23 April 2017

Notre Dame Cathedral - Strasbourg

The first thing our DD wanted to show us when we arrived in Strasbourg was the Cathedral.

We were taken over bridges and down cobblestone alleys until she declared This is the long way but - I wanted you to see her from her best viewpoint first!

And there she was standing majestically in the City Square, towering over the surrounding buildings - and all we could say was
"Oh - You are beautiful"

This magnificent example of Gothic Architecture started life as a humble hall in the year 1015 which burnt down in 1176.

Realising that timber structures were not a good idea it was then, over the next 300 years, replaced by the Pink sandstone building that stands there today.

She is constantly being maintained, repaired, restored and used.  She is not a museum but a working Church.

Walking inside, our breath was taken by the soaring vaulted ceilings and the light and airy interior.
At 142 meters Notre Dame Strasbourg was for 400 years the tallest structure in Europe.

(Notre Dame Paris stands at just 69 meters.)

As well as the Grand Pipe Organ
(already mentioned in my Easter Post),
there is the Rose window.

This piece of work at 15 meters in diameter is unique in design as it does not depict images of Saints, rather it has 32 'Ears of Wheat' symbolising the commercial power of the city during the Middle Ages.*

There is so much to see in the Cathedral that you could spend many hours there.

One of the more surprising items is the Astronomic Clock.

This beautiful and awe inspiring piece of technology (still accurate today) is worthy of a post all of it's own.

We did not get the opportunity to see it in action but that is on the top of the list for our return trip!

That and "Doing the Climb".

My 'FitBit' has been getting quite the workout during our visit but I will need to get a lot fitter before attempting the 330 steps of the spiral staircase to the top.

I understands on a clear day you can see all the way to the Black Forest in Germany.

There are many Churches in Strasbourg but this one certainly stands out in a crowd.

It can be seen for miles and we found if we were lost in the city, all we needed to do was look to the heavens and locate the spire.

Surely it must have been an inspiration for many over the centuries.

* Ref: www. frenchmoments.eu/strasbourg-cathedral

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