9 minutes long, the Secret of the Light, Chartres Cathedral , France.
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. (Matthew 5:14, The Message)”
Lamp Of Love
– by Rabindranath Tagore
Light, oh where is the light?
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame—-is such thy fate, my heart?
Ah, death were better by far for thee!
Misery knocks at thy door,
and her message is that thy lord is wakeful,
and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.
The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless.
I know not what this is that stirs in me—-I know not its meaning.
A moment’s flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight,
and my heart gropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.
Light, oh where is the light!
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void.
The night is black as a black stone.
Let not the hours pass by in the dark.
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.
Photograph Source: Chartres FB. Page. with thanks…
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.