WordPress’s weekly photo challenge this week is about details. Getting up close when you take a photo, getting more than just an overall picture. The Big Picture is great but it’s the details that make it far more interesting. Fortunately I’ve got lots of examples because it’s something I do a lot. In particular, I really enjoy taking photos of buildings. I love the structures, the lines and curves, the doors and windows, the flourishes and embellishments, the older the better, but modern architecture is interesting as well, sometimes.
There’s an expression: “God is in the details” and when it comes to cathedrals, it’s particularly appropriate. Modern cathedrals and the ones we have in North America in general are not very old and tend to be plainer. But in Europe, when I travel, I love to visit these old cathedrals and churches. I’m not religious but the architecture and the detail in these buildings is amazing. I’m awed by these massive structures, and can hardly imagine the resources and effort to build them when you think they were constructed from the 11th century onward with nothing but ropes, scaffolding and a lot of manpower and yet the towers and spires soar to the heavens.
I’ve been to a number of cathedrals in the U.K. and Italy and scattered ones elsewhere. My favourite is probably the Glasgow Cathedral dedicated to St. Mungo. I’m not sure why. It’s not very big and not all that elaborate, but there’s something in the quiet dimness that speaks to me. Another one that’s really beautiful and steeped with history is Canterbury Cathedral which soaring fan vaulting over the nave and a dim blue-lit quire. I don’t love all of the ones I’ve seen, there are a few that left me cold but usually I enjoy exploring them.
A few years ago we visited the small Cathedral city of Wells in Somerset, the “west country” part of England. The catheral is stunning. It’s west front is covered in carved statues and inside, the fan vaulting is superb and it’s got a “scissor” arch to support the towers. Very unique. Here then, is a photo essay of the Wells Cathedral and some of the details.