Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 12, Panama

Welcome Back!  I hope everyone had a great Holiday!  More about Stained Glass & some history:

Travel & Tourism One of the things you might want to see when you visit Panama is the famous golden altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo. The Inglesia de San Jose (the Church of San Jose) is a small almost nondescript building on a narrow street in the San Felipe district of Panama City. Inside is the famous Golden Altar, which is made of carved wood and is covered in gold flake. Commonly known in Spanish as the "Altar de Oro" (Golden Altar), it was originally in a church in "Old Panama." When English pirate Henry Morgan attacked the city the jesuits painted the altar black to hide the gold. The pirates left it alone, thinking it was worthless. After Morgan sacked and burned "Old Panama" the Jesuit monks of the Order of St. Agustine moved the altar to the new church and its present location.

The church is filled with beautiful side altars, also hand-carved wood and enhanced with gold flake.

"The Church of San Jose" Initially constructed between 1671 and 1677, was remodeled in the 19th Centrury, is custodian of the Golden Altar, built in the 18th Century. Rotary Club, Panama"
And here's what you came to see. This church gets quite a bit of tourist traffic, and they are kind of accustomed to it. But you should tread lightly and show proper respect if there is a mass being celebrated when you happen to drop in. It's fine to take pictures of the altar, but not during a church service. Some blundering tourists pull some irritating moves in this place. As long as you understand that this is a functioning church and more than just a tourist attraction and show a little respect, then you'll have no problems at all. And, you'll find that people are very proud of the church and like to show it off.

A detail shot of the Golden Altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo, Panama City. The altar is actually made out of hand-carved wood, and then covered in gold flake.

The church also has some very nice stained glass windows, this one dedicated to Saint Rita of Cascia, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.  Very interesting!!

                                                          And this one to Saint Augustine of Hippo...

This does not have as many Stained Glass windows to shhow, but the few that are in the church are worthy of mentioning!

That's al for now!  May sunshine fill your day!
Happy New Year to all of you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 11, Shiraz, Iran

Hello everyone!  Welcome back!

More wonderful Stained Glass for our history and viewing pleasure:

The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Persian: Masjed-i Nasir al-Mulk), also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It is located in Gawd-i Arabān quarter, near Shāh Chérāgh Mosque.

The exterior of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, while decorative, hints only vaguely at the colorful splendor held within. When you step inside, especially if it’s early in the morning, the mosque truly becomes a vivid and glorious kaleidoscope.

The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kāse("five concaved") design. It is named in popular culture as the Pink Mosque, due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design.**
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is heavily decorated with stained glass – something very rare in mosque architecture. It was built during the Qājār era by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk in 1888. The mosque is famous for its extensive usage of stained glass and the divine feast of colours that it casts with the help of the morning sun. The mosque is often referred to as the “Pink Mosque” due to the dominance of this colour in the intricate and colorful tiles decorating its arches and niches.

The mosque was built during the Qajar era, and is still in use under protection by Endowment Foundation of Nasir ol Molk. It was built from 1876 to 1888, by the order of Mirzā Hasan Ali (Nasir ol Molk), a Qajar ruler. The designers were Mohammad Hasan-e-Memār, an Iranian architect, and Mohammad Rezā Kāshi-Sāz-e-Širāzi.  Restoration, protection, and maintenance of this monument is being continued by the Endowment Foundation of Nasir ol Molk. Colorful windows and doors handcrafted by carpenter master 'Hajj Mirza Ayat'**

If you ever have a chance, go visit this majestic, one-of-a-kind mosque and don’t miss the chance,  you won’t regret it!

Spectacular Mosque In Iran Becomes A Glorious Display When The Sun Rises
**From Wikipedia

That's all for now!!  May sunshine fill your day!  Visit often for more great stained glass!!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 10, Troyes, Champagne, France

Hello and Welcome back! Some good history to see and read!

