Monday, August 07, 2006

Chartres I

Reasons that might explain why Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral is one of my Top Ten Places on the planet, maybe even one of my Top Five or Top Three:

1. The towers are different, asymmetrical, which appeals tremendously to my personal sense of the slightly off-kilter God in all things.


2. The labyrinth.

3. The blue in the stained-glass windows.

4. The soaring height of the interior.

5. The side buttresses.

6. The knowledge that sacred buildings have been built again and again on that same site, which permits it to claim a certain mystery of gravity.

7. The portal sculptures.

8. The choir screen, where the Wise Men look like the Three Musketeers (I think that analogy has to be credited to Rick Steves, but he's right) and Jesus forever draws a line in the sand.

9. The worn stone floor, where pilgrims have walked for 800 years.

10. (New to me) The late night summer light shows that enable us to continue to enjoy the cathedral in the context of 21st century computer artistry.

9 comments:

Ellyn said...

Your pictures are wonderful and I love your commentary! Ellyn from the Mitford BB

Carol said...

I particularly love the first photo. Your thoughts on this incredible building are also wonderful.

betty said...

I can see why you enjoy this building so much; I'm sure the pictures don't even do justice to it

betty

dee said...

I love antiquated architecture. And I like the sound of "flying buttresses" so much.

Anonymous said...

I think I did a report on Chartres in my high school French class, so it's always been one of my favorites too--your photos are stunning as usual.

Meg

Quotidian Grace said...

Ah, the labyrinth! How cool...

Cynthia said...

I'd never seen a layout of the labyrinth before. My travel lust burns even higher.

Kathryn said...

I am reading "The Philosopher and the Druids" by Philip Freeman. He states that the cathedral at Chartres was built on an ancient worship site of the Druids.

Your trip seems to have inspired some armchair travel for me. I highly recommend the above-mentioned book about a Greek philosopher's travels among the Celts in the first century B.C. I also enjoyed "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill.

kairos said...

Breathtaking pictures! Thanks for them, and for stopping by my blog to send us well wishes. I appreciate both greatly!