EUROPEAN TRAVELS

This is a collection of photos from some of my travels in Europe.

Oradour-sur-Glane
near Limoges, France

Oradour was a town in central France targeted by the Germans during the latter part of World War II. On June 10, 1944, elements of the 2nd SS Panzer Division ("Das Reich") rolled into town. The men were herded into barns and garages; the women and children were forced into the church. When Germans were finished, 642 civilians had been murdered and the town was in flames. The town of Oradour has been preserved in its ruined state as a memorial to the innocents.

Main
                Street in Oradour

Oradour
                Church
View down the main street in Oradour-sur-Glane.

The church where 452 women and  children were murdered by the SS.

Burned-out
                Building and Car

Oradour Bell
Another view of Oradour showing a burned-out building and a car.

Bell recovered from the church. The steel clapper has survived but the brass casing has been severely distorted by the heat of the fire.


Oradour
                Garage


Ruins of one of the garages where men and boys were murdered.


Oradour
                Sign2

Sign on
                Building Indicating Purpose and Owner
Sign on left side of garage (above) indicating that it was a site where some of the men and boys were murdered.

Sign on the right side of the garage (above) indicating the building's function and owner.


Chartres Cathedral
Chartres, France

Chartres Cathedral is is one of the best - and best preserved - examples of Medieval religious architecture.

Chartres
                Cathedral Exterior

Chartres
                Cathedral Nave
Western facade of Chartres Cathedral.

Nave of Chartres Cathedral.

Chartres
                Cathedral Ambulatory Baptism

Chartres
                Cathedral Gargoyle
Ambulatory - Baptism of Jesus.

Gargoyle/waterspout on the North Tower.


Normandy

Northern France

Normandy was the focus of two of the most significant invasions in the history of Europe: the Norman invasion of England in 1066 and the Allied invasion of northern France on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day). Many of the effects of the D-Day invasion have disappeared in the intervening decades, leaving monuments, museums, a few relics, and one's imagination to recall the devastation and ferocity associated with the event.

Normandy - Omaha Beach

Normandy - Pointe du Hoc Cliff
Omaha Beach circa 2003.

Cliffs and barbed wire at Pointe du Hoc.

Normandy - Longue sur Mer

Normandy - Sector Sign
German gun emplacements at Longues sur Mer.

Sign on Omaha Beach indicating dividing line between invasion sectors.


Ravenna
Italy

Ravenna was the last capital of the Western Roman Empire before it finally disappeared in the year 476. It was also where mainstream Christianity (Catholicism) and "heretical" Arianism co-existed for a while in the 5th and 6th Centuries. It boasts a collection of Byzantine mosaics. Among the mosaics are dueling baptism scenes inside the domes of a mainstream baptistery and an Arian baptistery illustrating their differing interpretations of Jesus' status.

Ravenna - Mainstream Dome

Ravenna - Arian Dome
Interior of the dome of the Mainstream (Catholic) Baptistery.

Interior of the dome of the Arian Baptistery.

Ravenna - Mainstream Dome Jesus

Ravenna - Arian Dome Jesus
Mainstream Baptistery - Detail of Jesus.
Jesus appears fit and capable.

Arian Baptistery - Detail of Jesus.
Jesus appears dumpy and immature.


La Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth)
Rome, Italy

The Mount of Truth is a carving of a face on a disc that resides in a portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. It gets its name from the tradition that if you tell a lie while your hand is in the mouth of the carving, your hand will be cut off.

The
                  Mouth of Truth
The Mouth of Truth.


The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Rome, Italy

The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano) is the Pope's home church. Popes resided in the Lateran Palace next door from the 4th Century until the 14th Century. Currently the Pope lives across town in Vatican City.

St John
                  Lateran Facade

St John
                  Lateran Statues
Facade of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

Statues of Apostles along the side of the nave.

St John
                  Lateran Nave

St John
                  Lateran Obelisk
The nave of St. John Lateran.

Obelisk from the Temple of Karnak.


The Church of St. Stephen In-The-Round
Rome, Italy

The Church of St. Stephen In-The-Round (Santo Stefano Rotondo) was one of the only churches of its type built in the 5th Century. It is known for a series of frescoes on its interior walls depicting various types of torture and death suffered by early Christian martyrs.

St
                  Stephen - Round Design

St
                  Stephen - Ambulatory
Circular architecture of St. Stephen In-The-Round.

Ambulatory with martyrdom frescoes on the wall.

St
                    Stephen - St Stephen

St Stephen - Hand & Tongue

St
                    Stephen - Buried Alive
St. Stephen being stoned.

Cutting hands off and cutting tongues out.

Being buried alive.

San Stefano - Hands & Tongues Zoom
Enlarged area of center fresco above showing detail of hand and tongue removal. Note piles of hands and tongues at bottom.

Stefano
                  Molten Metal

Stefano
                  Woman
Depiction of molten metal being poured into a man's mouth.

Woman being tortured with a rake. The man behind her is trying to get her to worship an idol.


Santorini
Greece

Santorini is an archipelago composed of volcanic islands with an included water-filled caldera. Its most recent major eruption, 3600 years ago, put the finishing touches on a very scenic Aegean destination.

Santorini - Caldera

Santorini - Thira Cliff
Overlooking the town of Thira and the water-filled caldera.

The town of Thira on top of the cliff as viewed from Nea Kameni.


Mount Olympus
near Litochoro, Greece

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and the reputed home of the Ancient Greek gods. Three of its four primary peaks are accessible to adequately-prepared hikers/climbers.

Mount
                  Olympus seen from Litochoro

Stefani,
                  Mytikas, and Skala seen from Skolio
Mount Olympus in the distance as seen from the town of Litochoro.

Three of the four principal peaks of Mount Olympus: Stefani (left), Mytikas (center), and Skala (right) as seen from the fourth peak, Skolio.

Skolio
                  seen from Skala

Marine
                  Later seen from Refuge A
Skolio as seen from Skala.

Sunrise over a marine cloud layer on the northern Aegean Sea as seen from Refuge A on Mount Olympus.

Mt
                Olympus Chamois
Chamois above the treeline on Mount Olympus.


Delphi
Greece

Delphi, built into the side of a mountain, was the home of the Oracle, the seer who foretold the future in Ancient Greece. It was also the site of the Pythian Games, which were second in importance only to the Olympic Games.

Delphi
                  - Overview

Delphi -
                  Temple of Zeus
View from near the stadium at Delphi, over the theater and Temple of Zeus, into the valley below.

The temple of Zeus, the seat of the Oracle.

Delphi
                  - Stadium

Delphi -
                  Tholos
Athletic events of the Pythian Games were contested at the stadium.

The Tholos at Delphi. It guarded the eastern entrance to the sanctuary.


Sagres
Portugal

Sagres is located at the extreme southwest corner of Portugal, which is also the extreme southwest corner of Europe. In the 15th Century it was known as the End of the World, the point beyond which nothing was known. Sagres was the home of Prince Henry the Navigator and became the focal point of emerging knowledge and technology related to exploration of the African coast and the New World.

Sagres
                  Coast 1

Sagres
                  Coast 2
Cliffs on the coast at Sagres.

Another view of cliffs on the coast at Sagres.

Sagres
                  Fortalezza

Sagres -
                  Cabo Sao Vicente
The Cape at Sagres. The Fortaleza (white) is on the right.

Cabo Sao Vicente in the distance as seen from the Fortaleza.

The End