Not much to look at, right? Nothing special, just an ordinary Victorian cathedral in a dreary Scottish town. Even the sky can’t be bothered to care. Nothing to see here, time to move on…
Or is it?
For a start, Glasgow cathedral isn’t some boring Victorian replica of a medieval cathedral. King David oversaw the founding of this particular place of worship in 1197, and since then the styles have been stacked one on top of the other. The main facade is from the mid-1200s; the newest parts are the lovely stained glass windows, installed to replace those blown apart in WWII.
I am a cathedral connoisseur, and I have to say I was really impressed by this one. There wasn’t a lot of art and statutes and that kind of stuff, which makes sense because that’s a Catholic thing and this is definitely not a Catholic cathedral. By getting rid of the art, however, you can really see the structure of the place: the beautiful masonry; the physics behind the design; the purity of the light coming through those fantatsic new windows.
The lovely thing about Glasgow cathedral is all the little rooms and sections. The choir, for example, was so separate from the nave that it felt like a private church within this mighty structure. The crypt below (built to house the body of St. Mungo, who has since been relocated) was incredible too: all vaulted columns and flickering light.
One of my absolutely favourite moments was a room just off the choir, called a Chapter House. It was a room that reeked of power: thrones, crests, flags, the works. As if to counter balance this, the designers had put these pious mottos on the floor tiles that ran around the edge of the room. If there was anyone plotting to take over the world in here, they would soon have to contemplate their ultimate purpose, “to guide our feet into the way of peace”, or such like. Very Victorian!
And if that isn’t your cup of tea, check out my new lens! I got it for Christmas, I am in love with it. The two pictures below were taken in exactly the same spot: the one on the left is my kit lens, the one on the right is my super awesome new wide angle lens. Look how much more drama there is! Look how much more I can fit in the photo! Look how glittery the lights are!
TL;DR my new lens is awesome.