CFFC: Vertical Challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the theme columns and vertical lines.

Column at a kitschy Egyptian-themed site, Wadsworth, IL
This single pillar in a Grayslake, IL park is the only remnant of a factory that had previously been on that site.
Memorial to fallen soldiers, Inverness, IL
Columns at the manor at Cantigny, the estate of Robert McCormick, Wheaton, IL
Base of a stairway railing, Cantigny
Satellite communications tower, Rolling Meadows, IL
Decorative bamboo stalks, annual orchid show at Chicago Botanic Gardens
Orchid show, Chicago Botanic Gardens
Vertical blinds at a friend’s house in Des Plaines, IL
Columns at Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel
Cloister columns at the Abbey, Mont St-Michel, France
Snail clusters on a pillar, Mont St-Michel, France
Abbey, Mont St-Michel, France
Cathedral of Cologne, Germany
Organ pipes, Bamberg Cathedral, Germany
Sculpture fountain at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
Forecourt columns, Philae, Egypt
Gated doorway, Philae, Egypt

CFFC: International Business

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge has the theme “all about buildings.” This week’s topic is commercial buildings or store fronts.

One of the fun things about traveling is all the different types of architecture you see. So I am posting photos of a variety of architectural styles and colors from some of my recent trips.

An upscale shop in Cologne, Germany
Souvenir shop in Cologne with lovely wood carving.
Detail on the wall of a bakery in Miltenberg, Germany
A variety of things are for sale in this typically German shop, in Miltenberg

A drugstore in Wurzburg, Germany
Schlenkera Brewery, Bamberg, Germany
Colorful souvenir shop in Nuremberg, Germany
Riverside commercial area, Nuremberg
Tattoo parlor and smoke shop in Regensburg, Germany
Colorful commercial street in Budapest, Hungary
Café in the Jewish Quarter, Budapest
Bakery in Highwood, Illinois, USA
Downtown street with empty storefronts in Woodstock, Illinois (this was during the early lockdown days at the beginning of April, 2020).
Woodstock, Illinois – you can see how empty this downtown commercial street is.
Entrance to a shopping center in Tel Aviv, Israel
Arabic signs over stores in Bethlehem, Israel
Also in Bethlehem
Israeli version of Starbucks (Bethlehem)
Children’s books (and it seems like a lot of other things) are for sale in this hip neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.
Southwestern adobe style is common in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
More Pueblo style architecture in Santa Fe
Colorful hues in Tucumcari, New Mexico
You can get married and then go next door and have old time photos made! (Tucumcari)
Northwestern USA style in Poulsbo, Washington
Poulsbo, Washington – love that onion-dome style “tower” on top of this bookstore!
Poulsbo, WA
Wind socks flutter in front of this kitschy gift shop, Poulsbo, WA

CFFC: Choose Your Own Topic

This is the fifth week of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’s Choose Your Own Topic from this photo. And this week the photo is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cee’s suggestions: chicken, coffee, cup, black and white, ferris wheel, fake flowers, topiary, round, triangle, treats, red, green, ball, store logos, or come up with your own topic.

Coffee shop sign (Bethlehem, Israel) – Starbucks with a twist?
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Ferris wheel (Navy Pier, Chicago)
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Colorful wheels (Regensburg, Germany)
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Balls (Buddhist temple grounds, Des Plaines, Illinois)
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Fake flowers (Buddhist temple grounds, Des Plaines, IL)
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Thursday Doors: Church of the Nativity

While I’m stuck at home, I’m making a photo book on Shutterfly of our trip to Israel last year. Going through the photos, I noticed some interesting doors I don’t think I’ve posted before, like these in Bethlehem at the Church of the Nativity. So I will tell the story of our visit forNorm’s Thursday Doors.

Bethlehem is located in the West Bank and we took a bus there from Jerusalem. When we arrived, I was gob smacked at how large the church was! It couldn’t all fit in one picture. 20190113_145507d
More remarkable is that this church was built in 530 CE by Justinian, on the site of a 4th century church over the cave in which Jesus is said to have been born.

The first church was commissioned in 326 CE by Constantine and his mother, St. Helena, directly over the cave. In the center was a large hole, surrounded by a railing, which provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaics from this earliest church are visible in the main sanctuary today.
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Door named for St. Helena

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The Door of Humility, a small rectangular entrance to the church, was put in by the Ottomans to prevent the carts of looters from being able to enter. It is called this because one has to duck to enter the church. I was unable to get a photo of the outside of the door  because a lot of people were lined up to get in, which took some people more
time!
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But back to Justinian…who was responsible for the much larger church that still stands today. Remarkably, it was never destroyed by the Persians when they invaded in 614CE nor by the Muslims who followed them. In 1009 CE, the Crusaders took over, while the Franks and Byzantines, in the 12th century, fully redecorated the interior of the church. In the centuries that followed, the church was neglected but not destroyed, and the building also survived an earthquake (1834) and a fire (1869) which destroyed the furnishings of the cave.

In 1852, the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox secured joint custody of Church of the Nativity. The Greeks maintain the grotto (where the cave is).
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I am not sure if the above photo is the inside of the Door of Humility or it is the one below, with beautiful woodworked panels above it.
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In the cavernous nave, there are 44 pillars, 30 of which are painted with images of saints or the Virgin & Child. The columns are  made of pink, polished limestone and most of them date – incredibly – from the first, 4th century Constantinian church!
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On the walls on both sides of the nave are fragments of beautiful mosaics, from the 1160s, created by the Franks and ‘Byzantines.
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Visitors were lined up on two sides of the wide nave, waiting to get into the grotto to see the site where Jesus was born.

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The main altar and another altar is the property of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Our guide inquired and found out it would be at least 45 minutes, probably more, to get in. The consensus among us was to do the alternative: go to the church next door (St. Catherine) where we could peer through a peephole into the Chapel of the Manger.

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A woman in our tour group emerges from a side door of the church.

We then went next door to St. Catherine Church. In front of the main entrance is a statue of St. Jerome (Hieronymus in Greek), who lived and worked in Bethlehem from 386 CE and is buried in a cave under Church of the Nativity. He is depicted with one foot on a skull.
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St. Jerome always had a skull within his sight when he was working, to remind him that time was limited, so he should not waste time but instead use his precious time wisely.

Behind the statue is this lovely front door to St. Catherine, with a stunning stained glass window depicting the holy family.
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Close-up of the panels on the door
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The sanctuary of St. Catherine Catholic Church
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We proceeded downstairs to the Chapel of the Grotto.

To see into the Chapel of the Manger, where there is a star on the spot where Jesus allegedly was born, we had to look through this peephole! (The people we could see through there were most likely looking down at the star.)
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Church of the Nativity was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012.

Information taken from my notes and from the website Sacred Destinations,
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem.