Monday, August 24, 2009

St. Mary in gold, blue and ruby

Bergen is our second largest city. It also was our capital for a long time, and already an established city and a center of commerce in the 11th century.
After the black death the Hanseatic League made Bergen their Nordic base. They were in control of the city till midst of the 18th century.
The Bergeners and the German Hanses went well together and such formed pillars of the Bergen of today.
After Martin Luther had revolted the Northern European Churches with his reformation in 1517, most churches were stripped for reliquary, St. Mary altars and saint's shrines.
The silver were sent to the king in Copenhagen, the rest were burnt.
Not so in Bergen's oldest church St. Mary's.
The Bergeners and Hansas were conservative and traditionalists; they still are.
They also possessed the power following huge wealth.
Therefore the ancient triptych and even elder wood sculptures remained in the church from the 12th century.
Till this day they overwhelm the visitors.
Gunnar and I spent some memorable hours there last week,... and we will be back.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today.


Dimple said...

This is a wonderful shot. I like the detail it shows of the art.

Lindy said...

So very beautiful! Thank you for including the history lesson.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the explanation. I didn't know Protestant churches had this sort of reliquaries.

Jim said...

Very pretty carvings you have visited there Felisol. I have German ancestors on both sides of my family.
Dad's family came from Northern (west) Germany around Hanover. Mom's people were in the closet as disowned (I am supposing religious matters) family of the Kaiser.

moosh said...

Beautiful shot. I also enjoyed the history lesson. It is so exciting to learn about other parts of the world.HRT

Miranda said...

Thats beautiful!

Leora said...

Thank you for all this history. This is very striking, these views of the old carvings. Lots of color.

Ellie said...

Very interesting artwork - you can see it did inspire many generations of people, looking for hope!

Meikah said...

I agree with Dimple. A good shot that shows off every tiny detail. Thanks for the info, too. Happy RT! :)

Here's my entry. ;)

Amrita said...

Very bautiful really.

It is good they preserved the altar for art sake even if they were not worshipping the saints.

I like old icons and carvings.

I recently read the biography of Martin Luther and was amazed at how he stood up for the Bible as opposed to human traduition. His life was in danger but he did not care.

That peice of history is very interesting.

Felisol said...

Comment to Amrita,
You are right.
Martin Luther in one way was brave opposing much of the wrongdoings of the mother church.
On the other hand he was an intolerant man himself.
A witch-burner and condemner of adult baptists.
His attitude towards women was preposterous, "Kinder, Kochen, Küche"was his command(Children, Kitchen, cooking).
The Jews were even worse treated. They were banned from most Lutheran countries.
Our national freedom-fighter and ditto poet made the Norwegians open their borders for the Jews in 1848. That's why so few Jews have settled down in Norway.
(Also most of the Norwegian Jews were deported and gassed in 1942, but that's another sad, shameful and oh, so horrible story.)
From Felisol

Annie Jeffries said...

Just stunning, Fel. You know how I like churches and this one is divine (no pun intended. Really.) I know very little of Nordic history and so very much enjoyed this bit of history you shared here. I'm so happy this church (and I imagine others in Bergen) survived the looting and destruction.

EG CameraGirl said...

Such a beautiful old church, well preserved. I didn't know Bergen was Norway's second largest city, although I did know of its role in the Hanseatic League.

And I didn't know Norwegian churches had been stripped of many relics after the Reformation, but then, I guess it makes sense.

Dianne said...

the gold is truly stunning and the touches of ruby are perfect

Ralph said...

The beautiful Mary is a joy to behold. The red in this art is a glorious color, the view beautiful. A nice historical look at Norway, a land of absolute beauty!

Happily Retired Gal said...

Thanks so much for sharing this lovely work of art with us. Methinks it would 'work' for Midweek Blues too ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Ivon said...

Beautiful photo of your local church. I enjoyed your words of history that went with it. Thanks for sharing.

Patti said...

What gorgeous artwork you have shared. Thanks for the history lesson.
I have a bit of Norwegian in me (!) on my father's side and my mother is German.

I enjoyed this post very much. Sorry I've been a stranger, Felisol. I know that Ralph has kept up with you.

Gemma Wiseman said...

These images are glorious! Your photos highlight the rich colours beautifully!

Crown of Beauty said...

Amazing photographs, dear Felisol.

It is a good thing these historical relics were preserved.

These are priceless works of art!

Thank you for thinking of me...I had hoped that the rainbow in the dark sky would have made a beautiful photograph...

It has been a busy week for me -- many things to attend to. But praise God there is a lot of progress.

Hope you are feeling muchbetter these days.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

An ancient triptych,
adorned in gold and scarlet,
inspires awe, wonder.

My Ruby Tuesday

passing-thru said...

Blessings to U and yours , Felisol

Isaiah 40 thru 50 , good food -