Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Something I find myself doing when I'm in various cathedrals/churches is taking pictures of the ceilings. Growing up in the 20th Century, in Protestant churches, well, there just weren't any pretty ceilings to look at.

Most of the artwork through the 15th/16th Centuries in Europe was commissioned by either the ruling aristocracy or "the Church." Even much of the aristocracy at that point was somehow connected to "the Church." For instance, in the case of Salzburg, the Archbishops had duties in the Church but were also secular rulers of the region - with land, Schlosses and private wealth.

How that little bit relates to my ceiling pictures, I'm not sure. Just a piece of information to share. Neurons are firing down different paths this morning....

So - here is my favorite ceiling in Europe: St. Peter's Abbey in Salzburg. Beautiful white plaster with soft green relief on it. It is very soothing to look at and the building has a peaceful feeling. When we walked in this last Spring, I remembered I had taken pictures of this very ceiling back in 1996 when Bart & I made our first trip to Europe. It is still my favorite. Here is a view looking down the center aisle of St. Peter's - just to get a full effect.
Here is the altar in the hillside catacomb chapel in Salzburg. The entrace is at the side of the Abbey cemetary - you really have to look for it. The Christians worshiped here during the Roman persecution: the altar dates back to the 3rd Century. There isn't a pretty ceiling in here but thought I'd share. It really impresses upon you the endurance of people and their strength of belief in light of persecution.
Here is the dome ceiling of the "Cathedral" or "Dom" of Salzburg. It is an enormous Baroque structure and a definite contrast from St. Peter's. A beautiful building but with an imposing style vs a cozy style. I don't know if cozy is the right description for a cathedral but some buildings are just soooo big. Notre Dame - big but cozy/comfortable. St. Peter's Basilica - big but formal/not cozy. Not sure what it is? Maybe it's just me.
Here we are looking at Salzburg "upside down" on the ceiling in the Mozart Geburtshaus. Everthing in this room is upside down. Done so as they say he saw many things differently than others and essentially turned the music world "upside down."
The ceiling in the cathedral of Mondsee, Austria. The church where the "Sound of Music" wedding scene was filmed. I forget the name - it is long and I didn't take a picture of the guidebook cover like my smart friend Julie did. :)
Ceiling from a 16th century church in Sopron, Hungary. A very ornate church.
Lastly - from a chapel in Sienna. I LOVE this! I would like this in my house. But the cost of one ceiling like this would probably equal the house value so will content myself with pictures. Love, Love, Love it. That's all.
My dad arrives tomorrow! We are headed to Germany for the weekend and will post pictures of the town I lived in for my first year + of life. Cheers to all!

1 comment:

Judy said...

What? No toilets? Just Kidding. :)

Beautiful pictures!

Have fun in Germany do a drive-by "shooting" of where you lived! It's fun!