Christmas Message : The magical night in Bethlehem when a darling baby boy was born in a Shepard’s hut marks the Christmas day and is celebrated with joy even today. The day is dedicated to Jesus Christ who is hailed as the son of God and his teachings are preached around the world via Christmas carols and stories.
We all got a little sad and emotional after our visit to the Anne Frank Museum. After the visit to the museum we headed for our next place of visit in the city which is the most popular landmark and attraction of the city known as the Westerkerk. Westerkerk is basically a church, which is the largest in the city. There is also a tower known as the Westerkerk tower which is regarded as the pride of Amsterdam.
The tower is a huge 85 metre tall structure which was built in the year 1638. There is also the provision of going till the balcony of the tower. The view which one sees from the tower of Westerkerk is truly remarkable. We clicked many panoramic images of the city from its balcony. It is a municipal property and the national flag of the country is hoisted above the tower.
The interiors of the church inside are very modest and unique. The rich history of the Dutch is very neatly reflected by this beautiful church. It is one of the most revered Protestant churches in the European continent. The entry fee to the church is free while the entry to the tower is charged by authorities of Westerkerk.
It is a nice place to click pictures of your family when on the balcony of the tower. The church is a nice place for those interested in knowing about the religious identity of the Dutch and how the church holds a revered place in the hearts of the Dutch people. There are many famous Dutch people who have been cremated at the Westerkerk. There are many scenes from the bible which are painted inside the church by famous painters like Gerard de Lairesse and Vincent Van Gogh.
The place is very well connected with all the main parts of the city and accessible through taxis, tube and buses. After this trip we went to have some food at a famous Dutch restaurant. The next place we visited was the Heineken Music Hall which is one of the most popular studios and music halls in Europe.
About Netherlands American Cemetery And Memorial : The Netherlands American cemetery and memorial is popular historical site in Maastricht. It is basically a memorial war cemetery. It remains open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. There are many staff members present on the site to escort and guide the tourist. They are also very knowledgeable and eager to answer any questions related to the memorial and the cemetery.
So when we were done with our trip to the national history museum of Sweden, we decided to conclude our trip to Sweden by a final visit to another historic place of Sweden, known as Tyska Kyrkan. It is also known as the German Church or simply as the St Gertrude’s Church. The church is located in the old town of Stockholm.
The church has history which is very old. It was founded in 14th century when Germans dominated the neighbourhood where it is built. The exterior of the church was simply amazing and the architectural marvel reflected in its brick steeple and copper covered spire. The structure of the church gave many good photographs and we clicked many shots to capture this beautiful church in our camera.
The statues of Jesus and Moses signify the Old Testament and the New Testament. There were also slogans written in Swedish language which translated as “Praise the Lord” and Honour the King”. The church and King always had an alliance on how to rule over their subjects. The church always gave advice to Kings on all the matters related to social, political and economic concerns of the Kingdom.
The interiors of the church were as exotic as the exteriors. The large windows inside the church makes it overflowed with light. The atrium inside the church has a window which houses St Gertrude. The vibes and the feeling of peace inside the church complex were quite divine and we all felt the presence of some feeling of serene and calm.
There were quite a number of tourists inside the church and also those who has come for the prayers. The church organizes mass on Sundays. As we were roaming on the streets and markets of Sweden, we saw many churches but none of them came as close as this one when it comes to the beautiful architecture.
After the trip to Tyska Kyrkan we concluded our visit to Sweden. So far we had brilliant memories of the place, some captured in our camera but the most beautiful ones were captured in our heart which we will cherish throughout our life.
The last tsar or Russia Tsar Nicolas II and his family were murdered during the Russian Civil War. The spot where on that fateful day of 1812 this dreadful event in European history took place today stands the monument commemorating the Last Tsar of Russia.
The Tsars ruled most of modern Russia for over 400 years, and form a major part of the Russian heritage and culture. The Church of All Saints is a symbol of acceptance by the people of Russia of the Tsars and the fact that whatever be their legacy they are an integral part of the Russian history and deserve their place.
The church of all saints is no longer just a monument, in fact few in Russia are fully aware of its historical significance, and it is much more popular for its extravagant architecture and beautiful interior. It attracts thousands of tourists like me every year to the province of Yekaterinburg, Russia. The Church is a Russian orthodox church are the full name is The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Yekaterinburg. The church commemorates and remembers the Romanov’s of Russia.
A trip to the Church of all saints took me and my family to a very violent but integral part of Russia’s history. It gave us a chance to explore a less touched page of the civil war days in Russia. We could feel the upheaval that could have taken place when a former monarch as being executed. It is only apt that a holy church has been constructed on the resting place of the last tsar. It is love and faith that can wash away the stains of blood and hatred.
The churches spread over Russia are all unique in design and architecture. The paintings and glass work used inside the Church of all saints is also mesmerizing and novel. The three domes, the big central dome and two shorter ones on each side give it a non-conventional look owing to its quite modern origin, much more recent when compared to other orthodox churches in Russia.
