http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse: Blog
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/img/s/v-5/u169909813-o553404520-50.jpg 2013-02-04T18:14:00Z (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-thirty-rome Day Thirty Saint Peter's Basilica Rome

My final day - Wow what a trip. Today I visited Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

The Centre of the Roman Catholic faith, St. Peter's draws pilgrims from all over the world. Few are disappointed when they enter the sumptuously decorated basilica beneath Michelangelo's vast dome. A shrine was erected on the site of St. Peter's tomb in the 2and century and the first great basilica, ordered by the Emperor Costantine, was completed around AD 349.

By the 15th century it was falling down, so in 1506 Pope Julius II laid the first stone of a new church. It took more than a century to build and all the great architects of the Roman Renaissance and Baroque had a hand in its design.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Here you can see Saint Peter's in the bottom right through the pillars that surround the square.

Saint Peter's Basilica

The following images are just a few of the many I took as I spent several hours exploring with my camera the beauty of this magnificent structure.

Picture below: The Basilica centers around the Papal Altar where only the Pope celebrates Mass. It was consecrated by Clement VIII, June 5, 1594, on top of several other older altars.

Rising above the altar is the baldacchino (95ft. canopy), Bernini's masterpiece and first work in St. Peter's. The ancient tomb of St. Peter lies directly below the altar.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Here three of the six candles and a cross that are on Papal Alter table.  In behind you can see St. Helen. She was the mother of Constantine. She converted to Christianity and performed many acts of charity, including building churches in Rome and in the Holy Land.

Legend has it that on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, St. Helen discovered the True Cross.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Chapel of the Pieta

This is probably the world's most famous sculpture of a religious subject. Michelangelo carved it when he was 24 years old, and it is the only one he ever signed. The beauty of its lines and expression leaves a lasting impression on everyone.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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This ancient statue of St. Peter, portrayed as he gives a blessing and preaches, while holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven is famous throughout the world. Some scholars have attributed it to Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302), but others believe that it is a V century casting.

Saint Peter's Basilica

Pilgrims who come to the Basilica traditionally touch and kiss its foot, so that it is literally worn thin. In the Middle Ages pilgrims who reached Rome, touched and kissed the foot of the statue and prayed to St. Peter asking that he be merciful and open the gates of heaven for them if they died during the pilgrimage.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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The Ceilings of the basilica are a feast for the eyes.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Under the Altar of St. Jerome is the resting site for the body of Bl. John XXIII. He is the 48th pope who rest in the basilica.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Monument to Pius VIII

The Pope is show kneeling, accompanied by a statue of Christ enthroned, with statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. The allegories are Prudence and Justice.

He was imprisoned in 1808 during the French domination of Italy for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon.

He approved the decrees of the Council of Baltimore (October 1829), the first formal meeting of US bishops.

Under the monument is a door leading to the Sacristy and Treasury Museum. In this passage is a list of all the popes buried in St. Peter's.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Here is the list of all the popes buried in Saint Peter's.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Statues made by man must be cleaned by man.

St. Veronica, according to pious tradition, was the woman who wiped the face of Jesus during the Way of the Cross.

The Relics of the Passion, kept in the loggia above, include a scrap of material with the imprint of a bearded man brought from Jerusalem in the crusades, believed to be Veronica's veil. Under this pier (statue), Pope Julius II laid the first stone of the new basilica on April 18, 1506.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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The Monument of Pius VII (1800-1823) occupies part of the left wall of the Clementine Chapel. He was the Pope imprisoned by Napoleon and exiled to Fontainebleau. After his liberation, he did all he could for the emperor exiled at Sant' Elena and helped his elderly mother. The weary Pontiff is seated majestically on his throne and is blessing all, friends and enemies. The monument is the work of the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), Roman by adoption. Beside the Pontiff are two allegorical figures: the Genius of time and History, intent on recording the Pope's achievements with the hourglass and a book; on the pedestal are another two statues which represent Fortitude, with the lion skin, and Wisdom, with the book and the owl.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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A close-up of the weary Pontiff. He is seated majestically on his throne and is blessing all, friends and enemies.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Just to the right of the popes statue is a woman that represents wisdom, with the book in hand and an owl at her feet.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Here is the ceiling and dome above the Monument of Pius VII (1800-1823).

Saint Peter's Basilica

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There were several confessionals throughout the basilica.

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Another spectacular dome that is located above the Chapel of the Baptistery, one of the basilica's most beautiful chapels and built after a design by Carlo Fontana (1634-1714). In the center is the baptismal font, still used on Sundays to administer the sacrament of baptism.

The dome is decorated with mosaics, from originals by Francesco Trevisani da Capodistria. In the spandrels are portrayed the races of the four continents which became Christian: Europe, Asia, Africa, America. In the lunettes are various baptismal scenes: Jesus baptizes Peter, St. Peter baptizes the Centurion Cornelius, St. Philip baptizes the Eunuch of Queen Candace, St. Silvester baptizes Constantine, and several symbols of baptism: Moses causes the water to spring from the rock, Noah prays before the rainbow of the Covenant.

Bottom Right - Africa

Bottom Left  - America

Top Left - Asia

Top Right - Europe

Saint Peter's Basilica

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Lit up In the distance is the Main Tribune (or apse) and holds the Cathedra Petri (St Peter's Throne).  In the middle under the dome is the Papal Altar that is covered by a canopy with four pillars that support it. Below it is the tomb is Peter.

