29 September 2013

Canterbury 2013

I haven't written for awhile so I will post a number of blogs within the next few days to get you caught up with what we have been up to.  We went to Canterbury for our second day trip on Friday, September 13th.  Canterbury is one of my most favorite places in the world.  It is magical!  The Cathedral was a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.  It is where Chaucer's pilgrims were headed in his famous book The Canterbury Tales.  The pilgrims were headed to the shrine of Thomas a Becket who was the Archbishop of Canterbury who was killed by four of Henry II's knights.  It was a town that was settled by the Romans when they concurred the British Isles.  Even today people flock to Canterbury.  Enjoy the photos that the students and myself have taken.

The outside gate leading into the Cathedral.  The original Christ figure was destroyed and the current one was chosen in a contest to replace it. It is fairly new.

 Below is the rose that we saw previously in King's Chapel in Camberidge representing the throne of the Tutors in the War of the Roses.

Because of the large group we split the students into two tour groups.  Here is one tour guide.

Here is the second tour guide.  The students toured the City of Canterbury and the grounds around the Cathedral.  We then toured the inside of the Cathedral on our own.

This is Butter Market Square outside the Gate of the Cathedral.  It is a meeting place and always has a street musician playing when I have been there in the past.  I recorded the musician playing this year. Enjoy the music!

Here is an old tower in the City Center. The stone on a number of the buildings and wall is slate.

You notice a lot of the buildings have two or three floors with the upper floors being larger than the ground floor and hanging over the bottom floor.  The reason for this is that taxes were based on the square footage of the ground floor.  So they made that floor smaller and the ones above larger.

Tim walking along the river on our way into the city from the Coach Park.

The famous crooked house in Canterbury.  Again you can see the larger upper floors.

This statue of Christ, I believe, came in second in the contest to replace the figure on the Gate.  It stands on the grounds outside the Cathedral.

This mask is outside the newly built Marlowe Theatre.

This is where the plans to launch The Mayflower were decided.  One of America's links to Canterbury.

Enjoy the various photos from inside the Cathedral.  Phil and Rachel are taking in the magnitude of the place.

The vaulted ceiling.

What is Chris photographing lying on his back?

This gorgeous ceiling.

The white cross is like a manhole cover that comes out and above it is....

This wooden wheel that was used to hoist up stone and materials to the ceiling when they were building the Cathedral.  The wheel is still up there.  Below is a photo of the wheel one of the guides showed us.

Here is some of the magnificent stained glass windows and panels found in the Cathedral.

When I went to Canterbury in 1972, I had the privilege of going with some of my professors from Providence College.  Dr. Richard Grace, a history professor, gave us a lecture on Henry II and Thomas a Becket outside on the lawn.  Dr. Rodney Delesanta, who at the time was one of the experts in the United States on Chaucer asked us to see if we could find a symbol of Libra inside the Cathedral because he needed it to solidify a theory he was writing about for an article he was going to have published.  We searched all over and couldn't find Libra.  When we met inside the Cathedral, he asked us if we found it and we said no.  He looked very disappointed and then I looked down on the ground where I was standing and behold!  There was Libra.  He was a happy camper and got his article published!  I had a semester class with him on Chaucer where we read the entire works of Chaucer in Middle English.  It was probably one of the most difficult classes I took as an undergraduate.  Also the most rewarding.

The tomb of Henry IV and his wife.

The Black Prince and his armor above his tomb.

The Cloisters.

The Chapter House with its magnificent ceiling!

More of the Cloisters.

Thomas a Becket's Shrine

Some graffiti found in the Cathedral.

                                                              THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

Next Blog will cover our trip to the Globe Theatre and other plays we have seen and some of the Galleries the students went to.   Should be posted in a few days!