-century Catholic church (West St), which is actually two churches in one the first, designed by Francis Johnston in classical style and built in 1791 and the newer addition, built in the Gothic style visible today. Plunkett's head - from which the rest of him was separated following his hanging in 1681 - is in a glittering brass-and-glass Church of Our Lady of Lourdes 6 B1 St Peter's Church of Ireland 12 B2 St Peter's Roman Catholic Church . 13 B3

Churchgoing Dos Donts

As a rule, working churches are open to one and all, but as a visitor you should take care not to disturb any devotions or offend sensibilities. On entering a church, men bare their heads and women usually cover theirs. Female visitors can often get away without covering their heads, but miniskirts are unwelcome and even trousers on women sometimes attract disapproval. Hands in pockets or legs or arms crossed may attract frowns. Photography at services is generally not welcome if in doubt, you should ask permission first. The iconostasis is composed of up to six tiers of icons. The biggest tier will be the deisusny ryad (deesis row), whose central group of icons, known as the deesis, consists of Christ enthroned as the judge of the world, with the Virgin and John the Baptist interceding for humanity on either side. Archangels, aposdes and Eastern Church fathers may also appear on this row. Below the deesis row are one or two rows of smaller icons the bottom one is the mestny ryad...

Visiting Marae Churches

Visiting church is another real highlight, and even if you're not particularly religious you should make the effort to go. Church going is serious business in the Cooks on Sunday, the islands virtually shut, everyone dons their best outfits and poshest hats, and retires to one of the many churches for the Sunday service. The islands have become fa mous for their extraordinary choral singing, which is best heard at a church service - the harmonies are beautiful and the volume is sometimes enough to raise the roof. If you're visiting church, follow a few simple rules to avoid offending anyone women should wear sleeves to cover shoulders and upper arms. Don't wear a pareu (sarong) or shorts to church and crop-tops and bikinis are also no-nos. A skirt or dress is best, preferably with the hemline at or below the knee. It's customary for women to wear hats in the CICC, but don't worry about it if you don't have one - locals understand that visitors to the islands are not usually travelling...

Church Of The Saviour On Spilled Blood Map pp

Built between 1883 and 1907 in memory of reformist Tsar Alexander II. On this spot in 1881, a terrorist group known as the People's Will attempted to assassinate the tsar by blowing up his carriage, which did eventually result in his death. Officially called the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, it was intended as a private place of mourning for the life of the tsar. It was the Bolsheviks who threw the ornate doors of this amazing candy-cake structure open to the people. Not built to withstand the wear and tear caused by thousands of visitors, its interior quickly began to suffer. Following the closure of churches by Stalin in the 1930s, the church was used to store various items from potatoes to theatre sets. Decades of abuse and neglect finally ended in the 1980s, which was surprising given a political climate that was still very cold to religion. It's now famed as the church that took 24 years to build and 27 to restore, for that's how long it took to refurbish the 7000 sq...

Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary

The brick tower of the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary (Kosciol Nawiedzenia NMP) rises over the roofs of the houses on the bank of the River Vistula. This church is the oldest in the New Town. It was built at the beginning of the 15th century by the Mazovian princess, Anna, wife of Janusz I, the Elder, and is reputed to stand on the site of a pagan sacred spot. In the cemetery next to the church there stands a modern statue of Walerian Lukasinski (1786-1868), founder of the National Patriotic Society. From the terrace next to the church, there is a magnificent view of the Vistula valley. Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary SIGHTS AT A GLANCE Churches Carmelite Church Q Church of the Holy Cross O Church of St Anne O Church of the Visitation O The most impressive buildings are on Krakowskie Przedmiescie. This splendid location on the edge of the escarpment inspired powerful citizens to build large houses with gardens. Many...

Kasagh Gorge Churches

Churches from the 6th to the 16th century dot the landscape north and south of Ashtarak along the gorge of the little Kasagh River. Across the gorge from Yerevan on the northern outskirts of Ashtarak is the village of Mughni, with the splendid Surp Gevorg Church, finished in 1669, featuring striped bands of stone around its central drum and a classic half-folded umbrella cone on top. The village is an easy turn-off from the main highway that runs north to Spitak. About 8km southwest of Ashtarak in Oshakan is a 19th-century church built over the tomb of St Mesrop Mashtots, the genius who created the Armenian alphabet.

St Georges Parish Church

This parish church was originally built in the 1630s, a decade after the British first settled in Barbados, but like all of the island's old wooden churches, it was destroyed in the ferocious hurricane of 1780. The present building dates from 1784, and is the oldest complete church in the country.With its Georgian arched windows and doors, and Gothic buttressing and battlements, the church is an odd architectural hybrid. However, the altar painting of the resurrection, Rise to Power, by Benjamin West, is one of the best church paintings on the island, and elsewhere are several fine marble commemorative sculptures made in England, including a tablet by Richard Westmacott, sculptor of the statues of Nelson in Trafalgar Square, London and in Bridgetown.The airy chancel is notable for its attractive series of

Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit

This is the main Orthodox church in Lithuania. The male and female monasteries next to the church are the only working Orthodox monasteries in Lithuania. The privilege of constructing the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit from stone was granted by the Lithuanian-Polish King, Wladyslaw Vasa. The interior of the church is decorated with stucco mouldings and sculptures, which is not typical of Orthodox churches in other countries. Stucco is a mixture of high-quality piaster and marble, most often white or yellowish. A decorated reliquary in the centre of the Church of the Holy Spirit contains the remains of three Orthodox saints St. Anthony, St. Eustatius and St. John. The Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius is the only Orthodox church in Lithuania built as a Baroque church in the shape of the Latin cross. By the end of the I 6th century, a monastery, a school and a printing shop were situated next to the church. In the I 8th century, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit could not avoid...

