48 Rouen, France, Cathedral of Notre Dame de l'Assomption. Handy sword? Check.

  It is odd that it took me a while to add Rouen cathedral to the blog, given that I walk past it almost every week on my way to work. It is mostly famous for having been painted by Monet (I mean he painted pictures of it) at different times of day with different sunlight effects. I finally went in to take photos shortly before closing time, so all the parts behind the main altar got missed out. Will have to go back to add more pictures. I also included more outside pictures than usual, but then the outside is spectacular. Some of it goes back to the 11th century. Fabulous Baroque side altar, check. Low-key style pulpit, check. Soaring Gothic arches, check. Handy sword, check. Thirteenth century stained glass, check. Also, a pretty confessional. Richard the Lion Heart is buried here (well only his heart actually), as is Rollo (the duke not the chocolate). Information in English Information in French Information in Picard

47 London UK, Westminster Abbey!

  My little amateur blog was a bit intimidated to be visiting Westminster Abbey. The abbey is an exceptional building. It is not controlled directly by church authorities, but by the monarch himself or herself. Perhaps this is why you have to pay 25 pounds to get in, since we all know the royal family is short of a bob or two.   I have friends who do not like cathedrals, because they represent for them the power of religion, which has very frequently been deployed in the interests of the 1%, against the mass of the people. But cathedrals were built by workers, not bishops, and they often employed the best artists of the time.   To get back to Westminster Abbey, this is of course where you get coronated and buried if you are a king or queen. But some important people are buried here too. Poets and scientists in particular, the most recent name being that of Stephen Hawking. As well as actual tombs, there are many commemorative plaques for respected writers and scientists, from Farad