Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Romanesque Art

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Saint Foy, Conques, France

Interior, Saint Foy, Conques, France

Reliquary of Saint Foy, Conques, France

The Last Judgement, tympanum, west front, Saint Foy, Conques

Gislebertus, The Last Judgement, tympanum, west front of Saint Lazare, Autun, France

Gislebertus, The Last Judgement, detail



Chapter 12

The Botafumeiro, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The great 12th century church of Santiago in Compostela, Spain was the most popular pilgrimage destination of Medieval Europe. It was the traditional burial site of Saint James the Apostle, and drew crowds of pilgrims who walked on foot from all over France and Spain, and from Germany. Many people still hike the old pilgrimage routes across northern Spain today.
The Botafumeiro is a giant incense burner the size of a barrel that is swung from the vaults of the church on high holy days and for special occasions in a ceremony unique to Compostela that goes back a thousand years.  The incense may have served a practical purpose back in the early Middle Ages.  A large church packed with sweaty unbathed pilgrims dressed mostly in wool probably had particularly strong smell.