It's extraordinary how one can live somewhere for years, and still know so very little about the place.
I spent four years in Ely, but really never ventured much further than a few hundred metres from around the cathedral, apart from visits down to the river for some rowing.
One cannot live in Ely without being overwhelmed by the splendour and size of the cathedral. It dominates the city, and one can but wonder why such a huge and magnificent building was built there. Ely has never been a great metropolis, yet medieval man considered it worthy of an enormous edifice that wouldn't have been out of place in London, Paris or Rome. Medieval Monks were rich and persuasive people.
Most of the magnificent old monastic buildings which you can see to the right of the cathedral in the opening shots pre-date the cathedral. They are no longer used for monastic purposes, and contain some superb examples of early domestic architecture; one particular building being the oldest, continuously lived-in, domestic building in Europe. The buildings presently make up the core of one of the world's oldest schools; officially founded in 970 (but much older).
Ely Cathedral is one of the lesser known of the UK's great cathedrals, but I recommend that anyone visiting the area, or attending the nearby Cambridge colleges, should visit. You will not be disappointed; it's a stunning building.
The three stunning cathedrals I visired abroad are the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona ( breathtaking) the Basilius Cathedral in Moscow and the most extraordinary the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.The Ely cathedral looks "grandios". Anyway all these buildings are showing the extraordinary skills of all those who participated to their construction.ReplyDelete
I know Barcelona, but not the others; other than by photos. When you walk around these great buildings it's difficult not to think of the terrific craftsmanship of the masons who worked with very basic tools. The project was enormous.Delete
Elly is truly glorious. The misericords are some of the best I have seen. As an added bonus the stained glass museum there is fabulous.ReplyDelete
The Stained Glass Museum was established after my time there. I may go to visit again one day.Delete
If you like stained glass you will love the place.Delete
It certainly stands proud above the flat Cambridgeshire landscape. Quite an architectural achievement for its time.ReplyDelete
You can see it from miles away; not unlike Chartres in N France.Delete
When the rivers of eastern England teemed with eels, that's when Ely became rich and powerful. Ely/eels - the similarity is not co-incidental.ReplyDelete
Yes, I know the link; not many Eels left these days.Delete
What happened to your earlier post today?ReplyDelete
It got out of con-troll.Delete
I have never been nearer to it than the view one gets from the train to London and it always looks wonderful.ReplyDelete
It's so unexpected, it stands out from everything about it. Wonderful.Delete
Truly magnificent architecture. To think about the manual labor and dedication that went in to building the cathedral makes it even more amazing. "Rich and persuasive monks" accomplished their goal. The power of the church never ceases to surprise me.ReplyDelete
A lot of bribery involved. If you were guaranteed a place in heaven if you gave them lots of money, how could you refuse? People actually believed those promises in those days.Delete
The glass is wonderful but the replacements for the earlier older glass in the lady chapel actually have the sponsors on the/in the glass .Patronage is ancient and useful but it still strikes a a wrong note to see Barclays bank as well as others noted quite so prominently in a sacred space .ReplyDelete
I find it quite shocking to know that the church allows sponsors to advertise on the church stained glass windows. It seems sacrilegious to me.Delete
I didn't know about that. I know the Lady Chapel extremely well, and I don't like what they've done to it. I think the blue 'virgin' looks totally out of place.Delete
A ley line runs between Ely and Cambridge. Perhaps that was a consideration when such things were deemed important?ReplyDelete
Both were important cities of learning, with Ely predating Cambridge by about 200 years. Ley lines have always been important.Delete
Thank you for the tour. My Jordan and Dagless family are from Ely.ReplyDelete
If you haven't already, I suggest you visit. You'd love the cathedral.Delete
On my bucket list!Delete
The cathedral is truly majestic and that video gives it a really spiritual feel with the river and the mist.ReplyDelete
The area down by the river was often like that, we used to row through the fog.Delete
I've lived in my city since 1986, but still know very little about it. I don't get out much.ReplyDelete
You are not alone, I would think that most people are exactly the same.Delete