The Dome of St. Peter’s — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half Circle

Here is another entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half Circle.

We took an eight week around the world trip in 2013. To structure the trip, we decided to visit as many religious sites as possible. Our trip included ancient Egyptian temples, cathedrals, Hindu and Jain temples, a Jewish synagogue, and Buddhist shrines.

One of our stops was St. Peter’s Basilica. It was breathtaking. The following is one of our favorite images from that stop. This is the view looking straight up at the dome with light streaming through the windows.

This photo was taken on February 19, 2013.

Gallery of Maps — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hallways

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hallways.

Here is part of the ceiling of the Gallery of Geographical Maps in the Vatican Museums. According to the Vatican City State website,

It takes its name from the 40 maps frescoed on the walls, which represent the Italian regions and the papal properties at the time of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585). They were painted between 1580 and 1585 on drawings by Ignazio Danti, a famous geographer of the time.

For us, the golden Mannerist artwork on the vaulted ceiling of this hall is much more beautiful than that on the walls.

 

 

This gallery, about 400 feet long, is on the third floor of the Belvedere Courtyard. Visitors to the Vatican Museums who are not particularly interested in Italian geography might rush through this gallery on their way to the Sistine Chapel with its extraordinary ceiling. As the photo shows, the crowd ahead of us is looking at neither the walls nor the ceiling. Perhaps they will take a better look on their return.

This photo was taken on February 19, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 200, f/2, 1/50 sec, 4.5 mm

Looking down Vatican double helix staircase

Stairway

This photograph looks down at the Vatican’s double helix staircase from above.

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Vatican double helix staircase, looking down

In 1932, Giuseppe Momo designed the double helix staircase used by visitors to the Vatican museums. His design was inspired by the Bramante Staircase, which is located in the Vatican’s Pio-Clementine Museum but not available to the general public. The original Bramante Staircase was designed for use by mules and horses to carry large items. The two staircases of the modern staircase are intertwining “up” and “down” staircases, designed so that people going up do not meet people going down. Now, all visitors use this staircase to leave the museums at the end of their visits.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking up Vatican double helix staircase

Stairway

This photograph looks up at the Vatican’s double helix staircase from below.

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Vatican double helix staircase, looking up

In 1932, Giuseppe Momo designed the double helix staircase used by visitors to the Vatican museums. His design was inspired by the Bramante Staircase, which is located in the Vatican’s Pio-Clementine Museum but not available to the general public. The original Bramante Staircase was designed for use by mules and horses to carry large items. The two staircases of the modern staircase are intertwining “up” and “down” staircases, designed so that people going up do not meet people going down. Now, all visitors use this staircase to leave the museums at the end of their visits.

Places of Worship

Since today is Easter Sunday, the featured topic is places of worship from around the world. The pictures are presented alphabetically by country.

Since, by necessity, the description of the religious significance of each site is very short, the interested reader is encouraged to research further.

Cambodia

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

This photo shows the sun rising behind Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During its long history, Hinduism and Buddhism have both been practiced here.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

Egypt

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Temple of Kom Ombo, Aswan, Egypt

The Temple of Kom Ombo is located  in Upper Egypt for the worship of two gods: the crocodile god Sobek (god of fertility, who created the world) and the falcon god Horus (son of Isis and Osiris; god of the sky, war and hunting). Images of Hathor, depicted as a cow goddess, are also  prevalent here.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

France

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

This photo of the historic Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral was taken in October, 2015.

India

Here are photos of Indian temples for each of three ancient religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) and two newer religions (Islam and Sikhism).

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Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

The Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple is located in Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and named for his wife, the goddess Parvati. Shiva is the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life. Parvati is the goddess of love and devotion. Shiva and Parvati are the parents of Ganesha and Kartikeya.

There are 14 towers; the tallest tower is the southern one, at 170 feet.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

 

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Jain Temple at Ranakpur, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

This photo shows pillars in the interior of the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, in the city of Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

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Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India

This photo shows the Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath, about 13 kilometers north-east of Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Sarnath is the site of Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

 

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Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India

This photo shows the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi; it is one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. The photo is taken from a window at the top of one of the towers, a twin to the taller tower reaching above the skyline. The two (shorter) minarets visible in the middle are 130 feet high.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

This photo is of Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple, which is the holiest Gurdwara (place of worship) of Sikhism.  The Golden Temple is located in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

Spain

 

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Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

This photo shows part of the exterior of the Sagrada Família, a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Antoni Gaudi.

This photo was taken in April, 2015.

Thailand

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Buddha statues, Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

This photo shows a row of Buddha statues inside Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand. The photo was taken in March, 2013, before the restoration of the wall behind the statues.

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Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo shows the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo was taken in February, 2016.

Vatican City State

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Sistine Chapel ceiling, Vatican

This photo shows part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Roman Catholic Vatican.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

 

 

 

Architecture & Monochrome

Today’s challenge is to capture the beauty and complexity of architecture in black and white or monochrome.

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Coliseum, Rome, Italy

This wide-angle photo of the Coliseum in Rome, Italy, was taken in February, 2013. The photo has been converted to black and white.

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Fence detail, Parc Güell, Barcelona, Spain

This wide-angle photo of a fence in Parc Güell in Barcelona, Spain was taken in Spring, 2015. The photo has been converted to black and white, but the fence is in its original color.

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Passion Façade, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

This photo shows the exterior of the Basílica  de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, in Spring 2015. This is the stylized Passion Façade, completed in 2012, showing the events leading to the crucifixion of Christ.  This photo, converted to black and white, was taken in Spring, 2015.

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La Sagrada Familia Basilica (Barcelona, Spain)

Another photo of the exterior of the Basílica  de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, shows ongoing construction Spring, 2015. The colors are original.