Anteroom

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Anteroom of Misericordia Church in Porto, Portugal.

The Igreja da Misericórdia is located on the Northern area of Rua das Flores Street, on the beautiful city of Porto.

This monumental church has a architectonic style dating back to the 16th century and it was designed by the Baroque architect Nicolau Nasoni.

Rua das Flores is one of Oporto’s most attractive streets. Venture down this 16th century street from across São Bento Station to find tall and narrow houses with characteristic windows and iron balconies. Some of them have the coats of arms and shields of the city’s noble and bourgeois families, recalling the illustrious past of the streets’ inhabitants.

At number 15 is a 16th century church that was given a new richly decorated Baroque façade in the 18th century.

Over the doorway is an imposing royal arms, while the interior has a sober Mannerist style, while also featuring Neoclassical woodcarvings and 17th century blue and white tiles.

The church includes a museum, including a remarkable 15th century Flemish Fons Vitae. This major work of sacred art depicts King Manuel I with his wife Leonor and their children kneeling before Christ in the cross.

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Nossa Senhora da Consolacão e dos Santos Passos Church in Guimarães

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Nossa Senhora da Consolacão e dos Santos Passos Church in Guimarães, Portugal.

Guimarães is a city and municipality located in northern Portugal, in the district of Braga. Its historic town center is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, in recognition for being an exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town in Europe.

Guimarães has a significant historical importance due to the role it played in the foundation of Portugal. The city is often referred to as the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality” or “the cradle city” because it is widely believed that Portugal’s first King, Afonso Henriques, was born there, and also due to the fact that the Battle of Sao Mamede – which is considered the seminal event for the foundation of the Kingdom of Portugal – was fought in the vicinity of the city.

Nossa Senhora da Consolacao e dos Santos Passos Church dating from the eighteenth century by the architect André Soares, topped by two towers built in the mid-nineteenth century. Noteworthy was the staircase, balustrade and the altarpiece of the chapel, dating from the late eighteenth century, classical style.

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Edam canals

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© RicardMN Photography

Edam is a city in the northwest Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Combined with Volendam, Edam forms the municipality of Edam-Volendam. Approximately 7,380 people live in Edam. The entire municipality of Edam-Volendam has 28,492 inhabitants. The name Edam originates from a dam on the little river E or IJe where the first settlement was located and which was therefore called IJedam.

Edam is famous as the original source of the cheese with the same name.

The city of Edam was founded around a dam crossing the river E or IJe close by the Zuiderzee now known as the IJsselmeer. Around 1230 the channel was dammed. At the dam goods had to be loaded onto other vessels and the inhabitants of Edam could levy a toll. This enabled Edam to grow as a trade town. Shipbuilding and fishing brought Edam more wealth.

The old town centre, within the borders of the old city walls, is nowadays protected by the government, both the main structures and architectural details. A number of notable buildings survive in good condition.

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Gothic clock on the ceiling of Sint Laurenskerk in Alkmaar

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© RicardMN Photography

Gothic clock on the ceiling of Sint Laurenskerk (St. Lawrence church) in Alkmaar, Netherlands.

Alkmaar is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Alkmaar is well known for its traditional cheese market.

Grote or Sint-Laurenskerk (English: Great, or St. Lawrence church) is a landmark Protestant church in Alkmaar, Netherlands. The building is located on the Koorstraat, named for its choir. The two organs are world-famous.

The Grote Kerk (1470-1498), dedicated to St Lawrence, is a handsome building and contains the tomb of Floris V, Count of Holland (d. 1296), a brass of 1546, and some paintings (1507). Anna Visscher is buried in this church. The church was built by Anthonius Keldermans (c. 1440-1512), from a church building family from Mechelen.

The earliest mention of the name Alkmaar is in a 10th-century document. As the village grew into a town, it was granted city rights in 1254. The oldest part of Alkmaar lies on an ancient sand bank that afforded some protection from inundation during medieval times. Even so, it is only a couple of metres above the surrounding region, which consists of some of the oldest polders in existence.

