Posted in Photo challenge

CBW: Things Made from Wood

Dutch clogs –or wooden shoes– and Friesian skates.

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I saw this typically Dutch scene in a museum mill in Unesco World Heritage Kinderdijk.

Water

For nearly a thousand years, the Dutch have been dealing with the water that surrounds them. The sustainable blend of nature and technology used to keep Kinderdijk dry is so uniquely valuable, that the area and its windmills were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997.

Unesco

The outstanding contribution made by the people of the Netherlands to the technology of handling water is admirably demonstrated by the installations in the Kinderdijk-Elshout area. Construction of hydraulic works for the drainage of land for agriculture and settlement began in the Middle Ages and have continued uninterruptedly to the present day. The site illustrates all the typical features associated with this technology – dykes, reservoirs, pumping stations, administrative buildings and a series of beautifully preserved windmills.

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Check out the other entries at Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

CB&W
Posted in Nature

Tousle

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Posted in Six Word Saturday

Time grinds glossy facade to dust

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Posted as part of my Six Word Saturday musings; courtesy of Debbie at Travel with Intent. Will you join us there?

Posted in Photo challenge

CBW: Lighting

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Check out the other entries at Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

CB&W
Posted in Photo challenge

FOTD: Corn Poppy

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Through the dancing poppies stole a breeze, most softly lulling to my soul.

— John Keats

Flower of the Day; courtesy of Cee’s Photo Challenges. Will you join us there? 

Posted in Animals

Siesta

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Zzzzzz…

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Huh? What? Ah hello!

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Visitors? Nooooo, I’m exhausted!

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Posted in Culture/History

Eerie Hill of Crosses

One of the strangest, eerie places I have ever been to is Kryžių kalnas, or the Hill of Crosses, a pilgrimage site about 12 km north of Šiauliai, Lithuania. I was speechless, torn between wonder and disbelief, awe and unease.

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Origins

It all starts in the 14th century when locals leave crosses on the former Domantai hill fort to remember a successful battle against the German knights. During the centuries to come, the hill becomes a sanctuary for Christians to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism.

Symbol of resistance

In the 19th century, after the two uprisings of 1831 and 1863, the place grows into a national symbol of resistance. Families start putting up symbolic crosses, to represent the bodies of their perished rebels. The number of crucifixes and other religious icons increases rapidly, well into the first years of Soviet domination.

Bulldozers

Three times the Soviets decide to level Kryžių kalnas to the ground. Three times the people defy the strict ban of religion and severe surveillance, and leave their religious icons under cover of the night. They erect not only new crosses but also crucifixes, carvings of the Virgin Mary and of Lithuanian patriots. Cross-making has by now become part of the cultural heritage of Lithuania, a ‘symbol of national and religious identity, uniting the community in the face of adversity’.

Pope

In 1993 Pope John Paul II visits the Hill of Crosses and declares it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice. In 2000 a Franciscan hermitage is opened nearby.

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Number of crosses

1800’s over 9,000
1900 130
1902 155
1922 50
1938 over 400
1961 destroyed 5,000
1975 destroyed 1,200
1990 some 55,000
2006 over 100,000

And there’s no stopping it now. Today the amount is incomprehensible. Buses spew their loads into the parking lot, where stalls sell crosses in all sizes to the modern pilgrims. Ready-made symbols of worship contest with huge personal sculptures.

Sit back and watch

I left the stream of tourists and found my way to the outer edge of the hill. Away from the masses. Away from the overwhelming impressions. Away from the ghosts. Please take a moment and watch, listen, feel…

 

Wikipedia: Hill of Crosses