Hidden Beneath the Seats – The Artisan’s Playground

The History and Mysteries of Europe’s Misericords Part III by Dave Douglas Davis If you’re in luck and look closely, maybe next time you’re in a church, you can spot a so-called Misericord, or Mercy Seat, under the seats of the folding choir chairs. They were used by the monks throughout the Middle Ages as…

Hidden Beneath the Seats – History of the Misericords

The History and Mysteries of Europe’s Misericords Part II by Dave Douglas Davis Misericord – or Mercy Seat – is the name of the ledge on the underside of the folding seats in the church’s choir stalls. Often hidden and usually unnoticed, these small seats meant a great deal for monks during their arduous day…

Hidden Beneath the Seats – Père Dominique’s tale

The History and Mysteries of Europe’s Misericords Part I by Dave Douglas Davis A couple of hours after sunset on the evening of January 29, 1497 a light frost settled over the fields outlying Villefranche-de-Rouergue. By the time Père Dominique arose from the wooden platform that served as his bed a little before two in…

In the footsteps of the Moors: Seville

Seville is a dynamic tapestry of eastern and western architecture and culture. For hundreds of years it was the capital of Moorish dynasties with Arab names like the Abbasids, Almoravids and the Almohad. This 2.200 year-old jewel has undergone just as many changes with its culture, as it has with its architecture and even its name. The ancient…

In the footsteps of the Moors: Cordoba

Although most of Spain and Portugal was under Moorish rule for many years, it’s the southernmost Spanish province, that is still a living testimony to its muslim past. Al-Andalus, the Moorish reign was called. The Andalusia of today is wonderful patchwork of Arab architecture, lemon groves, shadowy patios in hot cities, olive trees and water fountains. Here,…