Influence of the Church

It was hardly surprising then that the Catholic Church was heavily involved in the struggle for Irish freedom, although the traditionally conservative church was careful to only lend its support to lawful means of protest, such as Daniel O'Connell's Repeal Movement and, later, Parnell's Home Rule fight. When Parnell became embroiled in a divorce scandal in 1890, the church condemned him with all its might, thereby ending his career. It also condemned any rebel notion that smacked of illegality or socialism - the Easter Rising was roundly denounced from the pulpit for its bloodletting and its vaguely leftist proclamation. If the Roman Catholic Church was shackled for much of the English occupation, it more than made up for it when the Free State came into being in 1922. The church's overwhelmingly conservative influence on the new state was felt everywhere, not least in the state's schools and hospitals and over virtually every aspect of social policy. Divorce, contraception, abortion...

Ancient Christian Churches SYRIA

Christianity spread through Syria from the earliest days of the religion and many Christian sites still exist around the country. One of the most important is the village of Maalola where the inhabitants still speak Aramic, the language of Christ, and which contains the monasteries of Saint Sarkis and Saint Takla, named for two early Christian martyrs. Nearby is the Lady of Sednaya convent. In the great city of Aleppo is the Byzantine Cathedral of St. Helena, later converted into a mosque. The tour includes visits to the Mar Mousa monastery in Nabk, the Bosra Cathedral and the Saint Simeon Basilica, or Qalaat Samaan, which during the Middle Ages was one of the most important churches in the world, and Saint Paul's Church in Damascus.

Baroque church and convent of the Benedictine Abbey

The baroque church, built under supervision of abbot Agoston Lecs, is 46m long, 16m wide and has two towers of 34.5m height which puts it among the medium-sized churches of Hungary. Its interior decoration was constructed by wood-carver and cabinet-maker Sebastion Stulhoff between 1754 and 1779. The furnishings and the gilded wooden sculptures are excellent pieces of the Central European baroque art, just as the frescos painted by Karoly Lotz, Bertalan Szekely, Lajos Deak-Ebner during the restoration works in 1889-1890. The interior was fully restored by 1996, after the church was returned to the Benedictine Abbey in 1994. The inner restoration of the church frescos, altars, etc.) began 1992 and ended four years later. 1996 marks the start of an all-around restoration of the monastery. The friary, built simultaneously with the church, houses the Benedictine Abbey Museum. The single-storey square building connects to the south wall of the church, its wings 3. Calvinist church, belfry...

Iranian Armenian Churches

Exposed Brick Domes

The primeval Armenian churches in Iran were built starting from the 4th-5th centuries AD. They were based on a simple, or hypostyle basilica plan. In general, the basilica church included a long hall which stretched from east to west. The entrance to the church was on the western side, and an altar with flanking ambries was located on the eastern side. Gradually, these simple churches were extended on four sides by adding arcades and terraces along their outer walls. The hypostyle church differed from its plain predecessors Before the construction of an Armenian church, its site has to be consecrated. The blessing is performed by installing sacred stones according to a specially The churches of Esfahan stand out from the majority of the Armenian churches and are very close to Islamic religious buildings from the architectural viewpoint. The churches of Esfahan stand out from the majority of the Armenian churches and are very close to Islamic religious buildings from the architectural...

Fortified saxon churches

Saxon Settlements Near Churches

The Tarnave plateau, which stretches for some 120km between Bra ov and Sighi oara, is traditionally known as Burzen Land (Tara Barsei in Romanian). It was to this region that Saxons - mainly from the Franken region in western Germany - were invited by the Hungarian king Geza II in 1123. In the 15th and 16th centuries, following the increased threat of Turkish attacks on their towns, the settlements were strengthened with bulky city walls and fortified churches. Defensive towers in the churches served as observation posts and THE SAXON CHURCHES There are a number of fine fortified churches around these two towns. Bazna (Baassen in German), a small village first settled in 1302, is northwest of Media (head north towards Tarnaveni for 7km then west another 5km). Its late-Gothic St Nicholas' Church was built at the start of the 16th century on the ruins of a 14th-century original. Its highlight is the three pre-Reformation bells (1404) in the church tower. The 6m-tall wall that surrounded...

For Church Fans

The Associazione Chiese di Venezia (& 041-275-0462 www.chorus-ve.org) now curates most of Venice's top churches. A visit to one of the association's churches costs 2 ( 2.30) and (with a few exceptions) is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The churches are closed Sundays in July and August. If you plan to visit more than four churches, buy the 8 ( 9) ticket (valid for 1 year), which allows you to visit all of the following churches Santa Maria del Giglio, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria Formosa, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (reviewed here), San Polo, San Giacomo dell'Orio, San Stae, Alvise, Madonna del-l'Orto, San Pietro di Castello, Il Redentore (reviewed here), San Sebastiano (reviewed here), and San Marco cathedral's treasury. The association also has audio guides available at some of the churches for .50 (60i).

Churches

There are several impressive churches in the City Bowl that are worth a look. Nip inside the Groote Kerk (Map pp110-11 021-461 7044 Adderley St S 10am-2pm Mon-Fri,services 10am & 7pm Sun), mothership of the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, or NG Kerk), to admire the mammoth organ and ornate Burmese teak pulpit. The first church on the site was built in 1704, but only parts of this remain, with most of the current building dating from 1841. Converted from a barn in 1780, the first Lutheran Church (Map pp110-11 021-421 5854 98 Strand St S 10am-2pm Mon-Fri) in the Cape has a striking pulpit, perhaps the best created by the master German sculptor Anton Anreith, whose work can also be seen in Groote Kerk and at Groot Constantia (pi 19).

