Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral today is the mother church of the Anglican Communion. In 597 Saint Augustine of Canterbury, sent by Pope Gregory the Great to evangelize England arrived and he was welcomed by King Ethelbert – who was married to a Christian wife. Augustin succeeded in evangelize England and the Pope approved his proposal to build a great church in that land that could bring the prestigious title of “Cathedral”. At the end of the VII century Canterbury begun the first episcopal see of England. A first Anglo-Saxon Cathedral was destroyed in 1013 by a Danish attack, while a new Norman building was erected in 1066 – in this very building Archbishop Thomas Becket was assassinated on the 29th of December of 1170  at the end of a long period of hostility with the King – the Archbishop was soon canonized in 1173, and a shrine was erected in the church, and pilgrimage begun. In 1174 a fire destroyed the building. The reconstruction of the present building was led by William of Sens who rebuilt the Cathedral in the Gothic style. During the fourteenth and fifteenth century some additions in the Perpendicular style were made, such as the great central tower. At the east end of the apse there is one last chapel, known as Becket’s Crown – it houses fine stained glasses that survived both the Reformation and the bombings of WWII.
























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