Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spassky Cave Church in Russia

On the banks of the Don River, in the picturesque Voronezh region of Russia lies one of the most fascinating tourist attractions this country has to offer - the Spassky Cave Church. It’s believed the first caves were dug into the cretaceous mounts of Kostomarovo before the adoption of Christianity in Russia. Hermit monks would use these austere cell-like spaces to hide from persecution, and it wasn’t until the 12th century that the first rock monastery was carved in the region. Because there is no any historical note, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date the Spassky Cave Church appeared near the small Russian village of Kostomarovo, but it is now considered one of the most incredible monuments of ancient architecture in Russia.

The Svyato-Spassky Convent in Kostomarovo is an ancient cave monastery located about 150 kilometers south of the town of Voronezh, just 3-hours drive away. There are two churches in these caves: a big Spassky temple with columns and a small St. Seraphim Sarovsky church. The Spassky temple burrows deep into the chalky cliff to form a spacious interior that can house up to 2,000 people.
This church is unique, made by carving a rocky mountain. The style is influenced by Byzantine architecture, but the interior is much more Orthodox style.

This unique and amazing building has a sad story. In the past, the Spassky Cave Church is used as torture chambers the communists against the monks. During communist power they were expelled from church, even one from them was shot.

Those who have visited Spassky Church speak of a fantastic sense of easiness and divine bliss, and it also has a reputation for healing diseases and wounds, helping people make the right decisions and cleansing sins. In fact, there is even a Cave of Repentance inside the chalk church where condemned sinners were once confined to repent for their sins. The sense of easiness may also be influenced by the beautiful natural surroundings that the locals believe look so much like the Holy Land that they named them after it. There is a hill of Golgotha, a Mount Tabor and even a Gethsemane Garden. Local residents believe that place around Spassky Cave Church is a sacred place.

Although famous among Russia’s religious folk, Spassky Church and the cretaceous caves of Kostomorovo remain almost unknown to the rest of the world.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Strangest Bars in the world

Bar owners have always tried in all ways to attract a larger number of guests. Some believe that the key to success in the authentic decoration or program without equal anywhere.
Many have succeeded in their intentions, and their pubs have become a great attraction for visitors, on the other hand, there are bars that have "missed the topic".
Whatever the case, today can sip a drink in the hospital setting, the tree trunk, a spaceship, the toilet... The waiters were masked as librarians, nurses... In a pub in Birmingham just go fearless guests, as waiters and visitors for years claiming to be terrorized by the ghost who nipping them, and when is Halloween party he smashing bottles of wine, which he does not like!
The Russian edition of the magazine "Forbes" has chosen 10 most unusual bars on the planet.

1. HR Giger Bar (Switzerland)
Drinks with alien
"Alien" in 1980. won an Oscar for special effects, and eight years later, in the Swiss town of Grujere opened one of the most unusual museums of contemporary art. Behind these two projects is the name of Hans Rudolf Giger (HR Giger). It was he who created the alien creatures in Ridley Scott's film, after which he founded the museum which exhibits his best work, as well as works by other painters of fantasy and surrealism. One of the most impressive parts Gigerovih is bar in 2003. made within the museum. Here, they say, drink in order to have the courage. The bar, tables and chairs are made of imitation bone. Every detail makes visitors feel that they are in space or alien spaceship from the movie "Alien"...

2. The Brandy Library (United States)
Librarians at the bar
In New York there are bars for every taste, ancient and modern, in the basement or on the top of a skyscraper ... And at least The Brandy Library and Library of brandy attracts attention with its authenticity. It is arranged as a library. But its not adorn shelves books for more than 900 different types of brandy, rum, whiskey, brandy and liqueurs. The collection includes bars and rare specimens of drinks, such as Armagnac Lagarde 1900. Pierre Ferrand, and Cognac in 1914. The true connoisseurs of drinks can make their own choices about what to drink, and choice can help and professional "librarians". This picture is complemented by the beautiful jazz evenings. With that kind of music and good spirits immerse guests in an atmosphere of old New York.

