Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, Spain

As with most very old buildings, they have changed during the years mostly because of the rulers that would like to have their personal touch on it. “Mezquita de Córdoba” has expanded four times until it reached 24 000 m² and in the 1600th century they inserted a Renaissance Cathedral in the middle.

Even though the building is huge, it’s not easy to spot from a distance as only the bell tower and the Cathedral is quickly recognized over the surrounding buildings, which can make you believe it’s just another church.

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Borgund Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

The Borgund Stave Church is one of the most known and popular stave churches in Norway and it’s a so-called triple nave church. The church was built around 1180, and it’s one of the best preserved of the remaining ones.

On a side note, the Gustav Adolf Stave Church in Hahnenklee, Germany, was built in 1908 with the Borgund Stave Church in mind (means its similar but not a replica). In United States there is a replica in Rapid City, South Dakota, and on Washington Island, Wisconsin.

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Hopperstad Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

The Hopperstad Stavkirke is one of the oldest Stave Churches still standing, believed to be built about year 1130. The church was mostly unchanged until the 17th century when among others the nave was lengthened and a bell tower was added. In the end of the 19th century it was redesigned into “Borgund style”.

On a side note, there is a full scale replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church in Hjemkomst Center (Homecoming Center) in Minnesota, USA. Built as a reminder of all the Norwegians who emigrated to the Midwest area in the 19th century. The replica is one of very few remaining Stave Churches outside Norway.

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Kaupanger stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Kaupanger Stave Church is located not too far from Urnes Stave Church, only little bit further out and on the other side of the Sognefjord. The church is dated back to about 1140, and has gone through several restoration projects and alterations. Of the remaining stave churches, Kaupanger is the longest and the nave has 22 staves, 8 on each of the longer sides, 3 on each of the shorter and the elevated chancel has 4.

This is the third post about Norwegian Stave Churches.

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Generalife (Alhambra), Granada – Spain

The Palacio de Generalife sits across the ravine from Alhambra, and was earlier connected with a walkway. Generalife was built in the 13th century as a summer palace and has been redesigned and rebuilt several times through the years.

As promised in the posts about Alhambra, here are our photos from Generalife. Visiting the gardens in February may not justify the full beauty the garden in full bloom though.

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Paraty, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Paraty is located at the Costa Verde (Green Coast) in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The village was established in 1597 and after the discovery of gold in the mountains of the state of Minas Gerias, Paraty became an export harbor for the gold. Caminho do Ouro (The Gold Trail) its a 1200 km trail linking Paraty to Diamantina (via Oro Preto and Tiradentes).

As you see in some of the photos, water comes into the streets with the high tide. It was done on purpose, constructed as to make the water clean the streets. We visited the city on a humid and cloudy day in 2008.

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Erosiones de Bolnuevo, Bolnuevo – Spain

This eroded sandstone formations has many names like “Gredas de Bolnuevo” and also “Ciudad Encantada” besides the official “Erosiones de Bolnuevo” and sits at the end of the 1600 meters long Playa de Bolnuevo (Bolnuevo  Beach) in Bolnuevo, Murcia, Spain. The beach reaches all the way to the neighbor village of Puerto de Mazarrón to the east.

The sandstone formation has been eroded by water and wind for thousands of years and in the clay there is an abundance of micro fossils dating back to the Pliocene period 4.5 million years ago.

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