Thursday, January 09, 2014

Barcelona Cathedral. Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Count Ramon Borell.

Names of churches. Look them up.


Explore the history of saints, arts, and churches dedicated to them. What is reliable? Need anything be reliable, if the goal is spiritual inspiration or inculcating fear of some kind.

1.   Saint Eulalia. There are two Eulalia's: both Virgins. Which is intended?

1.1  One Eulalia from Merida, who at age 12 was martyred (tortured and burned) in December 304. Diocletian was Emperor of Rome at the time.

 As to the burned Eulalia, the classical poet, Prudentius, in his poem Peristephanon, tells a different tale, but with similarities in the symbolism of doves. See Electronic Antiquity at

The other Eulalia:

1.2   The second Eulalia from Barcelona, who was martyred earlier that same year, in February 304. She was exposed, unclothed in the town square, and the snow covered her, we are told. Then the angry Romans put her in a barrel, stuck knives in, and rolled her to death. She ultimately was made co-patron Saint of Barcelona. A bishop, however, once confused the issue and said they were one and the same.

 In 1885, artist John William Waterhouse painted the martyred Barcelona girl (the one sprawled after her murder, not the burned one) but as a tantalizing woman, not a 12-year old. See  That painting apparently has been a favorite of boys in the Tate gallery, London, since.  

  • Piety and little saints.  Ensaint children who profess their faith and get killed by rulers for it. Then go on to kill others who profess their own faiths, differences from institutional authority, and call them heretics.

1.3  Fodor's Barcelona gives another narrative, ending with the crucifixion of Eulalia on an X-shaped cross.

1.4  The black Christ

Fodor's Barcelona also notes the black Santo Cristo de Lepanto, in a side chapel, see it at  Do an images search.
    2.  Saints, other

    The halo around this knight's head suggests sainthood.  But who is it? He is upright, with his sword and full armor. Go back to Fodor's.  If the knight is based on a wave-like support, could it be John of Austria, who commanded the Holy League's ships as a fleet; or is it a landlubber Lluis de Requesens, a Catalan aristocrat and general during the reign of Felipe II.  Ask Fodor. I did an images search for Lluis there, and did not find this statue. Look up John of Austria: no, he is shown but not as a knight. However, he was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and was victorious at Lepanto, and the black Christ is of Lepanto.  See Wikipedia for John, 1547-1578,  bastard son of Charles V at the roll call of members 1566, scroll around at

    Is this another knight of the Golden Fleece, founded by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy in the early 15th Century, a multi-country chivalric order? More research needed.  Meanwhile, read Rick Steves on this Cathedral at Rick Steves' Spain 2012.  Including an unknown knight-saint here is for another purpose.  See the size of the sword.  From waist, and the handgrip(s), with the handle extending to rib cage, and the blade to the ground.  That is the nature of sword-sizing.  Get measured first.

    4.  Rulers.  Ramon Borell

    Ramon Borell was Count of Barcelona from 992-1018. To the right of the tomb on the wall is the wife of Ramon Borell, Ermesanda.  Count Borell sacked Cordoba, held by the Muslims, during an opportunity when the Muslims engaged in civil war against each other. See

    Wednesday, November 06, 2013

    Barcelona. Reial Major Palace; Roman Wall, Concert

    The Reial Major Palace by name only corresponds to the Reial Menor Palace, the reconstructed chapel whose history dates back to the Templars. The Reial Major site dates back to the Romans, and probably to peoples antecedent.  And after the Romans and the Visigothic Kings came the Moors.

    It is, overall, a big old dark L of a place, with part of the Roman Wall incorporated and Moorish bits ill-disquised, and that is a good thing.  There is a handy stage area set up to draw you in by sound to a street otherwise not especially noticeable.

    Counts of Barcelona!  Kings of Aragon!  The full panoply is here.

    Moorish arch architecture is still visible where the later remodelers liked right angles rather than grace.

