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February 16, 2005

Ely revisited

The lantern at Ely
I 'collected' Ely cathedral four years ago on my very first visit to England. In fact, it was the very first one. I had watched Ely on a webcam for months before we left Australia but that didn't prepare me for how beautiful it was. The ceiling of the nave is painted with figures from Christian stories and the crossing, pictured here, is an octagonal lantern, richly decorated with more figures of saints. Every time we have been back to England we visit Ely and find something new to see. This time I even took the time to sit for a while to draw.

Ely-006.jpgThe web site that I was watching before our first visit talked about this new statue of Mary that had been placed in the ancient Lady Chapel of the cathedral. It was very controversial. Detractors said that it reminded them of the glamorous presenter of an English gardening program and complained that the statue appeared not to be wearing a bra. I seriously doubt that Mary would have worn one either.

The Lady Chapel was being renovated during our second visit. Though we were not allowed in, you could look through the glass of the doors and see the tombs that had been exposed by the excurvations. This time I could sit in the chapel for as long as I liked, watching the visitors come and go, listening to the echo of their voices and the silence of them gone.

Posted by robynls at February 16, 2005 7:21 PM

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Robyn, I wish I'd known Ely was there! We went to "tea" at the Orchard at Grantchester near Cambridge but then headed North. Next time.... (sigh) I find myself always drawn to the Cloisters of these wonderful Cathedrals - maybe it's my love of stones? Am enjoying revisiting places through your photos. Thanks, Jilly

Posted by: Jill Campbell at February 16, 2005 8:58 PM

The cloisters of many of the cathedrals we have visited are wonderful places but I can understand why the architects built these magnificent edifaces so tall and the artisans put so much effort into their ceilings. Your eyes are drawn to look upward all of the time. Everything seems to be designed to make you look up.

Posted by: Robyn at February 16, 2005 9:07 PM

Again, what beautiful photos. I love the statute of Ely.

Posted by: mz. em at February 18, 2005 2:27 PM

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