Реферат на тему:
Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous, historic and widely
visited churches not only in Britain but in the whole Christian world.
There are other reasons for its fame apart from its beauty and its vital
role as a centre of the Christian faith in one of the world’s most
important capital cities. These include the facts that since 1066
every sovereign apart from Edward Y and Edward YIII has been crowned
here and that for many centuries it was also the burial place of kings,
queens and princes.
The royal connections began even earlier than the present Abbey, for
it was Edward the Confessor, sometimes called the last of the English
kings(1042-66) and canonised in 1163, who established an earlier church
on this site. His great Norman Abbey was built close to his palace on
Thorney Island. It was completed in 1065 and stood surrounded by the
many ancillary buildings needed by the community of Benedictine monks
who passed their lives of prayer here. Edward’s death near the time of
his Abbey’s consecration made it natural for his burial place to be by
the High Altar.
Only 200 years later, the Norman east end of the Abbey was demolished
and rebuilt on the orders of Henry III, who had a great devotion to
Edward the Confessor and wanted to honour him. The central focus of the
new Abbey was a magnificent shrine to house St Edward’s body ; the
remains of this shrine, dismantled at the Reformation but later
reerected in rather a clumsy and piecemeal way, can still be seen
behind the High Altar today.
The new Abbey remained incomplete until 1376, when the rebuilding of the
Nave began; it was not finished until 150 years later, but the master
masons carried on a similar thirteenth-century Gothic,
French-influenced design, as that of Henry III’s initial work, over that
period, giving the whole a beautiful harmony of style.
In the early sixteenth century the Lady Chapel was rebuilt as the
magnificent Henry YII Chapel; with its superb fan-vaulting it is one of
Westminster’s great treasures.
In the mid-eighteenth century the last malor additions - the two western
towers designed by Hawksmoor - were made to the main fabric of the
THE NAVE was begun by Abbot Litlington who financed the work with
money left by Cardinal Simon Langham, his predecessor, for the use of
the monastery. The master mason in charge of the work was almost
certainly the great Henry Yevele. His design depended on the extra
strength given to the structure by massive flying buttresses. These
enabled the roof to be raised to a height of 102 feet. The
stonework of the vaulting has been cleaned and the bosses gilded in
At the west end of the Nave is a magnificent window filled with stained
glass of 1735, probably designed by Sir James Thornhill (1676-1734).(He
also painted the interior of the dome in St Paul’s Cathedral} The design
shows Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with fourteen prophets, and underneath
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