Thank you both for bringing this Cathedral to life with your pictures and posts! It is truly magnificent.
But gee, people in the Middle Ages were all stupid, right?
Back then, Bibles were few in number. The common people were 'educated' by the Church through its architecture. The stained glass windows and sculptures each told the story of Christ and the Salvation He brought to mankind.
I work in the NYS Capitol which was constructed more than 100 years ago. One of its most magnificent details is the "Million Dollar" staircase.
To complete this complex staircase, 600 stone carvers were employed to carve the structure by hand. There are approximately 77 famous faces carved into the pillars. Among those are: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Generals Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Christopher Columbus, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony and Clara Barton. Once all the famous faces were carved, the stone carvers were then allowed to carve faces of anyone they chose, including friends, family members and people off the street. These less famous faces are known as the "Capitol Unknowns." Along with faces, many animals, birds and fruits were carved into the banisters of the staircase.
The Great Western Staircase, also known as the "Million Dollar Staircase," was designed by architect Isaac Perry and took 13 years to complete.This staircase, made of Corsehill freestone from Scotland, is 119 feet high with a 3000 square foot skylight at the top. During World War II the skylight was covered to protect the building from possible air raids. After 60 years of darkness, the skylight was uncovered in August of 2002, once again revealing the full beauty of this great staircase. The pictures here show the domed glass laylight above the staircase. This laylight is then covered by an angled skylight on the Capitol roof.
These photos do not do it justice. The handrails, columns, and finials are filled with beautiful carvings of the famous, along with eagles, state flowers, and cherished family members (not identified). I was there for the restoration of the staircase and its unveiling. There are many cherubs carved into the staircase and one of them is the face of the grandmother of someone invited to be present for this unveiling.
Shortly after it was constructed, a fire broke out in the 3rd floor library. Soot and ash were imbeded into the soft sandstone of the staircase. Over the years, various cleaning agents were tested until finally, last year, the entire staircase was finally restored to its original magnificance. It stands in tribute to all those men, many of whom were immigrants, who carved it. Should you ever plan a visit to Albany NY, please let me know and I will give you a personal tour of the NYS Capitol. It is the oldest in the US AND, the only one without a dome. (The footing was built but could not support the dome).
And EXTREMELY expensive, not that any of this even mattered because only a small percentage of the population could even read. Literacy had no real bearing with the general public until the invention of the printing press in the mid-15th Century. The sola scriptura crowd has NEVER been able to put forward an explanation as to why God's plan of Salvation would necessitate cultural and technological advances that He knew would not occur for almost fifteen centuries.
Cool. Oklahoma used to be the other one without a dome, but they built one 5-6 years ago.
I thought it was better without!
Tennessee, New Mexico, Hawaii, North Dakota and Alaska also do not have domes. There may be more, but that is all I can think of at the moment.
No. There used to be about a dozen without domes. Oklahoma recently added a dome; a quick search indicates conflicting info as to whether the current number is 10 or 11.
Louisiana is one.
A 'for what it's worth' Wikipedia entry said that there are 13, Virginia, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee.
It's too late at night to verify that, but I clicked on a picture of North Dakota, and am inspired to want to put up a contest thread for the ugliest state capitol building.
I just might take you up on that offer. My grandson is celebrating his 1st Communion in Rexford, NY April 14 and we plan to drive back for the occasion.