SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral (Galician: Catedral de Santiago de Compostela) is a Roman Catholic cathedral of the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. It is the destination of the Way of St. James, a major historical pilgrimage route since the Middle Ages. The building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions.
The cathedral borders the main plaza of the old and well-preserved city. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle James were brought to Galicia for burial. In 813, according to medieval legend, the light of a bright star guided a shepherd who was watching his flock at night to the burial site in Santiago de Compostela. The shepherd quickly reported his discovery to the bishop of Iria, Bishop Teodomiro. The bishop declared that the remains were those of the apostle James and immediately notified King Alfonso II in Oviedo. To honour St. James, the cathedral was built on the spot where his remains were said to have been found. The legend, which included numerous miraculous events, enabled the Catholic faithful to not only maintain their stronghold in northern Spain during the Christian crusades against the Moors, but also led to the growth and development of the city.
Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040–1109) and the patronage of bishop Diego Peláez. It was built according to the same plan as the monastic brick church of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, probably the greatest Romanesque edifice in France. It was built mostly in granite. Construction was halted several times and, according to the Liber Sancti Iacobi, the last stone was laid in 1122. But by then, the construction of the cathedral was certainly not finished. The cathedral was consecrated in 1128 in the presence of king Alfonso IX of Leon.
According to the Codex Calixtinus the architects were “Bernard the elder, a wonderful master”, his assistant Robertus Galperinus and, later possibly, “Esteban, master of the cathedral works”. In the last stage “Bernard, the younger” was finishing the building, while Galperinus was in charge of the coordination. He also constructed a monumental fountain in front of the north portal in 1122.
The church became an episcopal see in 1075 and, due to its growing importance as a place of pilgrimage, it was soon raised to an archiepiscopal see by pope Urban II in 1100. A university was added in 1495. The cathedral was expanded and embellished with additions in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
BASILICA SANCTI PETRI
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), officially known in Italian as Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as St. Peter’s Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. St. Peter’s Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world and is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world” and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom”. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world.
St. Peter’s is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age.
By Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, also according to tradition, the first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter’s tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter’s since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the time of Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica, replacing the Old St. Peter’s Basilica of the 4th century, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.
ST. PATRICKS CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral of St. Patrick (commonly called St. Patrick’s Cathedral) is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church in the United States. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center and specifically facing the Atlas statue.
The Diocese of New York, created in 1808, was made an archdiocese by Pope Pius IX on July 19, 1850. In 1853, Archbishop John Joseph Hughes announced his intention to erect a new cathedral to replace the Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Manhattan. The new cathedral was designed by James Renwick, Jr. in the Gothic Revival style. On August 15, 1858, the cornerstone was laid, just south of the diocese’s orphanage. At that time, present-day midtown Manhattan was far north of the populous areas of New York City.
Work was begun in 1858 but was halted during the Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879, its huge proportions dominating the midtown of that time. The archbishop’s house and rectory were added from 1882 to 1884, and an adjacent school (no longer in existence) opened in 1882. The spires were added in 1888, and an addition on the east, including a Lady chapel, designed by Charles T. Mathews, was begun in 1900. The Lady Chapel’s stained-glass windows were made between 1912 and 1930 by English stained glass artist and designer Paul Vincent Woodroffe. In 1927 and 1931, the cathedral was renovated, which included enlarging the sanctuary and installing the great organ. The cathedral and associated buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. An extensive restoration of the cathedral was begun in 2012 and is planned to last 3 years at a cost of $177 million.
The Cathedral of Brasília (Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida) is the Roman Catholic cathedral serving Brasília, Brazil, and serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Brasília. It was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and was completed and dedicated on May 31, 1970. The cathedral is a hyperboloid structure constructed from 16 concrete columns, weighing 90 tons each.
In the square access to the temple, are four bronze sculptures with three feet tall, representing the evangelists, the sculptures were made with the aid of the sculptor Dante Croce in 1968. Inside the nave, are the sculptures of three angels, suspended by steel cables. The dimensions and weight of the carvings are 2.22 m long and the shorter one hundred kg, 3.40 m long and two hundred kilograms the average and 4.25 m in length and most three hundred kilograms. The sculptures are Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the collaboration of Dante Croce in 1970.
The baptistery was ovoid in shape on your walls the panel in ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão. The tower consists of four large bells, donated by Spain, complete the architectural. The roof of the nave has a stained glass composed of sixteen pieces of fiberglass in shades of blue, green, white and brown inserted between the concrete pillars. Each piece is inserted into triangles with base ten meters and thirty feet high and were painted in 1990 by Marianne Peretti. The altar was donated by Pope Paul VI and the image of the patron saint Our Lady of Aparecida is a replica of the original which is in Aparecida – São Paulo. The Way of the Cross is a work of Di Cavalcanti. At the entrance of the cathedral, is a pillar with passages from the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, painted by Athos.
