Monday, June 24, 2013

European Adventure Part II

Passing through the Strait of Messina offers beautiful views as the ship makes its way to our first port of call.

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Linda is all smiles on our private veranda

At the port entrance, a statue of the Virgin Mary greets all that pass with a blessing.

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The blessing is in latin and translated it says: “We bless you and your city” and it is a quote from a letter the Virgin Mary sent to the population of Messina in the year 42.  Legend has it that the Apostle Paul came to Messina around this time to convert the Sicilians to Christianity. 


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View from our Veranda (i.e. balcony)
The facade of the cathedral seen below, or Duomo, features polychromatic bands on its lower end, which are interrupted by three entrance portals.  Two main works kept in the church are the statue of St. John the Baptist, attributed to Antonello Gagini, and the Sacrament Chapel, created by Jacopo del Duca, a student of Michelangelo.  On the lateral bell tower, a mechanical clock shows the time through its panels arranged on the four facades.  The 16th-century Orione Fountain stands in the centre of the square, and was completed by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, another of Michelangelo's students.

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The tower, cathedral, and fountain are typically listed as three separate sites but are in fact all located in the same square and within walking distance from the ship.


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Inside the Cathedral


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Located beside the Cathedral is the Bell Tower.   It is believed to be one of the biggest astronomical clocks in the world.  It consists of several animated dials and many figures activated on the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour.  Every day at noon you can enjoy seeing the bronze figures begin to move accompanied by sound effects. 

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Tempio Votivo di Cristo Re (Votive Temple of Christ the King)

The temple is perched on a high plateau, offering panoramic views of the city.

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Immaculate Virgin Mary

Ciao for now!

11 comments:

Red said...

Seeing this much artwork at one time must boggle the mind. It seems like it goes on forever.

Daniel LaFrance said...

@ Red: you've got that right. It does boggle my mind.

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

amazing views & sights. you had a blast i bet. thanks, for sharing. ( :

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

What a gorgeous city. So much history. A certain photographer's heaven. :)

Michelle said...

Such beauty and artwork all around.

TexWisGirl said...

the architecture is stunning. the clock tower sounds really cool. beautiful blue waters, too.

Stephanie said...

Wow on the architecture!

Gary said...

Beautiful area!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Stephen Hayes said...

I'm really enjoying being an armchair companion to your trip. Beautiful photos. I've never been to Messina and your pictures are making me itchy to hit the road.

Lisa Gordon said...

Amazing architecture!
Can you just imagine what it took to build this????

Hilary said...

Oh that architecture is just incredible. And the view.. sigh. So nice to see a photo of your lovely Linda, also.