Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Near most-beautiful: La Seu d'Urgell cathedral

Ever since I picked a related topic for one of my highscool final exam in history, I have been a big fan of Romanesque architecture, churches and masonry in general. For those who don't know, this term denotes a period rougly 1000 A.D. to 1300 A.D.; wikipedia of course has an extensive article on the subject. The largest and most elaborate Romanesque cathedral ever unfortunately has been torn down many centuries ago and exists today only in digital reconstruction, but in spite of the age quite some buildings have survived until today. So far my clear favourite was the church of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, an incredibly light building of clear lines, famous also because King Richard Lionheart is buried there. Since today, I have a clear runner-up: the cathedral of La Seu d'Urgell in Catalonia, whose bishop is one of the co-rulers of the Principality of Andorra. The pictures on the wikipedia page (and also my own ones) do not do the building justice. It is at the same time both beautiful with clean lines and elegant architecture and dotted with the obscure, partially bizarre or funny detail masonry that comes up on some of the more elaborate buildings of that era. Beyond describing in words!

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