Sights of Orkney: Ancient Celtic Cultural Monuments


The ancient Canaan port city, one of the five main cities of the Philistines, the center of Hellenic culture.

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  • Historical period Biblical Canaanite, Byzantine Empire, Roman Empire, Hellenistic
  • Artistic Style Ancient Greek

Most of the ancient monuments of the city are concentrated in Leumi Park, located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Island History

Starting from the Stone Age, the territory of Orkney is inhabited by a people calling themselves Picts. The first written records of settlements in this part of Scotland are dated I century BC. e. - the time of the Roman conquests of the British Isles. In the 9th century, the Orkneys were colonized by warlike Vikings who sailed to the islands from faraway Norway. They in 995 baptized the inhabitants of the islands in the Christian faith.

In 1468, the islands were transferred as a dowry to the Scottish king James III. Subsequently, Norway repeatedly tried to buy them back, but their attempts were unsuccessful. Later, in the 17th century, the Orkneys, together with Scotland, became part of Great Britain, to which they are still a part.

Peat industry has always flourished in the Orkney Islands. There are also several factories producing Scotch whiskey. In the 20th century, a naval base was located on the islands, which was disbanded after World War II.

How to get to the Orkney Islands?

Orkney Islands are remote from the civilized world, but getting to them is easy. You can fly to the largest city in Kirkwall Archipelago by plane. Flights from Edinburgh, Inverness, London and Birmingham airports fly to the islands almost every day.

There is also a ferry service between Inverness and Kirkwall. The journey takes approximately 3 hours. From Edinburgh to Inverness can be reached by buses, the schedule of which is specially designed to be in time for the departure of the ferry. Before the trip, you should take care of the tickets in advance and book them a few days before departure. In summer, especially in July and August, ferries can be crowded. The South Orkney Islands are connected to the central via motorways.

Tomb of the eagles

The Eagle Tomb is located northwest of Kirkwall on the island of Mainland, near the settlement of Eastbister. This is an ancient chamber tomb from the Neolithic era. It is located in a rocky cliff. According to archaeologists, there are at least 15,000 human remains and approximately 700 bird remains. According to legend, burials here took place over the years. Locals caught eagles and sacrificed them to the goddess of death.

The burial was discovered in 1958 by Scottish archaeologists, and the main excavations were carried out in the 1970s. Now the Tomb of the Eagles is open to tourists, tours are regularly held here.

St. Magnus Cathedral

The sights of the Orkney Islands are not only archaeological sites, but also architectural masterpieces. One of them is St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, the northernmost church in Great Britain. The temple was built in the XII century by the Norwegians who inhabited the archipelago at that time. It received its name in honor of St. Magnus - the son of the Norwegian king, who became famous for his meekness and piety. His relics are still stored in the temple.

The cathedral is an ancient monument of Norman architecture. It is built of red sandstone in the Romanesque style. On its territory there is also an ancient Catholic cemetery. Not far from the temple are the ruins of an episcopal castle, here are the remains of an ancient castle of counts, who once ruled the Orkney archipelago. Under the cathedral are numerous dungeons that once served as a prison. The cathedral regularly hosts tourist excursions, which also sanctify the ruins located nearby.

Skara-Bray is a unique Neolithic settlement that has been almost completely preserved to this day. Archaeologists believe that the village existed for 600 years in the period from 3100 to 2500 BC. e. It is believed that it, like Pompeii, was destroyed as a result of a natural disaster that hid the settlement from the eyes of people. Scara-Bray was discovered by chance in 1850 after a severe storm. Initially, archaeologists were not able to determine the age and culture of the settlement, mistaking it for a Viking village. Later, during the excavations of 1926, it turned out that Skara-Bray is one of the oldest monuments of human culture.