The site has been used for religious buildings since at least the 4th century, when an oratory stood on the site. A cathedral was built in the 9th century, but was badly damaged by Norman invasions and was replaced in the 10th century, from about 940, when bishop Milo built a Romanesque cathedral. This building was the location of the Council of Troyes that opened on 13 January 1128/29, at which the Order of the Knights Templar was confirmed and its rule established. The Romanesque cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1188.
Construction of the present Gothic cathedral was ordered in about 1200 by bishop Garnier de Traînel and begun under bishop Hervé in 1208. Work continued until the 17th century. The cathedral only has one tower, St. Peter's; St. Paul's tower to the south was never built, and the building is thus still in fact unfinished. A steeple, with a height of 110 metres, once stood over the crossing: it was ruined by a tornado in 1365, and struck by lightning in 1700, after which it was not rebuilt.
The cathedral structure has suffered other natural disasters: part of the choir was destroyed in a hurricane in 1228, and the roof was set afire by lightning in 1389.
The earliest part is the 13th century choir. The elaborate façade dates from the beginning of the 16th century. The three main portals are the work of the architect Martin Chambiges. The cathedral escaped destruction during the French Revolution, but was de-Christianised and turned into a Temple of Abundance for several years.
It is particularly noted for its exceptional stained-glass windows of dates from the 13th to the 19th century, with a surface area of 1,500 m, and for the magnificent treasure containing among many other important works the reliquary casket or shrine of Saint Bernard de Clairvaux and his closest friend Saint Malachy of Ireland.
The cathedral, containing the nave, two principal aisles and two further subsidiary aisles, is 114 metres (379 feet 6 inches) long and 50 metres (162 feet 6 inches) wide (across the transepts), with a height from the top of the vault of 29.5 metres (96 feet); the height of the cupola and the tower is 62.34 metres (202 feet 7 inches).

The Stained glass above shows much of the birth of Jesus.


In May 1420, the Treaty of Troyes was signed in the cathedral between Henry V of England, his ally Philip of Burgundy and Queen Isabel, wife of the mad Charles VI of France whereby the throne of France would pass to Henry on the death of Charles rather than to Charles' son the Dauphin. Henry married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter, shortly afterwards in Troyes, either at the cathedral or the church of St Jean.
In July 1429, Joan of Arc escorted the Dauphin to mass in the cathedral en route to proclaiming him Charles VII of France at Reims cathedral, in contravention of the recently signed Treaty of Troyes.


  • Balcon, Sylvie, and Philippot, Jacques, 2001. La cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Troyes. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, Monum (Éditions du Patrimoine). ISBN 2-85822-615-6 ISBN 978-2-85822-615-3

That's all for now!  May sunshine fill your day!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 9, Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Welcome back!! 

Sainte-Chapelle is an extraordinary House of worship with many historical facts such as the Sainte Chapelle could be considered a huge reliquary only built to house the relics of the Crucifixion.

In 1239, Saint Louis bought the crown of thorns from Venetian merchants for 135,000 Pounds! (the relics of the crucifixion) 

This is just one interesting fact of many which surround the Sainte-Chapelle, but, this blog concentrates mostly on the churches Stained Glass., which is VERY IMPRESSIVE!!              


The church, which has two levels, was consecrated on April 26th, 1248, so it is assumed that Sainte Chapelle was finished at this time. The starting date, however, is still unknown, as is the name of the master mason is also (probably Pierre de Montreuil or Jean de Chelles). 

Sainte Chapelle suffered from several fires (1630, 1777) and one flood. Nor did the French Revolution spare it: the outside ornamentation was damaged, especially the spire, whose fleurs-de-lis were considered a symbol of the French monarchy. Then, during the First Empire, the upper chapel was used as an archive warehouse, which led to severe damage and the stained glass windows were dismantled.