Churches Monasteries

Once glorious in their gilded baroque finery, Antigua's churches have suffered indignities from both nature and humankind. Rebuilding after earthquakes gave the churches thicker walls, lower towers and belfries and unem- bellished interiors, and moving the capital to Guatemala City deprived Antigua of the population needed to maintain the churches in their traditional richness. Still, they are impressive. In addition to those churches mentioned below, you'll find many others scattered around town in various states of decay. The Polic a Municipal de Turismo (p99) will provide free escorts to some of the outlying monuments, where robberies have sometimes occurred.

Wooden Churches

Dark wooden shingles cover onion-domed roofs, and brilliant icon screens decorate the interiors East Slovakia is dotted with picturesque wooden churches, largely made without nails. These houses of worship from the 18th to the early 20th century belong primarily to the Greek Catholic and Orthodox faiths. Parts of the Saris region and the Eastern Borderlands were home to the Rusyn minority usually associated with these churches. See the East Slovakia chapter for more information about wooden churches around Bardejov (p430) and Snina (p432).

Baroque Churches

Vieux Nice is celebrated for its Baroque churches. In addition to those mentioned here, there are half a dozen others worth visiting Ste Rita (rue de la Poisonnerie) G su (rue Droite), St Martin-StAugustin (pi StAugustin) St Fran ois-de-Paule (rue St-Fra n o i s-de-Pa u le ), St-Suaire (rue St-Suaire) and the Chapelle des P nitents Rouges (Rue Jules Gilly - Latin Mass every Sunday morning).

Churches Synagogues

As you stroll through Athens, you'll discover scores of charming churches. Many date from the Byzantine era of A.D. 330 to A.D. 1453 although virtually nothing survives from the early centuries of that Christian empire. Alas, vandals and thieves have forced many churches to lock their doors, so you may not be able to go inside unless a caretaker is present. If you do go inside, remember to dress suitably Shorts, miniskirts, and sleeveless shirts cause offense. If you wish, you can leave a donation in the collection boxes. Below we list a few churches to keep an eye out for. Mitropoleos gets almost universally bad press too big, too new, too . . . well, ugly. It also suffers terribly in comparison with the adjacent 12th-century Little Metropolis, with the wonderful name of the Panayia Gorgoepikoos (the Virgin Who Answers Prayers Quickly). The little church has a number of The square in front of the cathedral is a great place to people-watch on summer weekends, when nonstop weddings...

Killevy Churches

Surrounded by beech trees, these ruined, conjoined churches (admission free S24hr) were constructed on the site of a 5th-century nunnery that was founded by St Moninna. The eastern church dates from the 15th century, and shares a gable wall with the 12th-century western one. The west door, with a massive lintel and granite jambs, may be 200 years older still. At the side of the churchyard a footpath leads uphill to a white cross that marks St Moninna's holy well. The churches are 6km south of Camlough, on a minor road to Meigh. Look out for a crossroads with a sign pointing west to the churches and east to Bernish Rock Viewpoint.

Stave Churches

Stave churches were built in the 10th-12th centuries when missionaries came to the country and most Norwegians converted to the Christian faith. They are built completely of wood with an impressive design. The word stave means pole or post and these were the essential elements in constructing the churches. In most buildings from those days, the walls were made up ofpoles placed horizontally. Stave poles, on the other hand, were placed vertically, one in each corner. The poles would then function as the foundation and planks were placed on the sides, connected to each other with grooves from top to bottom. This system is what gave the stave churches their unique architecture and made it possible to build them much higher than conventional churches. Church at Borgund Church at Borgund In the year 1200, there were about 1,000 stave churches in the country. Many of them burned down over the years, while others were torn down deliberately and replaced by more modern churches. Today, there...

Other Churches

Of the other 12 churches in Jolfa only these two are open (sometimes). The frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the Church of Bethlehem (Kelisa-ye Bethlehem Map p234 Nazar St admission IR10,000), built in 1628, are arguably of a higher quality than those in Vank Cathedral. The interior of the high dome is decorated with swirling black motifs on a golden background, while the base is surrounded by paintings of Biblical scenes. The Church of St Mary (Kelisa-ye Maryam Map p234 Jolfa Sq) is similarly decorated, though with less flair. If the churches are closed, as they often are, and door-knocking doesn't work, ask for help at the cathedral.

Evangelical Churches

Teenage party but the worshipful incantations common in more than 1,500 evangelical churches that have sprung up in Puerto Rico since the Americans arrived in 1898. Today, 8 of Puerto Ricans are members of Protestant congregations, and 3 practice a different belief system, which includes Jews and Muslims. Fewer than 3 of Puerto Ricans state that they are not religious.

Church Design

Churches are decorated with frescoes, mosaics and icons, with the aim of conveying Christian teachings and assisting veneration. Different subjects are assigned traditional places in the church (the Last Judgement, for instance, appears on the western wall). The central focus is always an iconostasis (icon stand), often elaborately decorated. The iconostasis divides the main body of the church from the sanctuary, or altar area, at the eastern end, which is off limits to all but the priest.

Churches Of Mn

Most of the churches on Mon are medieval and many are graced with the best-preserved primitive frescoes in Denmark. The frescoes depict biblical scenes, often interpreted through light-hearted rustic imagery. These frescoes were obliterated with whitewash by post-Reformation Lutherans fearful of what they saw as too much Roman exuberance. Ironically, the whitewash dealt a blow to bigotry by preserving the frescoes, and 20th-century restoration has revealed them in all their glory. The style of Mon fresco painting owes much to the Emelundemestteren (the Elmelunde Master), an accomplished stylist whose name is unknown. Some of his finest work can be seen at Elmelunde Kirke (Kirkebakken 41 admission free S 8am-4pm Oct-May) on the road to Mons Klint.

