A Magnificent Cathedral in a Cave

This should qualify as the eighth wonder of the world! Last week when we were in Columbia we were treated to a tour of one of the most amazing things we have seen. It was a Cathedral carved in an enormous Salt Mine in the Zipaquirá Mountain near Bogota.  When the mining was finished, the government assigned 100 architects and sculptors to create a truly incredible structure to commemorate the last week of the life of Christ and a place of worship. Four years later they had created something truly spectacular.

As we entered the cave we were incredulous at the work that it must have taken not only to  create the enormous caverns and sculptures but also to make the entire cave wheellchair accessible!

In each alcove as we progress to the bottom of the cave there were a depiction of one of the events from the last week of Christ’s life with an enormous marble cross placed in each “room”.

After the crucifixion and the burila are depicted an angel carved from salt announces the resurrection with a horn where we could view the magnificent Cathedral below.

It’s hard to get the scope of this amazing creation because it is in a cave, but that cross in the background is about a hundred feet high and solid marble. The salt is cut out to show the cross behind.

In front of the cross are about forty rows of benches for worshipers which makes the it close to the size of many Cathedrals. We were amazed at the monolithic salt pillars on each side of the benches.

If you look carefully you can see Richard and I in front of a carving in the floor in front of the cross depicting Michaelanglo’s famous painting from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

It was a remarkable experience, especially because it was on the cusp of Holy Week. We felt the same reverance for the ability of man to show homage to diety as we do in St. Paul’s Cathedral or Notre Dam and other grand Cathedrals of the world.

Truly a wonder!

 

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