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 Cathedrals and lesser places

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 08 Dec 2013, 16:36

Whatever ones faith - or denial thereof - from Cathedrals to tiny village churches most will admit to being taken by something within that impresses. It may be just the architecture and features  or often it's the atmosphere  that promotes soul soothing reflection. How the huge places were built and who paid for them  springs to mind too. Is there a people who never had spiritual faith in anything?
Take away the ritual floor show - but not the music - they still manage to inspire emotion. I recently visited a marsh church  rescued by the Friends od Friendless churches. It has one service a year and I'm told its tiny box pews are jammed packed.  There are also similar almost abandoned churches in the foothills of the Himalayas - but not quite...... someone possibly in secret stills tends them.
They all charter episodes in our past in some way - but what is the modern progression, I wonder? Will someone one day get all whimsical about digging out  an old Tesco?
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 08 Dec 2013, 17:27

I doubt the modern buildings of all glass and concrete would survive long enough P, unlike the cathedrals and other historical buildings made of beautiful stonework.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 08 Dec 2013, 22:07

@Priscilla wrote:
Whatever ones faith - or denial thereof - from Cathedrals to tiny village churches most will admit to being taken by something within that impresses. It may be just the architecture and features  or often it's the atmosphere  that promotes soul soothing reflection. How the huge places were built and who paid for them  springs to mind too. Is there a people who never had spiritual faith in anything?
Take away the ritual floor show - but not the music - they still manage to inspire emotion. I recently visited a marsh church  rescued by the Friends od Friendless churches. It has one service a year and I'm told its tiny box pews are jammed packed.  There are also similar almost abandoned churches in the foothills of the Himalayas - but not quite...... someone possibly in secret stills tends them.
They all charter episodes in our past in some way - but what is the modern progression, I wonder? Will someone one day get all whimsical about digging out  an old Tesco?
Priscilla,

that are quite some questions.
Grown up between cathedrals as in Ostend, Bruges, Gent I am impressed by the Gothic pillars and the "stained" glasses." I just said to Islanddawn that one finds everything on the "net", but here some quarter of an hour to find the translation of "brandraam" in French "vitraux" (and also in our dialect). The word "brandraam" although Dutch seems not to exist in Dutch-English dictionaries. And yes it is not well known on the internet too. At the end found this:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/18297553
Not sure about the English translation too. In fact "brandraam"/"vitrail" is a window with a composition of stained glasses framed in lead. I will start a new thread about the similarities and anomalies of French, English, Dutch, German, languages.
If you stay at the foot of such a pillar and look to the ceiling I felt always "insignificant?" (Dutch: "nietig" (nothing), French: "nul") and that was perhaps the purpose of the architects as the human looking up to the almighty God? I wonder for Nordmann's feelings?
Some evocation of our Church of Our Lady in Bruges:

And some photos:
https://www.google.be/search?q=gothic+architecture&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=z8ukUuWkK4ictAa_j4HgAw&ved=0CD4QsAQ&biw=1231&bih=731
I did some in depth studies for the medieval Gothic churches for an endless discussion on a French messageboard about cross groined vaults. If the groins were ornamental or helping to sustain the vaults. And so became knowledgeable about questions related to Gothic churches.

As for the feelings entering a Roman-Catholic church nowadays, Priscilla, and at my age...gone in the childhood through all the obliged! services at school and even outside in our "parochial" church (verification by our priest from the school)...in the beginning some believing in a "guiding God", but later on looking at the human endresult of a long coincidental evolution in universe...but I can understand that in India, as overhere in the time, there is still a belief and devotion to the almighty Supreme Being...

As for the evolution of the church buildings here in Belgium. I saw last week an article in the paper about the empty churches which are still to be paid by the local municipalities. Some want to sell them for whatever purpose, others want to use them for social purposes. I find the last solution the best one as the purpose of a "church" in my humble opinion has also a social goal. There is even in Bruges a former church sold and now used for touristic medieval banquets (with no table manners...)...

