Friday, August 21, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 1 - Lewiston, Maine

I took an exciting trip with my mother to discover Acadia in Canada's province of New Brunswick and some of Quebec as well, and to revisit my relatives, whom I last saw some 30 years ago. I also learned of the history of the persecuted Acadians and celebrated in one of their more important festivals with my relatives of Acadian descent. Of course we also took in some sight seeing along our way and visited other cultures in the Gaspé region, such as the Québécois and Mi’kmaq.

Our first stop was in Lewiston, Maine to rest for the night. We arrived in the afternoon and took in the Saints Peter and Paul Basilica. The lower church was completed in 1906 and the upper church in 1908.

The granite was mined in Jay, Maine. The towers are 168 feet (51 meters) tall and contain 5 bells and a carillion.

Looking towards the back of the church and the rose window. Note the baptismal font, the bowl of which is carved from one piece of Italian marble. It stands on four Solomonic columns with Corinthian capitals that match the altar. Note also the majestic Casavant organ and the oak woodwork that surrounds it.

The altar was designed prior to the baptismal piece, so it is of Italian marble and the columns are as were previously described.

The side windows are called the "Rosary" windows and some depict the stations of the cross.

In this photo, you can see the depth of the altar.

As we continued on our journey the next day, we passed Mount Katahdin, and I took this photo from a scenic overlook. Click to enlarge.

Tomorrow we reach Canada!

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