Friday, July 25, 2008


Today's Wonder of the World is...the Churches of Brittany, and Their Fabulous Outdoor Sculptures!

Remember, we're on slide show mode here at the blog for this one last post. I'll be back Monday, refreshed and ready!
But until then, let's enjoy the wonder of churches in Brittany. The sculptures really are amazing.
And unique.

According to Ann Pringle Harris, who wrote a wonderful article in the New York Times Travel Section back in 1994, HERE, churches in Brittany invented a completely new architectural feature: the parish enclosure. And each one is different. But all contain a stone wall around the church (to keep the animals out,) with a showy gate, a calvaire, "showing Jesus on the cross flanked on a lower level by the thieves, with stone-carved scenes from the Passion at the base; an ossuary, or charnel house, once a repository for the bones of parishioners when burial space in the church was lacking but now generally used as a funerary chapel or parish museum; and the church, traditionally named for the founding saint of the town."

Here's a little more from her article that I found interesting,
"Within walls that are sometimes chest-high and sometimes low enough to be climbed over (the original purpose was to keep animals out), these enclosures seem to the visitor to make up a small community dedicated to the religious life and afterlife: God in a worldly milieu. It is hardly a world of pious evasions. It is a world in which the Holy Child is shown being circumcised as well as worshiped; in which the Virgin may give birth in a bed instead of a manger; in which those who have lived lives of lechery betray themselves in their facial grimaces and their evident sexual attributes. Here, Latin inscriptions warn that death comes to us all -- "today to me, tomorrow to you." Hell's flames licking at the damned are carved in stone and what they lack in refinement -- most were done by local artisans -- they more than make up in imaginative power."

Take a look at our pics and you'll see what she means.

See a close up?


Here's the nativity.

Look at that happy cow, and the Smiling Baby Jesus!

Have a Wonder-full Weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky


Naturegirl said...

The architectural features are powerful statements! Churches structures are always filled with interesting history!

Rosemary said...

Beautiful architecture Becky!!
How interesting too!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

So amazing. We live in such boring places in America, architecturally speaking, that is.

rochambeau said...

Dear Becky,
The faces are really interesting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing these sculptures!!
Hope all is well.
Happy weekend!

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

Just stunning! My favorite places are old churches. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers during a difficult time. It was and is very much appreciated.

hugs to you,