Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oct 2012: When we went to the St. Albans Cathedral #2


 photo 004-IMG_0435_zps25803e9d.jpg

after the amble around the roman mosaic and roman walls, we went off to the cathedral

 photo 003-IMG_0432_zpsca497687.jpg

it was a lovely walk besides these trees which were just starting to put on their autumn colours. 

 photo 005-IMG_0439_zps25142cc7.jpg 

Baba has this patient face when he is with Ma. Now holding her bag

 photo 006-IMG_0443_zps96596734.jpg

the cathedral is seriously a mongrel, so many different styles and shapes and colours and architectural styles.

 photo 008-IMG_0451_zps7e88fe89.jpg

the history of the cathedral makes you feel pity for it. Seriously. Go read it up yourself here

 photo 010-IMG_0460_zpsff91a7f9.jpg 

We head inside

 photo 011-IMG_0463_zpsf705e8d3.jpg 

And the long nave

 photo 012-IMG_0466_zps2b2c64e4.jpg

there are some architectural details which are lovely…

 photo 015-IMG_0474_zps3173c090.jpg

this is how it looked in its heyday way back in 1539AD

 photo 016-IMG_0478_zps338a5fcf.jpg 

whoa, what do we have here?

 photo 017-IMG_0481_zps956909f1.jpg 

a hanging lamp of some sort

 photo 018-IMG_0485_zps4511f8ce.jpg

the upper windows are really beautiful, marching in beautifully arranged soaring lines.

 photo 020-IMG_0493_zps0afb8292.jpg  photo 021-IMG_0495_zpse02fb7df.jpg photo 023-IMG_0500_zpsc2e893dc.jpg

a long collage tapestry shows the history of the church, very nicely done. Completely ruined by these ghastly chairs in front.

 photo 026-IMG_0507_zpsd870d8b1.jpg  photo 029-IMG_0516_zps8484938b.jpg

Some of these murals date back to the original church made in the 12th century. beautiful. 

 photo 028-IMG_0513_zps0caa9b78.jpg 

Ma taking some photos

 photo 030-IMG_0519_zps49d1f41b.jpg 

Surprisingly, the stained glass windows aren't as magnificent as I would have expected.

 photo 031-IMG_0525_zps53cb0742.jpg 

The usual military honours hang in one corner of the church.

 photo 032-IMG_0528_zps5b62fa95.jpg  photo 033-IMG_0531_zps84370f57.jpg photo 034-IMG_0535_zpsc1942727.jpg photo 035-IMG_0537_zps3a43bd64.jpg photo 037-IMG_0544_zpsf8d49152.jpg

With memorial plaques to long dead soldiers and officers, who died in various long forgotten conflicts around the world and the two great wars. So I ask you, today I was standing in front of these plaques and wondering, what was the reason these brave soldiers gave their lives? I know everybody has to die but die screaming holding your guts in a muddy battlefield? for what? to have a plaque on the wall and people pass by uncaring? surely there can be better ways to live and die?

 photo 038-IMG_0547_zpsa8857825.jpg

 photo 039-IMG_0551_zps9a8090ba.jpg

This was the most bizarre thing which I have seen. Some figures were put up on the niches which were blue and strangely two dimensional. In this ancient building made out of golden stone, these were such a jarring sight. Whosoever agreed to put these up should be shot. Bah, looks like a modern art gallery, bleah.

 photo 040-IMG_0553_zps47084cbc.jpg 

i cross over to the other side

 photo 041-IMG_0556_zps66a47b3a.jpg 

the floor is paved with gravestones

 photo 042-IMG_0558_zpse25f38c9.jpg 

there’s the middle altar. I tell you, those blue figures are weird

 photo 043-IMG_0563_zpsd458bf99.jpg 

looking back at the entrance door.

 photo 044-IMG_0565_zpsd87bc416.jpg 

i keep on walking up the right hand side aisle.

 photo 047-IMG_0574_zps8cff356c.jpg

pass through a lovely wooden doorway

 photo 048-IMG_0576_zpsd930f3fb.jpg 

the walls are lined with plaques.

