The Pantheon

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple which is now a Catholic church, in Rome, Italy. It was originally commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. The oculus in the ceiling is open to the sky so sometimes it rains inside like it did the day we visited. It was built as a sundial to illuminate the emperor as he entered on important occasions.

It is also a basilica since Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael is buried there, He died April 6th, 1520, and had asked to be buried in the Pantheon. His request was granted, making him the first artist to be accorded such an honor.

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The Pantheon

Pantheon Interior

Pantheon Interior

The Pantheon

The Tomb of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbin

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona was built in the sixth century and is the oldest saving synagogue in Spain and one of five medieval synagogues in the world. It was built underground because because no house of worship was allowed to be taller than the smallest Catholic church. Of course then came The Spanish Inquisition 1391 and the Jewish quarter was sacked and over 300 were killed. Jews were forced to turnover all their possessions to the King and permitted to leave the country. The alternative was death of conversion to Catholicism. The Nazi’s didn’t invent this stuff they were just more efficient at it.

Today the synagogue is a museum. Barcelona has two working synagogues and a pollution of around 15,000 jewish people with about 45,000 in Spain. Of course like jewish people all over the world they face anti semitism but in Spain like the United States they are now free to practice their faith.

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Sagrada Família

La Sagradia Famila is regarded as Gaudi’s Masterpiece. Yet he did not start the project and it still remains unfinished, In 19 March 1882, construction of the Sagrada Família began under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned,Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural style. The church combines Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.

The Catholic Church does not support or fund this Cathedral and many consider it to be almost obscene. Unfortunately we did not get reservations and could not gain access to the structure. Still the exterior itself is magnificent and these photos give some idea of the detail that is persistent within the structure. It is massive and impossible to photograph in its entirety. The Church will have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South which is still under construction.

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Sagrada Família

Sagrada Família

Sagrada Família

https://sagradafamilia.org

The Pipe Organ at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome

This church, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, was fascinating for a number of reasons. It was built in the ruins of the Diocletian Baths of Ancient Rome. There are fenced off ruins right next to the basilica but visitors are not permitted. In addition to the beauty of the Basilica which I will share in another post, stuck in the corner is this magnificent pipe organ.

I was so busy looking at the glass, artworks and ceiling I didn’t notice the organ until the organist began to practice. The sound was amazing and we sat and listened for a while.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy and commonly known as Il Duomo. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436. Unfortunately it is one of those places that is almost impossible to photograph without a crane or a drone.

It is located in the Piazza del Duomo surrounded small streets and thousands of people. This shot taken 20 years ago from across the river in The Piazza of Michelangelo gives you an idea of the size and scope. Click Here

In this close view you can see the beauty and the style of marble used to create this sanctuary.

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Il Duomo

Ghosts of Köln

Years ago I learned the basics of blur motion photography. Placing the camera on a tripod and using a slow shutter speed allows you to create blurred motion on a still background. If you pan with the movement you will create another type of blur effect like this one entitled Running Deer. I have often thought of this process as creating ghosts.

While relaxing in Köln on the waterfront I decided to try to make some “ghosts” using a monopod. A lot of my attempts didn’t work. A monopod is not as good as a tripod but I still managed to capture a couple of ghosts.

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Ghosts of Köln

Ghosts of Köln

Ghosts of Köln

Köln Fall Foliage

This autumn we will be returning to Europe. Our last visit was during the autumn of 2016. This time we will be in Spain and Italy and I am sure we will not see any colorful fall foliage there. I remembered being disappointed in seeing little dramatic foliage during our last trip through Germany and Austria.

Looking through the files I think I was mistaken. These were taken in Köln (Cologne) Germany during that trip.

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Fall Foliage Köln Germany

Fall Foliage Köln Germany