Tag Archives: art
In the northern reaches of Greek Cyprus, a stone’s throw from the UN-imposed “Green Line,” separating Greek Cyprus from Turkish Cyprus, there is a village called Nikitari. About three kilometes south of Nikitari, the intrepid traveler will find the Church of Panagia Phorviotissa. And the traveler will be rewarded for his perils.
Just after the turn of the 18th century, however, another church was built here: the present Peterskirche. It was begun in 1701 and consecrated in 1733. It was the first domed structure in Vienna, and its towers are said to have been inspired by the tents of the Turks during the siege just a few years earlier.
One neighborhood name I’d like to know the story behind is Prague’s Malá Strana, or “Lesser Town,” because for the life of me I can’t tell just exactly what’s “lesser” about it.
We’ll head back to Bohemia, to a picturesque mountainous region just east of Prague, where there sits a small town called Kutná Hora. Now it is home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and at such close proximity to Prague, easy to visit.
We didn’t mean to visit Santa Maria, or Our Lady in Trastevere, when we did; we were just looking for good food in the Trastevere (“across the Tiber”) neighborhood. Eventually we would have found our way to it, but hungry as we were when we walked by, I simply couldn’t help myself. I had to go in.
The church as it stands today closely follows the plan of the 13th century Gothic church, and its interior paint, frescos, and organ have been completely redone. It is this interior decoration, however, that really seems to set Matthias Church apart. Instead of the stark stone found in most Gothic churches, Matthias Church is almost entirely painted, largely with geometric and floral motifs, and with a pretty blue “sky” above it all.
Prague is a beautiful city, and rightfully known for its spires. One of its most striking buildings possesses some of the most soaring spires, and as an added bonus, spires upon those spires. How very Prague. This is the Church of Our Lady Before Týn.
I realize that, with our sparse writing of late, it is probably difficult to tell where we are these days. Well, we have been in Budapest now for a few weeks, and we’ll be here until July. There is still so much to write about in the other cities we’ve been to, so it’s really quite difficult to catch up. On top of that, we visited several more cities along the way.
So if it’s just a little Byzantine church, what’s the big deal? That will become abundantly clear inside, when you’re greeted by wondrous art: the kind of art that makes you understand what all the fuss is about art; the kind of art that makes you forget to close your mouth when you stare. The best kind of art.
30 mile per hour winds shut down the Golden Horn ferry, so we ended up walking. This might have otherwise been a pleasant walk but for the evil weather, and I know that Michelle particularly didn’t enjoy having to constantly hold her skirt against the wind. Then I compounded the trouble by taking a quick detour through some of the least-welcoming neighborhoods of the city.