7. Exeter

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Southwest England 2005

Today’s feature was Exeter, a small city along the River Exe about 10km north of Cockwood where we were staying.

My first impression of Exeter came from its highly varied architecture.

Some of the buildings looked a bit Chinese.

Some walls were completely covered by paintings, giving a compelling illusion.

We saw an unusual clock on the side of a building. According to S, the symbols on it were the signs of the zodiac, from astrology.

Exeter also had nice little alleys with boutiques on both sides.

We first visited a castle ruin, which looked more like a gigantic electric outlet.

Next we went into the Guild Hall, where businessmen used to hold meetings in the old days. There was nothing exciting inside: an old gate, a metal chandelier, a bust statue of Queen Victoria, some ordinary looking paintings, and a little cannon.

The real excitement was the visit of the Exeter Cathedral. The Cathedral was huge compared to North American ones.

It was divided into two halls by a row of arches with a sturdy organ sitting on its top.

The main hall was for religious services and praying.
The secondary hall behind the arches was the seating area for the choir.
Along both sides of the two halls…
…there were small chapels donated by some rich people.

At the back of the Cathedral, we saw tombs of bishops, kings and their wives. Chinese people always bury the dead far away from the house, so I found it disturbing that they put the tombs inside the Cathedral and not outside in the courtyard. S speculated that such tradition derived from Christian superstitions. On the contrary, Chinese superstition believes that the living and the dead shouldn’t share the same space.

There was a key stone exhibited in the Cathedral.
The key stones were used at the intersections of beams on the ceiling. They didn’t look very big up there, but seeing how heavy they were made you worry about them falling down.

The Cathedral was full of arts, paintings and sculptures in every corner.

We found another unusual clock, which could tell not only the time of a day but also the day in a month.

Outside the Cathedral, many people were sitting on the lawn, enjoying a pleasant day.
Here we could see some interesting structures of the Cathedral…
…and have a cup of tea in the warm sunshine of afternoon.

[Photography © August 9th 2005 Les Nuages unless marked]

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