Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury is about an hour and a quarter from Reading, to the southwest. The town is of historical significance as well as being close to several other popular sites. We were trying to (at least) drive by Stonehenge on the way (sort of) because Hongxu had never seen it, but we ran out of time. Evensong started at 3:30 on this Sunday afternoon, and we couldn't do both. Salisbury Cathedral is marvelous for several reasons but one is, for sure that you can actually see it. It is not surrounded by the town, squalid shops, etc. It sits in the middle of the cathedral close and is surrounded by a meadow. Another wonderizing factor is that the cathedral was built all in one continuous period, in the 13th century---not piecemeal over many centuries like so many other cathedrals. So it has architectural integrity. Lastly, when you go to visit Salisbury Cathedral, don't miss the chapter house. In it you will find one of four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, dating from 1215. Also in the chapter house is a medieval frieze around the walls depicting biblical stories from Genesis and Exodus. If you want to know more about Salisbury Cathedral, click the picture to go to their web site. Here's what we saw during our visit. Evensong was wonderful.

Their Christmas creche was still in place (and will be through early February), and it was impressive, with full-sized figures made from paper mache.

And angels flying all around.

I'll say it again---it was impressive.

This is what it looked like from the choir, looking toward the nave.

It's not the size of a building that makes it a cathedral---it's the presence of the bishop's chair---and a bishop in residence to sit in it.

In the choir along each of the aisles were carved figures of angels playing various instruments. I'm going to bore you with several pictures of them because I really like them.

Lots of tombs, like this one of the bishop who consecrated the cathedral in something like 1258.

This is a clock. Really. Take a good look at it and then read the text in the next picture.

This was our view as we departed the cathedral. Not our last visit, to be sure. Maybe we can go with you the next time.

Here are some saints over the west entrance to the cathedral. Don't know who they are, so if you do, please let me know. For instance, what saint is pictured holding a saw?

Playing a lap organ?

The four female saints (who don't get anything like equal representation in statuary).

Saints in a row above west door.

But my favorite is this gargoyle. Look at the right side of his face. No wonder he looks unhappy!

Salisbury and the Cathedral, as seen from Old Sarum.

And a final view, from the cathedral close.

 

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