Kind regards from Paul. And happy, Priscilla, to have once again a "conversation" with you...
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:12

Hello,Paul. Few of our older churches have been put to other uses - usual residential - but the plainer red brick Prebyterian inner city sort are snapped up to covert into, would you believe, curry houses. I have only been to one but found the wall monument tablets with their dedications to the  long forgotten, somewhat depressing. 
As for the feeling monumental architecture seems to inspire, as with thrilling scenary, perhaps ones insignificant place in  the grand march of time is brought to bear. As for the sub continent, in matters of faith the longer I was there and the more I learned the less I  understood - so I stopped trying. However, I found there are mosques that engendered that soul-silence but, for me, not temples or ashrams.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:29

We were at a church in Sandwich in Kent which we liked a lot, St Peter's Church.  It said it was no longer used but was still consecrated.  It was still used really, just presumably not for church services.  It was used for the 'social purposes' Paul mentions.  A community gathering place, really.  There was a long table of books for sale, and a really good variety of books they were too.  But I already had too many books to read in the two weeks we had left and didn't want to carry too many home on the plane.  So they all had to stay there.  There was also an antique fire engine in one area, a plaque about Thomas Paine's wedding to Mary Lambert in 1759 in the church, and a plaque from Flemish descendants grateful that in the 16th century the people of Sandwich had welcomed them and allowed them the use of the church for worship.  And it had attractive murals in a sort of slightly naive art style of the history of Sandwich.

It was a delightful church and we spent quite a long time there.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:32

The somewhat appropriately named Soul Bar, formerly Langstane Kirk;

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:36

@Priscilla wrote:
They all charter episodes in our past in some way - but what is the modern progression, I wonder?


There's a former Wesley Chapel - beautiful old building - in Bolton that is now a casino. The old chap must be spinning, as they say. Lord alone knows how planning permission was ever granted for that one, but with money all things are possible.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 15:36

Churches, crypts, Cathedrals and their surrounds, including the cemetaries were put to many uses in the past and not only that of the religious variety. They really were the beating heart of the community.

Just a few mundane uses of sacred places

- They were also used for lodging and storage, in fact cathedral floors were often sloped to make for easier cleaning of the refuse left behind by lodging pilgrims.
-  Places for the sick
-  As places of sanctuary
-  In times of war townspeople would move into churches, and stock them with food, guards and arms.
-  Church precincts and cemetaries were popular places for vending because they were exempt from secular jurisdiction and taxation. It was not unusual for wine vendors to loudly hawk their samples which they poured from pitchers that they carried around. In the 14thC, for example, the canons of Chartres were maintaining a tavern in the cloister.
- They were convenient places for both secular and ecclesiastical courts. 
-  Along with the cries of confessions and those of the sick and in pain, churches were also used as places for socialising and playing games. And there were a number of warnings against the less pious conversations that would be conducted in church. 
- Prostitutes conducted business within church precincts and cemetaries
- Churches were also used as places for dalliance for lovers, one of the few dry and protected public places availabe to couples.

http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1p6831dn#page-27
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 16:25

Islanddawn,
thanks for the interesting reply. In your last message I was looking to a new word in my vocabulary of English: places for "dalliance" Didn't found it in my Collins paperback of 1991. Had to look on the web: "flirtation" is better known to me...
Kind regards, Paul.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 17:48

Yes, dalliance is an older word Paul and not used so much anymore except in historical romance novels possibly. Today we have less elegant words like sucking face, snogging, necking et al.  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 19:35

I looked up dalliance in my little Pocket Oxford Dictionary to see its derivation, but dismaying it wasn't there at all.  I thought it sounded a little French and in the Shorter Oxford it says from dally (which didn't sound very French to me), originally from Old French dalier, to converse or chat. Used a lot in Anglo-Norman.  Dalliance means flirtation but can also just mean generally talking casually, passing the time of day. But mostly today it doesn't mean anything because it's hardly used. I must use it more, since it's understood quite easily.  I would use 'necking' ID, but never such abominations as sucking face or snogging.  Horrible words both in connotations and sound.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 20:03

