Church of St. Peter & St. Paul (Vilnius)

St. Peter & Paul Church, “a treasure trove of sparkling white stucco sculptures of real and mythical people, animals and plants, with touches of gilt, paintings and statues. The decoration was done by Italian sculptors between 1675 and 1704” (Lonely Planet). Since it’s a “whopping” 2.5 km (that’s 1.55 miles) from the center of Vilnius, many tourists don’t bother to see this church, which is a huge shame and their loss. I know I’ve already posted a billion pretty European church photos, and just did that, in fact, for Vilnius (see previous post), but I swear this one is just jaw-dropping. That’s why it gets its own album. I literally get the shudders just looking at these photos and remembering. All photos taken in July of 2008.

Layover in Paris

I was in Paris for all of eight hours (a train layover, which I planned on purpose, in 2006), and two of those hours were lost to a tedious transfer (from one train station to another) and storage of my luggage. That left me *just* enough time to see Notre Dame, and the Sacré-Coeur. The Eiffel Tower I saw only from a distance. Click here or on any of the photos to see the 27-photo album. All in all, I felt I did pretty well for just six hrs of tourist time, on nearly no sleep! (more…)

Nyírbátor & Máriapócs (Hungary)

Nyírbátor & Máriapócs [click here to see the album] are two towns close to each other and to Nyíregyháza (where I lived for a few months), in the northeast of Hungary.

One of Nyírbátor’s claims to fame the Minorite Church with its carved wooden altars, particularly the one depicting the Passion of the Christ. It was indeed impressive, but I was equallly enamored of the scrap-metal dragon statue at the pond nearby (and the other metal statues, the pretty trees and benches, etc. It also has a more austere church, the Calvinist church (pictured above). Máriapócs is famous for its Greek Orthodox Basilica, a famous pilgrimage site because it is home to a weeping Madonna painting. Well, actually, technically they now only have a copy of the painting, but don’t worry; they say the copy weeps too.