It is the mandate and purpose of religion to bring people together, to give men and women of different beliefs and ideas some common ground to come together and share their aspirations, desires and troubles. The path of faith is a path of satisfaction and peaceful co-existence. Religion not only brings peace in a society but allows a man to stay at peace with himself.
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg is a monument of religious, social and historic importance whose relevance has only grown with the passing years. It has remained a source of spiritual inspiration for millions of followers from around the world cutting across religions and beliefs.
St. Petersburg was our next stop in Russia after Moscow. The city is quite different from Moscow is many respects. It is a city where life is much more than the simplicities of self centred existence. The city blooms with faith and love. It is home to many important churches and cathedrals and is a center of utmost religious importance in Europe. The believers of Christian Orthodoxy attach special significance to the city of St. Petersburg in Russia.
The Kazan Cathedral is among the biggest churches in all of Russia. The large dome and the beautiful interiors were designed by the best artisans of the day and time. The sculptures and paintings are renowned for their detail and unique art forms. They are not inspired from other orthodox churches in Russia and are ironically closer to Catholic traditions. This novel feature of the cathedral has interested art lovers and historians over the years into the monument.
The Lady of Kazan was worshipped and invoked by all of the great generals of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars. The Kazan Cathedral is therefore a part of Russian nationalist sentiment.
The visit to the cathedral was a spiritual experience for me and my family. It was a moment away from the self centric routines of life and the race for materialistic luxuries. As a businessman I am often overpowered by the will to maximize my gains but there are moments like these when a person realizes the true meaning of life.
My kids are football admirers and you can imagine how excited they could be to visit a country which is one of the strongest teams of FIFA. They wanted to see every niche of this fascinating place. And Akash, Oh My God! He is a restless child! Controlling him is the task harder than my business strategies! I used to think sometimes how does my wife manage with him?
Reaching Sao Paulo, the biggest city of Brazil was really stimulating for us. There is abundant of interesting places to visit in Brazil including Cathedral of Brasilia. It is prominently known for its discreet architectural features. With amazing structure of parabolic columns divided into equal sections, the Cathedral possesses the uniqueness of its own.
All these days I have noticed the beautiful edifice in images only. This time it was touchable. The Cathedral that looks so amazing in pictures is even more enthralling in veracity. There are 16 columns in numbers and are concretely visible.
The parabolic shape of the columns look alike the hands facing the heaven. Brasilia is a unique city which is distinct from other cities of Brazil. The architectural edifices of the city reflect everything. The Cathedral is one among them. As the creation of an atheist, this cathedral is interestingly projected. It is for this reason that it took long years to get finally dedicated. It simply means that the foundation stone was laid in 1958 but it was opened to all in 1970.
I was moreover impressed by the noteworthy form of hands in the pose of offering prayer. Each of its columns weighs 90 tons. Yes, it is quiet astonishing! The wow factor about the cathedral is its entire structure. Some of the interesting features of the Cathedral include The Oval Baptistery, The Shroud of Turin inside the crypt, The Evangelists sculptures, The stained glass of the nave and The Altar. Cathedral of Brasilia possesses an identity of its own which attracts swarms of tourists to visit the place. We were fortunate to be one among them. With memorable reminiscences of the cathedral we moved towards our next destination to Museu Oscar Niemeyer Brazil.
Bom Jesus Do Congonhas Brazil : Bom Jesus Do Congonhas, Brazil is an impeccable church which has truly unique architecture making it a must visit for tourists. The church has many lovely sculptures at the entrance which adds to the beauty of this construction. We enjoyed the visit. I have added the pictures of this church to my Brazil album.
After relaxing, following the tiresome journey and having a delicious breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we started our expedition of the amazing city of Sydney. Our first destination was the St Mary’s Cathedral. The hotel cab services took us to the desired destination which is dedicated to Mary Help of Christians.
St Mary’s Cathedral is a representation of the religious origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. The cathedral is renowned as the premium testimony of English-style gothic churches in the entire world. We were impressed by the architecture that was constructed using Sydney sand stone. The Cathedral was eventually completed 100 years after the bereavement of talented architect William Wardell, and was added with two new and eye catching spires made at the southern end.
We were admiring the magnificent exterior and lovely façade of the site that was proudly standing before us. The formal entry was through the stairs that end in front of St. Mary’s. We entered the gate to reach the main cathedral that was displaying the breathtaking sweep of the beautiful arches. The place was sparkling with the light passing through the stained glass windows and was adding to the glamour of the place. It was so peaceful.
We also visited the St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt where history of ancient Sydney church was exhibited. We had to access the crypt via a concrete ramp. The exhibition was entitled as ‘the first Australian Catholics’ was displaying the detailed history from the convict ships to the great fire. Kids were running ahead of us, and were trying to understand the uniqueness of the place.
Meanwhile, it was time for our free tour that we booked in advance. The tour is regularly conducted on Sundays after masses, at around 11:30am, and lasts for about 1.5 hrs. It was a great experience as the tour enhanced our excitement and knowledge about the history and significance of the church. Being in the group was fun and we all (including kids as they find company) were thoroughly enjoying it.
We also visited the cathedral store and bought some souvenirs. It was a great visit at the St Mary’s Cathedral