A visit to Salt Lake City - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Our next stop was at The Salt Lake Tabernacle, also known as The Mormon Tabernacle, and other than The Temple this is probably the most widely known building in Temple Square.
The Tabernacle is home to the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and we were told that the acoustics are so sensitive that a pin dropped at the pulpit can be heard, quite clearly at the back of the hall some 170 feet away. With acoustics like that, the 11623 pipe organ and The Tabernacle Choir must be something to hear!
We were frustrated to find that we had missed a performance by the choir earlier that same morning and we promised ourselves we would try and schedule one in whilst we were visiting Salt Lake City, sadly we never actually managed it.
The general public are welcome at choir rehearsals held most Thursdays 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM, when you can stay for all or just part of the two hours. On Sundays, ' Music and the Spoken Word' takes place at 9:30 AM, with seating available from 8:30 until 9:15 AM.
Thirty minute organ recitals take place Monday to Saturday 12 noon and on Sundays at 2 PM. You can find up to date information on the Tabernacle choir website.
Although we did not get to hear an organ recital, one lucky gentlemen, who was obviously familiar with the workings of a pipe organ, was being given the opportunity to play, closely supervised by one of the tabernacle officials. Even though he was only playing a few notes and chords, the sound from the organ was superb, and a recital must be something else!
Tours of the Tabernacle are offered everyday, 9AM until 9 PM.
Opposite The Tabernacle is the magnificent Temple itself, which is used by Mormons for religious occasions such baptisms and marriage ceremonies, it is hugely sacred to the Mormon religion and you can learn much more about The Temple by taking a trip to the South Visitor Center.
Moving on we visited The Assembly Hall, adjacent to The Tabernacle. Built of granite from the same quarry as The Salt Lake Temple, for me this building has a far more pleasing exterior than that of The Tabernacle. A cross between a gothic church and a Victorian mansion house, with white spires and stained glass windows it is fronted by a large lawned area with pretty, well tended borders. The Assembly Hall was built, as its name might suggest, for several congregations to meet and worship together and is still used for this purpose today. Also used for recitals another spectacular pipe organ is housed here and free admission concerts are held here on Friday and Saturday nights. Tours of The Assembly Hall are available daily 9AM - 9PM.
After a brief beverage stop ( we had to go and purchase outside Temple Square ) we returned to the South Visitor Center. Very different to the North Visitor Center, this building focuses mainly on the Salt Lake Temple itself and shows the history of the temple from the choosing of the site by Brigham Young, through its construction until its dedication in 1893, some 40 years later. The exhibit details the Mormon beliefs about The Temple and its role in the worship of the Mormon followers.
The center also houses a scaled model of The Temple, providing an insight into the interior of the building which it is not possible to see otherwise.
The Visitor Center is situated adjacent to The Temple and there is an area to sit and view The Temple in quiet contemplation.
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