Sunday, January 31, 2010

Posts from a Spanish Diary: #7 A Cathedral

The castle town of Morella, only about a 40 minute drive from Masia Albadas (my home away from home in Spain), took my breath away. It is a gorgeous little town trickling down a hill with a combination of sandy colored stone structures towering at the top. There is a castle, a cathedral and a convent. The cathedral is still in use, the castle is being renovated and is frequented by tourists, and the convent is no longer active but also in renovations.

We begin here with the Cathedral in town. This catholic church, nestled below a castle of Muslim origin, has the typical Spanish blue dome and incredible doors. To give you a better idea of the setting, I found this picture (through Google!).
Though you may barely be able to see it, the blue dome of the cathedral is below the large rock plateau to the right. Look closely, it is there! The church is an amazing example of Gothic architecture, built in the 13th and 14th Centuries. It is dedicated to Saint Mary or, if you want the authentic name, "Iglesia Arciprestal de Santa MarĂ­a la Mayor." Seth took me to see some sights every once and a while, saying that it would be a shame if he didn't, and Morella was one of the first.
This is a view above the Cathedral, from the castle, looking down on the blue dome and the bell tower.
Seth and I happily realized that we happened upon a full Catholic wedding taking place! The whole church was lit, which I learned was quite the treat, seeing that a tourist might put one Euro in a 'vending machine' of sorts to see the inside with the lights on for a minute or so. The bride and groom were at the altar receiving their blessings and we were able to sit in on the service. Note the spiral staircase with ornate carving on the left. This leads to a choir loft, dating to the 15th Century, which is isolated and elevated, apparently one of the few examples in the world.
Sculptures dotted the ornate stone work along the elevated choir loft.

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