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West Tower, Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France by T. E. Smith-Lamothe

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
T. E. Smith-Lamothe T. E. Smith-Lamothe
Explore score
Print Pricing
$4.00 to $607.00
0.05 Gigapixels
Date added
Jan 03, 2013
Date taken
Apr 19, 2009

This "other" Notre Dame Cathedral somehow survived a catastrophic fire in 1194 while it was under construction (the Cathedral was begun in 1134 and finished almost 130 years later in 1260 --- think about that: likely five generations lived during the construction period!). The Cathedral's windows are famous as they are some of the oldest stained glass in Europe.

I have, myself, done some stone-carving, and the embodied effort on display in even the small sculptures of the West Tower --- all done with the simplest of hand tools --- is truly over-whelming! It's a tribute to all the anonymous carvers and stone masons who participated. Although many of the figures have deteriorated over the centuries, the imagination and humour of these Medieval artisans still manages to capture attention and awe.

I also wonder about the scaffolding used to construct such a tall tower --- probably sticks held together with twine! Also of interest is the gilded 24 hour clock partially visible at the left of this hand-held panorama --- it must be one of the oldest public clock faces in France.

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