Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cambridge 1 - King's College Chapel

Doug had arranged for us to meet with a Cambridge grad friend - BG - at Cambridge Thursday. An unexpected guest was the sun which warmed things up considerably and made for much nicer photo opportunities. I'll start with King's College, particularly the chapel.

But first, BG pointed out Senate House Leap - students jumping from the corner of one of these buildings to the other, which is described in detail at insectnation (which has pictures):

"There is, of course, one easy way up the Senate House. This is to climb up the South face of Caius, and then get on to the building by way of the Senate House Leap. This method has been well known for a long time, and the only argument concerning it that I know of has been over the distance to be jumped.
One night we decided to go up and measure it, and at the same time to get some photographs. Most people put the distance between Caius and the Senate House at 7-8 feet, but it proved to be only 6 feet at the narrowest part. It was very wet and slippery that night so we decided that a rope would be necessary protection, especially with flash guns going off. Brian jumped across first and belayed everyone else from the Senate House. This is a necessary precaution, since if an accident occurred the climber would dangle under the overhang of the Senate House, instead of smashing into the face of Caius, probably through a window. We have all done the leap several times without a rope, the only difficulty being summoning up enough courage on the first attempt. The reverse jump onto Caius is equally easy."

Shortly we were at the entrance to the King's College Chapel. 
King's College website says: 
King's College Chapel is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and is a splendid example of late Gothic (Perpendicular) architecture. It was started in 1446 by Henry VI (1421-71) and took over a century to build. It has the largest fan vault ceiling in the world and some of the finest medieval stained glass.

(This picture does connect roughly with the one above.) I mentioned in the post on Arlington National Cemetery how the whole setting impacts one's unconscious (if not conscious) attitude toward the military and soldiers and war.  Clearly, this is an extreme example of how architectural space does the same.  It is hard to be in this building without feeling awe and one's own insignificance. 

Imagine, when they started building this chapel, the Western World hadn't heard the name Columbus nor did it know about the Americas.  And this also supports my recent comment about how people today really should have much more respect for the abilities of people in the past.  

 The chapel from the River Cam.

King's College Chapel and moorhen. 

1 comment:

  1. Why is that picture of that moorhen so cool? I was in awe of everything, and then the moorhen made me laugh.


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