Tuesday, 19 June 2018

41st Anniversary

The day of our Ordination, June 19, 1977
Today I celebrate 41 years since my ordination to the priesthood. We just had a retreat with my classmates, and tonight we will concelebrate Mass at my chapel here at Hilltop Gardens. I thank the Lord for giving us all these years to minister to the people God has entrusted in our care. We have plenty of memories as we reminisced through stories, anecdotes and recollections which remain indelible in our minds. 
An informal photo before our ordination with our Rector, Msgr Victor Grech.
I pray especially today for the parishioners I had served over the years: St. Julian’s Malta, Holy Spirit in New Hyde Park, NY, St. Anthony, Rocky Point, NY, Holy Family, Hicksville, NY, St Stanislaus Kostka, Pleasant Valley, NY, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, John Day, Oregon, St Francis de Sales Cathedral, Baker City, Oregon, St. Francis of Assisi, Bend, Oregon, and the last two years the community of Hilltop Gardens and Simblija Care Home in Naxxar, Malta.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

A modern litany to Mary

Mary, hope of our future.
Mary, model of endless waiting.
Mary, model of enduring patience.
Mary, help during our redemption from sin.
Mary, model of timely tolerance.
Mary, beautiful beyond anything ever created.
Mary, healer of all emotional pain.
Mary, consoler of the broken-hearted.
Mary, comforter of those hurt by unkind treatment.
Mary, example of perseverance and determination.
Mary, guide for those seeking a new beginning.
Mary, strength of all families.
Mary, source of much-needed spiritual stamina.
Mary, our Mother, pray for us.

My soccer career

As the World Cup is going on, and bringing millions of people together in a spirit of fair play and spectacular action, I want to go back in time and share with you three photos that describe my humble soccer career. Back in 1957, when I was just 5 years old, I used to be the ball-boy, also called mascot of the soccer team from my home town of St Julian’s members of the Catholic Action Society. I simply carried the ball and posed for pictures with the team, made up of young men, 4 of whom were uncles and cousins of mine.
The other photo is from my Seminary years where I used to organize a 7-a-side soccer league, encouraging all seminarians to participate. My intention was to involve as many as possible to play, even though some of the seminarians were far from athletic. In this photo from 1972 with 6 others, who are all priests, I was the goalkeeper, standing first on the left in a light-colored shirt.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Priorities

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar........and the beer. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty Space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix what is broekn. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."

Friday, 15 June 2018

World Cup 2018

The world is presently enraptured in following the final stages of the Soccer World Cup. It is being held in Russia and is held every 4 years, with many preliminary matches to be played to choose the final 32 teams. As of 2026, which will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico, the teams in the finals stages will be 48, obviously to crown one nation. Over the years, a few elite teams have won the top prize, including Brazil (5 times,) Germany (4 times,) Italy (4 times,) Argentina (twice,) Uruguay (twice,) Spain, France and England (once each.) My memories of World Cup frenzy goes back to my childhood years, starting from 1958 when Brazil beat Sweden in the final, and that’s when my father had bought a television set in black and white, and many of his friends used to come and watch the games. My biggest recollection is the 1966 edition which was held in England and won by England, as well as the 1970 edition held in Mexico, won by Brazil by beating Italy in the grand final. The favorites this year are Brazil, Germany, Spain and France. Unfortunately both Italy and the USA did not make it to the final stages. And please, don't look for Malta - we're too small to even win a game in the preliminary stages, although Iceland, with a smaller population than Malta, made it to the finals this year.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Sand and Stone

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE. They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE. The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you! , you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other friend replied "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it." LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Saint Anthony

