This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.
All windows and shutters taken in the Carouge district, Geneva.
This week’s challenge from Liberated Traveler is the wonderful city of San Francisco, a place that found its way into my heart during the 1960s hippy movement when it was the world’s “City of Love”. I have already written extensively about this city and how it has messed with my head over the decades, so for this challenge I am going to tell you about the delightful Misión San Francisco de Asís, popularly known as Mission Dolores.
This is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra. It is the third most northerly with only Sonoma and San Rafael further north and the sixth mission to be founded – June 29 1776. I have a ‘thing’ for the Californian missions, or as my husband would say, an obsession. For some reason I am drawn to their simplicity, their history and the tranquillity of their sites. As someone who is an atheist, this is odd, but no different I suppose than my general interest in churches and graveyards. One added bonus though is that the California Missions are all located on or near Highway 101, which roughly traces El Camino Real and I don’t need much more of an excuse to take a road-trip!
To find the mission you have to step outside the usual tourist areas of the city (Union Square, Alamo Square, Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf) and head to Mission District. The 16th Street Mission Station is the nearest BART, and the mission itself is on the corner of 16th Street and Dolores Street. Much of Mission Dolores is original with adobe walls and redwood logs supporting the roof. The gilded reredos came from Mexico in 1796 and the colourful wall paintings are good examples of early California art. Whilst I was there a school trip was visiting and the children seemed more interested in me and my camera than the teacher who was telling them about the history of the site. I on the other hand was very interested.
Access to the Choir Loft
St Joseph’s Altar
The Basilica is a few steps away, but although the Mission survived the 1906 earthquake, the parish church wasn’t so fortunate. The present building dates from 1918. It contains some beautiful stained windows, including angels and 21 California Missions and a lovely sunburst pattern.
One of the 21 Mission Windows
There is also a little museum on the site, but my favourite part has to be the cemetery. Most of the headstones are of people who died in the decades following the Gold Rush when San Francisco was growing fast with many illnesses and early deaths. Many people buried here gave their names to the streets of San Francisco.
Monument to a firefighter
Monument to a firefighter
Father Junipero Serra
So my advice to you is that if you are lucky to travel to the lovely city of San Francisco, try and make some time ( a couple of hours will suffice) to visit this beautiful historic site – you won’t regret it.
I have always yearned to visit Venice, the city that is sinking and often stinking, but which is unique – a sanctuary on a lagoon that is virtually unchanged for six hundred years and a monument to the glory days of the Renaissance. On a trip to Slovenia last year (2012) my husband and I were near enough to go there on a day trip – a long drive, but easier by a coach tour than trying to do it by public transport. Continue reading Lost in Venice
The following day we were passing by the legislative building and thought we’d pop inside to have a look; we were just in time to attach ourselves onto a free tour (every hour) and learn something about the history and government of BC.
The tour is worth doing (but probably better if not accompanied by a toddler who was with his rather indulgent father who allowed the kid to run around and make a lot of noise – I don’t think I was the only one getting hot under the collar and it is a shame that the guide didn’t have a quiet word with him) if only to get a look at the beautiful decoration inside the building. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury, then aged only 25 and fresh from England who, in 1892, blagged his way into winning his first major commission. Continue reading Victoria II: Legislative Building
This is my introduction to Ludlow, which was where I lived from 2011 to 2016. The name Ludlow comes from ‘lud’ the loud waters and ‘low’ a tumulus. If you were to ‘Google’ Ludlow you would find that it is the largest town in south Shropshire and has over 500 listed buildings. You may also discover that it is known as one of the best ‘foodie’ towns in the UK with regular open-air markets, local produce markets and both a Spring and Autumn food festival lasting over the weekend
Ludlow has been described as the “perfect English town”. It is situated on the River Teme in the southernmost part of Shropshire, on the Welsh Marches. It has a medieval street pattern and many ancient buildings including a castle and a magnificent parish church as well as streets lined with medieval and Georgian properties.
” The secret of Ludlow resides in the fact that, like York, it was once a seat of government in Tudor and Stewart England. A sense of its own identity and importance has never quite left it. That accounts for its strength of character and the lingering sense of authority. This is a town which, although the tide of history has receded from it, still manages to preside magisterially over the countryside one glimpses at the end of every street. ” – Sir Roy Strong
The natural starting point for a stroll around the town would be the Castle Square where the market is held several days a week and on the second or fourth Thursday of the month when the local produce market is held you can load up with local cheeses, meats, real ales from micro-breweries, bottles of home-made chutneys and preserves, soaps and even fresh herbs if you so desire. It is a traditional open-air market with 20-30 stalls selling produce from within a 30 mile radius of Ludlow.
From here you can visit the castle. It is a ruin, but quite an interesting one, and it dominates the skyline from the river side of the town. It has a combination of architecture from Norman, Medieval and Tudor times. Parts date from the 11th century when built by Walter de Lacy. It was enlarged by Roger Mortimer in the 14th century and has been in the hands of the Earls of Powis since 1811. The castle was a seat of government for Wales for a time and it was involved in the Wars of the Roses with a major battle taking place at Ludford Bridge. Often events are held in the castle such as the Christmas Medieval Fayre (late November) and the Ludlow Festival held in the summer which features an open-air production of Shakespeare. Continue reading Daily Prompt: Local Flavour