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Must see the Minster - Update
York Minster Cathedral (York)
Member Name: SusanLesley
York Minster Cathedral (York)
Date: 16/01/01, updated on 16/08/01 (634 review reads)
Advantages: Peace, Beauty, Reverence
Disadvantages: May not interest small children...
York Minster is the most beautiful cathedral I have ever had the pleasure to visit. It is situated in the centre of York near to Bootham Bar, which is one of the ancient gates in the wall round York.
The Minster is the largest medieval cathedral in England, and one of the largest in Europe, being 519 feet long with a central roof 198 feet high. The building was started in 1220 and it took more than 250 years to complete. It was partly destroyed by fire some years ago (I admit I cried when I watched the pictures on the TV news!) and has since been restored to it’s former glory.
The Minster today is almost entirely Gothic in design but it houses a museum, where you can see the Roman foundations of the site and parts of an 11th century Norman burial ground.
It is famous for it’s stained glass, some of which dates back to 1150. The best of the glass, however, comes from the workshops of John Thornton in 15th century.
Among the stained glass windows is the east window, which is the size of a tennis court. My personal favourite is the round window (sorry if that sounds a bit like Playschool!) which was one of the things destroyed and rebuilt exactly as it had been before.
The nave has a rib vaulted roof which can be easily viewed through mirrors set in tables strategically placed at intervals along the floor. That way you can look down to see the roof rather than looking up and feeling dizzy!
There are also 100-foot high limestone pillars in this part of the Minster.
At 12 noon every day there is short prayer said for peace in the world. Everyone is asked to stand still and join in the prayer whatever their denomination, or, if they have no particular faith, to stand still just for a minute or so in respect of the faith of others. In a world where everyone seems to be in a hurry and respect for one another is fast disappearing I found this a profoundly moving experience.
I also once we
nt to the evening service in the Minster, but I found it too ‘high church’ for my liking. We sat in the choir stalls and the service contained no hymns – and I do like a good sing – and a lot of chanting, which I didn’t understand! I’m glad I went though, just for the experience.
The Minster is visible from almost everywhere in York, but some of the finest views can be had from the walls that almost surround the city. You can walk almost all the way round the city on the walls; there are only two places where you have to get off and back on again and the views of The Minster are lovely because you get to see it from all different angles.
From what I can remember there is no charge for visiting the Minster, but you are encouraged to make a donation towards the upkeep of this magnificent building.
There is a shop that sells a good selection of souvenirs of the Minster. You won’t believe it but I have a little teddy wearing a York Minster sash – now you would never have guessed that of me would you? LOL
The peace, which pervades the whole of the Minster, is such a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
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