St. Anthony of Padua was born August 15, 1195 near Lisbon, to a wealthy family and given the name Fernando. He was sent to the cathedral school in Lisbon, but in 1210, at the age of 15 he entered the Augustinian monastery of Sao Vicente in Lisbon, against the wishes of his family. But in their monastery near his native city he was distracted by visits from relatives and friends. After two years, Fernando asked to be transferred. He was sent to Holy Cross in Coimbra, a great center of learning and capital of Portugal at that time. He devoted the next eight years of his life to study and prayer, immersing himself in Sacred Scripture. When news of the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco reached him, he joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. At his own request, he was sent as a missionary to Morocco with the mission of preaching among the Moors. He had to return to Europe because of ill health. After this, St Anthony was moved to Romagna (Italy) and spent 9 months as a chaplain to hermits. He was so modest that he thought nothing of spending his days carrying on the lowliest duties of the kitchen and convent. But the Lord had bigger plans for this holy man. At an ordination ceremony, the priest who was about to give the sermon fell ill suddenly and St Anthony was called upon to give the sermon in his place. Although he refused with humility at first, he eventually had to do so because of his vow of obedience to his superior. He delivered a very moving and impressive sermon. He worked very close to St Francis of Assisi, and is probably the second best known Franciscan in history.
St Anthony distributing the bread - Willem Van Herp
The last two years of his life he spent in Padua, preaching, hearing confessions and working to help the poor. St. Anthony died on June 13th, 1231 at Arcella, a suburb of Padua in the apartment reserved for the chaplain of the sisterhood of Poor Clares of Arcella. There he received the last rites and died. He was only 36. Saint Anthony was canonized in 1232 by Pope Gregory IX and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. He holds the record for the second fastest canonization in history: he was declared a saint 352 days after his death. In 1263, a basilica was built in his honor. He was above all the greatest preacher of the middle ages and one of the finest orators of all time. Today he is one of the most famous saints and is often called upon by Catholics to help find lost possessions. Saint Anthony of Padua is usually sculpted or portrayed holding the child Jesus, or a lily or a book, or all three, in his arms.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Play with words

A 'Lexophile' is a person who has a love for words, and creates sentences such as "you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish", or "To write with a broken pencil is pointless." An annual competition is held by the New York Times to see who can create the best original sentence. Here are some of the entries:
 
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He's all right now.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired.
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Saint Barnabas

St. Barnabas, whose feast we celebrate today was a great friend of St. Paul, and accompanied him on many of his missionary journeys he did after his conversion. He was born in Cyprus and was originally named Joseph. But when he joined the apostles and became a beloved disciple, they gave him the name Barnabas, which means ‘Son of Encouragement.’ In fact he was the person who introduced Paul to the other apostles. He joined them in his mission of preaching and baptizing new Christians. On some of his journeys they even had St. Mark with them. But on his journey to Rome, when St Paul being shipwrecked on Malta, he had St Luke with him. But Paul and Barnabas worked very well together and many people used to call them Hermes and Zeus, referring to two Greek Gods. It is said that Barnabas could be the author of the letter to the Hebrews, because it has a completely different style from the other letters which Paul wrote. He took part in the Council of Jerusalem and was influential in introducing the Orthodox church in Cyprus, where he was unfortunately martyred there in 61 AD. Barnabas worked close to sailors and cloth merchants while in Cyprus, and in Famagusta, there is a big monastery dedicated to him. He is of course the patron saint of Cyprus. His life teaches us to be companions to each other, especially those who are gifted with similar talents. There are people who are gifted to work with young children, others to work with youth, yet others to work with the elderly. And then there are others like myself, who always worked well with the young and the old.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

6 Sins against the Holy Spirit

The Gospel today speaks about the sins against the Holy Spirit, and since I shared them with the people during my 5 homilies this weekend, here they are for you to ponder on, especially since we sometimes take them for granted. Here they are with a brief description:
1.      Despair – when you give up all hope, leading sometimes to suicide. Remember that everything is forgivable, and God is ever merciful.
2.      Presumption – when you think that you can save your life without observing the Commandments, and without following the rules of the church.
3.      Jealousy – when you crave for what other people have, instead of being happy with the blessings God gave you.
4.      Persistence in sin – when you keep repeating the same sins without having any remorse or desire to repent, or change your lifestyle.
5.      Death without repentance – when you’re nearing the end of your life and still refuse to be reconciled with the church, refusing even confession and communion on your death bed.
6.      Denying the truth – when you keep refusing to accept the teachings of the church, as well as other duties and obligations we have, like accepting the gift of life from the first moment of conception.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Colorful Umbrellas

