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Реферат на тему:

 

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

 

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

Abbey.

 

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

recent years.

 

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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