Saint Peter's Basilica

 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-13T23:01:43Z 2012-12-13T23:01:43Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-nine-rome Day Twenty Nine, Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus, Rome

Back to the colosseum... Time to inside and capture the icon of Rome.

Note: Day Twenty Eight was a rain day and blog & computer work catch-up day.

The Roman Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commisioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian.
The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level.

Vespesian ordered the Colosseum to be build on the site of Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea, to dissociate himself from the hated tyrant.
His aim was to gain popularity by staging deadly combats of gladiators and wild animal fights for public viewing. Massacre was on a huge scale: at inaugural games in AD 80, over 9,000 wild animals were killed.

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Here is a view from the other end... A partial floor has been built over corridors and rooms that once was under the colosseum floor. The floor in ancient times was covered in sand to obsorb the blood.

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Animals and gladiators were held and waited their turn under the colosseum floor.

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Roman gladiators were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Most were men, but there were a few female gladiators. These combats were attended by the poor, the rich, and frequently the emperor himself. As gladiators fought, vicious cries and curses were heard from the audience around the Roman Colosseum. One contest after another was staged in the course of a single day. Should the ground become too soaked with blood, it was covered over with a fresh layer of sand and the performance went on.

The ancient support structures for the colosseum seating protrude like gigantic ribs throughout the arena.

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below you can see original seats that once encompassed the colosseum.

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Not only was the structure very intriguing and entertaining but some of the visitors as well.

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The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity progressively put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans.

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Sad to see so much defacing of historic monuments.  this is part of the interior colosseum wall near the exit.

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Here the young man that accompanied me from the Italian bible college for a day was happy to help me create a meaningful picture. You can see the colosseum in the background.

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The Roman Forum was once the focus of political, social, legal and commercial life.

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the central area of the city around which ancient Rome developed. Here was where commerce, business, prostitution, cult and the administration of justice took place. Space where religious activities were conducted and the communal hearth of the city.

The Roman Forum was designed by the architect Vitruvius with proportions 3:2 (length to width). For centuries, the Forum Romanum was the site of the city's most important public buildings, such as the Arch of Septimius Severus, built in AD203 and the Roman Forum Rostra or platforms for public speeches. The reliefs on the triple arch represented many of Rome's victories over oriental tribes and the Rostra was decorated with prows of warships captured during battles. The Roman Forum became the spectacular showcase of the Roman Empire filled with beautiful statues and architecture.

The main sight of the Forum include the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn (seen in the photo below), Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by the Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum.

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Circus Maximus “Largest chariot racing and sports arena of Ancient Rome”

Below you can see the west end of the remains of the first and largest stadium for public games built in the entire Roman Empire, and the model that inspired many more since.

At over 2,000 feet long and nearly 400 feet wide, and accommodating more than 150,000 spectators, it continues to hold the prestigious title as the world’s largest stadium ever built. Famously known for its death defying chariot racing, the stadium also hosted gladiatorial games, animal hunts, plays, religious and public ceremonies, parades, and elaborate parades. Today, all that survives from the stadium is its outline with the spina in the center, and over time it’s been transformed into a public park with a spectacular view of the once prestigious Palatine hill behind it.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-13T20:59:03Z 2012-12-13T20:59:03Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-seven-rome Day Twenty Seven,Vittoriano, Mamertine, Rome

I returned to the monument "il Vittoriano" built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. I took the opportunity this time to go in it and "ON" it.  You can see two soldiers on either side of the tomb of the unknown soldier.

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Inside of the building was an alter or sorts that honoured 4 saints.

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from on top of the roof of the Il VittorianoI could see most of Rome.  To the south I could see the colosseum .

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On either side of the roof-top viewing area was the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. 

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Just beneath me to the south was the roof of Saint Maria In Aracoeli.

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And you can see below the ceiling of Saint Maria In Aracoeli.

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This known as the Mamertine prison. tradition tells us that Paul and Peter both were held in this prison before they were martyred.

Upon entering the city of Rome, "Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment" (Acts 27:1) handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. "Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him." (Acts 28:16).

to read more on this Paul time in prison in Rome - Click this sentence.

The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami now stands above the Mamertine.

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There was only one entrance and exit from the prison below... You can see the hole in the stone floor where Paul and Peter were dropped into.

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Here is the holding cell.  It is said that Paul was chained to the pole at the back of the room.

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On the main floor a sculpture of Paul and Peter is protected behind bars.  Who do think is holding is Keys, and who is holding the sword?

 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-11T15:50:18Z 2012-12-11T15:50:18Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-six-rome Day Twenty Six Rome

I saw this "slender" church / university... and had to take the photo.  The name on the fence is Pontificia Studiorum Universitas.

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This is a statue with yet another obelisk taken from Egypt. It is situated out front of the presidents residence. The name of the fountain is 'Fontana dei Dioscuri'.

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The Quirinal Palace (known in Italian as the Palazzo del Quirinale or simply Quirinale) is a historic building in Rome. It is the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic.

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The church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti, often called merely the Trinità dei Monti (French: La Trinité-des-Monts) is a late Renaissance titular church in Rome, central Italy. It is best known for its commanding position above the Spanish Steps which lead down to the Piazza di Spagna. The church and its surrounding area (including the Villa Medici) are the property of the French State.

