Two Gothic Cathedrals

Two Gothic Cathedrals. A picture named St. Chapelle Stained Glass.jpgSt. Chapelle is a Gothic chapel built by Louis IX in 1248 to hold the trinkets he picked up on his first foreign trip (i.e. “Crusade”). Apparently, the Venetian merchants had a few baubles that he was interested in and which he brought back as mementos of his travels:

Notre Dame Cathedral is right next door, but instead of five years to build, it took almost 200 years. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation in 1163.  Almost 700 years later when Napoleon chose Notre Dame as the place for his coronation the Cathedral was in shambles.   But even in its run down state it was still the place for an emperor to receive his crown.

A structure like Notre Dame envelopes you with awe from the moment you enter it with solemn reverence.  The three large circular stained glass windows in the clerestory are trance-inducing, especially when you view them from inside the Cathedral as vocalists harmonize celestial hymns. Actually some of the large windows are relatively new and were installed after WWII, but not because of damage from bombing in the war.

The problem came several centuries earlier when Louis XV decided he didn't like the stained glass and replaced two of the round windows with clear glass.  Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, right?  [Ernie the Attorney]

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