Friday, November 11, 2011

St. Illuminatious Cathedral

For several days I've been aching to write about St. Illuminatious Cathedral (SLurl) by Abel Dreamscape but have been thwarted by Real Life and other in-world projects. Today I made the time and I hope you make the time after reading about it here to visit this amazing site.

Let's get the basics out of the way. St. Illuminatious Cathedral is some 4075 prims without furniture and easily fills an 64 meter by 120 meter area with a height that almost strains draw distances, just over 102 meters. Like the real world edifices that inspired this structure, it is mind-blowingly big. And the beauty of the build is equal to or greater than it's size. You must see this to believe it. Here is the gratuitous, specially lighted and composed picture you'd expect.

Look very closely and you'll see a nun clad in all white in the main entrance. That is my 1.88m (6.16 ft) avatar. Take a breath and think about the scale here.
I could have taken more beauty shots like that with different Windlight settings and various tweaks and ... frankly, none showed the real beauty. Here are some detail views, with comments, that I hope give a better idea of how gorgeous this build really is.

This could have been a simple texture as it is about 15m above ground level and most folks wouldn't look that closely, but it is all prim. Looking from ground level as you move left-to-right it makes a difference as the block wall shows through the details making the depth real, not implied.

Look at the little "spires" ... they are all over the place. To me, this just shows the builder's love of being faithful to the source. There is a lot of love in this building.

Very skillful use of sculpts. Mr Dreamscape sells the parts in a Builder's Pack, by the way. Not like I'd have the skill to use them. *sigh*

Flying buttresses. Flying Buttresses! Holy Canoli, they are even faithful to Real Life architecture. Sadly, though, there is no "real" rainwater drainage system, gargoyles aside, but adding the little tunnels and all that would raise the prim count horrendously, I imagine.

The towers are stunning inside and outside. Look at the spires and the windows and the slats and the ... I'm having an Architecture-gasm. If you ever see some 'idiot' with binoculars outside a cathedral or other such structure in RL, it might be me. I love looking at all the little details.

One of the towers has bells. Big Bells. When you visit, look closely at the support arms. The clappers are odd, but not something I haven't seen.

Right. You have to climb into the bell tower, stand in a certain place, then cam in to see this detail of the ropes. Builders who bother with this level of detail are really passionate about their craft.

The staircase to the bell tower. There might not be any furniture included with the cathedral if you buy a copy, but the building is not bereft of decorations. Look for all the candles and you'll see what I mean.

Wonderous vaulted ceilings plus fabulous columns equal amazing beauty.

Above the altar space. Impressed yet?

An arcade beside the altar space, true to Real Life architecture again. And there is one outside under the flying buttresses on what is traditionally called The East End.

More beautiful stained glass in the transepts.

Again, this could have been a flat texture, but detail is important in a build of this majesty.

This staircase leads to a walk above the choir area.

Details are important, of course, but when you mind turns to mush you'll go back to saying "wow" as you focus again on  the scale of the cathedral
If you are like me and you really need your own copy of this magnificent build, it is available in-world or on the SL Marketplace for a mere L$45,000 ... about L$44,600 more than I have right now.