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Showing posts with the label Pantocrator

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

Budva through rain and mist

Stari Grad, Old Town Budva It was hard to appreciate Montenegro in the rain. But its mountains, fortified towns like Budva and coastline were enchanting viewed through the mist.  St. Ivan (St. John) Catholic Church The belfry you see above is that of St. Ivan’s. It has been a landmark since 1867. The current church is from the 15th century. I was amazed by the fresco of St. John on the altar wall. It’s a sharp contrast to the austere white walls. *Picture taking is not allowed. Citadela or St. Mary’s Fortress The Citadel’s existing form can be attributed to the Austrian Hungarian rule in the 19th century which lasted a 100 years. The Austrian army built their barracks inside the Citadel. There’s a small entrance fee to the Citadel. Narrow passageways of Budva The old town of Budva is surrounded by medieval stone walls built by the Venetians during heir 400-year rule to protect Budva (known then as Budua) against Ottoman incursions. Structures within its core are made of stone as well.