VOTIVE CHURCH, VIENNA
The Votive Church (German: Votivkirche) is a neo-Gothic church located on the Ringstraße in Vienna, Austria. Following the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1853, the Emperor’s brother Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian inaugurated a campaign to create a church to thank God for saving the Emperor’s life. Funds for construction were solicited from throughout the Empire. The church was dedicated in 1879 on the silver anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Empress Elisabeth.
The church plans were established in an architectural competition in April 1854. 75 projects from the Austrian Empire, German lands, England, and France were submitted. Originally, the plans were to include the neighbouring Allgemeines Krankenhaus and create a campus fashioned after the plans of Oxford and Cambridge University.
Another plan was to create a national cathedral for all the people of the empire. However because of spiraling costs and the changing political situation, this plan had to be downsized. The jury choose the project of Heinrich von Ferstel (1828–1883), who, at the time, was only 26. He chose to build the cathedral in the neo-Gothic style, borrowing heavily from the architecture of Gothic French cathedrals. Because of this concept, many people mistake this church for an original Gothic church. However, the Votivkirche is not a servile imitation of a French Gothic cathedral, but rather embodies a new and individual design concept. Furthermore, the Votivkirche was built with one single architect exercising supervision over its entire construction, and not by several generations, as were the cathedrals in the Middle Ages. Construction began in 1856, and it was dedicated twenty-six years later on April 24, 1879, the occasion of the silver jubilee of the royal couple.
The church was one of the first buildings to be built on the Ringstraße. Since the city walls still existed at that point, the church had no natural parishioners. At that time it was meant as a garrison church, serving the many soldiers that had come to Vienna in the wake of 1848 Revolution. The church is not located directly on the boulevard but along a broad square (the Sigmund Freud Park) in front of it. The Votivkirche is made out of white sandstone, similar to the Stephansdom, and therefore has to be constantly renovated and protected from air-pollution and acid rain, which tends to colour and erode the soft stone. The church has undergone extensive renovations after being badly damaged during World War II.
The cathedral is perhaps located on the site of a pre-existing 4th century building, not necessarily a church, whose foundations have been excavated beneath the current level; the site is included within the ancient Roman walls of Augusta Vindelicorum. The first known church in the place is documented from 822, but dating to the late 8th century reigns of bishops Wikterp and Simpert.
The edifice was damaged by the Magyars, and was restored in 923 under bishop Ulrich. Another repairing intervention occurred in 994, when the western apse crumbled down; the restoration was funded by empress Adelaide. The current Romanesque structure was commissioned in 1043 by bishop Henry III, and was completed in 1065. The two towers, which are visible from the whole city, were completed in 1075. From 1331 to 1431 numerous Gothic elements were added, including the eastern choir.
During the Protestant Reformation, the church lost most of its religious artworks, although some were later restored. The interior, which was turned into a Baroque one during the 17th century, was partially to its late medieval appearance in the 19th century, with the addition of some neo-Gothic elements. In 1565 the northern tower was heightened. The church suffered only limited damage during World War II, mostly to the Chapel of Our Lady.
ST. VITUS, PRAGUE
St. Vitus Cathedral (Czech: Katedrála svatého Víta) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral. This cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Cathedral dimensions are 124 x 60 meters, the main tower is 96.5 meters high, front towers 82 m, arch height 33.2 m.
The current cathedral is the third of a series of religious buildings at the site, all dedicated to St. Vitus. The present day Gothic Cathedral was founded on 21 November 1344, when the Prague bishopric was raised to an archbishopric. Its patrons were the chapter of cathedral (led by a Dean), the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, and, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, and the last resting place cum pilgrimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the papal palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as, basically, an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the arcades and the ambulatory. The slender verticality of Late French Gothic and clear, almost rigid respect of proportions distinguish his work today.
While Matthias of Arras was schooled as a geometer, thus putting an emphasis on rigid systems of proportions and clear, mathematical compositions in his design, Parler was trained as a sculptor and woodcarver. He treated architecture as a sculpture, almost as if playing with structural forms in stone. Aside from his rather bold vaults, the peculiarities of his work can also be seen in the design of pillars (with classic, bell-shaped columns which were almost forgotten by High Gothic), the ingenious dome vault of new St Wenceslaus chapel, the undulating clerestory walls, the original window tracery (no two of his windows are the same, the ornamentation is always different) and the blind tracery panels of the buttresses. Architectural sculpture was given a considerable role while Parler was in charge of construction, as can be seen in the corbels, the passageway lintels, and, particularly, in the busts on the triforium, which depict faces of the royal family, saints, Prague bishops, and the two master builders, including Parler himself.
Work on the cathedral, however, proceeded rather slowly, due to the fact that in the meantime the Emperor commissioned Parler with many other projects, such as the construction of the new Charles Bridge in Prague and many churches throughout the Czech realm. By 1397, when Peter Parler died, only the choir and parts of the transept were finished.
