Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse: Blog en-us (C) Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:31:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:31:00 GMT Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse: Blog 120 120 Day Thirty Saint Peter's Basilica Rome My final day - Wow what a trip. Today I visited Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

The Centre of the Roman Catholic faith, St. Peter's draws pilgrims from all over the world. Few are disappointed when they enter the sumptuously decorated basilica beneath Michelangelo's vast dome. A shrine was erected on the site of St. Peter's tomb in the 2and century and the first great basilica, ordered by the Emperor Costantine, was completed around AD 349.

By the 15th century it was falling down, so in 1506 Pope Julius II laid the first stone of a new church. It took more than a century to build and all the great architects of the Roman Renaissance and Baroque had a hand in its design.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Here you can see Saint Peter's in the bottom right through the pillars that surround the square.

Saint Peter's Basilica

The following images are just a few of the many I took as I spent several hours exploring with my camera the beauty of this magnificent structure.

Picture below: The Basilica centers around the Papal Altar where only the Pope celebrates Mass. It was consecrated by Clement VIII, June 5, 1594, on top of several other older altars.

Rising above the altar is the baldacchino (95ft. canopy), Bernini's masterpiece and first work in St. Peter's. The ancient tomb of St. Peter lies directly below the altar.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Here three of the six candles and a cross that are on Papal Alter table.  In behind you can see St. Helen. She was the mother of Constantine. She converted to Christianity and performed many acts of charity, including building churches in Rome and in the Holy Land.

Legend has it that on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, St. Helen discovered the True Cross.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Chapel of the Pieta

This is probably the world's most famous sculpture of a religious subject. Michelangelo carved it when he was 24 years old, and it is the only one he ever signed. The beauty of its lines and expression leaves a lasting impression on everyone.

Saint Peter's Basilica


This ancient statue of St. Peter, portrayed as he gives a blessing and preaches, while holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven is famous throughout the world. Some scholars have attributed it to Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302), but others believe that it is a V century casting.

Saint Peter's Basilica

Pilgrims who come to the Basilica traditionally touch and kiss its foot, so that it is literally worn thin. In the Middle Ages pilgrims who reached Rome, touched and kissed the foot of the statue and prayed to St. Peter asking that he be merciful and open the gates of heaven for them if they died during the pilgrimage.

Saint Peter's Basilica


The Ceilings of the basilica are a feast for the eyes.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Under the Altar of St. Jerome is the resting site for the body of Bl. John XXIII. He is the 48th pope who rest in the basilica.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Monument to Pius VIII

The Pope is show kneeling, accompanied by a statue of Christ enthroned, with statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. The allegories are Prudence and Justice.

He was imprisoned in 1808 during the French domination of Italy for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon.

He approved the decrees of the Council of Baltimore (October 1829), the first formal meeting of US bishops.

Under the monument is a door leading to the Sacristy and Treasury Museum. In this passage is a list of all the popes buried in St. Peter's.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Here is the list of all the popes buried in Saint Peter's.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Statues made by man must be cleaned by man.

St. Veronica, according to pious tradition, was the woman who wiped the face of Jesus during the Way of the Cross.

The Relics of the Passion, kept in the loggia above, include a scrap of material with the imprint of a bearded man brought from Jerusalem in the crusades, believed to be Veronica's veil. Under this pier (statue), Pope Julius II laid the first stone of the new basilica on April 18, 1506.

Saint Peter's Basilica


The Monument of Pius VII (1800-1823) occupies part of the left wall of the Clementine Chapel. He was the Pope imprisoned by Napoleon and exiled to Fontainebleau. After his liberation, he did all he could for the emperor exiled at Sant' Elena and helped his elderly mother. The weary Pontiff is seated majestically on his throne and is blessing all, friends and enemies. The monument is the work of the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), Roman by adoption. Beside the Pontiff are two allegorical figures: the Genius of time and History, intent on recording the Pope's achievements with the hourglass and a book; on the pedestal are another two statues which represent Fortitude, with the lion skin, and Wisdom, with the book and the owl.

Saint Peter's Basilica


A close-up of the weary Pontiff. He is seated majestically on his throne and is blessing all, friends and enemies.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Just to the right of the popes statue is a woman that represents wisdom, with the book in hand and an owl at her feet.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Here is the ceiling and dome above the Monument of Pius VII (1800-1823).

Saint Peter's Basilica


There were several confessionals throughout the basilica.

Saint Peter's Basilica


Another spectacular dome that is located above the Chapel of the Baptistery, one of the basilica's most beautiful chapels and built after a design by Carlo Fontana (1634-1714). In the center is the baptismal font, still used on Sundays to administer the sacrament of baptism.

The dome is decorated with mosaics, from originals by Francesco Trevisani da Capodistria. In the spandrels are portrayed the races of the four continents which became Christian: Europe, Asia, Africa, America. In the lunettes are various baptismal scenes: Jesus baptizes Peter, St. Peter baptizes the Centurion Cornelius, St. Philip baptizes the Eunuch of Queen Candace, St. Silvester baptizes Constantine, and several symbols of baptism: Moses causes the water to spring from the rock, Noah prays before the rainbow of the Covenant.

Bottom Right - Africa

Bottom Left  - America

Top Left - Asia

Top Right - Europe

Saint Peter's Basilica



Lit up In the distance is the Main Tribune (or apse) and holds the Cathedra Petri (St Peter's Throne).  In the middle under the dome is the Papal Altar that is covered by a canopy with four pillars that support it. Below it is the tomb is Peter.

Saint Peter's Basilica


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Arnolfo di Cambio Baldacchino Bertel Thorvaldsen Carlo Fontana Chapel of the Pieta Clementine Chapel Italy Michelangelo Monument to Pius VIII Papal Altar Pillars Pius VII Pope Pope Bl. John XXIII Pope Julius II Rome Saint Peter's Saint Peter's Tomb St. Helen St. Jerome St. Peter St. Peter's Vatican City basilica canopy ceiling church cleaning statue list of popes monument sculpture statue Thu, 13 Dec 2012 23:01:43 GMT
Day Twenty Nine, Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus, Rome Back to the colosseum... Time to inside and capture the icon of Rome.

Note: Day Twenty Eight was a rain day and blog & computer work catch-up day.

The Roman Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commisioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian.
The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level.

Vespesian ordered the Colosseum to be build on the site of Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea, to dissociate himself from the hated tyrant.
His aim was to gain popularity by staging deadly combats of gladiators and wild animal fights for public viewing. Massacre was on a huge scale: at inaugural games in AD 80, over 9,000 wild animals were killed.


Here is a view from the other end... A partial floor has been built over corridors and rooms that once was under the colosseum floor. The floor in ancient times was covered in sand to obsorb the blood.


Animals and gladiators were held and waited their turn under the colosseum floor.


Roman gladiators were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Most were men, but there were a few female gladiators. These combats were attended by the poor, the rich, and frequently the emperor himself. As gladiators fought, vicious cries and curses were heard from the audience around the Roman Colosseum. One contest after another was staged in the course of a single day. Should the ground become too soaked with blood, it was covered over with a fresh layer of sand and the performance went on.

The ancient support structures for the colosseum seating protrude like gigantic ribs throughout the arena.


below you can see original seats that once encompassed the colosseum.


Not only was the structure very intriguing and entertaining but some of the visitors as well.


The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity progressively put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans.


Sad to see so much defacing of historic monuments.  this is part of the interior colosseum wall near the exit.


Here the young man that accompanied me from the Italian bible college for a day was happy to help me create a meaningful picture. You can see the colosseum in the background.


The Roman Forum was once the focus of political, social, legal and commercial life.

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the central area of the city around which ancient Rome developed. Here was where commerce, business, prostitution, cult and the administration of justice took place. Space where religious activities were conducted and the communal hearth of the city.

The Roman Forum was designed by the architect Vitruvius with proportions 3:2 (length to width). For centuries, the Forum Romanum was the site of the city's most important public buildings, such as the Arch of Septimius Severus, built in AD203 and the Roman Forum Rostra or platforms for public speeches. The reliefs on the triple arch represented many of Rome's victories over oriental tribes and the Rostra was decorated with prows of warships captured during battles. The Roman Forum became the spectacular showcase of the Roman Empire filled with beautiful statues and architecture.

The main sight of the Forum include the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn (seen in the photo below), Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by the Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum.


Circus Maximus “Largest chariot racing and sports arena of Ancient Rome”

Below you can see the west end of the remains of the first and largest stadium for public games built in the entire Roman Empire, and the model that inspired many more since.

At over 2,000 feet long and nearly 400 feet wide, and accommodating more than 150,000 spectators, it continues to hold the prestigious title as the world’s largest stadium ever built. Famously known for its death defying chariot racing, the stadium also hosted gladiatorial games, animal hunts, plays, religious and public ceremonies, parades, and elaborate parades. Today, all that survives from the stadium is its outline with the spina in the center, and over time it’s been transformed into a public park with a spectacular view of the once prestigious Palatine hill behind it.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Arches Domitian Emperor Vespasian Flavian Amphitheatre Italy Reynold Mainse Roman Forum Rome Temple of Saturn acient arena bible circus Maximus colosseum cross fights floor gladiator hands protective masks sands seats spectators titus Thu, 13 Dec 2012 20:59:03 GMT
Day Twenty Seven,Vittoriano, Mamertine, Rome I returned to the monument "il Vittoriano" built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. I took the opportunity this time to go in it and "ON" it.  You can see two soldiers on either side of the tomb of the unknown soldier.


Inside of the building was an alter or sorts that honoured 4 saints.


from on top of the roof of the Il VittorianoI could see most of Rome.  To the south I could see the colosseum .


On either side of the roof-top viewing area was the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. 


Just beneath me to the south was the roof of Saint Maria In Aracoeli.


And you can see below the ceiling of Saint Maria In Aracoeli.


This known as the Mamertine prison. tradition tells us that Paul and Peter both were held in this prison before they were martyred.

Upon entering the city of Rome, "Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment" (Acts 27:1) handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. "Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him." (Acts 28:16).

to read more on this Paul time in prison in Rome - Click this sentence.

The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami now stands above the Mamertine.


There was only one entrance and exit from the prison below... You can see the hole in the stone floor where Paul and Peter were dropped into.


Here is the holding cell.  It is said that Paul was chained to the pole at the back of the room.


On the main floor a sculpture of Paul and Peter is protected behind bars.  Who do think is holding is Keys, and who is holding the sword?


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Acts 28:16 Il Vittoriano In Mamertine prison Paul Peter Saint Maria in Aracoeli Saint Paul Saint Peter San Giuseppe dei Falegnami Victor Emmanuel alter apostile ceiling church colosseum goddess Victoria quadrigas"Saint roof top tomb of the unknown soldier Tue, 11 Dec 2012 15:50:18 GMT
Day Twenty Six Rome I saw this "slender" church / university... and had to take the photo.  The name on the fence is Pontificia Studiorum Universitas.


This is a statue with yet another obelisk taken from Egypt. It is situated out front of the presidents residence. The name of the fountain is 'Fontana dei Dioscuri'.


The Quirinal Palace (known in Italian as the Palazzo del Quirinale or simply Quirinale) is a historic building in Rome. It is the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the tallest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic.


The church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti, often called merely the Trinità dei Monti (French: La Trinité-des-Monts) is a late Renaissance titular church in Rome, central Italy. It is best known for its commanding position above the Spanish Steps which lead down to the Piazza di Spagna. The church and its surrounding area (including the Villa Medici) are the property of the French State.


Inside on the immediate left is a sculpture - Deposition by Daniele da Volterra


The birth of Jesus / Jesus' circumcision / The Three Wise Men meeting Jesus


As the sun just set I found myself in a good position to photograph Saint Peters Basilica of Vatican City.

Saint Peter's Basilica, the world's largest church. The opulence of the building's interior bears testimony to the wealth of the catholic church in the 16th century.

In the early 4th century, Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, ordered to build a basilica on Vatican Hill. The location was symbolic: this was the place where Saint Peter, the chief apostle, was buried in 64 AD. A small shrine already existed on the site but it was now replaced by a large church building. The new basilica, consecrated in 326 AD, was completed around 349 AD.
The New Basilica - In the middle of the 15th century, the basilica was falling into ruin and pope Nicolas V ordered the restoration and enlargement of the church after plans by Bernardo Rossellino. After Nicolas V died, works were halted. In 1506 pope Julius II laid the first stone of a new basilica which was to become the largest in the world.


Here is the same setting but 35 minutes after the sun set.  If you're wondering... This is a time exposures of 85 seconds at F/22 and an ISO of 50 with 95mm focal length.


The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the Gods") is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome. It is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. It has been in continuous use throughout its history. Although the identity of the Pantheon's primary architect remains uncertain, it is largely assigned to Apollodorus of Damascus. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church.

The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind)

The interior of the roof was probably intended to symbolize the arched vault of the heavens. The Great Eye at the dome's apex is the source of all light and is symbolic of the sun. Its original circular bronze cornice remains in position. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. As wind passes over the dome of the Pantheon, it is accelerated and creates a negative pressure zone called the Venturi effect. This pulls air out of the oculus at the top of the dome, drawing more air in from the portico entrance.


The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide,[1] it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

the bas-reliefs above the three main statues represent the virgin of the legend pointing out the spring to the soldiers, and Agrippa, approving the plans for the aqueduct. The four statues above represent the Seasons with their gifts. At the summit is the coat-of-arms of the Corsini family, with two allegorical figures... yes I have all these photo close up.

Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains, and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei – but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732, and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Clement's death, when Pietro Bracci's Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche.


The statues in the centre represent Neptune the god of water.


In the side niches are figures of Health (the photo below) and Abundance (not seen in my blog), both by F.Della Valle.


Two giant tritons conduct the winged chariot of Neptune-Ocean. 

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Ancient Deposition by Daniele da Volterra Fontana dei dioscuri Italy Neptune Obelisk Palazzo del Quirinale Pantheon Pontificia Studiorum Universitas President's residence Quirinal Hill Quirinal Palace Quirinale Rome Saint Peters Basilica Sunset Trevi Fountain Trinità dei Monti Tritons Vatican City church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti winged chariot Sun, 09 Dec 2012 22:24:17 GMT
Day Twenty Five, colosseum, Vittoriano, Rome "Hey where did day Twenty Four go?" well, I did not take any photos as it was a travel day from Greece to Italy.

My first day in Rome was exciting as it seemed that everywhere I went there was another historical site to capture me... as I capture it.   The weather made it difficult at times to get my shots. However, as you will later in this blog... Stormy weather accompanied by hail sometime gets you very dramatic light.

