Friday, June 20, 2008

La Madeleine

I don't have much time today so I'm putting up a quick tour of the Madeleine Church, La Madeleine.

I already showed you this photo in my montage of street scenes, but I'm sharing it again before we go inside. I wasn't sure which arrondissement it was in, turns out it's the 8th. It doesn't look very church like from the outside, does it. If you click on the La Madeleine link above, you can read about the many different intentions people had for this site and this building before it became what it is today.

The church is dedicated to Mary Magdalene so I assume that's her front and center. I thought the long banners were beautiful, carrying the light down from above, as if they were indeed shafts of light themselves.

Here's a closer look at the altar statues.

I already showed these little cherubs on Laume's Studio, they were near the back of the church.

The other Mary, this is one of my favorite photos from the trip. I loved the informality of the long tapers, the beautiful statue, the palms and flowers, the colors, light and dark... just everything about it.

Here is the same statue from another view point.

There's a name for each of these little altars where one can light prayer candles in front of a specific saint. I can't remember the name for them... stations? No. Hmmm. Well, anyway, here was one dedicated to Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa. I thought that was rather lovely as they are examples of people who take their beliefs out into the world to try to create a better world. The don't just talk their talk, they also walk their walk.

I'm assuming Mary and Jesus. I'd never seen statues with Mary standing on the head of a serpent before but there were many of them in the cathedrals and churches we visited. I'll have to look into the symbolism of that although I can probably make a good guess. A beautiful statue although a bit creepy looking with the lighting.

These photos would make a good Shades of Inspiration post for this week's color - white/cream. So I'll make it do double duty for me today and now I'm off to fix the vacuum cleaner. Or, if I can manage it, convince my hubby to fix the vacuum cleaner while I do some other task.


Blogger JulieZS said...

beautiful pictures! You are right, it sure doesn't look like a church at all from outside. Those banners at the altar are tremendously beautiful, very inspiring. And I believe that the Mary stepping on the snake imagery is symbolic of The Church stepping on and wiping out the traditional Pagan beliefs. (Think St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland). Look closer at other Mary medallions, especially the Guadalupe versions and you'll see the snake.

6:33 PM  

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