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Warwick Castle tournament and fair

Warwick Castle tournament and fair


Venice, Accademia, Saint Jerome

Venice, Accademia, Saint Jerome


Venice: San Marco Cathedral

Venice: San Marco Cathedral

San Marco is much older than most Western European cathedrals. Some of the mosaics are more than a thousand years old. The gold dome glitters in the candlelight of Easter vespers.


Saalfurt Roman fort, moat

Saalfurt Roman fort, moat


Saalfurt Roman fort, main building within fort

Saalfurt Roman fort, main building within fort


Saalfurt Roman fort, walls

Saalfurt Roman fort, walls


Saalfurt Roman fort, outside Frankfurt, Germany

Saalfurt Roman fort, outside Frankfurt, Germany

Saalfurt is the site of one of the Roman frontier forts, built along the northern border of the Roman empire. It was reconstructed in the early 1900s and is the most complete example of a Roman fort.


Ladies' view, Killarney

Ladies' view, Killarney

Looking down on the Upper Lake. This spot was named because Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting came here during the Queen's visit to Ireland in 1861. But I prefer to remember far older times, when Finn and his Fianna hunted here and there were talking eagles in the hills.


Gougane Barra

Gougane Barra

Saint Finbarr, founder of the city of Cork, came here 1400 years ago to live in solitude by the lake at the source of the Lee. Gougane Barra is still a lovely, quiet place.


Ring fort on the South Downs near Lancing, West Sussex

Ring fort on the South Downs near Lancing, West Sussex


One of the many unknown soldiers of Omaha Beach.

One of the many unknown soldiers of Omaha Beach.

Here rests a comrade in arms known but to God. June 6, 2004.


Omaha Beach at peace. June 6, 2004

Omaha Beach at peace. June 6, 2004

Omaha Beach seen from the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, after the ceremonies on the 60th anniversary of D-Day.


Pointe du Hoc, June 8, 2004

Pointe du Hoc, June 8, 2004

Pointe du Hoc, where the Rangers climbed a hundred-foot cliff under German fire, is a place of grown-over bomb craters and blasted German bunkers, where the huge destruction of war can still be seen.


Omaha Beach: Les Braves

Omaha Beach: Les Braves

Omaha Beach on June 8, 2004. This sculpture, by a Frenchwoman born in the 1960s, Anilore Banon, is called Les Braves. I would have preferred to see the beach empty forever, but the sculpture is somehow appropriate.


Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel is named after the archangel who defeated the devil. Long before there was a Christian church here, the island was sacred to a Celtic god. You see the "Marvel" being built on its platform at the beginning of the Bayeux tapestry.


The "Oldest Road"

The "Oldest Road"

The Ridgeway is an ancient, pre-Saxon, pre-Roman, even pre-Celtic track of more than a hundred miles through the English countryside near Stonehenge and Avebury. It has never been plowed over and runs past many ancient sites, including ringforts, Wayland's Smithy, and the White Horse of Uffington. Even though it is in one of the most overcrowded areas of Europe, it is a lonely, beautiful place to walk.


Iona, Scotland

Iona, Scotland

Iona is the isle where Saint Columba founded his great monastery. The island is considered remote in modern times but the Irish Sea is full of islands and there was much travel among them. It is a beautiful part of the world.


Towers of Notre Dame de Paris

Towers of Notre Dame de Paris


Window of Notre Dame de Paris

Window of Notre Dame de Paris


Façade of Notre Dame de Paris, saints

Façade of Notre Dame de Paris, saints

Including Saint Denis, first bishop of Paris, who was martyred on the hill Montmartre by the Romans. He was said to have picked up his head and walked north with it till he came to a stream. Then he handed it to a woman to wash. Saint Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, built the first church of Saint-Denis on the spot, where the Cathedral of Saint-Denis now stands just north of Paris, on the road to the airport.


Façade of Notre Dame de Paris, saints

Façade of Notre Dame de Paris, saints


Façade of Notre Dame de Paris

Façade of Notre Dame de Paris

In this section you see the damned in Hell, being tormented by demons, with the saints above.


Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

A wider view of the Last Judgment


Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

This is the Last Judgment. At the top is God seated on his throne. At the bottom, the righteous arise from their tombs, summoned by an angel with a trumpet. In the central section, an angel and a devil weigh each soul in the balance. The blessed, on the left (the right hand of God), go off to Heaven. The doomed, on the right, go off in chains to Hell with demons.


Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

Notre Dame de Paris, Portal

This is the Last Judgment. At the top is God seated on his throne. At the bottom, the righteous arise from their tombs, summoned by an angel with a trumpet. In the central section, an angel and a devil weigh each soul in the balance. The blessed, on the left (the right hand of God), go off to Heaven. The doomed, on the right, go off in chains to Hell with demons.


Main entrance of the Hotel de Sens

Main entrance of the Hotel de Sens


Tower at the Hotel de Sens

Tower at the Hotel de Sens


Tower at the Hotel de Sens

Tower at the Hotel de Sens

The Hotel de Sens is my favorite building in Paris. It was built for a bishop and is now a public Fine Arts library.


Cropredy Bridge, English Civil War site

Cropredy Bridge, English Civil War site

This was the site of an important battle of the English Civil War, on 29 June 1644, where the army of King Charles beat the Parliament forces.


Cropredy Bridge

Cropredy Bridge


The monastery of the Venerable Bede, Jarrow, England

The monastery of the Venerable Bede, Jarrow, England


Bede's monastery

Bede's monastery

At the time it was built, Bede's monastery was one of the grandest new buildings in England since Roman times. The king lived in a wooden hall.


Bede's monastery, Jarrow, England

Bede's monastery, Jarrow, England


Bede's monastery, near Jarrow, Yorkshire

Bede's monastery, near Jarrow, Yorkshire


The walls of Bede's monastery

The walls of Bede's monastery


Saint Paul's church, Jarrow, England

Saint Paul's church, Jarrow, England

The oldest part of this church was built in the time of the Venerable Bede and was one of the first stone buildings in Anglo-Saxon England, at a time when the king lived in a wooden hall.


A doorway in Bede's monastery, Jarrow, England

A doorway in Bede's monastery, Jarrow, England


Vikings carved by a contemporary, Lindisfarne

Vikings carved by a contemporary, Lindisfarne


Norman remains at Lindisfarne, the "Holy Isle"

Norman remains at Lindisfarne, the "Holy Isle"


Culloden Moor

Culloden Moor

Site of the battle that dashed the hopes of Bonny Prince Charlie and marked the end of traditional Gaelic Highland Scotland: 16th April 1746. Today it is a beautiful peaceful place. The visitor center stands where the British army faced the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. A new center is planned on neutral ground.


Culloden gravestone to the Mixed Clans

Culloden gravestone to the Mixed Clans


The main monument, Culloden battlefield

The main monument, Culloden battlefield


The plaque to the Irish soldiers at Culloden

The plaque to the Irish soldiers at Culloden

The Irish soldiers at Culloden were regulars from the French army and were treated honorably as prisoners of war, unlike the Highland Scots, who were considered traitors and rebels.

During the 18th century, an ambitious Irish Catholic man had no choice but to go abroad, because of the Penal Code enforced by the British colonizers at that time in Ireland, which condemned more than 95% of the population to the role of illiterate peasants. Many Irishmen served in the armies of Austria, Spain and France in these years.


Plaque to the French soldiers at Culloden

Plaque to the French soldiers at Culloden

The French soldiers who fought at Culloden for Prince Charles Edward Stuart were in the same volunteer tradition as Lafayette fighting for American independence. They were treated honorably after the defeat and returned to France.


Clava cairns

Clava cairns

This is a pre-Celtic burial ground, dating to 4000 years ago. A Victorian landlord planted the trees. It is a lovely, quiet spot.


Clava cairns

Clava cairns

Originally the stones making up the graves were multicolored. There are two concentric rows of large stones, with the largest facing the direction of the winter equinox; between them are many smaller stones of pink and gray.


Rheims Cathedral Façade

Rheims Cathedral Façade


Rheims Cathedral Façade closeup

Rheims Cathedral Façade closeup


Laughing angel at Rheims Cathedral door

Laughing angel at Rheims Cathedral door

This happy angel is Gabriel. There is another laughing angel, l'ange du sourire, on the left front door.


Interior of Rheims Cathedral, France

Interior of Rheims Cathedral, France

The kings of France were traditionally consecrated in this cathedral, starting with King Louis IX (Saint Louis), who was crowned as a child of 12 as the cathedral was still being finished. However, there had long been a church on the site. Clovis, the first Christian king of France, was christened here in 496 by Saint Remy, after whom the cathedral and town were named. The first cathedral here was said to have been built by Saint Nicaise, who is now the patron saint of the town of Rheims (now spelled Reims in French). Saint Nicaise was cut down on the steps of his church by barbarian invaders in the early 400s, and he picked up his head and walked off with it to the place where he was later buried. This behavior was so common among saints of the Dark Ages that there is a name for them: cephalophores.


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