Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Our school had a class day trip to Chartre which is not too far from Versailles. The day basically consisted of a tour of the cathedral and some time to wander around the city. We didn't do much with our free time, but just before we were to leave we found this quaint little section of town behind the cathedral. There is a river with some nice stone buildings as you can see in the photo below.

The rest of the city was very nice, though similar to many other French cities of the same size.

But it was the tour of the cathedral that made the trip so memorable. Our guide was Malcolm Miller. He is a scholar who has been "reading" the cathedral statues and stained glass windows since 1958. He compares the cathedral to a library with each stained glass window and statue arrangement being a book. During the tour, he walked us around and read some of the stained glass windows along with an assembly of statues. Some are graphic representations of stories from the bible complete with symbolic iconography. Others like the rose window also spell out numerous symbolisms and etymologies. If you were raised Christian or have a fair knowledge of it, the tour probably has your head reeling at the end. It is astounding how the creators of the elements of the building infused it with such a rich network of imagery and meaning. The tour was one of the highlights of my stay in Europe and a tour or lecture by Mr. Miller is highly recommended. Especially if you have time during a stay in Paris for a day trip to Chartres.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice photos! It was great to hear about the cathedral, too.