The settlement consists of 10 rounded houses, deepened underground to protect from the cold. Each of them is equipped with doors with deadbolts, as well as a primitive sewage system. It is believed that Scara-Bray is the birthplace of modern toilets. Residents ate seafood: fish, mussels and oysters. They were skilled masons. Some houses preserved decoration elements: beads, necklaces, rings with ornaments of languages ​​unknown to science.

Dwarf stein

Dwarf Stein translated from the Scottish language means "dwarf stone." There are many monuments of this kind on the territory of the Orkney Islands, but this ancient stone is considered the oldest and most valuable for science. A monolith is a solid tomb carved from red limestone. The entrance to it was closed with the help of a plate, which now lies not far from the stone. The burial ground was allegedly looted in the XVI century, but it is not known - by whom. Also on the stone there are several inscriptions in the Persian language, carved presumably in the XIX century. Dwarf Stein is located on Hoy Island.

The small South Orkney Islands, whose fauna is one of the most unique in the UK, are a must for tourists. In addition to Dwarf Stein, here you can see beautiful rocky landscapes that are almost untouched by people. Here lives the only species of lambs in the world that feeds on algae.

Orkney Islands, whose sights are far from ordinary tourists, will be a real find for lovers of something new. People interested in ancient history and northern scenic landscapes should definitely visit this archipelago.

Interesting places Kelowna

The site contains Kelowna attractions - photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Kelowna, where to go and where there are popular and interesting places of Kelowna.

Beaumont Family Estate Winery

Beaumont Family Estate Winery is one of the most famous wine producing sites.

On a hilly territory, framed by mirrored lakes and majestic mountain peaks, you can make a trip to the world of vineyards and fruitful trees. The land on which grapes grow is rich in organic and mineral substances. The owners of the winery honor the traditions of their ancestors and make wine according to a special principle - insist wines in the shoes.

Due to the long fermentation, a fresh taste is preserved in the skins and a saturated color is obtained. The famous Beaumont Family Estate wines are red wines with a taste of blueberries, raspberries, cherries and plums.

Winery and Vineyards Kalala Organic Estate

The winery in the territory of Kalala Organic Estate Winery & Vineyards has been open since 2006 and offers its visitors wines of different varieties at a reasonable price.

The owners of the plant invite you to visit the vineyards and the tasting room. During the tour you will be able to learn about the history of the establishment of a wine institution and about the family that began to engage in winemaking in the distant past.

At the prestigious Chardonnay du Monde competition in France, Chardonnay wines produced at the Kalala Organic Estate plant were awarded a gold medal. Prices for wine varieties range from twelve to twenty dollars, and when buying several bottles relies a substantial discount and a present from the winery.

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Winery Mission Hill Family Estate

The Mission Hill Family Estate is located on the famous Mission Hill and is world famous for its winery. The hosts offer guests to visit wine tasting and dishes made from natural products.

The estate has underground cellars with the best Mission Hill Family Estate wines, vineyards and recreational areas. Wine tasting includes a sample of all sorts by the glass, as well as refreshments from products collected by the owners of the family estate from their fields.

In order to sign up for a tour, you must book a visit to the winery by phone or through a form on the organization’s website. Excursions in time take from an hour to four and a half hours.

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Winery Volcanic Hills Estate

The Volcanic Hills Estate Winery is located on the Gidda Family Estate.

Since 1963, farm owners have grown grapes, apple, peach and cherry trees on 80 hectares, conduct wine tastings and various events. In 2010, a winery was opened at Volcanic Hills Estate. At the request of the owners of the estate organize excursions around the territory and offer to try traditional dishes from the Gidda family.

The staff of the winery is friendly and professional, ready to help with the selection of wines and provide other services. By appointment, a group visit to Volcanic Hills Estate is possible.

Shannon Lake Golf Club

Shannon Lake Golf Club is a luxurious field with a beautiful coating, magnificent landscapes, the highest quality of the game and always a great mood.