St Catherines Church

Catherine's Church was the first church in Vilnius to undergo comprehensive renovation after the restoration of Lithuania's independence. The Church of St. Catherine, which used to belong to a Benedictine convent, is one of the most beautiful churches of the late Baroque period. The architectural ensemble of the convent was formed between the 17th and the 19th centuries. St. Catherine's Church acquired its present appearance after its reconstruction following the great fire of Vilnius in 1737. The reconstruction was supervised by the architect Jonas Kristupas Glaubicas (Johan Christoph Glaubitz), who was the creator of the graceful towers and elaborate fa ade pediments. In Soviet times, St. Catherine's Church was closed and turned into a warehouse, which resulted in substantial damage. The church opened its doors to visitors in 2006 and has become the new cultural centre of Vilnius. The main nave of St. Catherine's Church has been adapted for concerts and its vaults house various...

Sightseeing Churches

Michael's Episcopal Church, s 843-723-0603, is at the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets. Construction began in 1751 of a design that closely followed that of St. Mar-tin's-in-the-Fields in London. It was the second Episcopal church in Charleston, and features a Palladian Doric portico and a storied steeple that rises 186 feet above the city. The clock was installed in 1764 and has kept time ever since. The interior is rich and extensively decorated the pulpit is original. If you like to visit old churches, this one is a must. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 to 5 and Saturday, 9 to noon. Admission by donation.

The Church

MARY'S CHURCH This exceptional, three-naved example of Danish Gothic architecture was built in the early 14th century, on the site of a 12th-century Romanesque church the present structure incorporates sand- stone blocks from the earlier building. Construction of St. Mary's was finally completed in about the middle of the 15th century the church's distinctive, steeply gabled tower was not added until the 16th century. The interior is surprisingly modern in style, shunning the plainness of design adopted by most Scandinavian churches.

St Josephs Church

One of the four principal churches in Beijing, St Joseph's Church (Dong Tang Map p123 74 Wangfujing Dajie S6.30-7amMon-Sat, to 8am Sun subway Wangfujing) is also called the East Cathedral. Originally built in 1655, it was damaged by an earthquake in 1720 and rebuilt. The luckless church also caught fire in 1807, was destroyed again in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, and restored in 1904, only to be shut in 1966. It has been fully repaired and is now a more sublime feature of Wangfujing's commercial face-lift. A large square in front swarms with children playing and Chinese models in bridal outfits pose for magazine covers.

Vladimirskaya Church

The 18th century Vladimirskaya Church (Map pp234-5 312 1938 Vladimirsky pr 20 S8am-6pm (M) Vladimirskaya), designed by Quarenghi, was used as an underwear factory during Soviet times, but in 1990 it was reconsecrated and is now one of the busiest churches in town. For a brilliant view of its amazing onion domes have a drink in the 7th floor bar of the Hotel Dostoevsky across the road, part of the Vladimirsky Passazh shopping mall. If you can get past the hordes of babushkas and beggars outside, the church's interiors are also stunning (go upstairs to see the main body of the church).

Medieval Churches

By the 8th century Rome was firmly in the hands of the papacy, even if the papacy was far from firm itself. A pope's life was a risky one, so many took to building to leave some sort of historical imprint. The result was a flurry of church-building between the 9th and 12th centuries. By this time churches were almost universally based on the layout of the Roman basilicas (originally a basilica was a hall for public functions). Typically these were rectangular with a flat roof and wide nave, flanked on both sides by narrow aisles. A good example is the Basilica di Santa Sabina (p115), which owes much of its current look to the 9th and 13th centuries. Other churches dating to this period include the Chiesa di Santa Prassede (p94), built in the 9th century and famous for its spectacular mosaics, and the 8th-century Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin (p69), better known as home to the Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth). The 13th and 14th centuries were dark days for Rome as internecine...

The city of churches

The city of Ayacucho, capital of the region of Ayacucho, is in the southern central Andes, 583 km 362 miles from Lima 560 km 348 miles from Huancayo, and 582 km 362 miles from Cuzco. The area was the capital of the first Andean empire, the Wari Empire, which reached its peak towards the 6th century A.D. The Incas dominated this region in 1438, and the Spanish conquistadors founded the Christian city in 1539. Although there are a number of archaeological remains, Ayacucho is best known for its beautiful colonial architecture represented in over 30 churches, each with their richly decorated altars. On the plains of Quinua, the Battle of Ayacucho was fought on December 9, 1824 as the final seal to the independence of South America. Besides its attractive buildings and beautiful countryside, Ayacucho is known as the Capital of Peruvian Arts and Crafts for the number of families of artisans that have continued generation after generation to craft unique pieces such as the delicate...

Church Of St Cajetan

Modelled on the original design of St Peter's in Rome, this church was built by Italian friars of the Order of Theatines, who were sent by Pope Urban VIII to preach Christianity in the kingdom of Golconda (near Hyderabad). The friars were not permitted to work in Golconda, so they settled at Old Goa in 1640. The construction of the church began in 1655, and although it's perhaps less interesting than the other churches, it's still a beautiful building and the only truly domed church remaining in Goa. The altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, but the church is more popularly named after the founder of the Theatine order, St Cajetan (1480-1547), a contemporary of St Francis Xavier. Born in Vicenza, St Cajetan spent all of his life in Italy, establishing the Order of Theatines in Rome in 1524. He was known for his work in hospitals and with 'incurables', and for his high moral stance in an increasingly corrupt Roman Catholic church. He was canonised in 1671. The fa ade of...

Churches Cathedrals

Many of London's churches offer free lunchtime concerts a full list is available from the London Tourist Board. It's customary to leave a small donation. St. Etheldreda's The oldest Roman Catholic church in London, St. Etheldreda's stands on Ely Place, off Charterhouse Street, at Holborn Circus. Built in 1251, it was mentioned by the Bard in both RichardII and RichardIII. A survivor of the Great Fire of 1666, the church and the area surrounding it were the property of the diocese of the city of Ely, in the days when many bishops had episcopal houses in London, as well as, in the cathedral cities in which they held their sees. The property still has a private road, with impressive iron gates and a lodge for the gatekeeper. Six elected commissioners manage the church and area. St. Martin-hl-the-Fields Designed by James Gibbs, a disciple of Christopher Wren, and completed in 1726, this classical church stands at the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square, opposite the National Gallery. Its...

