Bring me those vaulted ceilings!
Anyway, Mutti Mari-anne organised a pretty fabulous apartment in Barcelona (St Jordi), which were located close to pretty much everything we wanted to see.
Our first stop was the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulailia or Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia OR Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia.
Everything in Barcelona is written in Catalan, Spanish, and often also English.
Let’s just call it ‘Barcelona Cathedral’ for short shall we?
Anyway, due to my new attempts to switch from my general lazy holiday mode ‘everything taken in auto’ photography to ‘actually learning how to use my camera at last’, I failed at getting any nice photos of the exterior.
Here, instead, I present ‘Andy and Tegan in front of Gates’
Let’s head inside then shall we?
And here’s the part where I admit to being a sucker, of the ‘weakened knees’ kind, for all things gothic.
Andy can keep his domes, I want my ceilings vaulted!
Ok this part I don’t like so much. So much gold tends to look tacky to me, and it’s just so.. ostentatious.
In German they have a couple of words for cheap.
One seems to be more ‘good cheap’ (guenstig), which is what you want to find in your supermarkets- in fact one of the major chains Edeka has the logo ‘gut and guenstig’ (also incidentally, one of Andy’s favourite German phrases). Good price, but no trade-off with quality.
The other is billig, which I think can often be used in a negative way. (Of course, if you want to be really negative, you can try something more in the ‘sluttish’ range).
But don’t you think we need the same thing for the word rich?
I mean- huge open spaces, vaulted ceilings, stained windows.
So, so, so very rich.
The type of richness that, if I was a doubting peasant from the 14th century (when the church was mostly built), would totally re-align my sensibilities to those of the church.
But many churches seem to bypass this and go straight to the ‘more is more’ / ‘lets just pour gold over everything’ style of design.
I guess we already have ‘tacky’. And we have the saying ‘to gild the lily’.
Which, I’m pleased to say, apart from those couple of statues on the edges of the room, the Cathedral generally managed to avoid.
Let’s get another look at those ceilings shall we?
The cathedral surrounds a cloister, which houses a pretty fountain…
And Thirteen Geese.
The number is set at 13, as this is the age at which Eulalia of Barcelona was martyred.
She was also, however, subjected to 13 tortures, including, apparently- being forced naked into the street (snow covered her), being put into a knife-filled barrel and rolled down the street, having her breasts cut off, crucified on an X-shaped cross, and finally being decapitated (at which point a dove flew out of her neck).
After some time of cathedral gazing, we headed down the street a bit to check out a second gothic church, but had to stop along the way for some coffee and churros…
Unfortunately, poor Santa Maria del Pi couldn’t really compare to the Cathedral, so we only spent a few minutes there, and took just a couple of shots.
Let’s just have a final look back at those amazing vaulted ceiling of the Barcelona Cathedral shall we?
Beautiful, classy, rich.