Located on the shores of Lake Shannon, the golf club offers guests truly stunning landscapes, the game here brings incredible pleasure, and the eye enjoys the smooth transitions of the hills, well-groomed paths and a combination of greenery and water.

The golf club is located near the center of Kelowna and has 18-hole, 9-hole and 36-hole courses.

There is a restaurant in the clubhouse, offering guests an excellent menu at affordable prices. The restaurant building can be rented for weddings or other special occasions.

Arrowleaf Winery

The owners of the small Arrowleaf winery are the Zuppiger family - Joe, Margarit and their son Manuel. They came to Canada from Switzerland in 1986, and 10 years later they found the perfect place for a vineyard in the Okanagan Valley. Now local vineyards occupy about 6.5 hectares. Here, varieties of Pinot Gris, Merlot, Gewurztraminer and some others are grown. Since 2003, the winery is open to the public.

The winery is a member of the British Columbia Wine Institute. This is a confirmation of the quality of the wine produced at the winery.

The winery is located in a very picturesque location overlooking Lake Okanagan. Such a location is attractive for holding various holidays and celebrations here. One of the services provided by Arrowleaf owners is assistance in organizing and conducting family celebrations - weddings, birthdays, etc.

Kelowna International Airport

Kelowna International Airport is a Canadian commercial airport located eleven kilometers from the city of Kelowna, in British Columbia. This is one of the busiest airports in the region, serving more than a million passengers annually.

The construction of the Kelowna airport began in 1946, immediately after the Second World War, and a year later its grand opening took place. At that time, the airport consisted of one runway with grass cover. However, in the second half of the twentieth century, passenger traffic began to grow rapidly, and the airport was constantly modernized and expanded. In the nineties, it was recognized as the fastest growing airport in North America.

Today, Kelowna Airport is a modern high-tech airport, capable of receiving the heaviest aircraft in the world and serving up to one and a half million passengers a year. The administration has many plans to expand its offspring - it is soon planned to lengthen the runway and build an additional passenger terminal.

The most popular attractions in Kelowna with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Kelowna on our website.

Kelania. Holy Places of Buddhism - Kelaniya. Sacred places of buddhism

Raja Maha Vihara Kelania - one of the most sacred places of worship for Sri Lanka Buddhists, as this place is sanctified by a visit to the Buddha. In the distant past, Kelania was a big city, and Raja Maha Viharaya Kelania was one of the largest and one of the most beautiful temples in Sri Lanka.

Located about 10 km. from Colombo within a sacred area of ​​10 acres, Kelani Vihara stands near the Kelani Ganga River, as evidence of Buddhist tradition in the country. Vihara received its sacred status over 2500 years ago after the third visit to the island of Lanka by Buddha He consecrated the foundation of the temple with his own visit, followed by 500 monks. The fact that Buddha visited Kelania on the Full Moon of May (Sinhala: Wesak) at the invitation of King Maniakhika is recorded in the historical chronicles of Sri Lanka.

King Naga - according to these chronicles - invited the Buddha to a meal in this place, which, after clarifying the essence of the Dharma (Sinhala: Dhamma), was consecrated, and in this place the King built a Stupa (Vehera), in which they placed a strand of Buddha’s hair and used by the Great Teacher cookware. They put inside the stupa and the rug on which the Buddha sat. However, over time and due to the destruction of Vihara by foreign invaders, the original Stupa (Sinhala: Dagoba) was lost.

Raja Maha Vihara Kelania, however, gained sanctified status and became a place of Buddhist worship after the venerable Mahinda preached Buddhism in Sri Lanka. According to the ancient Mahavamsa chronicles, King Devanampiyatissa’s brother repaired Vihara. He, as also stated in Mahavamsa, built the first residential complex for the Monks (Sanghavasa).

Historical evidence shows that Raja Maha Vihara Kelania was the most revered temple during the era of the kingdom of Kotte. By the time the Portuguese conquered the country, much of the land was donated to the colonialists by the king of the region of Vihara Kelania, and then in 1510 the Portuguese troops brought in destroyed the secret temple. The Portuguese confiscated this land, creating an obstacle for Buddhists on the path of worship in the temple.