The Roman Colosseum is a tremendous amphitheater, the embodiment of both the grandeur and cruelty of the great Roman Empire. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum hosted spectacular games that included gladiator exhibitions, fights between animals, prisoner executions and - strangely enough - naval battles. Untold thousands of humans and animals met their ends within one of the most popular attractions in Rome.

The Colosseum's name is derived from a bronze colossus of Nero that once stood nearby, though it disappeared sometime during the Middle Ages and has largely been forgotten. Construction was begun by Emperor Vespasian and completed by his sons in the late first century. The arena floor was covered with sand to soak up the blood shed by those humans and animals unlucky enough to find themselves in its center. Its elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner and allowed the spectators to be closer to the action than a circular arena would allow - the design of the Colosseum in Rome has influenced nearly every modern venue.


I photographed this through one of the many crowd entrances into the colosseum.  If you look closely you can see the rain coming down.


The Arch of Constantine is located in Rome and forms part of the Colloseum, Piazzale del Colosseo. It is believed to have been constructed around 315 but the architect is unknown. 


Foundations of an ancient structure can be seen laid out in an orderly fashion in the grass in front of the Arch of Constantine and  Colloseum.


Santi Luca e Martina is a church in Rome, situated between the Roman Forum and the Forum of Caesar and close to the Arch of Septimus Severus.


Trojan column and the churches of Santa Maria di Loreto on the right.


The National Monument to Victor Emmanuel or Altar of the Fatherland or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is also the place that houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The large and busy monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935. The structure is 443 ft wide and 230 ft high.
The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Reunification. In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof for 360 degree views of Rome.


The monument is built of white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel.


 There are two statues on each pinnacle of the building of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas.


the churches of Santa Maria di Loreto is lit up by the sunset beneath the stormy sky.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Arch of Constantine Empire Gladiator Goddess Victoria Piazzale del Colosseo Quadrigas Roman Colosseum Rome Santi Luca e Martina Trojan Column Victor Emmanuel Vittoriano amphitheater church church of Santa Maria di Loreto colosseum dome executions italy roman Sun, 09 Dec 2012 20:06:17 GMT
Day Twenty Three, Athens, Greece Last day in Greece... Thought I would go back to the city of Athens and visit the many places I didn't get to the week prior.  I took the bus and then the train and ended up in the heart of the city.

Below, you can see the Agora Museum. It displays finds and artefacts from the site of the Ancient Agora of Athens. It is also located within the reconstructed ancient building of the Stoa of Attalos. Originally constructed in the mid-second century BC, the Stoa of Attalos - once a popular shopping precinct and meeting place - is named after the king who built it, Attalos II of Pergamum.

At the far end a lady takes a photo of a cult statue of Apollo Patroos (4th century BC) that was found near the temple of Apollo.


The Temple of Hephaestus overlooked the potters and metalworkers of the Ancient Agora (market place) below it.


Some of the carvings on the Tower of the Winds in what was a Roman Agora (market place).


Here you can see the stairs that Paul would have walked on leading up to the Areopagus also known as Mars Hill. It is a bare marble hill next to the Acropolis seen in the near distance. It is known to christians as the place where Paul the Apostle revealed to the people of Athens who the unknown God was. Acts 17

Here is a photo below showing The Erechtheion (Seen on top of the acropolis). It is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis. In the foreground you can see the Areopagus or Mars Hill.


Hellenic Parliament

Although during the Greek Revolution a number of National Assemblies had been held, the first national parliament of the independent Greek state was established only in 1843, after the September 3rd Revolution, which forced King Otto to grant a constitution.

In 1911, a revision of the constitution resulted in stronger human rights, the reinforcement of the Rule of Law and the modernization of institutions, among them the parliament. After seven years of military dictatorship, on 8 December 1974, a referendum was conducted to decide about the nature of the form of government. By a majority of 69.18%, the Greeks decided against a constitutional monarchy and voted for a parliamentary republic.

Above you see the two Evzones soldiers that once an hour do a most interesting march... I'm sure to entertain the visitors but also to stretch their legs as the rest of the hour they are not allowed to move a muscle.

The Evzones, or Evzoni, is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Presidential Guard, an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (seen at the base of the wall), the Presidential Mansion and the gate of Evzones camp. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centres during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 meters (6' 1.2") to join.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Agora Agora Museum Apostle Areopagus Athens Erechtheion Evzones Evzoni Greece Greek Temple Hellenic Mars Hill Parliament Paul Roman Stoa of Attalos Tower of the winds ancient building pillars temple of Hephaestus unknown god Tue, 04 Dec 2012 22:11:07 GMT
Day Twenty Two Greece Rain, overcast and I needed a break to get caught up on blogs and sleep, and... it was Sunday - a day of rest


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Tue, 04 Dec 2012 19:07:15 GMT
Day Twenty One, Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki is right on the Ocean and though is was an overcast day there was something interesting at every turn.


This structure that sits next to the shore is called the White Tower and was at one time a prison.  The White Tower was built in the middle of the 15th century. Now it is a 6 floor museum.


Thessaloniki has been built on ancient ruins, some of which are being unearthed.


The remains of a fortification wall and entrance which was built in the times of the Byzantine Empire. History is depicted on the walls as a reminder to all that pass through.




The 4th century AD Rotunda of Galerius, one of several Roman monuments in the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here is the dome of the Rotunda.



As I was driving back to Athens the famous Mount Olympus was before me.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Mount Olympus Rotunda Rotunda of Galerius Thessalonica Thessaloniki Unesco world heritage site arches church dome pigeons wall white tower Sun, 02 Dec 2012 20:26:49 GMT
Day Twenty, Philippi, Neapolis, Kavala, Greece I really enjoyed my visit to Philippi. There was much to see and photograph.

Archaeological work has revealed a large and well-preserved forum, a theater, the alleged jail of Paul and several Byzantine churches, including one of the earliest churches known in Greece.  The number of churches in the city in the Byzantine period indicate Philippi's importance to Christians at this time.  A series of earthquakes apparently destroyed many of the buildings and probably contributed to the city's decline.


The Philippi Theater


You can see here about 1/4 of the excavations.  


Directly in front where the closest pillars are was a Temple and off in the distance was a basilica. 


Here is "Basilica B"


Inscription in western Philippi mentioning the Province of Macedonia.


I found this spear and shield fascinating.  I was once adorning the outside of a building just under the peak of the roof.


Philippi apparently had only a small number of Jewish inhabitants and no synagogue. Consequently Shabbat worship was held outside the city on the Gangitis River.  Here Paul met a group of women to whom he preached the gospel.  Lydia, a merchant trading purple cloth, believed Paul's message and was baptized with members of her household.  Subsequently Paul went and lived at her home. 


This is the inside dome of the church that honours Lydia.


Kavala is the site of ancient Neapolis where Paul's boat landed on his way to Philippi.


The Kavala aqueduct, popularly known as the Kamares (Greek: Καμάρες, "arches"), is a well-preserved aqueduct in the city of Kavala, Greece, and is one of the city's landmarks.
While the aqueduct is "probably of Roman origin", the present structure dates to the 16th century. A Byzantine barrier wall of the early 14th century, built as part of the fortifications on the Kavala acropolis, probably also functioned as an aqueduct. This would have made it one of the few examples of Byzantine aqueducts, since Byzantine cities more typically used wells and cisterns rather than either maintaining existing Roman aqueducts or building new ones. The barrier wall was replaced with the present arched aqueduct during Suleiman the Magnificent's repair and improvement of the Byzantine fortifications. Some authors date that construction to the time of the 1522 Siege of Rhodes, but a more likely date is between 1530 and 1536. As late as 1911, it was still being used to supply the city with drinking water from Mount Pangaeus.


The "Lion of Amphipolis" with Hercules standing before him.... well, actually, the small human figure is me...

After preaching the gospel in Philippi, Paul passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia with Silas during his second missionary journey, traveling on the Ignatia Way from Philippi to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1). Amphipolis was one of the most important cities of Macedonia in antiquity. The "Lion of Amphipolis" has been dated from the fourth century B.C. It stands on a restored pedestal on the very spot where it's broken and scattered pieces were found. It was either a funerary monument or a monument erected to commemorate some as yet unidentified military victory.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Apostle Paul Aqueduct Basilica B Gangitis River Journey Kavala Lion of Amphipolis Lydia Missionary Muriel Neapolis Paul Philippi Philippians Pillars Province of Macedonia Roman amphitheater arches bible church church dome excavations inscription shield spear stone theater theatre wall Sun, 02 Dec 2012 20:06:29 GMT
Day Nineteen, Pella, Greece Today...all day it was rainy, and therefore, my driver and I traveled 5 or 6 hours to get to our furtherest northern destination.  On our way we visited Pella.

Pella is an ancient Greek city located in the current Pella regional unit of Central Macedonia in Greece. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.  It seems that they are not even half way through a decent excavation undertaking.


The Pella Site Museum was very nicely laid out and had many pieces of antiquity to display.


As I entered the museum I was greeted with the head of Alexander the Great. He lived from 325 - 300 BC. The head is made of Marble head and was found in Pella Greece.



A lion Hunt



]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Alexander the Great Pella greece head mosaic museum Sun, 02 Dec 2012 19:30:06 GMT
Day Eighteen,Beroea, Edessa, Greece Veria - known as Beroea in the bible

Within the city there was a Jewish settlement where the Apostle Paul preached after leaving Thessalonica (Acts 17:10-15). The Apostle Paul and his companion Silas preached to the Jewish and Greek communities of this city in AD 50/51 or 54/55 

These are the steps where it is said that Paul stood when he preached his message

Veria is on the site of ancient Beroea (called Berea in some translations of the Bible), a city of Emathia. A city by the name Beroea is first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, although there is evidence that the city was populated as early as 1000 BC. 


Kioupri is an ancient Byzantine Bridge in Edessa. it is a stone-built arched bridge, where it is said the famous road of the antiquity, Via Egnatia crossed over here.


This is the famous waterfalls in Edessa.


The School of Aristotle at Esvoria

Naoussa is a place of universal interest, the ruins of the School of Aristotle is a short way from contemporary Naoussa. This is the place with the racing waters and the deeply-shaded caves which the ancient writers mention, where the greatest philosopher of antiquity taught the greatness of classical Greek thought and the ideals of Platonic philosophy to the son of the King of Macedonia Phillip II, Alexander, and the other nobles of the Macedonian court. The encounter of these two greatest personalities of the ancient world at the Nymphaion of Mieza, of Aristotle, the scientist, with the great military commander, Alexander, would definitely affect the future of mankind, and of all Western Civilization.

Not much remains as the structure was made of wood.  You can see the roof line was cut into the rock and the foundations are still visible.

This area which the Nymphaion, the sanctuary dedicated to the Nymphs, occupies is a very impressive natural landscape, where the ancient relics -the wall prop of a two-floor arcade of Ionic columns forming a Π is preserved- combined with the three natural caves which are found there constitute the main grounds of the school. The vertical surface of the rock, where the openings for supporting the roof's girders are discernable, comprised the back-end of the shady porch (stoa), (350 B. C. and after), where Aristotle taught "the ethical and political word" (Plutarch VII, 668) to the Macedonian nobility's young offspring. The landscape where the Master rambled with his students on the riverbanks, full of paths with dense vegetation, while surrounding cool streams gushed from the springs and serenely flowed, is complemented by an even greater cave a little further off, with two carved entrances, and a distinct devotional use.

Here is perhaps a little amphitheatre where Aristotle did some of his teaching.


Here is just a beauty shot in the town of Naoussa.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Alexander the Great Apostle Aristotle Berea Beroea Bridge Byzantine Bridge Edessa Emathia Esvoria Jewish Kioupri Mieza Naoussa Nymphaion Nymphs Paul School of Aristotle Silas Via Egnatia bible preached steps stone arched waterfalls Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:00:00 GMT
Day Seventeen Meteora Greece Challenged with the overcast foggy weather we ventured on to Meteora.  At times the sky opened up to reveal bright fall colours in this most unique monastic setting.  High atop rock pinnacles where several monasteries that back in the day only had access by a net the would be lowered and raised.  Here you can see 4 separate monasteries.

In central Greece and particularly in the North Western part of Thessaly, between North East of Hasia and West of Pindos, where the plain of Thessaly ends, gigantic rocks raise, that create a spectacle which might be unique worldwide... especially with the monumental building built upon them.

This is the Roussanou Monastery.


Here is a closer view of the Roussanou monastery.


The slithering road led from one spectacular sight to another.


This cliff hanging Varlaam monastery as you will see below this photo was beautifully maintained and stocked.

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam (closest) is the second in notoriety to the Great Meteoro (Largest monastery). The Varlaam church, honoured to the three Bishops, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (lite) surrounted by dome as well. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548


The Varlaam chapel


A 500 hundred year old wine vat the size of an SUV.


Agios Nikolaos Monastery


View of Meteora with the Agias Varvaras Rousanou monastery on top. The people in black make the shot extra interesting...

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Agios Nikolaos Monastery Great Meteoro Hasia Meteora Pindos Rousanou Thessaly Varlaam church monasteries monastery mountain top wine vat Wed, 28 Nov 2012 19:45:45 GMT
Day Sixteen, Delphi, Greece Arachova - Central Greece

The mountains of the Parnassos region of Central Greece are a stunning part of the country, and the famous village of Arachova ( Arahova ) sits proudly amongst them, overlooking an inspiring valley.

Arachova is a village with a very rich and interesting history, and is a popular stop for visitors who are heading to the Parnassos Ski Centre during the winter months.


Delphi - Central Greece

The ancient site of Delphi in Central Greece, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, and is the second most visited ancient site after the Parthenon and Acropolis in Athens.

The Sacred Way (The path to the Temple of Apollo) winds its way up past numerous ruins of treasury houses, set up by each Greek city-state to show off their power and wealth by housing their various offerings to Apollo. The partially restored Athenian Treasury, seen below, is perhaps the most impressive of the treasury house ruins.


Temple of Apollo

Excavations reveal that Delphi was first inhabited in late Mycenaean times (15th century BC) and that priests from Crete brought the cult of Apollo to central Greece in the 8th century BC. The version of Apollo worshipped on the island was Apollo Delphinios - the god in the form of a dolphin - and it was from this that the holy city derived its name.

The Temple of Apollo, dates from the 4th century BC. It originally had 6 columns on the front and 15 on the sides, which were stuccoed over. The exterior was decorated with shields captured from the Persians at Plataea.

There were two earlier temples on the site: the first was burned in 548 BC and the second was destroyed by an earthquake. Some archaic capitals and wall blocks are preserved from the first temple and many wall blocks and some pediment sculptures are still in existence from the second.


