Windows for the Soul

Inside Looking In

Inside the priory of Our Lady Church, Aarhus, Denmark

Looking from a hallway into one of the rooms in the Vor Frue Kloster (Our Lady’s Priory), part of the  Vor Frue Kirke  (Our Lady Church) complex in Aarhus, Denmark. I couldn’t tell the purpose of the room from the brief glimpse through the slotted window. The priory was built by the Dominicans in 13th century.

Join Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Unexpected Windows

Heavenly Bodies

If you are going to be in New York City before October 9th, you must take the time to see Heavenly Bodies, an exhibit at two locations of the Metropolitain Museum of Art. Today I went to The Cloisters, part of the Met, to see what is actually the second part of the show. Medieval art and architecture are juxtaposed with 20th and 21st century haute couture fashion. Incredible. I can’t wait to see the rest tomorrow.

The Cloisters is a combination of architectural elements from European medieval churches and church related buildings, including four complete French cloisters. I don’t have a lot of information on each area.

Apse from a Spanish church. Wedding dress by Balenciaga. Wonderful lighting design.

By Viktor & Rolf, Dutch, 2018, original design 2000.

Thom Browne, wedding dress, in hall of unicorn tapestries. The Unicorn in Captivity, c. 1495.

John Galliano, House of Dior, 2006, inside staircase possibly belonging to King Francis I. Design relates to Machiavelli, whose writing were outlawed by the church.

Valentino, 2015 and The Annunciation triptych. Painting, workshop of Robert Campin, c.1427.

House of Dior, 2018, original design 1961, Marc Bohan. Wedding dress.

A few of my other favorites.

The last one is by Alexander McQueen, 1997/1998.

On a side note. I am so pleased with the quality of the photos from my new Samsung 9+. Only one of the photos has been edited

Pink It Is #3

Grotto Pink

Rose Quartz, Grotto of the Redeemer, West Bend, Iowa

Wall detail from one of the circular stairs leading to the upper levels of the Grotto of the Redeemer, West Bend, Iowa. In addition to rose quartz, you can also see the use of crystals, geodes, saltwater shells, and minerals (turquoise).

Join BeckyB’s Square in September: In the Pink. Photos must be square, and for September, have to contain something pink. See this link for more information on how to take part in BeckyB’s quarterly square challenge..

Floral Ambiance

High Altar Ambiance

High Altar, Trinidad Church (Iglesia de la Trinidad), Porto, Portugal

The high altar in Trinidad Church, Porto, Portugal, was decorated with vibrant flowers. Flowers were placed throughout the church on all the side altars and other spaces with surface areas. I don’t know it was a special occasion or religious holiday. It was at the end of May. If anyone knows the background on this use of flowers, please let me know. I was fascinated by the stepped structure behind the altar itself. I saw several altars with this type of stepped backdrop in Portugal but don’t know the symbolism.

Side altar, Trinidad Church, Porto, Portugal


Join the Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Ambiance, which is looking for an outdoor or indoor floral display.

A Church in Need of Salvation

Saint Dominic’s Church in the historic center of Lisbon looks like the average Baroque building from the outside. Which is surprising considering the original medieval church, the largest in Lisbon at the time, dated from 1241.

I expected a riot of painted ceilings and ornate moulding inside. Instead, I found a church in need of salvation. Cracked pillars, scarred surfaces and missing architectural elements gave the nave a forlorn and abandoned atmosphere.

I assumed the building had been damaged in the 1755 earthquake that leveled much of Lisbon. But many churches had been repaired or rebuilt after the quake. The answer was provided in copies of newspaper articles posted in the back. I couldn’t read the Portugese but the pictures told the story. On August 13, 1959, the church was gutted and nearly destroyed in a catastrophic fire.

A bit of research told me that the medieval church had been damaged by the 1531 Lisbon earthquake and virtually destroyed by the 1755 quake, when only the sacristy and altar survived. It was the late 18th-century Baroque reconstruction which had burned.

I also discovered St. Dominic’s was the site of the first deaths in the 1506 Easter Slaughter, a three-day massacre during which 2000 heretics, people accused of being Jews, were tortured and killed by rampaging crowds. Many were burnt alive or torn to pieces as mass hysteria spread. The crowd, many of them foreign sailors from the port, looted houses, stealing gold, silver and other goods.

Due to pressure from Spain, the Jews had been expelled from Portugal in 1496 or forcibly baptized as New Christians in 1497. Those who refused baptism were force to leave without their children. The Lisbon Massacre created a climate of suspicion throughout Portugal. Things went from bad to worse 30 years later when the Portuguese Inquisition was opened.

Perhaps its history is why I find St. Dominic’s an unsettling space, though I wasn’t aware of it when I visited. Could it be that the fires of the Inquisition were finally extinguished?

Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola – Burnt Orange

A Church Divided

Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg, Germany

The vaulted ceiling of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg, Germany. Begun in 1398, the late Gothic church took over 150 years to complete. The church served both the Catholic and Protestant communities during its history. For many years, a partition divided the nave to allow for joint use. The wall was removed in 1936, and the church is now solely Protestant.

Join Jennifer’s Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola, a 4 month (January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018) blogging challenge event. Each day has a new color theme based on a past or current crayon color in Crayola’s box of 120 crayons.

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