Posts tagged ‘portugal’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of This World

Capela dos Ossos
Location: Capela dos Ossos, Évora, Portugal

 
One of the strangest sites that I had visited was Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in the Portuguese city of Évora, Portugal. As the name suggests, it’s a chapel whose walls are decorated by skulls and human bones from floor to ceiling.

The main entrance to the chapel bears the inscription, Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos (We, the bones that are here, await yours).

Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos

Click any picture to enlarge
 
It’s been said that sometime in the 16th century, the city’s cemeteries were running out of space. This necessitated removing an estimated 5,000 remains from older graves to make room for new ones.

As a result, the Franciscan monks built a chapel as a final resting place for the exhumed bodies. It was following the common belief among Catholics that the dead would be closer to God if they were kept in a sacred place. Rather than placing the remains in the ossuary, however, the monks decided to put them on display to remind the faithful of the ephemeral and transitory nature of life.

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March 2, 2018 at 8:28 am 10 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

Little Girl Balancing on Sidewalk

Location: Porto, Portugal
 
There’s something engaging watching a little girl testing her faith while balancing on an imaginary bridge with her grandfather closely behind her. It’s a good start for life’s great adventure awaiting her.

 

 

Faith — is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what We see
Unto the Scene that We do not —
Too slender for the eye

It bears the Soul as bold
As it were rocked in Steel
With Arms of Steel at either side —
It joins — behind the Veil

To what, could We presume
The Bridge would cease to be
To Our far, vacillating Feet
A first Necessity.

– Emily Dickinson

 

 

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July 7, 2017 at 8:53 am 4 comments

Wordless Wednesday: A Gray Swan

A Gray Swan

Location: Parque de Pena, Sintra, Portugal
 

March 13, 2017 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

Park and Palace of Pena

Location: Sintra, Portugal
 
Wherever you go, whatever road you take, you can’t be sure what the outcome will be. It’s well and good if it’s what you have expected. But what about if it isn’t? Or worse, if it leads to nowhere or you get lost as I sometimes do?

Let me tell you a story.

One summer years ago, I went to see the Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. It sits on top of the hill where the old Hieronymite Monastery of Our Lady of Pena was built. When Ferdinand II acquired the monastery in 1838, he incorporated parts of it into the current structure in 1844. Considered as one of the seven wonders of Portugal, it’s a blend of different architectural styles: Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque.

Park and Palace of Pena Park and Palace of Pena
Park and Palace of Pena Park and Palace of Pena

Click any picture to enlarge
 
Although no cameras were allowed inside, the visit went beyond my expectations. It all became more memorable because of what happened next.

Park and Palace of Pena Park and Palace of Pena
Park and Palace of Pena Park and Palace of Pena
Park and Palace of Pena Park and Palace of Pena

Click any picture to enlarge
 
After spending time in the palace, I decided to go out on a limb and hiked around the surrounding park spreading over 500 acres of trees and ferns imported from all over the world. It was like being in the Garden of Eden. At the same time, I was overwhelmed by the maze of trails heading in different directions that I couldn’t find the two gated exits leading to the bus stop. After several tries, I finally did to my relief.

The moral of the story is that going places can involve the risk of getting lost. When it happens, the best you can do is to keep your cool, get the most of it and charge it to experience.

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March 5, 2017 at 8:50 am 10 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

Mesão Frio
Location: Mesão Frio, Vila Real, Portugal
 
I love sunset. There’s something about it that engages the mind and spirit. It is like a woman who has come of age. It never fails to inspire as much as for what it shows as much as for what it hides.

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June 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm 6 comments

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