Art in Colombia 3


Stain glasses
The stain glasses of the portal (inside)

The Cathedral Maria Reina

Today, I finally visited the Barranquilla’s cathedral. I walked downhill from El Prado to the much poorer city sector, the centre. I found the church extremely well designed, noticed the purity of lines and spaces, the reason I am sharing this post with you all.  Moreover, the modern gothic Maria Reina Cathedral has an epic very close to the building of Chartres and Bourges cathedrals, both French gothic, since it took 27 years to build it and for the same reasons: lack of money and civil unrest. The construction started in 1955.

But what I found more interesting, the church was designed by a great Italian architect, Angiolo Mazzoni who was exiled from Italy because of false accusations toward the Italian monarchy. And what is even more interesting, he designed the Rome train station Termini (the one we walk every year because of Studio Italia) on top of other great stations such as in Siena and Venezia. He is a proponent of the so called Fascist architecture, the reason of his presence in Colombia after the war.

Maria Reina is indeed beautiful. Vast and well lit with huge and wonderful stain glasses (by Mario de Ayala), it can accommodate very large crowds in an oval space. The sculpture of Christ in the apse, Christ as the Liberator of Latin America (R. A. Betancourt) is just stunning. Scarcity can be noticed in the high reliefs of the apse since they are made in plaster from a dozen of moulds; but they are beautiful.  The vault (my photograph) resting on the four walls and the clerestory opening to the outside open space, recall the construction of the past Gothic.

Indeed, a beautiful morning spent by myself, in meditation, in this beautiful barranquillero building.  By the way, walkthearts is organizing a painting workshop in Colombia for early 2013.

Apse of Maria Reina
The vault resting on the four walls with its open clerestory.

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