And nearly everywhere we looked people had flower boxes at their windows. There was an air of mystery and old-world charm in every corner. Stones that apartments, churches, restaurants, taverns, and stores were built of seemed to hold memories from years past. No matter where we were there was no trash in the streets and no graffiti anywhere in " Old Madrid."
We saw plenty of performers making music with their instruments of specialty. Some where a curious thing to see, like this man making music with glasses! And he was pretty good too! Everything from Beethoven's 9th Symphony to The Blue Danube!
There was this fantastic oriental musician performing on an Erhu and the sounds he made were just magical.
We also enjoyed window shopping. There was just too much to see! Everything from meats and cheeses to dolls, paintings... you name it!
We entered Plaza de Mayor next but I'm going to save this part of our visit for a later post. Right now I want to show what I saw when we visited the royal cathedral of Madrid. It was quite a sight!
The first thing we noticed upon entering the lavish doors was how big it is inside! We saw the main alter made of pure gold.
To the left there were multiple stain-glass windows, lamps, statues, and another impressive dome! This one had the whole story of Jesus depicted all around its inner circle.
To the left from the center of the cathedral was an impressive hall of arches and columns. There was another alter here, a bit smaller than the main alter. Above were multi-colored designs that led your eyes straight to the organ.
The cathedral was very pretty to look at but I noticed that there was also a mournful feeling inside. Even when there was lots of beauty and splendor none of it brought any comfort. It all seemed very cold and rigid. Everything, even the way the cathedral was built, seemed to make a person feel small. And nowhere I looked was there even one Bible verse on a wall or alter or anything! And I realized that this was part of the sadness I felt.
People who went to this cathedral didn't know that knowing God doesn't come from going to a building, no matter how fancy it is. You can't know God by giving money or burning candles, no matter how good the intentions may be. And no amount of good works is ever enough to take away guilt or shame or grief. That kind of pain and suffering needs to come from outside ourselves. No one can operate on their own heart. You need a surgeon for that. Likewise, in matters of the human spirit we can't fix ourselves. We need the Creator to fix what is broken or wounded deep inside. And the only way to know God in this way is to accept what He says in the Bible as truth. He says that knowing Jesus brings new life into a person's heart.
I noticed that the cathedral had a statue of St. Peter on its outer wall. He is considered the pillar of the Christian church. This is what Peter has said in the Bible:
" Christ also suffered. He died once for the sins of all us guilty sinners, although he himself was innocent of any sin at any time, that he might bring us safely home to God. But though his body died, his spirit lived on."
I Peter 3:18
Its a shame his words are nowhere to be found within that cathedral's walls. Peter knew the truth of how difficult being human can be, how many times we do wrong even when we don't want to and how guilt can haunt us. But he found an answer that solved his problems.
Anyway... visiting this cathedral was an intriguing experience. Next post I will be sharing photos of Madrid's royal palace, the Palacio Real. And I'll show you photos of the royal gardens. Drop by again!