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Postcards: Amiens Cathedral (FR)

The largest cathedral in France (you could put two Notre Dame de Paris in it!) also possesses the tallest nave for a complete cathedral in the country. It stood proud before me on a glorious Wednesday morning when I was in Amiens and yet I was at lost on photographing it with Frédéric’s few-days-old camera. The small manual that I’ve grabbed on my way out of our apartment sat in my bag; I didn’t have the time to consult it page by page, nor the patience to. I would just have to make do somehow.

Amiens Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral which construction began in the 1220 under the instruction of Bishop Evrard de Fouilly, while three architects – Robert de Luzarches, Thomas de Cormont, and Renaud de Cormont – oversaw the works. These men are commemorated through an octogonal plate embedded within the floor of the cathedral, enclosed within a labyrinth. Standing at 112.7m in height, its nave stretched an impressive 42.3m, giving it the real meaning (esp back in the 13th century) of reaching for God and the heaven. With multicoloured stained glass and imposing sculptures that recount religious stories to the populace, the cathedral in its entirety was deemed worthy to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

(Hover over photos as usual for captions)

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral

I’m not knowledgeable enough to really write about the cathedral and the significance it holds in terms of religious messages. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has a pretty good description (and some related multimedia and links), but I still think the photos tell you a lot more of the cathedral than mere words.

In the summer months, what’s marvellous is the illumination of the façade of the cathedral. The statues become alive with the colours they used to wear, projected upon them. It was such a pity that I did not know about it before hand, and therefore hadn’t plan to stay overnight in Amiens to catch the light show. It would have been similar to the illumination in Reims, which Lauren has photographed recently. And just imagine how overwhelming it could have been a few centuries ago!



Category: Europe, France, Travel

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

4 scribbles & notes

  1. Just fantastic photos, Lilian! We were lucky to have gone a few Patrimoines ago and got to walk triforium. Looking down at that floor and apse and all of it was just magnificent!
    Have fun in Dijon!
    xx

    • Lil says:

      Thanks Daisy, and yes we had tons of fun in Dijon. More photos to process before I can post them up! ;)

  2. med says:

    Wow…cant imagine the actual work and effort taken to so intricately design and build the cathedral….that many years ago as well…WOW ;)

    • Lil says:

      Indeed! And the painstaking effort today too, to retrace the original colours etc and put on a lightshow to showcase how it was. Part of why I love France is all these little details :)

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