Tuesday, September 8, 2009


For the fortunate traveler to Europe, the most striking piece of the landscape is the cathedral. I can’t off the top of my head think of any major city in Europe without a major cathedral to attract tourists. Notre Dame in Paris, perhaps the poster child for all cathedrals, took over two hundred years to build, and yet, the common reaction is to wonder how they built so magnificent a structure so quickly given the resources of the age. The multi-colored marble duomo (cathedral) in Siena, Italy could accommodate the entire population of Siena (15,000 people) at one time when it was built.

This struck me this morning when I heard that only 24% of the population in the United States goes to church on any given Sunday. www.cbsnews.com/sections/sunday/main3445.shtml

I was surprised that the percentage was so low. The notion of an entire population gathering at a central point was so foreign to me, so astounding, really, until I realized that the entire population of the United States gathers daily, without fail, in front of the new cathedral - the television. Unfortunately, that leaves the travelers of the future with very little to see.

By Sam Delpresto

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