Her Majesty, the Cathedral

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I declined the luging. It wasn’t going to be with my family anyways. I love being with my family. Plus, I’m a winner, not a luger. That’s why I declined the luging. It was my delugion to ever say yes blindly. The only things that I like that are fast are wifi and brains.

If any of you think I’m brave, remember this. I’m always petrified of ladies who yell in German in their morning voices.

It’s cool having a brother. It’s so different. Sometimes he’s really sweet, and will make me hot chocolate. Other times I want to bang my head against a wall. Nevertheless I’m relishing the experience.

Me and my brother went romping around the village yesterday. We went to the amusement park, the Cathedral, the Eglise ( = smaller, newer cathedral) and the Chateau Tourbillon. The original plan was to go to the amusement park, the rest was bonus. For the life of me, I still don’t understand the point of amusement parks. Why do people want to buckle themselves into something that’s going to flaunt them around proudly as it’s latest gullible candidate? Why do people enjoy that awful feeling of being out of control? Why are these monsters seen as friendly? and safe of all things? Do people not realise how many people have died on amusement park rides? What’s so fun about being waved in the air? What am I missing? what’s the big idea here? My brother convinced me to go on a ride with him. I think I’m being overly gracious to myself if I call it an intermediate level ride. It was awful. Horrible. My muscles were tensed the whole time, and I was wedging myself as far into the seat as possible, which included leaning against him. It’s the type of leaning that a car does when it hits a post. Poor guy probably has some sort of contusion in his left deltoid, but that doesn’t bother me.

One one side of you, you see the ferris wheels, and other newfangled rides. On the other side you see the Cathedral. It’s beautiful. It’s weird to want to go to on amusement rides when there’s a Cathedral there. I wanted to stay inside the Cathedral, and sit there in silence. It’s really magical inside.

This is the tympanum above the entrance into the Cathedral. It’s probably 6-8 feet in diameter. It’s beautiful. The colors are richer than they show up on camera.

When you enter, there is a stone basin with holy water in it. I’m assuming
the water’s holy. As far as I’m concerned, the glaciers which give the whole town its water are holy too. You dip your fingers in it, and then gesture the sign of the cross. When in Sion, do as the Catholics do.

The stained glass windows are amazing! They’re at least 16-20 feet tall each. There were 12 of them in this Cathedral as far as I remember. It’s absolutely stunning to be in a dark Cathedral with the only light filling the room being from these, and the little hanging chandeliers. It’s beautiful.

There’s also the gorgeous Corinthian pillars and arches. This photo shows the back of the church, the balcony over the entrance. The pipe organs are MASSIVE. Somehow, when you take pictures, everything is more digestible in 2D. When you’re there in person though, in the a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.  s.t.i.l.l.n.e.s.s. it’s different. It’s breathtaking.

This is to the right hand side at the front of the Cathedral. It’s some type of artifacts, locked up. I’m pretty sure it’s locked up because of all the gold used in the detailing of these masterpieces.

I reached my camera in between the rungs of the gate. This was inside. It’s beautiful.

This shows the front of the Cathedral. Or, more accurately, the front of the front. There’s the seat where the Pope would sit. To the left and right there are places where the monks/choir/cardinals/I really have no idea who/priest would sit.

The amount of detail in these wooden pews is really incredible.

Here’s a statue to the left of the front, of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The color is fantastic. There’s gold in her crown, and robe. It’s beautiful. The photo is a little dark, because I wasn’t allowed to use my flash.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary. I find it interesting that we should need to create a deity out of a human, in an attempt to balance the patriarchal qualities which we’ve ascribed to God. By all our records, Mary was as human as anyone, except that she got knocked up in a unusual manner. [I’m being so sacrilegious right now. Dear Catholic friends: no hard feelings…] Of course, there’s a lot of assumptions about the Virgin Mary. We assume that she was indeed a virgin. In that time, they tended to call every unmarried girl a virgin, regardless of whether or not they were. It makes sense though, it was customary to be virgin then, also disgraceful to not be. Still, it’s an assumption.
There’s a lot to consider when you think about Mary. Do you look outside the canonized books of the protestant Bible because their information about Mary is limited? [That was disguised as a question for no good reason.] The Apocrypha doesn’t contain much about Mary either. For me, I would turn to the Book of the Nativity of Mary, even though it’s deuterocanonical, accepted by neither the Protestants, nor the Catholics. It’s a fascinating book. It protrays Mary as a celibate, temple maiden, far more virtuous than any of her peers. Joseph is an old man who takes care of her. This account details that she was virgin after the birth of Christ, forever. Perfect recipe for a deity. We don’t have enough of those yet. (I mean, hell we’re the church, if we want to break the commandments and make ourselves statues to worship, it’s all good).

There was a separate room off the left wing of the Cathedral. It had about 25 seats in it. It was full of art on every wall. It was amazing.

This is at the front of the Cathedral. I wish I knew what all these things were used for.

This is at the side of the Cathedral. It’s beautiful. I think I was eyelevel with those yellow flowers, sitting on its table.

It’s amazing to see what humankind can construct when they realise oh f*** the people are draining out of our churches because they started reading the Bible. Thus goes the story of the counter-reformation. Sad part is, it worked. When the Protestant Reformation was robbing sheep from other pastures the Holy Catholic Church responded by making their churches more beautiful, and allowing harmony instead of the dreadful 5ths of the Gregorian chants. [It’s all fine until you get to the tritone.] If you want to have more sheep in your pasture, spray your grass greener. Do it. It works. Beautiful architecture was the CPR of the religious corpse. Building these massive BREATHtaking cathedrals is quite a financial undertaking. However, the church is its regular resourceful self, and has itself an idea. This is going to be feasible because we’re going to sell you forgiveness for having sex with the virgin Mary. I wish I was making this up. The history of the Catholic church is half horror half comedy.

This is the view from the front right of the church, looking over the pews, at the stained glass on the back wall.

This is the church as we exited through the side door. I took 203 photoes yesterday. It’s such an anticlimax to step out of the serenity, absolute silence of this cathedral into the brilliant sunlight and blistering screams from the fogies at the amusement park. I find it ironic. Frankly, you could’ve just left me in the Cathedral to be silent for an hour or two while you go and get yourself a headache at the amusement park. I’d be just as happy. In this post I’ve only put of a few of my photoes of the Cathedral. Ideally, you will see some of Tourbillon and the Eglise in the future. 😀

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2 responses »

  1. Wow those pictures are amazing. I have always loved architecture and just thinking about the work put into all the details. The Virgin Mary debate is interesting too. I think it is safe to assume that she was a virgin in today’s sense of the word since she was engaged to Joseph and pre-marital sex just did not happen in that culture, though you are right that the word back then could be applied to just a young woman too. I don’t think she stayed a virgin either though since Jesus had brothers too.

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