Weekly Photo Challenge : Symbol

Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, and like its neighbour Italy, it is mainly Catholic, and the locals tell us that there are 365 churches on the island.    Everywhere you look there is a church or a dome of yet another church, and you can hear church bells morning and evening.

St Pauls Anglican Church

Church of St Pauls Shipwreck

The church above is dedicated to St Paul, who was shipwrecked in Malta, and is a symbol of the great devotion the people here have for St. Paul, with many churches and places dedicated to him.    This photo was taken at dusk, when there were fireworks over the church, you can see the smoke in the air.   Anyone who has visited Malta will be familiar with the fireworks and festas, which take place in some village or other every weekend, to celebrate their patron saint’s feast day.

When we were flying into Malta a few days’ previously, in the darkness there was a spectacular display of fireworks below us as we came in to land – I think they were put on to welcome us to Malta!!

Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea

Church of Our Lady of Liesse

My second church is another symbol of Malta, and Valletta, the Church of our Lady of Liesse, in the Grand Harbour.   It has a special meaning for us as my daughter got married there last week, so to us it will always be a symbol of love and happiness, and our whole family (usually scattered all over the world) were together in one place to celebrate.  One day we hope to go back there and remember that magic week.2015-07-01 18.46.50

Ephesus at a Glance

Recently I was lucky enough to go on a guided tour of Ephesus, outside Kusadasi in Turkey.   Our guide was very experienced and had lots of  knowledge of the area.    We were among hundreds of tours being guided around the site, and the different tour guides all did a great job keeping their charges in tow, and not losing anybody during the melee.

Ephesus is one of the best preserved cities of ancient time.  It was founded as a Greek colony over 3000 years ago, then became a thriving regional capital of the Roman Empire, and an important centre of early Christianity.   St. Paul is said to have lived here, St. John to have written his gospel here,  and the Virgin Mary is said to have lived here in her old age.    There is also a very large theatre, where gladiators fought other gladiators and entertained audiences during the Roman Empire.   There is a lot of excavation still going on,with archeologists working hard to unearth all the ancient treasures.

We saw so many interesting ruins, a huge Roman Theater, the Library of Celsus, The Temple of Artemis, and we walked on the Arcadian Way, or Arcadian Street.   This is what went on there 3000 years ago:

This street is situated between the Harbour Baths and the great theatre. Entering from the port, traders and sailors would first arrive in this street. So it was designed gorgeous with marbel slabs and colonnades. It was constructed in the Hellenistic Period, but then was restored during the reign of the Emperor Arcadius (395-408 AD.), from whom it takes its present name.

The street was 530 meters long and 11 meters wide, and on both sides of the street there were shops and galleries, and gates in the form of monumental arches. There were four higher columns with the statues of four apostles on the top.

Strolling on the Arcadian Way

Strolling on the Arcadian Way

Imagine, we walked on streets that have been there since the beginning of time, and have been walked on by so many people that have created history.

If you would like to read more about this ancient site, have a look at this site

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