Saturday, October 31, 2015

Basilica of St. Mary - Minneapolis

The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota was the first of a current 83 minor basilicas established in the U.S. (in 1926) and it is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis along with the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Basilica of St. Mary as viewed from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The front
The side

It was designed in the Beaux-Arts architecture style, a neoclassical style taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. 
One of the bells.
St. Mary's at night as we drove by (out of the front window of the car).
A minor basilica has (or had until 1989) the right of conopaeum (resembling an umbrella of yellow and red silk) and the tintinnabulum (bell). It may also use the papal symbol of crossed keys on banners and furnishings. I previously posted on another minor basilica in Mobile, Alabama where further explanation was given on minor basilicas.   
A representation of the conopaeum on the front door. 
St. Mary's was dedicated in 1913 and completed in 1925. It was designed by Emmanuel Louis Masqueray who also designed the Cathedral of St. Paul which was being built at the same time. American Architect magazine at the time noted, "The two Catholic Cathedrals will be -- when completed, noteworthy achievements in church building for any period; in extent and splendor they promise to surpass anything yet attempted in ecclesiastical work in the United States." Both St. Mary's and St. Paul's are world-class cathedrals and two of the nicest, if not the nicest, we've visited in the U.S.
From near the front, looking toward the altar.
From near the altar, looking toward the front. 
The rose window in the front facade.
St. Mary in the center of the rose window, holding the Christ-child.
The baptismal font.
The foundation is made of Rockville granite and the walls of white Vermont granite. The marble altar has a 50 foot high marble-columned canopy called a baldachinno or baldachin.
Part of the canopy above the altar, viewed from the side.
Mary at the top of the canopy and a view into the dome.
Closer view of Mary at the top of the canopy.
There is some beautiful statutory, much of it dedicated to St. Mary.
I believe this is Anna, Mary's mother, and Mary as a youth.
Mary and her Son.
In the cupola over the statue of Mary and Jesus above is this mosaic of a mother pelican and three of her babies. The radiating rays are reminiscent of rays from the sun. When I originally did this post, I indicated that aside from the theme of motherhood, I would love to know the intended symbolism as I really loved this unusual representation.  
I learned the answer to the question above at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. There they have this bronze crucifix by John Singer Sargent that has a pelican at the base of the cross. The caption describing the crucifix says that the pelican piercing its breast to feed its children its blood is a symbol of Christ's Passion from the Middle Ages. In the Greek Physiologos, an allegorical zoological manual from the second century CE, the newborn pelican chicks rebel against their mother, who then kills them with her beak. After mourning them for three days, the mother pelican opens her own chest to revive her offspring with her own blood. 
I'm not sure who these images represent. I'm guessing the little one is the Christ-child, but the adult is likely not Joseph as he is represented in monastic garb.
The cupola over the statue above. 
St. Mary
A statue identified as "Christ Rising."
There were wonderful representations of the Stations of the Cross and some stained glass windows that reflected the stations as well:
The 5th Station of the Cross
A companion stained glass window.

12th Station of the Cross
Companion stained glass window
13th Station of the Cross
Companion stained glass window.
14th Station of the Cross
Companion stained glass window.
There were also stained glass windows representing Old Testament characters that I really enjoyed:


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Angry Trout Cafe - Grand Marais, MN

Angry Trout Cafe is a fantastic name for an eatery. The name itself drew me to it. It inspires t-shirts, clip-art and photographic creativity, just Google "angry trout pictures".  
Photo from here.
What's more, it is in a spectacular part of the world: Grand Marias on the north shore of Lake Superior. 
View from our hotel on Lake Superior in Grand Marais. Lake Superior is so large that it seems like an ocean. 
View in the other direction from our hotel, toward the Angry Trout, which is on the other side of the jutting peninsula.
Beyond that, the cafe has a beautiful spot right next to the water.
Photo of the Angry Trout, from here.
And they have some fun art to go along with it. Just a couple of examples:
Neon angry trout.
Great blue herons on the front door. Could the one to the right be eating an angry trout?
We ate there one evening shortly before it closed and shortly before we retired for a night of rest before our hike to Eagle Mountain. Aside from the name, they claim to provide fresh-caught fish on their menu, including grilled fish sandwiches, a smoked trout salad and locally caught fish in their deep fried fish and chips. Following the goal of eating lake-caught cuisine in this part of the world, I planned on having a fish sandwich or fish and chips for dinner. 

We had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated and could not see the harbor or lake because of the dark. I was really disappointed when our waiter informed us that there was no local fish on the menu, the fish in the fish and chips was either sole or cod from out of the area. I'd pretty much decided on the fish and chips ahead of time, and went ahead with that, even though it no longer had the same draw. It turned out okay, not bad, not great. I did enjoy the squeeze bottle of tarter sauce left at the table and I consumed quite a bit of it both on the fish and on the chips. 
Fried fish, Carl's Jr. type fries and some good coleslaw.
Better was the potato soup with nice chunks of vegetables, a delicious creamy broth and a sprig of dill. I got a cup and wished I'd ordered a bowl.
Very nice home-made soup.
Judy saw the shrimp cooking in the kitchen and ordered it along with locally grown wild rice. The shrimp and rice were delicious. 
This is a part of the world I wouldn't mind coming back to again. I would love to try canoeing back in the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and hope to see another wolf, or some moose. Fall was a perfect time to be here. Beautiful fall colors and no bugs. And if I do come back, I would really like to try some locally caught fish in the fish and chips.