Sunday, December 5

Crypts & Christmas Carols

We have only four days left in Sweden! It's making me feel very nostalgic about our stay here, so I feel like I owe 'our' little town of Lund some airtime. I was flipping through all the pictures we've taken, and one building showed up over & over.
(cheater alert! My camera couldn't 'zoom out' enough to capture the first picture, so I snagged it from here.)

(click to zoom)

Lund Cathedral is the oldest church in Sweden; built in 1100 AD! Even the Vikings were still around at that time, amigos. Although, it was at the very end of their era. (Huh, I wonder if those two things correspond.) (Turns out, they do. I looked it up.) (Can you imagine Vikings in church?!) (But... who else could have lifted all the huge stones to build it?) (GACK. Parenthetical thought overload.)

Jason & I had a good chuckle over how tiny its windows are. Even with eight foot thick walls, there were no windows wider than about one foot. In other words, they had zero faith in their engineering skills in 1100. And that's probably a good thing.

When you go inside, there's about as much light as you'd expect from 12-inch windows, but thanks to all the candles it smells like a giant birthday party. Nice planning, 1100 A.D. designers.

No ancient Cathedral would be complete without a crypt, and Lund Cathedral didn't disappoint. You can see Jason on the steps below, descending into its crypty depths... and check out the weird, sunken-eyes-in-the-back-of-its-head column guy! Fabulous.

Last Sunday, Jason & I went to a small party at his professor's house. He made us some hot "gluhwein," which is the German version of glögg!! (Exactly the same thing, only without any sugar added). Afterwards, we traveled through the snow to the cathedral and listened to the University choir sing Swedish Christmas carols. It was a very pleasant (if not slightly heretical) thing to do with a belly full of gluhwein. The hard stone walls gave their voices a beautiful echo, and when the organ chimed in for a few songs it just filled my soul right up. A lot of places in Europe have a 'timeless' feel to them, but for me, that night took the cake.


Mike H. said...

Ah you have seen the joys of glühwein. Nothing compares to having some on a cold winter night at a Weihnachtsmarkt.

Anne and I honored you guys this past weekend by visiting an Ikea.

Sam said...

1. I want to get married and/or have my funeral held in that church.

2. J.C. turned water into wine, so I wouldn't worry too much about the sacrilege. We all know the Son knew how to get down. Long hair, drank a lot of wine...I probably would've tried to date the kid if I was born 2000 or so years earlier.

April said...

Mike-- seriously. I miiight even like it better than glögg. (I also miiight just have to go to IKEA tomorrow... just once...)

Sam-- Excellent points you make there. I imagine you two would have gotten along PRET-ty well. Thank goodness you found a modern-day hooligan who also fits those characteristics : )