 photo 049-IMG_0579_zpsb4a987e1.jpg 

And this empty tomb of the Hermits Roger of Markyate and Sigar of Northhaw. Dating back to 1275. holy moly, the chap was a small un

 photo 052-IMG_0585_zpsea6062d4.jpg

I wonder what happened to the body? only this rather sad looking tomb survives. I sneaked in a touch. I have to admit that it did speak to me. Strange feelings, a small man, intense, with burning eyes, quick nervous movements when awake but capable of great stillness, not so good with people but very much in touch with the divine. huh!, strange..

 photo 055-IMG_0595_zps423530ff.jpg 

tiny niches with a lovely flower arrangement. A plaque was fitted on top one time but its gone now. The whitewashed walls are peeling off a wee bit, very rustic but does this belong to a cathedral? a rather brave attempt to perk up this sad corner

 photo 056-IMG_0599_zps8b539b51.jpg 

a staircase goes up the gallery above and on top are these extraordinarily lovely tall windows. most beautiful

 photo 057-IMG_0601_zps6cd3d167.jpg  photo 058-IMG_0603_zps0c505b5a.jpg

the balcony had some latin script on the pediment..

 photo 059-IMG_0606_zps0505b9ed.jpg 

With a lovely bank of windows

 photo 060-IMG_0609_zpsf50cfbfa.jpg 

now that’s sweet

 photo 062-IMG_0613_zpse9499a69.jpg

interesting way to fill in an arch, a double arch at that.

 photo 063-IMG_0615_zpsd61765cd.jpg 

the other side of the transept

 photo 064-IMG_0619_zpsf3b434f4.jpg 

and then this giant round window, nice work

 photo 065-IMG_0621_zps31f6030c.jpg

the lectern shaped liked a hawk

 photo 069-IMG_0633_zpsf6819d83.jpg 

 photo 073-IMG_0646_zpsbb613d98.jpg

The woodwork is extraordinary, beautiful.  

 photo 072-IMG_0642_zpsbd5d0cd7.jpg 

the roof has these lovely panels which are painted, but only part of it, that’s why i said that this cathedral is a bit of a mongrel.

 photo 074-IMG_0649_zps0056117d.jpg 

lovely work 

 photo 076-IMG_0654_zps2a03219c.jpg

the funny part of this cathedral is how you come across beautiful details in the middle of a right royal mishmash. Look at this arch, how lovely, no? 

 photo 090-IMG_0698_zpsba8159e9.jpg 

A copy of the wallingford clock 

 photo 094-IMG_0712_zps250807b4.jpg

This is a copy of the St. Albans Psalter, created in the 12th century. what an exquisite piece. This particular book is a copy, the original is in Germany, which was smuggled out after Henry went after the monasteries. Barbarian  photo 109-IMG_0760_zps7d3f0b30.jpg

this is a Mensa, a stone table which was the base of the shrine of St. Albans, is used as the altar for the Chapel of Persecuted.

 photo 110-IMG_0763_zps46d4d3b7.jpg

The pulpit. How wonderful. 

 photo 112-IMG_0770_zps37ef1075.jpg 

Moving into another part of the cathedral, moorish influence

 photo 113-IMG_0777_zps877b353d.jpg

a lovely piece of wall painting.

 photo 114-IMG_0781_zps909ecbdd.jpg  photo 115-IMG_0784_zps28cc9377.jpg

Some parts of the stonework is really fine.

 photo 116-IMG_0787_zps1528d67d.jpg 

The grave of one of the original abbots dating back to the 12th century. 

 photo 125-IMG_0814_zpsbe6a05c0.jpg 

This is the shrine of St. Amphibalus, dating back to 1350AD. Whoa. But nothing talked to me.

 photo 126-IMG_0818_zpsde5eab67.jpg

Passing through some lovely wooden carvings.

 photo 128-IMG_0822_zps5ed60047.jpg

the roof is again lovely, very well painted in this section

 photo 129-IMG_0825_zps5275a2ed.jpg 

And here’s the man himself, St. Albans



 photo 131-IMG_0831_zps5665dcf0.jpg 

lovely arches

 photo 137-IMG_0850_zps2913b9bd.jpg 

its a small chapel in the middle, surrounded with these rather sad and dusty looking wooden structures.

