Carmen Convent, Padron, La Coruna, Spain

The Carmen Convent is located in Padron, La Coruna, Spain, on the way to Santiago de Compostela, 22 km from the city of Santiago. The building was built between 1717 and 1752 with a neoclassical style on a promontory next to the river Sar, under the leadership of the Discalced Carmelites Brother Peter of the Mother of God. Alonso de la Peña y Montenegro, Bishop of Quito, had donated a sum of money for its construction. The convent was opened in 1752, belonging to the religious community of the Discalced Carmelites, but in the twentieth century, the building was taken over by the Dominicans who occupied it until the early 80s of this century, but as the building was in very poor condition and the community did not have enough resources to repair it, they had to move. Only a Dominican remains on site to direct and supervise the restoration work carried out by trade schools, with the provision of various public institutions, the students here found their center of learning and work. Carpenters, masons, locksmiths, in fact, young people around the city who are learning a trade, are part of this great work.

Tips

You can reach the monastery by bus, train, car or simply on foot.
The only Dominican who lives in the monastery continues to give the mass in the usual schedule.
On the convent site, you can get great photos of the place.

 

St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert, Prague, Czech Republic

St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert is located in Prague, the Czech Republic and is the seat of the archbishop of the city. It is the biggest and most important church in the country, located within the Prague Castle. Henry the Fowler offered to the Duke Wenceslas 1 a relic of Saint Vit around the year 925 and to house it, the Duke Wenceslas built a church on a place of pagan site dedicated to the goddess of mythology Slavic life (Siwa). In 973 the church was chosen as the seat of bishopric and in 1060, a Roman basilica is raised instead. Through the centuries, the original church took the form of what is now a mainly Gothic church. St. Wenceslas Chapel contains the tomb of the saint, it is adorned with murals on the top, representing the saint’s life and in the lower part there are semiprecious stones. The crown jewels are locked in the chapel. There is also the burial crypt of Czech kings, which contains the tombs of Charles IV, Wenceslas IV and Rodolphe II. St. John of Nepomuk has a tomb in silver. The windows date mostly from XX century. Zygmunt Bell (the biggest Czech bell, 1548) is in the south tower. There is also a carved monumental cross, in wood, dating from 1899.

Tips

Do not leave without climbing the south tower from where you can have a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Guided tours in the cathedral are organized by the Administration of Prague Castle but you can not just buy the visit to the Cathedral, this visit will be included by purchasing one of two tours offered. Tickets are on sale in the Information Center. There are discounts for children and adolescents under 16, seniors 65 and over and families.

Hassan II mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

The Hassan II mosque, inaugurated in 1993, is located in Casablanca and is built partly on the sea, it is a religious and cultural complex, built on nine hectares and includes a prayer room, a room of ablutions, baths, a Koranic school, a library and a museum. It is the fourth largest mosque in the world. Its minaret is 201 meters. Hassan II had the wish to connect the building to the air, considered one of the four elements beneficial to life with earth, fire and water, that’s why there is a large sunroof that moves in five minutes thanks to a self-propelled wheel bearing system. It is adorned with 124 fountains and marble vanities, it has more than fifty chandeliers and there are some from Murano; it has 18 exterior doors and is equipped with a laser beam indicating the direction of the Mecca with a range of 30 kilometers. On one side and on the other of the central nave, there are two granite columns that have inlaid in gold lettering the pedigree of King Hassan II.

Tips

To visit the mosque, you can buy tickets on site.

Removing shoes is mandatory at the entrance to the prayer room (plastic bags are available to the visitors).

Video cameras, and any kind of radio receiver and / or sound equipment is forbidden inside.