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Inside on the immediate left is a sculpture - Deposition by Daniele da Volterra

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The birth of Jesus / Jesus' circumcision / The Three Wise Men meeting Jesus

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As the sun just set I found myself in a good position to photograph Saint Peters Basilica of Vatican City.

Saint Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church. The opulence of the building's interior bears testimony to the wealth of the catholic church in the 16th century.

In the early 4th century, Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, ordered to build a basilica on Vatican Hill. The location was symbolic: this was the place where Saint Peter, the chief apostle, was buried in 64 AD. A small shrine already existed on the site but it was now replaced by a large church building. The new basilica, consecrated in 326 AD, was completed around 349 AD.
The New Basilica - In the middle of the 15th century, the basilica was falling into ruin and pope Nicolas V ordered the restoration and enlargement of the church after plans by Bernardo Rossellino. After Nicolas V died, works were halted. In 1506 pope Julius II laid the first stone of a new basilica which was to become the largest in the world.

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Here is the same setting but 35 minutes after the sun set.  If you're wondering... This is a time exposures of 85 seconds at F/22 and an ISO of 50 with 95mm focal length.

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The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the Gods") is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome. It is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. It has been in continuous use throughout its history. Although the identity of the Pantheon's primary architect remains uncertain, it is largely assigned to Apollodorus of Damascus. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church.

The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind)

The interior of the roof was probably intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens. The Great Eye at the dome's apex is the source of all light and is symbolic of the sun. Its original circular bronze cornice remains in position. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. As wind passes over the dome of the Pantheon, it is accelerated and creates a negative pressure zone called the Venturi effect. This pulls air out of the oculus at the top of the dome, drawing more air in from the portico entrance.

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The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide,[1] it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

the bas-reliefs above the three main statues represent the virgin of the legend pointing out the spring to the soldiers, and Agrippa, approving the plans for the aqueduct. The four statues above represent the Seasons with their gifts. At the summit is the coat-of-arms of the Corsini family, with two allegorical figures... yes I have all these photo close up.

Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains, and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei – but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732, and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Clement's death, when Pietro Bracci's Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche.

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The statues in the centre represent Neptune the god of water.

 

In the side niches are figures of Health (the photo below) and Abundance (not seen in my blog), both by F.Della Valle.

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Two giant tritons conduct the winged chariot of Neptune-Ocean. 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-09T22:24:17Z 2012-12-09T22:24:17Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-five-rome Day Twenty Five, colosseum, Vittoriano, Rome

"Hey where did day Twenty Four go?" well, I did not take any photos as it was a travel day from Greece to Italy.

My first day in Rome was exciting as it seemed that everywhere I went there was another historical site to capture me... as I capture it.   The weather made it difficult at times to get my shots. However, as you will later in this blog... Stormy weather accompanied by hail sometime gets you very dramatic light.

The Roman Colosseum is a tremendous amphitheater, the embodiment of both the grandeur and cruelty of the great Roman Empire. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum hosted spectacular games that included gladiator exhibitions, fights between animals, prisoner executions and - strangely enough - naval battles. Untold thousands of humans and animals met their ends within one of the most popular attractions in Rome.

The Colosseum's name is derived from a bronze colossus of Nero that once stood nearby, though it disappeared sometime during the Middle Ages and has largely been forgotten. Construction was begun by Emperor Vespasian and completed by his sons in the late first century. The arena floor was covered with sand to soak up the blood shed by those humans and animals unlucky enough to find themselves in its center. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circular arena would allow - the design of the Colosseum in Rome has influenced nearly every modern venue.

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I photographed this through one of the many crowd entrances into the colosseum.  If you look closely you can see the rain coming down.

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The Arch of Constantine is located in Rome and forms part of the Colloseum, Piazzale del Colosseo. It is believed to have been constructed around 315 but the architect is unknown. 

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Foundations of an ancient structure can be seen laid out in an orderly fashion in the grass in front of the Arch of Constantine and  Colloseum.

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Santi Luca e Martina is a church in Rome, situated between the Roman Forum and the Forum of Caesar and close to the Arch of Septimus Severus.

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Trojan column and the churches of Santa Maria di Loreto on the right.

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The National Monument to Victor Emmanuel or Altar of the Fatherland or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is also the place that houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The large and busy monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. The structure is 443 ft wide and 230 ft high.
The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Reunification. In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof for 360 degree views of Rome.

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The monument is built of white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel.

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 There are two statues on each pinnacle of the building of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas.

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the churches of Santa Maria di Loreto is lit up by the sunset beneath the stormy sky.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-09T20:06:17Z 2012-12-09T20:06:17Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-three-greece Day Twenty Three, Athens, Greece

Last day in Greece... Thought I would go back to the city of Athens and visit the many places I didn't get to the week prior.  I took the bus and then the train and ended up in the heart of the city.

Below, you can see the Agora Museum. It displays finds and artefacts from the site of the Ancient Agora of Athens. It is also located within the reconstructed ancient building of the Stoa of Attalos. Originally constructed in the mid-second century BC, the Stoa of Attalos - once a popular shopping precinct and meeting place - is named after the king who built it, Attalos II of Pergamum.

At the far end a lady takes a photo of a cult statue of Apollo Patroos (4th century BC) that was found near the temple of Apollo.

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The Temple of Hephaestus overlooked the potters and metalworkers of the Ancient Agora (market place) below it.

