Construction of Bayeux Cathedral began in the Roman period, under Bishop Hugues, to continue under William the Conqueror’s brother, Bishop Odo (11th Century). Following serious fire damage during the 12th Century, the cathedral was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 13th Century. Construction of the central tower began in the 15th Century, under Bishop Louis d’Harcourt, to be completed only in the 19th Century following major work by Eugène Flachat.
Excerted from an interview with Ram Dass. A Conversation with Ram Dass by David Ulrich 2017 for Parabola Magazine.
“The soul is not part of the incarnation. It comes into the incarnation. And the soul is not afraid of death because it has done it so many times. And now the ego is individual, and the world at this moment is ruled by nations which are egos. And I find, for example, that the United Nations is very ineffective. But then what would we substitute? We could substitute wise beings from different religions or different states—philosopher kings, if you will.
If you want oneness in society, you have to teach people to go inside instead of going outside, because if they want peace, they need to find it within. I remember being at a peace rally. Everybody was yelling, “PEACE PEACE!” That isn’t peace! Peace is inside, in me and in everybody else. If you want peace, you go down in.”
Sometimes a visit to a catheral like the one in Bayeux can also bring you down into the heart. The tranquility and sacred atmosphere of this beautiful interior – once the crowds have left – can be felt. It is easy to sit down and breathe deeply and find that peace in the depths of your own sacred being. We stayed for three glorious days but three days is not enough to discover all the wonderful sites in this special Normandy town. Today I offer some of my photos of the elegant cathedral in Bayeux.
This photo is provided by the Calvados Tourist Office. Photo from the crypt.
The city of Allahabad ( City of God in Persian ) in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state prepares for the Hindu festival of Maha Kumbh Mela, 2013. The ancient name of this city is Prayag and is believed to be the spot where Brahma offered his first sacrifice after creating the world. It is one of four sites of the mass Hindu pilgrimage Kumbh Mela. The Prayag (Allahabad) Kumbh Mela is the largest and holiest of all melas and is believed to be the most auspicious, though the exact origin of the Kumbh Mela is very hard to pinpoint.
The Purna (complete) Kumbh or Maha Kumbh, the biggest and the most auspicious fair, falls once every 12 years, and is always held in Allahabad. The most recent Kumbh Mela was in 2001 in Allahabad and millions of pilgrims took a holy dip in Sangam on the auspicious Mauni Amavasya on the 24th January 2001.
Kumbh Mela derives its name from the immortal – Pot of Nectar – described in ancient Vedic scriptures known as the Puranas. Kumbha in Sanskrit language means ‘pot or pitcher’. Mela means ‘festival’. So ‘Kumbh Mela’ literally means ‘festival of the pot’. Though the festival is a primitive one, it’s origins can be traced back to the ancient event of ‘Sagar Manthan’.
Tens of millions of pilgrims are expected to visit Allahabad to bathe at the Sangam – the merger point of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers. The main bathing date for the 2013 Allahabad Kumbhmela is 10th Feb.2013.
The Cathedral du Notre Dame, du Paris
For centuries it has witnessed the greatest events in French history: 80 kings, two emperors, five republics – and two world wars.
With her original 13th-Century rose window, the cathedral was pillaged and nearly demolished in revolutionary France. Now her famous gargoyles stand guard against evil spirits.
This great Paris cathedral has seen crusaders and kings praying before battle and She survived. This month sees the start of a year of special events celebrating the landmark 850th anniversary of “Our Lady of Paris”.
The first stone was laid in 1163, though it took a further 180 years to complete. The principles of sacred geometry used in the Cathedral of Chartres took root here too. Yet, as the magnificent structure took form, history was already playing out in her shadow. Crusaders prayed beneath the world’s first flying buttresses as they set off on holy wars.
Within these walls, in 1431, a sickly boy of ten, King Henry VI of England, was crowned King of France.
And in 1804, to the sound of the 8,000 pipes of the cathedral’s Grand Organ, Napoleon was crowned emperor.
