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Art & Architecture Mosaic Art US (Missouri) US Travel

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

Unmatched majesty in the Midwest

In March, I had the opportunity to visit The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Missouri. Named for the city’s patron, Saint Louis IX of France, the structure, according to a tourist guide, “combines architecture of Romanesque style on the exterior with a wondrous Byzantine style interior.”

In other words, WOW.

Yes, I could bore you with a long list of overused adjectives that can’t possibly describe the grandeur of this unexpected delight. Instead, I’ll just get down to brass tacks and provide you with some details so you can surmise for yourself that Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, located in a bustling urban setting at 4431 Lindell Boulevard, is probably one of the Midwest’s best kept architectural secrets.

Our tour guide provided a very informative half-hour private tour. Between his knowledge and information gleaned from the beautiful guidebooks shown above, we learned that…

  • The cathedral structure, originally called Saint Louis Cathedral, was built over five years from 1907-1914.
  • The mosaics that adorn the cathedral were designed, produced, and installed from 1912-1988.
  • The mosaics were made by the Ravenna Mosaic Co. of St. Louis, a company founded by German father-and-son team Paul and Arno Heuduck primarily to create the Byzantine mosaics for the cathedral.
  • The cathedral, according to my guidebook published by the Friends of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, “combines the best of Byzantine, the style of the eastern half of the Roman Empire in the early Christian centuries, and of Romanesque — a combination used, among others, by the architects of the Basilica of Saint Mark Cathedral Church of Venice.”
  • The central dome soars 217 feet.
  • The dazzling mosaics are unmatched in the Western hemisphere and this one structure contains one of the largest collections in the world.
  • In 1997, Pope John Paul II designated the Cathedral of St. Louis as a Basilica in order to recognize its beauty and significance; since then, the structure has been known as The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. In 1999, Pope John Paul II presided over an evening prayer service at the basilica to conclude his trip to North America.

A view of the Central Dome

The central dome features brilliant red tesserae.

About those mosaics

  • 41.5 million pieces of glass were used to decorate the hundreds of mosaic artworks that cover nearly every interior surface within the basilica.
  • Seven thousand different colors of tesserae were used.
  • Thirty-eight different shades of gold mosaic were used.
  • There are 83,000 square feet of mosaics within the structure.
  • Twenty-five miles of scaffolding were erected to complete the mosaics.

The exterior of the building was simply too massive to photograph on my iPhone. Here’s a better shot courtesy of <a href="http://A.reyestena, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons:

When we visited, the trees were still bare. This photo from Wikimedia Commons shows how the green of the trees picks up the green of the dome’s tile roof.

And now for the Narthex

The narthex, similar to an entry hall for gathering together before or after a service, features a barrel-vaulted ceiling and dazzling gold mosaics.

A view toward The Historic Bay and Dome

The historic dome features blue tesserae. The mosaics in this dome and bay feature the history of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, including important milestones of the establishment of the Catholic Church in St. Louis, and works of charity and services performed by area Catholic groups, such as parochial schools and Jesuit missionaries.

The Sanctuary Dome and Baldochino

The baldochino, shown at left above, hovers over the main altar.

More sights within

The Bishops Hall

Our visit lasted about an hour and a half. Due to our schedule, we didn’t have enough time to tour the Mosaic Museum located below the narthex. I did snap a few photos (see above).

The cathedral is located at 4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63108.

The cathedral’s visiting hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Mosaic Museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Tours can be arranged for any size group. Tours are given Sundays at 1 p.m. and anytime Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

After our tour concluded, I snapped this quick picture of my daughter and son (center) walking with their significant others.

If you’re ever in the area, definitely carve out an hour or so to see this marvel for yourself. It’s an awe-inspiring place of worship that’s worthy of your time when visiting St. Louis.

Got a thing for cathedrals?

Here’s a post from northern Italy about another one.

Thanks for reading! Click like, become a follower, and leave a comment.


This is a photo of my daughter and I in Bologna, Italy in 2019. Now that school’s out for the summer (and all the pandemic travel restrictions are lifting–YAY!), I can get back to posting more regularly on this blog. Jump over to my teaching blog to read about my extremely full and rewarding teaching life.
Categories
Art US (Missouri) US Travel

Monet’s Water Lilies in Kansas City

Visit the gardens of Giverny in the heartland

In March, I traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. to see this Claude Monet masterpiece in a special exhibition called “Monet Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk.”

