A view from Jeanneb

By Jeanneb53

Rosslyn Chapel

A lovely day!

We took the no 37 bus from Princes Street this morning to Roslin, about 7 miles south of Edinburgh. It was a nostalgic bus trip for my friend as the route took us through Liberton where she lived in her teens and whilst at college.

Our destination was Rosslyn Chapel now famous due to it's appearance in the Dan Brown book/film the Da Vinci Code.
I was a little concerned that it may not live up to expectation, especially when about a dozen of us alighted from the bus.

After a cup of coffee we headed to the chapel which is actually the Church of St Matthew. You can see some of the stone restoration here above the Baptistry entrance.

It is slightly truncated from the outside as the original design (1446) was never realised but the inside is a true delight. No photos allowed of course but the detailed stone work was amazing. There were description boards strategically placed around the building pointing out specific features and sometimes the story behind them. One was of the mason and his apprentice. There are two decorated pillars attributed to them and the mason was so angry and jealous that his apprentice finished one to a high standard, whist he was away, that he killed him! As a consequence the mason was hanged. There are head bosses depicting the faces of the two men and the sad face of the mother of the apprentice.

Much of the decoration is from nature. There are lots of depictions of the Green Man and flowers and leaves such as Aloe Vera and Trillium as well as Indian corn leading to speculation as to how these exotic plants were known at this time. For example did the Scots discover America? The Indian Corn is from that continent yet the chapel was built before Columbus 'discovered' it! The roof was also in panels of carved stars and flowers in amazing detail. We even met the chapel cat who featured largely on lots of the souvenirs.
There was very little mention of Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code except in the crypt which was apparently used for filming, but I suspect it has certainly increased the visitor numbers.

If you are near here or staying in Edinburgh I would highly recommend this trip. It took awhile on the bus due to traffic but was quicker coming back and it was £1.60 for a single journey!!

We've had sunshine and blue skies too! (Not forecast - why do we bother looking?)

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