Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.
Wikipedia.

Official Website


London, Westminster Abbey (West front).

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Truro Cathedral, Truro, England


Truro Cathedral Pulpit, Lectern etc.
c. 1910
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Street View.

Church of England Online Faculty System and Church Heritage Record

Truro was not the only candidate for the siting of a new cathedral. Lostwithiel had been the home of the Dukes of Cornwall; Launceston had once been the administrative capital of Cornwall, as had Bodmin. St. Germans, the site of the original see of Cornwall, also put forward a claim but was deemed to be too far east. The vicar of St Columb even offered his large church! Eventually, Truro was chosen, and St Mary’s parish church became the new cathedral. However, St Mary’s was never going to be large enough and planning started for a new cathedral. The leading architect John Loughborough Pearson, who had experience of cathedrals elsewhere, was commissioned to design the new Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Work began in 1880.

The project was ambitious. Truro would be the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site since Salisbury Cathedral in 1220. For over 650 years no one had attempted to emulate the great cathedral builders of the medieval era. As well as this, it was initially uncertain if there would be enough money to complete such a project. The construction of the cathedral actually took thirty years. Foundation stones were laid on 20th May 1880 by the Duke of Cornwall, later King Edward VII, and work started immediately. There was an eleven year pause for further fund-raising between 1887 and 1898, but when work re-commenced things went ahead well. The central tower was finished by 1905 and the building was completed with the opening of the two western towers in 1910.
Truro Cathedral

Pearson’s design combines the Early English style with certain French characteristics, chiefly spires and rose windows. Its resemblance to Lincoln Cathedral is not coincidental; Pearson had been appointed as Lincoln Cathedral’s architect and the first Bishop of Truro, Edward Benson, had previously been Canon Chancellor at Lincoln. The central tower and spire stands 250 feet (76 m) tall, while the western towers reach to 200 feet (61 m). Four kinds of stone were used: Mabe granite for the exterior, and St Stephen’s granite for the interior, with dressings and shafts of Bath and Polyphant stone. The spires and turret roofs are of stone, except for a copper spire over the bell tower at west end of St Mary’s Aisle. The other roofs are of slate. The cathedral is vaulted throughout. Nathaniel Hitch was responsible for the decorative sculpture, including the reredos.

The original south aisle of St Mary’s Church survives, incorporated into the south-east corner of the cathedral and known as St Mary’s Aisle. It still functions as the city centre’s parish church. Three brasses were described by Edwin Dunkin in 1882: those of Cuthbert Sydnam (1630), Thomas Hasell (1567) and George Fitzpen, rector of the parish. As the cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it has no Lady Chapel. A Jesus Chapel and the Chapel of Unity and Peace are reserved for quiet and prayer throughout the day.
Wikipedia.

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Gloucester Catheral, Gloucester, England


Gloucester Cathedral, East Window
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Street View.

At the time of its installation in the 1350s, the Great East Window was the largest window in the world. Today, it is still one of the greatest landmarks of English, and indeed European, medieval stained glass. It measures 22 metres in height and 12 metres in width. In fact, it is as big as a tennis court! The window was created as part of the reconstruction of the Quire following the burial of King Edward II and fills the entire wall behind the high altar.
Gloucester Cathedral

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain


Córdoba — La Mezquita. Laberinto de columnas.
The Mosque-Cathedral. Labyrinth of columns.
Published Agustin Fragero, Cordoba


Córdoba — La Mezquita. Una de las naves.
The Mosque-Cathedral. One of the naves.
Published Agustin Fragero, Cordoba

Google Maps (overhead view)
Google Maps, an internal view.

Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendours of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, the Saint, Cordoba’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra, were erected.

Founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC near the pre-existing Tartesic Corduba, capital of Baetica, Cordoba acquired great importance during the period of Augustus. It became the capital of the emirate depending on Damascus in the 8th century. In 929, Abderraman III established it as the headquarters of the independent Caliphate. Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendors of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, Cordoba’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Foraleza de la Calahorra, were erected.
From UNESCO Word Heritage Listing.

The building itself was expanded over two hundred years. It is comprised of a large hypostyle prayer hall (hypostyle means, filled with columns), a courtyard with a fountain in the middle, an orange grove, a covered walkway circling the courtyard, and a minaret (a tower used to call the faithful to prayer) that is now encased in a squared, tapered bell tower. The expansive prayer hall seems magnified by its repeated geometry. It is built with recycled ancient Roman columns from which sprout a striking combination of two-tiered, symmetrical arches, formed of stone and red brick.
Khan Academy

Official Website

Sacred Destinations.
Islamic Arts and Architecture
Wikipedia.

