Tuesday, December 1, 2020

P-day Fun at the Uppsala Cathedral

Once a week, missionaries have a Preparation Day, called P-day.  It's a day to clean the apartment, shop for groceries, do laundry, and maybe have some cultural experiences.  We had a great P-day last Saturday.  Since the hours of daylight are short, we left home early and drove west to Uppsala to visit the famous Uppsala Cathedral and also Gamla Uppsala, which is Old Uppsala.  So nice to get out of Stockholm and see the fields of winter wheat and winter canola, and the bare heavy soil ploughed and mellowing, waiting for spring seeding.  No pictures of that this time though.  We've seen many cathedrals in our travels and we wondered what we would think of this one.  It didn't let us down.  (Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge).

You can see the spires of the Uppsala Cathedral in the distance as we cross the Fyris River.

Love the red barn-style roofs.

Getting closer to the cathedral.  Interesting that it's made of brick, rather than stone.  There was once a brick factory close by so of course it would be built of brick.

We finally found parking and it was right next to a Christmas market!  We thought we wouldn't be seeing any markets this year.  It was small with not many people but still interesting.  Lots of homemade things for sale.  We'll stop by here later.

Walking toward the cathedral, we had to go under these apartments.  Who knew there would be a tunnel under a house!
First look at the cathedral.  Has a different look being built of brick.

The cathedral is as tall as it is long and is the tallest church in the Nordic countries.  Notice the crane.  Seems that work is always being done on these old buildings.

The cathedral was started in the 1200's and was originally a Catholic Church.  After the Protestant Reformation, it became a cathedral of the Church of Sweden.

LeRon is always interested in the organs in these old cathedrals.  The acoustics are marvelous.  He would love to play on an organ such as this.

Gothic architecture is so impressive!  So much gold too.  Or maybe gold-plated.

There were several organs in the cathedral and this one was a newer design and very striking under the rose window.

Thank goodness I had read about this sculpture in a Rick Steves guidebook or I would have been very startled to see that this was not a real woman.

This is a modern sculpture (of course) of Mary, called Mary Returns, and depicts a solemn Mary contemplating her lost son.  Too bad she doesn't realize that He is resurrected and is definitely not lost!

King Gustav Vasa (of the Vasa ship fiasco fame -- see one of my earlier posts) is buried here with one wife on one side and the other on his other side.  His first wife died young but his second wife bore him 10 children.  Gustav Vasa was king of Sweden from 1523 to 1560.

At the foot of Gustav Vasa's tomb are these two cherubs.  Not sure why one of them is holding a skull!

And this is the other side of Gustav Vasa.  Not sure which wife this is.  One of our missionaries, Elder Walker, is a descendant of King Gustav.  Pretty exciting for him to have seen his ancestor's tomb!

This picture was taken from Gustav Vasa's tomb looking toward the sculpture of Mary.  Not sure why Mary was put here when she is contemplating her dead son (and not Gustav Vasa).  If you know what I mean. 

This 3-dimensional altar screen is gorgeous.  The outer panels are flat paintings and the panels can close over the center panels. 

Here's a close-up of the 3-D panel.  (Click to enlarge it).  It was so striking.

Lots of famous people buried here.  Here's Johannes III, the son of Gustav Vasa, who ruled as King of Sweden and also of Finland.  Carl Linneaus, the Swedish "father of taxonomy," is buried in the Uppsala Cathedral also.  Would you like to be buried here too?  I would love to have a sculpture of me reclining on my couch!  Or perhaps laying on the fragrant woolly thyme in our yard back home.   Then I wish I could be buried on our farm.  That would be the next best thing to being buried in a churchyard or even in a cathedral.  But I'll settle for a spot in the Grassy Lake Prairieview Cemetery!!!  Many years in the future!!!!

Nativity scene, or julkrubba, in the cathedral.

King Erik of Sweden was another son of Gustav Vasa and was also king of Estonia after Sweden conquered Estonia.  Who knew all this history?  We certainly never learned it in school.

The Treasury in the Cathedral displayed many original artefacts.  This fabric is from the 1200's.  Amazing!  Fabrics of today hardly hold up for six months!

These are original clothes worn by Svante Sture, who was killed by a mad King Erik within the Cathedral in 1567.  They were originally very colorful but have faded but are still very intact.  Hard to think that men actually wore these clothes!  I was absolutely stunned at the quality of this fabric to have survived for hundreds of years.

Gold crowns must have been heavy to wear for any length of time.  No wonder King Erik went mad!

An original orb and sceptre used by royalty.  I once wished I had been born a princess but now that I'm older and have seen much of life, I'm glad to be a commoner and to have had the freedoms I've had to live the life I want to live.  But really, we are all royalty because we are children of a Heavenly King, who is our Heavenly Father. 

I've always liked the poem by British poet, William Wordsworth (1770-1850):

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

          Hath had elsewhere its setting
               And cometh from afar;
          Not in entire forgetfulness,
          And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come 
               From God, who is our home:

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! Thank you for sharing. I love that Wordsworth poem, too.