3. Baobab Tree Bar (South Africa)
Refreshments at the Baobab
Sober is hard to imagine they sit and sip a drink in the tree trunk! But it can be done. This pub is a farm in Limpopo Province in South Africa. It can accommodate up to 60 guests at a time. Family Van Hirden opened the bar in 1993. in a natural hollow baobab tree. Large baobab in Limpopo Province, was no less than 6,000 years! Circumference of 33 to 47 meters, the height is 27 meters and the ceiling in the bar reaches a height of four meters. A selection of drinks, the truth is not very big, and is best-selling beer. In this unusual bar, located in the south of the hottest continent, plus is constant temperature of 22 degrees, and is therefore a popular haven for tourists, but also locals.

4. Bar Faraday (Antarctica)
The most southern pub in the world
British Faraday research station, which began operation 1950th The Galintes the island, was transferred in February 1996. to Antarctica, where he was handed over to the National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine and is given a new name - Scholar Vernadskij. On it for 11 to 15 researchers. But the station is not only famous for his scientific work, but also as the southernmost bar in the world, which is the most difficult to reach. He also became an important stop for tourists, and regularly organize excursions. The bar is equipped with wooden furniture. The choice of drinks is not very big, but there is no place for the discerning, because this is the only bar on the continent. 

5. Clinic Bar (Singapore)
Whiskey on the infusion
Damien Hjorsta part admirers, one of the richest contemporary artists of today can be addressed directly to the "clinic". Of course, it is not a right but a Singapore hospital, restaurant, nightclub and bar Clinic. Its design and concept devised Hjorst, extravagant author of diamond skull "For the love of the Lord." The entrance to the bar looks like a morgue, the room look like a hospital room, with curtains of gauze. Chairs replace wheelchairs, waiters dressed in medical uniforms, and dance floor Morphine is made in the form of capsules. Drinks are served in bottles away for infusion, and the food is served in a special medical containers...

6. Hobbit House Bar (Philippines)
Dwarves serve cognac
Restaurant and bar Hobbit House Bar (Hobbit House) opened its doors to visitors 1973rd year. Professor and former Corps volunteer Jim Turner of the world was inspired by Tolkien's trilogy "The Lord of the Rings." Turner was intended to work in a bar people dwarfism and his idea come to life.
The object is changed locations several times, most recently in 2007, and is now in Manila. On the walls hung pictures and posters, inspired by the works of Tolkien, and work as waiters "hobbits." And Beverages and menu are very diverse.

7. Sean's Bar (Ireland)
Beer from 11th centurie
Walking through the streets of Dublin it may be that you do not pay attention to Sean's Bar. From the outside it looks like all the other pubs in Ireland. When you enter, you will see the Guinness World Records certified that this is the oldest bar in Ireland and Europe, and possibly in the entire world. Among its walls people drink for 11 centuries. Namely, when the bar renovated in 1970, during the restoration were found wooden walls, which archaeologists say dates back to the 10th century. In all other respects, this is a normal Irish pub with loud, traditional music, which for hundreds of years, the most popular beverage drinks - beer. 

8. The Bar in Hostel Celica (Slovenia)
Spree in prison
Mansion Hostel Celica in Ljubljana was built in 1882. as a military prison during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He served in a variety of modes, more than 100 years, until 1991. After the breakup of Yugoslavia was planned to demolish the building, but by a group of 200 people are still preserved. They have received approval from the authorities for the reconstruction, which lasted for 10 years, since 1993. to 2003. Thanks to them, the building received a new look and a new purpose. Was turned into a hostel, and to join forces 80 Slovenian and foreign artists from society Sestava. Bars on the windows remain, but are now painted and decorated. The cells were converted into rooms, each painted by another artist. The yard is a stylish bar.

9. Lagoon Bar (Iceland)
Icy cocktail in the hot bath
Blue Lagoon is major tourist attraction in Iceland due to its healing hot waters. No visit is only those who want to get better, but all the others who love to relax, rest and spend quality time. Within the lagoon there is a bar that serves guests during bathing in the lagoon, offering the widest variety of cold beverages such as energy drinks and various cocktails and other refreshments - ice cream, fruit cups, vitamin cocktails... Such a truly uplifting year, bearing in mind that the water temperature here is around 40 plus, even in winter.

