Monday, June 17, 2013

Nov 2012: Visiting the Virgin of Guadeloupe

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So after visiting the place of revolutions, we crammed ourselves back into the van and reached the Basilica. Allende! I know him..Chile? here? Warning, this is a long photo essay

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The religious artefacts on sales outside the Basilica.

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And there’s the Basilica itself. Quite a modern  structure, eh?

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With Federal Police watching over you

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A rather interesting statue overseeing the central plaza

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On top of the hill is the first church built on the hill. This is supposed to be the Saint Michael chapel. The guide said that we can go up there but we wont have time to visit the ones on the ground, so I abandoned that effort..

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The chap who architected this new Basilica (with a capacity of 10k) is the same chap who also built the Museum of Anthropology. Good…

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On the old Basilica, a stone representation of the Virgin 

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The frontage of the old Basilica is a bit dirty..but looks quite fine..

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The plaza was crowded with pilgrims

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The statue of Pope John Paul II. This statue was made of the various keys and brass bits left by pilgrims over the years.

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See what I mean? Fine work. The rain spouts were quite interesting as well, looked like cannons!

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They have done some good work with the stone but as you can see, the Basilica leans all over the place. Remember that Mexico City has been built on a lake and its not really the right foundation for stone buildings. More on this later.

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The stone flags have been polished smooth with the millions of pilgrims here..

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This is a kind of an open air altar…

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Looking at the modern basilica



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So this is what you see with the old Basilica and couple of more chapel

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See what I mean by buildings leaning all over?

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Various assorted statues on the facade, observing the virgin..

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The bell tower..

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I kept on feeling wanting to give the walls a bit of a scrub.

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More latin text but you can see how ancient is this building, worn away works of art..



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Couple of plaques on the wall. Presumably how the Virgin appeared in front of Juan and then how the cloak was shown to the Bishop..

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A brass statue of the famous Eagle eating the snake and the foundation of the Mexica Empire..

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I enter into the Old Basilica

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A fascinating statue but more on this later on.

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I move down the left

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This looked like a scene right out of Lord of the Rings..with streamers of brightly coloured ribbons

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I still don't understand what’s with the red flame on top of Jesus’s head..

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A massive painting on the wall.

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The altar is a work of art all right

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One of the side chapels

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The organ

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The wooden side door, very well made.

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Looking up at the altar

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The cupola is richly decorated..

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What on earth is this? why here? something to do with abortion????

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Don Antonio..

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The virgin appearing in front of conversions of the Indians..I was struck thinking about the issue with conversions in India and how that’s causing all kinds of ructions. Painting by Felipe Guierrez in 1894

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hotline to God?

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the pillars were showing their age

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I move into the next church…squashed between the two other churches.

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The sides of the old Basilica and this chapel are highly decorated

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Adoration of the Magi? not clear..

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A brass statue of what looks like a Papal statue..

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More pilgrims..

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The doorway is framed by these two Bernini style columns.

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I enter into this church

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Very very richly decorated…tiny church but very magnificently decorated. I am impressed.

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a painting of the Virgin is on one side of the chapel

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the roof is very richly carved with murals and gilt work

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Juan Pablo on the other side.

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The Choir wooden work is exquisite. 

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And the silver altar

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With what looks like a wooden statue of the Virgin

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Walking back out of the church. See the building lines on the side, all over the place, lol.

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I peek into the next church but I am running out of time..

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so after a last peek I head back to the guide

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who is waiting for me outside the new Basilica

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we head towards the entrance of the main Basilica

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Why does the film Omen pop into my head when I see this? 

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Got myself blessed..nice

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I enter into the huge church

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With flags of the world

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And we go down…there are 2 moving pavements in front of the painting

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There she is

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Amazing, still so fresh after 500 odd years

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She has been mounted out of harm’s way…some anti clerical muppet tried to blow it up about a century back

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But no damage was caused

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Then we move inside and here’s a copy of the painting..closeups now..

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we come out of the other side…you can see how the altar has been arranged with the painting visible

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and in the bombing which I mentioned before, this is what happened to one of the altar candlesticks..

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a photo of the carnage is also hanging..

I stopped and looked back. I have to admit, I didn't feel her. I felt sad :(

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I come out of the Basilica blinking my eyes

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The dome of the old Basilica..with these amazing yellow tiles..

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While waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive, I note these dancers.

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Some lovely hats

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and expressions

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and the embroidery was brilliant

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And then gold work as well!

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And on dark red as well..

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Waiting to start..

And they begin.

I still had some time so I popped back inside the old Basilica. This place spoke more to me than the new one.. photo 304-IMG_5332_zps603e3433.jpg

And I concentrated on this brass statue

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the statue actually has the Virgin engraved on it, you can see the face

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and then the hands

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And then this..a photo of a little baby girl..who is obvious ill and has been taped to the statue, obviously asking for Divine intervention. This is the power of faith. Me, i dont scoff at it, I somehow owe my life to this power of faith when I nearly died as well so all power to the little girl.

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We meet up again..and a lovely lady crosses our path. 

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Pilgrims lighting candles to the Virgin.

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We move down the side

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Looking back at the basilica

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then we move into a shop where we get to have a cold drink and have a pee..

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The guide handed this over to us, this side of the pamphlet shows various biblical aspects ranging from the Holy Ghost to Salomon the king, the babe in the manger, Daniel, etc. etc.

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Fascinating stories..about how there are so many connections..this one talks about how the stars on the Virgin’s cloak link up to various constellations.

Amazing to visit this hallowed place…

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