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Pilgrimages & the Cult of Relics
 

Pilgrimages & the Cult of Relics

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How pilgrimages and the cult of relics changed the architecture of cathedrals. Santiago de Compostela: the Romanesque sculpture of the Gloria Portico. Slide 3 can be used as the answer key of a gap ...

How pilgrimages and the cult of relics changed the architecture of cathedrals. Santiago de Compostela: the Romanesque sculpture of the Gloria Portico. Slide 3 can be used as the answer key of a gap fill activity.

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    Pilgrimages & the Cult of Relics Pilgrimages & the Cult of Relics Presentation Transcript

    • Pilgrimages  and  the  Cult  of  Relics   San6ago  de  Compostela,   Galicia,  Spain.  ca  1100  AD    
    • The  End  of  the  World  Y2K.  The  Rapture.  2012.  For  over  a  decade,  specula6on  about  the  end  of  the  world  has  run  rampant—all  in  conjunc6on  with  the  arrival  of  the  new  millennium.  The  same  was  true  for  our  religious  European  counterparts  who,  prior  to  the  year  1000,  believed  the  Second  Coming  of  Christ  was  imminent,  and  the  end  was  nigh.  When  the  apocalypse  failed  to  materialize  in  1000,  it  was  decided  that  the  correct  year  must  be  1033,  a  thousand  years  from  the  death  of  Jesus  Christ,  but  then  that  year  also  passed  without  any  cataclysmic  event.    Just  how  extreme  the  millennial  panic  was,  remains  debated.  It  is  certain  that  from  the  year  950  onwards,  there  was  a  significant  increase  in  building  ac6vity,  par6cularly  of  religious  structures.  There  were  many  reasons  for  this  construc6on  boom  beside  millennial  panic,  and  the  building  of  monumental  religious  structures  con6nued  even  as  fears  of  the  end  of  6me  faded.  Not  surprisingly,  this  period  also  witnessed  a  surge  in  the  popularity  of  the  religious  pilgrimage.  A  pilgrimage  is  a  journey  to  a  sacred  place.  These  are  acts  of  piety  and  may  have  been  undertaken  in  gra6tude  for  the  fact  that  doomsday  had  not  arrived,  and  to  ensure  salva6on,  whenever  the  end  did  come.      The  Way  of  St  James  For  the  average  European  in  the  12th  Century,  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land  of  Jerusalem  was  out  of  the  ques6on—travel  to  the  Middle  East  was  too  far,  too  dangerous  and  too  expensive.  San6ago  de  Compostela  in  Spain  offered  a  much  more  convenient  op6on.  To  this  day,  hundreds  of  thousands  of  faithful  travel  the  “Way  of  Saint  James”  to  the  Spanish  city  of  San6ago  de  Compostela.  They  go  on  foot  across  Europe  to  a  holy  shrine  where  bones,  believed  to  belong  to  Saint  James,  were  unearthed.  The  Cathedral  of  San6ago  de  Compostela  now  stands  on  this  site.    The  pious  of  the  Middle  Ages  wanted  to  pay  homage  to  holy  relics,  and  pilgrimage  churches  sprang  up  along  the  route  to  Spain.  Pilgrims  commonly  walked  barefoot  and  wore  a  scalloped  shell,  the  symbol  of  Saint  James  (the  shells  grooves  symbolize  the  many  roads  of  the  pilgrimage).    In  France  alone  there  were  four  main  routes  toward  Spain.  Le  Puy,  Arles,  Paris  and  Vézelay  are  the  ci6es  on  these  roads  and  each  contains  a  church  that  was  an  important  pilgrimage  site  in  its  own  right.  Why  make  a  Pilgrimage?  A  pilgrimage  to  San6ago  de  Compostela  was  an  expression  of  Chris6an  devo6on  and  it  was  believed  that  it  could  purify  the  soul  and  perhaps  even  produce  miraculous  healing  benefits.  A  criminal  could  travel  the  "Way  of  Saint  James"  as  an  act  penance.  For  the  everyday  person,  a  pilgrimage  was  also  one  of  the  only  opportuni6es  to  travel  and  see  some  of  the  world.  