A very colorful street was on display in the village of Zabbar, Malta, as they celebrate a festive celebration called 'CrossRoads,' It is estimated that 1500 colored umbrellas were hanging along some of the streets, connecting two popular and partisan Band Clubs, but thankfully brought together today for this unifying occasion. Unfortunately when I went to feast on a few photos this morning, all the umbrellas were closed up. When I asked why they were not opened, I was told because it was windy! It was a gorgeous day with a slight breeze that was hardly discernible, but I am sure they will open them tonight when the climax of the celebration is being held.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes back at least to the 11th century, but through the 16th century, it remained a private devotion, often tied to devotion to the Five Wounds of Christ. The first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated on August 31, 1670, in Rennes, France, through the efforts of Fr. Jean Eudes. From Rennes, the devotion spread, but it took the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for the devotion to become universal. In all of these visions, in which Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus played a central role. The "great apparition," which took place on June 16, 1675, during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, is the source of the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart. In that vision, Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them. The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not simply His physical heart but His love for all mankind. The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity.
The devotion became quite popular after St. Margaret Mary's death in 1690, but, because the Church initially had doubts about the validity of St. Margaret Mary's visions, it wasn't until 1765 that the feast was celebrated officially in France. Almost 100 years later, in 1856, Pope Pius IX, at the request of the French bishops, extended the feast to the universal Church. It is celebrated on the day requested by our Lord - the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, or 19 days after Pentecost Sunday. Normally on the following day, on Saturday the church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us appreciate and cherish the love that Jesus has for each and every one of us, and maybe we can reciprocate some of that love to others.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Remembering Bobby Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)
We remember this week the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th U.S. Attorney General and as US Senator for New York until his assassination in June 1968. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the seventh child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. After serving in the US Naval Reserves as a seaman apprentice from 1944 to 1946, Kennedy returned to Harvard University and graduated in 1948. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1951. He was the US Attorney General between January 20, 1961 and September 3, 1964. He became the US Senator for New York from January 3, 1965 – June 6, 1968. In 1968, Kennedy was a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency; he appealed especially to poor, African American, Hispanic, Catholic and young voters. He had defeated Senator Eugene McCarthy in the California and South Dakota presidential primaries. Shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, Kennedy was mortally wounded by Shirhan Shirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, because he had advocated American support for Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War.
Bobby and Ethel with 10 of their children
Bobby was married to Ethel and they had 11 children, with his wife being pregnant with their 11 th child when he was killed. Kennedy's Catholicism was central to his politics and personal attitude to life and its purpose; he inherited his faith from his family. He was more religious than his brothers and approached his duties with a Catholic worldview. Throughout his life, he made reference to his faith, how it informed every area of his life, and how it gave him the strength to re-enter politics following his older brother's assassination.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Secret

One day, one friend asked another, “How is it that you are always so happy? You have so much energy, and you never seem to get down.”
With her eyes smiling, she said, “I know the Secret!”
“What secret is that?”
To which she replied, “I’ll tell you all about it, but you have to promise to share the Secret with others.” The Secret is this:
I have learned there is little I can do in my life that will make me truly happy. I must depend on God to make me happy and to meet my needs. When a need arises in my life, I have to trust God to supply according to HIS riches. I have learned most of the time I don’t need half of what I think I do. He has never let me down. Since I learned that `Secret’, I am happy.”
The questioner’s first thought was, ‘That’s too simple!’ But upon reflecting over her own life she recalled how she thought a bigger house would make her happy, but it didn’t! She thought a better paying job would make her happy, but it hadn’t. When did she realize her greatest happiness? Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren, playing games, eating pizza or reading a story, walking barefoot on the sand with a friend, not looking at her cell-phone for a whole day, listening to a Mozart symphony, enjoying a sunset, looking up close at flowers, playing with a puppy or kitten, praying in church, a simple gift from God.
Now you know it too! We can’t depend on PEOPLE to make us happy. Only GOD in His infinite wisdom can do that. Trust HIM! And now I pass the Secret on to you! Remember that GOD in His wisdom will take care of YOU!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