Restrictions on the development of the Raj Maha Vihara Kelania region were slightly relaxed with the advent of the Dutch. In 1767, the Dutch, in order to receive the favor of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha, allowed him to develop Raj Maha Vihara in Kelania. Thus, the reconstruction of Raj Maha Vihara was undertaken by the then Chief Venerable Monk Mapitigama Buddharakhkhita. He was provided with capital from the treasury. The king was so overjoyed in the way the work was organized that grants, thanks to the king’s reciprocal flexibility, continued to pour on Raj Maha Viharu.

Murals of Kelania
The Portuguese destroyed the ancient temple in 1510, and all the sculptures and paintings of antiquity perished.Therefore, which is very sad, today in the temple there is no evidence of any ancient paintings or sculptures belonging to the Anuradhapura period or the Polonnaruwa period. Existing paintings and sculptures are of relatively recent origin. They can be divided into two periods - executed in the 18th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.

Old murals
The Image House (Viharage) is 45 meters wide and 28 meters long. It was erected on a stone pedestal 1 meter high. The sacred room has a thatched octagonal Kandian-style roof.

The paintings belong to the Kandy period. The main paintings tell stories about the Buddha. Each picture has its own story, and each picture is clearly grouped according to the meaning of events. The wall also shows Mara Yuddha (Temptation by Mara) - the battle of Buddha with the forces of mara (Polluting Factors) and also Solosmastkhana (16 revered shrines).

On the ceiling, looking like the sky, there are planetary Gods or Navagraha, as well as 12 zodiac signs - Rashi.

New murals
Since ancient times, Sri Lanka has a tradition of depicting scenes from the History of Jatak on the walls of temples. But the temple of Kelani Vihara departed from this tradition in new paintings. Instead, it is here a variety of all kinds of frescoes depicting many historical scenes associated with the origin, increase in importance and the promotion of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

In the paintings depicting King Devanampiyatissa representing Maha Megha, there is also the image of the Monk Mahinda. Here the king is marked in the performance of rites on elephants. The plot dates back to the writing of Tripitaki. Tripitaka is the first time in history that a Buddha’s teaching has been recorded in writing.

Other significant scenes are the performance of Baddhagosa Vishuddhimagga at Sangharaja Mahavihara in Anuradhapura. King Sri Kirti holds a meeting with Saranankar Maha Thera, presenting him with the order to ensure the safety of the Sacred Tree of the nun Sangamitta and the Tooth of the Buddha, which was brought to Sri Lanka by Prince Dante and Princess Hemamala. The Princess secretly drove the Tooth in the mop of her lush hairdo.

The carved garlands of flowers on the stone pillars of the temple are precisely made in the most perfect style of sculpture. The paintings on the outside of the chamber are fascinating and inspiring. Still would! It captures the most important events in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and in the history of Kelania.

The paintings on the strip of the upper group depict 3 visits to the Buddha of Sri Lanka. On the lower strip are frescoes depicting the events that led to the murder of Mach Theher, as well as floods and the sacrifice of Princess Devi during the reign of Kelanitiss.

Other famous murals are those that show the institution of Theravada tradition. They also narrate about Burmese monks, the robbery and destruction at the beginning of the 13th century and the dishonor of the Portuguese here at the end of the 16th century.

Durutu Perehara
In this historic temple, the procession, known as Durutu Perahera (Kelania Procession), takes place annually in January on the full moon day. On this occasion, hundreds and thousands of people from all parts of the country and hundreds of foreign tourists are on their way to the outskirts of the temple to witness the spectacular theatrical performance with their own eyes.

