Like any other cathedral, it's designed to draw the eyes upward towards heaven. Whatever your religion might be, it's a visual delight.
Light pours in, and the color and detail are simply a feast for the eyes, the heart, and the soul.
Voices murmur, whether in prayer or appreciation of the art work...who knows?
Light dances in among the shadows.
While wandering from one level to another, I stopped and gasped in delight. What initally looks like 3 stained glass windows, is really one...the marble on either side of the hallway is so polished, and the light just perfect, that a mirage is created. It's breathtakingly gorgeous.
I wandered happily for hours, camera and sketchbook in tow. Like a child in a candy shop, I reallyd didn't know where to look first, and I wished with all my heart that I could do a better job at capturing the magic.
The shrine is dedicated to Mary, the mother of God. Tiny chapels dedicated to our lady fill the cathedral. Each culture captures Mary as one of their own, from African to Polish, to Chinese and Hispanic....to Irish and Slovakian...to Vietnamese. She's lovely in each and every one of them.
The place is both a photographer's dream and a photographer's nightmare! On the one hand, you simply don't know where to point your camera first. On the other, the preponderance of gold and the positoning of lights create hot spots that are nearly impossible to work around. Since I was carrying various permission forms, first aid kits, and the like, I didn't have the oomph for a tripod. Sometimes, it was difficult to avoid the "shake" factor, and the guards don't look to kindly on bracing yourself against various pillars, etc.
I shot nearly 400 photos, pared them down to about half, and then continued to pare down even more. I happily lost myself in photoshop this past holdiay, and I know the sketchbook will be coming out...maybe not until Christmas break, but I'll get there!
I'm hoping to get back to regular posts. Life as certainly "gotten in the way " lately!