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Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 September 2019

St.Paul's Cathedral

September 15, 2019 24 Comments

Blame it on my missionary boarding school education or on the pleasant and welcoming atmosphere at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata – I have always loved visiting the local churches and cathedrals. So, St.Paul’s Cathedral was on my list.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was founded in 7th century but the present building is about 300 years old. This building was rebuilt after the Great Fire by Christopher Wren. This fact is only a drop in the sea of the rich history of the cathedral. The cathedral is filled with artistic masterpieces – from the statue of Duke of Wellington to the famous Madonna and Child to The Light of the World painting. Walking around and discovering each piece of art with its own history was indeed a fine experience.

The Quire Aisle and the huge organ take the spotlight on the main cathedral floor. The Organ boasts to be the fourth-largest in Great Britain in number of pipes. It felt really grand and inspiring even to someone like me who understands very little of the instrument. Another aspect that always attracts me in churches/cathedrals is the stained glass works. In St.Paul’s the only stained glass work one can see is behind the High Altar. Both the High Altar and the Quire Aisles were rebuilt after the Second World War and that is when the stained glass was incorporated into the building.

The Crypt at St.Paul’s is supposed to be the biggest in Europe and has many famous people buried under it. Christopher Wren, Alexander Fleming, John Donne and Duke of Wellington are among the few. The Crypt also has the Order of the British Empire Chapel. Then there is the Whispering Gallery which is 257 steps up from the Cathedral floor. If you whisper something at one side of the dome, it can be heard on the opposite side! Take another 119 steps up and you will reach the Stone Gallery. The view of London from the Stone Gallery is breathtakingly beautiful. And, it is just another 152 steps up to the Golden Gallery. You can have a panoramic view of the city from there.



What took my breath away though was the monochrome painting on the Dome. There are eight scenes from the St.Paul’s life drawn by James Thornhill up there. I spent majority of my time sitting down and craning my neck up to look at it. Stained glass and mosaic art is widespread and I this was my first experience (I am sure there are many around the world) of large scale grisaille work and I am bowled over!

It is a must visit while you are in London.


For More details visit: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/

QOTD: Do you notice the artwork in your place of worship?




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Sunday, 8 September 2019

221B, Baker Street

September 08, 2019 57 Comments


Being a bookworm has its advantage and disadvantages. When people learned about my trip to London, everyone seemed to have opinions and advises for me. From what to carry to what to do and of course the places I must visit. But very few people ever guessed the first place I would visit after landing here. It should have been very obvious to anyone who knows even a teensy bit about me.


Visiting Sherlock Holmes Museum was the first thing on my list. As such, I headed to Baker Street within a few hours of landing in London. The road from the tube station leading up to the museum seemed oddly familiar after having stalked it on Google Street View for years! [Yes I am crazy enough to stalk dead fictional characters.] We bought our tickets from the Gift Shop and after about 15 mins in a very well behaved (being an Indian I was almost disappointed at the lack of impatience and pushing) queue, we got our chance to enter the hallowed grounds.

The ground floor houses the gift shop which is stocked full of Sherlock Holmes books, souvenirs and tidbits. The famous study room, on the first floor, is so well set up and maintained that it was as if it had come straight to life from the pages of the books. The bedrooms of Sherlock, Watson and Mrs.Hudson are equally well maintained. Then on the third floor are wax statutes portraying various characters from the stories - including the man himself and the notoriously famous Professor Moriarty.


There are knick-knacks spread throughout the house to give it an authentic feel. From Sherlock and Watson's personal belongings to what could be only termed as Sherlock's souvenirs from his various cases make for interesting decorative pieces. The aptly dressed up staff add to the air of this Victorian set up. From the policeman at the gates, who by the way is expert at spotting people taking pictures and then posing for them, to the maids in the house who were ready to answer queries and guide the visitors at all times - only made the experience more fun. But what was priceless to me was Watson's diary containing extracts from the famous adventure of The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was so precious.

The nicest part about this whole set up is that if you look out the windows of 221B Baker Street, you will still see a somewhat Victorian London. The buildings around 221B have been kept up and maintained in a manner so as to add to the whole experience. Of course, the cars and people with gadgets cannot be helped, but the buildings remain the same as 1880s - the time when Sherlock and Watson is said to have lived there.


If you visit Sherlock Holmes Museum and forget that he is just a fictional character who couldn't have owned a house or any of those materialistic things, I will not blame you! Go on... Go and experience the very real lifestyle of a very fictional character - You know you want to ;)


For more details visit : http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/

QOTD: Have you ever tried 'traveling'  around the world with Google Street View?



I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.