An American journalist and freelance writer chronicling life in Germany and adventures traveling the world. Read more about Christa and how to contact her here, and check out her portfolio of work here.
Carnival Season in Bavaria.
The weeks leading up to lent are a festive time in Germany and throughout much of Europe. Here in Bavaria, Carnival is called Fasching and involves dressing up in costumes and basically a lot of eating, drinking and partying. And donuts. Yes, for some reason these delicious jelly- or creme-filled sweets are EVERYWHERE during this time of year.
Krapfen, or more commonly called Berliners outside of Bavaria, usually only come in a couple of standard varieties. But as Fasching creeps closer, more and more start appearing. Vanilla creme flavored. Chocolate. Strawberry. Mango. Marzipan. Yum, yum, yum!
They’ll all be gone again soon for another year. Must eat them while I still can!
That Eiffel Feeling.
Such a beautiful shot that somehow captures the feeling of seeing the Eiffel Tower in person. Love it.
From Erlangen to Paris, and Back Again.
An 8-hour Road trip that’s totally worth it. The cost for gas, tolls and parking would probably add up to be more than a flight for two people. But we had a group of four, which worked out well. Tired and cranky from the drive, but glad that I got to see the city again :).
Views of Rome from Atop Castel Sant’Angelo.
(top) Looking southeast toward Altare della Patria (Giant National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy). Beyond that, Capitoline Hill and the Colosseum.
(bottom) Looking west toward Saint Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City.
Castel Sant’Angelo: Built as Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum, once a fortress, then a prison, now a museum.
Commissioned and built around 135 AD, this huge, ancient castle was originally built as a mausoleum for Roman Emperor Hadrian, his family, and subsequent emperors. But it has taken on several other roles through the years, as well.
In 401 AD, the site was transformed into a military fortress. And beginning in the 14th Century, popes converted the fortress into a castle, complete with a covered, fortified corridor that connected it to Saint Peter’s Basilica, allowing clergy to escape from attacks.
The church also used the building at times as a prison and execution site, then displaying those who had been killed along Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge.
The circular building’s most memorable features include two statues depicting archangel Micheal. According to legend, Micheal appeared on top of the mausoleum while sheathing his sword as a symbolic signal that ended the plague of 590.
The castle’s original statue depicting Micheal (top photo) was created from marble by Raffaello da Montelupo in 1536, and remains in the inner courtyard of the site. The bronze statue currently atop Castel Sant’Angelo (middle left photo) was created by Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt.
Source: Castel Sant’Angelo wiki
The Angels Lining Ponte Sant’Angelo.
Not surprisingly since Ponte Sant’Angelo exists immediately outside of the Vatican City, it has been largely influenced by the Catholic Church through the years. In 1669, Pope Clement IX commissioned the creation of ten angels holding instruments of the passion to be placed along the bridge. Not all that remain on the bridge today are the originals, but they are beautiful nonetheless.
The angels are:
Source: Ponte Sant’Angelo wiki
Ponte Sant’Angelo, which means the Bridge of Hadrian. This beautiful Roman bridge that spans the Tiber River connects the Vatican to Castel Sant’Angelo.
Completed for the first time nearly 1,900 years ago by Emperor Hadrian, the bridge has served several purposes through the years. It has long been used by people on pilgrimage to the Vatican — one last beautiful leg before reaching their destination. For hundreds of years after the 16th century, the bridge was used to display bodies of executed people.
Now the bridge is for pedestrian traffic only, and it sees plenty of tourists as they cross from one attraction to the next.
Source: Pont Sant’Angelo wiki
Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy
A Tribute to Saint Catherine, between the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, (died c. early 4th century, Alexandria, Egypt), one of the most popular early Christian martyrs and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. She is not mentioned before the 9th century, and her historicity is doubtful. According to legend, she was an extremely learned young girl of noble birth who protested the persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor —whose wife and several soldiers she converted—and defeated the most eminent scholars summoned by Maxentius to oppose her. The spiked wheel by which she was sentenced to be killed broke (whence the term Catherine wheel), and she was then beheaded.
After her death, angels allegedly took her body to ce. In the Middle Ages, when the story of her mystical marriage to Christ was widely circulated, she was one of the most popular saints. She is the patron of philosophers and scholars. claimed that Catherine’s was among the heavenly voices that spoke to her., where, according to legend, it was discovered about 800
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
© 2011 Christa Desrets