Despite my sudden swerve into contemporary relevance, the reporting on the blog proper is still sadly thirteen months behind and leaves me still in my favourite Catalan hang-out, the city of Vic, taking photographs. These are all probably photographs I shouldn’t have taken, but I can find duplicates to pretty much all of them already on the web so I figure the damage is done and maybe the publicity is good? After all, you don’t have to want to read the stone to reckon this worth seeing:
Leaving the Museu Episcopal de Vic otherwise uninfringed, however, this post is mainly about the real episcopal building in the same square, the cathedral of Sant Pere. As you may already know, that is a bit of a hodge-podge architecturally, with everything from Romanesque to baroque visible and the whole joining up in ways you can really only see from above, as this photo from the Enciclopèdia Catalana helpfully makes clear:
Looking at that, the tower is the only bit above ground that dates to the first phase of the standing building (although there was obviously also a late-ninth-century cathedral here before that, which is partly known archæologically), and it is now the only bit into which I have not at least partly got; it was closed on this occasion because of moisture through the open windows making its steps a safety hazard. But prior to this trip I had not got into the crypt, which is the other bit that goes back to the Romanesque creation of Bishop Oliba, and this I now have.
The columns holding up the vaulting have capitals that apparently belong to the earlier building, which apparently had Andalusi (or ‘caliphal’) style decoration; I would give quite a lot to be able to see it somehow, but this is as close as I’ll get, and it’s at least on site.
The other two spaces we explored in this brief foray round the basically unpopulated building were the ambulatory, that tall polygonal space at the near end of the aerial photograph, and the cloister, the square courtyard to the left. The ambulatory itself is more or less as it seems it would be from that picture, except that it contains this, which is pretty splendid.
Some day the tower! But for now this was a refreshing completion of my knowledge of the place, and it’s nice in some ways that there’s still more to know.