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Some of the carvings on the Tower of the Winds in what was a Roman Agora (market place).

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Here you can see the stairs that Paul would have walked on leading up to the Areopagus also known as Mars Hill. It is a bare marble hill next to the Acropolis seen in the near distance. It is known to christians as the place where Paul the Apostle revealed to the people of Athens who the unknown God was. Acts 17

Here is a photo below showing The Erechtheion (Seen on top of the acropolis). It is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis. In the foreground you can see the Areopagus or Mars Hill.

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Hellenic Parliament

Although during the Greek Revolution a number of National Assemblies had been held, the first national parliament of the independent Greek state was established only in 1843, after the September 3rd Revolution, which forced King Otto to grant a constitution.

In 1911, a revision of the constitution resulted in stronger human rights, the reinforcement of the Rule of Law and the modernization of institutions, among them the parliament. After seven years of military dictatorship, on 8 December 1974, a referendum was conducted to decide about the nature of the form of government. By a majority of 69.18%, the Greeks decided against a constitutional monarchy and voted for a parliamentary republic.

Above you see the two Evzones soldiers that once an hour do a most interesting march... I'm sure to entertain the visitors but also to stretch their legs as the rest of the hour they are not allowed to move a muscle.

The Evzones, or Evzoni, is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Presidential Guard, an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (seen at the base of the wall), the Presidential Mansion and the gate of Evzones camp. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centres during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 meters (6' 1.2") to join.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-04T22:11:07Z 2012-12-04T22:11:07Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-22-greece Day Twenty Two Greece

Rain, overcast and I needed a break to get caught up on blogs and sleep, and... it was Sunday - a day of rest

 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-04T19:07:15Z 2012-12-04T19:07:15Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-one-greece Day Twenty One, Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki is right on the Ocean and though is was an overcast day there was something interesting at every turn.

BIBLE LINKS TO EVERYTHING THESSALONICA

This structure that sits next to the shore is called the White Tower and was at one time a prison.  The White Tower was built in the middle of the 15th century. Now it is a 6 floor museum.

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Thessaloniki has been built on ancient ruins, some of which are being unearthed.

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The remains of a fortification wall and entrance which was built in the times of the Byzantine Empire. History is depicted on the walls as a reminder to all that pass through.

 

 

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The 4th century AD Rotunda of Galerius, one of several Roman monuments in the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here is the dome of the Rotunda.

 

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As I was driving back to Athens the famous Mount Olympus was before me.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-02T20:26:49Z 2012-12-02T20:26:49Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-twenty-greece Day Twenty, Philippi, Neapolis, Kavala, Greece

I really enjoyed my visit to Philippi. There was much to see and photograph.

Archaeological work has revealed a large and well-preserved forum, a theater, the alleged jail of Paul and several Byzantine churches, including one of the earliest churches known in Greece.  The number of churches in the city in the Byzantine period indicate Philippi's importance to Christians at this time.  A series of earthquakes apparently destroyed many of the buildings and probably contributed to the city's decline.

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The Philippi Theater

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You can see here about 1/4 of the excavations.  

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Directly in front where the closest pillars are was a Temple and off in the distance was a basilica. 

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Here is "Basilica B"

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Inscription in western Philippi mentioning the Province of Macedonia.

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I found this spear and shield fascinating.  I was once adorning the outside of a building just under the peak of the roof.

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Philippi apparently had only a small number of Jewish inhabitants and no synagogue. Consequently Shabbat worship was held outside the city on the Gangitis River.  Here Paul met a group of women to whom he preached the gospel.  Lydia, a merchant trading purple cloth, believed Paul's message and was baptized with members of her household.  Subsequently Paul went and lived at her home. 

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This is the inside dome of the church that honours Lydia.

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Kavala is the site of ancient Neapolis where Paul's boat landed on his way to Philippi.

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The Kavala aqueduct, popularly known as the Kamares (Greek: Καμάρες, "arches"), is a well-preserved aqueduct in the city of Kavala, Greece, and is one of the city's landmarks.
While the aqueduct is "probably of Roman origin", the present structure dates to the 16th century. A Byzantine barrier wall of the early 14th century, built as part of the fortifications on the Kavala acropolis, probably also functioned as an aqueduct. This would have made it one of the few examples of Byzantine aqueducts, since Byzantine cities more typically used wells and cisterns rather than either maintaining existing Roman aqueducts or building new ones. The barrier wall was replaced with the present arched aqueduct during Suleiman the Magnificent's repair and improvement of the Byzantine fortifications. Some authors date that construction to the time of the 1522 Siege of Rhodes, but a more likely date is between 1530 and 1536. As late as 1911, it was still being used to supply the city with drinking water from Mount Pangaeus.

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The "Lion of Amphipolis" with Hercules standing before him.... well, actually, the small human figure is me...

After preaching the gospel in Philippi, Paul passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia with Silas during his second missionary journey, traveling on the Ignatia Way from Philippi to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1). Amphipolis was one of the most important cities of Macedonia in antiquity. The "Lion of Amphipolis" has been dated from the fourth century B.C. It stands on a restored pedestal on the very spot where it's broken and scattered pieces were found. It was either a funerary monument or a monument erected to commemorate some as yet unidentified military victory.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-02T20:06:29Z 2012-12-02T20:06:29Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/12/day-nineteen-greece Day Nineteen, Pella, Greece

Today...all day it was rainy, and therefore, my driver and I traveled 5 or 6 hours to get to our furtherest northern destination.  On our way we visited Pella.