Delphi Theater
The theater at Delphi was built further up the hill from the Temple of Apollo and it presented the seated audience with a spectacular view of the entire Temple of Apollo below and the valley beyond. It was built in the 4th c. B.C. of the local Parnassus limestone and was remodeled several times subsequently. Its 35 rows can accommodate around five thousand spectators who in ancient times enjoyed plays, poetry readings, and musical events during the various festivals that took place periodically at Delphi. The lower tiers of seats were built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.


The Pythian Games held at Delphi were one of four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, and they attracted competitors from all over the Greek world. Founded in the 6th century BC and held in honor of Apollo, they originally centered around the talents the god exemplified - music and poetry. But soon, athletic competitions were added as well. The best known was a great chariot race, held in the stadium.

 The track was 600 Roman feet long and could hold 17 or 18 runners. Starting in 591 BC, the athletic portions of the Pythian Games were held here every eight years, commemorating Apollo's slaying of the serpent Python. The stadium could seat about 6500 spectators.

High up the hill, beyond the sacred way and the Theater the ancient stadium is nested. It was built in the 5th c. B.C. and it was remodeled several times during the centuries. It originally sat down on the Delphian plain but Its present form was built in the 2nd c. A.D. when Herodus Atticus financed the stone seating and the arched entrance.


Sanctuary of Athena

The photograph shows remains of the Tholos temple at the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, with sacred Mt. Parnassus in the background. Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BC) and later by the Myceneans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Arachova Arahova Athena Athenian Treasury Delphi Delphi Theater Delphi Theatre Delphinios Greece Panhellenic games Parnassos Pythian Games Sanctuary of Athena Stadium Temple of Apollo Treasury House Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:16:06 GMT
Day Fifteen, Athens, Greece Athens Greece


Here is the exit from the hill top ruins of the Acropolis.


The Parthenon (Greek: Παρθενων) in Athens is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world.

The Parthenon has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2,500 years and was built to give thanks to Athena, the city's patron goddess, for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. The building was officially called the Temple of Athena the Virgin; "Parthenon" comes from the Greek word parthenos, "virgin."

Throughout its long life, the Parthenon has functioned most importantly as a Greek temple, but has also been a treasury, a fortress, a church, and a mosque. Today, it is one of the most recognizable icons and popular tourist attractions in the world.


Here is a view from the Parthenon looking south over the city of Athens and to the sea.


Famed for its Caryatid Porch, this beautiful temple on the Acropolis honors Erechtheus, a legendary king of Athens, as well as the great Greek gods Poseidon and Athena.


Areopagus (Mars Hill)
This bald marble hill approached by slippery steps was home to the Athenian council and court, where Socrates was condemned and Paul spoke about "the Unknown God."

Acts 17:  Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."

...When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.


The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens: Built at the base of the Acropolis, the ancient amphitheatre of Herodeion, also known as the Odeon of Herodus Atticus, is today one of the best places to experience a live classical theatre performance. This ancient theater was built in the Roman times, in about 161 A.D. by the Roman philosopher, teacher and politician Herodes Atticus. It was built in the memory of his wife Aspasia Regilla who died in 160 AD.

This semi-circular amphitheater has a wide 1,250 feet radius with a seating capacity of more than 6,000 people. The original wall of the stage stood three storeys high and was decorated with marbles and ceramic pieces while today it stands in ruins. The stage and seating area was laid with marble while it has been renovated today. A cedar-wooden roof covered the theatre in the ancient times.


Temple of Olympian Zeus
Finally completed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian after centuries of construction, this was one of the largest temples in the ancient world. You can see Hadrian's Arch at the bottom left.

This Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is an Greco-Roman temple in the center of Athens, southeast of the Acropolis. Begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. In was at that time the largest temple in Greece.

And no I did not push over that pillar...

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Acropolis Amphitheatre of Herodeion Apostle Areopagus Athena Athens Erechtheion Greece Greek Temple Hadrian's Arch Mars Hill Odeon of Herodes Atticus Olympieion Parthenon Parthenos Paul Poseidon Temple of Olympian Zeus Unknown God Zeus city temple Wed, 28 Nov 2012 06:19:35 GMT
Day Fourteen, Corinth, Greece My first place to photograph in Greece is Corinth. 


The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) in length and only 21.3 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it unpassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance.
The canal was mooted in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century AD. Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893.

The Diadoch Demetrius Poliorcetes (336–283 BC) planned to construct a canal as a means to improve his communication lines, but dropped the plan after his surveyors, miscalculating the levels of the adjacent seas, feared heavy floods.

The emperor Nero was the first to actually attempt to construct the canal, personally breaking the ground with a pickaxe and removing the first basket-load of soil in 67 AD,[14] but the project was abandoned when he died shortly afterwards. The Roman workforce, consisting of 6000 Jewish prisoners of war


Here was a very important harbor town today named Kechries.  Just east of the canal and on the south side.  You can see a pillar laying in the water and the remains of the Temple of Isis.

Kenchreai flourished during the Roman Empire, when the settlement was focused around the crescent-shaped harbor enclosed by massive concrete breakwaters and protected by sea-walls. The local community was small but prosperous, and it was distinguished by its social, cultural, and religious diversity. Ancient literature and inscriptions from the site attest to the presence of cults of Aphrodite, Isis, Asklepios, Poseidon, Dionysos, and Pan. Christianity also arrived at Kenchreai early in the religion's history. According to Acts 18:18, the Apostle Paul stopped at Kenchreai during his second missionary journey, where he had his hair cut to fulfill a vow. He mentions the place and a deacon named Phoebe in the local assembly in his epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:1)


Ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth

Corinth (Greek Κορινθία) is an ancient city about 48 miles west of Athens on the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece. Corinth was an important city in ancient Greece and it played a major role in the missionary work of the Apostle Paul. Today, Corinth is the second largest city in the Peloponnese with several sites of interest to pilgrims and tourists.


Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth


This is a ring that was discovered amidst the ruins.


The Apostle Paul visited Corinth in the 50s AD and later wrote two letters to the Christian community at Corinth (the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the New Testament). When Paul first visited the city (51 or 52 AD), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Corinth.

Paul lived in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:1-18), working as a tentmaker and converting as many Jews and pagans as he could. Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, who became his fellow-workers.

Although Paul intended to pass through Corinth a second time before he visited Macedonia, circumstances were such that he first went from Troas to Macedonia before stopping at Corinth for a "second benefit" (2 Corinthians 1:15). This time he stayed in Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3).

It was probably during this second visit in the spring of 58 that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, written from Ephesus, reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.

This is one of the main streets in ancient Corinth.

The site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (5000-3000 BC), and flourished as a major Greek city from the 8th century BC until its destruction by the Romans in 146 BC.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) 1st Corinthians Canal Corinth Corinth Canal Gold Ring Greece Gulf of Corinth Kechries Kenchreai Museum Peloponnesian Pillar Saronic Gulf Temple of Apollo ancient bible first Corinthians Tue, 27 Nov 2012 21:17:31 GMT
Day Thirteen Turkey Greece This was a travel day and I only took out my camera for some aerial shots.

Greek coastline



]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Greece aerial airplane athens clouds highway island ocean road ship Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:20:29 GMT
Day Twelve, Goreme, Turkey Goreme, Turkey

I woke up to a overcast day. However, the cave homes brightened my outlook.

A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park

The Cappadocian Region is located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey. The valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation were created as a result of the eroding rains and winds over thousands of years.


This area is a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches. There are hundreds of church cut into the Rock.  This is one of the most elaborate ones.


This is a family's kitchen table.


Here is another example of a church with a cross over the door.


Another church with a spectacular ceiling


I found these two taxi's waiting out front of some cave homes a captivating image.  Looks like the flintstones.


Here is one that any of you would be happy to live in... maybe


Another church


This is one of the many upscale hotels


Just about a 30 minute drive away we came upon an underground city. Here there were no cave homes in the hills above ground, but all was below the ground.  The first populations of the region of Cappadocia were Hatties, Luvies and Hittites. In the 3000-2000 years B.C. 

The first Christians escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri and they have settled here. The first Christians finding the underground cities from Cappadocia have been hidden in these underground cities which gates were made in such way in which they couldn't be easily observed and they have escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers. Due that they had live in the underground cities for long duration without being able to go out they have developed these underground cities by making provisions rooms, ventilation chimneys, wine production places, churches, abbeys, water wells, toilets and meeting rooms.

In the prehistoric periods the first human settlements have begun and the humans have constructed the underground cities in the volcanic rocks in form of tufa due to protect themselves from the wild animals and they lived for long times in these underground cities. There are so many underground cities on the Cappadocia area of Turkey but the biggest is Derinkuyu Underground City.

In these cities made in form of rooms connected to each others some of the rooms were connected to each other only with the tunnels tight and permitting passing of just a person. At the access gates of these tunnels there were huge stone rollers used for closing the tunnels for security reasons.


Up to 8 stories of underground tunnels and caves. There were many low tight passages we made our way through.  This is actually a kitchen that we are looking.  This round rock was about about one meter across.  That husband must have really loved his woman to bring this down from the surface.  The cup type holes in the surface might have been for setting out food.

It's known that there are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region and many of them are not open for visits. The underground cities, which are guessed to be used since the Bronze Age, used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period, doubtless. In this period, increasing invasions forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Cappadocia Cave Dwelling Christians Derinkuyu Derinkuyu Underground City Fresco Goreme Goreme National Park Hatties Hittites Hotel Luvies Turkey Unesco World Heritage Site cave cave church cave homes cave hotel kitchen table persecution tunnels Mon, 26 Nov 2012 02:54:49 GMT
Day Eleven, Adana, Tarsus, Goreme, Turkey Started the day off in Adana, Turkey.  The two main land marks are the Roman Bridge and the Mosque.

This is a stone bridge on the Seyhan River in Adana, Turkey that was built by the Romans.  It is also the oldest bridge that is still in use. Paul was likely here planting churches and would have walked over this Bridge.  Acts 15:23, 41


SABANCI MOSQUE was built between 1988 - 1998. It is the largest mosque in the Middle-east and Balkans



Next we went Tarsus where the apostle Paul was from.  This is the entrance to Saint Paul's Church. According to tradition the building date of the Saint Paul Church is 1102, but the present structure, a domeless basilica, was built (or rebuilt) much later, in 1862.



Little of Tarsus from the time of Paul has been excavated due to the location of the modern city of Cumhuriyet Alani atop the ruins. Excavations have turned up a paved city street of Tarsus along with a colonnaded podium, which may date to the 2nd century BC.  In addition, remains have been found from the Bronze Age, baths, a Hellenistic portico, a Roman theater, and many terracotta figurines of deities, animals, people, and various mythological creatures.

During this time of Pompey (67 BC), Tarsus was made capital over the Roman province of Cilicia, and Jews began to receive Roman citizenship. Antony, who controlled the eastern provinces, declared the city free in 42 BC. Tarsus continued to receive special privileges under Augustus, who exempted the city from imperial taxation because Athenodorus, his teacher and friend, was a Tarsian. Tarsus grew into a cultural and intellectual center. Stoic philosophers like Athenodorus, Zeno, Antipater, and Nestor lived in the city in the first century AD.

I placed the bible on the road that Paul would have walked on.


The Cydnus River flows through Tarsus, south-eastern Turkey, and used to enter the Mediterranean Sea just south of the town. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian in (527 - 565 AD) rerouted the river through an old Roman grave yard.


Later that night we arrived in Goreme, Turey. I took the opportunity to photograph these natural structures lit up in a foggy sky. Many people still live in cave homes.  Had a nice meal and sleep in a one of the caves.  Here you can see homes and hotels built into these most unique hills.  In the next blog I will show you day time shots of this most unique community.

Göreme, located among the "fairy chimney" rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. It is in the Nevşehir Province in Central Anatolia and has a population of around 2,500 people


Here is the restaurant that MIke Martin and I ate at. 


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Adana Basilica Bible Bridge Cappadocia Central Anatolia Cumhuriyet Alani Cydnus River Fairy Chimney Goreme Hellenistic Portico Nevsehir Province Roman Sabanci Mosque Saint Paul's Church Seyhan River Tarsus Turkey mosque Mon, 26 Nov 2012 00:11:03 GMT
Day Ten, Sanliurfa, Harran, Gobekli Tepe, Turkey I started out my day in Sanliurfa, Turkey at a Muslim holy place and ended it at the oldest civilization ever discovered.

BIBLE LINKS TO EVERYTHING about the region of UR

This is the place that according to tradition, Nimrod had Abraham prepared to be a sacrifice and placed him on a funeral pyre. However, God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish.

This is the legendary Pool of Sacred Fish (Balıklıgöl) where Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod. The pool is in the courtyard of the mosque of Halil-ur-Rahman, built by the Ayyubids in 1211. The courtyard is where the fish thrive. A local legend says seeing a white fish will open the door to the heavens.


Just a short walk down the lane is a mosque on the site where it is said that Abraham was born. Before entering the Mosque people can get a drink and wash up.


Under this first dome is a place to wash the feet.  You can see little seats with a tap in front at foot level. Behind the fence is the Great Mosque of Urfa.


Here is this cave where it is said that Abraham was born.


The Great Mosque of Urfa was built in 1170, on the site of a Christian church the Arabs called the "Red Church", probably incorporating some Roman masonry. Contemporary tradition at the site identifies the well of the mosque as that into which the towel or burial cloth (mendil) of Jesus was thrown.

The history of Sanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC.  It was one of several cities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. According to Turkish Muslim traditions Urfa (its name since Byzantine days) is the biblical city of Ur of the Chaldees, due to its proximity to the biblical village of Harran. 


Also here in Sanliurfa is the traditional place where Job was born, lived and was healed and restored.


We then moved on the Harran where Abraham lived. Many people here live in these cone homes that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Here is the ceiling view (I put my camera on the floor pointed straight up) of one of the cone homes.


Gobekli Tepe, Turkey is the oldest civilization ever discovered.  It is dated at 10,000 BC making it 1000 years older than Jericho... I know some of you as well as I question civilization being that old... 

Göbekli Tepe Turkish: is a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, some 15 kilometers northeast of the town of Sanlıurfa.



Here is another circle of stones supported in place with wood and metal.


As the sun was setting Mike Martin and I were driving back towards civilization.  We drove over the Euphrates River and stopped to take this picture of a large dam.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Abraham Ayyubids Balikligol Chaldees Cone Homes Euphrates River Gobekli Tepe Great Mosque of Urfa Harran Job Muslim Oldest Civilization Pool of Sacred Fish Turkey Ur Urfa mosque of Halil-ur-Rahman nimrod sanliurfa Sat, 24 Nov 2012 20:19:05 GMT
Day Nine, Antioch, Cevlik, Turkey Antioch - south central Turkey


This is the southward view that Paul would have had over the city.  Here he preached to many in a church that was cut into the mountain.

