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Showing posts with the label Last Judgement

The Frescoes of Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery sits in a forested valley surrounded by snow capped mountain peaks. The setting can’t get any more wholesome with the exception that this is a popular tourist and pilgrimage destination. Weekends are the worst days to visit when the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mother is so crowded, there’s little room to move inside the stunning church. We got there after lunch on a Sunday and the traffic on the narrow lane road at the back of the monastery was atrocious. The crowds thinned after three p.m. so we could get a closer look at the outdoor frescoes.  All Eastern Orthodox churches depict the Christ Pantocrator in the central dome of the Church. Pantocrator means the Almighty and the ruler of all. There are initials on both sides of the head of the Pantocrator, IC and XC. IC are the first and last letters of Jesus in the Greek alphabet (Iota and Sigma) and XC (Chi and Sigma) are the first and last letters for Christ. This Pantocrator fresco is on the outdoor portico. T

Inside Albi Cathedral

The austere brick exterior of the 13th century Sainte-Cécile Basilica Cathedral of Albi (or Albi Cathedral) reveals nothing about its opulent interior with its painted vaulted ceiling and columns, the Gothic lacy stonework in the Choir, the exquisite rood screen, and the 15th century mural of the Last Judgment under the monumental organ by Christophe Moucherel. The altar of the Church of the Canons within the Cathedral. The Choir of the Canons is hidden behind the rood screen which divides the Cathedral in two.  It is decorated with a host of angels, the twelve apostles, the Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul. The statue of Sainte Cecile, the patron saint of the Cathedral, is at the center of the screen below the crucifix. The figures of the emperors Charlemagne and Constantine face one another above the north and south entrances to the Choir. The ambulatory around the Choir is decorated with carved figures from the Old Testament. Notice the painted columns.