Church Buildings

A Church in the South Tyrol, Italy

Another photo from the train window, while traveling from the UK to Venice, Italy 2016.  We saw a great many tall red spired churches, in fact in the end they all look the same and I have spent quite a while researching this one.  But every time I think I have found it, something is not quite right.  The church appeared after we had passed Reifenstein Castle, as per my previous post, but it was before Trento……my, thats narrowed it down a lot… anyway its the image of the church that counts 🙂

 

Church of Ognissanti, Florence, Italy

Last year, 2016, we visited Florence, Italy, it wasn’t a particularly nice day, but what amazed me was the amount of people there were, I actually thought that in October, it would have been quieter, got that wrong.  It didn’t help that we got lost once we left the train station, we walked for ages until we worked out that we were totally going in the wrong direction, we cut through some back streets to the river and then realised where we should be.  But if we hadn’t got lost we would have missed the beautiful church of Ognissanti (All Saints).  Not a large church, but it was open, it was free and the best thing of all……you could take photos, as long as you didn’t use a flash.  After all the closed and photo forbidden churches in Venice…. I was going to photograph every inch of it.  

The Church of Ognissanti is a Franciscan church and Sandro Botticelli is buried here, which I didn’t know until I got home and carried out some research.  

A little history…. I added the information boards at the bottom of the post….The original church was completed in 1257, but was almost completely rebuilt in the baroque style in 1627.  There is a beautiful blue terracotta glazed lunette, over the entrance, in the style of della Robbia, but the artist was actually Benedetto Buglioni. There are frescoes by Ghirlandiao and Botticelli in the church. 

Below is Giotto’s Crucifix which dates from the 1320’s, which has been carefully restored over eight years.   It was a lovey surprise to see it shine in the darkness, so very beautiful.  

Giotto’s Crucifix

Some information I found………….Formerly in the sacristy for 84 years, Giotto’s monumental Crucifix is back in the Florentine church for which it was painted in 1310-1315, after a careful 8-year long restoration by the Opificio delle Pierre Dure, which has restored the luminosity and brilliance of its colours and glazes, its volumes and its modelling.

The Ognissanti Crucifix was a neglected Italian treasure which a team of experts have now repaired and identified.  After long being attributed to a relative or school of the early Renaissance artist Giotto, the Ognissanti crucifix is now believed to be the work of the 14th-century Italian himself.  The painted cross, which hangs in the Ognissanti church in Florence, underwent extensive cleaning by the local restoration lab Opificio delle Pietre Dure.  The project was led by art historian Marco Ciatti, who has concluded that the crucifix is a Giotto masterpiece dating from the 1320s.

The majestic tempera on panel realised by Giotto and his workshop around 1310-1320 had been sadly neglected for centuries.  Kept in the sacristy of the church of Ognissanti, it was rarely seen and the vigorous modelling of the flesh tones of the figures, and the many precious details of the pictorial surface, were hidden by a severely altered layer due to a treatment of the past and century-old grime. The restoration of Giotto’s Ognissanti Crucifix was started by Paola Bracco in 2002.
The crucifix is situated in a chapel to the left of the transept. The crucifix was originally located above the rood screen in the transept of the Ognissanti church, but this no longer exists.

The church seems small inside, with no aisles, and compressed almost for being very densely decorated. Vertigo-inducing trompe l’oeil architectural ceiling painting by Giuseppe Benucci.  When you look at the ceiling at different angles, it seemed to move.  The ceiling seems a lot higher than it is, and it looks like the angel is about to fly from the balcony, which is really flat against the ceiling, so very clever.

St Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480.  Unfortunately I have no idea who painted the rest of the frescos, but I love the little round ceiling with the angels.  I will let the photos continue the tour of this amazing church that we were lucky to find.

Hill Top Church

In 2016 while travelling through Austria on a train, I saw this beautiful church, I think its a church.  We were near Innsbruck, but I have no idea really where we were.   We passed by so many wonderful castles, churches and monasteries up high in the hills and mountains……. and not one could I visit, oh well, I will just have to make do with…. just looking at them again.

October 2016

The Church Path

Another church I have yet to post about, St Margaret’s Church, Cley-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, but I thought this photo would be a good reminder 🙂

Visited October 2015

Village Sign & Church, All Saints,West Haddon, Northamptonshire

,

West Haddon in Northamptonshire, has a very nice sign, with a sheep, church, canal and some Almshouses.  The church is ‘All Saints’, which I still have to post about, as it has a wonderful font.  We visited the church in November 2015 and I just noticed the sign as we were hurtling past, hence its a bit blurry.