Church On A Sunday

No visitor to Tonga should miss the cultural experience of attending church. Besides, on a Sunday, that's where all the action is. Outside of the churches, the streets are empty, all businesses bar those for tourists are closed, sports events are prohibited, planes don't fly, and people are fined for swimming or fishing, although this is slowly changing. Whether you are religious or not, you'll find that Tongan church architecture is spectacular, the singing is world-class and it's a great opportunity to see the locals in their Sabbath finery. Most Tongans attend two worship services the main one begins at 10am, but others are also held at dawn and in the evening. It's important to dress respectfully and to remember that church is the one place in Tonga where punctuality is important

Little Blue Church

The tiny republic of Slovakia, or Slovensko to natives, is a small, narrow country landlocked in Central Europe. The boundary is defined by the Danube River to the west and the High Tatra Mountains extending along the northern border with southern Poland. The country's other mountain ranges have long defined the country and its distinctive ethnicity. Although now independent, Slovakia has a long history of annexation, military domination, and cultural repression from its much stronger neighbors in all four directions. Yet, somehow, a strong national identity remained, likely due to the Slovakians' view towards religion. Catholicism is much stronger here than in the Czech Republic or Hungary. Overflowing churches on Sunday is a common sight throughout Slovakia. In the far eastern part of Slovakia are the famous wooden churches, long an endearing image of the pious country. But few religious sites evoke the sentimentalism as the Little Blue Church near the heart of Bratislava, the new...

Moments Church Chat

One surefire way to announce yourself as an out-of-towner is to pause on Hanover Street between Prince and Fleet streets and proclaim that you see the Old North Church. The first house of worship you see is St. Stephen's, the only Charles Bulfinch-designed church still standing in Boston. It was Unitarian when it was dedicated in 1804. The next year, the congregation bought a bell from Paul Revere's foundry for 800. The design is a paragon of Federal-style symmetry. St. Stephen's became Roman Catholic in 1862 and was moved when Hanover Street was widened in 1870. During refurbishment in 1965, it regained its original appearance, with clear glass windows, white walls, and gilded organ pipes. It's one of the plainest Catholic churches you'll ever see. To continue on the Freedom Trail Walk around the fountain and continue to Salem Street, heading toward the steeple of the Old North Church. Hanover St. at Clark St. T Green or Orange Line to Haymarket. Old North Church Look up In this...

St Pauls Church

If you happen to be in the Majengo area of Mtwara, it's worth stopping in at St Paul's church to view its remarkable artwork. The entire front and side walls are covered with richly coloured biblical scenes painted by a German Benedictine priest, Polycarp Uehlein. The paintings, which took about two years to complete, are part of a series by the same artist decorating churches throughout southern Tanzania and in a few other areas of the country, including churches in Nyangao, Lindi, Malolo, Ngapa and Dar es Salaam. In addition to their style and distinctive use of colour, the paintings are notable for their universalised portrayal of common biblical themes. The themes were chosen to assist churchgoers to understand the sermons and to relate the biblical lessons to their everyday lives. During the years he has worked in Tanzania, Father Polycarp has taught several African students. The best known of these is Henry Likonde from Mtwara, who has taken biblical scenes and 'Africanised'...

The Norwegian Church

Sundays High Mass in Norwegian in most the city churches at 11.00. Services in English in The Chapter House of the Cathedral (Domkirken) from 1 June-31 Aug at 9.30. Built in the middle of the 12th century, but restored several times. Reached in half an hour by bus from Bergen Bus Station (E4). Opening hours Please contact the church's office. JOHANNESKIRKEN (St. John's Church) (E5) Built in 1894, Johanneskirken is one of the finest neo-Gothic churches in KORSKIRKEN - (D4) Tel. (+47)55 21 50 80. Korskirken was first built in the middle of the 12th century, but very little remains from this period. Today's church is predominantly from the 17th century. Renaissance in style. MARIAKIRKEN (St. Mary's Church) - Dreggen (C4) & One of the many noteworthy edifices damaged during the war by an explosion in 1944, but now fully restored to its former glory. The church is built in the architectural style of the early 18th century. Opening hours Please contact tel. (+47) 55 59 32 70. OTHER...

Basilica Minore Del Santo

This holiest of churches (Osme a Blvd admission free) is a real survivor. Built in 1565 and burnt down three times, it was rebuilt in its present form in 1737. Perhaps it owes its incendiary past to the perennial bonfire of candles in its courtyard, stoked by an endless procession of pilgrims and other worshippers. The object of their veneration is a Flemish image of the infant Jesus, sequestered in a chapel to the left of the altar. It dates back to Magellan s time and is said to be miraculous (which it probably had to be to survive all those fires). Every year, the image is the centrepiece of Cebu s largest annual event, the Sinulog festival (see opposite).

More cool things to see and do

Toledo overflows with worthy churches and monuments to draw your attention if you have more than an afternoon or single day in the city. Taking in another synagogue. The 12th-century Sinagoga de Santa Mar a la Blanca ( 925-22-72-57), the oldest of ten that once existed in Toledo, is one of only two that remain. (See the Sinagoga del Tr nsito review in the attractions section.) A national monument, it has a Christian name because it was taken over by the Catholic Church in 1405. The synagogue has classic horseshoe-shaped arches, similar to those of the landmark C rdoba Mosque (see Chapter 15). The surprising Moorish design is owed to the Muslim craftsmen who were commissioned to build it. The crafty Moors also built the synagogue so that it faces Mecca (luckily, in built in the tenth century, is tricky to find but well worth the effort. The Moors built the square brick mosque, one of the oldest surviving in Spain, on the site of a Visigothic church. In fact, some original pillars...

