I think it's the Catholic upbringing in me, I absolutely LOVE churches, temples or any religious artifacts! So any travel adventures bring opportunities for visiting churches and cathedrals. On our last holiday to New Caledonia, I snapped these images.
Often our religious beliefs are set in our childhood, and after being persecuted by our local church for being a divorced mother, our mother told us that you did not need to go to church to be a good person. She told us that our body was the Temple of the Lord, take care to keep it clean. It was good advice!
G. K Chesterton wrote: "Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car."
Still though, I like to visit these places. I find them compellingly beautiful, calming, peaceful places when they are empty, clean and pure. There seems to be an essence reflected in these walls - perhaps all those souls having gathered there to pray, over time, collectively, and finding their own solace and peace within.
|Details on the stone wall of the stunningly beautiful Saint Joseph's Cathedral in Noumea.|
|Nature adds Value!|
|High on a hill, the cathedral towers over the city of Noumea, building started in 1888.|
|Built to accommodate 1000 people, late-comers stand at the entrance.|
|Beautiful stained glass windows throw colourful light into a gloomy cavernous interior.|
|Under Sunny Skies|
|Monument of a French soldier?|
|Such architectural details flanking the cathedral....|
|The Blessed Virgin Mary!|
Another stunning stained glass window
What amazes me, is that much of all these wondrous pieces of architecture had to be shipped all the way from Mother France!
|An informal outdoor waiting room...|
|It is thrilling to imagine how these massive monoliths were built back in the day, when there were possibly no light-frame aluminium ladders, concrete mixers and a handy hardware store just down the road!!|
|Stumbling across another meeting house in Mont Dore...|
|The gated church invites you in only on Sundays!|
|That clear blue Pacific Island sky...|
|For Whom the Bell Tolls....?|
|Another church on the way to La Foa, sitting in the shimmering sun|
|Mary pronounces that this is indeed, yet another Catholic stronghold!|
|Simple and magnificent. Simply magnificent!|
|Reminiscent of the Rising Sun!|
|The swallows (on ceiling) joyfully dive-bombed us, showing off their aeronautical acrobatics!|
|These cool interior churches are welcome respite from the heat.|
|The Catholic School next door... Notre Dame.|
|Lifou Island churches going to the dogs....!|
|The carving welcomes patrons to the church car park|
|Another simple, stunning stain-glass window.|
|I love this view from the church!|
|Another church on Lifou, huddled close to the beach.|
|Protestant Church resembling a castle!|
|Passing sultry sky-line.|
|The side entrance and bell-pull.|
|A window reflected in a window...|
|Windows in windows, and hidden self portrait.|
|Another humble interior, no less appealing...|
|Woven mats for sitting on the cool tiled floor.|
|Something about these colours remind me of Greece...!|
|It appears as if the church will tumble into the sea beyond...|
|Strolling to church along the beach....|
|Standing below the statue of Mary, looking out over Noumea harbor...|
The Sacred Heart.
Remember, whatever your faith, take heed: your body is your temple, take care what you put in it and how you care for it!