A Student Abroad

Living and Traveling Around Europe.

The Cathedral

So I realize that it has been quite awhile since my first post and I hope you will forgive my lack of a reliable internet source. However, now that I am well taken care of in that arena I hope to be posting quite regularly.

Yesterday, I was able to tour the Cathedral of our Lady of Strasbourg. Completed in 1439, it was for over 400 years the tallest structure in Europe and considered by many to be one of the finest example of Romanesque architecture.

Despite the fact that I had heard of its insane beauty before i arrived, I was certainly not prepared for just how overwhelming its presence truly is. It towers over you as you turn the corner of Place Gutenberg  and the first thing you notice is unbelievable level of ornate  detail on the outer facade.  The interior is no less stunning….thousands of candles guide your way past displays of 14 century Christian relics and the stain glass windows highlight the beauty the massive chamber.

What truly fascinated me was the astronomical clock. Standing over 18m high and over 300 years old it is a astounding piece of art, capable of telling solar time, equinoxes, the sign of the zodiac and the phases of the planets. At 12:30 figurines of the 12 apostles emerge from the clock and make their journey around the clock face past Christ. An angel, meanwhile turns over an hourglass.

If you come on a weekday you are also allowed to climb all the way to the top of the tower and are treated to breathtaking view of the surrounding city.

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September 24, 2010 - Posted by | Strasbourg | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Just for you to know a bit more :

    There is also a beautiful stained glass window offered by the council of Europe in 1956 that represents the Virgin Mary with on top of her head… her crown of 12 stars with which she his often represented in Catholicism (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Virgen_estrasburgo_UE.jpg). The designer of the flag, Arsène Heitz used to live Rue de l’Yser in Strasbourg, and until he died a few years ago, he repeated to journalists (http://www.rennet.org/rennet/articles.php5?id_article=118): « C’est à moi qu’on a demandé de dessiner le drapeau de l’Europe. J’ai eu subitement l’idée d’y mettre les douze étoiles de la médaille miraculeuse de la Rue Du Bac [75007 PARIS ndla] sur fond bleu, couleur de la sainte vierge. Et mon projet fut adopté à l’unanimité le 8 Décembre 1955, fête de l’immaculée conception. »

    The fathers of Europe (many of which were very Christian) wanted a cross in the flag at the beginning, but since the flag was supposed to represent the European community and the Council of Europe at the same time, and there was and still is Turkey in the Council of Europe… The 12 stars of Mary were a good way of adopting a Christian flag without saying it officially. Plus the other projects were quite ugly, actually : http://www.coe.int/T/F/Com/Dossiers/Evenements/2005-12-drapeau/non_retenus.asp

    Comment by Sil | October 8, 2010 | Reply

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