we made a secular pilgrimage to valencia, spain, to admire the futuristic work of architect santiago calatrava, who was born there.
stunned by his ciudad de las artes y las ciencias (city of art and sciences) at the edge of the mediterranean, we went downtown to check out the sights.
wandered through the 13th-century cathedral, admiring the gothic, the romanesque and the rococo.
the cathedral was built over 200 years, so by the time artisans reached the 15th century, there was a lot of baroque marble too. this was removed during restoration, so that the cathedral is more gothic than renaissance.
we admired the goya paintings, the stained glass windows, the sweeping vaults, and all the little nooks and crannies of the place.
there are a lot of nooks and crannies in this cathedral, and they’re a cool retreat on a hot, september afternoon.
we stumbled into the capilla del santo caliz and learned that a gold and agate cup, protected in a brilliant case, was the holy grail.
the holy grail.
it’s the cup Jesus is believed to have used at the last supper.
the chalice made its way to spain in the 4th century, and has been admired since then by millions.
advised that photos were allowed, we tried to capture a shot that would reflect our impression of seeing something we believed existed only in religious myth and tacky movies.
but the light was poor, and our little camera, useless for such a sensitive setting.
(top photo: crucifixion, valencia cathedral. photos by hadi dadashian)