Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral

The so-called Norman architecture is nothing more than the beginning of an artistic movement that spread throughout Europe and that advocated sober and simple constructions, with little lighting to favor meditation and a set of volumes that were marked by outside, the Norman style gradually became more and more popular and acquired a new name, Romanesque style although it is true that this in turn combined the Norman tradition with other architectural elements typical of the Latin and Byzantine culture.

Be that as it may, the truth is that Norman-style works spread throughout many parts of Europe and were not relegated to the Normandy region, in fact the work we are analyzing here is one of the best examples of Norman architecture and located in Cambridgeshire, England, it is Ely Cathedral also known as the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely.

Ely_Cathedral_Exterior, _Cambridgeshire, _UK_-_Diliff

In the year 1066 the Norman conquest of England took place and since then foreign customs had deeply rooted in English lands, on the other hand the monarch Edward the Confessor had been educated in Normandy which would explain his taste for forms Northern architecture that had already been reflected in the construction of Durham Cathedral. The building that we know today began its construction in the year 1082 under thepatronage of Abbot Simeon on the remains of a primitive construction that was demolished.

In Ely we can find one of the most common characteristics of English architecture and that is that the cathedral complex is the union of different parts in which a unity is not advocated spatial or formal as in France; in this way, it is easy to explain that the facade of the cathedral does not correspond to the interior structure of the temple.

We find ourselves before a building with three very longitudinal naves that are lengthened by no less than twelve sections until reaching the transept, which is too small for the proportions of the naves and in the which highlights a spectacular octagonal space with a dome and lantern that was built between 1322 and 1329 and in which the evolution that architecture underwent towards increasingly refined and gallant Gothic forms can be appreciated. In Ely we find the only Gothic dome made of wood and according to experts, Alan of Walsinham himself participated in its construction.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the presbytery and the back choir were built, as well as the sanctuary, in this case with a flat front and three chapels: the central one dedicated to Saint Ethelreda houses the tomb of the Cardinal of Luxembourg, while on the right we find the tomb of Bishop of West and on the left that of Bishop Alcock.

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