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury


Canterbury Cathedral, S.W.
Publisher: Photochrom Co., London & Tunbridge Wells

Street View.

UNESCO World Heritage Listing
The Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral, City Trail Number 3 (pdf)
Gotik-Romanik (More pictures)

Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
Wikipedia.

St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England in 597AD. He came from Rome, sent by Pope Gregory the Great. It is said that Gregory had been struck by the beauty of Angle slaves he saw for sale in the city market and despatched Augustine and some monks to convert them to Christianity. Augustine was given a church at Canterbury (St Martin’s, after St Martin of Tours, still standing today) by the local King, Ethelbert whose Queen, Bertha, a French Princess, was already a Christian.This building had been a place of worship during the Roman occupation of Britain and is the oldest church in England still in use. Augustine had been consecrated a bishop in France and was later made an archbishop by the Pope. He established his seat within the Roman city walls (the word cathedral is derived from the the Latin word for a chair ‘cathedra’, which is itself taken from the Greek ‘kathedra’ meaning seat.) and built the first cathedral there, becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Since that time, there has been a community around the Cathedral offering daily prayer to God; this community is arguably the oldest organisation in the English speaking world. The present Archbishop, The Most Revd Justin Welby, is 105th in the line of succession from Augustine. Until the 10th century, the Cathedral community lived as the household of the Archbishop. During the 10th century, it became a formal community of Benedictine monks, which continued until the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1540. Augustine’s original building lies beneath the floor of the Nave – it was extensively rebuilt and enlarged by the Saxons, and the Cathedral was rebuilt completely by the Normans in 1070 following a major fire. There have been many additions to the building over the last nine hundred years, but parts of the Quire and some of the windows and their stained glass date from the 12th century. By 1077, Archbishop Lanfranc had rebuilt it as a Norman church, described as “nearly perfect”. A staircase and parts of the North Wall – in the area of the North West transept also called the Martyrdom – remain from that building.
Canterbury Cathedral

In 1093, a man named Anselm became Archbishop of Canterbury. Anselm was a quiet scholarly type, known for his wisdom and piety. But it is to him, along with the priors Ernulf and Conrad, that we owe much of the Romanesque architecture and art that survives today. Most notably, Anselm built the huge and beautifully decorated crypt beneath the east end, which still survives fully intact. An extensive choir with ambulatory, consecrated in 1130, was then built over the crypt.

Critical to the history of Canterbury Cathedral was the murder of St. Thomas Becket on Tuesday, December 29, 1170, by order of King Henry II. The king later performed penance there in 1174. On September 5 of that same year, the great Romanesque choir was devastated by a fire. The income from pilgrims visiting the Shrine of St. Thomas, which was reported almost immediately to be a place of miraculous healing, largely paid for the subsequent rebuilding of the cathedral.
Sacred Destinations.


Canterbury Cathedral, Gate of Dark Entry
Publisher: Photochrom Co., London & Tunbridge Wells

The ‘Dark Entry’ is a passage which joins the Green Court and the cathedral buildings. It runs beneath the building known as the Prior’s Lodging (Image 1-3). According to a cathedral legend, made popular by Richard Barham in his Ingoldsby Legends, the passage is haunted by the ghost of Nell Cook. Nell worked as a servant girl for an elderly canon and became annoyed when he engaged in an affair. When the canon and his lover both died from poinsoned food, the finger of suspicion pointed at Nell. Her punishment was to be buried under the flagstones which pave the Dark Entry.
Canterbury History and Archaeological Society

Read moreCanterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, England


Norwich Cathedral
c. 1905
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons

Street View (approximate)

Website.
Facebook.

Norwich Cathedral is an English cathedral located in Norwich, Norfolk, dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. It is the cathedral church for the Church of England Diocese of Norwich and is one of the Norwich 12 heritage sites.

The cathedral was begun in 1096 and constructed out of flint and mortar and faced with a cream-coloured Caen limestone. An Anglo-Saxon settlement and two churches were demolished to make room for the buildings. The cathedral was completed in 1145 with the Norman tower still seen today topped with a wooden spire covered with lead. Several episodes of damage necessitated rebuilding of the east end and spire but since the final erection of the stone spire in 1480 there have been few fundamental alterations to the fabric.
Wikipedia


Norwich Cathedral, Pulpit in choir

From Bell’s Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Norwich, C.H.B. Quennell, 1898:

Norwich Cathedral stands on the site of no earlier church: it is to-day, in its plan and the general bulk of its detail, as characteristically Norman as when left finished by the hand of Eborard, the second bishop of Norwich.

