Tag Archive: Church

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Monsaraz, set in the heart of Alentejo countryside, is one of Portugal’s most inspiring fortified hilltop villages.

Monsaraz Village, Alentejo, Portugal

Monsaraz has a Castle, built in 1310, offering spectacular views over the village and surrounding plains.

Monsaraz Castle, Portugal

The village also boasts an elegant Igreja Matriz Parish Church which welcomes visitors.

Monsaraz Igreja Matriz Parish Church, Portugal

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Away from the crowds on the Algarve coast, close to Spain, sits the charming town of Tavira. Tavira sits on the banks of the River Gilao straddled by a Roman Bridge.

Roman Bridge crossing River Gilao at Tavira, Portugal

The Clock Tower, Castle and the Castle Church of Santa Maria are all close by and this complex offers great views over the tiled rooftops of Tavira.

Clock Tower, Tavira, Portugal

Tavira Island, part of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa, has a beach that stretches on for miles. Tavira Island can be reached by catching one of the ferry close to town.

Ferry to Tavira Island, Portugal

Fresh local produce can be purchased in Tavira market. High-end luxury accommodation with accompanying food and drink is available at the famous Graca Hotel.

Graca Hotel, Tavira, Portugal

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Sitting on the banks of the River Tamega, the town of Amarante makes a delightful stopover.

Next to the famous stone bridge you will find the imposing Igreja y Mosteiro – Church and Monastery of St Goncalo founded in 1540. The church has a stunning nave and peaceful cloisters.

Church and Monastery of St Goncalo, Amarante, Portugal

Church and Monastery of St Goncalo, Amarante, Portugal

Church and Monastery of St Goncalo, Amarante, Portugal

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Mertola is one of the most pleasant villages to visit in Portugal. Sat high above the Guadiana River the village is dominated by Mertola Castle. A statue of Ibn Qasi stands guard at the entrance.

Stuate of Ibn Qasi, Mertola Castle, Portugal

Next to Mertola Castle is the Matriz Parish Church with its elegant white facade.

Matriz Parish Church, Mertola, Portugal

Following the narrow streets down into the village you will come across the Torre de Relogio – the Clock Tower offer wide views over the surrounding valley. Close-by is the square holding the town hall. The square has been beautifully reformed recently.

Torre de Relogio - Clock Tower, Mertola, Portugal

Town Hall, Mertola, Portugal

Mertola offers many interesting museums on the village’s history, one of which the Islamic Studies Museum can be found in this charming yellow building.

Islamic Studies Museum, Mertola, Portugal

Finally, do not leave town without purchasing some fresh produce at Mertola’s market, cheese being particular speciality.

Market, Mertola, Portugal

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There are many wonderful villages in Portugal and if you are arriving in the North East corner of the country one of the first that you will come across is Braganca in the region of Tras-os-Montes.

The highlight of the village is definitely the Cidedela which comprises of the castle and the Menagem Tower, Santa Maria Church and the famous 12-13th century Domus Municipalis where the town’s medieval council used to sit.

The Domus Municipalis and Santa Maria Church, Braganca

Santa Maria Church, Braganca

Menagem Tower, Braganca

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With easy access through Ryanair, Alicante makes a great weekend break with a chance to sit back and enjoy the Med as well as dine out at a number of good restaurants.

Harbor Pier Walk, Alicante

Highlights include the Port with its array of yachts and small boats alongside Postiguet Beach which is surprisingly nice for a city beach.

Port, Alicante

Other landmarks include Santa Barbara Castle, the Town Hall and San Nicolas Cathedral Church, all within close walking distance from each other.

Santa Barbara Castle and Port, Alicante

City Hall - Ayuntamiento, Alicante

San Nicolas Cathedral Church, Alicante

The interesting Central Market – Mercado Central is also well worth a look around. Prices are very reasonable and the freshness of the products, second to none.

Central Market - Mercado Central, Alicante

Luceros Fountain and Square, Alicante

Finally sit back and enjoy a coffee on the Explanada de España which has an attractive tile mosaic surface.

Explanada de España, Alicante

For more images of Murcia…. check out www.photoshelter.com/c/kevingeorge

Puente Viejo Bridge, Murcia

The city of Murica famous for its university and cathedral, sits on the banks of the Segura River was founded in 825. The oldest bridge is the Puente Viejo Bridge and forms the entrance to the city from the south.

