The Cathedral

The outside, west façade of St. John’s Cathedral is extravagantly decorated. From the large sculptures, right down to the sets of doors, the detail of the work is majestic. You feel that you are an insignificant person while admiring all of the years of hard work that was put in to build this cathedral. Many of the outer sculptures around the main sets of doors are more contemporary. One sculpture shows a bus falling off a bridge and another shows a birth of a child. Another contemporary issue that wouldn’t be seen on cathedrals such as Notre Dame is the depiction of pilgrims and Indians sharing food above the main entrance. All this works leads you to believe that the inside will just be as lavish as the outside.
The outside façade puts you into a mentality that what you are about to enter is going to be of great mass. I was surprised by the coldness of the inside. As I entered I didn’t see the intricate detail that encrusted the outside of the cathedral. I peered down the long corridor lined by columns the size of redwood forest trees, to see the altar many, many yards in front of me. I looked up to see the cross-ribbed vaults connecting to the columns.
I feel that the outside of the building tricked me into believing that the inside would be as beautiful. The only part of the inside that was beautifully done with great detail was the stained glass that adorned the walls. The large round stained glass window on the west wall, seen from the interior grabbed my attention from the very beginning. The six-foot figure of Jesus Christ in the center looks small compared to the size of the entire window.
As you pass all of the grand pillars you come to an opening where the old architecture melds with the new. The rough uncut stone flows into the softer cut stone as if the building was rebuilt into the old building.