Showing posts from July, 2015

Byzantine jewel: Hosios Loukas

Nearby, Delphi is jam packed with tourists in the mid-day sun. On the lower slopes of Mt. Helicon, in Boeotia you will find few tourists indeed, although in my opinion this is one of the greatest monuments of Greek art. The Monastery of Hosios Loukas is a World Heritage site of astonishing architectural, historical and artistic merit. It contains several churches and extensive monastic buildings that were preserved over the centuries and have been restored in the past century with zeal and care. Give yourself lots of time to wander the site and marvel at buildings and the endless ornamentation and extraordinary art.

The look of much of the main church must be very much as it was when it was first built over a thousand years with the Virgin and child in the apse.

Any student of Byzantine art knows this church, of course, and it is so instructive to see how quickly the figurative arts revived after the Iconoclastic period--this is one of the first monuments of its kind in th…

The bazaars of Istanbul

There are no end of wonderful things about Istanbul: the fragments of Byzantine glory scattered everywhere, the spectacular mosques and skyline and the simply mind-boggling growth and the hundreds of skyscrapers popping up like mushrooms in the never-ending suburbs...I love it all! The robust optimism of the huge population (all seemingly fit and happy) has to be seen to be believed. It's the ultimate city in my book. I don't think any place can match the dozens and dozens of enormous markets one finds everywhere--certainly not just the Grand Bazaar with this maze of thousands of shops. These were all taken on the Asian shore at a marvelous and vast market in Kadikoy.  The pictures should say it all...Multiply this by thousands and you have a taste of the great bazaars of The City!