The Santa Maria Cathedral built in 1358, has a splendid baroque facade and peaceful interior.

Santa Maris Cathedral, Murcia

The famous Semana Santa – Holy Week or Easter Processions are held around the cathedral each year. The photo below is of the practice one week before the main event.

Semana Santa - Easter Holy Week, Murcia

Other highlights of Murcia include the Royal or Real Casino. The Casino was constructed in 1847 and designed by Manuel Castraños. Even though it is a private club it is open each day to tourists. Pay special attention to the dome at the entrance, the main gallery and the ballroom.

Royal - Real Casino, Murcia

Girona boasts a magnificant medieval centre, but it is not only this aspect that makes the city a great stopover on your way to Barcelona or the Costa Brava.

St Augsti Bridge, Girona

Firstly, its interesting bridges along the River Onyar. The St Agusti Bridge alongside the colorful facades, the Pedra or ‘Stone’ Bridge near the Main Square and the the red metal Pescateries Bridge designed by Eiffel.

Pescateries Bridge by Eiffel, Girona

The Cathedral is a lot older than its Baroque facade suggests from Cathedral Square there is an impressive set of steps up to the main entrance.

Girona Cathedral

Art Museum stands alongside the Cathedral and is hosted in the Palau Espiscopal Building.

Art Museum, Girona

The city has a second great church, the 13th Century St Feliu. The atmosphere inside is peaceful and fresh making it a great escape from the burning streets in summer.

St Feliu Church, Girona

Cathedral Square and the area behind behind St Feliu next to the river host many nice bars and restaurants. Independence Square is also a nice place to chill out with some food and drink.

Independence - Independencia Square, Girona

Other museums to check out include the Bonastruc Ca Porta Jewish Museum in the Call Jewish Quarter off Forca Street, which bears witness to the city’s rich Jewish history.

Jewish Museum - Bonastruc Ca Porta, Girona

Forca Street and the Rambla Libertat both offer interesting shopping options.

Libertat Rambla, Girona

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Salisbury, just over an hour from Waterloo station in London by train is the provincial capital of Wiltshire.

Salisbury is dominated by its sublime Cathedral built between 1220 & 1258 in early English gothic style.

Salisbury Cathedral

The spire, the tallest in England, was added in the 14th Century and weighs 6500 tons standing at 123 meters tall. The West Front Facade is one of the most stylish of all cathedral facades in the UK and looks out onto Cathedral Close. Nearby is the Walking Madonna Sculpture by Elizabeth Frink.

Salisbury Cathedral, England

The interior of the Cathedral is well worth a visit. In the centre is the dramatic font designed by William Pye.

Font by William Pye, Salisbury Cathedral

At the eastern end of the building Trinity Chapel hosts the splendid Prisoners of Conscience stained glass window with pure blue light travelling through the modern design.

Trinity Chapel - Prisoners of Conscience Window, Salisbury Cathedral

The nave also hosts the Medieval Clock, one of the oldest working clocks in the world.

Medieval Clock, Salisbury Cathedral

The Cathedral Chapter House in the Cloister maintains one of the very few still surviving copies of the Magna Carta. Here the original is on display alongside various explanation boards revealing the full history of this famous document.

The cloister has a wonderful cafe terrace to sit back and enjoy a cuppa, before heading back into town a seeking out the other architectural gems the city has to other.

Cloister and Cafe Terrace, Salisbury Cathedral

College of Matrons was set up in 1682 and stands proud in one corner of the Cathedral Close. The Close is also home to Salisbury Museum and Mompesson House. Heading along North Walk one will pass Sarum College and Malmesbury House where a sundial commemorates the calendar reformation just before you arrive to St Ann Gate.

St Ann Gate, Salisbury

Head back to the High Street and through North Gate and follow the street to the end to find the stunningly simple St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Church built in 1220. This magnificent building is full of frescos, better examples of which are hard to find throughout British parish churches.

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Salisbury

Pop in for a pint on the Market Square and witness the Guildhallbefore heading back up to the station via Mill Road passing the meadows and the River Avon with a view of the Cathedral spire made famous by Constable’s celebrated painting.

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows and River Avon