Oasis in the desert / Florence, Arizona

Hidden away in the desert of Florence, Arizona, is an oasis created by the members of a Greek Orthodox monastery. You can visit pretty much every day between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
    Proper dress is required. For women, this is a long skirt (no slits, please — I was handed a safety pin, because I had one that was too racy), long-sleeved shirt, socks, shoes (no sandals!) and a head covering. For men, it’s long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. For those who arrive inappropriately attired, the monk in the book store has some spares to lend.
    August is probably not the best time to visit, but my friend Gertrud and I did, mainly because I had an errand in the area.
    The monastery had only a couple of examples of stained glass, nothing particularly elaborate. But the brickwork and tiles on the ground / floor more than made up for this. Here are some miscellaneous photos.

   About 50 monks make their home at this monastery, plus visitors who help out. We found St. Anthony’s Church plus at least four chapels plus another church on the hill. We spent about two hours wandering around the property, taking photos and looking around. We saw many more people who were apparently Greek Orthodox and some nuns who were visiting at the time.

St. George’s Chapel is in the middle of the complex.
01 Blog Chapel of St George - 1
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A really healthy bougainvillea:
06 Blog Bougainvilla
And a shaded cupola:
CupolaA fountain in the center of the property:

FountainMore of the decorative brick work:

09 blog Detail - courtyardAnd interesting patterns on the ground, as well:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAA large cross:

11 blog Fountain of the CrossA palm walkway (with Gertrud in the lower right);GE DIGITAL CAMERAAn arch, more trees:

13 blog  Gate w Russian crossA lantern (with colored glass):

GE DIGITAL CAMERAA giant cross with colored glass insets:

15 blog  Large cross w colored glassHere’s a close-up:

16 blog Large cross w colored glass - 2A wonderful mosaic in one of the chapels:

16 blog Mosaic in chapelOne of two colored glass windows I found. The time of day (just after noon) was less than ideal for such photos:

GE DIGITAL CAMERAAnd last, but certainly not least, is a church on the hill above the monastery. We didn’t go inside, because it’s kept locked, since it’s not where people are. This was the only building that resembled what Gertrud had seen in Greece. The other buildings were painted red or other colors, but not the traditional white with blue.

17 blog St Elijah Chapel closerFor more, see http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/

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