A Hidden Gem

Over the years I have collected around 50 books on Gothic Cathedral’s.  As you go through those books you become familiar with the early Gothic Cathedral’s like St. Denis north of Paris, and Laon Cathedral.  Then onto the big later Gothic Cathedral’s like Chartres, Amiens, and Beauvais among many others.  But I don’t recall much being written about Metz Cathedral.

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Officially known as Saint-Etienne Metz, it has one of the highest naves in the world and the largest expanse of stained glass in the world.  The Nave is 136 feet high and the 13th highest Gothic Nave in Europe If I had to guess, the long period of construction from 1265 to 1539 is why the major books on Gothic Cathedrals don’t spend much time on this cathedral.

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We visited this cathedral in July of 2015.  It really fit it’s nickname – Good Lord’s Lantern.  You can get a hint of the glass in the pictures in this post.  However it is interesting that the cathedral is very bright – compared to the ultimate in stained glass – Chartres Cathedral.  It must be because of the famous blue glass of Chartres which let’s less sunlight in.  Compared to the more famous Gothic Cathedrals, Metz doesn’t have the same amount of art and sculpture which can be a negative.  But if you are in eastern France I would recommend a stop in Metz to see the Cathedral.  It is also a nice city to walk around.

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