God will provide

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old shotgun and three bullets.  So, he decided that he would go out and kill something for dinner.  As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit and he shot at the rabbit and missed it. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it.  As he went further, he saw a wild turkey in the tree and he had only one bullet, but a voice came to him and said "pray first, aim and stay focused."However, at the same time, he saw a deer which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.  But, then he saw a rattlesnake at his feet, about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake.  Still, the voice said again to him, "I said, pray, aim high and stay focused."  So, the man decided to listen to the voice. He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey as it flew away. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer.  The handle fell off the gun, hit the snake in the head and killed it and, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond.  When he stood to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and a turkey to eat. The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.
The lesson for today: Pray first, before you do anything, aim and shoot high for your goals, and stay focused on God.  

Monday, 4 June 2018

Famous Landmarks - part 5

This is the last part of our famous landmarks, with the years it took to build and the year it was built, besides the name of the main builder.
Sydney Opera House – 14 years – 1959 – Jorn Utzon
-          The roof is covered with more than one million tiles, and boasts 6,255 square meters of glass, and 645 kilometres of electric cable.
The Space Needle, Seattle – 1 year – 1961 – Edward Carlson and John Graham Jr.
-          The structure weighs about 5850 tons and its foundation reach 120 square feet underground.
Millennium Dome, London – 4 years – 1997 – Richard Rogers
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 3 years – 1993 – Cesar Pelli
-          A double-decker bridge connects the two towers at the 41st and 42nd floors.
Louvres Pyramids, Paris -6 years – 1983 – Ieoh Ming Pei
Burj Khalifa, Dubai – 2 years – 2004 – Adrian Smith
-          At 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa holds a number of titles, including the tallest building in the world.
The Shard, London – 3 years – 2009 – Renzo Piano
-          Angled glass panes reflect sunlight and the sky, so that the appearance of the building changes according to the weather and seasons.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Corpus Christi

Main altar at Naxxar church, decorated for Corpus Christi.
A special day dedicated to honoring the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament. All churches in Malta put on their best outfit today to emphasize the importance of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Most churches hold processions usually in the evening, through the streets of local towns and villages. The processions were started by St Juliana of Liege who in around 1200 she had a vision from Jesus encouraging her to start a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She went to speak to her Belgian Bishop, Jacques Pantaleon, who told her to pray about it. Eventually he was elected as Pope Urban IV and gave her permission to start a procession with the Eucharist, a tradition that has continued ever since. St Juliana died in 1258 in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. At the same time, the Pope encouraged a Dominican monk, St Thomas Aquinas to write some Eucharistic hymns, and he wrote Pange Lingua, Tantum Ergo, O Salitaris Hostia, Lauda Sion Salvatorem, and other popular hymns.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Famous Landmarks - part 4

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janiero – 9 years – 1922 – Heitor da Silva Costa and Paul Landowski
-          The 635 ton structure is located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – 14 years – 1927 – Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum
-          The heads of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the first 130 years of American history.
Chrysler Building, New York – 2 years – 1928 – William Van Alen
-          At 1046 feet, it’s the tallest brick building in the world, and is considered an art deco masterpiece.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – 4 years – 1933 – Joseph Strauss, Charles Ellis and Irving Morrow
Empire State Building, New York – 2 years – 1929 – William Lamb
-          The static electricity is so strong at the top of the building that people on the observatory floor can see sparks when they kiss.
Atomium, Brussels – 4 years – 1954 – Andre Waterkeyn and Andre & Jean Polak
-          Built for the World’s Fair of Brussels, the Atomium is a symbol of peace and scientific progression.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Famous Landmarks - part 3