It  was  a  chance  to  meet  people,  perhaps  even  those  outside  ones  own  class.  The  purpose  of  pilgrimage  may  not  have  been  en6rely  devo6onal.      The  Cult  of  the  Relic  Pilgrimage  churches  can  be  seen  in  part  as  popular  des6na6ons,  a  spiritual  tourism  of  sorts  for  medieval  travellers.  Guidebooks,  badges  and  various  souvenirs  were  sold.  Pilgrims,  though  traveling  light,  would  spend  money  in  the  towns  that  possessed  important  sacred  relics.  The  cult  of  relic  was  at  its  peek  during  the  Romanesque  period  (c.  1000  -­‐  1200  C.E.).  Relics  are  religious  objects  generally  connected  to  a  saint,  or  some  other  venerated  person.  A  relic  might  be  a  body  part,  a  saints  finger,  a  cloth  worn  by  the  Virgin  Mary,  or  a  piece  of  the  True  Cross.  Relics  are  oden  housed  in  a  protec6ve  container  called  a  reliquary.  Reliquaries  are  oden  quite  opulent  and  can  be  encrusted  with  precious  metals  and  gemstones  given  by  the  faithful.  An  example  is  the  Reliquary  of  Saint  Foy,  located  at  Conques  abbey  on  the  pilgrimage  route.  It  is  said  to  hold  a  piece  of  the  child  martyr’s  skull.  A  large  pilgrimage  church  might  be  home  to  one  major  relic,  and  dozens  of  lesser-­‐known  relics.  Because  of  their  sacred  and  economic  value,  every  church  wanted  an  important  relic  and  a  black  market  boomed  with  fake  and  stolen  goods.  
    • How  did  pilgrimages  &  the  cult  of  relics  change  the  architecture  of  churches?    Pilgrimage  churches  were  constructed  with  some  special  features  to  make  them  par6cularly  accessible  to  visitors.  The  goal  was  to  get  large  numbers  of  people  to  the  relics  and  out  again  without  disturbing  the  Mass  in  the  centre  of  the  church.  A  large  portal  that  could  accommodate  the  pious  throngs  was  a  prerequisite.  Generally,  these  portals  would  also  have  an  elaborate  sculptural  program,  oden  portraying  the  Second  Coming—a  good  way  to  remind  the  weary  pilgrim  why  they  made  the  trip!    A  pilgrimage  church  generally  consisted  of  a  double  aisle  on  either  side  of  the  nave.  In  this  way,  the  visitor  could  move  easily  around  the  outer  edges  of  the  church  un6l  reaching  the  smaller  apsidioles  or  radiaEng  chapels.  These  are  small  rooms  generally  located  off  the  back  of  the  church  behind  the  altar  where  relics  were  oden  displayed.  The  faithful  would  move  from  chapel  to  chapel  venera6ng  each  relic  in  turn.    
    • Thick  Walls,  Small  Windows   The  thrust  of  a  Romanesque  churches  were  dark.  This  was  in  large  part   barrel  (tunnel)  because  of  the  use  of  stone  barrel-­‐vault  construc6on.     vault    This  aesthe6cally-­‐pleasing  system  provided  excellent    acous6cs  for  the  church  service  and  also  reduced  fire    danger.  However,  a  barrel  vault  exerts  con6nuous  lateral  thrust  (outward  pressure)  all  along  the  walls  that  support  the  vault.  This  meant  the  outer  walls  of  the  church  had  to  be  extra  thick.    It  also  meant  that  windows  had  to  be  small  and  few.    When  builders  dared  to  pierce  walls  with  addi6onal  or  larger  windows  they  risked  structural  failure.  Churches  did  collapse.          (Later,  the  masons  of  the  Gothic  period  replaced  the  barrel  vault  with  the  groin  vault  which  carries  weight  down  to  its  four  corners,  concentra6ng  the  pressure  of  the  vaul6ng,  and  allowing  for  much  larger  windows.)   Groin  vault:  a  structure   formed  by  the  intersec7on  of   two  barrel  vaults  
