Golden Arches

The architecturally astute may note that the title image features gothic arches that tower over a local congregation.  Cathedrals changed denominations and religions throughout their history.  Yet somewhere in their structure (theologically and practically) they were built to be central in a town and visible from the valley or waterways below.  The gap between ceiling and worshiper was often underscored as a reminder that God was in heaven and we were on earth.

The lovers arch, assembled, according to legend overnight, stands as a monument to the relationship between Fredrich V and Elizabeth Stuart.  Built in 1615 to celebrate her birthday the arch in a military triumphal style features hidden animals in the foliage of the columns.  In Heidelberg, often noted as a place of learning, this was genuinely human yearning.  The arch brought heaven to earth.

Sometimes it is easy to confuse food with junk-food.  Wandering around Europe the arches of cathedrals, monuments and museums may provide more spiritual nurture than any fast-food. Margaret and I paused under the spires at the cathedral in Cologne.  This was not our first visit, yet the ratio between creator and created continues to exude the humbling might of a towering cedar in the rain forests of British Columbia.

The arches in the exposed exploded munitions storage tower may remind some of us of the spiritual powers and the consequences of disregard.  The clue might be that the “Golden Arches” are marketing-speak for fading power.  Historical arches may cause us to stand in awe.

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