There's an ancient Spanish monastery in Miami, and the story of how it came to be here is amazing--for more, see their website. I've been wanting to go see it for years, but the days when I could go, they have been closed.
Yesterday the stars aligned, and my spouse and I made it over. It was a strange mix of people: the devout, the tourist/curious types, and lots of folks taking photo shoots:
I loved this juxtaposition of a bride and suit of armor.
I'm astonished at how we're allowed to touch just about everything. Perhaps they figure that the subtropical climate is much more of a threat to the centuries old structures than the oil of our fingers.
There were "crystal" chandeliers hanging in the trees; are they there all the time or just for the wedding that would take place?
The tour was worth it--just the right amount of time and information.
This nativity scene is apparently popular: #4 on some worldwide list.
This room, the chapter room, has the best acoustics--in the original monastery, monks would gather to hear the abbot read to them. My spouse went back after the tour and sang Dona Nobis Pacem, and it was the high point of our time there.
This labyrinth is one of the smaller ones I've seen. Could we create something like it in our back yard?
It was the perfect kind of outing, something outside of what we usually experience, much more interactive than a movie, with physical activity and mental stimulation. What a great way to spend part of our Saturday!