    • SanEago  de  Compostela  Cathedral  is  a  cathedral  in  Galicia,  Spain.    The  cathedral  is  the  believed  burial-­‐place  of  Saint  James  the  Greater,  one  of  the  apostles  of  Jesus  Christ.    It  is  the  des6na6on  of  the  Way  of  St.  James  (Camino  de  San6ago),  a  major  historical  pilgrimage  route  since  the  Early  Middle  Ages.    Pilgrimages  to  San6ago  de  Compostela  began  as  early  as  the  9th  century,  and  by  the  11th  century,  was  drawing  pilgrims  from  England.    The  building  is  a  Romanesque  structure    -­‐  with  later  Gothic  and  Baroque  addi6ons.  There  is  a  statue  of  St.  James  at  the  altar,  and  his  relics  lie  beneath  the  cathedrals  high  altar  in  a  silver  coffer;  they  can  be  viewed  from  the  crypt.  In  the  cathedrals  Capilla  del  Relicario  (Chapel  of  the  Reliquary)  is  a  gold  crucifix,  dated  874,  containing  a  piece  of  the  true  Cross.  
    • 1.  portal   6.  transept   San6ago  de  Compostela:  floor  plan  2.  tower   7.  choir  3.  nave   8.  apse    4.  aisle   9.  radia6ng  chapels  5.  crossing   10.  ambulatory   6   2   4   9   1   3   5   7   8   10   4   2   9  West   East  end  end   6  
    • 1   4   3   2   3  1.  Tympanum  usually  depicts  Last  Judgement  scene  (Christ  is  symmetrically  central,  oden  in   an  oval,  mandorla  shape,  flanked  by  the  4  Evangelists  and  the  24  Elders  of  the  Apocalypse)    2.  Trumeau,  reserved  for  Christ,  the  Virgin  or  important  Saints  3.  Jamb  figures,  usually  Saints  and  Apostles  4.  Capitals  are  decorated  with  vegeta6on  or  Biblical  narra6ves     Sculpture  is  a  simple  narra7ve  aimed  at  educa7ng  illiterate  believers.     Naturalism  is  less  important  than  than  the  liturgical  narra7ve  depicted.    
    • Entrance  to  the  cathedral  is  through  the  PórEco  de  la  Gloria,  carved  in  1188  by  Maestro  Mateo.  Originally  the  exterior  west  door,  it  now  stands  just  inside,  behind  the  newer  Baroque  (Obradoiro)  facade.  The  shads,  tympana  and  archivolts  of  the  three  doorways  are  a  mass  of  sculpture  depic6ng  the  Last  Judgment.    
    • On  either  side  of  the  portal  are  Prophets  of  the  Old  Testament,  including  Daniel,  who  seems  to  be  smiling.    The  arches  over  the  side  doors  represent  Purgatory  and  the  Last  Judgment,  with  Christ  in  glory  presiding  in  the  centre.  He  is  flanked  by  the  Four  Evangelists  and  surrounded  by  the  24  Elders  of  the  Apocalypse  playing  medieval  musical  instruments.    Below  the  Christ  figure  on  the  central  column  is  a  statue  of  St.  James  and,  at  the  bopom,  a  self-­‐portrait  of  Maestro  Mateo.    Since  the  Middle  Ages  it  has  been  the  custom  of  pilgrims  to  pray  with  their  fingers  pressed  into  the  roots  of  the  Tree  of  Jesse  below  Saint  James,  and  five  deep  indenta6ons  have  been  worn  into  the  marble  as  a  result.  Finally,  pilgrims  touch  foreheads  with  Mateo  for  wisdom.  
    • Sources  and  extra  (op6onal)  reading:    hpp://www.catedraldesan6ago.es/ing/webcatedral.html    hpp://www.cntraveller.com/photos/photo-­‐galleries/worth-­‐the-­‐walk/alter  (CondeNast  Traveller)    hpp://www.learn.columbia.edu/treasuresoreaven/shrines/  (Columbia  Uni)  hpp://www.sacred-­‐des6na6ons.com/spain/san6ago-­‐cathedral    hpp://www.bri6shmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibi6ons/treasures_of_heaven.aspx    hpp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_San6ago_de_Compostela  (exterior  &  interior)  hpp://www.guardian.co.uk/commen6sfree/2011/jun/30/relics-­‐pilgrims-­‐medieval-­‐cult-­‐martyrs  (ar6cle  in  the  Guardian)  hpp://uk.ask.com/wiki/Regional_characteris6cs_of_Romanesque_architecture  (Ask  Jeeves)  hpp://www.spainisculture.com/en/des6nos_principales/san6ago_de_compostela.html    hpp://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_dedalus/2297208171/  (Reliquary  chapel)