Etherial and magical is one of the best ways to describe it. It’s the third time I’ve visited this Church.
It’s one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Western World.
I’m a great fan of Ken Follets books. He describes in graphic detail the construction of Cathedrals such as this.
In Medieval times the patrons described the Church as “a gateway to heaven” and walking into the upper chamber when the light hits the 50 foot stained glass windows you can truly believe why they felt that way.
The windows read, as a visual manuscript from left (at the entrance) to the right. Over 1000 images trace the scriptures from Genesis through to the Crucifixion and Apocalypse.
The chapel was completed in in 1248 by Louis the IX to house what is believed to be treasury at Notre Dame.
Reading the true story, it’s as though the fictional books I’ve read are coming to life even down to the fact that King Louis IX paid three times the amount for the relics from the King of Constantinople than the cost of the entire build of Sainte Chapelle. Then again he was Canonized for his deeds.
There is an elaborate chapel downstairs which was for the servants use and then you wind up a narrow stone staircase barely wide enough for a person to climb into the magnificence of the main Chapel. We sat quietly trying to take in the vision.
There are other places to explore in this area. We missed some but have time to visit at a later date.
The next block houses Notre Dame. It bought back memories of my Father who commented with disbelief on the beauty of the carvings on the Portal of the Virgin.
“I can’t believe you have seen such amazing things” he said in wonder.
His words echoed in my head as we mingled with the crowd during the service.
I wish my Dad could see this. In recognition of his comments I walked and photographed sharing the vision with him.
We shared time and space with 1000’s of other tourists who possibly miss that the first stone was laid in 1163 and that this Gothic Masterpiece was the vessel for some of the greatest events of the world including the coronations of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 and Henry VI in 1422.