I found a little history of the Almshouses….The sons of a doctor who had moved into the village in the 1730s became some of the biggest farmers in the parish and one of them, John Heygate, became the nearest thing the village had ever known to a squire, endowing the village with a school, while his heir, William Lovett, established the Almshouses.

The canal depicted, I think, is the Grand Union Canal, but the sheep, I have no idea.  It could be that maybe the Heygates (the biggest farmers from the 1730) had sheep, or the area is know for sheep.

Village Sign & Church, St Mary’s, Horncastle, Lincolnshire

The name Horncastle derives from Hurncastre or Hyrnecastre which means ‘fortress or camp in the corner’ and which refers to its position of the town between the rivers Bain and Waring.  I was hoping it meant there was a castle to explore when we visit last year 2016.  I did find out later there are some remaining roman walls…..well nearly a castle.  It does have a very nice church, which could have had a nice interior, but like a lot of other Lincolnshire churches, it was well and truly locked.  I am not sure why, as it was a Sunday afternoon and is situated in the centre of a lovely little town and it was in the summer, I really did think it would be open…… I did feel very disappointed.  Also no church on the village sign, but the weather made up for everything, as it was one of those beautiful sunny Sunday afternoons, where you stroll around and just enjoy the sunshine.

The town was built on a Roman Fort, hence the Roman Soldier on the village sign.  There is also the town square, which was granted a market charter in the 13th century and still has a market twice week.  Also a great annual horse fair, was held every August, which again started in the 13th century, and continued until the last one in 1948.  

The memorial featured on the village sign is Stanhope Memorial.  

A little history about it …….Edward Stanhope MP was born in London in 1840 but became a respected benefactor to Horncastle and its people. So much so that, when he died in 1893, a memorial was erected in the Market Place, leaving residents with a permanent reminder of his generosity.  Today, the Stanhope Memorial, by E. H. Lingen Barker, still dominates the town market place, distinct with its three octagonal steps and moulded plinth. The memorial itself is fashioned from limestone ashlar, red sandstone, pink and grey streaked marble.

I did take a few photos of the church, but its quite a difficult church to capture, hemmed on one side and quite a few trees in the churchyard on the other. The original structure dates back to circa 1250 and all the evidence points to there being an earlier Saxon Minster on the site, and quite possibly, a Roman church before that. The Church also has strong connections with the Lincolnshire rebellion of 1532 against the policies of King Henry VIII.  From what I have read, the interior sounds interesting, but it also sounds like the Victorians, in saving the building from collapsing, might have over restored the medieval remains in 1859-61, by Ewan Christian.  Still I will have to wait and see on the next visit.  The town is also well known for its antique shops, but of course it was Sunday when we visited, so another good reason to revisit.

Village Sign & Church, All Saints, Fosdyke, Lincolnshire

 

Fosdyke in Lincolnshire is another village with a church depicted on the village sign.  But as with the church in Great Gonerby, it was locked.  I wasn’t having a good day, every church had been locked, but least there were some village signs to explore.

There has always been a Port at Fosdyke, which dates back to the 12th century, and together with agriculture, these were the mainstay of employment in the village until recent times when the old Port and its shrimp fleet ceased to trade. Today, the main source of employment is still agriculture, hence the vegetables and tractor on the sign,  The new bridge over the Welland is the third, but the bus has me a little lost, unless……In the 18th century this was a popular bathing resort for Sunday afternoon outings, treacherous though the waters were and still are.  

As I said, the church was locked and I think by this time, I was just a little tiny bit fed up of locked doors.  Its the spire that always catches my eye as we drive past going north.  On that day back in May 2015, I actually got my husband to stop the car outside the church.  All Saints is not an old church, consecrated in 1871, but its the slightly leaning chevron leaded spire that makes you want to go and checked it out.  

A little I have read about the church….Resembling the early English style, the interior of the building is magnificently simple, and yet beautifully proportioned, only the plainest of materials are used, save the 3 lancets of stained glass which make up the imposing East window, and yet the overall effect for a small village church is a masterful example of the work of architect Edward Browning.  This church replaced an earlier one, see below photo, which, unfortunately burnt to the ground and this church had replaced an even older church.  The very first church would have been Medieval( first records 1439) as there is a lovely 15th century font, which I have yet to see…… such a shame the church was closed.

May 2015 ‘Village Sign & Church’ Category