Thursday, May 11, 2006

York Minster

First thing Tuesday morning we headed to York Minster, planning on spending a couple of hours there before heading off to Lincoln. WRONG!! We spent 4 hours there entranced with the rich treasures of this gorgeous cathedral!

St. Olave's Church, pictured here stands on Bootham St. in the city walls, on our way in to the Minster.

Here is an example of the original York city walls, again, running along Bootham St.

This is High Petergate; it leads the way not only to the cathedral but to a mainly pedestrian shopping area in the center of York.

Across from High Petergate is the City Art Gallery.

This beautiful picture shows the west entrance to York Minster. What an amazing sight!

We heard the bell tower, pictured here, toll at 8:45 am.

This is the north side of the nave of the Minster.

There are lovely gardens on the north side with many colorful trees.

In this picture you can see TWO of the Minster's towers.

This is the south entrance, where visitors enter. The people at the bottom of the picture give an idea of the size of the Minster.

The SW side, pictured here, contains the Coverdale Chapel, the small building in front; Miles Coverdale translated the first English Bible.

Here is the choir screen with the organ perched on top. Notice the beautiful Easter cross in front.

A close-up of the screen decoration shows nearly life-size statues of 15 of the kings of England, from William the Conqueror to Henry VI.

This picture of the nave, taken from the crossing, doesn't even begin to do justice to the sheer size of the Minster.

This beautiful 400-year old clock is in the North transept. The two oak figures below it strike every quarter hour.

The Chapter House was also beautiful. Here is a picture of the ceiling. We saw remnants of the original ceiling during our tour of the crypt below the Minster.

You can see the enormous windows of the Chapter House here.

We loved this detail in the Chapter House. Numerous whimsical details were found in the stonework throughout the Minster.

We found this Green Man in the hallway leading to the Chapter House.

This astronomical clock was in the North Transept, near the 400-year old clock.

The official name of York Minster is St. Peter in York Cathedral. Here is a lovely statue of the patron with the keys of his office at the great west doors of the Minster.

Here is another great picture of the nave. You can clearly see the hanging cross in front of the screen.

Next to its size, the other most striking feature of York Minster is its large collection of medieval stained glass. This is the Jesse Window, depicting Jesus' lineage. It starts with Jesse at the very bottom, then King David above him, Solomon above him, the Virgin Mary, and finally, Jesus at the top. Other ancestors and prophets are shown alongside.

The choir dates from the 14th century, but had to be restored after a fire in 1829.

This is the High Altar with the Great East Window behind it.

The Great East Window (dating from 1405-1408) contains the largest area of medieval stained glass in a single window in the world. It depicts the beginning and end of the world.

This is the Lady Chapel altar. The reredos shows the Nativity, including the Holy Family, shepherds and wise men.

The first church on the site of York Minster dates to 627, but in the 300s this was the site of a Roman army fortress, where Constantine was proclaimed emperor in 306. Later, he would be called Constantine the Great, the emperor who issued the famous Edict of Milan in 312, permitting religious expression throughout the Roman Empire. But by dallying 4 hours touring York Minster we had no time left to visit the museum's Constantine exhibit!

Still, on the way back to the car we passed through the museum grounds. The next three photos are of the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. The museum sits in these same gardens.

Then it was off to Lincoln! Look for those pictures in the next post.


At 10:32 PM, Blogger The Man Who Sold the World said...

thank you for the beautiful pictures =) i miss europe.

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Verb said...

Well done! I live in York and you've got some great pics. I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay


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