The tour started at 9:00 am, so it was an early start for Jessica, as she lives 25 miles west of the campground! She rolled in at around 7:00 am and we were on our way!
We were meeting my sister, Pam, and my Aunt Lee at Hillside City Hall, where the tour was originating. Pam and Aunt Lee were already there when we arrived, munching on donuts and bagels. Fruit, orange juice, coffee and water was also available.
This is the Hillside Village Hall Complex which originally was a minor seminary for prospective priests and brothers for the Order of the Servants of Mary. The seminary closed down in the late 1960's.The Village Hall took over the buildings in 2003.
The tour begins!
One of our first stops was Bishop's Hill.
|side view - you can see the bronze statue of the Angel of the Resurrection|
|Building completed in 1912, there are 30 steps leading up to a pair of carved bronze doors. Above the entrance is engraved the word, "Resurrecturis", which means "to those who will rise again".|
Inside the Bishop's mausoleum are buried 7 of the past bishops, archbishops, and cardinals from the city of Chicago. One of the privileges of the tour was seeing inside the mausoleum, for I don't think it is open to the public very often.
It was surprisingly small once we were inside; maybe it was because there were about 16 of us standing in there. The Holy Fathers are buried on either side and the altar runs along the back wall.
Above the altar is a beautiful mosaic that was designed in Italy, pasted on paper, and then shipped to the United States. Four Italian workers were then hired to reconstruct a panorama going outward from The Risen Christ that depicts the dead rising from their tombs.
High above the altar is a scene from the Last Supper depicting Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
This is on the dome of the mausoleum.
This is the crypt of Cardinal Bernadin, the most recent cardinal to be buried here.
Did you know that we got the term "mausoleum" from the Greek? When her husband, King Mausolus of Caria died, the queen had a huge tomb built in honor of him (between 353 and 350 BC). The Tomb of Mausolus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The word mausoleum has now come to be used generically for any grand tomb. (Wikipedia)
This is a photo of a model of The Tomb of Mausolus, built to scale. The tomb stand 148 feet tall and is located in Instanbul.
Unfortunately, the original tomb was destroyed; probably by an earthquake. Here is a photo of the site today. Both the photo above and below are from Wikipedia.
Mausoleums were very popular in Europe, and immigrants were the first to erect them in both Mt. Carmel and Queen of Heaven cemeteries. There are over 400 mausoleums in Mt. Carmel alone, most built years ago. The cost of building one today? Close to a million dollars!
|photo credit: kkathy - Panoramio|
Here is Angelo "Bloody Angelo" Genna's tomb. He was the head of the Sicilian mob and was killed by Vincent Drucci, Earl Weiss and Bugs Moran of Chicago's West Side Gang.
The Queen of Heaven cemetery has the world's largest Catholic mausoleum. Construction began in 1956 and took 20 years to complete. The mausoleum holds 30,000 crypts, has over 100 stained glass windows, several small chapels and sculptures. It was like walking in a museum. We could have spent the whole day walking through this magnificent place.
|The 10-foot tall Archangel Gabriel stands above the entrance of the mausoleum. The statue weighs 10,000 pounds and took 10 weeks to carve.|
|Stained glass window from one of the chapels|
|Typical small room off of the main hallway - look closely and you will see the names of the people on the wall who are buried in the crypt there. There are crypts on both sides.|
|One of the many sculptures on display.|
What does a moving tombstone, a haunting Italian bride and other interesting facts have to do with each other? They are all in my next post! Stay tuned!