Friday, 20 July 2012

Hail and Regale

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Hail and Regale ~

Regale and Hail, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Some places are just too somptuous to fathom, especially when you consider they were built many 100s of years ago.

This is one such place - La Sainte-Chapelle - on the Ile de la Cité. You probably know the story. It was built to house a whole collection of holy relics which had been obsessively collected by Louis IX back in the 13th century.

Some of the stained glass panels actually show King Louis IX bringing Christ's relics back to Paris, thus hammering home the sacred royal right to be God's representative on Earth. Ho-hum, whatev. After hubris comes nemesis, they say. Whether that's true or not, Louis did become the only French king to be canonised and get a whole bunch of towns, islands and bridges named after him for his troubles (which included carrying the holy relics into Paris barefoot and dressed as a penitant).

The thing that strikes me about the place, especially the upper chamber, which is the famous one with all the windows, is the detail. The detail and the sheer amount of glass, little pieces of glass all fitted together into one huge and hugely impressive example of, wait for it... Rayonnant Gothic architecture.

If it didn't make your neck ache you could spend hours just gazing up at those walls of windows - so to speak - in wonder. It's all because the walls are really just a spindly structure of supporting pillars for the roof, leaving the vast majority for the beautiful coloured glass masterpieces. Even if you're not religious, there's no denying the powerful impression it makes as you contemplate the lengths (and heights, more to the point) man will go to impress God and just possibly his fellow mortals too. Job done!

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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