Sunday, June 20, 2010

St. Mary's Cathedral

June 16th was Tom Mitt's birthday ( a day after mine). His choice for a daytime activity was a trip to St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky.

The exterior of the building was based on the cathedral at Notre Dame.

The entire stone exterior is a masterful example of stone work. The numerous gargoyles and embellishments represent thousands of skilled man-hours of intense labor. I would love to have the chance of examining these pieces close up.

The interior is gothic, modeled after the Abbey Church of St. Denis. There's a mix of domestic materials, such as the Tennessee marble floors, and materials brought over from 'the old world' (Italian marble and German wood, etc.)

Wood carving was my first love, before stone. There is a profusion of fantastic wood work - all in excellent condition.

Around the walls are 14 mosaics in porcelain and mother-of-pearl with imported marble frames. Pictures cannot capture the subtlety and masterful rendering in these mosaics. It's about this time that I'm going into sensory overload. It can't all be grasped in one short visit.

Looking up, there are hundreds of square feet of intense stained glass works. The whole experience is overwhelming! Good call, Tom - much better than my choice for Ft. Ancient the day before.

As a way of clearing our 'mental palate', Tom took us down to the waterfront. He pointed out that they are installing a Christo wrapping of an old Cincinnati bridge (just kidding).

We were mobbed by the resident flock of Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks, who relieved us of our extra pringles. That reminded us that it was time for our first snack of the day (it being 2 p.m.). Our 'breakfast of champions' was 3 pounds of hickory smoked beef brisket and a bunch of sides. You can do that kind of thing at least once a year. Happy Birthday, Tom. (all photos by Meg White)

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