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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Medieval York, England, and Its Minster

York Minster from the bedroom window of our rental flat
I'd wanted to visit the medieval city of York in England for some time and so we went in October. 
 We walked into the city through Monk's Gate and mounted the city wall.
 Still used as a shortcut and for exercise. Note the crenelation to the right. Towns and castles had to have the king's permission to crenelate. 
Me - and Constantine the Great, proclaimed emperor in York in 306 A.D.

York was originally a Roman city, home of the 4th Legion, and then a Viking stronghold and trade center, but I came to see the medieval aspects of the magnificent York Minster, which we visited on three consecutive days, there is so much to see.
Stone gargoyle high up, photo taken with a telephoto lens


Now connected to York Minster, the large and ornate Chapter House stood separate during medieval times. It was a feat of engineeering, having no central columns, its vaulted ceiling supported by timbers in the roof. It was used by King Edward I for his parliament in 1297. What appears in the photo as dripping tags of lace are carved stone decorations over-hung by carved stone heads. They are many and high up, difficult to photograph, but oh! so fascinating!


The famous three-faced lady
A devil dragging a corpse down to Hell
There remains some early medieval glass in the minster's windows. This depiction of monkeys has to be searched for, it is so high above your head.
There are a number of "Green Man" carvings of faces emerging from folage. This one is a home for birds, their bills thrust up his nostrils.

My favorite windows were these, the grisaille glass appearing silver gray at a distance, yet powdered with brilliant colors.

This original Roman column was discovered beneath York Minster's basement vault during repairs and excavation a few decades ago. Left where it had fallen, the minster was built on top of Roman ruins. 

A nearby exhibit of raptors.

Jay and I were always ready for a tea break, in this case a hot chocolate break.  
Who says the Church of England has no sense of humor - available in York Minster's gift shop.
 

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