UK – Inventive fundraising with Lincoln Cathedral traveling through Europe on a lorry

Lincoln Cathedral will be going on tour around Europe shortly in order to promote the city and its heritage across the UK and Europe.The city’s most iconic building has been added to the sides of a large lorry trailer, and will be taken around Europe by Denby Transport.The lorry, called Lincoln Lorry, will also be trackable on Twitter with the hashtag #lincolnlorry, where people can tweet if they spot the trailer on their travels.The Lincoln Lorry is the newest addition to the Denby Transport’s fleet.The lorry will also be fundraising for the Cathedral’s southwest turret repair fund, as Peter Denby pledged 1p for every mile the Lincoln Lorry travels in its first 12 months.

via Lincoln Cathedral travels across Europe on a lorry | The Lincolnite.

Why be a member of FRH?

“Working together: pooling skills, resources and talents, gets more done.  Joining forces can lead to project partnerships which bring in new opportunities and resources in their own right.”

Crispin Truman, FRH Networking Group Chair, writes in his new blog about how The Churches Conservation Trust benefits from being a member of FRH, read the whole article here: Crispin Truman.

Apply for membership of FRH!

FRANCE – Conference publication: Des ‘domus ecclesiae’ aux palais épiscopaux

The discovery on the archeological site of the former cathedral group of Autun of the probable remains of the domus ecclesiae mentioned in the VIIth century led to an examination of the question of these structures with multiple functions and a study of their development, as they are very often at the origin of episcopal palaces, as it is clearly the case in Autun.

It is moreover at Autun itself, in the bishop’s palace, that this conference was held from November 26 to 28, 2009. The fourteen presentations joined together here, which concern European cases as well as those from the whole of the Mediterranean world, tend to define more fully the character of early episcopal residences in respect to buildings for worship, to comprehend their design and to follow their evolution. They also underline the difficulty of the interpretation of the textual and archaeological data, when they exist.

via Des ‘domus ecclesiae’ aux palais épiscopaux.

Europe: Wiki loves monuments awarded photos of religious heritage

The photographs below are the European winners with a religious heritage motif, of the world wide photo-competition Wiki Loves Monuments.

Congratulations to the winners!

7th place
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and the Ebro River, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
Author: Jiuguang Wang

14th place
Altenburg, Austria
Author: C. Cossa

15th place
Battistero all’interno del Complesso Monumentale di San Pietro, Italy
Author: Marco.odina


Belgium – Exhibition: “Mosques in Flanders”

MANAvzw and Kadoc present the exhibition “Mosques in Flanders” with photos of Ghent photographer of Turkish origin, Abdul-Vahit Duman.

Mosques conjure up images of lush and exotic buildings with domes, minarets and Arabic inscriptions in calligraphy. For Flanders this is only partially true. Of the nearly 200 mosques, there are only a handful that resemble the mosques as we know from pictures. The vast majority are ‘hidden mosques’, barely visible and recognizable as such.

Abdul-Vahit Duman, Ghent photographer of Turkish origin, brings the diversity of mosques in Flanders to light: the beauty of new mosques and the architectural ‘creativity’ of hiding mosques, but also the surprising interiors and prayer rooms. In short, a view of a still little known Flemish reality.

KADOC Vlamingenstraat 39 Leuven
Vernissage: Thursday 24 | 01 | 2013 at 20
The exhibition runs from 24 January to 29 March

via Abdul-Vahit Duman Duman Photography Photography Abdul-Vahit | is the portfolio site for photographer Abdul-Vahit Duman.

UK – A photography exhibition on religious and cultural diversity in Turkey

“Sharing the Sunlight” Photography Exhibition displays profiles from the lives of people living in Turkey with all their differences and similarities to reflect the religious and cultural diversity of the country. Photographs were taken in Antakya, Istanbul, Mardin, Trabzon, Balıkesir, Antalya, and Van.

The photography exhibition depicting the stories of the people sharing the same sunlight and living together brotherly for centuries, reflects snapshots from people’s daily lives, their way of celebrating holidays, their prayers, and prayer places of people of different religions living in Turkey.

The exhibition also covers a selection of restored prayer places of the Christian and Jewish communities in Turkey. All these restorations that have recently been carried out are funded by Turkish public sources. Alongside the main exhibition there is a documentary film including interviews and a video slide show with additional photographs.

The 12 Star Gallery, situated within Europe House in Westminster, London

via Sharing the sunlight | Europe in the UK.

Krlickova, Judita “Unique medieval fresco found at Nitra Cathedral in Slovakia”

One of the most significant places of Slovakian history connected to the beginnings of the Christianity in Slovakia, is the cathedral complex in Nitra. The bishopric of Nitra was established by Pope John VIII already in 880. After the Hungarian conquest of the Great Moravia, Nitra became the seat of administration and the bishopric was re-established again in 1113. The Nitra Cathedral consists of three churches: the oldest Romanesque church of St Emeram from the turn of the 11th and 12th century, and later added Upper and Lower Church. It is located on the hill above the Nitra town and is surrounded by the bishopric palace and other administrative buildings, with an impressive baroque entrance gate and remains of the old fortification walls. The whole cathedral complex was created in several stages. The gothic Upper church was built in 1333 – 1355 by bishop Mesko (the brother in law of the King Charles I from the Anjou house). Probably during this time the Lower Church was also created, by incorporating the walls of the oldest Romanesque building. However, the most profound baroque transformation of the whole cathedral was done in 1622- 1642 after it was plundered during the Betlen uprising. The complex is dedicated to St Emmeram and two local hermits St. Zoerard and Benedict.