    The complex comprises several buildings, see  The 4th Century Roman wall is impressive for its good condition.

    Identifying photographs by select tourist posters helps keep places straight.  Here, in the evening, follow the sounds.

    Why Groucho?  There was a fine medley of older music, including ragtime. Is that is?

    Back to the music.  This was a fine accent to the evening.

    How to identify fine women on horseback with oriflamme?  This kind of medieval battle pennant was carried aloft and if it fell, the nearest warrior was to get it back up again -- the oriflamme, see 

    Is this Ramon Berengeur IV?  There is a large freestanding statue of him in similar flowing cape-garb.  Or is this a woman? Enlarged, it looks masculine, with a rounded beard there.

    Arches that also look remodeled but here the little graceful ones look filed into a simpler frame.  Blind arches, or arches to nowhere, seem to be a common theme, with all the contrasting occupiers here, each using this and discarding that, see

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    Barcelona: Palau Menor. Mystery M on Templar Doors. Cathar-Templar, or Mere Decoration? Royal Palace Minor

    M's on the Doors
    Palacio Real Menor (spellings vary: Palacio Reial Menor, Palau Real Menor)

    Palacio Real Menor, Barcelona. M's on Doors.

    A. Background. Keep the palaces straight.

    1. There is the Palacio Real Mayor (Palacio Reial Mayor)(Major Palau), and the Palacio Real Menor, a royal chapel nearby. The Palace Major is in the Gothic quarter, and was the residence of the Counts of Barcelona and later, for kings of Aragon. It has been documented since 1116.

    2. As to the Palacio Real (Reiale) Menor, construction also began early, as a Templar project in 1134 or so. Upon dissolution of the Templars in about 1213, the Knights of St. John Hospital (Hospitallers) were granted rights and properties formerly Templar. The Palacio Real changed hands, and then was rebuilt after much wear and tear. The Requesens family took over. Wikipedia's Encyclopedia offers a good non-touristy framework for understanding its history. The original structure, however, was demolished in the mid-19th Century.

    3.  Is anything original left inside or outside, even if refurbished. Are some items or symbols used from storage somewhere, from the 19th Century. Who knows. It takes a Spanish speaker to sort out the sites. Explore. Specifically:

    B.  What are the M's on the doors to the chapel here:  the Mystery M on the chapel doors.

    1.  I see no royal or other prominent person with the M initial, who would likely be memorialized there. 

    2.  There is this opportunity for logical conjecture.  M's on the march"

    Juxtapose this set of Mystery M's with Egyptian references, perhaps; with the mystery of the name of the North Gate at the Templar town of La Couvertoirade in France:  The Gate of Amoun.

    That seems to be a reference to Amun, or Amen, an Egyptian theological concept.  Perhaps the Amun, or Amoun Gate represents some connection to the Templars in crusades in Egypt, such as the 7th Crusade; and what did they learn there, or bring away, or what did they learn while under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that led them ultimately to track matters back to Egypt.

    Ma'at -- goddess of the order of things, a part of (perhaps) theologies morphing through the Paulicians to the Manicheans, to the Bogomils to the Cathars, and Templar access to those things. See   Rebirth, transmigration of souls, origins of heaven and hell notions as not particularly or uniquely Christian after all, despite Michael, and where was Jesus for the first decades of his adult life if not Egypt?  Or Memphis, a particular theological setting in ancient Egypt, the Theology of Memphis, see, including the power of annunciation, the Word that, when spoken, creates the reality of which it spoke, the idea creation out of nothing else, etc. 

    Or for Mother Mari, see;
    or the manuscript "Mari", same site.

    C.  Tradition has long held, variously, that Templars did bring information or documents or something that the Church would want to control or suppress or use for itself as to earliest Christian beliefs and where they originated.

    1.  Why not look more seiously at ancient Egyptology, Egyptian religion, perhaps connecting to Amun, or Amoun, and see what would disturb the militant, territorial and hierarchy-driven Christian church as it separated itself from the rest of Christendom in the 11th Century.

