I can truthfully say that I did not spend enough time in Savannah to truly photograph all of the sights, but one of the highlights of my visit remains Savannah’s Cathedral. I heard several tour guides on passing buses compare it to the cathedrals of Europe. Needless to say St. Peter’s and Notre Dame have nothing to fear, but, as you can see in this picture, it is on a par with many of the smaller cathedrals, no doubt. It is a well proportioned and classically designed building. The interior is also lovely – well worth a visit if you are there.
There has been a Catholic parish in Savannah since the late 1700′s, and the first cornerstone was laid here in 1835. A new cathedral was begun in the latter half of the 19th century and barely completed when it was burned in 1898. The exterior walls survived and it was rebuilt and in operation within a year, but it would be more than a decade before it was restored to its previous state. For more on the history of this grand lady of Savannah, the church has it’s own website. In this photo, I’ve added some textural layers and adjustments to create a vintage feel, like something you would see in an old picture or postcard from Savannah.
This is a fairly typical picture of Savannah, while there are building surviving from all periods of the history of the city, these buildings facing East River Street and the Savannah River, of course, are typical of the predominant style. A lot of the buildings facing the river would have been former cotton warehouses from a day when Savannah’s chief export was cotton. Today, they are filled with tourists, Savannah’s chief import since John Berendt’s book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
It’s because of the cover of that book that so many visitors seek out Bonaventure Cemetery. The Bird Girl statue from the cover is no longer in Bonaventure having been moved to protect it, but as this picture illustrates there are still some incredible and memorable monuments throughout Bonaventure. The history of the cemetery dates back to a family cemetery on plantation property, but the city purchased and renamed it Bonaventure in 1907. I’m sure that I will visit this beautiful old cemetery again some day. I did not have the time or energy when I went to completely take it all in.