Monday, July 6, 2015

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel, or the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew as it was to have been, was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, third and last St Clair Prince of Orkney, in Roslin, near the Scottish capital. It is in fact only part of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower at its centre. Though incomplete, it took forty years to build.

The chapel served as a family house of worship during the 16th century, despite the fact that the St Clair’s continued their Catholic beliefs and practices, after the Reformation, leading thus to tensions. The alters were finally destroyed in August 1592, whilst the chapel fell into disuse. During the 17th century the chapel was attacked on a number of occasions. Nevertheless, restoration commenced in 1736 by James St Clair, continuing up to the 19th century. The chapel continues to this day to be a working church, and is part of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a member of the world –wide Anglican Communion.

The chapel has been part of many mystical theories and stories. Additionally, the chapel is famous for its beautiful decorative art and its mysterious associations with the Knights Templar, Freemasons and other such stories. This led it being part of Dan Brown’s book and film, The Da Vinci Code. 

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