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Bring binoculars to the St. Matthias Abbey Church to see architectural marvels

Image of A Baroque facade was added to the lower west front, which centers on a sculpture of St. Matthias holding an axe. The figure holds an open book with a reference to John 15:14:

St. Matthias Abbey Church or Abtei St. Matthias in Trier, Germany, is a beautiful 12th-century church, part of an active Benedictine ... continue reading


Masterpiece of German Romanesque architecture, the Maria Laach resembles fairy tale castle

Image of With its short length and multitude of towers and turrets, the Maria Laach Abbey resembles a fairy-tale fortress, accentuated by its scenic, lakeside setting.

The Maria Laach Abbey, or as it is known in Germany, the Abtei Maria Laach or Kloster Maria Laach is located on the wooded shores of a ... continue reading



Augustinian Church and Monastery was where Martin Luther lived for six years

Image of The monastery was a respected center of Catholic learning with a theological college and an extensive library when Martin Luther joined the order on July 17, 1505.

The chief stop on the Luther trail is in Erfurt, Germany is where the Augustinerkloster, or Augustinian Monastery. Luther became an ... continue reading


German church remains faithful to its Irish roots

Image of In a hallucinatory touch worthy of M.C. Escher, the figure on the inner bottom right jamb grasps the two solid grooves and pulls them around his neck like a scarf.

The 12th Century church, the Schottenkirche St. Jakob, or Scots Church of St. James in Regensburg is a fascinating Romanesque church ... continue reading


Mount Athos is largest of Greece's monasteries

Image of Xenophontos Monastery on Mt. Athos.

A mountainous peninsula in northern Greece, Mount Athos or the "Holy Mountain" is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms an ... continue reading


Daphni Monastery is one of the great masterpieces of the Byzantine empire

Image of After another damaging earthquake in 1999, the monastery was closed for restorations - and has remained closed since. There is no estimated date of completion.

The 11th-century Byzantine monastery, Daphni Monastery is found just outside of Athens. A  World Heritage site, Daphni Monastery is ... continue reading



Catholics for Israel on Understanding the Temple: Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus

Image of Herodian Mansions discovered underneath the Old City of Jerusalem in the Jewish Quarter

There's no better way to learn about Jesus's own spiritual life during the Lenten period, then to get to know the the Jerusalem Temple, the ... continue reading


Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ highest, largest of six monasteries of Meteora

Image of Founded in the 14th century by St. Athanasios Meteorites, who was a scholarly monk from Mount Athos. The monk ascended the highest pinnacle, which legend says he was carried alight by a giant eagle - and named it the site Megalo Meteoro.

The Great Meteoron or the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ is the highest, largest and oldest of the six monasteries of the ... continue reading


Varlaam Monastery, founded in 14th Century still active today

Image of Ropes, pulleys and baskets were all used to lift materials to build on the top of the rock. After all the material was lifted to the location after 22 long years, the construction work took only 20 days.

Varlaam Monastery, also known as Barlaam Monastery in the Meteora is named in honor of the monk who first built the tiny chapel on this ... continue reading


The rules of Japanese hot springs

Image of Japanese hot springs are beautiful, luxurious affairs -- but mind the rules!

Japan is located squarely astride the infamous "ring of fire" and is one of the world's most geologically active zones. As such, it is home ... continue reading


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