    2.  Theology of Memphis.  This is one of the several evolving theologies of ancient Egypt, and the one that matches the M's.  What would be found there of interest?

    Many ideas.  The creative power of the Word, anticipating the Logos doctrine of the New Testament, and Creation stories where the power of the utterance leads to creation itself, out of nothing but the idea spoken, the similarities to what we have been told are Israelite concepts in conjunction with a God that chose then dabbled with them and their fates, and the Creation stories included in the Western Bible.

    Where to start?  Start with the actual theology of Memphis, at  There, on the chart of the gods, see Ptah, the god of craftsmen among other things.  Templars, Templar symbols and ritual, Masons, a possible connect. 

    Then see, after Ptah, Atum. Sounds like Adm, Adam. The concept of what the created thing included.
    And, step 3, take a short cut again to Wikipedia Encyclopedia for a summary of the various Egyptian approaches, at 

    This suggests that the Templars espoused or at least opened the door to the Memphis Rite.  So, what are the M's on the entry doors of this last vestige of an old Palace, a royal palace once, now merely minor. There  is a larger, more prominent palace that remains elsewhere, but nearby.

    The chapel that remains of the minor palace here is deep in alleyways, perhaps was moved to this place when the city walls were torn down so the city could expand.  It is hid amid narrow streets where you can almost touch the walls of buildings on both sides, where even the GPS laughs at your going in circles. We still felt safe.  Go where you like when you travel.

    3.  Double M. 

    We know this chapel has Templar connections. In 2013, we now also know that the Templars were absolved of heresy even in the decade in which they were tortured and killed on that ground, and their property confiscated (where, ask the legends, is the real treasure?) and divided between the King of France, Philip the Fair, Philip II.

    Absolved?  Yet, the Roman Catholic Church, under old Pope Clement V, hid the story and is the Vatican only now about to release a book about all this?  The Chinon parchments from the old trials? See

    • Rather than pass off the idea of ancient Egyptian origins of beliefs that Western Religion likes to think are uniquely Christian, read Ancient Egypt, ed. David P. Silverman, NY Oxford Univ Press 1997 at 125 ff. Amun the Unknowable, the Memphis theology, the Word of God, Akhenaten, time and eternity, etc.  
    • The institutional church's violent killing and discrediting of Manicheans, Paulicians, others, and the centuries of book burnings and destruction of ancient libraries: ask, what does the Vatican Library, for example, still hold, that may cast real doubt on the "Christian" obsessions with hierarchies and rules that prevent autonomy, discussion.
    Meanwhile,the M's.  Hobnail pattern.  Is the door wooden or leather. I cannot recall and my notes are silent.  If leather, would they be as old, or would the leather have disintetrated. 

    D.  More possibilities for the M, for other researchers and amateurs to investigate in order to ward off Alzheimers:

    1.  M is for a Masonic M. Not yet.

    Not so far.  I see no Masonic M in an overt M pattern, only the M in some hand signals, ring and center finger together, pinky and pointer separated.  Is that so?  A dead end for us. We know that later Freemasons built their rituals and whatever on allegedly Templar roots, but this particular clear alphabetical, not particularly occult, capital M eludes me.

    2. M is for Mary, Virgin Mary. Not yet. But see the reference to Mari, above.

    Not so far.  I see no other name for this place so far than the chapel of the palace minor, that the Templars allegedly used.  This one: There are statues, carvings, paintings of the Virgin Mary inside, but not reflected in the name. There already is the Barcelona Cathedral, the Saint Mary of the Sea, the Santa Maria del Mar.

    From the nature of the portraits, alcoves with apparent Madonnas, echoes of  Black Madonnas not entirely explained by mere exposure to dampness, must, fire, whatever, emerge.  Some black figures whether of Jesus of Mary appear to be intentionally black. How to cross reference all we have found in 15 years of European travel on our own, without Google's algorithm accusing us of cross-spamming ourselves and deleting the whole thing.  Pity.

