If you've ever driven down Atherton in Boalsburg, you've probably passed it a million times without knowing it. I'm talking about the strongest connection to Christopher Columbus in the entire
"This is the Columbus Chapel. The outside is
So how did it wind up in
"And it was through this
Mathilde's aunt, Victoria Montago Columbus, owned this castle, and when she died, she left the chapel portion of it to her niece.
"And Theodore Davis Boal brings it over to Boalsburg in 1909 as the crowning touch for his American estate," said Lee.
And it is a sight to behold.
"The inner door is part of the original, it goes back to 1600. It's hand-carved, Spanish wood," said Lee.
"It's gorgeous," said Sarah.
"Isn't it something?" said Lee.
But the real beauty lies inside this historic chapel. That's where you'll find two pieces of the cross Jesus was crucified on.
"They were given to the
Look further and you'll see the very Admiral's desk
"Inside there's cabinets and drawers for the ship's log and the like," said Lee.
And more than 165,000 pages of
"This was the confessional, and now since there's no more sins in the family, we put in shelves. Why do people laugh when I say that?" said Lee.
All the while, you're surrounded by breathtaking artwork, including this piece, painted in 1535 by Ambrosius benson, a Flemish painter.
"You'll find paintings from Ambrosius Benson in the Louvre, the great national gallery in
So the way I see it, you can either book a flight to Europe, or go back in time without ever leaving the great state of
"I tell people that we save them a lot of gas," said Lee.
The Boal family actually does open up the chapel on Columbus Day for a special invitation-only mass, where they actually play the organ that Mathilde used to play many years ago. Of course, if you weren't on this morning's guest list, you can always stop by for a tour. The cost is $10 for adults, $6for children, and children six and under are free. There is a special rate for groups larger than ten.
For more information, visit them online at: http://www.boalmuseum.com/