Thursday, October 29, 2015

A retraction, of sorts

All the negative things I've said about the Spanish churches were turned on their head today as I experienced one of the prettiest churches I've ever seen. 

It is the Catedral of Madrid, the Cathedral of the Virgin of Almudena. We popped in just as the sun popped out and I was gobsmacked by the ceilings. 

So richly painted and very reminiscent of Moorish design. Stunning and contemporary. Have never seen anything like it and the photos don't begin to do it justice, as always. 

Later learned that the sanctuary looks so contemporary because it is. It was consecrated in 1996.

I don't know anything about the Virgin of Almudena, but as our walking-tour guide explained, any Spanish word with "al" at the beginning came from Arabic; he said 4,000 Spanish words are rooted in Arabic, since they ruled Spain for 700 years. All over this country there are church bell towers built like minarets.

Again, I think how very different it is to be in a place that esteems it's Arab roots and respects the legacy of art, language and architecture they left behind. 

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