Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England…Catedral de Winchester, Hampshire, Inglaterra

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Text credits:
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/winchester-cathedral

Winchester Cathedral is a beautiful Anglican cathedral in the county of Hampshire, southeast England. The present structure, dating mostly from 1097, it is the longest cathedral in the country.

History of Winchester Cathedral
A Saxon church was built on this spot in 648 and was soon used by a Benedictine monastery which came to be named the Priory of St. Swithun.

Saint Swithun (d. 862) was bishop of Winchester and a tutor to young King Alfred. Despite his importance in life, the saint humbly requested that he be buried outside upon his death, so that “passers by might tread on his grave and where the rain from the eaves might fall on it.” He was initially buried in the churchyard in accordance with his wishes, in a highly prestigious position.

But when the Saxon cathedral, the Old Minster, was enlarged in 971, the saint’s remains were moved inside. According to legend, it then rained nonstop for 40 days. Local lore still has it that if it rains on St. Swithun’s Day (July 15), 40 days of rain will follow:

The present church, the longest medieval cathedral in Britain, dates from 1079, and was built in the Norman (Romanesque) style. St. Swithun’s remains were moved to the new church in 1093. The cathedral was at the heart of a powerful diocese that stretched from the Thames River to the Channel Islands and attracted many pilgrims who came to pray at the tombs of Swithun and other saints.

The influential and wealthy bishops of Winchester further developed and adorned their cathedral throughout the Middle Ages. The east end was expanded in the 13th century. Even more remodeling and expansion took place in the 14th century, including the Gothic nave, west front and choir stalls.

Stephen Gardiner (1531-55) was the last important Roman Catholic bishop of Winchester, during the reign of Queen Mary I. He officiated at her marriage to Philip of Spain, which took place in Winchester Cathedral.

What to See at Winchester Cathedral
The soaring Perpendicular Gothic nave of Winchester Cathedral, the longest in England, is the highlight of the building. Also impressive are the chantry chapels, the reredos (late-15th-century ornamental screens), and the elaborately carved choir stalls featuring flowers and plants, owls and monkeys, dragons, knights and green men.

Jane Austen is buried here; her grave is marked with a commemorative plaque. Also buried in Winchester Cathedral are the bones of many Saxon kings, the remains of the Viking conqueror Canute and his wife, Emma, and the remains of William Rufus (William II), son of William the Conqueror.

The transept and crossing tower are survivors from the Norman period (11th century), as is the crypt. The crypt has an unusual feature: it still floods periodically in the winter. In the center of the crypt is Sound II, a modern sculpture by Anthony Gormley that was designed to stand in water.

The cathedral’s library contains over 4,000 books, including several illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Especially notable are Bishop Morley’s 17th-century book collection and an exhibition room contains the 12th-century Winchester Bible.

The Triforium shows sculpture, woodwork, and metalwork from 11 centuries and provides magnificent views over the rest of the cathedral.

The Close once contained the domestic buildings for the monks of the Priory of St. Swithun. Most of these buildings were destroyed during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

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Créditos de este texto:
https://historiayviajes.wordpress.com/otros-paises/inglaterra/catedral-de-winchester/

El buzo que salvó la Catedral de Winchester
La catedral de Winchester es una de las catedrales más grandes de Inglaterra. Unas dimensiones que, en conjunto, la convierte en la de mayor longitud de todas las catedrales góticas europeas. Winchester está en el condado de Hampshire, en el extremo sur de Inglaterra. La ciudad cuenta con unos 35.000 habitantes.

Su construcción se inició en el siglo XI y finalizó en el XVI. La construcción se llevó a cabo en un paisaje verde junto a un río, un error desde el punto de vista estructural. Fue el obispo William Walkelin quien persuadió al rey Guillermo para que se utilizara la madera de la selva real de Hempage, para proporcionar una base firme sobre la tierra pantanosa sobre la que se construiría la catedral. Sobre la madera se depositó piedra caliza.

Pero con el paso de los años, el suelo se iba comprimiendo y cedia bajo el peso de los muros. La torre central cayó en 1.107, y se iban abriendo grietas y se producían desprendimientos.

A principios del siglo XX un equipo de arquitectos constató que los cimientos se iban desprendiendo. Optaron por apuntalar el edificio y sustituir los cimientos por hormigón y ladrillo. Los trabajos empezaron en 1.905 donde perforaron el suelo, decidieron extraer los troncos y la grava y sustituirlos por hormigón. Un año después, desistieron del proyecto y pensaron que la única táctica para salvar el edificio era bajar el hormigón y los ladrillos hasta los cimientos a través de un buzo.

Así hicieron, se pusieron en contacto con la empresa británica Siebe Gorman & Co. que se hacían llamar “ingenieros submarinos”. Contrataron a dos de ellos para trabajar en la catedral, aunque enseguida se prescindió de uno. El que quedó fue William Walker de 36 años. Él solo apuntaló todo el edificio con 25.000 sacos de cemento, 115.000 bloques de hormigón y 900.000 ladrillos. Trabajó desde 1906 hasta 1911 en turnos de 6 horas durante cinco días a la semana. El fin de semana se iba a Croydon en bicicleta que estaba a 240 kilómetros.

Walker se convirtió en el submarinista más famoso de Inglaterra. Su gesta se publicó en todos los periódicos como: el buceador que había salvado la catedral de Winchester. Fue tal el agradecimiento, que existen numerosas estatuas de él en los alrededores de la catedral. Incluso en las oraciones de cada día se representa una acción de gracias por el importante trabajo de este buzo. Poco después, Jorge V le nombró miembro de la Real Orden Victoriana. Murió en 1918 durante la epidemia de la gripe española.

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