Shrine of the Three Wisemen

Dreikönigsschrein, the Reliquary of the Three Kings is a tomb where they say that the remains of the Three Wise Men are enshrined. Set in a huge display case behind the main altar of the Cologne Cathedral, this is considered to be the largest shrine in the western world.

It took the world renowned goldsmith, Nicolau de Verdun spent half of a century building this masterpiece. The shrine was completed in 1225 and the remains of the Magi were laid to rest here.

This golden Reliquary of the Three Kings is made of wood, coated with gold, silver, enamel, and adorned with precious and semi-precious stones.

According to the legend, Queen Helena, mother of Constantine travelled to the Middle East to find the remains and bring them back to Cologne. The reliquary is comprised of three sarcophagi, two on the bottom and one on top.

More about the Three Wisemen can be found at this link…

http://projects.leadr.msu.edu/medievalart/exhibits/show/reliquary_cathedral_comparison/three_magi

Basilica Church of St. Ursula

Built on the ancient ruins of a Roman cemetery, where 11,000 virgins associated with the legend of Saint Ursula were supposedly buried. Inside the church is a reliquary featuring the bones of these martyred girls. The story of Saint Ursula is now considered to be fiction. It’s thought that there were originally 11 girls accompanying St. Ursula but over the years the letter M was mistaken for the Roman numeral for 1000.

Is Someone Watching Me?

In Gothic architecture, a gargoyle is a carved figure with spout to move water away from the building and prevent damage from rainwater eroding the mortar between the bricks.

A gargoyle is often times a fantastic creature, an animal or grotesque creation.

The French word gargouille which means throat or gullet leads to the name and gargoyle calls to mind the sound of the water rushing out it’s mouth as it gargles.

A carved figure that does not act as a rainspout is called a Chimera or grotesque.

The Ghosts Of St. Paul’s

Halloween is the perfect time of the year to experience a ghost tour. The city of London has a vast array of these tours, you can choose The Theater District, Jack The Ripper or any of a number of cool locations.

The Cathedral of St. Paul may be known the spot where Mary Poppins and the children meet the bird woman. But by night, the location takes on an eerie appearance.

The Whistler is St. Paul’s most well-known haunting. Many have seen the visage of an elderly clergyman accompanied by a tuneless whistle. Your best chance of meeting the clergyman is to visit the Cathedral’s west end. On the ground floor of the northwest tower. When the tower was rededicated after WWI, a previously hidden door was uncovered. This is the exact spot where the whistling cleric appears to fade into the wall.

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There are 2 other ghost stories captured by Irish writer and Ghost Hunter, Elliott O’Donnell. In one story an American couple experience a “great black cloud” that rose out of the floor and climbed 20 feet into the air before disappearing. They described the cloud as “alive'”.

O’Donnell’s second story involves a woman who was resting in the cathedral one afternoon. This woman spotted another woman in a pew in front of her. She seemed to be frantically looking for something. The first woman got up to help the woman, but on her way down the aisle she felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around to find no one behind and when she resumed her walk, the other woman had vanished.

Several days later, at the same time of day, the woman saw the figure of the woman once again. She rose to offer assistance but was once again stopped by a tap on her shoulder. Just as before, there was no one behind her and in front of her the woman was gone.

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LINKS:

Walking Tours of London

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Hey, Hey, We’re The Monks

No trip to Tallin, Estonia is complete without a visit to the Danish King’s Garden. Watching over the medieval walled garden are statues of faceless monks, Ambrosius, Bartholomeus and Claudius. The legend goes, that during a losing battle, the monks prayed for divine intervention on behalf of the Danish King. Out of the sky fell a large flag, which became the national flag of Denmark.

Estonia is also considered one of the most haunted places in Europe. The King’s Garden is said to be haunted by a monk, perhaps a former executioner having a change of heart.

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LINKS

Visit Estonia

Kronborg Slot

Standing guard high on a promontory in Helsingor, Kronborg Slot (Kronborg Castle) was the home of Denmark rulers until the 1600’s. CPH1_-141

In 1785, the castle was being fitted for use as army barracks. The chapel was outfitted as a gym and fencing hall. The chapel was later refurnished with the original furniture and reinaugurated in 1843

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Detail of the main entrance to the chapel. CPH1_-286The chapel features the original pews dating back to King Frederik II.CPH1_-287CPH1_-139CPH1_-138The casements deep beneath the castle are a unique experience. Dimly lit and at times a bit treacherous, the casements are fun to explore but watch your step.CPH1_-288This subterranean labyrinth is where you can meet Holger. According to the myth of King Arthur, a Danish king known as Holger the Dane, was kidnapped by the sorceress, Morgan le Fay and taken to Avalon. He escaped to rescue France from danger and then traveled to Kronborg castle. Today he sleeps until he is needed to save his homeland. CPH1_-289

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LINKS

Visit Denmark

Kronborg Wiki