Mike Martin walking the ledge toward a carving of a woman's head in the mountain


The Charonion is an ancient carved stone bust in the mountainside above Antioch. It dates from the time of King Antiochus in the Seleucid era (3rd century BC).
According to the sixth-century chronicler Malalas, the Charonion was carved in an attempt to save Antioch from a plague. After many people had perished from the illness, a seer named Leios commanded that a great "mask" be carved out of the mountain overlooking the city, "and inscribing something on it he put an end to the pestilential death. This mask the people of Antioch call the Charonion."


Here is an overview of the modern city of Antioch now called Antakya.


Here is the port where Paul came and went when he was in Antioch.  This port town is now called Cevlik, Turkey.

This area was a natural port location. Large cut stones were placed here by the Romans as well as by earlier civilizations.


I found the formation in the large stones below fascinating.


Here you can see the modern port just 500 meters up the shore from the ancient ones.


The Titus Tunnel (Titüs Tüneli) is a Roman engineering marvel.

During the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD), the Roman governors of Seleucia Pieria (Samandağ), the port city for Antioch ad Orontes (Antakya), decided to divert a river.

They put Roman legionnaires, sailors and prisoners to work cutting a channel along and through the rock for about 1.4 km (nearly a mile).

Continued under Emperor Titus (79-81), inscriptions tell us it was completed during the reigns of the Antonine emperors decades later.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Antioch Cevlik MIke Martin Romans Titus Tunnel Turkey ancient ruins Fri, 23 Nov 2012 16:44:26 GMT
Day Eight Selcuk Turkey Today I was back in Ephesus (Selcuk) and visited Mary's house, Saint John's Basilica and the Selcuk Castle that stands proudly high about the city.

Here is the traditional location of Mary's house in what was on the outskirts of ancient Ephesus.

There were no photographs allowed in this building so I put on a long lens and shot from the outside into Mary's home.



Saint John's Basilica, Selcuk/Ephesus, Turkey


Here you can see the baptismal area of the church. One would walk in one end, get baptized and then walk out the other.


Here is where the tomb of Saint John was located.



Don't ask how I got this shot, but this area was locked and this fresco was behind plexiglass.


The Selcuk Castle

I was fortunate to get into the castle to take photos as it has been closed to the public for 20 years... Can anyone say pole vault?  Or how about catapult? Or how about someone with a key?

Inside there are ruins that have changed religious hands several times... 

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Baptismal Castle Fresco Mary Mary's Home Saint John's Basilica Selcuk church mezari pillars sun burst tomb Fri, 23 Nov 2012 15:49:45 GMT
Day Seven, Miletus, Priene, Turkey Wow, I have just had a very busy last few days in south central Turkey... making it difficult to find time to choose and prepare the photos and text for the blog.  Therefore, if you don't mind, I will put up the images from the last several days without much research and writing.  I will add the comments at a later date.


This is the Miletus theatre.


Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus stayed in Corinth. Trophimus I left ill in Miletus.
Acts 20:15 We set sail from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. The next day we approached Samos, and the day after that we arrived at Miletus.

Here you can see a stone carving of a man or angel fighting what looks to be a bear or tiger.  Also, on the left, a man or angel and his dog are killing a ram.  Maybe it's an image of a gladiator fighting a beast.

All the seating row ends had lion claws.


Just across what used to be a large sea water port is PRIENE.

Priene (Ancient Greek: Πριήνη, Priēnē) was an ancient Greek city of Ionia (and member of the Ionian League) at the base of an escarpment of Mycale, about 6 kilometres (4 mi) north of the then course of the Maeander (now called the Büyük Menderes or "Big Maeander") River, 67 kilometres (42 mi) from today's Aydin, 15 kilometres (9 mi) from today's Söke and 25 kilometres (16 mi) from ancient Miletus. It was formerly on the sea coast, built overlooking the ocean on steep slopes and terraces extending from sea level to a height of 380 metres (1,250 ft) above sea level at the top of the escarpment.[3] Today, after several centuries of changes in the landscape, it is an inland site.


Priene. Sanctuary of Athena with reconstructed columns. In the background is the cliffside of the Akropolis

Priene possessed a great deal of famous Hellenistic art and architecture. The city's original position on Mount Mycale has never actually been discovered; however, it is believed that it was a peninsula possessing two harbours. Priene never held a great deal of political importance due to the city's size, as it is believed around 4 to 5 thousand inhabitants occupied the region. The city was arranged into four districts, firstly the political district which consisted of the Bouleterion and the Prytaneion, the cultural district containing the Theatre, the commercial where the Agora was located and finally the religious district which contained sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus and Demeter and most importantly the Temple of Athena.

I loved the front row seating here.  What a place of prominence...




]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) 2nd Timothy 4:20 Acts 20:15 Acts 20:17 Athena" Miletus Priene Turkey carving of ruins stone stone chair theatre"Sanctuary Thu, 22 Nov 2012 22:46:10 GMT
Day Six, Laodicea, Pamukkale, Turkey I was very impressed today with the beauty I encountered of historic ruins and natural wonders.


The archaeological work being done at Laodicea at present is impressive. They have discovered over this last year that it was a very religious city, having unearthed the ancient ruins of many churches!


Thanks to archaeologists, the Temple of Apollo once again rises in Laodicea.

Dating to the 2nd Century AD, this was the main temple of Laodicea. When the temple reached Christian times, it was re-used as a religious archive building until an earthquake brought the building down in 494 AD.

Much work is being done to excavate and rebuild significant portions of Laodicea.  Here you can see in the foreground orderly collections of ancient stone, marble and pottery fragments.  At the back you can see a large crane setting up the pillars that once lay in piles.


Just a short distance from Laodicea is the historic region of PAMUKKALE.

Modern day Pamukkale stands out like a ski field in the tropics. “Pamukkale” means Cotton Castle in Turkish. It is only as one gets up close that you realize the dazzling white mountainside is in fact years and years of lime deposit left by some 17 hot water springs ranging in temperature from 35c – 100c that flow down the mountainside.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

In John’s day too, Hierapolis (Now Pamukkale) was a source of thermal hot water, some of which was piped across the valley for three miles and into Laodicea, arriving distinctively lukewarm. In contrast, it is thought the city also piped water, cold water, from across the opposite valley, from Colossae, which was 11 miles away. Hence the Lord’s metaphorical admonition to be either hot or cold, but not lukewarm.

People enjoying the mineral rich hot springs


Here in the background you can see the present day city that is now positioned between Pamukkale and ancient Laodicea.


Just a short walk from the spectacular waters are the ruins of Hierapolis.  Just up the hill I took this photo of what is said to be Saint Philip's tomb and church.  The Martyrion was built at the end of the 4th or at the beginning of the 5th century on an area measuring 20 by 20 metres (66 by 66 ft). It was erected in honour of Saint Philip who was killed in Hierapolis. It became an important sanctuary when Christianity was adopted as an official religion. Was this Philip, one of the twelve apostles, or a later Philip who was a Christian evangelist mentioned in the book of Acts? This has been the question.

Philip is said to have been martyred in Hierapolis by being crucified upside-down, or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree. The building dates from the 5th century CE. It was said that St. Philip was buried in what is now the center of the building.


I happened to be at the right place and the right time to capture this sunset behind this burial chamber that is surrounded by the flow of lime rich Pamukkale water.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Burial Crypt Hierapolis Laodicea Lime deposit Pamukkale Saint Philip Sun set Tomb Turkey archaeology hot springs Sun, 18 Nov 2012 22:27:01 GMT
Day Five, Thyatira, Sardis, Turkey I really covered a lot of ground today. In fact, I visited three of the seven churches of Revelation. First I visited Thyateira then Sardis and finally Philadelphia.


Thyatira, modern Akhisar, is located 42 mi. [67 km.] inland from the Aegean Sea. In early Christian times, Thyateira was home to a significant Christian church, mentioned as one of the seven Churches of the Book of Revelation. According to Revelation, a woman named Jezebel (who called herself a prophetess) taught and seduced the Christians of Thyateira to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:18–29)

Near the center of what was Thyateira (now Akhisar), visible archaeological remains are located in a fenced off rectangular city block. From coins it is evident that guilds of bakers, bronze smiths, wool workers, potters, linen weavers and tanners were active in the city. Such guilds would often hold banquets that included the eating of food offered to idols and participation in immoral sexual acts. (Revelation 2:20–24)

The Apostle Paul and Silas might have visited Thyateira during Paul's second or third journey, although the evidence is entirely circumstantial. They visited several small unnamed towns in the general vicinity during the second journey. While in Philippi, Paul and Silas stayed with a woman named Lydia from Thyateira, who continued to help them even after they were jailed and released. (Acts 16:11–15)


Here is an image that may remind you of an animated or movie character...




Revelation 3:1-6
"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

"I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

One of the main streets of ancient Sardis.  At one point it would have been lined with pillars and shops.



A large complex built in the center of the lower city in the 2nd century AD included a gymnasium and a bathhouse. The complex was over five acres in size and its western part was characterized by large vaulted halls for bathing.  The eastern part was a palaestra, a large open courtyard for exercise.

Sardis was one of the legendary cities of Asia Minor in what is today Turkey. In the seventh century B.C., Sardis was the capital of the kingdom of Lydia. Gold was found in the river near Sardis and the kings who lived there were renowned for their wealth. The Persians captured Sardis in the sixth century and made it the administrative center for the western part of their empire. The fabled "royal road" connected Sardis with the Persian cities to the east. In New Testament times, Sardis was part of the Roman province of Asia.


The public toilet with no dividers... but a great place to have sit-down talks.  This area probably had at least twenty toilets that could be occupied at once. Not sure about ventilation, however a trench with running water ran below the drop.


The Synagogue of Sardis

The Synagogue of Sardis is notable for its size and location.  In size it is one of the largest ancient synagogues excavated.  In location it is found in the center of the urban center, instead of on the periphery as synagogues typically were.  This attests to the strength and wealth of the Jewish community in the city.  This synagogue came into use in the 3rd century AD.

This impressive synagogue had over eighty Greek and seven Hebrew inscriptions as well as numerous mosaic floors.


Christian symbols are found at different points in Sardis.


Here is the Greek language and the English meaning to the symbol below:

ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym for "Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ", (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". All five of these Greek letters are depicted in the four lines within a circle, a very early Christian symbol.

Today, the site is located by the present day village of Sart, near Salihli in the Manisa province of Turkey.


Temple of Artemis

The temple dedicated Artemis in Sardis was one of the seven largest Greek temples (more than double the size of the Parthenon). Artemis, known as Diana by the Romans, was the daughter of Zeus and twin of Apollo.  She was the goddess of the hunt, the moon and fertility.

The goddess Artemis was the principal deity worshiped at Sardis, as well as at Ephesus and other cities. In legends, Artemis is often pictured as a pure and virgin huntress, fearless in opposing her adversaries. As the goddess of the city, she may have been perceived more in her role as a mother goddess, a provider of fertility and overseer of childbirth.

The Temple of Artemis next to the Pactolus River (Sart cayi) dates from the 4th century B.C. There was a temple dedicated to goddess Kybele before that during the time of King Croesus - This one was destroyed by Athenians during the revolt of Ionians against the Persian rule. Then Alexander the Great ordered a new one, the Temple of Artemis, on the same site.




The Byzantine Church known as Church M is dwarfed by older temple ruins of Artemis.  This Christian place of worship was used from the 4th to 7th century.




This was a very small excavation. However, this building must have been enormous when considering the size of the walls that remained.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Akhisar Apostle Paul Artemis Bible Paul Philadelphia Sardis Seven churches of Revelation Synagogue Temple Thyateira Thyatira Turkey Sat, 17 Nov 2012 20:43:13 GMT
Day Four, Pergamum, Bergama, Turkey BIBLE LINK - Everything Pergamum

Pergamum or Pergamos (near the modern city of Bergama) was an illustrious and famous city in the Province of Asia. Although it was not on any of the great roads as Ephesus and Smyrna were, it had an impressive location. It was at the top of a tall conical hill, from which the Mediterranean, 15 miles away, could be seen. At the time of John's letter Pergamum had already been the capital city for almost 400 years.

What we know about Pergamum is that it was a major city in Asia Minor being the capitol of the Kingdom of Pergamon in the Hellenistic period of the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. It was a major centre of idol worship, be it to the Roman Emperor, the Greek god Zeus or any one of the dozens of deities worshipped in that place.

Here are PIllars at the Temple of Trajan.



The most striking feature on the acropolis in Pergamon is the theater. Set on the steep southwest slope of the hill, it is reached by a narrow flight of steps from the Temple of Athena. The theater, which was built in the time of the Pergamene kings could accommodate some 15,000 spectators on its 80 rows. Along the outside of the 216m/710ft long upper terrace was a colonnade.


Arched support under the Temple of Trajan in Pergamum


The stately re-erected columns were made of pristine white marble, originally built in 117-138 AD.


This is now at one end of what was a library... a famous library that had over 200,000 parchment rolls, second only to the library of Alexandria.


The tree is where the altar of Zues was situated.


Down Below the mountain is the Red Church in Pergamum.

The temple was built by the Roman Empire, probably in the time of Hadrian and possibly on his orders. It is one of the largest Roman structures still surviving in the ancient Greek world. The temple is thought to have been used for the worship of the Egyptian gods – specifically Isis and/or Serapis, and possibly also Osiris, Harpocrates and other lesser gods.

The temple was converted by the Byzantines into a Christian church dedicated to St. John but was subsequently destroyed. Today the ruins of the main temple and one of the side rotundas can be visited.





BIBLE LINK - Everything Pergamum

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Hadrian Pergamene Red Church Roman Temple of Athena Zues acropolis alter church isis osiris pergamum serapis theatre Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:17:36 GMT
Day Three, Smyrna, Turkey Today I visited Smyrna, one of the seven churches of Revelation. When I think of biblical locations I always think of Israel. However so much of the New Testament letters and stories were written in or about activities in Turkey, Greece and Italy.  I spend my days shooting and my nights creating this blog for you. I hope you enjoy it.


Here I am amongst the pillars looking like there has been some great victory... well, having fun anyway.  There wasn't much topside except these pillars and a lot of orderly piles of ruins.  Oh, and some excavations... however, below ground level there was much to see.


Situated on the northern slopes of the Pagos Hills, the agora was the commercial, judicial and political nucleus of the ancient city, its center for artistic activities and for teaching.


Izmir Agora Open Air Museum consists of five parts, including the agora area, the base of the northern basilica gate, the stoa and the ancient shopping centre.


