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Showing posts from May, 2022

Highlights of Mostar

Stari Most or Mostar Old Bridge The original arched bridge was commissioned in 1557 by Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire and completed in 1566. It stood for 427 years until 1993 when it was demolished during the Croat-Bosnian War. It was reconstructed between 2001-2004. Two towers protect the bridge on both ends. The Stari Most area and the old town have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Center. Mostar was badly damaged during the Croat-Bosnian War. There are still traces of bullet holes on buildings and a few shells of houses destroyed by the war. Another footprint of the conflict are the cemeteries you’ll see along main thoroughfares where the thousands killed during the clashes were laid to rest.  Stari Most Divers jump from this bridge to the river below if they have received enough donations (at least €50) from visitors and onlookers. It must be a thrilling sight! View of the neighborhood across the river Neretva River and Lučki Most (bridge)  Koski Mehmed Pasha M

The Medjugorje Pilgrimage Trail

Church of St. James the Greater (Apostle) Medjugorje became the center of pilgrimage for Catholics when Mary, the Mother of God appeared in the hills above this town in June 1981 to several young visionaries. She appeared for several days to them to deliver the messages of peace, faith, prayer, conversion and fasting. These apparitions continue to this day on the 25th of the month to Marija Pavlović, one of the visionaries. Here’s her message from April 25, 2022 taken from “Dear children! I am looking at you and I see that you are lost. That is why I am calling all of you: return to God, return to prayer—and the Holy Spirit will fill you with His love which gives joy to the heart. Hope will grow in you, also for a better future, and you will become joyful witnesses of God’s mercy in you and around you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” I started my pilgrimage at St. James. Mass was being celebrated when I arrived so I attended the mass before setting out on the

Our Lady of the Rocks

Ceiling of Our Lady of the Rocks Church Gospa od Skrpjela or Our Lady of the Rocks island is an artificial islet on Kotor Bay. Local lore tells the story of two fishermen who found an icon of the Madonna and Child on a rock in the bay and vowed to build a church where they had found it. From 1452 onward, seamen from Perast and Kotor brought large stones to the site to build up the islet.  Today, the tradition of bringing stones to the island continues with the  fašinada  which is celebrated annually at sunset on July 22. Madonna and Child, Lovro Dovričević, 15th century Altar by Antonio Capelano, Carrara marble A Roman Catholic chapel was built on the islet in 1630. The church we see today is from 1722.   Mary on her deathbed Many frescoes in the Church were painted by Tripo Kokolja, an artist from Perast. Choir   Notice the silver votive tablets that were offered by sailors to the Virgin Mary for a safe journey. Hundreds of these votives adorn the church. There is a museum adjacent to

The Lady with an Ermine

Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo da Vinci, ca 1490, oil on wood panel Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski bought the Lady with an Ermine painting while traveling in Italy in 1798. This is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani who is said to be one of the mistresses of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. The Duke was awarded the Order of the Ermine by the King of Naples and was known as l’Ermenillo. Landscape with the Good Samaritan, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1638 Study of a horse from the Battle of Grunwald painting, Jan Matejko, 1876 Note: The plaque at the top of this vignette spells the name of Adam Kazimierz. He was the husband of Princess Izabela who is the founder of the museum. The portrait on the left is that of Prince Władisław Czartoryski, the grandson of Princess Izabela, to whom Matejko gifted the Study of a horse. The portrait is by Teodor Axentowicz, 1892-1893. St. Catherine of Alexandria (fragment from a triptych),  Hans Seuss von Kulmbach, ca 1511 The Annunciation, Master Jerzy, 1517 Coron

The Painted Houses of Zalipie

The tradition of painting flowers on both the interior and exterior surfaces of a house started in the late 19th century in the small, rural village of Zalipie in Southern Poland. It was done primarily to cover-up soot marks. What was a simple paint job developed into colorful floral patterns.  Dog kennels are no exceptions. The back of the house is not left out. Several barns in Zalipie are also painted with flowers. I noticed that barns are painted with white flowers, perhaps in contrast to the black background. The most famous among local artists was Felicji Curiłowej. Her house is now a museum where her exuberant artistry is on display. Detail of floral pattern. Pink and blue, cute as you. Here’s another house in the Museum compound. Zalipie is a quiet village surrounded by lush, green fields. The older houses are alive with painted flowers. This well was lovingly painted. Even the fence didn’t escape the artist’s palette. I visited this property where an artist lives and which is