- Canterbury Cathedral | Things to do
- History of Canterbury Cathedral
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- Canterbury Cathedral
- Visiting the Cathedral – Canterbury Cathedral
The cathedral is thus a mixture of styles. The cathedral is the mother church of Anglican Christianity and especially renown because of the murder in the cathedral of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Christ Church Gateway This gate is the main entrance into the Cathedral precinct.
Canterbury Cathedral | Things to do
The figure of a welcoming Christ at the center is a modern replacement of a statue destroyed during the Puritan Revolution. Canterbury from the southwest; unlike most cathedrals, Canterbury has its main entrance at the southwest seen in center photo ; right: Looking at the cathedral from Christ Church Gateway one sees 14th and 15th additions to the church, work in the Perpendicular Gothic style. Bell Harry Tower This central tower of the cathedral was completed in , replacing a Norman tower tower with a steeple; it is built of brick and faced with stone.
The bell at the top is called Bell Harry.
History of Canterbury Cathedral
A large area of the town of Canterbury was destroyed, as was the cathedral library, but the main body of the cathedral remained intact. The exterior of Canterbury Cathedral immediately impresses by its size, but also rewards closer attention to its details. Viewed directly from the south, the abrupt change from Romanesque to Gothic is clearly evident - to the right east are round arches, blind arcades, and rough surfaces; to the left are the abundant pointed arches and pinnacles of the Gothic nave.
Decorating the Romanesque exterior are intertwined blind arches embellished with decoratively carved columns and figurative capitals , all of which date from Archbishop Anselm's reconstruction around Many of the capitals are weathered beyond recognition, but others still clearly display proud Green Men and other interesting medieval characters. The main entrance is through the Gothic southwest porch , built in by Thomas Mapilton and by Richard Beke. It was restored with new statues of Canterbury's most notable archbishops by Theodore Pfyffers in There are some details to spot here, too - look for grinning faces and tiny symbols carved along the top.
The nave terminates at a great Gothic choir screen a.
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The pulpitum was built about by Richard Beke and originally had sculptures of Christ and the twelve apostles along with the shield-bearing angels and six kings that survive today. East of the choir is the large Trinity Chapel , a level higher than the rest of the interior and surrounded by an ambulatory. It is reached by stone stairs on either side, which have been worn down from the feet and sometimes knees of centuries of pilgrims.
The Trinity Chapel was built specifically for the Shrine of St. It has been left empty and a single candle burns over the site of the shrine. The floor of the Trinity Chapel, near the west end, has a set of interesting inlaid marble roundels representing the signs of the zodiac, months of the year, virtues and vices.
These were added in the early 13th century to embellish the shrine.
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They are badly worn today, but many can still be identified. The ambulatory around the Trinity Chapel is home to some of the most interesting and accomplished stained glass in Canterbury Cathedral. Most of the glass is original, ranging in date from about to , but there were significant restorations and replacements made in the 19th century. Circling around the ambulatory are a total of eight windows depicting the Miracles of St.
The first window, in the north ambulatory, depicts some of the events leading to his martyrdom, but the rest tell stories of ordinary people who experienced miracles by praying to the saint or visiting his shrine. The narratives depicted in these windows provide a fascinating glimpse into medieval life, particularly its most common illnesses and accidents. Many scenes take place around Thomas' tomb, which is shown in its original position in the crypt.
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It was only after the Trinity Chapel and its windows were completed that his relics were moved to the new shrine. The far east end of the cathedral is occupied by an apse chapel known as the Corona "crown" , because it once housed the relic of St. Here there are two more medieval windows of interest: Both date from about From the Tree of Jesse only two original panels survive, which are displayed in the far left window: King Josiah and the Virgin Mary.
The entire window has been reconstructed with modern glass to its right. The Redemption Window is a typological window, showing four Old Testament "types" foreshadowing events for each of five scenes related to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
You can explore the Redemption Window in full illustrated detail here. Two more typological windows , equally fascinating, survive in the north choir aisle.
They are earlier than the Becket Windows, dated to about There were originally six of these windows; the surviving panels have been compiled into what are now called Typological Window 2 and Typological Window 3. For a good look at most of the medieval stained glass found throughout the cathedral with even more waiting to be processed , please see our feature article on Canterbury Cathedral's Stained Glass Windows and its accompanying Stained Glass Photo Gallery. Another notable feature of the ambulatory are its many tombs of archbishops and royals.
The most famous of these is the Tomb of the Black Prince , topped with a bronze chainmailed effigy of the knight, in the south ambulatory. It's not clear how he got his romantic nickname; his contemporaries knew him as Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales.
He was the eldest son of a king Edward III and the father of a king Richard II , but was never king himself because he died before his father. The massive crypt beneath the east end of the cathedral is one of the most fascinating parts of the building and, alas, was closed when I visited. Built under Archbishop Anselm in the early s, it still has extensive Romanesque murals and exquisitely carved columns and capitals.
Below is a location map and aerial view of Canterbury Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left or the wheel on your mouse , you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse. View from the southwest on a stormy November day. Anselm's Chapel and south ambulatory around the Trinity Chapel, both This is the oldest c.
Visiting the Cathedral – Canterbury Cathedral
It still has its original sculptures Paul shaking off a viper at Miletus. Upper left of the apse in St. The candle marks the site of St.