Sunday, August 13, 2006

La Virgin de la Pena

This was the vestibule of a church in Sepulveda, a small hill town near Segovia. There was an incredible richness of detail both inside and outside the church. Wil and I visited it in the late afternoon. It was hard on Wil, being in Sepulveda. The whole town is on the side of a mountain. I remember that I put him thru a lot to get there. And then the climbing up and down the streets, many with stairs, every day. He certainly doesn't remember that anymore. But I do.
My fascination with the images and scultures on the church is related to all that. It isn't all pretty angels and cherubs. It's torment and struggle. A knight fighting a demon beast, dragons and deformed creatures writhing and eating each other. All displayed in sculptures encrusting the walls of the church which is in a sunny plaza where old abuelos watch the children play. Go around to the back of the church and you will see the rarest of images: a man with a penis as large as he is. It's high up and you might miss it. Bring your binoculars!

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