Interior of St. Martins Church
Interior with christmas decorations, photo's taken on december 25, 2010.
St. Martins's church (founded for Carmelite nuns) was built in the years 1637-1630. It was constructed in early baroque style according to the design made by John Trevano. The building was erected on the foundations of another church, which go back to the 12th century.
The classicistic altar, which in Protestant church functions only as as the Communion table, dates back to 1870. The picture presenting "Calming the storm at sea" by Henryk Siemiradzki is placed above the table.
Above the picture you can see a gothic wooden crucifix from about 1380 (the oldest in Krakow). Behind this crucifix, not visible on this photo, is a stained glass window dating to the period 1918-1939. It presents the Fall into Sin (on the left) ans Sending of the Holy Spirit to the first apostles (on the right).
On the communion table there are six large candles, a silver crucifix, a bible and the Communion vessels. On the boards against the walls are numbers of songs sung during the service, the number after "introit" indicates the applicable words of Psalms. In front of the Communion table there is a font crowned with a figure of Jesus Christ being baptized by John the Baptist.
Photo's taken on may 29, 2011.
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.