Earlier this summer, shortly after arriving in England, I went to Ely to see my first cathedral. I went after work, and unfortunately missed being able to see the inside, I believe it closed at 6. However, it was more than worth the drive out there, for just the outside of the cathedral was splendidly beautiful.
The cathedral was built during the latter part of the 11th century, finished in 1109AD. It was caught up in the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII, however it only sustained minor damages to stained glass, statues, and shrines. The building, thankfully, remained in one piece and was refounded a couple years later. If you’re particularly interested in the history of this place, which actually starts about 5 centuries earlier with St. Etheldreda, check out the cathedral’s history page.
I plan on returning some day, and am thinking maybe even this coming weekend, to see the interior. In addition, while I was there, while walking around the building, I was able to hear a choir singing inside and they sounded amazing. Browsing their website, they have Evensong most evenings, and I’m thinking that would be a nice time to go, hear the choir, and hopefully the organs, and see the interior. Google has some amazing shots of the inside of this cathedral…
Oh, and the gargoyles all over the cathedral made my day… 🙂