Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bricks and Mortar

A new TP - and this time it's Bricks and Mortar. This is great - I get another chance to post some of the beautiful structures I've seen in Europe over the last couple of years.
Firstly off to Montserrat, north of Barcelona in Spain. The beautiful Benedictine monastery and church are on the top of a mountain 1236 meters (4055 ft) above the valley floor. Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, and is an important shrine to the Catalonian people. I was there at Easter last year, and although I'm not Catholic I loved the spiritual atmosphere of this beautiful spot. 


My second stop is Meteora, in the north of Greece, which I visited on the same trip. The area is famous for the monasteries which sit perched on the very top of high mountains. It is an amazing place.
At Varlaam Monastery, built in 1350, they used to winch supplies up to the monks - it took 22 years to hoist all of the building materials for the three churches, the monks' cells - and a water tank.
Seven monks live there today.

This lovely little chapel is at another Meteora monastery, St Stephen's, built around 1400. 
It is now a nunnery.

This year I visited Milan; these two piles of bricks and mortar are both part of the Castello Sforzesco,  
once the seat of the Duchy of Milan, now a museum and art gallery.

While in Italy I also went to Lucca, and it was one of the highlights of my trip. Here are two 
not-so-majestic bricks and mortar pictures:

Thanks for re-visiting these lovely places with me; looking back on travel pictures immediately takes me back to the moment, the feelings, the atmosphere. Thanks to Carmi at Written Inc for this Thematic Photographic opportunity!


  1. These are truly beautiful. Why is it that with our 'superior technology' beauty seems to have been left out of the equation. Not to mention longevity. I would be very surprised if any of our public buildings stand for as long as these beautiful buildings you shared today. Thank you.

  2. EC - No, thank you! I am so pleased that you enjoyed my pictures. I hope you are enjoying your spring garden as much as I am - the pleasure of your photos is so positive, and they always warm my day.

  3. Montserrat- I've been there! Did you go up higher? I thought the rock formations where amazing. Seemed to me that some of Gaudi's 'chimneys' might well have been inspired by them.

  4. Monserrat--- oh my.
    I was there in 1983, a very long time ago indeed. I recall climbing to the top of the church tower and looking down from the tower and the cliff at a truly dizzying height. And I recall the amusement park. Is the amusement park still there? I always thought it was funny to put rides up at a religious site, but I guess it brought in more visitors.

    Anyway, your composition in these shots is great. Nice choices.

  5. Kiwi - yes, we went up as high as the track went. I had the same thought about the link to Gaudi! In some of my other photos it's even more obvious.

    Writer - If it is, I didn't see it. Apart from visiting the Cathedral and the Museum, we did all of the walking tracks we could.

    Tina - thanks.

  6. Well, it's been a long time. Maybe it's gone now. Just as well; it was kind of tacky. (Or maybe it was a FAIR and just temporary and I happened to be there at the right time????)

  7. I'm envious of this fine selection of photos and even more envious that I will not get the chance to visit the places themselves.

  8. This theme has been good for going through travel photos! The cliff side monasteries ... wow! The photo of the Italian sitting in the window is so well composed. Beautiful photos.

  9. Wow, those pictures are beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing them!

  10. Oh Alexia more places so worth a's just amazing looking at these remarkable works of art, if only more were made like this still today...but it's so easy to wander off in your mind all the various lives and stories that passed along this way....very nice collection, and what marvelous memories to savour forever!

  11. love the bricks & mortar.
    my favorite is your first picture...the monastery tucked into the boulder rocks! wow!!

    beautiful nice to visit through your eyes!


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