The church was founded by Herbert de Losinga, the first bishop, as the cathedral priory of the Benedictine monastery in Norwich (a sketch of its constitution at this period will be found in the Notes on the Diocese); the foundation-stone was laid in 1096 on a piece of land called Cowholme,—meaning a pasture surrounded by water,—and the church was dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

The foundation-stone of the cathedral was laid in 1096; and upon it, according to the Registrum Primum, the following inscription is said to have been placed:—”In nomine patris et filii et spiritus Sancti Amen Ego Herbertus Episcopus apposui istum lapidem.” (In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen, I, Herbert the Bishop, have placed this stone.)

It was the custom of the Norman builders to start building from the easternmost part of the church, as the more sacred part of the structure, and then build westwards; so that probably this foundation-stone, for which diligent search has been made in vain, was in the eastmost wall of the original Norman Lady Chapel—in fact, the Registrum Primum describes how Herbert began the work “where is now the chapel of the Blessed Mary.” This chapel was demolished to make way for the beautiful thirteenth-century Lady Chapel which Dean Gardiner destroyed. The thirteenth-century builders of the Lady Chapel may have used Herbert’s foundation-stone in their walling; Dean Lefroy quite lately, while repairing parts of the tower and east end, came across pieces of stone with beautiful “dog-tooth” ornament upon them, which had been used to repair the masonry that, it was evident, at one time had formed part of the thirteenth-century Lady Chapel. This must be so, since in no other part of the building save the arches now remaining in the extreme eastern wall of the procession path, which at one time gave access to the Lady Chapel, does such ornament occur.

It is probable, and the more generally accredited supposition, that Herbert built the presbytery with its encircling procession path and the original trefoil of Norman chapel radiating therefrom;—the choir and transepts with the two chapels projecting eastwards and the first two bays of the nave. Harrod advances a theory that he completely finished the whole of the cathedral church, as well as the offices for the housing of the sixty monks who were placed therein, in 1101. He also built the episcopal palace on the north side of the cathedral, of which some parts remain to this day incorporated with work of a later period; he seems to have founded and built other churches in Norwich and Yarmouth. He died on the 22nd of July 1119, in the twenty-ninth year of his episcopate, and was buried before the high altar in his own cathedral church.


The cloisters, Norwich Cathedral

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem


Hand writing says “Church of Saint George, Bethlehem”

No date clues on the card, but this website has the same images, so most likely 1910s.

Google Street View

Feuding monks at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem don’t just cast the first stone—they stockpile rocks in anticipation of future altercations. Several holy men landed in the hospital two Christmases ago after a fight broke out over the dusting of church chandeliers. The occasional brawls at the 1,700-year-old basilica, believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus Christ, reflect the difficulty of housing three Christian denominations under a single roof.

And now that roof is rotting, threatening the structural integrity of the building. Parts of the wooden truss structure date to the 15th century, and holes in the timbers allow dirty water to drip upon the precious paintings and mosaics below. The problem has been worsening for decades, but the resident clerics—from the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox churches and the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church—are jealous of each other’s claims of custody and have been unable to agree on a plan of action.
Endangered Site: Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem (Smithsonian Magazine)

The present Church of the Nativity is one of the earliest Christian structures. The original Basilica, erected in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, was completely destroyed in the Samaritan Revolt of 529 A.D. It was replaced during the reign of Justinian (527-65) on the same site, by a larger Basilica, slightly different in plan and incorporating different parts of the original building. Evidence of the turbulent history of the church can be readily seen in the fabric of the building; for centuries it was one of the most fought-over of the Holy Places. It was only by chance that this building escaped destruction during the Persian invasion of A.D. 614. It was the only major church in the country to be spared. Later, the building was seized and defended by a succession of Moslem and Crusader armies; this explains the fortress-like appearance of the church’s exterior. This is also a common feature of most of the ancient religious buildings in the Holy Land. In the course of time, the complex was expanded by the addition of several chapels and monasteries belonging to different Christian Churches.
Church of the Nativity: History & Structure:

Sanctuary Bethlehem has virtual tour (I’d recommend using the on screen controls rather than the mouse), 3D models and a lot of information about various rooms, buildings, caves etc. (under Visit menu)

Wikipedia