The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

The most beautiful temple in the world

32 comments


Maybe exaggerated title. But for my world it was like that. The most beautiful. The most peaceful. The most ecumenical.

It is unusual mixture of Norman, Byzantine and Arabic style. Norman King William the Good had a dream about foundation of a church and he fully dedicated himself to the task given to him. Bad tongues say he just wanted to assume the Arab title of Caliph under the name of “al-Musta’izz bi-llah”, “He who searches exaltation in God”. The Latin basilic he let decorated with mosaics full of gold, surprising pagan divinities, acanthus leaves and fruits. But columns, columns my dear are Saracen-style. How far? It is said that Christians, pagans and moslims built this church together.


The walls are entirely decorated with mosaics covering a total area of 6,340 sq m (google). The mosaic decorations are the work of Byzantine and Venetian craftsmen, executed between the end of the 12C and the beginning of the 13C and depicting a cycle of scenes from the Old and the New Testaments. The idea was, that if there are lot of illiterates and even moslims, the best reading book for all of them will be a giant leporelo.


One of the mosaic: Jesus and lepers. For me they look more like those with spotted fever.


Windows glittering from gold and colours, full of flowers.

Come with me now on the sun, to the most beautiful monastery garden.


Multiply everything by two…


…marvel at beautiful details on columns…

In the middle of herbal garden grows one olive tree. Probably not an accident. Tree, which gives “virgin oil”, grows in the middle of the temple, dedicated to Virgin Mary…


and what (the hell) is this? Seems like Slovak national symbol….


In the shade, with the view on a garden, where Saracens built a fountain over the well, full of refreshing water…


Definitely, basic oriental garden element. But VIrgin Mary is still there. Watching all those crowds, blinded by sun, love, drugs, alcohol and vanity. Sitting on her throne above all of them.


Modestly sitting under the ceiling of the arcades with her guardian angel. The pigeon.

More blog posts by katarina

Previous post: Catch if you can

Next post: What has Chuck Norris common with us?



Comments

 

where is this katarina? it is beautiful

24 Feb, 2012

 

Ach, sorry, I thought I wrote about it. It is Sicily, close to Palermo.

24 Feb, 2012

 

That is a wonderful place ,Katarina..and those buildings are indeed magnificent...I wish I had known about this,when we visited Palermo..but it was only for a day,so we probably wouldn't have had the time...thank you for sharing this..and your description of it makes lovely reading..very eloquent,and tastefully done :o)

24 Feb, 2012

 

there is another beautiful one not unlike this in Cordoba Spain; as well as the Alhambra and another I think in Seville that I really loved.

24 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you very much, Bloomer. I was in Palermo for a day, too, still I did see a lot. I was with German travel agency and they are enormously good guides.

24 Feb, 2012

 

I know Sticki, I wish to go to Granada and see Alhambra, too.

24 Feb, 2012

 

you would love it katarina, and Cordoba too, i wish i could remember the name of the other one.

24 Feb, 2012

 

Saevilla?

24 Feb, 2012

 

I think it was in Seville but the photos on google of the cathedral or the mosque are not how i remember it.

24 Feb, 2012

 

This is a truly beautiful building. What more can I say when you have guided us around it so skilfully and interestingly. Many thanks for the tour Katarina :o)))

24 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you very much, Lily. This blog was also for you :)

24 Feb, 2012

 

that's a wonderful place Katerina, the craftsmanship there is phenomenal..

24 Feb, 2012

 

thanks, Kat! the workmanship is astounding, the detail staggering, the beauty overwhelming. I'm going to have to go back and drink it all in again, at least four times more!

Your "what the hell" looked to me a b it like the cross of lorraine - a cross iwth four equal arms and a smaller crossbar acros the upright. If i was looking in the right place on that pic, that is!

the mixing of cultures and architectural styles makes a unique building - and while i don't have a lot of time for religion, I have a great deal of time for the churches of any

24 Feb, 2012

 

Lol, Fran. You should wrote: the workmanship is astounding, the detail staggering, the beauty overwhelming. And me -exagerrating. LOL.