Here is the reference If you would like to read the message to Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11)




The most important result of the new studies has been the discovery of the agora's northern gate. It has been concluded that embossed figures of the goddess Hestia found in these digs were a continuation of the Zeus altar uncovered during the first digs. Statues of the gods Hermes, Dionysos, Eros and Heracles have also been found, as well as many statues, heads, embossments, figurines and monuments of people and animals, made of marble, stone, bone, glass, metal and terracotta. Inscriptions found here list the people who provided aid to Smyrna after the earthquake of 178 AD.


I loved photographing the sun, silhouette and shadows of this historic site.


Smyrna sat 35 miles north of Ephesus, built near the ruins of an ancient Greek colony destroyed in the 7th century B.C.  Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great’s generals, rebuilt Smyrna as a new Hellenistic city in the 3rd century B.C.  The city was later established as a Roman commercial center with a port on the Aegean Sea.  Scholars believe the city grew to about 100,000 by the time of the apostles Paul and John.


The Agora
This 2nd century A.D. agora, midway between the acropolis and the harbor, was partially excavated by German and Turkish archaeologists from 1932-1941.  Porticoes lined the north and west sides of the agora, and an altar to Zeus sat in the center.


Flag of Turkey


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Izmir Smyrna excavations open air museum pillars ruins Tue, 13 Nov 2012 21:12:24 GMT
Day Two, Ephesus, Turkey I needed another day at Ephesus as there is so much to photograph.  I was joined by my friend Mike Martin who along with his wife Cathy have lived in Turkey for five years.  Mike will be with me for most of my time here.


We happened to wander off the beaten path to discover the Temple of Serapis from the 2nd century.  You won't find many pictures of this online as it is not open to the public... like I said, we wandered off the path.  You can see the enormity of the pillars with Mike leaning against them. 

The cult of Serapis was originally Egyptian but passed into Greek and Roman religious life and found fertile ground for growth in Ephesus, where this temple was built. It was constructed in the 2nd century for the Egyptian cult of Serapis. The temple sat on a terrace above the courtyard. Built along prostyle lines, the column capitals found were 1.5 m in diameter, meaning that the columns were as much as 57 tons of weight. The entrance was extremely wide and had a double door. Since the door was metal, it had wheels on the bottom, with a readily visible track in the floor. 

Without a doubt the most attractive part of the temple was the facade. It was 15 m. high with 57-ton columns supporting it on either side and had galleries surrounding a entryway courtyard. It is still possible to see the columns and upper parts in front of the temple. The structure was later used as a church. It is easy to see that earthquakes in ancient times did a lot of damage to the temple.


I found this structure intriguing. This archway is found in the theatre gymnasium.


Here is a wonderful view of the large 25,000 seat theatre in Ephesus.


Today I had to revisit a few locations that I had photographed yesterday as the light was different and I wanted to capture a few different angles.  Here you can see clearly the steps / seats that surrounded the outer area of the Celsus Library.


Here you can see Hadrian's Temple on Curetes Street leading down to the Celsus Library.


It was a privilege to photograph this ancient fresco from the time of Saint Paul.  This location is not accessible to tourists - "usually".  This is a five image "walking" panorama.  


The Church of Mary (Meryem Kilisesi) built around 200 AD is a church of great historical significance located in Ephesus. It is also known as the Double Church, because it is thought one aisle was dedicated to the Virgin and the other to St. John, and the Council Church because the Council of Ephesus is believed to have been held here.

It was originally used as a Roman mercantile centre but was converted to a basilica in the 4th century.  It is the first church to take Mary's name and the site of two important ecumenical councils in 431 and 449, in which the natures of Christ and Mary were hotly disputed.


Marble revetments with crosses are seen surrounding the baptistry.  This was from the 6th or 7th Century.  You can still see the stairs leading in and out.


Here I opened my bible to Ephesians and  placed it on a door entrance to what was probably a Christian's home.  The circle with the symbols represented secretively the Christian faith.  The other dark circles were so that people would not slip when entering.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Ancient Celsus Library Christian Symbol Church of Mary Ephesians Ephesus Hadrian's Temple Meryem Kilisesi Pillars Plaster Muriel Temple of Serapis Theatre Theatre Gymnasium baptistery bible Tue, 13 Nov 2012 05:55:27 GMT
Day One, Ephesus, Turkey I continue with my biblical photographic tour (See March 2012 for Israel Blog entries) - Over the next 30 days I will blog images from the book of Acts, the Epistles and Revelation, as well as beauty shots.  I am starting this trip in Turkey then on to Greece and finishing up with Italy.

Here is a list of the SEVEN CHURCHES OF REVELATION that I will be covering in this first week:

Ephesus : Revelation 1:11, 2:1-7, Acts 18:19-28, 19:1-41, Ephesians
Laodicea : Revelation 3:14-22, Colossions 2:1, 4:13-16
Pergamum : Revelation 2:12-17
Philadelphia : Revelation 3:7-13
Sardis : Revelation 3:1-6
Smyrna : Revelation 2:8-11
Thyatira : Revelation 2:18-29, Acts 16:14


Great link to MAP of this location - Click Here



Celsus Library - This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia; from his son Galius Julius Aquila. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor across the entrance, and there was a statue of Athena over it because she was the goddess of wisdom.


The Celsus Library facade has two-stories with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There are three windows openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick. The columns on the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.


The statues in the niches of the columns today are copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues of Celsus.


The library scrolls and the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent the them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum Libraries.



The Gate of Mazeus and Mythridates - The gate with three passage ways at the right of the Celsus Library was built in 40 A.D by the slaves Mazeus and Mythridates for their emperor, Augustus, who gave them their freedom.

The passages are vaulted, the front side of the vault facing the Celsus Library is made of black marble, while the other side is white. A Latin inscription with inlaid letters made of bronze is still visible on one side of the structure. Part of the inscription states: "From the Emperor Caesar Augustus, the son of the god, the greatest of the priests, who was consul twelve and tribune twenty times; and the wife of August Livia; the son of Lucus, Marc Agrippa who was consul three times, Emperor, and tribune six times; and the daughter of Julio Caesar Augustus, Mazeus and Mythridates to their master and the people."

The small area in front of the gate was used as an auditorium. The steps around the gate in front of the library and the round pedestal were used as seats. 


This feline struck the pose... I think she was feeling pretty good about living in historical Ephesus.  


Odeon (Bouleuterion) - This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum - a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus.


Odeon (Bouleuterion) - It had a capacity of 1500 spectators. It had three doors opening from the stage to the podium. The podium was narrow and one meter higher than the orchestra section. The stage building was two-storied and embellished with columns. The podium in front of the stage building and some parts of the seating were restored. The Odeon used to be enclosed with a wooden roof.


Large Theatre - I thought there was only one theatre in the Ancient ruins of Ephesus... However, a couple of hours later at the lower end of my walk, "there it was"... and I thought I was done with walking stadium stairs - This one was huge; there was a seating level even one higher that was fenced off to visitors.

The Big Riot Against Paul at the Theatre of Ephesus - Acts 19:23-41 -  Verse 29 So the city became filled with confusion, and with one accord they rushed into the theatre, taking forcibly along with them Ga´ius and Ar·is·tar´chus, Mac·e·do´ni·ans, traveling companions of Paul. 30 For his part, Paul was willing to go inside to the people, but the disciples would not permit him. 31 Even some of the commissioners of festivals and games, who were friendly to him, sent to him and began pleading for him not to risk himself in the theatre... /

This theatre is the most magnificent structure in ancient city of Ephesus. The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today.

It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty-six rows of seats, divided by two diazoma (walkway between seats) into three horizontal sections. There are three sections of seats. In the lower section marble pieces, used for restoration, and the Emperor's Box were found. The seats with backs ,made of marble, were reserved for important people. The audience entered from the upper cavea.

The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the orchestra area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. This enhanced the appearance of the stage, giving it a bigger, monumental look.

The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.


The Pollio Fountain was located to the south of the State Agora, across the Odeion. It was built in 97 A.D by the rich Ephesian C.S.Pollio and his family.

The water was brought to the fountains of Ephesus from three main sources through aqueducts and distributed from fountains by a branching system of baked clay pipes (see the pipe at the bottom of picture that is now at ground level). The sources were Kencherios (42km) at Kuşadası, Çamlık village stream of Marnas (15km), and the Cayster River (20km). Water was free of charge by the city in the public fountains.

It has a high arch facing the temple of Domitian. It is known to be decorated with a number of statues. One of these statues is the Head of Zeus which is on display in the Ephesus Museum today.


Temple of Hadrian - It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful structures on Curetes Street. It was built before138 A.D by P.Quintilius and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 128 A.D The facade of the temple has four Corinthian columns supporting a curved arch, in the middle of which contains a relief of Tyche, goddess of victory. The side columns are square. The pedestal with inscriptions in front of the temple are the bases for the statues of the emperors between 293-305 CE, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius I, and Galerius; the originals of the statues have not been found yet. Inside the temple above the door a human figure, probably Medusa, stands with ornaments of acanthus leaves.


Pillars were everywhere - here you can see four or five different styles.


Commercial Agora - Being the most important trade center of Ephesus, Agora was built in the 3rd Century B.C in the Hellenistic Period, but the ruins date from the reign of Caracalla (211-217 C.E).

It is in the form of a square, each side 110 meters, and surrounded completely by columns. The Agora has three gates, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, the other one opening to the harbor on the west and the third one from the Celsius Library. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico, in which there are rows of shops. At the center of the Agora was a sundial and a water-clock.


Ancient public toilets - All I can say is that I appreciate modern dividers.  These were part of the Scholastica Baths and built in the 1st Century AD. They were the public toilets of the city. There was an entrance fee to use them. There was a drainage system under the toilets that surrounded on three sides the bath area in the middle.  These bathroom toilets could accommodate up to 36 men at one time.  This was a place to talk to your neighbour and perhaps shake hands on a business deal... The "Right" hand.

Great link to MAP of ancient Ephesus - Click Here

Thought this would be a good way to end my "Day One" pictorial blog... Thanks for following along.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Apostle Paul Celsus Library Commercial Agora Curetes Street Ephesus Odeon Pollio Fountain Temple of Hadrian Turkey public toilets ruins theatre Sun, 11 Nov 2012 23:26:30 GMT
Guelph Gryphons University Football Game I got called last week to shoot a game on the weekend - Had a lot of fun photographing a sport I used to play and always enjoy watching

Here are my favourite images from Saturday


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Football Gryphons Guelph Gryphons Queens University game photography team university Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:53:25 GMT
Wedding of Len & Bethany I met through my niece, Mary, a wonderful couple that asked me to photograph their wedding. It was a long but meaningful day.  They wanted their images to be mostly in natural settings.  We were blessed with wonderful weather and a decent amount of time to be creative in our locations.


This setting was spectacular... Bethany was beautifully backlit with an afternoon sun... the river was perfect and the overhanging branches added such ambiance.  Some images I just used natural lighting and others I used off-camera fill flash.


The guys were willing to get wet - good thing I was 40 yards down river.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Bethany Davis Len beautiful bride love outdoor wedding wedding dress Tue, 25 Sep 2012 22:47:15 GMT
Indian engagement shoot  

I recently shot an Indian engagement celebration for the best wedding photography company in Niagara/Hamilton - "Stec Photographers".   Over the last few years I have learned a lot from Pete and Debbie Stec about the craft of wedding photography.

in many cases... the Indian culture has a large gathering of relatives and friends to celebrate and seal the engagement.  I really enjoyed my time with Ritesh and Sona - they are a wonderful couple.  Here are a few images of "Just Them" from their celebration day.

ZEN Ritesh Sona-601 ZEN Ritesh Sona-59 ZEN Ritesh Sona-24 ZEN Ritesh Sona-40 ZEN Ritesh Sona-34 ZEN Ritesh Sona-54 ZEN Ritesh Sona-66 ZEN Ritesh Sona-607

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Indian engagement photography Mon, 06 Aug 2012 12:00:00 GMT
Model Home Shoot I did a shoot for Premium Homes out of London Ontario.  They do beautiful work in all their homes.

ZEN CatanaHome-402 ZEN CatanaHome-775

ZEN CatanaHome-101 ZEN CatanaHome-238 ZEN CatanaHome-205

ZEN CatanaHome-192 ZEN CatanaHome-159

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Wed, 01 Aug 2012 02:20:19 GMT
My Son-in-law the Argonaut These photos were from a pre-season game against the Montreal Alouettes.  David Lee #91 is presently on the practice roster and ready at any time to be called to duty...

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Post game prayer

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My daughter Elizabeth grabs a shot of her man signing autographs

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David Loves children - What a joy is was to see David take time with this little football fan

ZEN ArgoGame2-507 ArgoGame2-511 ZEN ArgoGame2-527


My Daughter Elizabeth is in the blue and David is surrounded by his two sisters.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Toronto Argonauts autographs david lee football Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:41:30 GMT
Prom 2012 My son ask me to photograph about 40 of his friends just before Prom.  As a good dad I said yes...  This first couple is my son and his date

ZEN BTprom-12

Here is another sharp couple

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ZEN BTprom-217


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Blesses Trinity Catholic high school Grimsby Prom 2012 ontario Mon, 23 Jul 2012 12:50:20 GMT
Mother-in-law photo shoot Kathy and I took her mother Jan to the park for a portrait session.  It was a perfect day and the images turned out wonderfully.  Look out Facebook... Here comes a beauty!

ZEN Jan Koeshall-2 ZEN Jan Koeshall-15 ZEN Jan Koeshall-18 ZEN Jan Koeshall-18-2

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Jan koeshall portrait Wed, 06 Jun 2012 19:31:04 GMT
Shoot with Len and Bethany Len and Bethany will be married on August 25th, 2012 and I am privileged to be their wedding photographer.  We had a great time getting to know one another and did an engagement shoot in Burlington.

ZEN Len&Bethany-20 ZEN Len&Bethany-21

ZEN Len&Bethany-30 ZEN Len&Bethany-48

ZEN Len&Bethany-62 ZEN Len&Bethany-72 ZEN Len&Bethany-101

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Sun, 03 Jun 2012 17:19:03 GMT
Photo shoot with the Neilson family I love doing family photo shoots...  Creating a fun atmosphere in a great location makes for wonderful memories.

Here a several photos from our shoot at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton


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ZEN Neilson Dundurn-204

ZEN Neilson Dundurn-137 ZEN Neilson Dundurn-35

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]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Neilson Family Sheryl Todd dundurn castle Tue, 15 May 2012 22:42:47 GMT
Day Thirty-One, March 31st, 2012 Day 31 - WOW... I have had such a full and rewarding trip and I have been very excited to share these experiences and what I saw with you my family and friends.