    3.  M is for a more occult form of heresy, shown here, if the M means that, to have survived the decimation of the Templars who were charged with heresies on other grounds.

    Back to the Memphis Rite. 

    The Memphis Rite, ancient Egyptology, where the very origins of the nature of the creating deity, long claimed to be the purview of the Israelites as Chosen - and ultimately the group that claims to be the only legitimate inheritor of Christ's true whatever.


    Wednesday, October 02, 2013

    Barcelona, Royal Chapel Minor, Interior. Santa Maria de Palau, 4 Ataulf Street. Four Atulf Street. Templar Origins

    Interior, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor 
    Royal Chapel Minor, Barcelona 
    Santa Maria de Palau
    Lesser Royal Palace

    Once Templar

    Arrive at 4 Ataulf Street after dusk, after a long site hunt through alleyways, enter to find a small service in process, wait and feel welcomed. A very old priest, perhaps five worshippers, all old, old.  Polite photographs, each time gesturing for permission as the equivalent of the altar guild closed up.

    Barcelona, Altar, Interior, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor, Royal Chapel Minor,  at 4 Ataulf Street. The Lesser Royal Palace.

    This Chapel was once a Templar place of worship, although it has undergone renovations, and even been moved to this location.  What is original?  I am still looking for a comprehensive assessment somewhere.

    Templars being exonerated. The Templars were declared heretic in 1307, tortured and killed, and the Order dissolved in 1313.  I understand that the Vatican is in process of exonerating them, update October 5, as Pope Clement found them innocent of heresy long ago -- and suppressed the order.  It has been found, misfiled.  See a history by an ongoing group,

    1.  On the walls were several Cross Alisee Patee shapes, Cross forms, like a engraved stencil perhaps, re-darkened, but not deeply carved into the stone.  FN 1.

    Templars held no monopoly on crosses like these.  See variations of this rounded, encircled variation also known as cross formee or cross formy, but these shapes frequent their places.  Do a search, in images.  A motorcycle club has adopted it for its protective symbolism, see  

    Crosses Alisee Pattee:

    More crosses alisee pattee at the Santa Maria de Palau.  This niche is stoned up.  Would that make the cross affixed more likely to be original, but where does the door go?
    The chapel itself was moved to this location after 1859 when the rest of the palace had been demolished or was crumbled, see the long history of this chapel and the Templar history at 

    2.  Chapel history, roughly:

    1099          Bernard of Clairvaux establishes the Templars, see chronology at Crusades continue.
    1134         Templars establish a "garrison-fief" along the city wall, to continue and enhance their influence over Aragon, capital Barcelona. A larger church was built outside the city, at Palau -Solita. See (click to translate)
    1246-48   Chapel built by Templars
    1282         Templar commanderie moved from Palau-Solita to this location
    1312         Catholic Church and King decimate, killed most of the Templars, in a hunt that went on for years, and confiscated their property for their own coffers
    to 1400     While a convent was being constructed for Dominican Sisters, the Chapel here was given over for their use. Entrenchment, conversion, of the institution's ideas and policy to further weaken Templar influence, even in memory.
     1500's -
    1850's or so  The powerful Recasens family take control 
    1542        Recasens family builds larger tower and Gothic vaulting, stonework
    1859        Old palace torn down, as part of tearing down old walls, expanding the city.  Area given over to Jesuits, chapel renamed Our Lady of Victory.  Jesuits tore down the tower and added a second story for their library.
    2001 +/-  Restorations.  Mass once a day.

    3.  Number 4 Ataulf Street, Atulf Street, Barcelona.  At the time of the renovation in the 1600's or so, how much of the original chapel,although later moved, was left even then? These numbers could be part of the stations of the cross, and not the building address number for the post office, is that so?