Music is integral to the life of this cathedral – in the archives, medieval manuscripts reveal it always has been. Recently discovered manuscripts of centuries-old music and chants have been made ready.
Fittingly, then, the great sounds of Notre Dame will be at the heart of the anniversary celebrations.
Throughout 2013, three choirs will bring to life some of the earliest sounds of Christianity.
Choir director Sylvain Dieudonne has said that, “in 1163, when they started building the cathedral, Paris became a centre of great intellectual, spiritual and musical development.
“The musical school was hugely influential,” he said. “We know from the manuscripts we have recovered that it influenced music across Europe – in Spain, Italy, Germany and in England.”
The year-long festival would not be complete without a celebration of the architecture. And to mark 850 years, they will be improving the lighting.
The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave, but after the construction began, the thinner walls grew ever higher and stress fractures began to appear as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.
Today the cathedral stands as a gothic masterpiece.
As this Christmas marks the 850th anniversary of this venerable church, it heralds the start of a year-long celebration of her influence and history in France. For western visitors, this home of Christian traditions will come alive with their performances.
Pilgrimage churches continued in popularity in the Gothic period (1100-1400). In France, one of the most important of these churches was Notre Dame de Chartres known today simply as Chartres Cathedral. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church housed a sacred relic: a piece of the Virgin’s tunic. Ravaged by fire on two occasions, the relic miraculously survived and thus Chartres became a very popular pilgrimage destination in the Gothic period.
Now, the Gothic architectural style is markedly different than the Romanesque (though both prefer stone). In the Gothic, everything was all about height – taller, taller, taller. These churches reached towards the heavens and cities in France competed for the honor of having the tallest structure. In order to create these tall structures, some modifications had to be made. First, the Gothic got rid of the rounded arches utilized in the Romanesque and instead pointed arches were used because they could better direct the weight to the ground and thereby allowed for greater height. Also, the Gothic period is characterized by flying buttresses and ribbed groin vaults (which will be discussed in a second). All three of these things (pointed arches, flying buttresses, and ribbed groin vaults) allowed for taller structures and also increased wall space devoted to windows, particularly stained glass.
Looking at the facade of Chartres Cathedral, you’ll notice that is dominated by a large circular window, or a rose window. Also, two soaring towers reach towards the heavens – and yes, I know they are strikingly different from one another. That is because they were built at different times. Please continue the journey of Chartres through the link attached. Not only does it provide a wonderful history of the cathedral, there are also detailed “you tubes” depicting every aspect of Historical Chartres. … enjoy.
The most amazing fact about the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is that it unites contradictions at one and the same space. Ancient pagan sanctuary with traces of labyrinthine maps to worship the solar cycle similar to Stonehenge transformed into one of the gems of Christian cathedral culture, it is the incarnation of the Sacred, par excellence, whatever the form. Located in the Loire Valley, Chartres Cathedral has been a Christian religious and architectural icon since the eleventh century. This Gothic cathedral has survived wars, revolutions and even fire. Towering church spires, stained multi-coloured glass and the labyrinth will be offered to visitors’ admiration.
The linguistic difference between mazes and labyrinths can be discussed. Most people consider them to be synonyms, but unlike mazes, labyrinths have a single path, no dead ends, and one way in and out. In many world’s religions it symbolizes the journey of the spiritual seeker, the path one must walk in order to grow towards clarity and wisdom.
I spent two days in the splendor of this amazing cathedral, trying to capture with my camera what is simply not possible to capture. Chartres is more about light and vibration than the beauty of its architecture. The Cathedral is huge, its grand pillars and stained glass windows, leaves one in such awe that taking photos is a chore anyway. Chartes is undergoing restoration and cleaning, therefore it is quite impossible to see the entire structure as some areas are hidden from view. The Cathedral is located in the middle of the charming town of Chartres, which in itself is of significant historic value. There is also a school of Sacred Geometry in Chartres, and I have been told that the Cathedral is of special interest to Keith Crithlow, who created some of the sacred geometry designs for the SS Hospital in Puttaparthi.