@Priscilla wrote:
Hello,Paul. Few of our older churches have been put to other uses - usual residential - but the plainer red brick Prebyterian inner city sort are snapped up to covert into, would you believe, curry houses. I have only been to one but found the wall monument tablets with their dedications to the  long forgotten, somewhat depressing. 
As for the feeling monumental architecture seems to inspire, as with thrilling scenary, perhaps ones insignificant place in  the grand march of time is brought to bear. As for the sub continent, in matters of faith the longer I was there and the more I learned the less I  understood - so I stopped trying. However, I found there are mosques that engendered that soul-silence but, for me, not temples or ashrams.
Priscilla,

thanks for the reply and about your "that engendered that soul-silence...
In my former message I was perhaps a bit too harsh for myself...thinking about it...and trying to analyse myself...and if you mean by "soul-silence": the thinking about yourself and your place in the universe...for me a cathedral is a kind of a museum, a tribute to the human capabilities...but at the same time entering a church where people in silence communicate with their "God"...some strange feeling of solidarity...perhaps because we all are social beings, perhaps the essence of our mankind...
And in my case...I don't need the silence or the meditation in a church...I can, as well in the silence in front of my computer screen, think about myself and the outside world...

Kind regards and with esteem for your "philosophical" message,

Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 09 Dec 2013, 23:06

Paul :
You, in particular, might find this feature of the Three Ladies of the Vale of interest.

http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/Cathedral-Treasures/herkenrode-glass.html
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Tue 10 Dec 2013, 16:54

Paul: My soul silencing phrase is difficult to expand. Perhaps it can be likened to the condition in the mystical Sufic sense. Sufi means wool - a kind of cocooning - or to be more  prosaic, like very good double glazing. I agree that   it may be experienced everywhere but some places  impose it.

Too often the breath taking awe of being at one and in harmony  - for want of a better word - is fleeting - but it is possible to call up from memory something of it. And I do not mean to go all soggy romantic here about this sense of harmony because it can relate to anything. Great photographers have a knack of making tabernacles from tar drums and the silence is as profound.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Tue 10 Dec 2013, 17:45

I apologise if this isn't the correct place for this P, the article deals with Monastic life in Scotland and I suppose cathedrals and lesser places could be included in that. A fascinating read about a period of Scottish history that is rarely mentioned.


When one considers that there were monasteries in Scotland for over a thousand years, we know surprisingly little about the way of life that was familiar over that long time span to the occupants and their contemporaries alike. Indeed, in many cases we scarcely know whether there was a monastery there or not. Easson’s gazetteer of the Scottish monasteries has many listed as uncertain or “supposed” foundations because the documentation for them cannot be found but one must remember that the nunnery of St. Evoca would have fallen into this category, but for a problem in the early 15th century which led to a papal rescript now preserved in the Vatican. There is, of course, a paradox in this, because the remains of all that human endeavour mislead us into thinking that the life is also familiar to us. It has been romanticised:



Most visitors to Scotland are likely to visit at least one of the great ruins, the names of Iona, Melrose, Sweetheart abbey, Lincluden, Dundrennan, Inchmahome, Holyrood, Cambuskenneth, Dryburgh, Coldingham, Crossraguel, Arbroath, Haddington are all names inextricably mixed into the history of Scotland. Yet as you wander through the smooth and antiseptic lawns of the Ministry of Works at one of the sites, where the occasional tracery of the great windows and columns of the naves rise dramatically to the sky, while the outlines of the buildings razed and ruined have been carefully restored to a uniform foot or so above the land, to create the illusion that one is walking through a manicured ground plan, or skeletal framework, what are you really seeing? Is this reality, or is it finely created myth? What relationship does it bear to the daily life of that vanished millennium?

