Rain and Ruins

We took a quick trip up to Uppsala on Sunday, since it was going to be sunny, and it's nice to get out and see the countryside.

I also wanted to take some photos of Uppsala Cathedral, though by the time we got there, of course, the weather had changed, and it was grey and spitting.

But I got a few good photos- of the interior of the cathedral.

...a couple of architectural details... 


The architecture of Uppsala Cathedral (1435) is classified in art history as Baltic International Gothic style (started around late 1300's). 

You can see some of the features of gothic architecture clearly in the photo- the ribbed vaults of the ceiling and the pointed arches.  

More about Uppsala Cathedral here

 St Karin's Church


The ruin above is of St Karin's Church in Visby, Gotland, which we visited last year. (this post shows how gorgeous the island of Gotland can be)

St Karins belonged to one of Swedens first Franciscan monasteries and was founded in 1233.

By the early 14th century, the popularity of the Franciscan order was calling for a new church, so St Karins was widened. Tall, fine (gothic) windows were installed.

You can see the same features- the pointed arches and buttresses of the vault- in both of the above photos.

These features allowed churches to have more windows.

Rose Windows -a couple of thoughts 


 But how and why were the most amazing windows in history- the rose windows- suddenly created?

I haven't read any good explanations. (-though admittedly I haven't read that much about the topic-)

Historians seem to focus on purely material developments - like the availability of particular building materials, as if this explains everything. It actually explains not much.

The emotion and artistry and vision had to be there in everyone involved in its creation regardless of materials. And regardless of church beliefs.

The incredible dazzling beauty of the rose windows speaks to the soul of universal principles - of peace, universal brotherhood and sisterhood. Individual power. Shame, guilt, fear, hate- don't get a look in.

The roses seem to come out of nowhere. And then disappear. Just like the real thing.

Where are the designs and buildings that connect you with your soul today?

(...the top photo of the rose window at Uppsala is a simple one...here's the rose window at Chartres Cathedral in France.

Other posts you can peruse:

Up to Uppsala.
Medieval Magic: Gotland Sweden


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