This morning I started at the south side of the Temple Mount at the ruins where at one time three entrances allowed people onto the Temple Mount.  You can see that they have since been closed up.  excavations revealed them....


The Golden Gate / Eastern Gate was closed up and muslim graves put in front to keep the Messiah from entering... Not going to work...


Looking south towards what was the City of David you can see the southeast corner of the Temple Mount.  Scripture refers to this as the "Pinnacle of the Temple" where satan told Jesus to jump off and show the world that He is the Son of God.


Driving to Bethlehem (seen on the upper right) you can see how a circular protection wall surrounds a tunnel that goes from Israel under Palestine and comes out to another part of Israel.


I visited an olive wood carver in Bethlehem that created works that are sold in many store fronts throughout Bethlehem.


The Nativity Church in Bethlehem built over the grotto where Jesus was born


Entrance to the Church of the Nativity is via the small Entry of Humility. The door was reduced to its present small size (which requires adults to stoop upon entering) in the Ottoman period to prevent horses and carts being driven through for the purposes of looting


Once through the small door another ancient door opens to the oldest church in the world.


On the ceilings hang Chandeliers and on the walls are fragments of mosaic. This building is the oldest standing church in the Holy Land.  Originally built by Constantine's mother in the 4th century, Emperor Justinian rebuilt the current structure in the 530s.  It was apparently spared destruction from the Persians in 614 A.D. because the invaders saw the depictions of the Magi on the walls.  Local Muslim-Christian friendship is believed to be why the church was not destroyed during al-Hakim's rule in 1009.


The trapdoors in the floor reveal 4th-century floor mosaics from the Constantinian church. 


The elaborate Greek Orthodox iconostasis - Fancy word that means... a wall of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary in a church. Iconostasis also refers to a portable icon stand that can be placed anywhere within a church


The exit of the Grotto - The place of Jesus' birth.  The entrance had so many people waiting to get in I didn't bother going there... probably should have.  I will have to go back early in the morning and down inside.  I have a shot from a previous trip of the cave the church was build over and the spot that is thought to be the birth place.  


This octagonal baptismal font in the south aisle dates from the 6th-century church of Justinian; it originally stood near the high altar. The inscription reads, "For remembrance, rest and remission of sins of those whose names the Lord knows." Archaeologists have discovered an octagonal bed of exactly the same dimensions over a cistern near the altar which provided the required water. The font was moved in the Crusader renovation

The lid would open up and the person would be submerged 


Sharing the wall on the right with the Nativity Church is this church that is well known for the Christmas Eve service from Bethlehem.  The Church of St. Catherine is a Catholic church and Franciscan monastery connected to the mostly Orthodox Church of the Nativity.


Entrance from the Church of the Nativity to the Armenian monastery that is on the south side of the church.

Ya... I like doors


On the left as you exit the Church of the Nativity you see a view of the bell towers, which are part of an Armenian monastery and not the Church of the Nativity.  In the distance you see the Manger Square, Bethlehem

Manger Square Bethlehem


The Shepherds' Field is said the be the place where the shepherds watched their flocks by night and the angels appeared to them with the announcement of the birth of Jesus.

Just down the road this is another location that claims the location of the angelic visitation to the shepherds


Last picture of my 31 day trip.  This decapitated hill top is called Herodion

There was another side to Herod. His visionary building programs, his ingenious development of trade with the rest of the world, and his advancement of the interests of his nation are legendary. Many of his building projects were designed to strengthen the loyalty of his subjects, a goal he never achieved. Most seem to have been built to strengthen his relationship with Rome and to establish himself as the greatest king the Jews had ever had. Herod built on a magnificent and grandiose scale. His building projects included:

The Herodion: This mountain fortress overlooked the town of Bethlehem. Standing on a high hill, the upper fortress was round and more than 200 feet in diameter. Originally, it was seven stories high, with an eastern tower that stood more than 40 feet higher. Packed dirt covered the first four stories, giving the upper fortress a cone shape. Inside were a peristyle garden, reception hall, Roman baths, and countless apartments. The lower palace included an enormous pool, a colonnaded garden, a 600-foot-long terrace, and a building more than 400 feet long. The Herodion was the third-largest palace in the ancient world....

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Armenian Monastery Baptismal Bethlehem Birth Church of St. Catherine City of David Eastern Excavations Gate Golden Gate Herodion Icon Iconostasis Jesus Manger Square Nativity Church Olive wood Palestine Pinnacle of the Temple Shepherd's Field Temple Mount carving grotto monastery mosaics oldest church wall Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:35:10 GMT
Day Thirty, March 30th, 2012 Spent the day at Nazareth Village.  It is a wonderful place to visit and experience 1st century life.  This is a sampling of images that I took in cooperation with Nazareth Village.  They along with a couple of ministries will be using photos from this shoot.

I won't give much commentary -  I will put the Nazareth Village website at the bottom


Nazareth Village Web site

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Jesus Nazareth Village first century nazareth Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:34:58 GMT
Day Twenty-Nine, March 29, 2012 OK... Here comes my busiest day to date.  I shot 1287 images and started my day at five a.m. on the Galilee watching the sunrise over the Golan Heights.  I was on a peer in Tiberius when I shot this.


On the north shore just below the Mount of Beatitudes and above were Jesus feed the 5000 is a little cave where tradition tells us Jesus would get away by Himself


Just below on the shores of the Galilee a stream flows with fresh water from the north


Half way up the Mount of Beatitudes is a beautiful panorama of the Galilee


Here is a vantage point of the Mount of Beatitudes that only a hiker can get to.  The area in front is where it is said that Jesus preached His longest recorded sermon - The Sermon on the Mount.


This is the westward view from the Golan Heights overlooking the southern part of the Sea of Galilee.

Just behind me where I took this panorama are some Syrian Bunkers that were build during 1948-67, when Syria controlled the Golan Heights.  It used the area as a military stronghold from which its troops randomly sniped at Israeli civilians in the Hula Valley below, forcing children living on Kibbutzim to sleep in bomb shelters. In addition, many roads in northern Israel could be crossed only after probing by mine-detection vehicles.


Here is the area on the eastern shore of the Galilee below the Golan Heights that is thought to be where Jesus encountered the demoniac and cast the demons in the pigs.


Not far down the road in the same area is this monument commemorating the place where Jesus fed the 4000.  Most of these people were Gentiles and it is thought that the man delivered from the demons brought them from his village that is on the other side of the Golan Heights.

Matthew 15:32


An hour drive north I was at Caesarea Philippi - It is also known as Banias... I wish my GPS knew that - wasted a lot of time looking for it.

Here you can view the remnants of the Temple of Pan

In the Gospels after Jesus asked His disciples "Who do men say that I am", they replied that Jesus was thought to be John the Baptist, Elias, or some other prophet, although Peter gave his own view and confessed his belief that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ).

Here Jesus predicted His destiny, for which Peter rebuked Him. In Matthew, Peter's expression of belief that Jesus was the Messiah is the occasion for Jesus designating Peter's confession as the rock on which the Church was to be built

Mark 8:27-30  -   Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”


The water flows from underground springs and makes its way down to the Galilee, then the Jordan River and eventually into the Dead Sea


A land flowing with milk and honey


As I drove back to the Sea of Galilee (and if you didn't know, it's only the size of a lake) I was greeted by this breathtaking vista.


My final shot of the day was when I pulled into Migdel where I was staying while in the Galilee... great guest house there name Beit Bracha (Meaning House of Blessings)

This is Mount Arbel on the left and the Valley of Doves.  Just beyond are the Horns of Hattin where on Saturday, July 4, 1187, the war between the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem and the forces of the Ayyubid dynasty was faught.

The Muslim armies under Saladin captured or killed the vast majority of the Crusader forces, removing their capability to wage war. As a direct result of the battle, Islamic forces once again became the eminent military power in the Holy Land, re-conquering Jerusalem and several other Crusader-held cities.  These Christian defeats prompted the Third Crusade, which began two years after the Battle of Hattin.

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]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) 4000 Bee hives Caesarea Philippi Crusaders Golan Heights Horns of Hattin Hula Valley Jesus Cave Lake Kinneret Mark 8 Mount Arbel Mount of Beatitudes Panorama Saladin Sea of Galilee Syria Syrian Bunkers Temple of Pan Tiberius bee Keeping boat demoniac jesus sermon on the mount shoreline springs sunrise sunset water Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:34:42 GMT
Day Twenty-Eight, March 28, 2012 I had an all day indoor shoot for a client and captured this photo as I was traveling to the Migdal guest house

Jesus talks about a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  He was talking about these hilltops up on the north side of the Galilee.  The Mount of Beatitudes area is just out of frame to the right.

Matthew 5:14 - 16  Teaching from the "Sermon on the Mount"

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Galilee hills lights night Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:34:34 GMT
Day Twenty-Seven, March 27th, 2012 I didn't have much time to photograph today so I just went to the Mount of Olives and visited the Dominus Flevit Church.

Dominus Flevit, which translates from Latin as "The Lord Wept", was fashioned in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ. Here, according to the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus, while walking toward the city of Jerusalem, becomes overwhelmed by the beauty of the Second Temple and predicting its future destruction, and the diaspora of the Jewish people, weeps openly. (Luke 19:37-42)


The cross in front and the church behind surround the Islam "dome of the rock" that is situated on what was the Temple Mount and the traditional place where Abraham offered up Isaac.  The rock inside is where Muslims say Muhammad was taken up in heaven by Gabrial and where the Jews say the Holy of Holies was.

From this church you get one of the most spectacular views of the Old City of Jerusalem.


The church off in the distance is The Church of Dormition.  This grand German Benedictine Abbey is located on top of Mount Zion, commemorating the memory of Virgin Mary, in the traditional site of her death.


As you leave the Church of Domius Flevit you see hundreds of Jewish graves facing the Temple Mount 

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]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Church of Dormition Dome of the Rock Dominus Flevit Church Israel Jesus Jesus Wept Jewish Luke 19:37-42 Mount of Olives Temple Mount graves" Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:34:20 GMT
Day Twenty-Six, March 26th, 2012 On the lower slop of the Mount of Olives is the Garden of Gethsemane.  Some of the olive trees are over 2000 years old - perhaps this tree was one that Jesus rested under or that His disciples slept against.  The church you see in the background is the Church of All Nations.

Inside the church when looking at the exit you see the light streaming in and inspiring the imagination and artistic eye.


The Kidron Valley between the Mount of Olives and the Old City walls has been beautifully manicured leading your eye up to the Eastern Gate / Golden Gate - where Jesus upon His return will have His triumphal entry.


Another view of the Kidron Valley leading down towards David's City.  So that you can get your bearings... The Old City Wall is on the right.

The cone shaped structure is the Tomb of Absalom and is the first of three major tombs as you go down the valley.


In behind Absalom's tomb are hundreds... perhaps thousands of Jewish graves that face towards the Eastern Gate where they also believe the Messiah will walk through.


Just down the path on the right are the other two major tombs that Jesus would have walked by


On the left is the tomb of the Sons of Hezir and on the right is tomb of Zechariah.  The pyramid shaped top shows the influence of Egypt at the time this monumental tomb was constructed.


No security is around these tombs and you can spend as long as you want exploring them.  This is looking out from the Tomb of the sons of Hezir.  


Looking the other way there is an opening that leads to several tombs.... perhaps this is where they laid the "sons".  It was very dark in here so I had to use my tripod with a long time exposure and my flashlight to light up the right side of the image.


This final shot shows part of the wall that Israel is erecting around Arab communities in close proximity to Jewish communities.  On the other side of the wall is Bethany where Lazarus lived and was raised from the dead.


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]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Bethany Garden of Gethsemane Israel Kidron Valley Mount Of Olives Old City wall Olive Tree Tomb Tomb of Absalom Tomb of Zechariah Tomb of the sons of Hezir church church of all nations eastern gate graves jewish graves tomb Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:34:10 GMT
Day Twenty-Five, March 25th, 2012 I'm finally home, settled in and ready to complete my trip blog - I was so good for the first 24 days... Here goes day 25 of 31:

As you enter the south side of the Old City of Jerusalem through the Dung Gate you are greeted on the right with what was the Temple Mount.  Some think that this corner is the "Pinnacle of the Temple" that Jesus was taken to and satan told Him to jump off to show the world that He is the son of God.  However, most think that it is the corner on the southeast side that I showed on my day 16 post.

Just down the side of the wall and past the ramp that is covered up is the Wailing Wall and the entrance to tunnels under the Arab Quarter of the old city.  I have so many more photos... but this is a blog not a photo album.  I will have all my best Israel photos up on my website by June 1st.


Here is the tunnel that runs all along the Temple Mount wall.

Most women pray at the wailing wall but some walk the tunnel to this location. It is the closest place to where the Holy of Holies was on the Temple Mount that women can get to today. 


As you continue down the tunnel you walk through what was a channel for water to flow into the city from large cisterns under the Church of the Sisters of Zion.  Also under the church is part of the Antonia Fortress, Roman - age street paving and where the Romans kept their prisoners.  It is felt that Jesus was imprisoned here... mocked and beaten.  See Blog day 14 for pictures from under this structure.

This road is the Via Dolorosa.  This road is where Jesus would have walked with His cross.  Here you can see some of the old arches from the time of Christ covering what was the way of the cross.



You can also enter the old city by the Jaffa Gate.  You will pass by David's Citadel as you enter the Jaffa Gate.  Surrounding it is a moat and angled walls.


Located just inside the Jaffa Gate about 200 hundred meters up and on your right is Christ Church.  Great place to have a lunch, stay in their guesthouse or spend some quiet time in the chapel.  It is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East.  It was completed in 1849 and soon after became known as the "Jewish Protestant Church"


As you enter and leave the church you are reminded of this scripture.

Here is a link to their web site:


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]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Antonia Fortress Christ Church David's Citadel Dung Gate Jaffa Gate Jesus Pinnacle of the Temple Prisoners Psalm 122:6 Roman Temple Mount Via Dolorosa arches church of the sisters of zion protestant tunnels Thu, 19 Apr 2012 01:33:55 GMT
Day Twenty-Four, March 24, 2012 The story of Jaffa (known in Hebrew and Yafo) begins in the days of ancient Egypt and continues over the generations through the biblical period, the Crusades, the period of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate, the War of Independence and the establishment of the State of Israel. On the bottom right you can see part of a Crusader building from a thousand years ago.


St. Peter's Church is the single largest and most distinctive building in Old Jaffa.


There is a big art community here in Jaffa.  This is a prominent sculpture that depicts Jacobs Dream, the sacrifice of Isaac and the fall of Jericho.  I know... it's hard to see it.  Keep in mind there is more on the other side.


