France 2014 - Bayeux

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The Cathedral has gargoyles all over - most are the traditional sort of wild-dog-like faces, but some of them were human and grotesque. And if you looked higher up, some of the flying buttresses had aggrieved looking faces on them.

I was immediately struck by the absurd pulpit on entering the church. It's a large church, so the pulpit, typical of older churches, is about 1/3rd of the way back on the side among the pews. The lower part is of fine wood construction, but above it hovers a massive stone cloud. Above that is a gold-leaf angel clutching a cross, and below it several gold-leaf cherubs sport about. And let's not forget the gold-leaf rays of light emanating from the cloud ...

The inside of the church is equally as blessed as the outside with finely detailed carvings of grotesques, figures and ornamentation: you could easily spend a day looking it over, it's very fine. The crypt under the choir is easily accessible by stairs, but I wasn't particularly taken with it: it matched my experience of other crypts in that the art work is poorer and the light was, well, basement-like. The choir stalls looked wonderful, but were gated off and not even accessible to take photos of - that was a bit of a disappointment.

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by giles