Pella is an ancient Greek city located in the current Pella regional unit of Central Macedonia in Greece. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.  It seems that they are not even half way through a decent excavation undertaking.

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The Pella Site Museum was very nicely laid out and had many pieces of antiquity to display.

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As I entered the museum I was greeted with the head of Alexander the Great. He lived from 325 - 300 BC. The head is made of Marble head and was found in Pella Greece.

 

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A lion Hunt

 

 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-12-02T19:30:06Z 2012-12-02T19:30:06Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-eighteen-greece Day Eighteen,Beroea, Edessa, Greece

Veria - known as Beroea in the bible

Within the city there was a Jewish settlement where the Apostle Paul preached after leaving Thessalonica (Acts 17:10-15). The Apostle Paul and his companion Silas preached to the Jewish and Greek communities of this city in AD 50/51 or 54/55 

These are the steps where it is said that Paul stood when he preached his message

Veria is on the site of ancient Beroea (called Berea in some translations of the Bible), a city of Emathia. A city by the name Beroea is first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, although there is evidence that the city was populated as early as 1000 BC. 

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Kioupri is an ancient Byzantine Bridge in Edessa. it is a stone-built arched bridge, where it is said the famous road of the antiquity, Via Egnatia crossed over here.

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This is the famous waterfalls in Edessa.

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The School of Aristotle at Esvoria

Naoussa is a place of universal interest, the ruins of the School of Aristotle is a short way from contemporary Naoussa. This is the place with the racing waters and the deeply-shaded caves which the ancient writers mention, where the greatest philosopher of antiquity taught the greatness of classical Greek thought and the ideals of Platonic philosophy to the son of the King of Macedonia Phillip II, Alexander, and the other nobles of the Macedonian court. The encounter of these two greatest personalities of the ancient world at the Nymphaion of Mieza, of Aristotle, the scientist, with the great military commander, Alexander, would definitely affect the future of mankind, and of all Western Civilization.

Not much remains as the structure was made of wood.  You can see the roof line was cut into the rock and the foundations are still visible.

This area which the Nymphaion, the sanctuary dedicated to the Nymphs, occupies is a very impressive natural landscape, where the ancient relics -the wall prop of a two-floor arcade of Ionic columns forming a Π is preserved- combined with the three natural caves which are found there constitute the main grounds of the school. The vertical surface of the rock, where the openings for supporting the roof's girders are discernable, comprised the back-end of the shady porch (stoa), (350 B. C. and after), where Aristotle taught "the ethical and political word" (Plutarch VII, 668) to the Macedonian nobility's young offspring. The landscape where the Master rambled with his students on the riverbanks, full of paths with dense vegetation, while surrounding cool streams gushed from the springs and serenely flowed, is complemented by an even greater cave a little further off, with two carved entrances, and a distinct devotional use.

Here is perhaps a little amphitheatre where Aristotle did some of his teaching.

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Here is just a beauty shot in the town of Naoussa.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-29T21:00:00Z 2012-11-29T21:00:00Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-seventeen-greece Day Seventeen Meteora Greece

Challenged with the overcast foggy weather we ventured on to Meteora.  At times the sky opened up to reveal bright fall colours in this most unique monastic setting.  High atop rock pinnacles where several monasteries that back in the day only had access by a net the would be lowered and raised.  Here you can see 4 separate monasteries.

In central Greece and particularly in the North Western part of Thessaly, between North East of Hasia and West of Pindos, where the plain of Thessaly ends, gigantic rocks raise, that create a spectacle which might be unique worldwide... especially with the monumental building built upon them.

This is the Roussanou Monastery.

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Here is a closer view of the Roussanou monastery.

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The slithering road led from one spectacular sight to another.

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This cliff hanging Varlaam monastery as you will see below this photo was beautifully maintained and stocked.

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam (closest) is the second in notoriety to the Great Meteoro (Largest monastery). The Varlaam church, honoured to the three Bishops, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (lite) surrounted by dome as well. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548

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The Varlaam chapel

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A 500 hundred year old wine vat the size of an SUV.

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Agios Nikolaos Monastery

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View of Meteora with the Agias Varvaras Rousanou monastery on top. The people in black make the shot extra interesting...

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http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-sixteen-greece Day Sixteen, Delphi, Greece

Arachova - Central Greece

The mountains of the Parnassos region of Central Greece are a stunning part of the country, and the famous village of Arachova ( Arahova ) sits proudly amongst them, overlooking an inspiring valley.

Arachova is a village with a very rich and interesting history, and is a popular stop for visitors who are heading to the Parnassos Ski Centre during the winter months.

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Delphi - Central Greece

The ancient site of Delphi in Central Greece, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, and is the second most visited ancient site after the Parthenon and Acropolis in Athens.

The Sacred Way (The path to the Temple of Apollo) winds its way up past numerous ruins of treasury houses, set up by each Greek city-state to show off their power and wealth by housing their various offerings to Apollo. The partially restored Athenian Treasury, seen below, is perhaps the most impressive of the treasury house ruins.

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Temple of Apollo

Excavations reveal that Delphi was first inhabited in late Mycenaean times (15th century BC) and that priests from Crete brought the cult of Apollo to central Greece in the 8th century BC. The version of Apollo worshipped on the island was Apollo Delphinios - the god in the form of a dolphin - and it was from this that the holy city derived its name.

