My first post on Cathedrals has to be of the great cathedral in Amiens France. I have visited the Cathedral 4 times in my life: 1961, 1998, 2002, 2015. The first visit really doesn’t count as I was around 3 years old and living in Europe with my parents as my father was in the army and stationed in France. In 1998 I traveled to Europe with my parents and brother Clark for a tour of places they lived in and visited in the early 60’s.
Here is part of the Wikipedia entry on Amiens Cathedral:
“Medieval cathedral builders were trying to maximize the internal dimensions in order to reach for the heavens and bring in more light. In that regard, the Amiens cathedral is the tallest complete cathedral in France, its stone-vaulted nave reaching an internal height of 42.30 metres (138.8 ft) (surpassed only by the incomplete Beauvais Cathedral). It also has the greatest interior volume of any French cathedral, estimated at 200,000 cubic metres (260,000 cu yd). The cathedral was built between 1220 and c.1270 and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. Although it has lost most of its original stained glass, Amiens Cathedral is renowned for the quality and quantity of early 13th-century Gothic sculpture in the main west façade and the south transept portal, and a large quantity of polychrome sculpture from later periods inside the building.”
My visit to Amiens in 1998 was amazing. The experience of standing in the nave of the cathedral is something at can’t be captured by photos or words. I brought my wife and older two child to Amiens in 2002, and then again with my wife and youngest in 2015. I hope to post about books and websites which are more knowledgeable than I about this cathedral and other Gothic Cathedrals.
The above tries to capture the size of the cathedral, but really doesn’t do it Justice. What Amiens does lack is the wonderful stained glass of a cathedral like Chartres or Metz. That’s because it was located in an area involved in World War I and most of the original stained glass has been destroyed.