Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
High above the North Sea, on what is known as the East Cliffs, are the magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey. Its foundation date back to the 7th century and was an important Christian strong hold in Yorkshire and the North of England. It late became a Benedictine Abbey. Like just about all other monasteries across the UK, Whitby was confiscated and destroyed by order of King Henry VIII under his Dissolution of Monasteries act of 1536.
Today these ruins have lost none of the drama that the original will have created, you are still overwhelmed by size and craftsmanship of the Abbey…..they continue to exude a spiritual feel and are rather magical.
No doubt the size and prominence above the North Sea acts as welcome landmark for sailors today as it must have done over the past 1400 years.
It is possibly no surprise that it is also one of my Favourite Places 🙂
(C) David Oakes 2019
Helsinki Cathedral, Finland
I had been pondering as to which Church I should bring you this Sunday. Once the thought process started the location that kept coming back to me was The Cathedral in Helsinki.
Why, well several reasons. First its position high above the City overlooking the Senate Square (itself rather magnificent) perched on top of 49steps. The second reason was its beauty. A statement in white. Tall straight columns surrounding the main body of the church with the six tallest supporting a dramatic and stylish canopy over a simple entrance. The Cathedral is edged in gold, upon its tiered roof stand various statues, a Golden statue of Mary above the main doorway. Finally three coloured domes each with a golden cross turn a great piece of Architecture into something extra special.
Somehow the architecture is so simple, yet able to create a building of unique distinction when seen from the steps below or from across the City it demands the eye and attention.
But for me what is also memorable is stepping into the Cathedral to find a wide open space, unassuming in style, an unadorned place of worship.
I had not visited a Lutheran church before, so this simplistic approach was totally unexpected and far from the ornate interiors I have been used to.
A simple Font in front of an equally simple alter below a canopied Religious Painting the main clues that this was indeed a place of religious worship.
It was this contrast in style and simplicity that left its mark upon my memory
(C) David Oakes 2019
It is nearly the end of the year so I guess like many folk I have started looking back and recalling all the good times (and some not so good) over 2018.
So to complete my year of Silent Sundays I thought that I would share again one of the ‘Church’s’ … well a Cathedral really, that left the most lasting impression over the year for me.
Built between 1175 and 1490 it is a dramatic piece of Religious Architecture both within the Cathedral and outside. The interior is remarkably modern in appearance, dramatic columns and arches supporting an all encasing high ceiling.
Now forgive me I am cheating here…… But to see much more of this wonderful Cathedral just click on my link to my original posting from way back in the summer when days were long, hot and sunny.
You may well agree that it is a Cathedral well worth revisiting.
(C) David Oakes 2018