Monday, January 9, 2017

Visiting Gothic Architecture at Washington's National Cathedral in the Snow


Especially when we studied the Middle Ages, I've been wanting to take my kids on a field trip to Washington's National Cathedral. Being the sixth largest cathedral in the world, it was the closest chance we'd ever get to European art history. Despite living in the Washington DC area for seven years, we finally got a chance to see the cathedral yesterday after church (our church, out west, near the mountains). Impressively, it was a day after snow, which made a grand photographic setting. However it was a bitterly chill day, nearly zero degrees with wind chill.

We loved studying the Middle Ages. (Well, we loved studying everything) Who wouldn't? Knights. Castles. Sir Galahad. King Arthur. The Knights of the Round Table.

Then we studied art history and learned about the incredible building of the Gothic cathedrals. Honestly, I'm not surprised, ever, by modern technology. After all we live in a day when we use computers to create things. However in the days of yore, people created from their own imaginations, inspired by the influence of others' imaginations. The Middle Ages were not known for greatness. Amazingly imagination and labor created greatness, leading in to the Renaissance. Years ago in our studies we read about the magnificent architectural achievements of Gothic architecture. On this day we got to experience it first hand.

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The point of the architecture is to lift our eyes heavenward, which is reflected in most of these photos...

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Flying  butresses allow the enormous weight of the roof to not require thick walls...

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...which in turn allow a myriad of thin stained glass windows...

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...the pipe organ...

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My son took the photo below with my camera, while we were waiting for the concert to start. 

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The concert was a surprise, so we were treated to music history as well. Throughout the choral strains that majestically soared to the rafters, my eyes kept being caught up to the grandeur of the heights...as the architects intended.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I hope to visit some cathedrals in your part of the world someday! =)
      Laurie

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