Day 5: Via Francigena – Siena to Monteroni d’Arbia
When observing the Siena Cathedral and other architectural highlights of the 12th and 13th centuries on the Via Francigena it comes to mind that people in medieval times felt a strong connection between the physical and the spiritual.
The cathedrals were an expression of faith with everyday life closely intertwined with religion.
Records from the Siena Cathedral show that construction started around 1226 with the transportation of black and white marble, probably for the construction of the façade and the bell tower. The craftsmen who started the intricate works of art inside and outside the building often did not see their masterpieces completed during their lifetimes, yet put all their energy and creativity into the project.
Head mind and heart mind
Along the path to industrialization and the material comforts of modernity something has gotten lost with the disconnect from physical and soul needs.
The head mind is preoccupied with the distractions of the 10,000 things of short-term gratification, and emphasis on youthful vigor and performance-driven culture. It is the breeding ground for greed and egocentric behavior, the results of which we can see in the destruction of natural ecosystems, irrespective of the consequences for future generations.
The heart-mind is timeless and rooted within a multi-dimensional perspective of unity between the physical and the spiritual. It is restorative rather than exploitative. There is mindful awareness of life within a complex matrix of interdependency.
Leaving Siena and looking back the skyline is still dominated by the Cathedral on the hill. The walk itself takes the pilgrim through open, expansive countryside with unlimited views, especially of the old walled barn complex in La Grancia di Cuna, one of the most impressive agricultural buildings in the Tuscany landscape. From the 12th century it offered pilgrims and merchants on the Via Francigena accommodation and food.
The entire installation is walled with two towers facing the southern entrance. The main entrance leads to an L-shaped square from where mule packs could reach the upper floors of the barn.
Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker
One more thing…
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