The Temple of Apollo, dates from the 4th century BC. It originally had 6 columns on the front and 15 on the sides, which were stuccoed over. The exterior was decorated with shields captured from the Persians at Plataea.

There were two earlier temples on the site: the first was burned in 548 BC and the second was destroyed by an earthquake. Some archaic capitals and wall blocks are preserved from the first temple and many wall blocks and some pediment sculptures are still in existence from the second.

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Delphi Theater
The theater at Delphi was built further up the hill from the Temple of Apollo and it presented the seated audience with a spectacular view of the entire Temple of Apollo below and the valley beyond. It was built in the 4th c. B.C. of the local Parnassus limestone and was remodeled several times subsequently. Its 35 rows can accommodate around five thousand spectators who in ancient times enjoyed plays, poetry readings, and musical events during the various festivals that took place periodically at Delphi. The lower tiers of seats were built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

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The Pythian Games held at Delphi were one of four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, and they attracted competitors from all over the Greek world. Founded in the 6th century BC and held in honor of Apollo, they originally centered around the talents the god exemplified - music and poetry. But soon, athletic competitions were added as well. The best known was a great chariot race, held in the stadium.

 The track was 600 Roman feet long and could hold 17 or 18 runners. Starting in 591 BC, the athletic portions of the Pythian Games were held here every eight years, commemorating Apollo's slaying of the serpent Python. The stadium could seat about 6500 spectators.

High up the hill, beyond the sacred way and the Theater the ancient stadium is nested. It was built in the 5th c. B.C. and it was remodeled several times during the centuries. It originally sat down on the Delphian plain but Its present form was built in the 2nd c. A.D. when Herodus Atticus financed the stone seating and the arched entrance.

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Sanctuary of Athena

The photograph shows remains of the Tholos temple at the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, with sacred Mt. Parnassus in the background. Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BC) and later by the Myceneans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-28T18:16:06Z 2012-11-28T18:16:06Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-fifteen-greece Day Fifteen, Athens, Greece

Athens Greece

BIBLE LINKS FOR EVERYTHING ATHENS

Here is the exit from the hill top ruins of the Acropolis.

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The Parthenon (Greek: Παρθενων) in Athens is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world.

The Parthenon has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2,500 years and was built to give thanks to Athena, the city's patron goddess, for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. The building was officially called the Temple of Athena the Virgin; "Parthenon" comes from the Greek word parthenos, "virgin."

Throughout its long life, the Parthenon has functioned most importantly as a Greek temple, but has also been a treasury, a fortress, a church, and a mosque. Today, it is one of the most recognizable icons and popular tourist attractions in the world.

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Here is a view from the Parthenon looking south over the city of Athens and to the sea.

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Erechtheion
Famed for its Caryatid Porch, this beautiful temple on the Acropolis honors Erechtheus, a legendary king of Athens, as well as the great Greek gods Poseidon and Athena.

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Areopagus (Mars Hill)
This bald marble hill approached by slippery steps was home to the Athenian council and court, where Socrates was condemned and Paul spoke about "the Unknown God."

Acts 17:  Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."

...When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

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The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens: Built at the base of the Acropolis, the ancient amphitheatre of Herodeion, also known as the Odeon of Herodus Atticus, is today one of the best places to experience a live classical theatre performance. This ancient theater was built in the Roman times, in about 161 A.D. by the Roman philosopher, teacher and politician Herodes Atticus. It was built in the memory of his wife Aspasia Regilla who died in 160 AD.

This semi-circular amphitheater has a wide 1,250 feet radius with a seating capacity of more than 6,000 people. The original wall of the stage stood three storeys high and was decorated with marbles and ceramic pieces while today it stands in ruins. The stage and seating area was laid with marble while it has been renovated today. A cedar-wooden roof covered the theatre in the ancient times.

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Temple of Olympian Zeus
Finally completed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian after centuries of construction, this was one of the largest temples in the ancient world. You can see Hadrian's Arch at the bottom left.

This Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is an Greco-Roman temple in the center of Athens, southeast of the Acropolis. Begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. In was at that time the largest temple in Greece.

And no I did not push over that pillar...

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-28T06:19:35Z 2012-11-28T06:19:35Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-fourteen-greece Day Fourteen, Corinth, Greece

My first place to photograph in Greece is Corinth. 

BIBLE LINK TO EVERYTHING CORINTH

The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) in length and only 21.3 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it unpassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance.
The canal was mooted in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century AD. Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893.

The Diadoch Demetrius Poliorcetes (336–283 BC) planned to construct a canal as a means to improve his communication lines, but dropped the plan after his surveyors, miscalculating the levels of the adjacent seas, feared heavy floods.

The emperor Nero was the first to actually attempt to construct the canal, personally breaking the ground with a pickaxe and removing the first basket-load of soil in 67 AD,[14] but the project was abandoned when he died shortly afterwards. The Roman workforce, consisting of 6000 Jewish prisoners of war

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Here was a very important harbor town today named Kechries.  Just east of the canal and on the south side.  You can see a pillar laying in the water and the remains of the Temple of Isis.

