Friday, January 16, 2009

"Do you think if we get stuck in here they would bury us here?"

(The great north door of the Abbey)

This is the question Maddie asked me when we were trying real hard to find our way out of Westminster Abbey and not doing so great. The whole situation was really my fault because the door we were supposed to go through was surrounded by a bunch of people with name tags on who looked very official and I have never been one who has liked to be disciplined so that made me a little nervous. We eventually did find our way out and we got to have a great conversation about what it would be like to be buried in the Abbey as Mary and Madeline; The Wanderers.
The Abbey was incredible. I know I use that word a lot to describe things here but it really was. The thing about the cathedrals around here is that they take centuries to build. This church has been a work in progress for centuries! That is something I can barely even comprehend. The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build and I thought that was a long time. There were generations of people who worked on this Abbey and did not get to see the completed project in their life time and that amazes me. We were not permitted to take pictures inside the actual Abbey so I cannot show just how intricate everything inside of the church was but you will have to take my word for it, or google it if you don't believe me :)
The other thing that really amazed me about the abbey was all the famous people who have been laid to rest there. Of course practically all of the monarchs are there but so is Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, The Bronte Sisters, Jane Austen and almost William Shakespeare but he wrote in his epitaph that if anyone tried to move his bones there he would curse them so no one had the gumption to do it. The aforementioned is kind of an all star list that I felt really humbled to be in the same place as them even if it was just their bodies.
Something that I thought about while I was in the Abbey was how scary it must have been while Britain was getting bombed during WWII. It just seems that if one of the buildings that is part of the face of the city, like the Abbey, had been hit that it would have been nearly impossible to repair. I really don't think that this Abbey could be replicated simply because of it's history and everything that went into its coming to be. So, in summary, I spent the morning in awe of Westminster Abbey and all of the work that has gone into bringing this one of a kind church into existence.

This is the stained glass windows in the chapter house- I have come to really love stained glass, it is beautiful!

More stained glass that we found in the corridors of the cloister.

In case you can't read the sign, this in Britain's oldest door- that's a pretty big deal.

Me and Maddie in the gateway of the Chapter House, if you don't know what that is you should really brush up on your Cathedral terminology... or something :)

Some of us in the corridors of the Cloister waiting to get inside the Abbey.

Outside, just waiting to get in.

These are the great west towers and over this door, they are kind of cut off, are about 14 notable Christian martyrs including Martin Luther.

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