Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral, Tbilisi, Georgia

I had waited for the number 4 minibus for a long time so I decided to spend 10 times the amount and take a cab to the Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral.  Georgians say it is the largest Orthodox Church in the world.  Serbs dispute that saying St. Sava is bigger.  Sameba Cathedral has a tall tower with a gilded cupola that reflects sun in the … Continue reading Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral, Tbilisi, Georgia

Gergetis Sameba Monastery, Georgia

The 14th century Gergetis Sameba (Gergeti Trinity) walled monastery sits above Kazbegi and below Mt. Kazbeg at 7120 feet above sea level – and reflects light from a glacier that hangs 2,800 feet above the monastery. The monastery was a place of refuge for icons and relics from the Mksheka Cathedral (Perhaps including St. Andrew’s foot) when southern Georgia was overrun by Turks, Persians or … Continue reading Gergetis Sameba Monastery, Georgia

Ananuri Citadel and the Church of the Assumption, Georgia

Ananuri, a citadel used to sit on a ridge above a river that has been dammed so now sits on a point in the Zhinvili Reservoir.  The town that it towered over is underwater.  The Church of the Assumption was used as a barn in Soviet times and the frescos were whitewashed.  Some have now been uncovered.  The carvings on the outside walls of the … Continue reading Ananuri Citadel and the Church of the Assumption, Georgia

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mksheka, Georgia

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mksheka is the mother church of Georgian Orthodoxy.  St. Nino converted the King and Queen there.  I posted pictures from here in May but I had no pics from inside the church.  Nicholas, my cab driver, spoke good English and he arranged permission for me to take pictures if I did not use a flash.  There was a service in progress.  It was conducted … Continue reading Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mksheka, Georgia

St. Michael’s Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska, June 2013

At noontime we were heading for an organ recital at the Lutheran Church.  We were stopped in our tracks when the bell tower of St. Michael’s erupted in glorious change bell ringing.  I had not heard the bells in years, mostly because we have been out of Sitka for years.  The Lutherans had to wait while we enjoyed the joyous sound.  We arrived at the … Continue reading St. Michael’s Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska, June 2013

Mtskheta and Jvari Church, Georgia, 2013.

Jvari (Holy Cross) Church is near Tbilisi, about a three hour walk or half hour drive.  It looms over Mtskheta.  Before Georgia became reasonably prosperous it used to be a full day excursion, now it a common picnic spot for people wanting to get out of town for an hour or two.  It is the spot where the King Mirian, who was converted to Christianity … Continue reading Mtskheta and Jvari Church, Georgia, 2013.

Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

This is from a June, 2010 letter: Thirty Eight years ago, (in 1972) Suzi and I fleetingly encountered a narrow gauge steam powered train while driving the back roads of Bosnia.  Last week, near the same place, we saw that train again.  The rail company is just re-opening the narrow gauge line into Bosnia after closing it in the 70s.  This time we chased the … Continue reading Tracking an Old Memory, Dobrun, BiH

Wooden Churches in Eastern Slovakia

This is from a letter written in October 1998: Eastern Slovakia is an area crossed in trade and fought over by Tartars, Lithuanians, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, Russians and Slovaks.  It’s where cultures meet.  Kosice boasts the eastern-most gothic cathedral in Europe, and while it is VERY gothic, the clock tower has a very un-gothic gilded dome.  This region is a borderland, a krajina in Slavic … Continue reading Wooden Churches in Eastern Slovakia

Plevja, Mosques and Monasteries.

Plevja is in Northern Montenegro where Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro meet.  It is a multi ethnic area that saw a large influx of refugees during the Bosnian war.  It is part of the Sanzak region which was part of the Ottoman empire, administered by Austria, and when Austria withdrew Serbia and Montenegro split the district.  The “Holy Trinity” Monastery is just outside town.  The Mosque … Continue reading Plevja, Mosques and Monasteries.