I’ve long wanted to see Laon Cathedral in Northern France, which featured in the Cathedrals of Europe course I took at Oxford University’s Continuing Education.
It was an enchanted sacred space, with Gregorian chant echoing through it.
Funny, when I am in a Gothic cathedral, I think of it as my soul’s natural home.
These Gothic cathedrals built during medieval Europe’s building boom were sublime expressions of a community’s devotion. Entire towns and villages, men, women and children worked together to haul massive slabs of granite uphill, (often in silence, eye-witnesses say) to construct these noble edifices to the glory of God.
The gargoyles outside Laon Cathedral, unusually, memorialize the noble oxen who hefted the granite up the steep hill to the cathedral.
An icon of Jesus in Laon has made it a place of pilgrimage. I didn’t particularly care for the icon, but it did express one feature of the Messiah as mentioned in Isaiah, “He had no beauty that we should desire him.”
A few more images of Laon Cathedral