This is the chapel of the cathedral in the Wieliczka Saltmine, Krakow. The mine is so deep that the workers built homes in the mines (the mine is just over 300m deep; by modern standards it is not deep at all, but at the time that was a long way down), and being religious people they needed places to pray. So they build a cathedral under the ground. This is the front of the cathedral, the “choir” from where the services were conducted.
The Chapel on the Water is on the site of ancient spa-baths in the little village of Ojcow, in the middle of the Ojcow National Park, about 20km outside of Krakow. Dating back to 1901 it is just over 100 years old.
The story goes that the landowner wouldn’t let anybody build a church on his land, but since he doesn’t own the river he could not prevent the church from being built there.
If you want to visit the church, it is on the road that goes through Ojcow, but its about 500m to the north (the far side of the village if you are coming from the Krakow side).
The Barcelona Cathedral is a typical gothic cathedral with its tall detailed columns stretching up to the sky, spreading outwards like upside down tree routes to form the vaulted ceiling. When we were in Barcelona I visited the cathedral many times. Partly because it was so awe-inspiring to stand under that roof, and partly because it was about 100m from our apartment. Every hour we heard the bells of the cathedral beat out the time, and after a while it became almost reassuring to hear the bells as I drifted off to sleep after spending an evening wondering around the gothic quarter of Barcelona.
This is one of the pipe organs in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna. I am not sure how many there are, but I counted 3 in total (the main organ is the largest outside USA).
It is not often you get to see the dome of a church from upfront. If you visit Karlskirche in Vienna you can do just that. They have built a scaffolding platform right all the ay to the top of the church, If you go up in a rickety lift and them climb about 3 fights of stairs, you can admire the artwork and architectural detail from close up (just don’t look down).
The scaffolding to the top
The dome from close up
Some of the Biblical scenes from up close
It is a wonderful experience, so give yourself some time for the climb.
This is the same church in which we listened to Mozart’s Requiem a few days later.