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – 23 years – 1869 – Eduard Riedel
-          This castle was left unfinished although it was originally built for King Ludwig II. It served as the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
Sacre Coeur, Paris – 39 years – 1875 – Paul Abadie
-          The Sacre Coeur bell tower is home to a Savoyarde bell, one of the world’s largest bells.
Statue of Liberty, New York – 9 years – 1875 – Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
-          There are 354 steps up to the crown which features 25 windows with a spectacular view of New York. Lady Liberty herself wears pretty large sandals, size 879!
Eiffel Tower, Paris – 2 years – 1887 – Stephen Sauvestre
-          The tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and is the tallest structure in France.
Tower Bridge, London – 8 years – 1887 – Sir Horace Jones
-          London’s iconic bridge can be opened to 86 degrees to allow everyday river traffic to pass.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Visitation

'The Visitation' from the parish church in Gharb, Gozo, Malta
The month of May, dedicated to the Blessed Mother ends with another feast of Mary, precisely her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. It was also the first encounter between Jesus and John the Baptist, even though they were still in their mothers’ respective wombs. As was customary, the younger woman would visit the older one and Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months, helping her with chores, while chatting and praying over their upcoming blessed event. Who knows what they talked about....asking questions that any prospective mother would ask another mother....”What are you gonna name the baby? ......is he kicking yet?........is the crib ready?.....how many more weeks for the delivery?........”

This feast also encourages us to focus on the spirit of visits. People visit each other frequently, as families vacation and go on holidays while stopping at homes and places where they know they would be welcome. How hospitable are we to guests who stop by to visit us? How gracious are we when we visit friends? Do we check to see if we are imposing on them? How about visiting elderly people, like grandparents, uncles and aunts who may be very lonely? Do we set a good example when friends visit us? Do we invite them to attend church with us on a weekend, or are we embarrassed to take them to Mass with us? You may be surprised how honored they would feel when you introduce them to the church and parish community? I can tell you that this is how most converts are made, when they visit a church and get ‘hooked’ by something special they see, a message in the homily, or any other event that may seem insignificant for you, but not for your friends and guests.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Famous Landmarks - part 2

Taj Mahal, India – 21 years – 1632 – Ustad Ahmad Lahauri
-          close to 20,000 people worked on its construction.
Branderburg Gate, Berlin – 3 years – 1788 – Carl Gotthard Langhans
-          the Brandenburg Gate as inspired by the Acropolis in Athens. It features a sculpture of a four horse-driven chariot by Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory.
The White House, Washington DC – 13 years – 1792 – James Hoban
-          during the American civil war, the British Army destroyed much of the White House, causing it to be reconstructed. Today it takes 570 gallons of paint  to cover the outside of the White House.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona – unfinished – started 1832 – Antoni Gaudi
-          By the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926, the church was  left only 25% complete. The building is estimated to be complete between 2026 and 2028, the centenary of his death.
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London – 30 years – 1840 – Charles Barry

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Famous landmarks - part 1

Here are some famous landmarks and how long it took to have them built, and the year when they were finished, as well as the main builder:
Leaning Tower of Pisa  - 199 years – 1172 – Bonanno Pisano
-          although it was originally designed to be straight, the towers leans at about 3.99 degrees. In total it has 297 steps leading to the top of it.
St Peter’s Basilica, Rome – 144 years – 1506 – Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini
-          the original basilica of St Peters was built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. The building is home to more than 100 tombs, 91 of which belong to previous popes. There are 551 steps if you want to climb to the top of the cupola, from where you can get a panoramic view of Rome.
St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow – 123 years – 1555 – Barma and Postnik
-          the Cathedral’s full name is ‘The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat.’ It was originally commissioned by Ivan the Terrible.
St Paul’s Cathedral, London – 36 years – 1675 – Sir Christopher Wren
Buckingham Palace, London – 23 years - 1702 – John Nash and Sir Aston Webb
-          It was originally built as Buckingham House in 1702. The first monarch to live in the palace  was Queen Victoria. However during World War II, while King George VI was King, the palace suffered 9 bomb hits.