Tag Archive | architecture

Assisi – and “….. a channel of Peace”


There is a saying ‘… that no journey to Italy would be complete without a visit to the renowned town of Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region’– and we agree !


Having visited this place once before, Jo and I decided to take our younger daughter Andrea to Assisi as part of her “….come and see part of Europe before entering College” trip; in preparation of her studies to become an architect.

As always we stayed for a month in our rented flat in Florence, a perfect base for taking a number of enjoyable day trips to various places in the region, like Lucca, Sienna, Pisa, Fieselo,…….

Whilst visiting the Basilica we came across a number of musical recordings on CD by Friar Alessandro (“The voice of Assisi” as he is known).


A man so very talented and gifted with the most incredible powerful tenor voice.

Please listen to just these two videos with titles so befitting for todays troubled world we live in.

“Make me a channel of your peace”

And ‘Amazing Grace” from his album “Voice of Peace”.

After I had just finish writing this piece the electricity went off – again!!!! Which gave me a good excuse to have a hopefully short brake.

I later switched on the TV – Deutsche Welle to keep up to date with my old ‘home country’ and to my tremendous surprise I heard the voice of Friar Alessandro singing Haendels “Ave Maria” in Assisi. Sadly I only caught this program “The Saint and the Pope” (the Mexican tenor Rolando Vallazon investigates Francis) at the very end, but …… talk of coincidences!!!


As always I wish you, my friends, a peaceful Advent.


Assisi ….and “A channel of Peace”

Da gibt es einen Spruch der sagt: “….keine Reise nach Italien ist komplett ohne die bekannte Stadt von Assisi zu besuchen, die Geburtstadt von St. Francis von Assisi, in der Provinz Perugia in der Region von Umbria – und wir stimmen dem zu!

Wir hatten diesen Ort schon einmal besucht aber Jo und ich entschlossen uns unsere juengere Tochter Andrea nach Assisi zu nehmen als “…komm’ und sehe Europa bevor Du aufs College gehst um Architektur zu studieren” trip.

Wir wohnten fuer einen ganzen Monat wie ueblich in unserem gemieteten Appartment in Florenz, eine perfekte Basis fuer unsere taeglichen Ausfluege in die Umgebung wie z.B. Lucca, Sienna, Pisa, Fiesolo …..

Waehrend unseres Besuchs der Basilika fanden wir eine Reihe von musikalischen Aufnahmen auf CD’s von Friar Alessandro ( “die Stimme von Assisi” als er genannt wird)

Er ist ein Mann mit einem unwahrscheinlichen Talent und einer Gottesgabe – sein kraftvoller Tenor.

Bitte hoert Euch heute nur diese zwei kurze video’s an deren Titel so passend sind fuer die heutige beaengstige Zeit in der wir leben.

Nachdem ich gerade diesen Beitrag hier fertig hatte, ging unsere Electricitaet mal wieder weg, fuer mich eine gute Entschuldigung schnell eine kurze Pause einzulegen.

Und als ich spaeterden Fernseher einschaltete – Deutsche Welle, um auf dem laufenden zu bleiben, was aus meiner alten Heimat kommt, hoerte ich zu meiner grossen Ueberraschung die Stimme von Friar Alessandro, der Haendels “Ave Maria” in Assisi sang. Leider hatte ich dieses Program ziemlich am Ende erwischt; “Der Heilige und der Pabst” (der mexikanische Tenor Rolando Villazon untersucht Francis )…… sprecht mal von Zufall !!!

Und wie immer, liebe Freunde, wuensche ich Euch einen schoenen friedlichen Advent.




Saturday was earmarked as a potential day of rest – meaning doing just this and a little bit of that, like a quick visit to my hairdresser, like trying to bake a cake, doing some housework, checking out some clothes which possibly could be packed for our one month long trip to Bangkok early next month, etc.etc. etc. when my husband found 2 small articles in some of our local newspapers.

About one exhibition I wrote yesterday and this second one was about a small painting exhibition which was being held by Niranjana Varma, who is a member (on her father’s side) of the proud and ancient Royal family of Cochin, to be precise, of Tripunithura the capital of the former Kingdom of Cochin.

Painting exhibitions are to be found in our city a-plenty, and history is mostly read from books, but what really aroused my interest here was that Niranjana had painted scenes from the daily life in this area, especially around the famous Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, considered one of the greatest Temples in Kerala, directly onto the Silk Sarees which were on display and up for sale. Ad since it is Festival Season at the Temple buyers for those unique hand painted silky works of art were aplenty. The artist used acrylic paint to immortalise her vision on silk.

She grew up in this area and knows how to capture the daily routine of the people living there, including the beloved Aana’s (Elephants) like no other artist.

I have to admit – I could not resist and so I bought 2 of her long hand painted silk shawls, one for each daughter. And since both are traditionalists I know they will like their little gifts. And should they not want to wear them they can be framed like paintings – which in fact they are.

All over the world, in every city or village somewhere we find something which should be rescued from men and the elements of time and preserved for posterity. But most of the time funds are short or don’t exist at all in order to go ahead and do the necessary and before one knows time has taken its toll on those buildings etc. and before long they have fallen completely into disrepair.

The same thing is happening here too. I did not know, that there are still 33 such old buildings in Tripunithura alone, and everyone of those buildings is classified as a Royal Palace. And as Niranjana explained to me “… since I cannot rebuild those ancient palaces, I at least keep them on paper for posterity…”

I did not have time to photograph all of her 33 water colours, but I do hope you enjoy the small selection of her work.

When I finally had to say good bye for the day since Niranjana and I had to rush off to some other appointments, we were joined by her very charming parents and I promised to return soon for a lengthy talk (or better, listening!) on Tripunithura’s history and tradition and who would be a better source than K.T.Ravi Varma Sir and his wife Hemalatha Varma.

Namaskaram,  Carina

(Disclaimer: The review is published on the basis of my visit to the exhibition and it is expressly stated that I have no dealings whatsoever with the artists or items displayed. CS)

(Photos: CS/Manningtreearchive)