24 Feb, 2012

 

didn't notice that, so it could'nt have been outstangly so! *s*

lol of course it depends on who you meant by "me exaggerting"! if me, not so! if you, didn't notice!

24 Feb, 2012

 

Wow Katrina - beautiful! :-)

24 Feb, 2012

 

Lucky you Katarina...it looks like a fantastic place to visit.

24 Feb, 2012

 

What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing this with us.

25 Feb, 2012

 

Surreylad, you are absolutely right. I even did not put all photos there. But there was a pair of pillars, made in deep sea blue colour, with golden ornaments, they were fairy. Unfortunately, I did not find them in my old computer, so could not load them on, lol. I will upload one more photo separately - the floor mosaics from small stones, as here are lot of professional and self made artists. Some inspiration :)

25 Feb, 2012

 

thanks, can't wait to see more!

25 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks for the pics Katarina,such a shame all this skill and craftwork seams to be a thing of the past,you do have to marvel at it, time and money seems more important in todays society!

25 Feb, 2012

 

part of that might be that no way could workmen of such skill be paid what they're worth for such work these days! it'd cost millions just for the work, let alone the materials.

And of course there aren't as amny of them these days; who needs such skill in the age of concrete and reinforced steel? and "trendy" architects!

25 Feb, 2012

 

Fran, I like you, but do not look on it through western eyes, please. Just one comparison. Friends of my friends produce beautiful carpets in Kashmere. It is hand made, silk and high quality wool, many generation secrets in making family specific ornaments. Sold to Europeans/Americans for 400 dollars. Sold for 3 800 dollars in the USA.
Another example - poor women are making beautiful silky blouses in India for the price 3 pounds each. Sold on Oxford street for 70 pounds.
There are craftsmen and there are millionaires/donators as before. But something is missing now. That "something" means that millionaires invest into getting more power, making more money. In old times they fighted for power with swords and intrigues/called policy/ and collected arts. Now they are lazy to fight, others are fighting for them. They invest money in wars and corruption, thus left less for building cathedral. You know, roads, which do not lead to church, do not lead nowhere. This was just symbolic :)

25 Feb, 2012

 

I wasn't talking from my personal point of view, Kat. Something hand-made is better to me than somethkng mass-produced on a conveyor-belt in a soulless factory - a person making something by hand puts something of themselves into it.

25 Feb, 2012

 

I know you wasn´t talking your personal view. But we tend to "evaluate" the work through our experience.

25 Feb, 2012

 

What I wanted to say, that there are still skilled people all over the world who are able to make beautiful things - looking by our eyes - for cheap price :)

25 Feb, 2012

 

oh sure, but how much appreciated now? when people can buy factory-made stuff for pennies, or hand-made stuff for pounds, which are they most likely to choose?

25 Feb, 2012

 

Fran, you can ask our ex-premier Mrs Radicova, who after her unsucsessful political career is heading to Oxford. She will have lectures there for several months for folks on Isles. I can guide you what to ask her. If you have good luck and she will be not drunk, she will communicate with British people for sure. She only do not discuss with those corrupted bastards in white coats in Slovakia, as they are not on her social level and should work for 600 hundred euros per month for 7 days a week. Good luck to Britain :)

25 Feb, 2012

 

It is a very beautiful place.

25 Feb, 2012

 

The route there is exciting. It is a narrow street full of arts -mainly pottery. For a long time I thought that Spanish tiles are number one in Europe, but these were breathtaking (regarding colours and motives). It is a pity that Sicily is so far. I would make a wonderful bathroom and garden path from those tiles....ach

26 Feb, 2012

 

wish to travel in this very beautiful temple!

15 Mar, 2012

 

Maybe one day you will, Junna. Life is full of surprises. I have never thought that I would travel to Sicily, when I was 18 :)

15 Mar, 2012

Add a comment

Recent posts by katarina

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    13 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    6 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • bjs
    Bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    30 Dec, 2011