Taking in Life Around Me.....#Sundaystills....Theme: Sacred Spaces

This #sundaystills challenge is hosted by Terri from Second Wind LeisureIt's a great themed photography challenge that you'll enjoy. I love seeing the other participants interpretation of the theme each week...it causes me to think outside the box. I joined in hopes of it pushing me to get out and take more photos...I have to some degree, but I also like that Terri is okay with us finding photos in our archives, which is also a lot of fun. So check out my photos and then head over to Terri's page to participate or visit other's posts. There are some awesome contributors who always inspire me.

This weeks theme is Sacred Spaces. 

What does sacred mean? Wikipedia says it is something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among believers.

Many people think of a church building when they think of sacred spaces, but to me, a sacred space, a sacred moment is anywhere that I feel the presence of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. It can be in a building with 4 walls, but more often it's in my home, it's out in nature, it's playing outside with my grandkids, it's in my car. 

The whole inhabited earth is sacred space in which God lives, breathes and acts. ~Carter Heyward

My own spiritual journey began almost 40 years ago (wow). I'm thankful for where it's brought me, but it hasn't been a cake walk, especially the last 10 years when we stepped out of the 4 walls of the church. So, much of what I feel are sacred spaces, now, are outside those walls. When my kids were little and we had to stay home from church because of sickness, so often I felt like I was missing out, when in reality being with them is just as sacred as being elsewhere. 

Your mind is a sacred space. Choose carefully what you allow to enter there. 

With that all said, I LOVE church buildings, old, and I suppose new, but old ones captivate me. They are so beautiful, so I will share some from our trips. I was a bit disappointed that last week I meant to drive around the town where my daughter lives and take a few photos of some older churches there, but then totally forgot!The above photos are what I would consider sacred moments/places, just as much as the ones I'm going to share below. 

This is St. Ann's Stone Chapel in Kennebunkport, ME. It was consecrated in 1892. More than 100 years passed before major restoration work was required. It is beautiful both inside and out and is an active parish. In the summer, there is an outdoor summer chapel that faces the water. You can read more about the church here

On our trip to the NE States, one of the other things I loved seeing besides the fall leaves, and the covered bridges, were the old churches and buildings. This one above, stood alone on a road heading to Sandwich, NH. I'm not entirely sure if they are all still used as churches, but they are neat to see. 
From simple white buildings to more regal stone and brick, they all have their beauty.
This is the chapel my oldest daughter got married in. The chapel was dedicated in 1883. The Providence Academy was a Young Ladies Academy in 1874.  ow it houses businesses, a ballroom, and this chapel that is used for weddings. Click here for the history of the building. Sorry I don't have any outdoor photos sadly. 
Back to the East Coast. The church above is in NYC, but for the life of me I cannot find the name of it. I mean, of course, there are hundreds of Churches in NYC. What amazed me most was that you would find these old churches, amongst all these glistening high rise buildings. 
I loved this one with it's gray stone and red doors. So pretty! The windows are amazing. I have noticed that on our trips, when I see old churches, they all have similar flower shaped round windows. 
Another NY beauty. I just love the red door and the pop of green color. I looked up to see if there was a reason that many churches (especially older ones) have red doors. The answer I found was twofold. Many believe it represented the blood of Christ, but also that it signified a place of refuge, safety and sanctuary. A place of healing.
The above photo is the Cathedral in the Bern Munsterplatz in Bern, Switzerland. We climbed the stairs to the top. Online says there are 344 steps to the top. I thought we counted more, but I can't remember. It gave spectacular views of the city below. 
There are more than 250 churches in Venice, Italy...can you believe it. The one above is the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. It overlooks the grand canal and was built around around 1630.
I know I should have put these more in order, but I just didn't have the time. While we ate lunch at a restaurant in Switzerland, our table overlooked this view with the church and cemetery in the background. 

Outside a church in Como, Italy. This one did allow inside photos. 

Many of the churches in Italy forbid you to take photos, but this one allowed it. You could actually schedule times for confession (no, thanks...been there done that growing up..haha. I always felt like I had to come up with something bad I'd done, even if I hadn't done anything). It was beautiful though. 
The famous Basilica of San Marco. Beautiful. I don't think we went inside though. It is stunning. 

The Basel Minster, in Basel, Switzerland was originally built in 1019 and 1500 with a Romanesque and Gothic styles. It was destroyed in 1356 by an earthquake and then rebuilt. 
On our way to visit Ausserberg, Switzerland, we spied this old chapel on a hill. How fun it would've been to try to get to the top. I didn't get anymore information on it, and wish I had. 
In Basel, there is a location, where you are in Germany, Switzerland and France all at the same time. The above Church is across the river in France. 
Old church in Ausserberg, Switzerland. I believe it is a Roman Catholic Church. 
Back in the states, this church is on Kelley's Island, Ohio and is called the Old Stone Church. It was built in 1865 and was a German Evangelical Reform Church. Here is it's history. 

This chapel was on the property of Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, VT. It's not an old chapel, but the owners had a dream of building a chapel and her son completed it. She and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary there. Now I believe you can rent it. 

All of the remaining photos are throughout our drive through all the NE states and I don't remember where, and since I'm so short on time, I can't really go through and google them, though it's always fun to do so. So, I hope you just enjoy the photos and architecture. 

With Joy Unquenchable,


  1. Good grief, you have a giant collection of churches, Kirstin! Some of your facts about the number of chapels in Venice and in New York City were fascinating. I agree with you in finding solitude and worship out in nature. God's creation is perfect although humankind's attempts are pretty close! I think my favorite inside and out is the St Anne's Stone Chapel. Talk about being surrounded by nature, with all that would and stone. Beautiful. Of course, who can resist the amazing European churches? Amazing tour!

    1. Thanks Terri....I can't believe I forgot to go back and check comments...haha. I love old churches.

  2. That's really joyful for me read your blog I'm feeling so peaceful after that. Please never stop that blogging. I want to read all of your blogs.

  3. Such beauty in these magnificent churches!

    "Your mind is a sacred space. Choose carefully what you allow to enter there."

    Wise words.


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