    Interior, 4 Ataulf Street, Chapel, Palau Reial Menor, Barcelona

    Station Number 4 would be where Jesus meets his mother on the way to the cross.  To be checked. Need to enlarge, etc.

    4.  The Black Madonna, the Virgin of Montserrat. Niche at Royal Chapel Minor

    Why is.The Black Madonna of Montserrat here?  The original is a centerpiece of a monastery some 30 miles to the northwest, and is reproduced in many places. Pope Leo in the late nineteenth century declared this carved Black Virgin to be the patron saint of Catalonia. Does the original date from the early Church in the Holy Land, even carved by Luke, or is it merely Romanesque from the 12th Century?

    Scholars disagree, see

    Somebody could take a chip and date this, but apparently it has not been done. Still, why would it appear in a Templar chapel, renovated in the 16th Century, except that later believers apart from any Templar roots wanted it?

    This stone niche is more approachable than this fenced-in Black Madonna. Same church?  Coloring and gilt are all different, so I have to check.  Meanwhile, no label. My son and I swapped cards as my more "advanced" camera finked out, and his soldiered on.

    5.  Ironwork, interior door, Palau Reial Menor.

    Again, I believe this ironwork door was from the interior of Palau Reial Menor, but the swapping of photocards makes it uneasy.

    I was interested because of a similar door -- would you believe -- in a Templar round church in Denmark. See it at Now, look specifically at the lock forms.  A variation on the usual crosses.  Still checking that.

    5.  Place-holder photograph while I check.  These have no embedded identification until I find more definitively what they are. Those of us who travel on our own, with cameras, and sloppy notebooks,  make mistakes, but want to preserve a record for later correction-additions.

    Bear with us, and do try this kind of travel, on your own.  Adrenalin, brain synapses and fun,  can result from these kinds of hunts. for some of us.

    Questions from our poor record-keeping in our sloppy but well-meaning logs:

    Is this from this church, or another?  Here for now, unlabelled until sure.  There is a 1748 in it, and reference to ____ de Ramon. Earlier Ramon connections could be to the Counts of Barcelona, see  But this one?

    Also here as a placeholder. Which church? With fiddling, perhaps I can type this one out and translate.

    Also not sure.  Looks too fancy for here. Dan and I had to swap cards sometimes when my untrusty camera died on and off.

    Closeup of black madonna from photograph of whoever above.

    Symbol of the crescent, connected with Black Madonna; or perhaps another figure, Sara la Kali,.  See Gdansk at another site of ours, at  Tracking groups' dogma and narrative is one thing, and usually leads to ambiguities that do not fit.  Go there yourself, pose the question, and see what else you find. 

    Follow along:  now go back to Denmark's Rundkirke, and find the crescent also on the headgear of Saint Lawrence, at

    Do those anomalies, coincidences, repeated theme symbols, add up to anything?  We stay interested, and surprised at the lack of first hand information we find.  Everyone seems to quote from other sources and conclude that those, because antecedent, must be correct.  Nuts.

    6.  Skull and crossbones. 

    Hold this image.

    This church or another?  The symbolism is explored, vet it yourself, at

    It is hard to imagine that this would survive not only 1312's slaughter and confiscations, but also possession by the Catholic Church and the rest of the history here.  Did it?

    7.  Heraldry on the wall, high up, Ssanta Maria de Palau 


    In close-up, there are four quadranats, with a diagonal going from high left to lower right, facing the sigil. In the top right quadrant are four it looks like horses, a checkered sheild is in the center, and two animals (also horses or are the necks too short?) in the lower left quadrant.

