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Monday, May 16, 2011

Gloucester Cathedrals

As I'd promised myself last week, Saturday finally presented me with an opportunity to properly visit Gloucester's prestigious cathedral. As a result this entry is all a bit photo based, but as a picture speaks a thousand words, I'm not going to worry too much.
Daughter was off to work with a session of unexpected overtime and Mrs G was off into the city to the hairdressers. The place she visits belongs to a friend of ours and is not far from the refurbished docks. So while she walked over to be coiffured, I cycled over to the bishop's seat to have a mooch about.

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I went in through Cathedral Way via sacra (which is an interesting word on a signpost for the un-initiated, or those that didn't study Latin (ie: you)... I'm in the unenviable position of having studied Latin - Amo, Amas, Amant...  Ecce Romani... Let us not speak of this fact again though.  Any way, to get back to the point, sacra in this sense means "Sacred Road" which was also the name of the main street in ancient Rome. So there you have it. I went up Sacred Road.
As you enter the grounds proper of the cathedral, you are greeted by the tall stained glass windows which are located behind the high altar. It's a truly magnificent building, and these mere snapshots don't really do it any justice, however, from this vantage point it seems to fit in nicely where it is, and doesn't appear to dominate the landscape. It looks like a "NOT MASSIVE" building .....
Over the door at the south entrance you can see a carving of the green man, and the carvings all over the building are one of it's main draws. You could spend all day looking at gargoyles alone (if you like that kind of thing).
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It's not until you pass under the porch and into the building itself that you realise the TARDIS like dimensions of the place. Internally it IS MASSIVE. The high vaulted ceilings of the presbytery and the nave are a sight to behold...
But equally as impressive is a trip around the cloisters. If you're a Harry Potter fan (and I'm referring to the film versions here and not the books) then you'll find parts of the cloisters instantly recognisable. They've been used on and off throughout the franchiase as the backdrop to parts of Hogwarts.
The Griffyndor Common Room entrance to name but one location, along with the wall with writing in blood from the "Chamber of Secrets"
Two things I didn't get a chance to do on this trip though.  First off, a tour around the crypt.  I'm told this is especially interesting as it is one of only four apsidal cathedral crypts in England. For those of us that aren't architect's, apsidal means that it's architecture is semicircular with a hemispherical dome on top if it. And secondly the Tower tour.
This consists of a 269 step climb to the roof of the cathedral, which it's claimed can afford you a view on a clear day of up to forty miles. It's got to be worth a look in next time I'm passing.
so that was my hurried Saturday morning tour, from where it was off to another cathedral in Gloucester... this time the one known locally as Sainsbury's.
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Sunday - well, you can read all about Sunday in the next post....
Until then... au revoir



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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