Jaffa is mentioned in the Book of Jonah, which tells the story of how Jonah the Prophet descended to the city's port and sailed for Tarshish in an effort to escape from God’s command.

Jaffa is the oldest active Harbour in the world


The Beautiful Andromeda and the Kraken

Another story associated with the city comes from Greek mythology. Many claim that the tale of the beautiful princess Andromeda, who was bound to rocks in the sea, took place exactly facing the shores of Jaffa. Andromeda’s mother, Queen Cassiopeia, bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than the daughters of Poseidon. The Greek god of the sea became angry, inundated the shores of the Land of Israel with tidal waves and sent monsters to devour the people. Cassiopeia was asked to sacrifice her daughter Andromeda to one of the monsters in order to calm his anger. When she bound her to the rocks Perseus killed the monster, thus rescuing and marrying Andromeda. To this day it is possible to catch a glimpse of the chains on Andromeda Rock, at the entrance to the Jaffa Port.

I put up two pictures from the same area.  No one is sure which Rock in the ocean legend claims that Andromeda was chained to... so I took the two most likely areas. What's your guess?  Hypothetically speaking.


Simon the Tanner

The best-known rooftop in Jaffa – thanks to Peter’s famous vision – belongs to the House of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10:9-47). It is recognizable by the lighthouse, installed in 1875 to guide ships and fishing vessels past Jaffa's rocky shoals.

Members of the Armenian Christian Zakarian family, who still live in the house, were in charge of operating the lighthouse for generations. After many years of darkness, it once again illuminates Jaffa’s nights as part of the house’s restoration. In the old days, Mrs. Zakarian would welcome an endless stream of Christian visitor seeking to stand where Peter was praying when he saw his vision of the great sheet filled with unclean animals, which led him to convert the Roman centurion Cornelius in Caesarea.

The house and roof are now closed for renovation; however the Old Jaffa Tourism Association looks forward to it’s reopening. 

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Acts 10 Andromeda Greek Mythology Jacobs Dream Jaffa Jonah Kraken Mediterranean Sea Ocean Simon the Tanner St. Peter's Church Sun, 25 Mar 2012 20:28:19 GMT
Day Twenty Three, March 23, 2012 I had a very late night at the dance performance and stayed the morning getting caught up on some photo optimization and blog work.  I also had a great visit with my friends that I was staying with.  Therefore I just visited one location known as the Valley of Elah where David Fought Goliath.

I brought the bible along to read 1 Samuel 17 in the actual location of that notorious battle.  I also used the bible in my photos.  It wasn't hard to find 5 smooth stones from the same riverbed that David picked his.  One thing Israel is not short of... rocks.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) 1 Samuel: 17 David Goliath Israel Valley of Elah bible five smooth stones Sun, 25 Mar 2012 18:36:55 GMT
Day Twenty-two - March 22, 2012 I was not happy with my GPS that took me the long way around (Up and Over) from Migdal where I was staying to the other side of Tiberius where the tourist christians usually get baptized.  I should have just followed the shoreline.  HOWEVER, The scenic route was fabulous.

This has rarely been seen by tourist in israel.  It is an archeological dig that will eventually be open up.  It is just above the ruins of Old Tiberius.  This is on the Western side of the Sea of Galilee. up quite high.


A couple of friends greeted me on my way to the Jordan River


This is the Jordan River at the south of end of the Sea of Galilee where visitors can get baptized.


A long time friend of mine, David Rawling's is married to a highly respected dance instructor here in Israel.  Her name is Adi.  They ask me to photograph the Children's dance trop's big performance of the year.  These children are between the ages of 11 - 14.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Jordan River Lake Kinneret Old Tiberius Sea of Galilee Tiberius Sat, 24 Mar 2012 22:16:05 GMT
Day Twenty-one March 21, 2012 Capernaum

Started my day off in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a fresh water lake).  Matthew 4:13 tells the Capernaum was the home of Jesus.  Peter house was here also.  You can see a church that was built over Peter's house


A statue of Peter greets you as you enter this very important biblical town.  You can see him holding the "Key" to the church


Luke 4:31–44 tells that  Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on Sabbath. Jesus also healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law. According to Luke 7:1–10, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant.

The sign reads - The late fourth Century A.D. "White Synagogue" is Built upon the remains of the "Synagogue of Jesus" .  You can see the Black basalt stone which was the foundation of Jesus' synagogue.


The ancient synagogue has two inscriptions, one in Greek and the other in Aramaic, that remember the benefactors that helped in the construction of the building.


The town is cited in the Gospel of Luke where it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew.

This is an olive press from the time of Christ


Capernaum is also mentioned in Mark 2:1, it is the location of the famous healing of the paralytic lowered through the roof to reach Jesus.

These two depictions in stone are very fascinating.  This first one is an ionic temple on wheels and it may represent the ark of the covenant


The star of David was one of the ornamentations found on the synagogue.




According to chapter 14 of Matthew’s Gospel, the miraculous feeding came after Jesus learnt that Herod Antipas had beheaded his cousin, John the Baptist.

Jesus “withdrew in a boat . . . to a deserted place by himself”. Crowds followed and he had compassion on them, curing their sick.

In the evening he told the multitude — 5000 men, plus women and children — to sit on the grass. Then he took five loaves and two fish, “looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves . . . and the disciples gave them to the crowds”. After they had eaten, the leftovers filled 12 baskets.

The modern Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes stands on the site of a 4th-century church, displaying Byzantine mosaic decorations that are among the most elegantly executed in the Holy Land.

Tabgha is also remembered for Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after his Resurrection, when he tested and commissioned St Peter as leader of his Church.



But the best-known mosaic, on the floor near the altar, refers to the miracle the church commemorates. It shows a basket of loaves flanked by two Galilee mullet.

Beneath the altar is the rock on which it is believed Jesus placed the loaves and fish when he blessed them.



Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Nearby, on the Tabgha beach, stands the Church of the Primacy of St Peter. This squat building of black basalt, built in 1934, is where Jesus is believed to have made his third appearance to his disciples after his Resurrection.

As the event is described in the 21st chapter of St John, Peter and six other disciples had been fishing all night without catching anything. Just after daybreak Jesus stood on the beach, though they did not recognise him.

Jesus told the disciples to cast their net on the right side of the boat and the net filled with 153 fish. When the disciples dragged the net ashore, they found that Jesus had cooked them breakfast on a charcoal fire.


The rock incorporated in the church floor is traditionally believed to be the place where Jesus prepared breakfast. It was known to medieval pilgrims as Mensa Christ (the table of Christ).


After breakfast, Jesus challenged Peter three times with the question: “Do you love me?” Peter’s positive response to this three-fold challenge cancelled out his three-fold denial of Jesus the night before his crucifixion.

Then Jesus gave Peter a three-fold commission: “Feed my lambs . . . . Tend my sheep . . . Feed my sheep.” And he also indicated that Peter would die by martyrdom. After this event Peter’s primacy as head of the apostles was recognised.


Beside the church, in a garden setting, is an area designed for group worship. Between this and the lake stands a modern bronze statue of Jesus symbolically commissioning Peter with his shepherd’s crook.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) 153 2:1 4:13 Luke 4:31-44 Luke 7:1-10 Mark 2:1 Matthew 4:13 Olive press Pimacy of St Peter St. Peter's Primacy capernaum church feeding the 5000 fish fish and Loaves grinding mill loaves mosaic pillars statue stone synagogue tabgha Sat, 24 Mar 2012 21:00:48 GMT
Day Twenty - March 20, 2012 This is a boat that was discovered about 20 years ago when the Galilee was low.  It is called the Jesus boat because it is from the time of Christ.

This is the exciting and inspirational story of the discovery, excavation and conservation of the ancient Galilee Boat, known as the celebrated 
Jesus Boat. Moshe and Yuval Lufan, brothers and fishermen from Kibbutz Ginosar, discovered the Ancient Galilee Boat buried in the mud near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The discovery of the boat rocked the archaeological and spiritual world. Never before was such an ancient vessel found so complete. Once the boat was positively dated to the First Century C.E., pilgrims from around the world flocked to view the boat which could have been the very same vessel on which Jesus sailed the Sea of Galilee. The vessel is 9 meters long, 2.5 meters wide and 1.25 meters high. It may have functioned as a ferry boat, but its measurements also suit those used by ancient fisherman employing a seine, or dragnet, "cast into the sea" as described in Matthew 13:47-48.



The Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the sermon on the mount.



Mary's well in Nazareth.  This structure is built over the spot where Mary would have drawn water. The spring is located in the center of downtown Nazareth. According to a tradition, this was the place where angel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary that she will give birth to the son of God


Luke 1:26,27: "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary".




St. Gabriel Church is suggested by the Greek Orthodox to be the place of Annunciation. In the crypt of the church flows Mary's spring, the source of Mary's well.

Luke 1:31: "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus".

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Greek Orthodox Jesus Jesus boat Mary Mary's Spring Mary's well Mount of beatitudes Nazareth St. Gabriel Church annunciation beatitudes boat church galilee Wed, 21 Mar 2012 05:59:13 GMT
Day NIneteen - March 19th Another view of Mount Herman.  I am photographing from south to north.  Mount Herman will remain snow capped for a another few months still.  This picture was taken from Birchat Meshushim in the lower Golan, close to Nachal Yehudiah, and not far north of lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).


Hexagon Pools, Golan Heights, Israel - This was a  beautiful location to shoot.  The first two shots I used a tripod with a time exposer of around a minute.

Sheets of columnar basalt tinted a burnished gray hue hang alongside the Hexagon Pools – it’s the polygonal sections of rock that give the pools their name. The rock formations have developed by shifting subterranean fault lines over a very long time, which accounts for their unusual twisted appearance.

These are the ruins of Ancient Tiberius on the sea of Galilee

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Birchat Meshushim Hexagon Hexagon Pools Pools ancient basalt" columnar galilee israel mount Herman national park ruins tiberius Mon, 19 Mar 2012 22:25:13 GMT
Day Eighteen - March 18th Caesarea - Herod's city to honor and emulate Rome

the area became dominated by the Roman in 63 BCE, when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus.

In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century, Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish Law, or Halakha, as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non-Jewish.  The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade.

Aqueduct at Caesarea

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Herod Mediterranean sea Roman aqueduct caesarea israel Mon, 19 Mar 2012 22:17:58 GMT
Day Seventeen - March 17th, 2012 On my way to the old city I saw this light rail train suspension bridge. Where are the train tracks?  Well, down below... I found the cables far more interesting.

The Garden Tomb where Jesus's body was laid


The place of the skull is just outside the city gates and now above a bus station.  Calvary was above where now there is a graveyard.

John 19:17  Carry his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).


The most elaborate of all the old city gates.  This is the Damascus Gate.


A Christian graveyard just 400 meters outside of the Zion gate.  A most notable grave is the cause of thousands of visitors here


Oskar Schindler is laid to rest here


Looking Southeast from this graveyard and a 400mm lens I could clearly see part of the wall that Israel has build around the Palestinian sector.



]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) City Damascus Gate Garden Israel Old Oskar Schindler Tomb bridge calvary garden tomb gate golgotha light rail suspension bridge oskar schindler place of the skull rail skull suspension wall Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:21:26 GMT
Day Sixteen - March 16th, 2012 I kind of got lost and my GPS ended me up at at dead end up a narrow steep lane in an Arab village... not a problem though some locals helped me out.  On the east side of Mount of Olives I saw this church and asked the guard what is was.  I happy to find out that I was in Bethpage / Bethphage at the place where Jesus had his disciples get a never ridden donkey colt for him to ride into Jerusalem on.  Luke 19:29-40 - - - Can anyone sing Hosanna? and wave palm branches?

Known as the Palm Sunday Church, you see the mounting stone that it is said Jesus stepped up on to mount the colt.


Just about 300 meter's away is this beautiful Greek Orthodox church that overlooks Bethany from Bethpage.  Bethany is was also where Lazarus was raised from the dead.

Today both churches are near the security fence that was constructed in 2003 to protect Jerusalem from attacks coming from Palestinian areas.   That is Bethany on the other side of the fence.


Pater Noster is in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives and is now a convent, controlled by the Carmelite Cloistered Sisters. It is located at the site of the ruins of the "Eleona" Basilica, built in the 4th Century by Constantine. The Byzantine church was built over a cave where according to tradition was the place where Jesus hid with his disciples and taught the "Our Father" (Pater Noster) prayer, one of the most important prayers in Christianity. The Crusaders rebuilt part of the church, and a new convent was built in the 19th C.

The Lord's Prayer is presented on tile art in over 70 languages throughout the building. Luke 11:2-4 


Here I am standing at the bottom of the entrance to where Mary was buried.  It is a very old church that seems to be quite a ways below ground level.  it is located in the Garden of Gethsemane area at the bottom of the Mount of Olives.


This is the empty interior of the sarcophagus where it is said that Mary was laid to rest.



Southeast corner of the Temple Mount at sunset.

This the Pinnacle of the Temple where Jesus was tempted by satan to jump off and let the angles catch him.  This would then announce that he was the Messiah by a miraculous show.  

Luke 4:9, The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here.

A frighteningly high point that created a 450-foot drop down to the valley below (essentially equivalent to standing on top of a 45-story building and being dared to jump)

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Bethany Bethpage Israel Jesus Mary's Mount Olives Palm sunday church burial paster noster pinnacle of the Temple the lord's prayer Sat, 17 Mar 2012 20:40:54 GMT
Day Fifteen - March 15, 2012 Woke up this morning and it was raining hard... thought after two weeks of going hard it's time to take a day of rest... and get caught up on my blogs, optimization of images and admin...  so I did.

I promise some exciting entries tomorrow... and next... ...

So that I don't break the photo blog... Here's an image from a previous shoot.  This is in the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane.  That is the Rock where we are told that Jesus prayed on the night he was betrayed and his disciples slept.

This is a 5 second time exposure and that is why you see the movement of the people praying.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Sat, 17 Mar 2012 19:18:14 GMT
Day Fourteen - March 14th, 2012 It was my Via Dolorosa day.  Here I placed my bible on the actual Paving stones that Jesus would have carried his cross on.  The city has been built up over the road now but it can be seen in the lower area of the Sisters of Sion convent.

The bible is open to John 19.  The passage tells about the sentencing of Jesus and His Crucifixion.


This is stop One on the Via Dolorosa.  This church is called chrurch of the Flagellation - Where Jesus was beaten and whipped before being taken to be crucified.  Look closely at the ceiling - you will see the crown of thorns.


Here the bible is placed on a pavement stone where soldiers would play games to entertain themselves while humiliating and hurting their prisoners.  You can see there game carved into the stone - note the square within and square and some diagonal lines.


