Site for Sore Eyes (Pt III)

The third and final jaw dropping moment I experienced in Sicilian churches was not in one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed buildings; it was the Jesuit Church of the Gesú in Palermo. This is not Arab Norman (hence its exclusion from the list), and being constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries is … Continue reading Site for Sore Eyes (Pt III)

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A Site for Sore Eyes? (Pt I)

When I think of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I tend to think of a single location such as Palace Green in Durham, where both Castle and Cathedral are found, or Studley Royal in Yorkshire, where John Aislabie added his estate and water gardens to the existing ruins of Fountains Abbey.  In Sicily though, I found … Continue reading A Site for Sore Eyes? (Pt I)

A Little Wren

The origin's of the playground round "London's Burning" are unclear; it seems to pre-date the Great Fire that swept the city in 1666, and the city had form when it came to conflagrations.  The Roman town of Londinium was burnt down twice (most notably by Boudicca), and shortly after William the Conqueror's invasion it was … Continue reading A Little Wren

Not So Much A Temple

I said in my last post that Temple Row does not take it’s name from Birmingham’s Anglican Cathedral, though since the building’s churchyard adjoins the thoroughfare it would be a simple enough assumption to make. That said this is no typical cathedral.  Like Bradford Cathedral it was originally a parish church and remained so for … Continue reading Not So Much A Temple

Mancunian Magnificence

Back in Manchester, and time to turn my attention away from Salford Quays to the city proper, but what should be my subject? For a historic city, Manchester is missing a vital ingredient.  A castle.  The chester suffix derives from there being a Roman fortification here, but visit Castlefields and there is no trace of a … Continue reading Mancunian Magnificence

Buon Natale (Venezia 147)

For a posting on Christmas Day, it seemed appropriate to use one of the city's greatest churches; Santa Maria della Salute.  The Church that was built in thanks for salvation from the plague. Even a hater of Baroque like Ruskin was obliged to comment in her favour, describing the facade as "rich and beautiful".  Just as … Continue reading Buon Natale (Venezia 147)