Holy Mount of Grabarka, Poland

The Holy Mount of Grabarka (Święta Góra Grabarka in Polish), eastern Poland,  also known as the Mountain of Crosses, is considered to be the holiest location in the country Orthodox Christians. 
It is the site of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and is home to the women's monastery of Ss. Marta and Maria. It is the traditional pilgrimage centre for Orthodox Christians. They arrive in large numbers especially on the 19th of August, the day of Transfiguration of Jesus. 
The most prominent and well-known feature of Grabarka is the forest of crosses surrounding the Orthodox church, all brought to the Mount by pilgrims. Pilgrims have been bringing votive crosses to the hill ever since. They come in different forms and sizes, from small ones made of sticks, through bigger wooden crosses to few concrete ones. Some of them are already rotten, some brand new, often with epitaphs engraved in Cyrillic alphabet. All of them, however, were brought for personal intention by diseased, distressed and those seeking hope.
After an all-night vigil and prayer on the Holy Mount of the Pilgrims stop by the stream and bath the face and sore parts of their bodies with cloth soaked with water as the stream is said to have healing properties. Wet cloths are left then by the stream or hung on the tree branches as a symbol of the diseases and worries leaving their bodies and left behind.
Worship of this place and tradition of bringing crosses was born in the 18th century. The famous miracle was recorded in 1710 during the cholera epidemics. Decimated by disease, inhabitants of Podlasie region fled the towns and villages for fear of their lives. At that time an old man experienced a revelation that the only way for salvation was to go to the Mountain of Grabarka with a cross. He went there with some other villagers, brought a cross, bathed his face and drank water from the spring spurting at the foot of the hill and prayed. A miracle happened: all those who followed him were cured and saved. To express their gratitude, the people built a wooden chapel on the top of the hill. It was later extended into the Transfiguration Orthodox Church. 
In 1990 the wooden Orthodox church was completely destroyed by the fire. Only two icons survived and a fragment of the Gospel Book. Immediately, reconstruction works began. A new church was consecrated in 1998. 

Brasov's Medieval Defensive Fortifications

Old Town of Brașov and the White Tower. A view from Tâmpa Hill
Brașov is located in the central part of Romania in Transylvania region. The oldest traces of human activity and settlements in Brașov date back to the Neolithic age but the first attested mention of Brașov is Terra Saxonum de Barasu ("Saxon Land of Baras") in a 1252 document. The city was described under the name Corona, a Latin word meaning "crown", a name given by the German colonists. 
Old Town of Brașov. White and Black Towers and Brașov Fortress (on the hills over the city)
The German name Kronstadt means "Crown City" and is reflected in the city's coat of arms as well as in its Medieval Latin name, Corona. The two names of the city, Kronstadt and Corona, were used simultaneously in the Middle Ages, along with the Medieval Latin Brassovia. Probably the name of Braşov (Brassovia) came from the name of local river named Bârsa. 
Dupa Ziduri Street (En. Behind the Walls). Graft Bastion


Red roofs of Brașov
City were founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and next settled by the Saxons. Fortifications were erected around the city and continually expanded, with several towers maintained by different craft guilds, according to medieval custom.
Black Tower
The first fortifications around town were build by the Saxons and were consisted of earthen walls and wooden barriers, later reinforced with stones. In later centuries, the walls were strengthened. Most work was done between 1400 and 1650, when outer and inner walls were erected, together with massive defence towers and gates.
Ecaterina Gate

Schei Gate
Formerly the historic center of city were surrounded by a quadrilateral shaped walls. The shorter northern and southern walls were destroyed in 19th century to make room for the city's expansion. Originally, the city walls were equipped with seven bastions, but only a few have survived to the present day. 
White Tower and Black Church
View of Brasov from the Weaver's Bastion

The Weaver's Bastion
One of them is Graft Bastion, located in the middle of the citadel's northwest wing. On the west side of the wall, walk along picturesque Dupa Ziduri Street (En. Behind the Walls) to catch a glimpse of the 15th century White and Black Towers. The Blacksmiths' Bastion, one of the original seven built and guarded by the city's guilds, is located at the southern end of Dupa Ziduri Street.
South-east belt of walls
Towers in the south-east belt of walls. Draper Bastion
Draper Bastion
Follow the city wall southeast to the fairy-tale Catherine's Gate. Built in 1559 and once the main entrance to medieval Kronstadt, it is the only original city gate to have survived. Nearby is the classicist Schei Gate, built in 1827. The Weavers' Bastion is located on George Cosbuc Street. 
Brașov. A view from Tâmpa Hill
On the scenic hill over the city is located the Brașov Fortress (Cetatea). The citadel overlooking the town and the plains to the north was part of Brașov's outer fortification system. Built in wood in 1524, it was replaced with a stone structure in the 16th century, and be abandoned in the 17th century after the improvement of cannons.
Brașov Fortress (Cetatea)
Brașov Fortress (Cetatea)

