Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paris Cathedrals

... the first cathedral you see remains with you forever as the cathedral of the world. - M.E.W. Sherwood

Notre Dame de Paris was my first cathedral.  Like the quote me, it is THE cathedral. 

Sweetie Pie in Paris

It's beautiful from the front and you get an idea of the size from the side.
It's humbling to sit here.  It took 182 years to finish building the cathedral. We lite candles and caught part of a mass. It's very moving.

The ceilings in the nave are 115 feet high. 

The Grand Organ has 5 keyboards and 8,000 pipes

Gargoyles...but only from afar. One of these trips I'll get up close and personal.

The Church of Saint Sulpice was close by.  It's second in size to Notre Dame.

The Lady Chapel

This is the starting point of the gnomon.  A meridian line of brass was inlaid across the floor and ascending a white marble obelisk, nearly eleven metres high, at the top of which is a sphere surmounted by a cross. The obelisk is dated 1743.  In the south transept window a small opening with a lens was set up, so that a ray of sunlight shines onto the brass line. At noon on the winter solstice (21 December), the ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk. At noon on the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor near the altar.

The obelisk with the sphere.  In the Da Vinci Code, the albino priest comes to Saint Sulpice in search of the keystone.  He breaks through the floor in front of the obelisk, only to realize he's been lead astray.  There is a sign in the church next to the obelisk....

"Contrary to fanciful allegations in a recent best-selling novel, this [the line in the floor] is not a vestige of a pagan temple. No such temple ever existed in this place. It was never called a "Rose-Line". It does not coincide with the meridian traced through the middle of the Paris Observatory which serves as a reference for maps where longitudes are measured in degrees East or West of Paris. (...) Please also note that the letters "P" and "S" in the small round windows at both ends of the transept refer to Peter and Sulpice, the patron saints of the church, and not an imaginary "Priory of Sion".

Not my first picture of this fountain.  I love the lions. 

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