So today was day two of rest and recreation in León. It had a treat in store for us.
We got up early at 9.30 and headed to the museum of Saint Isodoro Cathedral. Little did I know that this would be the highlight so far of my touristing component of the Camino. We were taken to a medieval library of priceless manuscripts and choir music, all on parchment, illuminated and in complete order. One of the Bibles was 960 AD. It took seven years to write by two monks. The last page sported an illustration of them toasting The End! Good on them.
We then moved into the original scriptorium, where they worked on the manuscripts and found ourselves surrounded by recently restored 16th century frescos, only recently completed. We saw the conservation process and were in awe of the love and care bestowed on these gentle masterpieces. Emily, I thought of you.
We then moved onto the most valuable item in the museum, the Chalice of Doña Urraca….. considered the true Holy Grail.
Here is the Wikipedia description:
The Chalice of Doña Urraca is an artifact kept in the Basilica of San Isidoro in León, Spain. The connection of this artifact to the Holy Grail was made in the 2014 book Los Reyes del Grial, which develops the hypothesis that this artifact had been taken by Egyptian troops following the invasion of Jerusalem and the looting of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, then given by the Emir of Egypt to the Emir of Denia, who in the 11th century gave it to the Kings of Leon in order for them to spare his city in the Reconquista.
And here is a Smithsonian clip on the discovery of its provenance.
The rest of the day was uneventful, really. It could only go down after meeting the Holy Grail!