Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia (2014)

As long as we’re on the subject of religious buildings, let’s take a look at the Church of the Vera Cruz in Segovia, Spain.

Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

The building was dedicated in 1208, more than 800 years ago. Inside, you’ll find an elevated chamber within the main structure.

Inside the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Inside the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

A staircase leads up to this inner sanctum.

Staircase inside the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Staircase inside the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

There’s an altar within that chamber that you see in the next photo:

Altar inside the inner chamber at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Altar inside the inner chamber at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

From up there you have a view down to the side chapels, such as this one:

View to one of the chapels in the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

View to one of the chapels in the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

You’ll also find this reliquary in a separate place:

Reliquary at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Reliquary at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

The exterior also bears a number of carved columns that are worth investigating.

Exterior carvings at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

Exterior carvings at the Church of the Vera Cruz, Segovia, Spain.

This is the third time I’ve visited this building. However, it was only the first time that I was able to go inside. Be sure to check the hours of operation prior to arrival.

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Salamanca’s Cathedral

Salamanca, Spain, is blessed with a number of remarkable buildings, including the Catedral Nueva which is actually built adjacent to the older one.

Catedral Nueva, Salamanca, Spain.

Catedral Nueva, Salamanca, Spain.

Even my widest angle lens had trouble capturing the entire exterior in a single frame. Inside, the sweeping columns rise to amazing heights.

Inside Salamanca's Catedral Nueva.

Inside Salamanca’s Catedral Nueva.

Quite a large amount of light falls into this building, compared to the Romanesque style cathedrals you’ll find in other cities. Heading to the “old” cathedral through a door, you’ll find a number of paintings such as these:

Interior paintings, Salamanca's "Old" Cathedral.

Interior paintings, Salamanca’s “Old” Cathedral.

As well as some interesting tombs:

Tomb and wall paintings at Salamanca's Cathedral.

Tomb and wall paintings at Salamanca’s Cathedral.

Back inside the “new” cathedral, you’ll find this pipe organ.

Detail from inside Salamanca's Catedral Nueva.

Detail from inside Salamanca’s Catedral Nueva.

I found this bit of rope and tackle intriguing.

Equipment used to build the cathedral or hoist the bells? Maybe.

Equipment used to build the cathedral or hoist the bells? Maybe.

Of course, there is so much more to see during a visit to this sacred place. Take your time and plenty of photos. The cool air inside invites you to linger and ponder.

 

Puebla de Sanabria, Spain (2014)

Puebla de Sanabria is one of many towns perched atop a hill in Spain. Every square inch is built upon with winding streets giving access to homes and businesses. Here’s one of the wider streets:

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Eventually, these streets lead to a stately plaza mayor with a government building, castle, and a fine church:

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Although the facade looks mostly blank, you’ll find some weathered carvings of interest near the door:

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Many of the homes and posadas in this town are kept to a very high standard as you see in the next image:

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

It’s easy to get lost in these streets so pay attention while ambling about looking for photo opportunities.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a snack, meal, or drinks, such as this one:

Meson Albadero in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Meson Abelardo in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

There’s a huge lake nearby where people enjoy all kinds of activities, which might be just the thing for you. Check out the small towns in Spain. There much more there than you might think.

Cathedral of Sanitago de Compostela, Spain

The Road to Santiago is a pilgrimage made famous in the middle ages, and it continues to this day. You’ll see pilgrims and tourists walking, riding bicycles, or driving the route from one beginning or another. They all end at the Cathedral of Sanitago de Compostela.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, June 2014.

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, June 2014.

During my visit, there was considerable restoration work going on including what you see above on the facade. However, this did not detract from the experience. Inside, you’ll find magnificent sights including the many chapels such as this one:

Chapel within the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Chapel within the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

As well as this one to show just a couple examples:

Chapel in Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Chapel in Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

In these chapels you often find services held in individual languages. Remember this is a destination for people from all over the world. You can also pass by the many reliquaries.

Reliquary at Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Reliquary at Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

And I highly recommend staying for mass and watching the swinging of the botafumiero, which is something you won’t see in many cathedrals.

The botafumiero at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The botafumiero at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The music as part of the service is wonderful and very uplifting, much of it played on the pipe organ you see in the next photo.

Pipe organ at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Pipe organ at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

While the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela may not be the largest, it is among the most important and worth your time to visit in this part of Spain. As always, be respectful while touring such places of worship.

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