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St. Onufry monastery, Jableczna, Poland

November 19th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

St. Onufry monastery in Jableczna, Poland. Built in XV century.

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St. Jacob’s church, Szczecin, Poland

November 16th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
St. Jacob\'s church, Szczecin, Poland - additional photo

St. Jacob's church in Szczecin, Poland. Built in XII century.

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Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, England

October 26th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. Mary's Cathedral) is a historic cathedral in Lincoln in England and seat of the Diocese of Lincoln in the Church of England. It was the tallest building in the world for over 200 years, but the central spire collapsed in the sixteenth century and was not rebuilt. It is highly regarded by architectural scholars; the eminent Victorian writer John Ruskin declared, "I have always held... that the cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have."

William the Conqueror ordered the first cathedral to be built in Lincoln, in 1072. Before that, St. Mary's Church in Lincoln was a mother church but not a cathedral, and the seat of the diocese was at Dorchester Abbey in Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Lincoln was more central to a diocese that stretched from the Thames to the Humber. Bishop Remigius built the first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site, finishing it in 1092 and then dying two days before it was to be consecrated on May 9 of that year. About fifty years later, most of that building was destroyed in a fire. Bishop Alexander rebuilt and expanded the cathedral, but it was destroyed by an earthquake about forty years later, in 1185.

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The Great Temple of Amun at Karnak, Egypt

September 18th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Great Temple of Amun at Karnak in Egypt.

The temple area is a vast open-air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world, and is probably the second most visited historical site in Egypt, second only to the Giza Pyramids near Cairo.

It consists of four main parts, of which only one is accessible for tourists and the general public. This is also the "main" temple part and by far the largest part. One can probably on that basis redefine the term Karnak, as to be understood as being the Precinct of Amon-Re only, as this is the only part most visitors normally see. The three other parts are closed to the public.

There are also a few smaller temples and sanctuaries located outside the enclosing walls of the four main parts, as well as several avenues of ram-headed sphinxes connecting the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Amon-Re and Luxor Temple.

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Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt

September 18th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut

The focal point of the Deir el-Bahri complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies". It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and commonly believed to be her consort), to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun. Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long ramps once were graced with gardens. It is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it, and is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt" . It is 97 feet tall.[citation needed]

The unusual form of Hatshepsut's temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahri, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep.

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St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, Kent, England

August 25th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

St Augustine's Abbey was a Benedictine abbey in Canterbury, Kent, England.

Early history

In the year 597, Saint Augustine arrived in England, having been sent by Pope Gregory I, on what might nowadays be called a revival mission. The King of Kent at this time was Ethelbert, who happened to be married to a Christian, Bertha. Whether or not his spouse influenced him, he allowed Augustine to found a monastery just outside the walls of Canterbury. Already standing on the site were three Saxon churches, dedicated respectively to Saints Pancras, Peter and Paul, and finally Mary. The Saxon-phase remains of the church of Saint Pancras are still extant, however, the other two churches were rebuilt by the Normans into one building. One of the main purposes of the abbey right from the outset was as a burial place for the Kings of Kent and the Archbishops of Canterbury. In 978 a new larger building was dedicated by Archbishop Dunstan, to the Saints Peter, Paul, and Augustine.

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Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England

August 19th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the Cathedral of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of All England and religious leader of the Church of England. It houses The Chair of St. Augustine As well as being the mother church of the Diocese of Canterbury (east Kent) it is the focus for the Anglican Communion. The formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.

The Cathedral is currently in a major fundraising drive to raise a minimum of £50 million to fund restoration.

A curious bird's-eye view of Canterbury Cathedral and its annexed conventual buildings, taken about 1165, is preserved in the Great Psalter in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. As elucidated by Professor Willis, it exhibits the plan of a great Benedictine monastery in the 12th century, and enables us to compare it with that of the 9th as seen at the abbey of Saint Gall. We see in both the same general principles of arrangement, which indeed belong to all Benedictine monasteries, enabling us to determine with precision the disposition of the various buildings, when little more than fragments of the walls exist. From some local reasons, however, the cloister and monastic buildings are placed on the north, instead, as is far more commonly the case, on the south of the church. There is also a separate chapter-house, which is wanting at St Gall.

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Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, Rome, Italy

July 20th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura — known in English as the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls or St Paul-without-the-Walls — is one of five churches considered to be the great ancient basilicas of Rome. The Roman Catholic Church counts among them St. John Lateran, St. Lawrence outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, and St. Peter's. Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, named in 2005, is the current archpriest of this basilica.

The basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over what was believed to be the burial place of Saint Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called a cella memoriae, over his grave. This first edifice was expanded under Valentinian I.

In 386, Emperor Theodosius I began the erection of a much larger and more beautiful basilica with a nave and four aisles with a transept; the work including the mosaics was not completed till the pontificate of Leo I. In the 5th century it was even larger than the Old St. Peter's Basilica. The Christian poet Prudentius, who saw it at the time of emperor Honorius, describes the splendours of the monument in a few, expressive lines. As it was dedicated also to Saints Taurinus and Herculanus, martyrs of Ostia in the 5th century, it was called the basilica trium Dominorum ("basilica of Three Lords").

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