Arles Following in the Steps of Van Gogh

Boasting Roman ruins, medieval churches, 18th-century mansions, and tributes to 19th-century painter Vincent van Gogh, Arles is rich with history. Its strategic position on the Rh ne has long made it popular. Greeks first settled in the area around the 6th century B.C. In the 1st century b.c., Julius Caesar gave the city prominence in his empire after the citizens of Arles assisted the Romans in their capture of Marseille. It experienced a Golden Age when it was known as Rome of the Gauls.

Classical and organ concerts

More than a dozen Parisian churches regularly schedule relatively inexpensive organ recitals and concerts. The most glorious, where the music is nearly outdone by the gorgeous stained-glass windows, is Ste-Chapelle, 4 bd. du Palais, 1e ( 01-44-07-12-38 M tro Cit ). Concerts take place every day at 7 p.m. and 8 30 p.m. You can also hear music at St-Eustache, 1 rue Montmartre, 1er ( 01-42-36-31-05 M tro Les Halles) St-Sulpice, place St-Sulpice ( 01-46-33-21-78 M tro St-Sulpice), which has an amazing eight-columned pipe organ, concerts on most Sundays at 4 p.m. St-Germain-des-Pr s, place St-Germain ( 01-55-42-81-33 M tro St-Germain-des-Pr s) the Madeleine, place de la Madeleine ( 01-42-6483-16 M tro Madeleine) and St-Louis en l'Ile, 19 rue St-Louis-en-l'Ile ( 01-44-62-00-55 M tro Pont-Marie). In a less magnificent setting, the Sunday concerts at the American Church, 65 quai d'Orsay ( 01-40-6205-00 M tro Invalides or Alma-Marceau), are friendly and inviting and take place at 5 p.m. from...

Exploring The Town

Unalaska's most significant historic site is the Holy Ascension Cathedral. Completed in 1896 on the site of churches that had stood since 1808, the white church with green onion-shaped domes contains 697 icons, artifacts, and artworks a significant collection that has been continuously in use by the Aleut congregation. The congregation was founded by Father Ivan Veniaminov, who translated the Gospel into Aleut and has been canonized as St. Innocent. A 1.3-million restoration saved the church from collapse in 1996. It is a dignified, geometric counterpoint to the soft edge of sparkling Iliuliuk Bay.

Tips Specialty Travel Websites

At InfoHub Specialty Travel Guide (www.infohub.com), you can find tours in Italy (as well as other countries) centered around just about any and everything antiques, archaeology, art history, churches, cooking, gay life, nudism, religion, wineries, and much more. If this sounds expensive to you, don't worry while searching the site, you can even set your own price limit. Two other good resource sites for specialty tours and travels are the Specialty Travel Index (www.specialtytravel.com) and Shaw Guides (www.shawguides.com).

Exploring Moldavias Painted Monasteries

Among the great delights Romania has to offer (for some the greatest) are the monastic churches in the southern Bucovina region of Moldavia. With exteriors and interiors almost entirely covered in vivid frescoes of biblical tales images rendering the word of God (and the clergy) accessible to the illiterate masses these are considered so unique that the best preserved have been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status. Bluntly put, these well-preserved examples are nothing short of miraculous, given that their painted exteriors have faced exposure to extreme conditions, including snow and blinding sun, for 400 to 500 years. Located within fortified monastic complexes designed to stave off enemy attacks, the churches were erected to thank God for victories in battles against the Turkish invaders the frescoes that adorn the churches thus also honor their founders and ironically enough pay tribute to the violent warrior-leaders and womanizers, like tefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great), who...

Sights Activities

Here you'll find a plethora of museums, galleries, grandiose architecture, churches and unusual surprises. Most visitors head first for the Schlossberg to get an overview of the city and explore what remains of its fortress. This includes the medieval dock tower, plus a bell tower, bastion and garrison museum ( 827 348 adult concession 1.50 0.85 S 10am-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct). There are three main ways to ascend the glass Schlossberglift, hewn through the hill the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway (both requiring a Zone 1 transport ticket, 1.70) and the 260 steps near the lift (free).

Wwwsouthbankcentrecouk Belvedere Rd SE admission t Waterloo

CHURCH VENUES Many churches host evening concerts or lunchtime recitals year-round or during the summer months. Sometimes they are free (with a suggested donation requested) at other times there is a charge. A few of the city's redundant churches now serve as concert halls.

In Downtown Thessaloniki

Ayios Panteleimon This church, dedicated to one of the physician saints, is a popular place to light a candle and say a prayer for good health. The church, all that remains of a large monastery on this spot, is usually closed, but its elaborate brick and stone work makes it a delight even to glimpse from the street. If you do get inside, note how the central dome is supported by four barrel vaults, a distinctive characteristic of Macedonian churches. Corner of Egnatia and iassonidou. Church of Ayia Sofia It's a pity that Thessaloniki's two most important churches Ayia Sofia (Holy Wisdom) and Ayios Dimitrios (St. Demetrios) are both heavily restored. Still, each is worth visiting for its importance in the city's history and for its fine mosaics, although both lack the pleasantly dusty ambience and odor of sanctity of Thessaloniki's less heavily restored churches. Thessaloniki's 7th-century Ayia Sofia was inspired by the emperor Justinian's famous 6th-century church of Ayia Sofia in...

The Top Attractions

Chiesa di San Francesco (The Cloister of St. Francis) While few people come here to look at churches, this one is worth a peek. It dates from the 14th century, and offers pretty archways and a lovely garden. The convent is also an art school that regularly offers exhibits. Via San Francesco. & 081 878-1269. Free admission. Daily 9am-6pm.