At the foot of the place that once bore the Antonia fortress, the pool (now a cistern) is located at the northwestern corner of Jerusalem's Temple Mount and measures 52 by 14 metres. Once open-aired, the pool was accessible along both long walls by a series of rock-cut steps covered by water-proof mortar composed of chalk and ashes.

The pool was apparently built by Herod The Great during his construction of the Antonia and the renovation of the Temple Mount in the late 1st century BCE

The Pool is also accessible by a rock-cut passage that leads south for 34 meters before reaching the western wall of the Temple Mount enclosure. Blocked by the Herodian construction, this was an earlier aqueduct that once fed one of the cisterns underneath the Temple Mount enclosure itself.


This is the famed Catholic Basilica, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  This is the final stop of the Via Dolorosa and represent the last five Stations of the Cross.  The next five pictures were taken there today.  Though the exterior is not very impressive the interior could be explored and appreciated for hours.


This is proposed to the place where the cross of Jesus stood


On the other side is the chapel of the Angel and of this side you see the tomb of Jesus.


In the largest gathering chapel in the basilica there is a beautiful Dome with an impressive painting.  This room is called Katholikon.


And yes I had to finish off my day with another Sunset over Jerusalem.  Those are Jewish graves facing the Eastern Gate where the Messiah will return  through.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Angel Church Edicule Game Glass Holy Israel Jerusalem Jesus Judgement Kings Lithostrotos Paving Pilate Sepulchre Sisters of Zion Stones The church of Flagellation Thorns Via dolorosa Zion basilica chamber chapel church of the holy sepulchre convent crown rotunda seat stained tomb Thu, 15 Mar 2012 16:18:39 GMT
Day Thirteen - March 13th, 2012  

Went to the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu.  This located just outside of the southern side of the old city high up in the City of David.  This was Caiaphas’ house where Jesus was tried and then lowered into the dungeon for the night.  The church takes its name from the Latin word "Gallicantu", meaning cock-crow. This is in commemoration of Peter's triple rejection of Jesus.

"Then seizing him [Jesus], they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest [Caiaphas]. Peter followed at a distance. . . .A servant girl . . . said, 'This man was with him.' But he denied it. 'Woman, I don't know him,' he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, 'You also are one of them.' 'Man, I am not!' Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, 'Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.' Peter replied, 'Man, I don't know what you're talking about!'


Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly."    LUKE 22: 54-62

These are the steps Jesus would have taken as his captures lead from the garden of Gethsemane to the Caiaphas the high priest house.


This is a hole in the ceiling of the dungeon in Caiaphas’ house where Jesus was lowered into it for the night. 



King David’s tomb is located in a corner of a room situated on the ground floor remains of the former Hagia Zion Byzantine church; the upper floor of the same building has traditionally been viewed as the Upper Room. The site was apparently not viewed as David's Tomb until the 12th century. According to Benjamin of Tudela, writing about 1173, the tomb was discovered during repairs to the church; the motivation for it being declared to be the tomb of David is uncertain. It is impossible to verify whether the tomb is original to the location, as crusaders removed the tomb from its earlier context, and placed within it a stone sarcophagus, newly built for the purpose; the sarcophagus now rests over the 14th century floor.  Since 1949, a blue cloth, with basic modernist ornamentation, has been placed over the sarcophagus. The images on the cloth include several crown-shaped Rimmon placed over Torah scrolls, and a violin, and the cloth also features several pieces of text written in Hebrew.

Most of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, which was about 485 m. long, is hidden by the buildings adjoining it. Until June 1967 the accessible portion of the wall was no longer than 28 m. In front of it ran a stone-paved alley 3.5 m wide bordered on its west by a slum area. The Wall aboveground consisted of 24 rows of stones of different dressing and age, reaching a total height of 18 m. with 6 m. above the level of the Temple Mount. In 1867 excavations revealed that 19 more rows lay buried underground, the lowest being sunk into the natural rock of the Tyropoeon Valley.

In 1968 the ground in front of the Wall was excavated to reveal two of the buried rows of stone, and the Wall then consisted of seven layers of huge, marginally dressed ("Herodian") stones from the Second Temple, above which are four layers of smaller, plainly dressed stones from the Roman or Byzantine periods. The upper stones were constructed after the Moslem conquest.

Jewish travelers over the centuries used to marvel the immense dimensions of the lower stones - average height 1 m and length 3 m, but some as long as 12 m. and weighing over 100 tons - and believed they were part of Solomon's Temple. They were probably quarried at the Cave of Zedkiah (near the Damascus Gate). In order to withstand the soil pressure of the filling behind the Wall, the rows were laid in a terraced manner, each row being set back a few centimeters relative to the one beneath it. The Wall thus slants slightly eastward. This factor, the weight of the stones, and the accuracy of the cutting account for the unusual stability of the Wall.


This is a model of the temple of the Old Testament.  It is on the roof of the Aish Hatorah World Centre.  The temple was once on the temple mount where the Muslims have their Dom of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque. 

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:02:34 GMT
Day Twelve - March 12, 2012  

I had a meeting with the Rawlings in the morning.  They are long time friend of the family from Ontario that have lived in Israel for many years.  I then headed into the Old City and photographed the interior of the Church of all Nations that is build over the Garden of Gethsemane on the mount of Olives just opposite the Eastern Gate of what was the Temple area.  I will return when the weather is better to photograph the exterior.



The Priesthood Restored

Ezekiel 44:1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. 2 The LORD said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. 3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”

Psalm 24:  Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle . . . The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.

A Momentous Decision

This prophecy was partially fulfilled more than 400 years ago in 1517 when the Turks conquered Jerusalem under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent. He commanded that the city's ancient walls be rebuilt, and in the midst of this rebuilding project, for some unknown reason, he ordered that the Eastern Gate be sealed up with stones.

Legends abound as to why Suleiman closed the Gate. The most believable one is that while the walls were being rebuilt, a rumor swept Jerusalem that the Messiah was coming. Suleiman called together some Jewish rabbis and asked them to tell him about the Messiah. They described the Messiah as a great military leader who would be sent by God from the east. He would enter the Eastern Gate and liberate the city from foreign control.

Suleiman then decided to put an end to Jewish hopes by ordering the Eastern Gate sealed. He also put a Muslim cemetery in front of the Gate, believing that no Jewish holy man would defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery.

A Prophetic Symbol

The Gate has remained sealed since that time. The Muslim cemetery still blocks the entrance. The old walled city has eight gates, and the Eastern Gate, and it alone, is sealed — just as prophesied in Ezekiel 44. The world would call that an "amazing coincidence." I call it a "God-incidence."

The Eastern Gate is proof positive that the Bible is the Word of God. Its sealing is clear evidence that we are living in the end times. The Gate awaits the return of the Messiah. Then and only then, will it be opened.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Church Church of all Nations City Eastern Gate Ezekiel 44:1 Garden of Gethsemane Gate Gethsemane Jerusalem Mount of Olives Old Psalm 24 Temple Tue, 13 Mar 2012 06:46:35 GMT
Day Eleven - March 11, 2012 Jerusalem… I’m excited to be here and start capturing earth’s central location.  This most unique city has such rich history and an array of religions.  This is the place that both the old and new covenant was established between God and man.

I drove from Galilee to Jerusalem to day and did not get much shooting in except for the sunset over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

This first picture is a 4 image panorama (F16, 28 seconds, 90mm lens, ISO 100 – for each image) It's over 400 MB and will enlarge to fill a wall.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:46:42 GMT
Day Ten - March 10th, 2012  

Traveled to the top of Israel today and visited the ruins of a few ancient civilization.  Mount Herman is snow covered most of the year because of its high elevation.  The town in the foreground is Kiryat Shmona.


I visited Tel Hazor and Tel Dan. The city of Dan was named after the tribe of Dan.  Its springs are the main source of the Jordan River and are feed by the snow and rains on Mount Herman.


This place was a Canaanite city that was taken by the tribe of Dan.  This tribe found the Philistines to difficult a challenge and therefore headed north to conquer the land that was called Laish. (Judges 18:27-29)


Finished up the day photographing the Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles on the shore of the Galilee

Tomorrow I travel to Jerusalem via Caesarea

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Dan Herman Laish Mount israel Sat, 10 Mar 2012 20:36:52 GMT
Day NIne - March 9th, 2012 I spent the day shooting for a client in the Tiberius area

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Sat, 10 Mar 2012 20:31:02 GMT
Day Eight - March 8th, 2012 Slept once again in the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel on the shores of the Dead Sea.  Made a morning Climb into David’s Falls to capture the cascades of water.  

David and his men stayed in Ein Gedi and certainly enjoyed the fresh water falling from the Desert plateau above.  Young boys couldn't help themselves and jump in fully clothed in one of falls about half way up.

I loved the shoreline at this point of the Dead Sea.  This is near the north end of this body of water.

Just a few miles further north before leaving the Dead Sea area I stopped in to capture the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.


This is the actual cave where a shepherd boy when looking for his sheep discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not knowing it's value, he asked a cobbler to make some sandals from the Leather that the Old Testament text was written on.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Cave Dead Ein Gedi Qumran Sea mainse photography reynold scrolls Fri, 09 Mar 2012 18:55:52 GMT
Day Seven - March 7th, 2012 Just outside of Elat I found it fascinating how the Israelis love their trees.  Bulldozers had moved the land but made sure not to damage the trees

After taking this tree preservationist photo I continued North and stopped in at Hai-Bar Yotvata nature reserve to photograph animals mentioned in the bible.

Somali Wild Ass

Griffon Vulture

Then stopped by Masada for a sun-set and a few other places on my way to Ein Gedi for spend the night.  Tomorrow I plan to photograph David’s water falls and also the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Animals Mainse Reynold desert israel Fri, 09 Mar 2012 18:20:50 GMT
Day Six - March 6th, Israel  

Today I was around Elat.  I photographed underwater life (call me Jacques Cousteau) However, I didn’t get wet.

Black Spotted Puffer

I also photographed the border between Israel and Egypt as well as the border between Israel and Jordan.  From Elat they are both just minutes away.  At the Israel Egypt border a soldier with his machine gun told me to stop photographing and took me to the customs officer for them to ask me questions… I had a stern warning about photographing border crossings and then I was sent on my way.

Israel and Egypt - You can see the soldier coming toward me to take me to the customs officer...

Israel and Jordan

One more for fun- these little guys (spotted Shrimpfish) are about 3 inch long and stay still in a vertical position with a long fin from their chin to tail.  Hum... do fish have chin's?

Tomorrow I am heading back north again now that the weather is good.  Check back to see what I see.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Elat Israel border fish Tue, 06 Mar 2012 20:01:51 GMT
Day Five - March 5th, Israel  

I was at Timna Park all day just 30 K north of Elat.  "Remember to bring lots of water when you're out in a desert all day".  Thankfully it’s winter here and therefore it was not scorching.

An organization built a replica of the tabernacle of Moses.  And put it “perhaps” in the region that Moses had the children of Israel.  This my last shot of the day as the sun was dipping below the horizon.

I took this photo inside of the Holy of Holies showing the Ark of the Covenant... and I wasn't struck dead

Here is the google map location:

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Israel Mainse Park Timna photo reynold shoot Mon, 05 Mar 2012 21:36:25 GMT
Day Four - March 4th, Israel  

Day Four – March 4th

Made it to Masada by 5:45am and set up for a sunrise.  Well the sunrise didn’t impress me but the location sure did.  I had about 60% cloud cover all morning.

Returned to Arad and then drove to the bottom of Israel – Elat.

Tomorrow I go to Timna park to photograph a replica of Moses Tent Tabernacle.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:14:46 GMT
Day Three - March 3rd, Israel  

Day Three – March 3rd

Photographed the sunrise again in Ein Gedi – not as nice as yesterday but a good vantage point over the Dead Sea.  I checked and the road was open to the south… went back to Ein Gedi to eat breakfast and pack-up.

Left for Masada and photographed for 3 or 4 hours around the base on the east side.  80% cloud cover so I had to be wait on the sun most of the time.

 Security came and found me – People from the top of Masada saw someone out in the salt valleys with something that looked suspicious… Security checked and thought I might have had a sniper rifle…  They were relieved to see it was my tri-pod and camera.

Made my way to Arad for the night with plans for catch sunrise on the West side of Masada in the morning.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Ein Gedi Israel Masada sun rise Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:13:37 GMT
Day Two - March 2nd, Israel  

Day two - March 2nd

Ein Gedi:  Another wet day… I was outside by 5:30am hoping for a nice sunrise… it was all right.   The sun peered between a slit in the clouds just over the Jordanian mountains and painted the sky with some beautiful colours.  All the while I was dealing with very high winds and light rain.

Breakfast at 7:30 then some photo optimization.

I was packed and on my way to the south – thinking about stopping and Masada and then on to Elat.  On my way I stopped to photograph some Ibex. They look like goats but with some serious horns…

About 5 K down the road there was not going on as the road was covered with a flash flood that came off the mountains.  Remember the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth nothing drains out everything flows in.

Well I’m back at Ein Gedi which is nice be a little frustrating as they have closed the walking paths for the next few days that would have afforded some spectacular images.  This is the place were David hid in the caves and one night snuck in and cut a piece off King Saul’s garb.  I will catch this on the way back north.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Dead Ein Gedi Flash Flood Ibex Israel Sea Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:12:34 GMT
Day One - March 1st - Israel  

Day one - March 1st

Tiberius:  woke up and it was raining… it’s to rain for the next 4 days Therefore I decided to head as far south as I can to get into to some better photography weather and return to the Galilee next week.

On my way I stopped at a 1000 year old Crusader Castle – One of Israel’s many national parks.  It is called Belvoir Fortress - KokHav Hayarden

I also photographed a British military building that was abandoned in 1948 when the British left.  The Israelis have used it for military practice as you can see.

]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Belvoir Fortress Israel KokHav Hayarden national Park ruins Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:09:46 GMT
Israel Photo shoot Exciting news...

For years I have wanted to take my "Sweet time" photographing the beauty and historical locations of Israel.  Like some of you that have been with tour groups in Israel or anywhere for that matter, I have been frustrated by not having the time capture all the images that present themselves to me.

During the "entire month" of March I will be shooting for a few clients and the stock photography company I shoot for. I'm really looking forward to this however I will miss my family at home.

I think it will be my 8th time to Israel.  I anticipate that this will be my most challenging and adventurous for sure.

ZEN Israel 2008-0846 I took this photo a couple of years back while with a group that I was helping to lead.  It was a fast run-an-gun shot.

I will be uploading often some of the images I am getting so you can track with me.


]]> (Mainse Media Group / Reynold Mainse) Israel photo shoot Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:38:39 GMT