The procession shows the ancient traditions and cultural heritage of the country. This procession demonstrates to the world the age of Buddhism with the help of ancient traditional folklore, folk music and rhythmic forms of dance to the beat of a drum. The sounds of fun proclaim joy everywhere and pay homage to Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The first such grand theatrical performance, commonly known as Kelani Perahera, was first held in 1927.

The procession in Kelania consists of three separate processions - from the Relics of Buddha and from three images of deities - Vishnu, Kataragama and Vibhishana.
The Durutu festival is celebrated in three beautiful stages.

First Festival - Udamaluwa Perahera
The action begins on the upper terrace of the temple. Auspicious moment. A secret casket with sacred relics is given to the leader of the procession. And soon Perahera begins. Only a few elephants participate in this procession. In the column are dancers, dancers and drummers. The leader of the ceremony and the members of Dayak Sabha (Organizing Committee) go in procession, dressed in symbolic white robes. The sacred casket, placed on a colorful pillow, is carried by hand, in full reverence.

Second Festival - Pahatamulava Perahera
This is a more colorful action than the first. An elephant carrying a sacred casket on its back is an obligatory part of Dutur Perahera. Behind the elephant are people carrying divine insignia in the shape of the North Star. The ceremonies of the master and his retinue, in attendance, follow slowly behind.

Third Final Procession - Perahera Randoli
This is the climax of the whole festival. The procession is usually held on the pre-lunar day of the January new moon. This is the most colorful and magnificent procession. On the back of the elephant is the national flag of the country, symbolizing the nation. Then comes a group of presenters from Sri Lanka uniformly dressed. They carry colorful banners and flags of various regions and areas of the country. This is followed by a group of drummers, performing various pieces on drums and dancing to these melodies. Drummers are accompanied by an elephant carrying a Buddhist flag. Next comes the elephant that carries Naga Kodiya, the flag of Kelania.
Then follow Pemaru Rala, residents of the border region. He is accompanied by a group of dancers and drummers.

The next elephant is Gajanayake Nilama, the leader in charge of the stability of the column. In between are troupes of dancers from various schools. After them arrives Kariyakaranava Rala, the ceremonial manager, surrounded by a retinue, drummers and dancers. They are accompanied by two Buddhist monks in saffron robes and represent the Brotherhood of the Sangha, which here serves as guardians of Buddha relics.
They are followed by a troupe of Kandy dancers dancing in drummers. They sing verses of mantras of high praise to the Buddha.

Then comes a majestic elephant with large tusks and a noble birth, continuing the path of the sacred casket, richly decorated with bedspreads and harness. He walks in all his majesty and dignity, walking proudly on a white carpet of fabric (Sinhala: Pavada).
After comes the keeper of the sacred casket, dressed in a royal Indian costume. He is the guardian of the safety of the holy relic along the path of the procession. Thus, Datu Perahera and Randoli Perahera end here.

Heavisi drummers and dancers performing various forms of dance walk between the elephants in order to maintain Perahera's choreographic balance. Participants represent all 3 major dance schools in Sri Lanka (Udarata, Sabaragamuva and Pahatarata). Each of the columns of Deval Perahera ends with the passage of the elephant Deval carrying deistic insignia (Devadharana) on his back and accompanied by Basnayak Nilame, the keeper of each column of Perahera.
The final part of the Perahera is characterized by the passage of three palanquins (Randolis) from the shrines. They are carried on duty by the appropriate sanctuary. A woman in attendance, dressed in the respectful clothes of a security guard, walks beside each palanquin, fanning the air around the palanquin and above it with a fan of peacock feathers. In these palanquins, ornaments of the respective gods are carried, as well as jugs filled with gifts from food for the gods.

So, the shrines of Kelania can be visited almost at any time of the year, and only the lucky ones who come to Sri Lanka in January and stay specially for Perahera at Colombo hotels will be able to see the festival.
About your desire to visit the shrines of Kelania, inform the manager Lancarus / Lankaus for the optimal solution of all issues related to your accommodation, meals and sightseeing tours.