Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Victoria ecclesiastic tour



More pictures.

Sometimes I feel like I've been to Victoria so many times that I've seen everything there is to see. Regardless of who I'm with I can get kind of bored when we eat at the same restaurants, walk down the same streets and see the same things.

One thing that was different for this trip though as that because it was the BC Day long weekend, a lot of the churches and cathedrals were open to the public. Unlike Vancouver, a lot of old churches escaped being torn down, though because not as many people go to church anymore, some of them are being converted for other uses.

A lot of paritioners were around to show people like us around. They were really friendly and obviously very proud of their churches. I liked having the chance to meet some of the people who attend them and getting a sense of what they feelings for the places. That's something that for whatever reason we never got to do in Europe.

As someone who is not the least bit religious, I find the histories of the churches really fascinating, because their construction is inseperable from small-town politics, and their recent histories are a mixture of perseverance, adaptation and failure in the face of social change.

Take Christ Church Cathedral, pictured in the top two pictures. If you look closely in the second photo, you'll notice that the back wall that you see is not where the church ends. The congregation is smaller than it used to be, so they built a new back wall to make the room smaller. The new room that was created at the back there is now gallery space.


Then there's St. John the Divine, where the paritioners are happy to tell you that it has burnt to the ground and been rebuilt twice. This little window was one of the few things that survived.


Next time I'm in Victoria I want to see if I can catch some organ recitals because those things look pretty impressive. I also want to take more pictures of stained glass windows because there are so many of them around and some of them are stunning.


And then there's whatever this church used to be. I don't know because the people who worshiped there are long gone. It's the Conservatory of Music now. The giant stained glass windows shed light on the stage of what is now a recital hall.