Carmona A crossroads of cultures

Carmona, a pretty, ancient walled city on a plateau an hour from Seville, has narrow whitewashed streets, a number of handsome, noble Renaissance homes, and a handful of churches and convents. It also has three Moorish fortresses. Carmona's fame rests on its reputation as one of the oldest inhabited places in Spain (Phoenicians and Carthaginians preceded the Romans). It has two landmark gates the Puerta de

Classical Concerts Around Town

When strolling, you'll undoubtedly pick up or be handed lots of leaflets advertising chamber concerts in churches, museums, and other venues. These recitals and choral arrangements usually have programs featuring a classical and baroque repertoire, with an emphasis on pieces by Czech composers. The quality varies, but the results are usually enjoyable. Tickets range from 50kC to 350KC ( 1.35 9.45) and can be purchased at the churches' entrances or sometimes from hotel concierges. The Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel sv. Mikulase), Staromestske namesti, Praha 1 (& 224-190-994), is one of the city's finest baroque gems. Chamber concerts and organ recitals are popular here, and the acoustics are terrific. There's also a lot to look at rich stucco decoration, sculptures of saints, and a crown crystal chandelier.

If you have three days

Spend Day 1 and Day 2 as indicated in the preceding section. On the morning of Day 3, take the bus up to Fiesole to enjoy the city's cool pleasures and Roman ruins. Get back to Florence for lunch, and afterward go back to Palazzo Pitti, this time to stroll amid the Boboli Gardens. Later in the afternoon, take in a few of the churches you've missed Santa Trinita, Ognissanti, the Badia or just wander the medieval streets. Shoppers may want to revisit the leather market or hit the fashion strip of Via de' Tornabuoni. Art lovers can head back to the Uffizi.

Moments Feeling Devout

The best time to experience any of Sofia's Orthodox Churches is when the domes are filled with the sonorous sounds of chanting, and the candelabras are ablaze with the flickering flames lit by the devotional for the living and the dead. Religion is alive and thriving in Bulgaria, and the rich ritual and huge and varied community it serves from young vamps in figure-hugging jeans and snakeskin boots, to aged widowers in black bent over walking sticks can affect even the most jaded traveler. If you feel moved to participate, purchase a few candles from the booth note that traditionally candles for the dead are placed on the floor, while candles for the living are around eye-height. Daily liturgy usually takes place at 8am and 5pm at Alexander Nevsky Saturday the vigil occurs at 6 30pm, while the Sunday evening Mass takes place at 9 30pm.

Seeing The Sights

During July and August, the Tralee Tourist Office (see above) sponsors guided walks that take in the local churches, the Square, Market Lane, Ashe Hall, Siamsa Tire, the Town Park, and principal streets. Departures are at 10am and 4 and 9pm. After the 9pm walks, participants are taken to the local pubs to enjoy folk and traditional music. Prices start at 8 ( 9.60). Blennerville Windmill Just 4.8km (3 miles) west of Tralee and reaching 20m (65 ft.) into the sky, this landmark is the largest working windmill in Ireland or Britain. Built in 1800 by Sir Rowland Blennerhasset, it flourished until 1850. After decades of neglect, it was restored in the early 1990s and is now fully operational, producing 5 tons of ground whole-meal flour per week. The visitor complex has an emigration exhibition center, an audiovisual theater, craft workshops, and a cafe.

En Route To Port Arthur

Richmond is just 26km (16 miles) northeast of Hobart and is the site of the country's oldest bridge (1823), the best-preserved convict jail in Australia (1825), and several old churches, including St. John's Church (1836) the oldest Catholic church in the country. Richmond also has plenty of tearooms, crafts shops, galleries, and antiques stores.

The Ruins of the Monastery of St Francis

This site has hosted three Franciscan churches and monasteries. The first was the first monastery in America a small wooden structure with a thatched roof built about 1502, when the Franciscans first arrived on the island. The second was constructed between 1508 and 1511 as a burial site for Don Francisco Garay, a wealthy miner who built the first stone house in the city, Casa del Cord n. The third was the church whose remains still stand, albeit in poor repair. The present construction began around 1556 and wasn't completed until nearly a century later. The church has been damaged by earthquakes and sacked by Sir Francis Drake. All that remains of the original monastery today are the impressive entrance (note the curling stone belt like that worn by the Franciscan order) and a few remnants of the original adobe walls. The Franciscan monks proselytized and educated native Tainos from this location. (Their most noted student was the celebrated Taino cacique, Guarocuya - baptized...

Pop elevation m

The sleepy town of Amecameca, 60km east of Mexico City, is the key staging point for an Izta climb. With volcanoes and 16th-century churches as a backdrop, it makes an appealing destination in itself. A lively market convenes daily next to the church, and there are ATMs and internet caf s around the plaza.

San Cristbal In Two Days

Start the day inhaling the rich aroma of a locally-roasted cup of Chiapan coffee (p820) and then limber up with a Posada Ganesha yoga class (p816) . Put on some comfortable walking shoes and set out to explore the colonial churches of Templo de Santo Domingo (p813) and the cathedral (p813), and then get lofty, climbing the twin hills of Cerro de San Crist bal and Cerro de Guadalupe (p813) to survey the city.

