Part IV: A look at The Washington National Cathedral; home of the Bishop’s Garden.

 
The National Cathedral © Britt Conley

The National Cathedral © Britt Conley

The Washington National Cathedral, home to the Bishop’s Garden, is one the great architectural feats in U.S. history.  Its 83 year construction was under the supervison of five architects and thousands of mason and sculptors from September 29th, 1907 – September 29th, 1990.

The National Cathedral © Britt Conley

The National Cathedral © Britt Conley

Much of the Gothic Style architecture of the Cathedral is made of huge limestone blocks. The Flying butresses are stone. The Roof is constructed with steel beams.  Together this massive structure is 234 feet tall, weighs 150,000 tons and is over 83, 012 square feet.

The National Cathedral© Britt Conley

The National Cathedral© Britt Conley

In the Spring you can actually climb the 333 steps of the tower for 45 minutes and then take the view from one of the highest points in the City.

The tower climb © Karon Flage

The tower climb © Karon Flage

Washington photographer Karon S. Flage has been shooting the Cathedral for years. Her talented handling of the serenity of the interior architectural experience and her fantastic ability to capture the feel within the effects of the stained glass filling these hallowed walls makes her my first guest Photographer! She deserves the bulk of today’s post.  Karon’s work has been in the Arlington Art Show, Artomatic and, of course, on Flicker. http://www.flickr.com/photos/karonf/

The Main Nave © Karon Flage

The Main Nave © Karon Flage

Over 800,000 people come to see the 215 stained glass windows and incredible Gothic Style architecture. And from Miss. Flage’s images you can clearly see why.

Cathedral Light © Karon Flage

Cathedral Light © Karon Flage

The Cathedral has a sense of magic that is truly amazing.  I know I’ve said that before, but really, it’s a beautiful place to be in.

The light reflections are stunning here © Karon Flage

The light reflections are stunning here © Karon Flage

Some of the best light is on a strong sunny day.  I realize I have often suggested that you shoot close ups when it’s cloudy for the best light but for stained glass you want a strong light.

Light flooding in © Karon Flage

Light flooding in © Karon Flage

Karon has been all over the Washington Cathedral and these are only a handful of her great work here.  Please stop by her web page and Flicker account to see even more!  Karon explains her eye in that she looks, “for the visually interesting. It can be something as traditional as the Cherry Blossom Festival with the thousands of photos that come from it or as overlooked as the pattern shopping carts make against a brick wall. My flickr stream is updated on a daily to weekly basis if you would like to see more.” I’ve seen her work and it’s great!
http://photography.lostchaos.com/

Karon captures stunning windows in high places © Karon Flage

Karon captures stunning windows in high places © Karon Flage

The Cathedral holds over 200 stained glass windows.  My favorite window of all is The Space Window or lesser known “Scientists and Technicians Window” by Rodney Winfield. It illustrates our exploration toward space and the moon. In the upper center of the window is a large red glass sphere. Inside that is an actual piece of the moon. According to Newport Mansions, this, “7.18-gram basalt lunar rock from the Sea of Tranquility, presented to the Cathedral by the astronauts of Apollo XI. Rodney Winfield’s celebrated Space window captures our wonder at the cosmos.” I can not count the times I have starred into this wonder. It’s usually the first place I go to contemplate when I visit.

The "Space Window" or what I fondly call "The Moon Rock Window: © Karon Flage

The "Space Window" or what I fondly call "The Moon Rock Window: © Karon Flage

Karon also captured this perfect picture of artist Rowan LeCompte talking about his over 50 stained glass creations for the Cathedral during the Cathedral’s 100th ANniversary weekend. For the great transcript of LeCompte telling his story of making stained glass for the Cathedral since the late 1930s visit : http://www.nationalcathedral.org/learn/lectureTexts/MED-4565U-TT001L.shtml

Rowan LeCompte who created over 40 stained glass windows for the Cathedral  including his first one when he was 16 years old. © Karon Flage

Rowan LeCompte who created over 40 stained glass windows for the Cathedral including his first one when he was 16 years old. © Karon Flage

The National Cathedral has so much to offer visually, there are the gargoyles, the sculptures and the bosses and the extraordinary tours: Highlights Tours, Behind the Scene, Tour and Tea on certain Tuesdays and Wednesdays through out the month  (I can’t wait to go to this and now that I’m laid off, looks like I’ll finally get the chance!!!), Garden Tours, Patriotic Tours, Congressional Constituent Tours and my very favorite, Art and Architecture Tours!

The High Altar at Christmas.  Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral

The High Altar at Christmas. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral

And don’t forget to walk around the exterior looking at the gargoyles and the amazing architecture.  It’s a local favorite spot for night time photography in Washington.

The National Cathedral at night. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The National Cathedral at night. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

Well this tour has gone by far too fast and it seems small in comparison to what the Cathedral has to offer.  I urge everyone to find a way to see this amazing American effort and bring your cameras!  For more information visit http://www.nationalcathedral.org

The West front of the Cathedral at dusk. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral

The West front of the Cathedral at dusk. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral

As for the Bee, tomorrow were taking a sneak peak at a handful of amazing events that happen at the Cathedral.  An inside and outside look at fun that is had there!  I hope you enjoyed our visit.

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. Part VII: Fun Events at the Washington National Cathedral
  2. Part II: Flowers and Light? The National Cathedral embraced in light!
  3. Part I: The Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral
  4. Part V: The Washington National Cathedral’s Herb Cottage Shop.
  5. The 71st Annual National Cathedral Flower Mart

Tags:

 
 
 

0 Comments

 

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

 

Leave a Comment

 




XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>