Continue reading here

http://openjournals.library.usyd.edu.au/index.php/JSSSH/article/view/7143/7607
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Wed 11 Dec 2013, 21:37

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Paul :
You, in particular, might find this feature of the Three Ladies of the Vale of interest.

http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/Cathedral-Treasures/herkenrode-glass.html


You are right, Gil,

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdij_van_Herkenrode

"Zeven glasramen sieren nu de Lady Chapel in de kathedraal van Lichfield (Engeland). Zij stellen scènes voor uit het nieuwe testament en portretten en wapenschilden van historische figuren uit de zestiende eeuw en behoren tot de best bewaarde glaswerkensembles uit de Vlaamse renaissance. Zij zijn van de hand van twee kunstenaars, Marten Tymans uit Antwerpen en Lambert Spulbergh uit Mechelen en dateren van de jaren 1532-1539. Abdis Mechtildis de Lechy liet ze maken. In 1802 werden ze door de toenmalige eigenaar verkocht aan een Engelsman op doorreis die ze grotendeels verkocht aan de anglicaanse kathedraal van Lichfield. Ook kwam glaswerk terecht in een viertal andere kerken in Engeland."
(seven stained glasses, best from the Flemish renaissance, two artists, Martin Tymans from Antwerp and Lmaberth Spulbergh from Mechelen (Malines) from 1532-1539. In 1802 sold to an Englishman. He sold it to the Cathedral of Lichfield. There were also glasses sold to four other churches in England.
About gothic stained glasses:
https://www.google.be/search?q=vitraux+%C3%A9glise+gothique&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=39SoUqu4HYHKtQb2-YHgBw&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1231&bih=731#imgdii=_

Did some research for the Lichfield Cathedral. Quite in the middle of England, if you ask me...
And a spire in stone...not so easy to burn down by lightning as happened here many times with the wooden vaulted spires...



Kind regards and thank you for mentioning the Flemish artists,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 21:14

@Priscilla wrote:
Take away the ritual floor show - but not the music - they still manage to inspire emotion.

I caught part of the (somewhat melodramatically entitled) 'unity service of reconciliation' broadcast this morning by the BBC from St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh. This got me to thinking that, although I've been to Edinburgh on several occasions, to my shame I've never actually been inside the High Kirk. From what I saw this morning, it seemed to be rather similar in decor to various Anglican cathedrals in South Britain - which is rather ironic considering its history. I have to say that flags and banners and other trappings of secular states on display inside places of worship tend to leave me cold. So maybe I haven't missed out there.  

This got me to further thinking about churches which I have visited on my travels but which have indeed left an impression on me. Staying north of the border then there is St Magnus' Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney which (ignoring the flags and banners etc) is a unique Romanesque building with solid, squat pillars giving it a vaguely continental appearance. And yet it wouldn't seem to fit either on the continent or in Scandinavia or indeed on neighbouring Great Britain. It can only be described as Orcadian:



Heading east to Poland then there is the Chapel of St Kinga in the Wieliczka Salt Mine just outside Cracow. One of several chapels in the mine, St Kinga's is the most spectacular. A cliche to some, maybe, but I never cease to be amazed by the thought that the pillars, the altar, the statues, the hexagonal floor tiles and even the chandeliers are all carved from salt:



Going north across the Baltic Sea to Finland next, there is the Rock Church in Helsinki. Originally conceived in the 1930s it was finally completed in 1969. Half sunken into the ground and with a glass and copper dome on top, it looks as though a flying saucer has crash landed in the middle of a square in the city. I have to say that I didn't feel particularly spiritual when I was there but the coach party of Korean tourists probably had something to do with that. It certainly is a weird place and its excellent acoustic properties mean that rather than just being used solely for religious services, it is also often the venue for music concerts:



Finally (and staying in Finland) there is the Church of St Alexander & St Nicholas in Tampere. As the name suggests, this belongs to the minority Finnish Orthodox Church. The red brick building was only built in the 1890s and yet is stunningly beautiful both outside and in. We only found it by accident, as on the final day of our trip to Finland we had an hour to kill before the bus would take us back to Vantaa International Airport in Helsinki. "Look at those spires peeking up behind the trees!" said Mrs Vizzer. And so we sidled over the road to discover a romantic gem complete with onion cupolas sitting pretty on a tiny hillock:

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 22:37

Paul -
You are certainly correct that stone spires don't burn down easily - take a look at this one for example (once joint see with Lichfield as it happens) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Cathedral
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 22:42

Vizzer,

I was there too in that St Kinga's chapel...together with my wife... her in a Polish wheelchair with a broken too...happened during the trip to Poland...and had to go with her to a Polish hospital...the wheelchair from the hotel and the visit with a personal female guide...extra paid arrangement...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 23:13

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Paul -
You are certainly correct that stone spires don't burn down easily - take a look at this one for example (once joint see with Lichfield as it happens) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Cathedral


Gil, yes even the Coventry bombing didn't destroyed the stone spire...or was it some irreal fear of the German bomber scad to destroy the spire...or was it the more realistic consequense of its lesser surface on the ground than the rest of the buildings...

