Monthly Archives: May 2023

Amiens Cathedral: Almost Heaven

The scale of Notre Dame de Amiens is hard to comprehend, a familiar experience when visiting Gothic cathedrals. Church architecture for medieval people served a didactic function; in other words, the building was a sermon. Approaching and entering such a structure is like accessing Heaven. It is simply impossible not to become transfixed at some… Read more »

Third Stop – Amiens

Continuing our circumnavigation around the Île-de-France, our next pilgrimage stop was the city of Amiens. France’s excellent highway system makes the drive from Laon to Amiens a pleasant hour-and-a-half cruise. When driving from Reims to Laon, we took the back country roads to visit Vauclair Abbey, but on this leg of our trip, we had… Read more »

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon

A church has existed in Laon since the beginning of the fifth century. However, the Gothic structure we have today dates back to the 1150s, owing to a parish uprising that destroyed several buildings, including the Romanesque church. Completed in a mere 80 years, the Cathedral is a stylistically unified example of Early Gothic architecture…. Read more »

Second Stop – Laon

The second stop on our Cathedral pilgrimage was in the hilltop city of Laon. Retaining a great deal of the charm of its history, Laon looks like a storybook town out of a medieval tale. High up on a hill above the Picardy plain, its ramparts and fortifications successfully checked the invasions of the Franks,… Read more »

Christian Time Traveling

Our cathedral pilgrimage was essentially a journey back through time. Although there are cathedrals built in contemporary architectural styles, our interest generally does not point in that direction. We’re interested in the Romanesque and Gothic styles mainly due to their beauty and because they reflect the medieval attitude. That “God-centric” culture produced buildings and works… Read more »