Where in the World Wednesday

Image

Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon Portugal

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal; September 16, 2017

Advertisements

The Magnificent Churches of Quito

I haven’t spent much time in Spain, so I haven’t seen the churches that inspired those built in Latin American countries. The churches I saw in Quito were very different from the English, French, and North American ones I’m familiar with; much more elaborate decoration, the Virgin Mary featured more prominently, less emphasis on stonework and more on paintwork. I love the cathedrals of Chartres and Salisbury, but La Compañia and San Francisco were magnificent in their own right.

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco

The bell tower of the cathedral

The bell tower of the cathedral

My guidebook described the Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus as gaudy, but I loved it. Every square inch was covered in gleaming gold–the ceiling, the walls, the giant columns lining the aisles, the baroque columns framing the paintings. Some other colors crept in here and there, in the paintings and altar pieces, and okay, the pews were made of wood and the floors were a mix of stone and wood, but everything else was gold. It was stunning. They were really strict about not taking photos, but I snuck a couple.

La Compañia

La Compañia

The doors

The golden doors of the golden church

Inside

I wonder how bright it was in here before the age of electric light. I bet it’s actually more brilliant now.

lkj

Crystal on the sides? I’m not sure

Detailed ceiling

Detailed ceiling

sldkfj

Loved it

The San Franciscan order of monks was the first to settle in the area, and the church and monastery they built here is now the largest religious complex in South America. The church is elaborately decorated, with paintings and an interlocking pattern on the ceiling. Saints form a semicircle around the altar, and the ceiling above is a deep blue and gold. The choir is made up of intricate wood carvings, and it affords a good view over the nave.

SF ceiling

The ceiling of Iglesia de San Francisco

Interior of Iglesia de San Francisco

Interior of Iglesia de San Francisco

The altar of San Francisco

The altar of San Francisco

The ceiling of the choir at San Francisco

The ceiling of the choir at San Francisco

A shoddy, secret shot of the choir at San Francisco

A shoddy, secret shot of the choir at San Francisco

Birds in flight

Birds in flight

The attached museum contains sculptures and paintings done in the Quito style (one of the four main schools of art in the colonial period in South America). One of the halls was filled with figures carried during religious parades, like Carnaval and Holy Week, including a wooden bed for carrying statues. I tagged along on an English-speaking tour of the museum, learning about how the position of the statue on El Panecillo is a specific form that is found in statues elsewhere (like a couple in the museum), and how Santo Domingo is always depicted with a devoted dog at his feet.

In the courtyard of the convent at San Francisco

In the courtyard of the convent at San Francisco

The specific pose for the Virgin of the Apocalypse (she has wings, and vanquishes a dragon)

The specific pose for the Virgin of the Apocalypse (she has wings, and vanquishes a snake) — also found in the statue of El Panecillo

For religious processions

For religious processions

The cathedral that forms one side of the main plaza has a stark exterior and a lovely interior, sky blue patterned with gold and pink, transporting you into the heavens as soon as you walk inside. They were starting a service when I ducked in there, so I didn’t spend much time.

The austere exterior of the cathedral

The austere exterior of the cathedral

The cathedral

Walking into heaven

The cathedral

Sky blue

postcards

A postcard of the Compañia

Compania postcards

Another postcard (to get at least one good shot since the no-photos-please people were hawk-eyed)