A melting pot

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Ports have always been a melting pot for communities, and situated at the junction of Italy (specifically Venice and its own cultural mix), Austria and Slovenia, Trieste has its own smattering of diasporas.

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One I wasn’t expecting to find, but that makes sense once you think about the geography was that there were larger 19th century churches built by both the Greek Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox communities.

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The Greek church, which had been painted mint green and looked like it had been converted to a cultural study centre, faces onto the water but was closed both days we were there. But the Serbian church, standing off an artificial canal and diagonally opposite a catholic church built like a Roman temple, was open.

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Dark corners, gold, candles for sale and with embroidered cloths draped over the icons that reminded me of what I’d seen in Lviv. A moment of quiet in a wander round town.

Life and art

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I hadn’t seen this Ravilious piece (The Carnation House) before, although I knew some of his other greenhouse paintings

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…and then a few days after seeing a picture of it I ended up in a similar scene at the Birmingham botanic gardens

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which also had these splendid cacti and a troupe of peacocks. Life imitating art, June 2019.

Books and coffee

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Photo from @thelittlebookroom. The sight of these new penguin Shakespeare’s reminds me of near the end of the film “An education” where Lynn Barber goes to have coffee with her former teacher and realised the fulfilment available in black spine penguin classic paperback style and postcards tacked to the wall. Yes!

Lviv churches

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One of the most tangible symbols of Lviv’s multiculturalism is the many churches of different creeds: Latin (Catholic); Jesuit (also Catholic, but hey, why not have a different name); Armenian; Orthodox; Dominican (Catholic again, sorry).

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I haven’t split the photos out by church but I think you can broadly guess by the paraphernalia and organisation inside whether they are Roman or Eastern. The eastern ones reminded me very much of the Greek and Bulgarian orthodox churches we visited in Istanbul. Also, note the cultural crossovers in the use of embroidered cloths and icons in all churches.

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