It’s a ten-minute showing in a small gallery that features special lighting that illuminates and then dims to replicate the cycle of sunlight and its effects on the lush colors of Monet’s painting. (View the transition in the slide show above.)

Monet's Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.
The painting, the star of the Nelson-Atkins’ Bloch addition, has been relocated for the exhibition to a small gallery in the main building.

The ten-minute dawn-to-dusk cycle repeats every fifteen minutes and you can view it from a bench in the middle of the small, secluded room.

Monet Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk interactive video monitor
It’s a small, no-frills exhibition. One room, one painting, plus this explanatory video monitor.

While the painting reflects the peace of a French garden, Monet painted this artwork in the shadow of World War One.

Monet set his easel outside and painted, closely observing and attempting to render the effect of light in surface shapes, colors, and shadows as they shifted throughout the day. He completed the canvas in his studio from memory, as soldiers, including the artist’s son, and stepson marched to the front lines to defend their country. For Monet, his Water Lilies canvases offered an escape.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

And who wouldn’t find these beautiful gardens to be an escape?

Despite the turmoil in the world, Claude Monet worked against it with these popular paintings.

It’s slowly reopening to its full schedule, but until then, you can still have an awesome time in the Kansas City’s best attraction. Stay tuned for more posts soon!

There is no charge to view this exhibition, but call ahead to reserve your space for a specific time.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO | Americasroof at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for reading! Click like and follow this blog for more posts on “travel with a side of art.”
Four years ago, I visited Venice for the first time. Enter Venice above in the search bar for a variety of posts on La Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic of Venice.

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US (Missouri) US Travel

Weeks 11 & 12: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

The final, full-on hug.

Winter is at the door.

The above photos (left and right) were taken Nov. 15 (Week 12) and Nov. 8 (Week 11).

Above photos (left to right) were taken Nov. 1 (Week 10); Oct. 25 (Week 9); Oct. 18 (Week 8); and Oct. 11 (Week 7).

Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.

Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
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US (Missouri) US Travel

Weeks 9 & 10: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Moving into November…

Above photos (left to right) were taken Nov. 1 (Week 10); Oct. 25 (Week 9); Oct. 18 (Week 8); and Oct. 11 (Week 7).

Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.

Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 8, Oct. 18: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Moving into mid-autumn…

Autumn park in Bolivar, Missouri
Week 8; Taken Oct. 18, 2020 at 9:19 a.m. | Timing and sunshine is everything. The colors are muted here compared to Week 7. Also, I really expected there to be fewer leaves on the trees in this picture, since it had been so windy earlier in the week.
Autumn leaves are turning in this photo taken last week.
Week 7; Taken Oct. 11, 2020 at 10:36 a.m. | Again this week, we took our walk a little later in the morning, since I still wasn’t feeling 100% after my bout with Covid. Hopefully, we’ll get out around 7:30 tomorrow morning. Feeling all better now.
Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 7, Oct. 11: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Back in the groove now, thank you.

Autumn leaves are turning in this photo taken last week.
Week 7; Taken Oct. 11, 2020 at 10:36 a.m. | Again this week, we took our walk a little later in the morning, since I still wasn’t feeling 100% after my bout with Covid. Hopefully, we’ll get out around 7:30 tomorrow morning. Feeling all better now.
Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 6, Oct. 4: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

We interrupt this series for a case of COVID-19.

I missed a week. Last Sunday, I didn’t get around to showing my latest weekly photo due to a case of COVID-19. My bout with the sickness from 2020, the year that just keeps “giving,” began with a low-grade fever on Tuesday, Sept. 29. My fever diminished a couple of days later, followed by extreme aches and muscle pains, followed by allergy-like symptoms shortly thereafter, followed by loss of taste and smell just night before last. And so it goes; fortunately, no more serious issues have arisen.

I’ll be posting again tomorrow, but wanted to add last Sunday’s photo before then. I’ll explain this little project below the photos, so keep scrolling if you’re a little confused.

Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 5, Sept. 27: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 5; Taken Sept. 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. | Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.
Francie at La Petite Gemme Prairie last December.


Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 4, Sept. 20: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020… There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for a travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 3: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 3; Taken September 13
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, bookmark this post and then check back every week, clicking your refresh button to see the latest photo that’s been added.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog