St. Constantine and St. Helena church, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The church of St. Constantine and St. Helena is one of the oldest Christian temples of Plovdiv, located on a site that housed a Christian sanctuary already in the early fourth century. It is on the ramparts of the Acropolis, in the center of the old town. The Severian and Memnos martyrs were beheaded in 304 (at the place where the church is) because of their Christian religion. The archaeologists support that the temple was built 30 years after the death of these martyrs and that it had their name. The actual name is due to Emperor Constantine when he was canonized as a saint so they changed its name and that of his mother. Along the years, the temple was built and rebuilt and the one we see today dates from 1832. In 1950, they discovered an ossuary that preserved the bones of tens of generations of inhabitants of Plovdiv during excavations. Today they rest in a pit located beneath a tombstone found in the temple courtyard. This court has a solid stone wall around that reaches 6 to 8 meters in height and is crowned by a massive brick cornice. Some additional buildings in the courtyard gives it the appearance of a monastery. The interior has three naves with a vaulted ceiling of extraordinary richness. There are murals, an iconostasis wooden sculpted, icons and a wooden sculpted pulpit.

Tips

If you visit the church without an organized tour, enjoy to walk in the old town because there are many things to see, beautiful architecture and lots of history.

Basilica of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor, Galilee, Holy Land, Israel

The Basilica of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan basilica on Mount Tabor in Galilee in the Holy Land, Israel. It was built with an orientation to the east in 1924 by the Franciscans who had the field since their installation in 1631, where Christian tradition says there was the event of the Transfiguration of Christ alongside Moses and the prophet Elijah, in favor of Pierre, Jacques and Jean. The Basilica is on the ruins of another Christian church that was built between the fourth century and the sixth century but also another church built in the twelfth century by the Crusaders. There is also a Franciscan monastery that was erected with the basilica. In the proximities of this basilica, there are another Greek Orthodox church that was built by evoking the same event of the Transfiguration. The road route for the transportation of materials needed for construction, is used today by pilgrims visiting the basilica. The entrance to the site is by the door of the Wind or Bab el-Hawa, old vestige of the Muslim fortress of the thirteenth century. The sanctuary has three new, large arc between the two towers in its facade and bronze doors. The nave is separated by the side of the vault arches and overlooks a staircase carved into the rock that goes down to the crypt. The scene of the Transfiguration is represented at the bottom in the choir. You can also see the remains of the previous masonry on the walls.

Tips

From the top of the mount, you might enjoy a magnificent view of cultivated fields of the plain of Esdraelon.

Reserve Juréia-Itatins, Peruibe, São Paulo, Brazil

One of the most beautiful places on the south coast of São Paulo is the city of Peruibe, especially Paradise waterfall in the reserve Juréia-Itatins. It’s great to go down the hill in the Juréia surrounded on the road by the Atlantic Forest, a breathtaking descent, for Guaraú beach; a very clean beach with typical food Caiçara based on fish and seafood and the best shrimp Saint-Pierre! , The public use of the cascade is controlled by forests and it is the Foundation that uses the reserve as an environmental education tool. Access to the site will be allowed only with the monitored scheduled visit, being 180 the maximum number of independent visitors (no appointment, but recommended) and 90 for groups (appointment required). The swimming area is limited to the natural pool, not being allowed the access to the upper areas of the waterfall. The instructors are trained and qualified to receive people and provide information and lectures on the importance of protecting biodiversity, the waterfall and ecological station; one of the last places on the Brazilian coast where the Atlantic Forest has hardly changed.

Tips

To enter the reserve, you must have a ticket and service to visitors is from 8:00 to 17:00 daily.
You can arrive there by bus (public transportation) at very affordable prices, but the instability of time indefinite, and no information can affect the length of syour tay in the ecological station.
A tip: take advantage of the waterfall first and then go to the beach.