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Landscapes 2

Church of Saint Sebastian, Ramsau, Germany / Sony A200, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8


Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 2

This is a great building to photograph and when I’m out with a camera I invariably end up here and take some more pictures. On this occasion it was late afternoon with the sun was sinking, the moon rising and beautiful light. I had my ‘better’ camera with me and I originally planned to go in and take more interior shots, since when I visited previously I only had my LX5 compact. But it was too nice to be inside so I wandered around the square outside for an hour or so and took these pictures.

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Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by disciples of the hermit monk St Ivan of Rila who reputedly lived in a cave nearby. Some parts of the complex date from the 14th century, but most of it, including the main church and the monks’ dormitories seen here, was constructed in the 19th century after a devastating fire. As well as its religious significance the monastery was a centre of Bulgarian identity, language and culture during the centuries of Ottoman occupation.

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Despite its Byzantine appearance the grand Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia is relatively recent. The foundation stone was laid in 1882 and most of the construction was carried out between 1904 and 1912. While the Cathedral belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church it is named for a 13th century Russian prince and Orthodox saint in honour of the Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 which resulted in Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman rule.

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Delft

Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the North and, like Venice, is struggling to cope with the numbers of tourists, now approaching 19 million every year. This year, 2019, Amsterdam struck a deal with the the Dutch capital Den Haag allowing the latter’s tourist agency to set up at Amsterdam’s Centraal railway station in hopes that some of those 19 million might be persuaded to spend part of their holiday outside the city.

The problem is that the Netherlands is small and the Dutch public transport system is superb, so it is a simple matter to stay in Amsterdam and take day trips to the many surrounding towns and cities, including Den Haag which is less than an hour away by train. While this gets us tourists out of town by day we flood back in like the tide by night. On a trip to Amsterdam to visit friends earlier this year I discovered the value of the city as a base for exploring more widely and while I did not make it to Den Haag on that occasion I did visit Delft and Haarlem.

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