The upper chapel has four bays and a seven section choir. Its walls are much taller than those of the lower chapel. They are in great part covered only by stained glasses.
The surface of the masonry is reduced to the strict minimum. The thinness of the columns between the stained glass windows is an example of an absolute mastery of gothic art. For strengthening purposes, the columns are reinforced with tie beams.
The 15 stained glasses windows (15.4 m height and 4.25 m width) are also considered as master pieces of the art of stained glass. Most of them date from the 13th century. They are composed with 1113 little pieces of glass.
Each pane is represented as:

Legend of the stained glass windows :
A : history of the holy relics
B : book of kings
C : Esther
D : Judith and Job
E : Jeremy and Tobie
F : Ezechiel's visions
G : John the Baptist & Book of Daniel
H : Passion

I : John & Christ childhood
J : Joshua tree and Isaïe
K : Book of Judges
L : Deuteronom & Joshua
M : Book of numbers
N : exodus
O : Genesis

Saint Louis held the relics and considered himself as a worthy heir to the Kings of Israel. This clear link is emphasized by one above, which shows the history of some the most famous Kings of Israel (from Saul to Solomon). Window 1

The Sainte Chapelle is thus a demonstration of the power of King Saint Louis. In window 2, the writings are not in Latin, but in French, which shows Saint Louis's will of domination over the Church.

All the windows tell stories especially to the ones who could not read.....the showed the history pane by pane.
Among the stained glass, the 16th century rose is noteworthy. Its style is flamboyant gothic. Some of its colors (especially the green) can't be found in the other 13th century stained glasses because it was not technically possible to obtain it. The rose shows the Apocalypse around an enthroned Christ in the central oculus.

Further to the religious meaning, some windows are politically significant. This is the case for windows in the upper part of the Chapelle in the Nave. The windows show the history of the Holy Relics, from the discovery of the Holy Cross by Saint Helen, to the transfer to the French Kingdom by Saint Louis.

**excepts from the English Glossary, notations J. Vadnel.

That's all for today!!  May Sunshine fill your day, stay tuned & check in often for more stained class information!!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 8, Prague

Welcome!  Here are beautiful windows in a historic church:

St Vitus Cathedral in Prague is (currently) the worlds most recent gothic cathedral, begun in 1344 in late gothic style, finally consecrated in 1929. As such, it features a mixture of late-gothic, baroque, renaissance architectural styles, and stain-glass windows from as recent as the early 20th century by Alfons Mucha, Prague’s most celebrated artist in the last century.
The Cathedral was built in two major parts. The first, the eastern, part which houses the nave and the main window at the rear of the church was completed in 1399, with additional building continuing through to the 15th century despite damages from wars, fires and religious unrest. A provisional wooden wall sealed this completed part of the church so it could be used in the centuries that followed, until plans were put in place in the mid 19th century to complete the cathedral within the spirit of the original designs.
                                                                 St. Vitus
     View of the cathedral from the north. You can see the remains of the castle walls, and the greenery below goes down to a deep           trench, that would be filled with water to act as a moat when needed.
                                                                 The Nave
                                                       One of several stained glass windows from the 20th Century.
                                                      One of several stained glass windows from the 20th Century
                                                  This window is from the artist Alfons Mucha. It was completed in 1909.
The location of the cathedral within the castle grounds also reminds one of the strong connection between church and state that existed in many, if not all, European states over the many centuries since the decline of the Western Roman empire. Prague itself was a powerful city and one-time capital within the broader Holy Roman Empire of greater Germany. This empire was a broad confederation of states, founded in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne, and was to eventually dissolve in 1806. The cathedral houses the remains of many of the Bohemian kings of the empire.
Despite the hundreds of years that was to span the beginning and end of construction of the cathedral, the building is remarkably consistent in its design and presentation, and has a rather novel feeling of looking hundreds of years old, while also looking modern, not only due to the span of artistic styles of the windows, but he obvious pristine condition of much of the building (particularly, of course, the western part).
That's all for now!! I hope you enjoyed this!  Very interesting history!  May sunshine fill your day!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 7, St. Petersburg, Russia

We are back!  More on beautiful stained glass windows from around the world!

