At the intersection of writing and life with the author of the Cameron Ballack mysteries

Thursday, March 17, 2016

On Holy Ground

The #8 reason to check out my second novel, The Broken Cross, has to do with holy ground. No, that's not Providence, Rhode Island, although the Yale Bulldogs might say otherwise after their stunning 79-75 upset of Baylor just a few moments ago in Roger Williams' fair city.

It has everything to do with the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, known to locals as the New Cathedral (to distinguish it from the "Old" Cathedral, which is the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France down by the Gateway Arch). Begun in 1907 and completed in 1914, the Cathedral is unique in its construction. The Romanesque Revival interior contrasts with the Neo-Byzantine exterior. The twin towers on either side of the central dome hearkens architectural wonks to the glory of Hagia Sophia in medieval Constantinople. Four chapels in the four interior corners offer space to pray (including the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, which figures prominently into Detective Cameron Ballack's case) and the central dome towers 227 feet above the floor.

But it is the mosaic tesserae collection that is the Cathedral's highlight. Begun in 1912 and completed in 1988, the mosaics are made of 41.5 million glass pieces in over 7000 shades of color. The spread of stained glass covers 83,000 square feet and is the largest collection of individual mosaic pieces in the world.

If you're ever in St. Louis, you really need to stop by the Cathedral and take in the wonder, whether you are a follower of any faith or none. It's a breathtaking monument to divine beauty and human creativity...

...and not to mention the perfect place for a most unholy crime of murder. But then we're getting ahead of ourselves and I might ruin your dinner by giving the details.

Speaking of dinner, food makes the list on reason number 7. Until next time...

[Note: The Cathedral's web site, if you're interested, is]

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