老鹰起舞的地方 Where eagles dance
Haghartsin Monastery, Armenia
Hidden among the forests of northern Armenia, Haghartsin Monastery is a gem of medieval Armenian architecture. Surrounded by the lush landscapes of Dilijan National Park, the monastery complex consists of several ornate structures, including the Church of the Holy Mother of God, St. Gregory's Church, and St. Stepanos' Church. The buildings date back to the 10th century and are adorned with intricately carved stone monuments, crossing arches, and other decorative details, showcasing the skilled craftsmanship of the era. Haghartsin, which translates to 'dance of the eagles,' offers a serene escape for those seeking to connect with the country's rich history. A sense of timelessness pervades as you wander through its quiet courtyards and explore the forested surroundings.
一扇通向过去的窗 A cantilevered window to the past
Tintern Abbey, Wales
Set deep in a gorge of the UK's River Wye, Tintern Abbey has an enduring presence. Originally built in wood, this Gothic masterpiece in Monmouthshire, Wales, was rebuilt in stone in 1269. It was in use for centuries until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s, when Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church. The building fell into ruin but, as the centuries passed, word of its intricate stones and romantic, pastoral setting spread. From painter J. M. W. Turner to poet William Wordsworth, many artists were drawn to the abbey over the years. This majestic ruin is now a national icon on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, on the border between Wales and England. There's another abbey in County Wexford, Ireland, of the same name. Back in olden days, the one in Wales was often known as 'Tintern Major,' while the Ireland one was called 'Tintern de Voto' (Tintern of the Vow).
绝妙的对称性 Stunning symmetry
Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, England
Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds comprise a living, vibrant park, and just not because of their 14 acres of colorful displays and ornate flowerbeds—they have changed with the times, all while still jealously guarding their history. The site here in the county of Suffolk, in eastern England, was originally home to a powerful Benedictine Abbey in medieval times—in fact, 2022 marks the 1000th anniversary of the storied abbey. You can still visit the abbey ruins and marvel at the 14th-century Great Gate and Norman Tower, which have survived through the ages. Nathaniel Hodson took the original Abbey Gardens and designed them as a botanic garden in 1831, using the Royal Botanic Gardens in Brussels, with its concentric circles, as his inspiration.
A century later, the people of Bury St Edmunds saw the popular park's circular beds replaced by 64 island beds in honor of George VI's coronation, which they celebrated in 1937, all set off by specially designed illuminations. A water garden and rose garden added more dimensions to the park, followed by an herb garden (the monks of yesteryear would be happy) and a sensory garden for the visually impaired. Today, gardeners plant about 20,000 plants in the spring to dazzle summer visitors, and then they do the same with 12,000 plants and 20,000 bulbs each fall in anticipation of a colorful display the next spring.
伯里圣埃德蒙的修道院花园是一个充满活力的公园，但这并不是因为它们14英亩的彩色展示和华丽的花坛，它们随着时代的变化而变化，同时仍在嫉妒地守护着它们的历史。该遗址位于英格兰东部萨福克郡，中世纪时曾是一座强大的本笃会修道院的所在地。事实上，2022年是这座历史悠久的修道院的1000周年纪念日。你仍然可以参观修道院遗址，并惊叹于14世纪的大门和诺曼塔，它们历久弥新。1831年，纳撒尼尔·霍德森（Nathaniel Hodson）以布鲁塞尔皇家植物园（Royal botanic Gardens）及其同心圆为灵感，将修道院最初的花园设计为植物园。
一场光明正大的示爱 A very public display of affection
Sweetheart Abbey, Scotland
They say Paris is 'the city of love' but there's a lesser-known place where love is the whole reason it even exists. We're in a Scottish village now known as New Abbey, about 6 miles south of Dumfries. We've stepped inside the ruins of Sweetheart Abbey, the testament to a 13th-century love between a husband and wife. Founded in 1273 by 'lady of substance' Dervorguilla of Galloway, the abbey was constructed solely to commemorate her love for English nobleman John de Balliol upon his death in 1268.
Her devotion didn't end there, though. It's said she had his heart embalmed and placed into an ivory casket bound with silver. She then carried it with her everywhere she traveled for the rest of her life. Dervorguilla and the heart were eventually laid to rest alongside John at the abbey when she passed in 1290. As time progressed, sadly, the lovers' graves were lost to war.
The ruins of Sweetheart Abbey aren't the only remnants of this ancient love still standing today. Dervorguilla, far wealthier than her husband, paid off one of his debts after he died by founding Balliol College of the University of Oxford. She also provided the capital for a permanent endowment for the college, which still exists today—the history students' society is even called the Dervorguilla Society.
A gorge-ous spot for a monastery
Lace up your walking shoes and let’s head into the Hoces del Rio Duratón, in the Spanish region of Castile and León. This imposing 17-mile-long limestone gorge boasts towering vertical walls that can reach up to 100 metres high. The Duratón river which carved it meanders through a landscape rich in history and archaeological treasures.
Inside the cliffs are several caves with ancient paintings dating back to the Bronze Age, and a dark Visigothic grotto which is thought to be the first Christian temple in the region. Above one of the bends in the canyon sits a 12th century Romanesque church, just a few miles away from the ruins of the long-abandoned and isolated Franciscan monastery you see in our homepage image.
A monastery in the mountain
Built into the side of a mountain in the Azat Valley of Armenia, Geghard Monastery is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the country. The location of the monastery has been inhabited for millennia and venerated by locals since the pre-Christian era due to the spring which emanates from one of the caves in the mountainside. The monastery was originally founded in the 4th century by Saint Gregory the Illuminator—the patron saint of the Armenian church—though none of the original buildings survive.
The buildings comprising the existing complex were begun in the 13th century and are now regarded as some of the best-preserved examples of medieval Armenian architecture. But what really makes the complex unique are the monastic cells and chapels hewn directly into the mountain itself, with elaborate bas relief ornamentations and multiple exquisite examples of Armenian stone crosses, or 'khachkar,' throughout. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protections extend to both the monastery complex and the surrounding countryside, making a trip there an opportunity to step back into the medieval world.