The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, pronounced [mɛˈtɛoɾɐ], lit. "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to "Meteorite") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
All of the monasteries that are located at Metéora are perched on high cliffs and accessible by staircases cut into the rock formations. They were created to serve monks and nuns following the teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church. Much of the architecture of these buildings is Athonite in origin. Of the six intact monasteries, the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen and Monastery Roussanou are inhabited by nuns.
Cymbidium, or boat orchids, is a genus of 52 evergreen species in the orchid family Orchidaceae. One of its first descriptions come from Olof Swartz in 1799. The name is derived from the Greek word kumbos, meaning 'hole, cavity'. It refers to the form of the base of the lip. The genus is abbreviated Cym in horticultural trade.
This genus is distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia (such as northern India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Borneo) and northern Australia. The larger flowered species from which the large flowered hybrids are derived, grow at high altitudes. Cymbidiums became popular in Europe during the Victorian era. One feature that makes the plant so popular is the fact that it can survive during cold temperatures (as low as 7˚C).
These Cymbidiums below are in bloom in our garden at the moment. The mild winter has certainly made a lot of plants bloom early this year.
The island of Aegina is one of the most popular tourist destinations as it is the closest island to Athens (only 16.5 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus). From 11/1/1827 until 3/10/1829 Aegina town was the temporary capital of the newly-founded Greek state. It was during that period when Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias had impressive neoclassical mansions built to house his headquarters that today are important tourist attractions.
Even though the island small, it boasts a great number of sights and natural beauties, and one of the highlights is the famous ancient Greek Aphaea Temple. Aegina town, the capital of the island, stands out for its well-preserved buildings. On the outskirts you can find charming little villages with distinctive traditional character, such as Kypseli, Agii and Vagia as well as organized tourist resorts like Agia Marina, Perdika, and Souvala.
Aègina is also surrounded by many smaller islands (Moni, Metopi, Diaportia, Lagouses, Kyra, Dorousa, Spalathonisi, Anonyma) that can be reached by boat from the port of Aegina.
Hawa Mahal ("Palace of Winds" or "Palace of the Breeze"), is a palace in Jaipur, India. Built of red and pink sandstone, the palace forms a part of the City Palace, and extends to the zenana, or women's chambers.
It was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is also akin to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict "purdah" (face cover). Besides this, the lattice also provides cool air caused by the Venturi effect (doctor breeze) through the intricate pattern and thereby air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summers.
This is a Crown Ducal Charlotte Rhead vase. Charlotte Antoinette Adolphine Rhead was born in Staffordshire,, England on the 19th October, 1885 at 12 Newport Street, Burslem, England. She was the fourth child to Frederick Alfred Rhead and Adolphine Rhead. Frederick, her father, was a pottery designer and it was her her paternal grandfather that had started the Fenton School for Art. Her father, had been an apprentice at Mintons and later had a pottery business of his own. Her mother had been an actress and singer.
Charlotte and her sister Dollie studied at the Fenton School of Art. Charlotte learned most of her pottery skills from her father and specialised in tube-lining, a skilled form of decoration where slip (liquid clay) is squeezed from a rubber bag through a glass nozzle on to the ware. A process made famous by Moorcroft. Her elder brother Frederick Hurten Rhead was appointed as Art Director at the firm Wardle and Co, a pottery in Hanley, Staffordshire and Charlotte joined him but he left in 1902.
She left in 1905 to work as an enameller at Keeling & Co of Burslem. She moved from there to work as a tile-maker with T & R Boote. Her father was appointed art director of Wood and Sons in 1912 and she moved once more to work with him as a designer. She joined Burgess and Leigh of Middleport (the Burleigh Pottery) as a designer in 1926 and worked there until 1931. Between 1931 and 1943, her most prolific period, she worked at AG Richardson (Crown Ducal) in Cobridge in Tunstall, then in 1943 returned to Wood and Sons as Art Director. She died in 1947. Charlotte Rhead is noted for her cheerful designs, more traditional than that of her contemporaries Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper. Her pieces are usually marked with her name (sometimes L Rhead - Lottie) and with the manufacturers mark. Charlotte Rhead pottery is a well sought after by collectors, and her attractive pottery has a popular collector base. This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme, and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.
The Monastery of the Archangel Michael, the Panormitis, is found in Symi Island of the Dodecanese, Greece, which is situated in the southeast Aegean sea and northwest of Rhodes Island. The Greek Orthodox Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis is the most important monastery on the island and the second largest in the Dodecanese after the monastery of St John the Theologian in Patmos.
This monastery is located on the south end of Symi, taking pride of place on the sea front of the tiny village of Panormitis. It is in a closed in cove with a small sandy beach, protected by a narrow inlet that opens out into a wide harbour. The monastery is a large 18th-century Venetian style building with the highest baroque bell tower in the world. The facade of the main structure is white and it stretches along the coast on either side of the main gateway.
Once inside the monastery main gate, visitors are welcomed by an inner courtyard, decorated with exotic trees and plants, and paved with a patterned pebble finish. The church dedicated to the Panormitis is on the left. The exact date of construction of this church remains unknown but some suggest that it was built around 450 AD over the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the pagan god Apollo. It is known for certainty that the existing church underwent a major renovation in the 18th century. The monastery has two museums. One houses ecclesiastical art, and one exhibiting folk art. There is also a library with Byzantine manuscripts and editions of ecclesiastical, historical and philological content, as well as a gallery with paintings of the landscape of the monastery and its two chapels. There is also memorial to a former abbot, two monks and two teachers, who in 1944, were executed for running a spy radio for the British commandos. The monastery receives multitudes of day-trippers from Rhodes. The monastery's dormitory can host up to 500 people. The only way to get to the monastery is via a ferry or excursion boat. If you are already on the island, there is a road that exists between the monastery and the town of Symi. This can take over six hours to walk or an hour using a local bus service or rented scooter.
In the church is the famous icon of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, who is not only considered the island's patron saint but also the guardian of sailors in the entire Dodecanese area. One story is that this icon appeared miraculously and, on several occasions, was removed only to reappear mysteriously in this same location. The church was then built on this site.