Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stained Glass windows in Old Town San Juan

Back from the Caribbean!  We missed two snowstorms while we were there and have since had one more .. and another this morning .. with another due this weekend.  This will be a winter to remember.

Our first port was San Juan, Puerto Rico and the first thing on our list was to see the 5-story stained glass window in the newer East wing of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. We clarified with a taxi driver at the pier where we wanted to go, and the rate.  When we arrived, I wasn't sure that it was the correct museum (there are many in Old Town), but he assured me it was.  We paid the fare and left the cab, only to find that it was closed .. under construction.  We were disappointed, but took a leisurely walk through the area instead.

We came upon the Catedral San Juan Batista Basilica Menor.  Built in 1540 it is the second oldest church in the Americas.  Here we found some beautiful stained glass, as well as the burial place of Ponce De Leon, the first Governor of Puerto Rico who died while allegedly searching for the Fountain of Youth in Florida, and the mummified remains of St. Pio, a Roman martyr.

We went on to visit five more Caribbean islands but this was the only stained glass we saw.  I did some cursory research on the windows to determine when they were constructed but was unable to determine their age.  Considering that the art of stained glass dates back to the eleventh century, it is conceivable that they are original.  The building as it stands today dates back to 1540, but the original building was demolished in a hurricane in 1521.  Then in 1598, the church was looted by troops under the Earl of Cumberland.  In 1615, it was hit by another hurricane which took off the roof.  There is noticeable damage to the lower end of the window as shown above, but there was no mention of how it was damaged.

January-February are normally slow months for us.  I'm currently working on the design of a very large window which I will be collaborating on with another stained glass artist.  There are a couple of smaller commissions in the works as well as a couple of lamp repairs in the pipeline.  Stay tuned ..

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

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