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Esztergom - the cradle of Hungarian statehood

The small town of Esztergom sitting on the Danube bank in Hungary played an important role in the establishment of the Hungarian state. Esztergom is one of the oldest towns in Hungary.  As a royal seat for two centuries and as a center for the Roman Catholic religion for 1000 years it abounds Esztergom historic and cultural sights. The symbol of Esztergom is impressive basilica. Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert is largest church in Hungary. The building have imposing sizes: height of 100 m, and the inner diameter of the cuopla - 33,5 m.
The building of the present church took place on the foundation of several earlier churches which were built in this place from 10th to 19th centuries. The Basilica was built according to the plans of Pál Kühnel, János Páckh and József Hild. The foundation stone was laid in 1822 and the building of the Basilica took 47 years. During the construction of the Basilica, builders dug down as far as the bedrock in the hill to ensure the stability of the building. The walls in the crypt supporting the dome are 17 metres thick!
The 1856 consecration ceremonies featured the premiere of the Missa solennis zur Einweihung der Basilika in Gran (Gran Mass), composed and conducted by Franz Liszt, and featuring the organist Alexander Winterberger. The final completion of the cathedral took place twelve years later. The keystone was laid in 1869.

The interior of the Basilica contains the Chapel, built in the 16th century. Italian masters built the chapel from red marble for archbishop Tamás Bakócz  in 1506-07. The chapel was placed to its present location in a brilliantly executed operation: it was sawn to 1600 pieces, then reassembled in its new location like a huge jigsaw puzzle and it became the left-hand side chapel of the Basilica.
Inside basilica is the world's largest altar-piece (size: 13 X 6,5 m) made by Grigoletto. The artist painted on a single canvas the vision of the ascension of Madonna.
The organ in Esztergom Basilica was constructed in 1856 and is the largest in Hungary and third largest organ in Europe. Organ concerts attract many visitors.
The crypt built in ancient Egyptian style is the burial place of archbishops of Esztergom. The stairs to the right of the main altar lead you to the Treasury displaying some extraordinary pieces of goldsmith's art. Several artworks of the Treasury used to be the property of the Royal Treasury and they were probably handed over to the Archbishop of Esztergom by donation. That is how, among other things, the Matthias Calvary, the larger and the smaller drinking horns of King Sigismund, the drinking horn Corvinus, the Chasuble of Fojnica, the small rock crystal salt cellar, later converted into a relic holder, came into the possession of  the Treasury.
Model of the Basilica Hill
You can visit the Panorama Hall on the second floor of the Basilica, to see the large model based on the plans of the whole building complex there. According to the original plans, the Basilica and the adjoining buildings were to have taken up the whole Castle Hill.
Panorama Hall. View of the Danube and the Maria Valeria Bridge connecting Esztergom with Sturovo (Slovakia)
You can also climb the large dome of the basilica. From the top of the dome, visitors can see a breath-taking view of neighbourhood of Esztergom
Basilica Hill

Primates' Palace and St. Ignatius Parish Church
Stepping out interior of the basilica admire the view of the Danube and the Maria Valeria Bridge connecting Esztergom with Sturovo (Párkány) in Slovakia. Between the Danube and the basilican hill stretches the cityscape of Watertown (Víziváros) with its two-towered Baroque church dominates the vista. There is the Keresztény Museum (Christian Museum) in the neo-Renaissance Primates' Palace (Prímási Palota) on Mindszenty Square. The museum's rich collection includes paintings by Renaissance Italian masters.
Esztergom Basilica and the Royal Palace
Esztergom Basilica and the Royal Palace,  a view from the Víziváros (Watertown)
The main square of the town is the Széchényi square. Of the several buildings of Baroque, Rococo and Classicism style, there is one that catches everyone’s eyes: the Town Hall.
Old Seminary

Baroque church of Sorrowful Virgin
Other important monument in the city is former synagogue and the Baroque church of Sorrowful Virgin on the top of the hill. 

Former Synagogue
The former Synagogue of Esztergom was built in 1888 in a Moorish-Romantic style. The building now houses the Technical House. In the neighborhood of the Basilica are the reconstructed remains of the former royal palace founded by Prince Géza, father of King St. Stephen. Today, the building is home to a museum.
Basilica

Primate Cellar - Tourism and Wine-cultural Centre under the Basilica Hill

St. Stephen's Coronation Statue
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