 photo 135-IMG_0844_zps932e1796.jpg photo 136-IMG_0847_zpsc9f35be4.jpg

You can go up to the upper stories via these heavily worn wooden stairs.

 photo 152-IMG_0895_zps60be767d.jpg

The stone carvings on top of the tomb are ancient, very very old indeed.







 photo 157-IMG_0910_zps03e25ebb.jpg  photo 158-IMG_0913_zps3058a790.jpg

On the wall behind, you can see the Madonna and Jesus, as well as John the Baptist on the right. Rather pedestrian carvings I would have thought

 photo 149-IMG_0886_zpse946f2b2.jpg

I move out of the chapel.

 photo 150-IMG_0888_zpsfd391346.jpg

A last look up the chapel

 photo 162-IMG_0925_zpsf082fea2.jpg

Another tomb..

 photo 164-IMG_0930_zps4a1c635d.jpg  photo 166-IMG_0937_zps067cd461.jpg

The walls of the right hand side aisle are covered with plaques. This one dates back to 1619

 photo 168-IMG_0943_zps0a7790f0.jpg 

Hmmm, quite an interesting structure with an isolated figure in the middle.

 photo 170-IMG_0949_zps9ca7079f.jpg

A poor chest. Quite an old one

 photo 172-IMG_0955_zps135f9c11.jpg

Then my eyes fell on the floor tiles, how wonderful, really lovely looking. 

 photo 174-IMG_0960_zps765a4248.jpg 

This is the back of the wall to the St. Albans Chapel.

 photo 175-IMG_0963_zpsb8596ae2.jpg  photo 177-IMG_0967_zpsb92c0cc6.jpg

This wall is a living breathing wall of sculpture. I could have spent hours just gazing on this.

 photo 211-IMG_1081_zpsec21c78a.jpg

 photo 182-IMG_0982_zpsa818dd6f.jpg

very nice.

 photo 191-IMG_1012_zps12df8642.jpg

A gravestone has been embedded by removing some of the tiles and then embedding some bronze work into the stone, very nice. 

 photo 193-IMG_1020_zpsd895a20c.jpg 

The full altar in its glory. Very very exquisite 

  photo 217-IMG_1099_zpsca029d7f.jpg 

A painting is hung which shows how the altar looked many moons back..fascinating differences eh? it didnt have all the statues which we can see now.

 photo 195-IMG_1027_zps49abe2cc.jpg 

Some more details. 

 photo 210-IMG_1078_zps69368428.jpg 

Looking down the central aisle

 photo 212-IMG_1083_zpsc4e311d3.jpg 

these arches are really lovely

 photo 213-IMG_1086_zps1106c4d4.jpg 


 photo 214-IMG_1089_zps826e7224.jpg 


 photo 218-IMG_1101_zpse0f7513b.jpg 

the eastern orthodox Byzantine imagery is quite interesting.

 photo 219-IMG_1105_zpsb8039f1a.jpg 

A lovely door leading outside. 

 photo 222-IMG_1114_zpsbccb596d.jpg 

A stained glass showering its blessings on a memorial plaque

 photo 223-IMG_1117_zps89c048c8.jpg

 photo 224-IMG_1120_zpsd0816b49.jpg


 photo 225-IMG_1123_zps463ddc65.jpg

I couldn't quite get the point of these vegetables and flowers.

 photo 226-IMG_1126_zps526f98d3.jpg 

Some ancient graffiti

 photo 228-IMG_1132_zps140bb522.jpg

Rows of chairs

 photo 233-IMG_1147_zps05eca919.jpg

the windows reminds me of old Greek churches

 photo 238-IMG_1166_zps2a77a31f.jpg 

I am heading back to the entrance, last look up the central aisle

 photo 239-IMG_1168_zpscfddaa1c.jpg

More stacked up chairs

 photo 240-IMG_1171_zpsea26d540.jpg


 photo 241-IMG_1175_zps444b94e5.jpg


 photo 242-IMG_1177_zpsc0f1dff2.jpg

At the entrance, you have these strange arrangements, lol, very strange.

We head out and then go to the Roman Museum.

No comments: