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.

Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Windsor Castle is a medieval fortress located in Windsor, Berkshire in the United Kingdom; this is one of the British Royal family residences where there are more than 500 people who live and work there. This is a real example of English Gothic architecture. Built in the XI century and designed to ensure the Norman domination on the outskirts of London and control a strategic portion of the Thames. Each king who lived, made changes to the palace. It was reinforced with stone walls; Henry III built a luxurious palace inside. The castle is also used for diplomatic meetings. There are more than 1,000 rooms in an area of 52,000 square meters with different styles: medieval, Gothic, Georgian, Victorian and modern. There is the tower atop the castle mound that has also changed during the years and is home to the royal archives. The upper part of the castle has several buildings that form a central courtyard which is bounded by the state apartments monitoring of private apartments, the door George I and Edward III Tower. Each state apartment has a different style furniture and decoration. In the north side of the lower part, there is the official St Georges Chapel, Order of the Garter, being a royal necropolis too. Today Windsor is the favorite residence of Queen Elizabeth II as well as a tourist attraction.

Tips

You can get there by train from Paddington or Waterloo stations.
For a detailed idea of your visit, it is best that you check on their website because the spaces to visit will depend on availability.
St George’s Chapel welcome those who want to attend Sunday services, this day the public visiting is not available.
The entry is free for children under 5 years and there is also the possibility of a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children). On days when the state apartment are closed, the entry price is reduced to almost half. The group rate is possible with 15 people or more.

Rialto Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Rialto Theatre is a theater in the Mile End neighborhood in Montreal which was inaugurated in 1924. It is considered a national historic site of Canada. The hall is well known for its magnificent interior decoration, made by Emmanuel Briffa. Its neo-baroque style, richly decorated, has lots of marble, wood paneling, wall hangings, etc. The construction (1923-1924) is due to the Montreal architect Raoul Gariépy and he had designed it as a neighborhood cinema. Rialto featured films, musical performances and plays. The place has a capacity of 770 seats in the stalls and 600 in the balcony. The building that houses the theater also has other facilities such as a ballroom, a bowling alley, a roof garden and shops on the ground floor. It was sold around 1990 and Rialto had lost its cultural role after the sale but it was sold again and since 2010, the new owner has given it back its original role.

Tips

You can know about the different presentations on their website. The theater has an intimate atmosphere and if you are on the ground floor, you’ll still have more like that feeling. There is a bar and sometimes, you’ll also be able to have dinner during the show. The address is 5723 Av du Parc, Montreal, QC H2V 4G9.