Reims Cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece

Reims Cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece

A true masterpiece of a Mature Gothic architecture is the Cathedral in the French city of Reims . located in the heart of the champagne region . According to legend, on the eve of the baptism of Clovis from heaven was sent forth the dove, which brought the chrism for the anointing of the king. With this event began the tradition of the coronation of the kings of France in Reims.

The oldest building of the Cathedral was built in 401 BC on the site of the present temple. The second Cathedral, consecrated by Ingmara Rheims, was built in the year 852, however, in 1210, the building was completely destroyed by fire. The first stone of the temple we see today was laid in 1211 by Archbishop Aubry de Umber, and in 2011 the famous Cathedral celebrated its 800th anniversary .

The people who created the Cathedral, put him in his soul, spending on the construction of 64 years . On the one hand, the Reims Cathedral – the symbol of royalty and pride of the French people . his precious heirloom. On the other hand, he is one of the richest examples of Gothic art, which is dedicated to our lady. Researchers call the Cathedral “Academy of arts” . where they joined the works of the greatest architects and sculptors of the XII century. Cathedral length – about 140 m, width – about 30 meters. In one of the towers there are two large bells, one of which was cast in the middle of the XVI century and is called “Charlotte”.

Reims Cathedral is an unsurpassed architectural complex. Amazing stained glass window-roses are fine examples of medieval art. For example, a large rose on the Northern facade tells the story of the creation of the world . in the centre is Christ, on the petals – image of Adam and eve, Cain and Abel, angels, and animals.

The Cathedral is decorated with more than 2,300 statues . including images of kings, knights, saints, artisans and even the devil. The Cathedral has one of the most famous sculptures – “Smiling angel” or, as it is called , “Smile of Reims” . But the figure of Atlanta with a distorted grimace – a prototype of Quasimodo from Victor Hugo’s novel. On the portals depicts various scenes: the last Judgment, the coronation of the virgin and the passion of the Christ. In the gallery of French kings 56 is enormous statues. In the center – the king of Clovis with St. Remigius and his wife Clotilde.

Sorry, Reims Cathedral had to go through a lot of changes since its creation. The building was severely damaged not only from the countless attacks and the French revolution, but also from the events of the First world war. The building was almost in ruins. It’s long restoration was completed only in 1938 . however, the stained glass was restored only in 1974, based on sketches by Marc Chagall . For this reason visitors most often can only admire the copies of famous statues and stained glass Windows. Due to the fact that Notre-Dame de Reims — the highest Cathedral in France (its height is 82 meters), and also because of its exceptional uniqueness, it is in the registry of UNESCO world heritage since 1991 .