    There is a heraldry institute of Rome. I looked up the Recasens family, but came up dry, at This shows Recasens, but no similarities with this simple quadrant and diagonal cum horses. See

    8.  Stonework by interior door, renovations-repairs apparent.  Need to do a close-up. And what is the M?

    Close-up of other portal work, see


    FN 1
    • Missing from this otherwise fine site for interest-routes available to tourists in Spain is anything to do with the Templars.  Are the guilty institutions still so fearful of them, while the rest of us remain horrified at the bloody revenge taken upon them beginning 1312 for their acquisition of power and development of whatever they developed, on their own? See Templars.  Denied even the memory, the fate of those deemed heretic and whose property was confiscated to enrich the powers; and is that why the fictions grow? 
    •  Needed:  A route that will root in Templar fact, if any can still be found after the destruction.
    • Shall we examine exactly what was heretical about them, and why differing beliefs should justify mass murder, as it does and did?  The heritage of crusade:  that those who deem themselves right can kill of the others, and do so without societal consequence.

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Barcelona. Chapel of Palau Reial Menor. Early Maltese Cross: The Alisee Pattee. Royal Palace Minor

    Chapel of Palau Reial Menor, Maltese Cross Alisee Pattee, Exterior
    Royal Palace Minor
    Santa Maria de Palau

    Find tiny Atulf Street, Ataulf Street, in Barcelona, and there at #4 is the Chapel of Palau Reial Menor, Chapel of the Royal Palace Minor, with its multiple Alisee Pattee crosses. The Alisee Pattee crosses appear stenciled on the walls, or whatever other technique produces fine uniformity and exactitude. Here is one: what is that cross?  Why is it here? In a little chapel that had been associated with one of the palaces of the nobility.

    It is easily passed, with a nondescript facade. Its history of renovations make it difficult to figure original from change.   This little chapel once was the Chapel of the Convent of the Knights Templar.

    Knights Templar exoneration. Templars were accused of heresy, see Pope Clement V at; and although it appears that Clement later exonerated them, he suppressed the order and it is only recently come to light. The history of the process, and the real motives of church and state involved, are worth a read, see  At a secret trial in Chinon, France, the Templars were exonerated, surprise. See

    In the 16th Century, the family Requesens renovated-rebuilt. The facade was also restored.. Today, the restored façade, the church is a No. 4 Street ATAULF with interesting art shows of the time, like a marble image of Our Lady of Victory Renaissance work of sculptor Martin Ten of Liatzasolo .

    Chapel of Palau Reial Menor, Barcelona. Facade, #4,  Atulf Street, Ataulf Street. Chapel of the Royal Palace Minor.

    What is the significance of the M pattern on the doors?  The place where Ataulf Street is found itself is a rabbit-warren of little streets, so narrow, twisting.

    Barcelona, Atulf Street, Ataulf Street, corner of Street of the Templars

    Back to the Alisee Pattee cross inside:  Is it Templar?  reasonably original, meaning what in terms of date. Or is it a later memorial of sorts to past uses.

    And the Templars retain their old street in Barcelona.

    Barcelona, Street of the Templars, Carrers dels Templers

    It is not surprising that there is no Templar cross no version of a Maltese cross, on the exterior, as I recall.  There is the double MM on the front doors.


    Fn 1

    1.  Description.  The distinctive equal-armed cross formation known as the Maltese Cross, comes in variations.  One, as here, displays the wide ends fitting a circle, and equal arms (no crucifix idea), and is associated frequently with Templars.  This rounded version is an early form used by early Hospitalers, or the Order of St. John in Jerusalem, which Order offered refuge to many Templars upon their persecution in 1312. See It is called the Cross Alisee Pattee, or the French croix pattée alésée arrondie.

    Variations of Maltese Crosses later morphed into arms that were each representative of two spears, with eight pointed ends creating a circle, and much later than the Crusades: in the 1500's.  See

    2.  Uses of the cross shape.  Jerusalem itself reverted to the Muslims in 1187, and the Crusades ended in defeat.  With those wars over, the formerly crusading Orders needed new employment and reinvented themselves for purposes that suited Pope and King in other directions, and fill their own and their sponsors' coffers.

    Templars, however, as an early crusading order, may or may not have held at the time a monopoly on the Alisee Pattee cross.  Each appearance today does not necessarily mean a Templar origin  or meaning, probably.

