Monday, December 23, 2013

A Gorgeous Day in Genoa ~Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Views, Churches and the Christmas Spririt

Genoa, Italy
December 17, 2012

Vincenzo and I had had a very full weekend. Now, it was a Monday, and when he went off to work, I headed back to Piazza de Ferrari, on the bus. Kind of scary, but I made it and got off at the right stop! As you can see, it was a spectacular day!

A little Christmastime Vivaldi for the Visit
"Il Riposo per il Santo Natale"

Duomo di Genoa
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Founded originally in the 5th or 6th Century A.D.
Consecrated in 1118
Built over several centuries, the facade completed in 1312

The facade, with its glorious details.

The construction of the cathedral was finished in the 1600s, with the medieval portions and dome restored from 1894-1900.

It's beautiful impressive nave and altar ...

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will...
~William Cowper, Olney Hymns

The cathedral was bombed, in February of 1941. Thank God (really!) that though a shell came into the church, through the roof, it did not detonate. Crazy right?

St. John the baptist is the patron saint of Genoa and it is said that his ashes were brought there, during the crusades, and are kept in the cathedral. The chapel was built for his relics and to honor their patron saint.

The Chapel of St. John the Baptist 
Cathedral of San Lorenzo

As you can see it's a huge chapel with many, many statues. Part of its ceiling, in the next photo.

This is looking back toward the entrance of the cathedral, with it's medieval frescoes.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

More details on the outside of the cathedral ...

From the steps of the cathedral ...

A beautiful nearby building ...

San Pietro in Banchi

Like so many churches, this one was built over a pagan temple. This time, the church was built in gratitude, for the town surviving a big outbreak of an epidemic. 

It's a little strange, but there are actually shops underneath the church, at the ground level.

It's not a very big church, but I love the soft faded colors of the facade, and the design of this ceiling!

Unfortunately, I read after my visit, that the amazing woman and painter, Artemisia Gentileschi, (1593-1653) lived in one of the buildings, just to the left of the church! Her father was also a well known painter and they were both part of the Caravaggisti movement. Going to have to research that more, if I ever get to go back!

Porta Soprana
Part of the defensive Barbarossa walls.

According to Wikipedia, Genoa has more and longer walls than any other city in Italy. Porta Soprana is the best known gate, and is on the east side of the old part of the city. It's right above the Christopher Columbus house, as well.

I'd seen a sign on the outside, that there was a Precipe inside. A nativity.

There are a lot of stairs to climb ...

The thing is, that I kept climbing all those stairs, after I saw this, below. Because, this just couldn't be the Nativity, that they were advertising. 

When I realized that it was, I felt I should put my face in that hole ... on the right. Yes, the one with the tail. Figured it would be appropriate.

However, there was no one else up there to take a picture of me, as said barn animal, so we will just have to use our imaginations.

On the upside, I got a whole lot of exercise, on those stairs ... and an amazing view!

Church of San Donato
Consecrated 1189

This is the small piazza, out in front of the church. Can you see the christmas stars hanging across it? I bet it looked adorable, at night.

San Donato has beautiful Genovese Romanesque architecture, with "reclaimed" Roman columns, in its nave.

Through a side door was this triptych, which was pretty amazing. It's the Adoration of the Magi, by Flemish painter Joos Van Cleve. (16th Century)

I actually have a few more Genoa posts left, one from Piemonte, as well as Milan (Which will go up, probably on Christmas.) So, the Italy trip posts will still go through (at least) the new year. 

But now, I'm off to wrap more presents and watch Santa Claus is coming to town, on my DVR. ;)

Make yourself familiar with the angels, 
and behold them frequently in spirit;
for without being seen,
they are present with you.
~St. Francis DeSales

 I hope you all have a magical Christmas Eve, 
filled with love and many blessings!



Merci pour cette superbe et très longue série de photos, toutes plus belles les unes que les autres. Joyeux Noël et très belles fêtes de fin d'année en amitié,Lucinda.



buon natale cara lucinda best wishes for a happy and peaceful new year ..brilliant shots and memories of you travels .

Kerry O'Gorman said...

My oh my the details in that first cathedral are astonishing!
I once went to one in Cordova, Spain that had similar details and lots of the striped design as well. Do you know why they did that?
I would have been disappointed as well about that nativity if it were not for the fantastic views!
Have a wonderful holiday and a light filled and peaceful 2014 Lucinda.
Thanks for all of your tours of such beautiful and sacred spaces.
Love and light...Kerry

Loree said...

Merry Christmas. Hope it's wonderful in every way. How strange, a bomb came through the roof of one of the churches too here during the war and it did not detonate. Mini miracles :)

erin's art and gardens said...

such beautiful churches but so sad that they are used mostly for tourism now and not for spiritual things (or so i have heard?) o.k....that nativity?!?! at the very least, they did not have a hole for baby jesus' face! merry christmas from tennessee!

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