Russia has returned six medieval stained glass window panes looted by the Soviet Red Army in 1945 to a church in Frankfurt an der Oder, on the Polish border.

The 700-year-old windows were thought vanished or destroyed until 2005, when they were discovered by a Russian art historian at a cloister outside Moscow, under the jurisdiction of the Pushkin Museum.
The first 111 panels, which had been in the possession of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, were returned by Russia in 2002.
Another three years would pass before the remaining six panels dating back to the 14th century would be restored to their rightful home at the Marienkirche, the Church of Our Lady.
Completing the panel of 117 panes in the church's 20-meter (65-foot) high windows depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the panes were delivered by German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann and Russian Ambassador to Germany Vladimir Kotenev.

In 1958, some 1,5 million works of art were returned to East Germany by the Soviet Union after the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property made it illegal to use cultural property as war reparations.
Previously, Moscow declared that art seized by the Red Army was retribution for the 27 million Soviet lives lost during the Second World War.
That't all for now!!  History & Stained Glass Windows...learning all the time!  
May sunshine fill your day!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 6, New Caledonia

Welcome Back!

Here we are again with more fantastic stained glass!

Grande Terre (New Caledonia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A satellite photo of the island taken by Terra/MODIS (24 September 2012).
Grande Terre is the largest and principal island of New Caledonia.
British explorer James Cook sighted Grande Terre in 1774 and named it "New Caledonia", Caledonia being a Latin name for parts of northern Scotland. Eventually, the name "New Caledonia" became applied to Grande Terre and its surrounding islands.
The largest settlement on Grande Terre is Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia. Locals refer to Grand Terre as "Le Caillou", the rock.[1]
Grande Terre is oriented northwest-to-southeast; its area is 16,372 square kilometres (6,321 square miles). It is 350 kilometres (220 miles) in length and 50–70 km (30–40 mi) wide in most places. A mountain range runs the length of the island, with five peaks over 1,500 metres (4,900 feet). The highest point is Mont Panié at 1,628 m (5,341 ft) elevation.
The landing on New Caledonia
New Caledonia, Northern Grande Terre Island, Balade. Stained glass window commemorating the killing of Brother Blaise Marmoiton by natives (7/19/1847) in the Church of St. Denis.

Pictures from the church St. Denis on the island of Caledonia.

Stained glass tells the stories from years ago, which are intriguing and beautiful!

That's all for now!  May sunshine fill your day!

*pictures, courtesy of Alamy

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 5, Lithuania

This beautiful Stained Glass piece "Lithuania" by Vytautas Švarlys that decorates the Culture Centre of Birštonas is one of the largest stained glasses in Lithuania. The stained glass "Gintarinė Lietuvos šviesa" (Amber Light of Lithuania), created in 1980, has been for a long time called "The Soviet Lithuania" because of the Soviet ideology prevalence, although the author claimed that there were no Soviet symbols and signs in it. After the restoration works in 2001, the title of the stained glass was shortened and now it bears the title "Lithuania".

The stained glass depicts the historical period of Lithuania, from the Grand Duke of Lithuania Mindaugas and Vytautas the Great to the fights for the freedom of Lithuania,  achievements in art, culture, and science. One big surface of the stained glass portrays a historic period with a variety of colors, each time capturing viewers’ attention with new lights and shades during festivals and other events. The stained glass has been registered in the Register of Cultural Properties under unique code 15340.

That's all for now!  May your day be filled with sunshine!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 4, Cassablanca

More about stained glass windows in remarkable settings:

Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, was built between 1953 and 1956.  It is one of the only two Catholic Churches that in Casablanca (the other one is the Sacred Heart Church).  The cathedral’s imposing white concrete façade looks more like a warehouse than a church and a simple white cross is the only hint to its purpose. 

