Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stone Faces

I am not particularly fond of churches full of gold and glitter such as those in Prague. I much prefer the simple majesty of tall stone pillars, curving arches, and the imaginative stone carving found in France and England.
Some of the carvings, such as these from Amiens Cathedral, the tallest Gothic church and largest cathedral in France, tell a story.
Others have a more humorous slant, such as this one of a man being bitten by a dog, from the exterior of Salisbury Cathedral.
Others depict the Green Man from primitive religion or devils. Here is one from the exterior of St. Mary's Church in Beverley, Yorkshire. Inside this church is a carving of a pilgrim rabbit, thought to be the inspiration for the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland as well as a lovely painted carving of a group of musicians donated by the Northern Guild of Musicians when the church had to be rebuilt in 1520.Sometimes all that is left of a church or religious building are the ruins. There is something haunting about these places that are both sad and tranquil. Here is a photo of the Bishop's Palace in Lincoln.

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