artist tuesday: cathedrals

While not technically artists, cathedrals certainly deserve to be recognized for the works of art that they are.  I mean hundreds of years of planning and building goes into these enormous and ornate structures.  Can you believe the people that planned these huge structures never lived long enough to see them completed? They’d take sometimes take centuries to build. And I love how the style varies from country to country.  There is really no comparison between Notre Dame in Paris and the Duomo in Florence. But both are equally stunning and breathtaking.  Anyway, here are a few of the cathedrals that I’ve had the chance to wander through. If you ever get the opportunity to see them, I highly recommend it!

Notre Dame, Paris

So this one is definitely one of the most famous of the bunch and probably the first to come to your mind when you even think about cathedrals.  Notre Dame is one of several of its type scattered throughout France, and I really want to see the others!  Anyway, I think I first became a big fan of vaulted ceilings here.  I probably got a neck spasm the first time I went since I couldn’t stop staring up.  So. Awesome.

View from the top!

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Another really famous one, of course.  And neighbors with the pope! It’s also the 2nd largest religious structure in the world (next to Hagia Sophia in Turkey, which I must still visit). I went after my junior year in high school for the first time and was so wrapped up in how huge it was that I completely missed the memo that my group was leaving. Whoops….

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Ok this one is really cool, isn’t it? Reminds me of a sand drip castle.  Also, they’ve been working on it for about 130 years so far and it’s projected to be finished in 2017. Apparently, it’s being built entirely on donations, so when the money runs dry they chill until they have enough to keep going! However, now they’re also using money from tours and such to help finish it up.  I wish we could’ve gone inside because it looks SO cool.  Gaudi, the architect, has such a unique eye and will certainly be featured a little later on….

Il Duomo, Sienna

This cathedral always reminds me of our first overnight trip outside Florence.  It also reminds me Hilary’s especially spastic behavior that weekend.  Anyway, it’s so awesome on the inside with all the black and white marble.  Hard to photograph, but really beautiful.  The inside of the dome is also painted to look like it’s cutouts, so it’s kind of like an optical illusion. A clever way to save money….

 

Rachel's clearly amateur sketch.

Westminster Abbey, London

Mom and I went to church here while in London and it was the coolest!  I mean if I went every Sunday I’d probably be bored out of my mind, but it was still really cool. Inside, they have memorials and tombs for all kinds of famous people. Kings. Queens. The Brontë sisters. Charles Dickens. Tons of famous poets (hence, the “Poet’s Corner). And my favorite, Jane Austen. Sadly they don’t allow pictures inside which is laaaame so you don’t get to see them!

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Ok, this first time I even heard of Sainte-Chapelle was in my art history class the fall of my sophomore year.  It made it on the life list instantly.  Walls of stained glass surround this rather small chapel (yes, not a cathedral technically…) and when I went for the first time I was speechless.  Really one of those places where you have to sit in one of the many chairs that line the room and just take it all in.

Il Duomo, Florence

Saved the best for last! You all know my great love for Florence, so the Duomo has an especially special spot in my heart. It’s just so unique, you know?  For the longest time, architects couldn’t figure out how to build a dome large enough to cover the gaping hole about the altar, so the Duomo was actually a source for a lot of teasing back in the day. Then, one day, Brunelleschi came up with a plan (which he wrote in code so no one could steal his idea) and the dome was built.  For a time it was even the largest in the world. Saint Peter’s Basilica had to come along and steal that glory.  Anyway, the Duomo, of all cathedrals, is certainly my favorite and definitely one of the most unique in the entire world.

At the top!

 

*All extra pictures are from Wikipedia!

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