Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The glorious Cathedral of the Madeleine--the exterior, . . and a Gargoyle Story

I think the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City is a stunner. If you want to see more of the Cathedral check out their website here. I went with my daughter for her A.P. Art History extra-credit photo tour. It was a particularly gray day which I thought made the pictures extra dramatic. It looks as if the photos are black and white but they are in color.

It is made out of Utah sandstone from Carbon County. The sandstone used for the Presbyterian Church that I blogged about previously was mined from Red Butte Canyon. The difference in the colors of the two churches is amazing. This almost colorless sandstone is austere and dramatic. (I have to admit I really LOVE the warm red sandstone on the Presbyterian Church.)

I am particularly fond of the gargoyles! I think every building should have some gnarly gargoyle looking down on the little humans below. Look at this one watch you!

Here he is getting closer.
Another gargoyle friend on the other side.

 He seems to be laughing at us.

Here is little history of these particular gargoyles from the Cathedral of the Madeleine Website.

"Eight gargoyles look down from the 185-feet-high east and west towers. The gargoyles are primarily decorative, and do not serve as water spouts as do those on many of the cathedrals of Europe. The original gargoyles placed on the Cathedral in 1917 weathered and eroded to the extent that hey were nonexistent by 1930. In the 1975 restoration, eight new steel-reinforced gargoyles, weighing 1,200 pounds each, were placed on the Cathedral. Each gargoyle, made by University of Utah art student Peter Cole, represents a petrified combination of a bird, a dog and a cat."   Go Peter Cole!

I am going to leave you with the spire over the alter in all its winter glory.

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