In the Steps of St. Paul, video review

H.V. Morton remains one of the best travels writers of all time. He was the consummate English gentlemen, with a solid perspective, a remarkable grasp of history, and a willingness to plunge into the world at full speed. In 1936, he wrote In the Steps of St. Paul, a travelogue of his journey following the missionary journeys of St. Paul. Here’s my video review.

If you’re planning on traveling to any parts of the world covered in this book, take the time to read it. It will augment your knowledge and make the trip that much more enjoyable. Happy travels!

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Arch of San Miguel, Spain

The Arch of San Miguel stands in a field at the edge of the town of Sasamón.

It was the entry portico to a 15th Century church that once stood on this spot. A shame the church did not survive. However, the arch is there as a reminder. It’s actually a dramatic sight: the arch, the field beyond, the blou sky above. This was a place for quiet reflection on the march of time. Take a moment to stop and think. It’ll do wonders.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sasamón, Spain

Sasamón, Spain features a magnificent “little” cathedral that you would not expect in this location. The town is quite small but on the Road to Santiago and therefore a stopover for pilgrims both presently and in days gone by. I call this a “little” cathedral because it has all the features of larger examples. The correct name is Santa María la Real.

The scene above gives a sweeping introduction to both the town and the church. You see the fountain there and if you were able to turn around, you’d be looking at the ayuntamiento, or government house. The gateway and yard beyond beckons the traveler to the church in the background. The church went through several iterations as it grew or was remodeled. You can see remnants of the different styles as you amble about the grounds.

In the cloister, you’ll find examples of cut stone artistry, still standing centuries after it was put in place. Inside are tableaus like this one.

A dramatic altar piece…

…and in the choir loft a well-played organ.

…and a baptismal font with fine carvings, too…

In particular, note the sleeping dogs around the base. Then have a gander at the pulpit, also of carved stone.

Again, there must have been hundreds of masons and no shortage of master craftsman pounding hammers and chisels all day long to build structures like this. It wasn’t the only church in town either, there were three, two of which survive. While walking through this church, we were the only ones present. Having a site like this to yourself is another honor. Enjoy it and be respectful.

Published in: on July 11, 2010 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Santa Basilica, Salamanca, Spain

Salamanca has more than its fair share of ecclesiastical buildings, including the Santa Basilica. While visiting there, I made this video. Near the middle you’ll see a chapel with a relic that is actually the arm of a saint.

Remember, this is just one of the massive structures open to the public in Salamanca. You can visit a few of them in one day, but certainly not all. I plan to return to Salamanca for a look at the ones I missed.

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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