The main attraction for visitors is the spectacular stained glass windows, the work of Gabriel Loire, a famous French artist.  They are cut on a red and blue colored background, reminiscent of typical Moroccan carpets, and represent different images of the Virgin Mary.  The absolutely breathtaking stained glass windows of the church are what capture everyone’s attention.  The open, airy interior is lit up by the colored beams of light that filter through these stained glass windows which cover the entirety of both side walls – giving a window surface area of over 800 square meters (8600 square feet). 

The stained glass windows are cut on a red and blue colored background, reminiscent of typical Moroccan carpets, and represent different images of the Virgin Mary, Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Casablanca, Morocco

The Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Morocco is clear evidence of the strong Roman Catholic presence in Casablanca and, while this may not be the major religion in the country, it certainly isn’t only practiced by a small minority. (Morocco.com)

These are such beautiful examples of Stained Glass throughout the world!  
That's all for today!  May sunshine fill your day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 3, Cairo

Welcome back!  Well, we now know a bit more about Stained Glass from Dublin, Istanbul, and now to learn and see a bit from Cairo.  Here is some snips and pictures, Enjoy!

Up to the Abbasid era (AD 750-868) the glass industry was dominated by Alexandria and Syrian, but the Abbasid Caliph Harun Al-Rashid valued enameled and gilded glass works. This became the finest gift that the Caliph could bestowed on his favorites. In Egypt during the Tulunid era (AD 868-905), special attention was given to stained glass surfaces as well as lanterns and vessels. Sultan Ahmed Bin Tulun (AD 868-883) renovated glass workshops in Alexandria.

Architecture in Egypt made use of stained glass in mosques, houses, palaces and khankawat (monastic complexes). Stained glass windows varied in their style, ornamentation, and color according to the kind of building and to the era of construction. Cairo abounds in buildings with stained glass windows of all periods from the ninth century to the twentieth.        

In modern Egyptian architecture stained glass has been used for exterior and interior decoration, set in stucco, lead and other materials. Variations on the motif of colored light are evident in the use of mosaic walls receiving light from outside through clear glass. In many recent public buildings, such as theaters, cinemas and offices, glass is coupled with steel. Transparent glass surfaces colored with thermal dyes has been used for sculpture or for interior decoration. Virtually every major building erected in the twentieth century has transparent or stained-glass panes in the form of windows, partitions, or fixed or movable walls.

The use of glass has become common in most large new buildings in Egypt. Iron, and its alloys, has replaced other material formerly used for windows. In the new building of Qasr Al-Ayni Hospital (1995) a window unit of 60 square meter is made of steel with lead chocks to endure tremors and the stress of heat expansion. Stained glass figures in the Police Hospital Building (1995) in the exterior and interior.   (cited by Egyptian Government)

This information is brief, just to show some of  the distinct styles.  That is all for now!  More to follow.  May sunshine fill your day!           

Monday, September 18, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 2, Istanbul

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque (TurkishSultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic Mosque located in IstanbulTurkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque's lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a Madrasah, and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. It sits next to the Hagia Sophia, another popular tourist site.  (cited from From Wikipedia)

The Blue Mosque — with its five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes — is considered the classical period’s last great mosque. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, combined Byzantine Christian and traditional Islamic architectural elements for a work of overwhelming size and splendor.

After the Peace of Zsitvatorok (which ended the Fifteen Years’ War between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy) and the empire’s loss in the 1603-1618 war with Persia, Sultan Ahmed I was looking for ways to boost morale. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, built between 1609 and 1616, was meant to reassert Ottoman power even though Ahmed I had to procure funds from the treasury since his lack in victory also meant a lack in spoils of war.

So why is Sultan Ahmet Mosque also called the Blue Mosque? Because its interior is lined with more than 20,000 handmade İznik tiles, a ceramic that is always turquoise in color with red tulip designs. The mosque’s upper levels are also painted blue with natural light flooding in from the more than 200 stained glass windows.

Just a sampling of the beauty within the Mosque!

Stay tuned, more to come in showing famous Stained Glass! 

May Sunshine fill your Day