Friday, August 11, 2006

My brush with the Da Vinci code

I admit it, I read The Da Vinci Code. And I've even thought of going out of my way to visit some of the places mentioned in the book. I went to the Louvre in April (I wanted to go anyway) - but I've also been meaning to go to some of the London landmarks mentioned in the book. Some of them like some Templar church, are really not far from where I work and worth a visit, so I should go. Whatever you think of Dan Brown, he does have some cool tourist destinations in his book.

Yesterday, I brought my new camera to work and thought I might go out and snap a few shots at lunch time. I didn't really have a plan, but I ended up going into the Priory Church of the Order of St John. I had worked within ten minutes walk of this place for years - but had no idea that it was there. The Order of St John, is apparently, a Templar order - though I don't think it's mentioned in The Da Vinci Code. It's still a functioning order and now does charitable work for ambulances and first aid.

The Priory Church was open at lunch time yesterday because there was a special exhbition of Zimbabwean artists. I went in and had a look around. Some of the stone sculptures were absolutely fantastic. I got questioned for taking pictures, but the art director was nice enough about it. You can read about it here: The exhibit will be around for another 8 or 9 days - and if you're in London it's worth a look.

The Director, Tawanda Sarireniis, was an artist himself - but only had a few pieces on show. I can't find any of them on the website, and I was too shy to take a photo. But his pieces of cheetahs and hippos were fine and characterful.


madonna at the foot of the cross
Agnes Nyanhong's sculpture in the garden of the Priory Church

Priory Church of the Order of St John
Flags of the sub-orders(?) of the Order of St John

Crypt in the Priory Church of the Order of St John
The Crypt - where I was startled by an odd looking albino monk (not really)

door handle in the Priory Church of the Order of St John
Door handle at the Priory Church of the Order of St John

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

I believe the Order of St John are descendants of the Knights Hospitallar not the Templars; they were the other big knightly order that protected pilgrims to the holy land, they had a good reputation as they provided medical services and were never abolished, today they maintain the St John's Ambulance.