Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

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I recently spent a few days in Barcelona, Spain.  The obligatory visit to the Gaudi Cathedral left me uninspired, if I’m honest.  I didn’t find it a spiritual place – and the sheer number of tourists taking their selfies made the space pretty manic.  Light levels were quite low as it was a cloudy day, so I had to push the ISO on my compact camera up a fair bit.

—Stephen—

How Hill Tower

How Hill Tower

How Hill Tower near Wallerthwaite, North Yorkshire.  I’ve learnt the tower sits on the site of the ‘Chapel of Saint Michael de Monte’.  It was built 1718-23, by John Aislabie  (he was expelled from the House of Commons, where he had been appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, after being found guilty of the ”most notorious, dangerous and infamous corruption”). (wiki)
…. Always interesting to follow things up…..!

—Stephen—

Holy Trinity Church…Florence, Italy.

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We went for a saunter away from the main tourist routes in Florence early one evening, as the light was fading.  At one particular road junction, I looked down the road and my immediate reaction was ‘There’s a church!’.  A bit of stupid thing to say really when we’d been looking at some beautiful religious building over the previous couple of days. What I meant, I suppose, was an ‘English Church’, if that’s sufficient to define the architectural character of a building.  As we walked towards it, (I couldn’t not after all) I could see it had many of the external features of the churches I visit.  It was an English Church – totally unexpected.  It was too dark to get a decent photo – I managed to get one of a statue high on the tower by resting my camera at an angle on a wall.  (ISO 800 and pushed a couple of stops in pshop).   Niches on most of the churches I visit are usually empty, so it was unusual to see this statue.

The statue is of St. Alban – I couldn’t see that when I took it – St. Alban was the first British Christian martyr (wiki).  The church is now known as Chiesa Evangelica Valdese, the church was bought by the Waldensians in the 1960s.  I’d not heard of them before but it seems they are Protestants with a long history.  (Reading up about them reminds me of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man under the justice of religion.)

—Stephen—

Tower of Pisa

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A 20 second exposure resting my camera on a dome topped post – with the added pleasure of another tourist crouching down behind me to look at the output on the lcd screen of my camera as I was composing it.  She gave me a lovely smile and a double thumbs up when I moved on!  A touch of camera shake is obvious, nonetheless I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

—Stephen—