Thanks to its history and architectural beauty the cathedral is a monument of a national significance and is aspiring to be included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. There are also many significant art monuments in the churches, such as the early baroque marble altar by Johann Pernegerr, the Florentine style early renaissance tabernacle, the 16th century bronze baptismal font and beautiful baroque frescos. Due to bad technical condition of the buildings the bishopric of Nitra, with the support of Slovakian Ministry of Culture, commenced a major conservation project. The works, which are part of the 1150 anniversary celebrations of the arrival of St Cyril and Methodius to the Great Moravia, have been going on since 2007 and are led by the restorer Vladimir Plekanec.

After the main altar had been dismantled for the conservation purposes restorers were surprised to see patches of painted surface poking out trough the layers of plaster on the east wall.

The first phase of works was done in the Upper Church. The main task was to secure and conserve the magnificent early 18th century baroque frescos in the nave and on the vault of the chancel by Austrian painter G. A. Galliarti. The fresco in the chancel depicts the Assumption of the Virgin, with Virgin Mary in the centre of the picture surrounded by the donor bishop L. A. Erdödy, St Imrich and Stefan and G. A. Galliarti.

Once the plaster had been taken off it became apparent that restorers were dealing with a fresco of the highest artistic and technical quality from the period around 1400.

The second, ongoing phase of the project concentrates on the Lower Church which incorporated the oldest Romanesque church. After the main altar had been dismantled for the conservation purposes restorers were surprised to see patches of painted surface poking out trough the layers of plaster on the east wall. Once the plaster had been taken off it became apparent that restorers were dealing with a fresco of the highest artistic and technical quality from the period around 1400. Along with frescos in Sazdice, Kamenany and Plesivec they represent the finest examples of the medieval wallpaintings with a direct inspiration in the Italian Art of the 2nd half of the 14th century. It is also worth mentioning, that similarly to the fresco in the Upper church it also depicts scenes from the Life of the Virgin. Its rather unusual composition brings together several scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary –The Last Prayer of the Virgin, with the Apostles and Christ, and the soul of the Virgin Mary and Descending Holy Spirit together with the Coronation of the Virgin. Both scenes are flanked by a group of Angles and are separated in the middle by the painted illusive architecture. This not only separates the scenes, but also makes a clear line between her life on earth and her celestial life after death. However, it is possible that further scenes might be still hidden under the baroque decoration in the nave. In order to preserve valuable baroque interior no further investigation is planned. A similar concept of several stories behind one image can be seen on the fresco of the Live Cross, dating to the 1380s’ in the parish church in Zehra, Slovakia. The clues in the compositional layout, style and iconography as well as recorded works carried out in the church by Augustinian Bishop Dominic in 1378, suggest that the fresco was painted after this date. As a previous researcher pointed out, works of such quality and scale were usually commissioned by the highest representatives of the church in the style favoured by the Royal Court. Even though the fresco was created during the reign of Sigmund Luxemburg when the traditional Italian orientation turned to taking inspiration from the Royal Courts of Western Europe, the Italian provenance is undeniable in particular in Prague. Along with other surviving examples, such as wallpaintings in the Augustinian church in Siklos (end of the 14th century), the fresco of Nitra proves that the strong ties to the Italian Art had not faded away but lived on despite the new Royal orientation.

The discovery of the fresco sprang a rather lively discussion. In spite of the various suggestions from the public to leave the fresco uncovered, the regional Board of Monuments have decided that the fresco will be cleaned, documented and re-covered in order to preserve the baroque interior of the church. However, the fresco will probably stay uncovered until the anniversary celebrations in July 2013 and the diocese is planning to organise an international conference that would address the fresco.

Judita Krlickova
MA in medieval wall-paintings in North East Slovakia, Commenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

SLOVAKIA – New publication by Tajkov, Peter, “Sacral Architecture of the 11th – 13th Century in the south-eastern Slovakia”

Tajkov, Peter: Sakrálna architektúra 11. – 13. storočia na juhovýchodnom Slovensku.

A new book on medieval sacral architecture by Peter Tajkov was recently published by Faculty of Arts at the Technical University in Kosice, Slovakia. Peter Tajkov is an archaeologist studying mainly medieval sacral architecture of Zemplin region, Slovakia and adjacent areas of Hungary, Ukraine and also Romania. The author presents some of the most remote and least known churches of Slovakian medieval history.

Peter Tajkov SAKRALNA ARCHITEKTURA nova kniha

POLAND – Website: Sacral Architecture of the Western Pomerania

This website is dedicated to the sacral architecture in the area of Western Pomerania, between North West Poland and North East Germany. The website contains various news and information on the architecture and heritage of this region. Please select the architektura button on the menu bar, which will take you directly to the architecture section. This part contains a large gallery of churches which are divided into groups based on their building material, such as stone churches, brick churches, or wood churches. A separate section is devoted to the lost, transformed or endangered churches of the region. Each entry contains an extensive historic and architectonic report, interior inventory and substantial image gallery.

The website is currently only available in Polish, but thanks to the provided interactive map (mapa) the navigation is rather straightforward. Please follow this link for the website.