Kind regards and have still a message for you on the "elephant" thread...

Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Thu 02 Oct 2014, 22:13

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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Thu 02 Oct 2014, 22:31

What an amazing heart-warming (wanted to put it first between "" because I translated it directly from Dutch and see now in the dictionary that the word also exists in English) story that is, Gil.
Thank you again for comforting my night...

Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Fri 03 Oct 2014, 00:07

Very sadly, Paul, 3 of the Stations of the Cross carvings were stolen from the chapel in August. The daughter of Domenico Chiocchetti has offered to help find replacements.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Fri 03 Oct 2014, 09:38

Another Scottish island church, the Abbey on Iona, which in olden days was a royal burial ground;



http://welcometoiona.com/index.php?id=5
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Fri 03 Oct 2014, 21:02

Triceratops,

and one of my forebears:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/abbatiale-de-saint-riquier-st-riquier








Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Tue 21 Oct 2014, 14:45

This is the Shell Chapel, near St Peter Port, Guernsey;

http://www.visitguernsey.com/-the-little-chapel

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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 09 Nov 2014, 09:45

Here's a type of religious building that I'd never heard of before - a conjuratory or exconjuratory (conjurador or comunidor in Catalan, esconchurador in Aragonese):



It's a small building from which ceremonies were conducted to bless the fields and generally protect the crops against bad weather such as storms, hail, excessive rain or drought, but also sometimes to ward off other calamities like epidemics or plagues of pests.

According to wiki they were usually attached to a church or hermitage, sometimes as part of the church tower, and were built in a symmetrical way, with large windows open to the four cardinal points. They were common in the ancient villages of the Pyrenees especially in Aragon. The remaining ones are nearly all in Spain but two survive in France, the one pictured above is at Serralongue about 20kms from me, where it sits in relative isolation on the little hill above the village:



The one at Serralongue was built in the mid 14th century ... so at a time of repeated crop failures, outbreaks of 'murraine' in cattle and of course the Black Death.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sun 09 Nov 2014, 23:48

Hmm. The building is new to me, but the purpose sounds very like that of "rogation days"
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Wed 14 Dec 2016, 01:43

The Cathedral of St. Louis of Blois is in Blois, France. To celebrate the church's elevation to cathedral status in 1697, King Louis XIV presented the organ console in 1704. The new see thereupon took the dedication to Saint Louis.   
American bombardment during the Second World War destroyed most of the glass work in the cathedral. On December 22, 2000, new stained-glass windows were dedicated.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Thu 15 Dec 2016, 22:38

Saint Nicholas Cathedral was consecrated in 1912 in memory of Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (1843-1865), Emperor Alexander II's son and heir, who died at Nice, France on April 24, 1865. In 1896, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna and her son, Nicholas II, organized the construction of a new cathedral. The construction of the cathedral was financed from the private purse of Tsar Nicholas II.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Sat 17 Dec 2016, 15:37

FL,

When giving a lot of facts, it is often advisable to name from where one quote.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Mon 19 Dec 2016, 19:19

FL - this site likes cited facts to be of interest and flavoured with opinion. I'm not saying that I am good at this and that my opinion counts for much but at least I can be sure of annoying people for the right Res Hist reasons and even get a response.
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Tue 20 Dec 2016, 22:56

Reims Cathedral is located in Reims, France. Several of the French sovereigns had their coronations here. Would you like to have your coronation occur at Reims Cathedral?  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkp8xG0mKyk
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PostSubject: Re: Cathedrals and lesser places   Tue 20 Dec 2016, 23:39

Mine was at Chartres.
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Cathedrals and lesser places

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Res Historica History Forum :: The history of things ... :: Architecture-