Pictures & Photos of Amiens Cathedral, France. { 272 images } Created 23 Mar 2013

Pictures & images of Amiens Cathedral, France, and its Gothic statues and architecture. The north of France is a haven for enthusiasts of medieval Gothic Cathedrals and Picardy has many fine examples. One of the biggest and best preserved is the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Amiens. The medieval cities of northern France grew rich on trade and were protected by fortifications to keep opportunistic rival Dukes out. Cities also became rich as centres of pilgrimage so competed with each other by building great Cathedrals yo house holy relics. The prize of Amiens Cathedral was the relic of the head of John the Baptist looted during the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade and returned to Amiens. Amiens was originally built as a Romanesque cathedral in 1152. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt as a Gothic masterpiece in 1220 by Bishop Evrard de Fouilly. Robert de Luzarches was the architect until 1228, and was followed by Thomas de Cormont until 1258. His son, Renaud de Cormont, acted as the architect until 1288. The chronicle of Corbie gives a completion date for the cathedral of 1266. Finishing works continued, however. Its floors are covered with a number of designs, such as the bent cross (to symbolize Jesus' triumph over death). At 42.3 meters tall its naive is taller than Chartres and Reims Cathedrals but not as high as Beauvais. Amiens cathedral contains the largest medieval interior in Western Europe, supported by 126 pillars. The coherence of the plan of Amiens Cathedral, the beauty of its three-tier interior elevation, and the application of an extremely scholarly sculptural program on its principal facade and the wing of the southern transept are striking. From 1292, The cathedral was enriched by chapels built between the buttresses of the side aisles. The style of the seven radiating chapels facing the double ambulatory of the choir became a model for other cathedrals. A large sequence of tableau in the North transept illustrates Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple whilst on the south side of the ambulatory are tableau from the life of John the Baptist and St Firmin, the first bishop of Amiens. The 1990’s cleaning and restoration of the sculptures of the west facade revealed paint fragments on the statues that allowed renovators to work out what the statues would have looked like in medieval times. An intricate light show was devised that allowed colours to be projected onto the statues showing them in their original colours. This remarkable light show can be seen every night through the summer at Amiens revealing the vibrance that all medieval Cathedrals had when originally built.

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