Kenchreai flourished during the Roman Empire, when the settlement was focused around the crescent-shaped harbor enclosed by massive concrete breakwaters and protected by sea-walls. The local community was small but prosperous, and it was distinguished by its social, cultural, and religious diversity. Ancient literature and inscriptions from the site attest to the presence of cults of Aphrodite, Isis, Asklepios, Poseidon, Dionysos, and Pan. Christianity also arrived at Kenchreai early in the religion's history. According to Acts 18:18, the Apostle Paul stopped at Kenchreai during his second missionary journey, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow. He mentions the place and a deacon named Phoebe in the local assembly in his epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:1)

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Ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth

Corinth (Greek Κορινθία) is an ancient city about 48 miles west of Athens on the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece. Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece and it played a major role in the missionary work of the Apostle Paul. Today, Corinth is the second largest city in the Peloponnese with several sites of interest to pilgrims and tourists.

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Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth

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This is a ring that was discovered amidst the ruins.

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The Apostle Paul visited Corinth in the 50s AD and later wrote two letters to the Christian community at Corinth (the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the New Testament). When Paul first visited the city (51 or 52 AD), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Corinth.

Paul lived in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:1-18), working as a tentmaker and converting as many Jews and pagans as he could. Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, who became his fellow-workers.

Although Paul intended to pass through Corinth a second time before he visited Macedonia, circumstances were such that he first went from Troas to Macedonia before stopping at Corinth for a "second benefit" (2 Corinthians 1:15). This time he stayed in Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3).

It was probably during this second visit in the spring of 58 that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, written from Ephesus, reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.

This is one of the main streets in ancient Corinth.

The site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (5000-3000 BC), and flourished as a major Greek city from the 8th century BC until its destruction by the Romans in 146 BC.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-27T21:17:31Z 2012-11-27T21:17:31Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-thirteen-turkey-greece Day Thirteen Turkey Greece

This was a travel day and I only took out my camera for some aerial shots.

Greek coastline

 

Athens

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http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-twelve-turkey Day Twelve, Goreme, Turkey

Goreme, Turkey

I woke up to a overcast day. However, the cave homes brightened my outlook.

A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park

The Cappadocian Region is located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey. The valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation were created as a result of the eroding rains and winds over thousands of years.

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This area is a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches. There are hundreds of church cut into the Rock.  This is one of the most elaborate ones.

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This is a family's kitchen table.

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Here is another example of a church with a cross over the door.

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Another church with a spectacular ceiling

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I found these two taxi's waiting out front of some cave homes a captivating image.  Looks like the flintstones.

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Here is one that any of you would be happy to live in... maybe

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Another church

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This is one of the many upscale hotels

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Just about a 30 minute drive away we came upon an underground city. Here there were no cave homes in the hills above ground, but all was below the ground.  The first populations of the region of Cappadocia were Hatties, Luvies and Hittites. In the 3000-2000 years B.C. 

The first Christians escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri and they have settled here. The first Christians finding the underground cities from Cappadocia have been hidden in these underground cities which gates were made in such way in which they couldn't be easily observed and they have escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers. Due that they had live in the underground cities for long duration without being able to go out they have developed these underground cities by making provisions rooms, ventilation chimneys, wine production places, churches, abbeys, water wells, toilets and meeting rooms.

In the prehistoric periods the first human settlements have begun and the humans have constructed the underground cities in the volcanic rocks in form of tufa due to protect themselves from the wild animals and they lived for long times in these underground cities. There are so many underground cities on the Cappadocia area of Turkey but the biggest is Derinkuyu Underground City.

In these cities made in form of rooms connected to each others some of the rooms were connected to each other only with the tunnels tight and permitting passing of just a person. At the access gates of these tunnels there were huge stone rollers used for closing the tunnels for security reasons.

 

Up to 8 stories of underground tunnels and caves. There were many low tight passages we made our way through.  This is actually a kitchen that we are looking.  This round rock was about about one meter across.  That husband must have really loved his woman to bring this down from the surface.  The cup type holes in the surface might have been for setting out food.

It's known that there are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region and many of them are not open for visits. The underground cities, which are guessed to be used since the Bronze Age, used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period, doubtless. In this period, increasing invasions forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes.

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-26T02:54:49Z 2012-11-26T02:54:49Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-eleven-turkey Day Eleven, Adana, Tarsus, Goreme, Turkey

Started the day off in Adana, Turkey.  The two main land marks are the Roman Bridge and the Mosque.

This is a stone bridge on the Seyhan River in Adana, Turkey that was built by the Romans.  It is also the oldest bridge that is still in use. Paul was likely here planting churches and would have walked over this Bridge.  Acts 15:23, 41

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SABANCI MOSQUE was built between 1988 - 1998. It is the largest mosque in the Middle-east and Balkans

 

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Next we went Tarsus where the apostle Paul was from.  This is the entrance to Saint Paul's Church. According to tradition the building date of the Saint Paul Church is 1102, but the present structure, a domeless basilica, was built (or rebuilt) much later, in 1862.

BIBLEL LINKS TO EVERYTHING TARSUS

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Little of Tarsus from the time of Paul has been excavated due to the location of the modern city of Cumhuriyet Alani atop the ruins. Excavations have turned up a paved city street of Tarsus along with a colonnaded podium, which may date to the 2nd century BC.  In addition, remains have been found from the Bronze Age, baths, a Hellenistic portico, a Roman theater, and many terracotta figurines of deities, animals, people, and various mythological creatures.

