woensdag, april 05, 2006

St. Stephen's Basilica

Szent Istvan bazilika in Budapest has to be seen to be believed. It is the height of spiritual ostentatiousness, carried out by good Catholics after the Holy wars and persecutions were over (although some of us aren't quite sure the persecutions are really over yet) and they had some free time on their hands. Never mind that the people are starving, this building isn't about the people. It's about the POWER (and material wealth) OF GOD.

In case you think the entry fee to the main attraction doesn't leave your wallet light enough, you can always leave your bank account number and have a donation direct debited from your bank account, once you've sprinkled yourself with holy water and entered the chapel.

And if it's a freak show you're looking for, step right up! How about the "Chapel of the Holy Right Hand"? Uh . . . yeah. It's the petrified severed right hand of some dead holy person clutching a wad of jewels. Now if looking at THAT doesn't make you feel Holy, I don't know what will.
Looking at it, you can almost hear the former owner of the hand saying, "Don't even think about it, Your Holiness. If you want this back, you are going to have to pry it out of my cold, dead hand!"

All in all, this place made my head swim.

Once the organ started plaiying, the only thing missing to make the experience completely terrifying was a clown.

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