• Kat

Light and Stone

At last - a sunny day! I had been watching and hoping we would get one and when it arrived we went to Saint Chapelle. As gothic cathedrals go Saint Chapelle is rather small. We got the audio guides and wandered around the first floor for a bit. The first floor is pretty interesting but it is the second floor that we all came to see. Fifteen gorgeous stained glass windows fill the air with glorious light! Each window has a different artistic theme and most depict a book from the bible - Old and New Testaments. One is a bit different with scenes from history. For this cathedral I brought my camera to France - my phone doesn't handle large stained glass windows very well. Plus it fills up quickly! The camera is clunky and very slow but takes great pictures.

The audio guide was a great help. Our iconography is so different from what is depicted in these windows but the guide tells you what the pictures mean. For example below is a close up from the Exodus window. The man with the gold horns is Moses - the horns show that he is a holy man. I don't know what image you have of Moses but I tend to think of Charlton Heston in the "Ten Commandments. " not a man with gold horns.

Unfortunately I couldn't listen to the entire guide - it was cold and I was getting hungry. My son had gotten hungry much earlier and my husband very kindly took him off for lunch so I could stay longer. I did skip ahead and pause when things caught my attention. I left a little reluctantly but felt it was a really good visit. I got a sandwich and found a delightful park to eat in and then joined my family at another cathedral in the near vicinity - Notre Dame.

Yes, you can easily walk from Saint Chapelle to Notre Dame!

Compared to Saint Chapelle Notre Dame is very large, a bit cavernous even. It too has glorious windows and there is room for quiet and even contemplation. I lit a candle and spent some time in prayer. The space is filled with centuries of prayer and all the concerns of visitors present and past.

We were very fortunate - we visited Notre Dame 3 days before the fire. I am grateful and glad that my son got to see it because it will take years to rebuild and restore. I can remember it whole - walking along the river and trying to get pictures of Notre Dame with cherry trees blooming nearby. Then I discovered I was walking in the wrong direction entirely! Turning around I made my way to the Tuileries - a huge outdoor garden park with sculptures and fountains. It was time to sit in the shade and rest.

#SaintChapelle #stainedglass #cathedrals #NotreDame

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