Montag, 6. August 2012

The holy grail 'neath ancient Roslin waits

After approx. 6 years The HimBaer went back to see Rosslyn Chapel.
It must have been about 6 yrs, because the book "The DaVinci Code" was published in 2003/4 and the movie was out in 2006 and I was there that year or a year after that. It was so crowded with people. Actually that year they had 30.000 visitors and the year after 100.000!
One could not see a lot back then as they had it all covered in scaffolding and a canopy all above it to allow the sandstone (!) to dry out itself. Over all these years the chapel just soaked the rain in like a huge sponge, which the stone of course could not handle well. But with the canopy above it, visitors were able to walk around the roof tops. And were also able to touch the stone. Which they did. Back then they allowed so many visitors in, they simply stuffed that small chapel with people. People were touching the stone, even the guides leaned against it. I couldn't believe what I saw! How would one be able to preserve, renovate and conserve something like sandstone (very smooth and easy to carve) when everyone keeps touching it?!

Well, this has changed. A lot has changed. They built a visitor's centre in front to keep people away from the little hut and be able to handle the masses. The canopy had been removed just last year because the stone had mostly dried out and they obviously have finished one side of the chapel as the scaffolding is now only on one side of it.
Included in the entrance fee is a free audio guide and/or a guide in the chapel which is held only in the middle of it. One sits down (it is a working chapel) and the guide stands at the altar explaining things. They don't walk around anymore (which in a chapel that size doesn't work properly anyway) but point out things with a laser pointer. Btw the guide I had was excellent. Ask for Maureen.

I am very much impressed I must say. And Rosslyn Chapel is one of my favourite places. Go, see for yourself!