Black friars for more please visit http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/blackfriars.html The only substantial remains of a medieval community's foundation in Ipswich are those of the church of the Dominicans, the Blackfriars, whose Friary of the Blessed Virgin lay to the south of Tacket Street. Standing in the west doorway of the church, looking east. A nave altar stands in front of the nearest lamp post. To the left of it is the chancel step, and the resonance chambers of the choir. To the right of it is the arcade of the chapter house wall. The high altar stood where the far lamp post is. All this is now a public recreation area. The Blackfriars had been founded by St Dominic, 47 years earlier, and were intended as an order of preachers, who tried to live 'the apostolic life' in community with each other. St Dominic taught that those who took a vow of poverty were freed from the care of property to travel and to preach, as described in the Gospels and the Act of the Apostles. The Blackfriars community was the first of the three Friaries to be established, in 1263. It expanded rapidly; within 15 years, there were 50 members, out of 20,000 worldwide, a number that would not be reduced until the Black Death in the late 1340s. It gradually took over the fallow land that lay to the south and east, including part of the town wall and ditch, and new buildings were erected. Unlike the Priories, the Friars were not allowed to own land beyond their immediate premises. Instead, they relied on charitable donations for their upkeep. This might have been their salvation; but it proved to be their downfall, as we shall see. Their church was dedicated to Mary. It had substantial aisles to north and south, and a choir separated nave and chancel, in the cathedral manner. There was probably a central tower, and early reports of a spired church seem to refer to this one. The chancel had a chapel to the south, probably constructed after a bequest by the Dukes of Suffolk. Between this chapel and the nave were the chapter house and the sacristy. pole hand panorama
an interesting streetview on a Sunday windy April in Ipswich
on a windy day
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.