10. Das Klo Bar (Germany)
A toast in the bathroom
Bar, whose name translates as Toilet, fully justifies its name. This is not just sitting on chairs and benches, but also on the WC cups, napkins instead of used toilet paper, food is served from the so-called shovel (vessel in which immobile patients defecate), and sip drinks from the "goose" and tubes. WC cup brushes, and other similar items for the toilet integral part of the interior. This bar has been around for 40 years! Until then, in Berlin there are two such bars, but were sealed. Prices herein are little more than ordinary bars in the German capital, and since that is set in the heart of the city it attracts mainly tourists. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Spooky cemetery in Peru

The oldest cemetery in Peru has become a hit with tourists and locals.

The Presbitero Maestro Cemetery was built between 1805 and 1808 on the former outskirts of Lima and was the first municipal cemetery in Latin America. This impressive and beautiful historical Sanctuary houses the final resting places of many historical important personalities, but is still in use. The neoclassical complex contains the largest collection of 19th century European marble sculptures in Latin America. It’s absolutely worth seeing!

It was cold and dark, and people clutching lanterns in the moonlight gave a spooky cast to Peru's oldest cemetery, now Lima's oddball hit with locals and tourists. "It is scary. But we're into it," said a teenage girl clinging to her boyfriend as they walked through darkness and silence interrupted only by visitors' footsteps.
Each group has a guide who entertain visitors with tales about those buried at the Presbitero Matias Maestro Museum-Cemetery, a Peruvian national historical monument.

The cemetery covers an area of 25,000 m². It has 6 magnificent main gates and over 220,000 people found their final resting place at this outstanding burial ground. Although the Presbitero Maestro Cemetery was declared a National Historic Monument in 1972 the sculptures and the impressive mausoleums are threatened by natural aging, air pollution, pressure of the growing population and unfortunately by vandalism. At least the Public Beneficence Society of Lima tries to preserve this jewel of peace with a very tight budget.

Night tours are scheduled with different themes for different crowds: one focuses on love; another on patriotic fervor; still others on presidents; and inevitably one focuses on death itself. "What really brings in the most people is the tour focused on death, in November, and another on love, in February," says historian Jose Bocanegra, who has the historical details at the ready.

Some visitors are so apprehensive about being in a cemetery that they tiptoe around expecting something worthy of a horror movie. 
When tours started a decade ago they were limited to no more than 40 people; but they have become so popular that groups are now as large as 350 people, mainly young people and tourists, Bocanegra said.

One of the most popular tombs for local visitors is Peruvian poet Jose Santos Chocano, who asked to be buried standing, in a one square meter space. "So his coffin was placed in the niche vertically. And on his tombstone, there are lines from his poem 'Shipwrecked Life,'" Bocanegra said. "This square meter that I have looked for on Earth will be mine, if a bit late. Dead, in the end, I shall have it. ... I only expect now a square meter, where one day they'll have to bury me, standing," the poem reads.

It is a cemetery, and it is dark, to be sure. But there is enough light for visitors to stop and get a look at Carrara marble sculptures like the "La Dama de la Mantilla" (Lady in a mantilla) and "El bastón de Hermes" (Hermes' staff). Bronze works such as "A mother weeping at her son's tomb" and "A cry of pain" also are on display, steeped in the mood of the location, adorning mausoleums that are often caked in mud and apparently forgotten.

The cemetery, tucked into a corner of Lima's Barrios Altos district, was named for its designer, the priest Matias Maestro, who also was buried there. Opened in 1808 by Viceroy Fernando Abascal during Spanish colonial rule, the facility is a sort of history of Peru in tombs and crypts. Decorated with a staggering 940 sculptures -- some of them from as far away as Italy, by sculptors like Santo Varni, Pietro Costa, Ulderico Tenderini, and Rinaldo Rinaldi, or France's Jean Louis Barrias and Antonin Marcie.

The success of the tours is a blessing for the facility, providing a source of funding to care for tombs and sculptures that have themselves often seemed on their last legs.

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