    3.  The Alisee Pattee in particular.  This shape would have been useful to Templars because it remained associated also with the Brothers of St. John.  That enabled beleagured Templars under attack by minions of Pope and King could bear that cross shape with ambiguity and deniability about Templar significance. Would that ruse save lives, as the Templars themselves were persecuted nearly out of existence by the militant Christian church under that Pope Clement V, and efforts augmented by King Philip le Bel of France.

    From the Templar founding in 1129, to its near destruction in 1312, implemented by said Pope and King, the Templars had become wealthy.  Combining church and state to get and split the wealth of these mysterious monk-banker-crusaders served both Pope and King, both of whom wanted money.  The wealth had accumulated during the crusades and after.  The Roman Church had separated from the Eastern Orthodox in The Great Schism in 1054, and the new militant Roman branch, now autonomous, needed property, territory, prestige. So did the King. Let's have a war.

    That is now largely forgotten. After the crusade against the Templars themselves, however, the issue remains. Who got the goods?  People deposited their wealth and deeds with Templars for years during the Crusades, like bills of lading, and if the owner did not return, the property reverted to the Order. See FN 1, on Maltese-type crosses, research ongoing.

    Dilution of the Maltese Cross. that history has been forgotten. The Maltese Cross idea had its origins in crusading invasions, religious slaughter of others for one's own cause as ordered by an unchallenged authority, Pope and King, and identification of one's own who then deserve protection, but no-one else. Is that so?
    Evolution of The Maltese Cross evolved from simple forms, to the now-familiar eight-pointed cross, also called the Maltese cross.  Find the other and earlier shapes used by different crusader states, including -- as laid out at the orderstjohn site.  These help identify crosses now still seen throughout Europe, in untampered-with oldest churches.  Find all these, meanings of words to be searched:
      • the Greek Cross, 
      • the Cross Formee (Wikipedia says this is also the Alisee Pattee, do a search, but a cross formee is not, I think, convex at the ends, rounded)
      • the Formee Branchee, 
      • the Cross Pattee, 
      • the Formee Pattee,
      • the Cross Fourchee, 
      • the Cross Millrine,
      • the Cross Moline, 
      • the Cross Ancree, 
      • the Cross Cercelee,
      • the Cross Potent, 
      • the Cross Formee Demi Sarcelled, 
      • the Alisee Pattee (focus here)
      • the Cross Branchee or the Cross Fichee,
      • the Cross Formee variant, the Patriarchal Cross,
      • the Cross Double Fitched.
    See pictures of these variations on the Maltese Cross at

    The modern Maltese cross, with its eight points, was introduced in the 1500's.  Put that one away in your mind in looking at early crosses.  That radical change was implemented a long time after Jerusalem reverted to the Muslims, and the Crusades formally ended in defeat, in 1187.

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    Barcelona - Pablo Picasso. The Museum

    Pablo Picasso. A melancholy face, studying the one studying him. Who will blink and move on. Look back. He is still considering.  Take a child, or in our case, an adult with Down syndrome, and be amazed at the perceptions.  One museum per city will do. Choose it well. It is not obviously placed.  Follow little arrows.

    The museum is consists of adjacent townhouses, some with moorish style, some from the 13th-15th Centuries, others newer. See  The website itself offers the chronologies and schedules.

    The buildings are independent of the styles of work inside.

    Barcelona harbor - Christopher Columbus of Ambiguous Parentage

    Harbor at Barcelona. Voyages come to mind. Parts unknown.  Climb about a galleon. 

    Who was this Christopher Columbus, with the many spellings depending on the language.  Here he points west, from a very high vantage point at the harbor, a Catalan area and Catalans, too, claim him. See

    There is disagreement, and many theories, about his parentage.  This lecture supposed him to have been a Greek nobleman. See

    Others stay with the traditional Genoa, Italy connection, with parents who were poor.  Others say he is the illegitimate son of a Spanish monarch. 

