Churches and Monasteries

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque  is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque's lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Hand-painted...

Monastery of Maria Engelport

The monastery of Maria Engelport (Kloster Maria Engelport) is located on the edge of the Hunsrück in the Flaumbach Valley near Treis-Karden, Germany.  We made here a briefly stop while traveling by car around these parts of Germany, it was overcast day, I was not in the mood for photography, just made some quick shots. Kloster Maria Engelport The following written is a rough translation from German using automatic Google translate: The monastery was...

Ateni Sioni Church

The Ateni Sioni Church  is an early 7th-century Georgian Orthodox church in the village of Ateni, some 10 km (6.2 mi) south of the city of Gori, Georgia. It stands in a setting of the Tana River valley known not only for its historical monuments but also for its picturesque landscapes and wine. The name "Sioni" derives from Mount Zion at Jerusalem. I had a chance to visit Atenis Sioni first in March 2017, as my business partner...

Martkopi monastery

Martkopi monastery complex is located some 30km from Tbilisi, Georgia. I first visited it at the end of February 2017 with one goal - to make a stunning photography, as I've seen some really nice shoots from this place, the truth turned out to be a little bit complicated, it took us about 5km hinking (each way) from Norio village, and once on site I did find it hard to make that stunning photography. But here is what I think could work - there is another tower a top of Martkopi monastery...

Katskhi Monastery of Nativity of the Savior

Don't be surprised of the name Katskhi, this is a church located some 2km from the famous Katskhi pillar in Georgia. The Katskhi Monastery of Nativity of the Savior, more commonly known as the Katskhi Monastery is a medieval monastery in Georgia, located in the village of Katskhi near the town of Chiatura. It was built at the behest of the Baguashi family in the period of 988–1014. The church building is noted for a hexagonal design...

Samtavisi Cathedral

Samtavisi is an eleventh-century Georgian Orthodox cathedral in eastern Georgia, in the region of Shida Kartli, some 45km from the nation’s capital Tbilisi. The cathedral is now one of the centers of the Eparchy of Samtavisi and Gori of the Georgian Orthodox Church. We discovered this church during our recent trip to town of Chiatura. My driver told me, this church seems to him as a copy of Kashveti church in Tbilisi. Although, recently Mikheil contacted...

Gergeti Trinity Church

Gergeti Trinity Church is a must have to visit destination in Georgia. The church is located at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi some 160 km North from nations capital Tbilisi. I have visited Gergeti church for some 3 times during my stay in Georgia, and always have hired either Jeep (Lada Niva) or Delica cars to get to the final destination. Let me explain - the road until the Gergeti village is pretty fair, but from the village there is a really bad road heading up to...

Green (Mtsvane) Monastery

Green Monastery (The Chitakhevi St. George's Monastery) is located in a picturesque place in the Borjomi valley. People called it lovingly “The Green Monastery”, because all the trees in the valley are of a special green color. The stones, with which the church is built, are also green, but some are dark and some are light. I have visited Green monastery few times, and always have messed up with good photography - last time I visited it (October, 2016) - I was too lazy to switch lenses and...

St. Michael Archangel Church in Mosėdis

This church is located in the town of Mosėdis, Lithuania. St. Michael Archangel Church represents late Baroque style. I visited this church in frames of my three days birthday trip across Lithuania (For the third year in a row I have a tradition to greet my birthday abroad in some country's capital, this year it was turn for Vilnius. Although Lithuania is already featured to my blog already with few interesting tourism objects - at the end of this trip I hope to supplement my collections...

Geghard Monastery Complex in Armenia

Geghard is a medieval monastery in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I first heard about this monastery in some Travel Channel series on Armenia, I remember I was surprised when journalist told that this church is actually cut into the rock. At start of the March (2016) I visited Armenia again, and this time I decided to visit some of the...

Temple of Garni, Armenia

The Temple of Garni  is a classical Hellenistic temple in Garni, Armenia. It is perhaps the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr. We visited the Temple of Garni the next morning after our beautiful visit to Khor Virap monastery complex near border of Turkey. I called to my good old friend Tom (a taxi driver) and he...

Khor Virap Monastery Complex in Armenia

The Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Artashat, Ararat Province. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. Located some 30 km from nations capital Yerevan, Khor Virap is best reached by organized tours, personal vehicle or by hiring a taxi. I have kept contacts from...

Cathedral of Cadiz

Cádiz Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cádiz, southern Spain, and the seat of the Diocese of Cadiz y Ceuta. It was built between 1722 and 1838. The cathedral was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1931.  When visiting Cathedral of Cadiz, don't forget to climb up the bell tower and get some spectacular pictures from above, see: The Bell Tower of Cadiz Cathedral Cathedral of Cadiz The Plaza de la Catedral houses both the Cathedral and the...