During this time of Pompey (67 BC), Tarsus was made capital over the Roman province of Cilicia, and Jews began to receive Roman citizenship. Antony, who controlled the eastern provinces, declared the city free in 42 BC. Tarsus continued to receive special privileges under Augustus, who exempted the city from imperial taxation because Athenodorus, his teacher and friend, was a Tarsian. Tarsus grew into a cultural and intellectual center. Stoic philosophers like Athenodorus, Zeno, Antipater, and Nestor lived in the city in the first century AD.

I placed the bible on the road that Paul would have walked on.

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The Cydnus River flows through Tarsus, south-eastern Turkey, and used to enter the Mediterranean Sea just south of the town. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian in (527 - 565 AD) rerouted the river through an old Roman grave yard.

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Later that night we arrived in Goreme, Turey. I took the opportunity to photograph these natural structures lit up in a foggy sky. Many people still live in cave homes.  Had a nice meal and sleep in a one of the caves.  Here you can see homes and hotels built into these most unique hills.  In the next blog I will show you day time shots of this most unique community.

Göreme, located among the "fairy chimney" rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. It is in the Nevşehir Province in Central Anatolia and has a population of around 2,500 people

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Here is the restaurant that MIke Martin and I ate at. 

 

Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse reynoldmainse@mac.com (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse 2012-11-26T00:11:03Z 2012-11-26T00:11:03Z
http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-ten-turkey Day Ten, Sanliurfa, Harran, Gobekli Tepe, Turkey

I started out my day in Sanliurfa, Turkey at a Muslim holy place and ended it at the oldest civilization ever discovered.

BIBLE LINKS TO EVERYTHING about the region of UR

This is the place that according to tradition, Nimrod had Abraham prepared to be a sacrifice and placed him on a funeral pyre. However, God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish.

This is the legendary Pool of Sacred Fish (Balıklıgöl) where Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod. The pool is in the courtyard of the mosque of Halil-ur-Rahman, built by the Ayyubids in 1211. The courtyard is where the fish thrive. A local legend says seeing a white fish will open the door to the heavens.

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Just a short walk down the lane is a mosque on the site where it is said that Abraham was born. Before entering the Mosque people can get a drink and wash up.

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Under this first dome is a place to wash the feet.  You can see little seats with a tap in front at foot level. Behind the fence is the Great Mosque of Urfa.

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Here is this cave where it is said that Abraham was born.

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The Great Mosque of Urfa was built in 1170, on the site of a Christian church the Arabs called the "Red Church", probably incorporating some Roman masonry. Contemporary tradition at the site identifies the well of the mosque as that into which the towel or burial cloth (mendil) of Jesus was thrown.

The history of Sanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC.  It was one of several cities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. According to Turkish Muslim traditions Urfa (its name since Byzantine days) is the biblical city of Ur of the Chaldees, due to its proximity to the biblical village of Harran. 

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Also here in Sanliurfa is the traditional place where Job was born, lived and was healed and restored.

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We then moved on the Harran where Abraham lived. Many people here live in these cone homes that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Here is the ceiling view (I put my camera on the floor pointed straight up) of one of the cone homes.

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Gobekli Tepe, Turkey is the oldest civilization ever discovered.  It is dated at 10,000 BC making it 1000 years older than Jericho... I know some of you as well as I question civilization being that old... 

Göbekli Tepe Turkish: is a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, some 15 kilometers northeast of the town of Sanlıurfa.

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LINK TO MORE DETAILS ON THIS OLDEST CIVILIZATION

Here is another circle of stones supported in place with wood and metal.

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As the sun was setting Mike Martin and I were driving back towards civilization.  We drove over the Euphrates River and stopped to take this picture of a large dam.

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http://www.reynoldmainse.com/blog/2012/11/day-nine-turkey Day Nine, Antioch, Cevlik, Turkey

Antioch - south central Turkey

BIBLE LINK TO EVERYTHING ANTIOCH

This is the southward view that Paul would have had over the city.  Here he preached to many in a church that was cut into the mountain.

Mike Martin walking the ledge toward a carving of a woman's head in the mountain

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The Charonion is an ancient carved stone bust in the mountainside above Antioch. It dates from the time of King Antiochus in the Seleucid era (3rd century BC).
According to the sixth-century chronicler Malalas, the Charonion was carved in an attempt to save Antioch from a plague. After many people had perished from the illness, a seer named Leios commanded that a great "mask" be carved out of the mountain overlooking the city, "and inscribing something on it he put an end to the pestilential death. This mask the people of Antioch call the Charonion."

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Here is an overview of the modern city of Antioch now called Antakya.

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Here is the port where Paul came and went when he was in Antioch.  This port town is now called Cevlik, Turkey.

This area was a natural port location. Large cut stones were placed here by the Romans as well as by earlier civilizations.

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I found the formation in the large stones below fascinating.

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Here you can see the modern port just 500 meters up the shore from the ancient ones.

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The Titus Tunnel (Titüs Tüneli) is a Roman engineering marvel.

During the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD), the Roman governors of Seleucia Pieria (Samandağ), the port city for Antioch ad Orontes (Antakya), decided to divert a river.

They put Roman legionnaires, sailors and prisoners to work cutting a channel along and through the rock for about 1.4 km (nearly a mile).

Continued under Emperor Titus (79-81), inscriptions tell us it was completed during the reigns of the Antonine emperors decades later.

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