    Regardless of scholarship, most of us learn by osmosis, by looking at pictures, absorbing impressions, and the monument offers a noble view.  Too saccharine.  As an adult, these kinds of monuments do not hold attention for long. Just long enough to snap and look up later.

    Should his landing in the new world be celebrated, along with the disease and violence that ensued?  The Ayn Rand Institute touts the objectivism of individualism as the ultimate goal, not weighing goals of others so as to restrict one's own choices, and says, yes.  See  As a clearly superior culture, suggests the Rand article, those of the west can rest happy in whatever was or was not accomplished.  Next?

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Terrassa in a Rush, near Barcelona, Spain. And Loss Will Have No Dominion.

    Rosario in historic Terrassa, outside Barcelona.  
    Rosario.  A Universal Positive Spirit.
    Brave it all.

    Retain Spirit Against Odds, is the unspoken lesson learned. 
    A Sense of Gratitude and Love.
    Meet Rosario Who Has Seen It All.
    Loss Will Not Prevail. Let There Be Fun!

    Terrassa is historic, with old churches, a monastery, fine paintings, frescoes. It also is where Rosario lives. 
    Try visiting a special person while on an improvised road trip.  Suddenly we had to find specific places. And our old GPS -- not up to the task of following changes in the now fine European roadways -- left us in the lurch.   

    Here is our formula for impossible choices.  As tourists in a car, with leaving and time dwindling, we found ourselves with 
     a) tempus fugit, combined with
     b) an old GPS, whose maps cannot be updated, and 
     c) we suddenly were in wonderland.

    On a 4-6 lane EU superhighway in Spain, heading for a real Spanish meal at a dear neighbor's mother's house in Terrasse, 1PM had been promised. 

    •  The GPS, bless its defunct heart, shows that we are floating topography-less, on a blue ground with an arrow floating about looking where to land.  Where is Terrassa! My Queendom for a direction! Will that long sentence ever end! Keep driving until you see a sign, any sign.

    Rosario is retired, but tireless. 

    The freshest of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, breads, rabbit stew. And jamon, that fine Spanish ham. And -- as is wise in Spain as anywhere, water served alongside the wine glasses.

    Rosario fled Spain with her children, as a widow, into France, when Franco came to power.  Then she returned, and, in time, the last child rejoined the family.  One son is now gone. Immigration, fleeing, the unknown. We know little of that. The human side of travel: learning what others have lived through, and came out blooming.

    Rushing to our arrival time, we passed sights clamoring to be seen, but Rosario comes first. She has visited in our area and we love her. 

    At the end of a fantasy trip, this was a grounding day for us.  What does regular person's home look like, a welcome home-coming literally, even someone else's home, after the immersion in history we love in our touring life.

    Dan and I have seen castles and costumes, so much of the marvelous, cruel, class-stratified beautiful, autonomy-killing, deadly places in Europe where rich and poor lived and died.  Visit those places and breathe the drama of feudalism, invasions, Civil Wars (that thrust our Rosario and her children in an escape to France, to Carcassonne, years ago, and back.  Modest, hard-working, now sustaining herself in a pensioner's home as all those who in later years deserve after playing by the rules.  She exerted great effort and resourcefulness and productivity, now with children who adore her, but who span Spain, and the US, by way of Ecuador.

    Try this.  Whether or not productive, no elderly and noone who for other reasons is not working  largely because of stacked decks, everyone even, deserves a dignified life, a dignified end.

    Our neighbors are at the upper right -- in the US.  Travel.  Ties. Educate, expand your own child.  Go places. Who but you can fill in history and cultures and humanities, when the schools stop. Can we ever meet our human obligations to our elderly, our handicapped. Love capitalism, perhaps, but let it kick in with its exploitation of the unwary, unable, careless, after the safety net is established, not to take from anyone's dignity before.