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King’s Cross and King’s College


Chapel-ceilingThe new concourse at King’s Cross Station in London is very arresting architecturally, or at least its ceiling is.  Its shape rather calls to my mind the magnificent fan-vaulted ceiling of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge.  It is only the shape of the one that calls the other to mind.  King’s College Chapel is rightly renowned for its excellence, and features on television every year in “Carols From Kings,” usually recorded a few weeks earlier, but broadcast on BBC2 on Christmas Eve.

I am not a great fan of the positioning of the painting “Adoration of the Magi” by Peter Paul Rubens on the high altar of the chapel.  It is a magnificent work of art, but its position makes the altar look more like a museum display than a place of worship.  Its acceptance by the college and its placement in the chapel were controversial when the painting was given to the college because extensive work to lower the floor had to be done to accommodate it.  It remains controversial today.

The chapel is, however, one of Cambridge’s must-see sights, and is a splendid location for the organ recitals sometimes given by the organ scholars.


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