In 1573 the city underwent a siege by Spanish forces under the leadership of Don Fadrique, son of the Duke of Alva. The citizens sent urgent messages for help to the Prince of Orange; he responded by promising to open the floodgates of the dykes and flood the region if the need arose, which despite the protestations of the peasantry, fearful for their harvest, he proceeded to do. Some of his dispatches fell into the hands of Don Fadrique, and, with the waters beginning to rise, the Spaniards raised the siege and fled. It was a turning point in the Eighty Years War and gave rise to the expression Bij Alkmaar begint de victorie (“Victory begins at Alkmaar”). The event is still celebrated every year in Alkmaar on 8 October, the day the siege ended.

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Windmills at Zaanse Schans

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© RicardMN Photography

Windmills at Zaanse Schans, in the Zaanstad, a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the Netherlands.

Zaanse Schans has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. From 1961 to 1974 old buildings from all over the Zaanstreek were relocated using lowboy trailers to the area. The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans.

The Zaanse Schans derived its name of the river Zaan and its original function as sconce (schans in Dutch) against the Spanish troops during the Eighty Years’ War of Dutch independence.

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The Cathedral of fish

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© RicardMN Photography

Submerged Church of Villanueva de las Rozas, located in the Ebro reservoir, in Las Rozas de Valdearroyo, region of Campoo-Los Valles,Cantabria, Spain).

The Ebro reservoir was made by order of Francisco Franco in 1945. The remains of 9 villages lie underneath the water of the reservoir, although some were relocated to shore level.

This Church are now known as “The Cathedral of Fish”.

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Rioseco abandoned Abbey

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Rioseco Abbey (Spanish: Monasterio cisterciense de Santa María de Rioseco) is a former Cistercian abbey situated in Rioseco in the Valle de Manzanedo, in the present province of Burgos, near the River Ebro.

In 1148 the Cistercian Valbuena Abbey, of the filiation of Morimond, founded a daughter house in a small former hermitage in Quintanajuar, in the Páramo de Masa. In 1171 this new community received as a gift from the heirs of the nobleman Martino Martini de Uizozes the ancient monastery of Rioseco, the previous history of which is unrecorded. After a temporary relocation in the late 12th century to San Cipriano de Montes de Oca (La Rioja), the Cistercians moved to the Valle de Manzanedo at the beginning of the 13th century, and probably in 1204, to occupy the old monastery of Rioseco.

The site of the old monastery can still be seen by the ruins of the old conventual church. It seems that after a serious flood the new community had definitely established itself by 1236 at the latest on a new site a little to the north, on higher ground. After the move the former conventual church was put to use as the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Parrales.

By the 14th century Rioseco had become one of the most powerful economies among the Castilian Cistercians. From the middle of the 15th century however, in common in fact with most other monasteries, it experienced years of penury and crisis, before once again entering upon a period of further growth and prosperity in the 17th century.

During the Peninsular War, from 1808 to 1809 the French troops stationed in Medina de Pomar appropriated a large part of the monastery’s stores and from 1809 until 29 June 1814 the monks were dispossessed. Nor after their return did they stay very long, for on 29 October 1820, during the Trienio Liberal, the commissars of the revolutionary government took possession of the monastery. At a public auction held in Villarcayo, most of the community’s goods were sold. The monastery itself however found no buyer, and thereafter stood abandoned. The local populace continued to make some use of the premises as store-houses, parish church and cemetery.

In the 1850s the surviving buildings, especially the extremely well preserved church, still magnificently equipped and furnished, were deliberately and systematically stripped by the Arquiaga family of everything of any value that survived, and reduced to ruins.

The monastery is in the Herreriano style. An impressive spiral staircase is still preserved, the stone walls of the church still stand, and the bóvedas retain some traces of polychromy. The cartulary is now in the Archivo Histórico Nacional (codex 91B).

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