Above, Cathedrale-Primatiale Saint-Andre de Bordeaux
It seems as though almost a dozen streets lead directly to the grand plaza surrounding Saint Andre Cathedral, and all are rewarded with stunning views of its portals, the spires topping its bell towers or the adjacent Pey-Berland Tower. Now well disguised by later French Gothic transformations, the original Romanesque church dates to around the year 1000.
This church was the site of the wedding of 13-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) and the man who not long after their nuptials became king of France, King Louis VII (1120-1180) – making her queen. That marriage wasn’t a happy-ever-after story, and its failure led her to wed a much younger man, Henry of Anjou (1152-1189), who also would make her a queen, but of England. Will not distract you from the cathedral with the fascinating history of how her marriage to Henry II made the Aquitaine region of France part of England for three centuries.
Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Cathedral home to royal weddings and horsefeed”
Above, Bells at the Top of the Facade of the Santiago Church in Merida
Under supervision of Spanish architects, Mayan laborers began building the Cathedral of Merida in 1562 with stones pillaged from one of their own temples. The cathedral was finished before the close of the 16th century and dedicated to the new outpost’s patron saint, San Ildefonso of Toledo (607-667).
As Ildefonso was conducting Mass in his role of Bishop of Toledo, Spain, brilliant light suddenly illuminated the entire church. Many of the celebrants fled in fear, but those who remained witnessed the Virgin Mary herself descend and enthrone herself at the altar. Grateful for his devotion and defense of her purity, she even gifted him with a splendid vestment, a chasuble, from her own son’s wardrobe. His association with the miraculous illumination must provide Merida with extra excuses to set off fireworks on his feast day, January 23.
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She-Wolf and Oak Tree, Symbols of Lecce, on the Façade of the Church of Saint Irene
Baroque churches of Lecce are filled with putti frolicking amidst birds and pomegranates, twisting Solomonic columns covered with intricate lacelike carvings, images of saints and some of their bones.
Church of Saint Irene, Chiesa de Sant’Irene
Baroque well in the cloisters of the Seminary Palace
statue and reqliquary of Saint Bernardino Realino in Chiesa del Gesu
Altar to Saint Anthony
Bell tower adjacent to Cathedral
Piazza del Duomo, Cathedral on left
Saint Orontius in Diocesan Museum
Church of Saint Matthew, Chiesa di San Matteo
Altar dedicated to Saint Anthony
The patron of Lecce, Saint Orontius, atop the Cathedral
keys to city presented to reliquary of Saint Bernardino Realino in Chiesa del Gesu