Saturday, September 7, 2013

Salamanca-The Old and New Cathedral

It takes an experienced eye to know where the Old and New Cathedral finish and begin. La Cathedral Vieja de Santa María is over 900 years old and a wonderment to the rapt visitor looking up to the cathedral's entrances. The rapture continues when you arrive to the main entrance of the New Cathedral and feel that whatever you have done in life is inconsequential to the rest of mankind to come. The newer part of the cathedral was started in the 15th century and gained monarchical support from Ferdinad the II, King of Aragón. The entrance is a grandiose legacy of the skilled masters who used piedra franca de Villamayor, from the quarry in Salamanca, known for it's easy stone carving trait. The Plateresque style of the main entrance is stunning and is a shame that the majestic view is obstructed by a building in front of it, making it difficult to stand back and take in its magnificence. The north faÇade entrance does not mesmerize the visitor as does the main entrance. French troops in 1812 razed the buildings in front of the north entrance, and hence the Anaya Plaza and the fantastic view of this lateral entrance to the cathedral. 

I captured close-ups of the elaborate and delicate relief carvings of the artwork. I wish I had a ladder to touch every saint, personage, and religious motif and trace over with my fingers the stone wonders that mankind has left behind. I know this type of carving can surely be replicated, but will never be done again by architects who consider this type of architecture best left alone in the era from which it came. Secondly, who would be willing to pay for the long arduous work invested in such type of artwork? No one I think.

It is worth mentioning to visit the ieronimus and enjoy the route inside the cathedral's Medieval towers to view the battlements, gargoyles, and city view. Well worth the winded exercise to the top!

Fins Ara!

To get up here you must enter the ieronimus and climb, climb, and climb.

Iron capped steps.

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