After Peter Parler’s death in 1399 his sons, Wenzel Parler and particularly Johannes Parler, continued his work; they in turn were succeeded by a certain Master Petrilk, who by all accounts was also a member of Parler’s workshop. Under these three masters, the transept and the great tower on its south side were finished. So was the gable which connects the tower with the south transept. Nicknamed ‘Golden Gate’ (likely because of the golden mosaic of Last Judgment depicted on it), it is through this portal that the kings entered the cathedral for coronation ceremonies.
The entire building process came to a halt with the beginning of Hussite War in the first half of 15th century. The war brought an end to the workshop that operated steadily over for almost a century, and the furnishings of cathedral, dozens of pictures and sculptures, suffered heavily from the ravages of Hussite iconoclasm. As if this was not enough, a great fire in 1541 considerably damaged the cathedral.
Through most of the following centuries, the cathedral stood only half-finished. By the time of St Wenceslas jubilee in 1929, the St Vitus cathedral was finally finished, nearly 600 years after it was begun. Despite the fact that entire western half of Cathedral is a Neo-Gothic addition, much of the design and elements developed by Peter Parler were used in the restoration, giving the Cathedral as a whole a harmonious, unified look.
St. Stephen’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest, Hungary. Named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975–1038), whose right hand is housed in the reliquary, it’s currently the third largest church in Hungary and the most important one.
Equal with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest at 96 metres (315 ft). It has a width of 55 metres (180 ft), and length of 87.4 metres (287 ft). It was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl, and was completed by József Kauser. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up.
The architectural style is Neo-Classical; it has a Greek cross ground plan and the façade is anchored by two large bell towers. In the southern tower is Hungary’s biggest bell, the Great St. Stephen Bell, weighing over 9 tonnes and being 2.4m in diameter. Its predecessor had a weight of almost 8 tonnes, but it was used for military purposes during World War II, the new bell having been made by the Perner Bell Foundry in Passau, Germany in 1990. There are five others within the Basilica.
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion; the archbishop, being suitably occupied with national and international matters, delegates the most of his functions as diocesan bishop to the Bishop suffragan of Dover. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.
Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
The cathedral ceased to be an abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries when all religious houses were suppressed. Canterbury surrendered in March 1539, and reverted to its previous status of ‘a college of secular canons’. The New Foundation came into being on 8 April 1541. The original Norman northwest tower, which had a lead spire until 1705, was demolished in 1834 owing to structural concerns. It was replaced with a Perpendicular-style twin of the southwest tower, now known as the “Arundel Tower”‘. This was the last major structural alteration to the cathedral to be made.
The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is the Duomo, the medieval cathedral of the Archdiocese of Pisa, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta (St. Mary of the Assumption). The cathedral has two aisles on either side of the nave. The transept consists of three aisles. The church is known also as the Primatial, the archbishop of Pisa being a Primate since 1092.
Its construction began in 1064 by the architect Buscheto. It set the model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence. The façade, of grey marble and white stone set with discs of coloured marble, was built by a master named Rainaldo, as indicated by an inscription above the middle door: Rainaldus prudens operator.
The massive bronze main doors were made in the workshops of Giambologna, replacing the original doors destroyed in a fire in 1595. The original central door was of bronze, made around 1180 by Bonanno Pisano, while the other two were probably of wood. However, worshippers have never used the façade doors to enter, instead entering by way of the Porta di San Ranieri (St. Ranieri’s Door), in front of the Leaning Tower, built around 1180 by Bonanno Pisano.
Above the doors are four rows of open galleries with, on top, statues of Madonna with Child and, on the corners, the Four evangelists. Also in the façade is found the tomb of Buscheto (on the left side) and an inscription about the foundation of the Cathedral and the victorious battle against the Saracens.
At the east end of the exterior, high on a column rising from the gable, is a modern replica of the Pisa Griffin, the largest Islamic metal sculpture known, the original of which was placed there probably in the 11th or 12th century, and is now in the Cathedral Museum.
The interior is faced with black and white marble and has a gilded ceiling and a frescoed dome. It was largely redecorated after a fire in 1595, which destroyed most of the Renaissance art works.
Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling of the nave. That lamp, smaller and simpler than the present one, is now kept in the Camposanto, in the Aulla chapel.
The building, as have several in Pisa, has tilted slightly since its construction, though not nearly to the extent of the nearby Tower.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it’s among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass serve to contrast it with earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism’s most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.
Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The total surface area is 5,500 m².
Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior., but the paint has worn off. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top.
The most significant change in design came in the mid 13th century, when the transepts were remodeled in the latest Rayonnant style; in the late 1240s Jean de Chelles added a gabled portal to the north transept topped off by a spectacular rose window.