St. Nicholas Church, Tbilisi

The chances you have seen or even visited St. Nicholas church, if traveled to Tbilisi, are huge - located on the lower court of city's most famous landmark's - Narikala fortress. This Church has been "recently" restored. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of "prescribed cross" type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing...

Samtavro Monastery

Samtavro Monastery together with Svetitskhoveli cathedral and Jvari monastery are one of the main sights of historical town of Mtskheta, located some 20 km from nation's capital Tbilisi.  Official nam of this place is Samtavro Transfiguration Orthodox Church and Nunnery of St. Nino in Mtskheta, Georgia. It is believed that church were built in the 4th century by King Mirian III of Iberia. Nowadays Samtvaro is very popular tourist destination in...

Saka Baptist Church

An interesting church I discovered driving Aizpute - Pāvilosta road, back at the Summer 2015 - Meet Saka Baptist church in the middle of nowhere. Thus the church was closed, I was amazed of how well the territory around Saka Baptist church was landscaped.  Saka Baptist church There is an inscription plate above the main entrance doors at church saying this church was built in 1888, although there is written in strange (old?) Latvian - Bap.Basniza, which would translate as Baptist...

Svetiskhoveli cathedral in Mtskheta

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is an another must have tourist attraction site not to miss when traveling to Georgia. Located in historical and picturesque town of Mtskheta some 20 km from nation's capital Tbilisi. It is the second largest church building in the country, after the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (Sameba), and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta. Rumor has it - Jesus robe (mantle) is buried...

Lurji (Blue) Monastery

The Lurji Monastery also known as "Blue Monastery", is a 12th-century Georgian Orthodox church built in the name of Saint Andrew in the Vere neighborhood of Tbilisi, Georgia. The popular historical name lurji ("blue") is derived from its roof, adorned with glazed blue tile. I first discovered this church by accident after went photographing another church (Russian Orthodox Church of St. John the Theologian in Tbilisi) and just on site I noticed...

Russian Orthodox Church of St. John the Theologian in Tbilisi

Church of St. John the Theologian (Russian: Церковь Иоанна Богослова) is located in Vere neighborhood, Tbilisi. Tis was already second Russian Orthodox church I have visited in Tbilisi. Read more about Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church in Tbilisi, and I know for sure there is another Russian church (at least in Tbilisi). I didn't enter inside this church, just tried to make some panorama photos here. Located at the end of L. Kiacheli Street, a few meters away from the...

Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church in Tbilisi

Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church is located in the neighborhood of Marjanishivli in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Commonly referred to just as "Russian Church". Along with the church of St. Vladimir in the neighborhood of Vera it is one of two churches in Tbilisi, where the service is performed entirely in Church Slavonic language. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church in Tbilisi Originally built in 1864 by the donations of the faithful, additional the Holy Synod has...

Saint Ekvtime Takaishvili Church in Tbilisi

There is a small church located on Baku street 1, Tbilisi (on the right side from David Aghanashebeli avenue, first cross-street before Tamar Mephe avenue). I have wondered about this church for the couple of the last 3 years, while been living in this neighborhood.  It was day 131/365 from my photo project, when I decided I'll go and photograph exactly this church and probably will learn more about it. So I went... Saint Ekvtime Takaishvili Church in Tbilisi I installed a tripod...

St Michael's Swedish Church in Tallinn

St Michael's Church or St Michael's Swedish Church is a Lutheran church used by the Swedish congregation in the old town district of Tallinn, Estonia. We were off in the streets of Old Tallinn wandering what should we see, and I noticed this church and decided to go inside to adjust my church interior photography skills, at this point I didn't yet realized it is a Swedish church nor I had a clue what is the name of this church. St Michael's...

St. Nicholas' Church, Tallinn

St. Nicholas' Church is a medieval former church in Tallinn, Estonia. It was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron of the fishermen and sailors. Originally built in the 13th century, it was partially destroyed in Soviet Bombing of Tallinn in World War II. It has since been restored and today houses a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia, focusing mainly on ecclesiastical art from the Middle Ages onward. The former church is also used as a concert hall. St....

Vardzia Cave Town Monastery Complex in Georgia

Vardzia cave town is definitely a must have tourist attraction when traveling to Republic of Georgia, located in region of Samtkshe - Javakheti in about one hour drive from Akhaltsikhe town. For years I have been reading and heard a lot of stories of this place, but first visited just at the end of 2015. I was missing a lot. We arrived here after sightseeing of Rabati castle in town of Akhatsikhe. Twilight was approaching and I was left with no options as to use best photography...