What To See Do The Top Attractions

What Patmos lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Apart from its natural beauty and its 300-plus churches, to which we can't possibly provide a detailed guide here, there are several extraordinary sights the Monastery of St. John, the Cave of the Apocalypse, and the medieval town of Hora

Marina Stampace Around

South of Piazza Costituzione the maze of lanes leading to the seafront is known as the Marina and, aside from being good for hotels and restaurants, this area is also blessed with several interesting churches. The Chiesa di Sant'Eulalia has the added perk of the Museo del Tesoro e Area Archeologica di Sant'Eulalia (Mutseu S 070 66 37 24 Piazza Sant'Eulalia adult concession 3 1.50 S lOam-lpm In the underground area you can see evidence of Roman roads, discovered when restoration work began on the church. Upstairs is the treasury containing a rich collection of religious art and artefacts. The centuries-old working-class district of Stampace has several impressive churches

Architecture Of The Age Of The Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights, who ruled Eastern Pomerania and Prussia in the 13th and 14th centuries, left impressive brick-built Gothic buildings. The knights built defensive castles (such as those at Malbork, Gniew and Bytow) and city walls (as at Chelmno and Torun), and founded numerous churches.

Vestiges Of The Piast Dynasty

The Piast dynasty witnessed the development of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture. Romanesque churches have survived in Tum (see p229), Czerwinsk (see p114) and Tyniec (see p145). The abbeys in Sulejow, W chock (see p152) and Koprzywnica date from the 13th century. Some of the Gothic castles of Kazimierz the Great can be seen in the Jura region - for example at B dzin, Olsztyn and Bobolice (see pp158-9).

Classical Music Performance Arts

Around Prague you'll see fliers advertising concerts and recitals for tourists. It's a good chance to relax in atmospheric old churches and stunning historic buildings, but unfortunately many performances are of mediocre quality. The programme changes weekly, and prices begin around 400Kc.

BOJIOrOflCKAil Oejiactb

Due to its prominence up until the 17th century, the Vologda region has a rich history and plenty of lovely old churches. Its capital, Vologda, is especially worth the trip from Moscow or Yaroslavl, but also in this region are the World Heritage-listed frescoes of Ferapontovo and the official home town of Father Frost, Russia's equivalent of Father Christmas. About 450km northeast of Moscow, Vologda is a pleasant provincial city with a high concentration of churches and monasteries, many lovely parks and wide avenues, and a low-rise city centre with a good

HANDS of Lian Masters

Devistating fires in the years 1662 80 reduced the proud, Gothic bishopric seat, including the cathedral, residence, churches and residential housing, to rubble. In the following decades of reconstruction, Italian Baroque masters, using the ruins from the fires, created today's city skyline, with its southern European flair. They built St. Paul's, St. Michael's and St. Nikola's churches, the episcopal residence, the city hall and canons' courts as well as a number of residential dwellings.

Ausros Vartai Gate of Dawn

According to an example by the Flemish artist Marten de Vos. Catholics, Orthodox and Uniates (i.e. Greek Catholics) all worshipped the painting and considered it to be miraculous. It is known worldwide and copies are preserved in churches in many other countries. For example, a copy can be seen in the St. Severin's Church in Paris and in most Polish churches.

Colonial District The Quays

An urban treasure-trove of pristine colonial buildings, galleries, museums, massive shopping centres, parks and three riverside entertainment strips, this is the heart of Singapore. Nowhere else do you get as vivid a picture of Singapore as an organic city, where old courthouses and churches now welcome boozers and gluttons, men on trishaws offer you rides outside glassy megamalls and everywhere you look there is the loud echo of British rule. churches, the old and new parliament houses, the art and history museums and, dragging the area into the present, the dazzlingly contemporary 'durians', otherwise known as Esplanade -Theatres on the Bay.

Religious Architecture

With today's religious renaissance (p34) sweeping China like a torrent, temples and shrines citywide are again the focus of spiritual aspirations for innumerable worshippers. In addition to the shrines listed below, Shanghai has an abundance of Catholic, Protestant and Russian Orthodox churches, synagogues and mosques, many of which are covered in the Neighbourhoods chapter and the walking tours. One striking difference from Christian churches is their open plan, with buildings interspersed with breezy open-air courtyards. This allows the climate (hail or shine) to permeate seasons therefore play an essential role in defining a temple's disposition. The open-air layout furthermore allows the qi energy) to circulate, dispersing stale air and allowing incense to be liberally burned.

Colonial Art Architecture

Post-conquest, the Spanish transformed central Mexico, establishing ceramic industries at Puebla, mines at Taxco, and wheat, sugar, pulque and cattle-producing haciendas. The Catholic church used the region as a base for its missionary activities, leaving a series of imposing churches and fortified monasteries. Today, most towns retain a central plaza surrounded by colonial buildings. The entire central region is dotted with superb leftovers from the colonial period. Perhaps the most impressive showpiece is the colonial center of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City, where the facades of palaces and churches display the region's trademark tilework. Similarly tiled church domes spring up like painted mushrooms between the buildings of nearby Cholula and Tlaxcala. The legacy of successive silver rushes, the town of Taxco presents an amazing agglomeration of scrupulously preserved colonial structures that seem to spill down a steep hillside. Located three hours south of the capital, it...

Piazzale San Lorenzo h pm pm cj Piazzale del Verano

The only of Rome's major churches to have suffered bomb damage in WWII, the Basilica of St Lawrence Outside the Walls is one of Rome's seven pilgrimage churches. An atmospheric, tranquil place, it's a hotchpotch of rebuilds and restorations. The original church was constructed by Constantine in the 4th century over St Lawrence's burial place, but it was rebuilt in 579 by Pope Pelagius II. Subsequently a nearby 5th-century church was incorporated - a job that was started in the 8th century and took more than 500 years to complete. The result was the church you see today. The nave, portico and much of the decoration date from the 13th century. Highlights are the Cosmati floor and the 13th-century frescoed portico, depicting events from St Lawrence's life. The remains of St Lawrence and St Stephen are in the church crypt beneath the high altar. A pretty barrel-vaulted cloister contains inscriptions and sarcophagi and leads to the Catacombe di Santa Ciriaca, where St Lawrence was...