There is a small, quaint and ancient cathedral hidden in the twisting alleyways of the Spanish town of Valencia. The building itself is a strange oddity reflecting a variety of architectural styles ranging from early Romanesque, subtle Renaissance, heavy Baroque and the more restrained Neoclassical.
The intrepid Carolina Squirrel (Squirreldom’s equivalent of Indiana Jones; a dashingly handsome and rugged archaeologist/adventurer squirrel) followed the clues laid out by an ancient manuscript that he had decoded which is known as “Lonely Planet – Valencia” and found himself outside this unique cathedral.
Upon entering, Carolina Squirrel found a strange religious ceremony taking place in which two people carry out a public sacrifice of their freedom and swinging singlehood in a ritual known as a “marriage”. While, Carolina Squirrel was mildly entertained by the local natives dressed up in their ceremonial robes, he was not deterred from his search. With his squinty eyes, he scanned the dark recesses and elaborate carved decorations of the cathedral. Then suddenly, he saw it!
The Holy Grail! The holy relic said to be a cup used by Christ at the last supper was here. Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code placed the grail as buried under the small pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. Pffft! He got it wrong!
The grail has been in Valencia since the 11th Century. Tradition holds that Saint Peter brought it to Rome in the first century and then it was brought to Spain by Saint Lawrence in the third century. Archaeologists have determined that the artifact is a Middle Eastern stone vessel which does in fact date back to the first century. It now sits on top of an Medieval era ornate stem and base of alabaster, gold and gemstones. The cup was the official papal chalice of many popes and was most recently used by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
Having triumphantly solved this mystery, the intrepid Carolina Squirrel is off to find Aladdin’s magic lamp.
*(The grey squirrel is known scientifically as Sciurus carolinensis. Hence the choice of Carolina Squirrel in place of Indiana Jones. “Carolina Squirrel and Aladdin’s Lamp” coming soon to a cinema near you ….as soon as I can get some %@*# backers with vision to fund its filming!)
All pictures by LGS