Monday, December 6, 2010

Mainz, Germany

Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately. J was gone to Africa for 11 days
on a work trip and got home last Monday. We left on Tuesday 
for a fantastic trip to Brugge (which Ill blog about soon!). 
We'vebeen so busy since we returned, that I havent
had a chance to sit down and write until now. 

We've been to a few Christmas markets and I cant wait to blog
about them, but first I wanted to tell you about a 
trip that we took in October to Mainz. 

It's a beautiful old city that was hit devastatingly hard during WWII.
It's filled with old, unique cathedrals which was the 
motivation for our trip. 

The star of the city is St. Martin's Cathedral in the center
of town. It is enormous, gorgeous and...
Yes, you read that right. It was a very unique and very
morbid cathedral, unlike one that we have ever seen before. 
I'll get more into that in a moment. 

The day that we were there, they were having a farmer's market
in the central square, in front of St. Martin's.
In 32º weather.
It was FREEZING cold! 

Gorgeous, bright flowers, despite the cold.

Fresh fall & winter veggies!

The entrance to St. Martin's

Eerie neon green lights...

So here's where it gets morbid... 
I've never seen skeletons in a church as decoration. 
They were everywhere, on everything.
Can you tell what's going on in this photo?

See the skeleton?

He's helping someone into (or perhaps out of) a coffin. 

 Here's a winged skeleton hovering over the pope's hat, among other things.

And another one....
this one has a bone between it's teeth.

An angel slaying the devil

Tombs on site

Gorgeous courtyard

Another tomb

A scary looking skeleton

And another

A headless statue...holding his own head
Like I said, morbid

There were others too... 
A scalped man holding his hands to his head, creatures slaying each other, 
more skeletons and tombs, among other things.
It was very cool, but very strange. 
We've never seen anything quite like it. 

Another view of the cathedral

Odd Frankenstein-like statue

Street performer

St. Stephen's Church was my favorite. It was built in 990 and heavily damaged in WWII
but it is gorgeous! The windows were all designed and made 
by Russian Jewish artist Chagall.
They are a beautiful, glowing blue color. 

The entrance

Back of the church

The beautiful windows

The entire inside of the church was a glowing blue.
It reminded me of being under the water in the ocean.

Mainz is a beautiful town, rich in history and I would love to 
go back and visit again in warmer weather. 
There was a great shopping district that Id love to explore! 
Happy Monday Everyone!


It's a Dog Tag Wife Life said...

Uh, yeah, definitely a bit morbid. That's something I would expect to see in a Mexican Dia de la Muerta celebration or something. But the church is beautiful nonetheless. Have you been to Vienna yet? Stephansdom there is pretty amazing.

LTarmywife said...

Sounds like an interesting trip. While the skeletons are a bit eerie, it's interesting to see the differences in culture. The pictures are beautiful, especially of the flowers and the vegetables from the market!

MooAtU2 said...

Did you check out the museum at the church- a lot more "morbid" stuff there too. I didn't quite catch all those skeletons though- good eye!

Magnolias and Mimosas said...

I had to start laughing when I realized why you thought the church was so morbid! I have a degree in Art History, and you would be amazed at how many churches have sculptures, paintings, ect of skeletons/skulls. I keep hearing all the voices of my professors repeat..."reflections on the brevity of life."

If you visit the Hapsburg crypt in Vienna, you will see TONS of skulls on all of the coffins.

Maranda said...

Awesome! I love all the pictures of the cathedral. Thank you for sharing. I also love the street performer! Too cute!