Sunday, February 12, 2012

Church or Cathedral?

I was reminded recently by a Belgian friend on the distinction of a church and a cathedral. It should be a no-brainer, shouldn't it? It seems that since I've been here in Gent, with all the massive and impressive churches, I'd just taken to calling them all cathedrals. On the other hand, I can't name a single cathedral in the bay area off the top of my head. They just all seem all relatively simple plain structures, so why not call them a church? I mean, you need at least a few gargoyles and cool arches to elevate it to cathedral status, right? I'm just religiously challenged. Complicated stuff (highly important, as well). 

There is a church less than 2 blocks from me, which towers over a massive plaza. Nobody seems to ever be coming or going. The bells ring, and ring, and ring, and ring. The plaza is always buzzing with events, but the church seems ever so static. For that reason, I never decided to go inside this massive domed thing in 4 months of last year. I recently made the effort and walked the two blocks to check it out. And if this is only a church, it just makes me wonder how filthy rich the Catholic Church has been over the centuries to create structures so detailed and impressive which still were not even considered the regional centers of church life. This is essentially a neighborhood church. Check it.

Clergy Approved.

Nice backdrop for a festival.

Nice backdrop for some sitting action.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photos. Some cathedrals can look similar but truly my opinion is that photos just never do justice to the amazing feeling you get when you walk into one of them. Complete speechlessness comes over me when I see stunning mosaics or ancient statues. Great photos thanks for sharing.


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