Category: Churches

A Lesson in Colonialism at Cusco Cathedral

So many travelers make haste for Machu Picchu in Peru, they might overlook important sites in Cusco.

Of Gold, Guinea Pigs, Last Suppers, and a Somewhat Swarthy Jesus So many visitors are in Cusco, Peru either on their way to or from the nearby main attraction, Machu Picchu. My own stay in Cusco is little more than…

Mont Saint Michel for Changing Times

Tides of Mont St.-Michel book cover

Roger Vercel’s 1938 novel about the mount still entices What I like about Mont Saint Michel is that the closer you climb to the top of the mount, the farther you are from the touristy crappiness that can accompany any…

A Double and the Duomo

A room with a view of the Duomo in Florence Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A View on a Budget in Florence Our quick stay at the Soggiorno Battistero in Florence is just long enough to appreciate anew the place across from the Duomo referred to as the Baptistry. So thrilled with our view right…

Christ of Many Colors

Jesus at the Church of the Spilt Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

On this Palm Sunday, marvel at the varied images of Jesus depicted in churches and other places around the world. Sometimes he is a baby with the face of someone far more mature, sometimes he is an adult, sometimes with…

Nordic Jesus

I am always amused by how Jesus Christ is depicted as a fairly contemporary-looking white guy in so many American churches. I like that when I visited Russia, I saw a lot of religious art depicting Jesus with very dark…

Making Field Trips More Fun: Gargoyles and Grotesques

It’s Wacky Wednesday! One favorite travel oddity is a certain grotesque at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque, I have learned, is that gargoyles have spouts as part of a building’s…

The Ups and Downs of Mont Saint-Michel

First sighting of Mont Saint-Michele. Photo credit: V. Laino

I both love and loathe my experience at Mont Saint-Michel. I’m enamored of its history—how the Archangel Michael appeared to a priest some 700 years ago and told him to build this church in the water, how the priest equivocated…

Paris: Don’t Skip Sainte Chapelle

During this season of renewal, my mind floats to my favorite churches in Paris. I can’t help but marvel at Sainte Chapelle, stuck next to a courthouse, the little sibling of its competitor, the grand Notre Dame Cathedral. With each…

Visiting Mount Kisco’s Invisible Church

It’s easy to cruise right past the tiny little cemetery at the corner of St. Marks Place and Main Street in Mount Kisco without noticing the Revolutionary War-era grave markers. Situated just across and down a bit from Friendly’s at…