Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The way I learned it (on a Rick Steves' program) - you can remember the chronological order of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles according to the number of syllables. The earlier ones are the simplest and the later ones more intricate. I'll try to find examples of the other two over the next few days.
Read more about the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders here.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
This is an interesting story we recently heard about on NOVA's Secrets of Lost Empires: Obelisk. It looks like the builders were attempting to make an obelisk about three times the size of any that have ever been found. It didn't work.
You can read more about this obelisk here.
Monday, December 10, 2007
...the holy house of Nazareth — site of the birth of the Mother of God, of Her early education and of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel of the wondrous news of the Incarnation of the Son of God — had been found, transported miraculously, near Tersatz in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) on May 10th of the year 1291. Between Tersatz and nearby Fiume, the residents of the region beheld one morning an edifice, in a location where never had any been seen before. After the residents of the region talked among themselves of the remarkable little house surmounted by a bell tower, and which stood without foundations on the bare ground, describing its altar, an ancient statue of Our Lady, and other religious objects which their wondering eyes had seen within it, another surprise came to astound them once more.
More information here
Sunday, December 9, 2007
The obelisk in St. Peter's Square originally stood in Nero's circus (where St. Peter was crucified) and it is inscribed with Latin letters, not hieroglyphics. It was brought to Rome from Egypt by Caligula in 40 AD. It was buried in obscurity for many centuries until Pope Sixtus V had it raised at its present site - requiring the work of 907 men, 75 horses and 40 winches.
(source: Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes Art Services International)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
In the arrangement of Christian sacred buildings, which were intended to make visible the historic and cosmic breadth of faith in Christ, it became customary to depict the Lord returning as a king - the symbol of hope - at the east end; while the west wall normally portrayed the Last Judgement as a symbol of our responsibility for our lives - a scene which followed and accompanied the faithful as they went out to resume their daily routine. (Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 41)
According to the caption (click-through for the original) - "The Pont du Gard was built without mortar - the stones are just really well fitted." Wow.
More details here
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
My daughter and I visited The Art Institute of Chicago yesterday. One exhibit that turned out to be an unexpected favorite was the Thorne Miniatures collection.
According to the AIC Website:
The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications.
You can view the collections on the AIC website. (Click on "selected works" for a list).
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Please keep the people of San Diego area and Southern California in general in your prayers as they struggle with terrible wildfires.
Here's a website on Mission San Diego designed especially for kids.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
This was built in the 1600s, over the site of the house where St. Teresa was born in 1515.
Here's a more recent photo of a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from inside this same Church.
St. Teresa was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This series includes individual shows on Bridges, Dams, Domes, Skyscrapers and Tunnels. Your kids will learn lots about the science, history and art of large structures. A few small scenes may be frightening or disturbing to younger or more sensitive children.
David Macaulay: Castle, Cathedral, Roman City, Pyramid
This series based on David Macaulay's best-selling books. Wonderful background on how and why these structures were built. Some history problems and mature content. Better for older children, previewing recommended.
Footprints of God Series by Steve Ray (Catholic)
Informative and engaging tours of the Holy Land teach lots of history and theology. My younger kids love Steve's funny and memorable ways of explaining things and there's nothing like hearing these stories told from right where they happened - except, of course, visiting the sites in person. Titles include: Jesus: The Word Became Flesh, Mary: The Mother of God, Peter: Keeper of the Keys and Paul: Contending for the Faith. Some portions may be unsuitable for younger or more sensitive children.
NOVA: Secrets of Lost Empires (PBS)
These are fascinating projects undertaken by teams of experts and enthusiasts to reconstruct full-scale working replicas of historic structures (or parts of structures) to learn more about them and how they were built.
Titles include: Pyramid, Obelisk, Inca (rope bridge and stone wall), Colosseum, Stonehenge and Medieval Siege (trebuchets).
The series was not designed for children, though most of the content is suitable and quite accessible. Parental previewing (and editing) is recommended.
Rick Steves' Best of Europe (numerous titles)
These are fantastic tours of European Cities (with a touch of Turkey, Israel and Egypt thrown in) that cover history, architecture, culture, food and more. Definitely some history *issues* - but these have been great learning opportunities for our family. My older children's jaws dropped when he boldly stated that Jan Huss (a condemned heretic from the Middle Ages) is considered a hero in his country because "he stood up to authority while staying true to himself." Blech. We love these anyway. We watch them with our kids, discuss them and edit out some occasional bits of mature content. Previewing strongly recommended.
Visions of... Series (Titles include: England, Italy, Greece, France, Germany)
These are beautiful and interesting helicopter-view tours of each country, including scenic and architectural highlights and some stories. Mellow, but engaging.
Bridges of the World Coloring Book (Dover Publications)
London Bridge is Falling Down! Illustrated by Peter Spier
Our Amazing Bridges Architecture Kit (Poof Slinky)
The Brooklyn Bridge by Elizabeth Mann
Bridges by David Miller
Bridge Building Software (build and test your own bridges - free download)
Ken Burns' Brooklyn Bridge (PBS DVD)
Friday, October 12, 2007
On this day in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its current name - it used to be called "the Executive Mansion".
The White House Historical Association has a lot of interesting photos and historical data on their website.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This Lutheran Church was leveled during the bombing of Dresden in the last days of World War II. Its reconstruction was completed only in the last few years. More details here
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
I *think* these are images of three great founders of religious orders: St. Benedict (Benedictines), St. Dominic de Guzman (Dominicans) and St. Ignatius Loyola (Jesuits). Interesting that they are found in the church of St. Francis!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Today our family visited this beautiful basilica, built by Polish immigrants in the early 20th century. It's incredibly beautiful. My children were completely in awe!
The parish website includes an extensive photo gallery - of the including photos of the basilica (inside and out) and some amazing photos taken during construction.
Check it out here
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Hat-tip to Melissa Wiley at The Lilting House for the awesome tip (she has a few more details in her post)!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
The Arch: Glory of the Architecture of Rome
Great site for exploring the extensive ruins - lots of photos!
(2nd Century AD)
Brief description of how Porta Nigra was constructed
Brief history of structure
Ancient Rome: Monuments Past and Present by R.A. Staccioli
City by David Macaulay
Pompeii: Monuments Past and Present by A. De Franciscis