WPC: Gothic on a GRAND scale.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg must surely qualify as ‘Grand’. It’s the tallest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of high/late Gothic architecture. (As always, you can get the bigger picture by clicking on each photo.) Its stunning pink sandstone facade is unique, and quite breathtaking.

DSCN4006

The famous west front entrance is decorated with thousands of figures.

DSCN4007

The beautiful Rose window is quite stunning from the outside,

DSCN4003

but from inside the cathedral, it is absolutely magnificent.

DSCN4014

There are so many gorgeous stained glass windows.

DSCN4047

DSCN4046

The total inside length is 103 metres, and it seems a long way down to the altar at the front.

DSCN4035

The magnificent pulpit is decorated with numerous statuettes which were sculpted by Hans Hammer in 1485,

DSCN4016

I was particularly fascinated by the 14th century beautifully ornate, suspended pipe organ, which had no visible way of getting to it,

DSCN4011

so unfortunately I was unable to go up there and give it a blast.

DSCN4041

In the south transept, there is an 18 metre high, astronomical clock, one of the largest in the world. The present clock, which is said to be extraordinarily accurate, was completed in 1843. It has sculpted figurines, which move around at different hours of the day. The clock does far more than tell the time, it also indicates solar time, with each day of the week being represented by a god of mythology. It also shows the month, the year, and the appropriate sign of the zodiac, as well as the phase of the moon and the position of several planets.

DSCN4020

If one happens to be there at half past midday, one can see all these automatons go into operation, and the figurines start doing their thing. At the top, you can see the representation of Christ, and underneath is Death himself.  Figurines representing the different stages of life, a child, a teenager, an adult and an old man, all pass in front of  Death. Above this, the apostles walk before Christ, accompanied by the sound of beating wings and the crowing of a rooster.

DSCN4023

Just in front of the clock stands the marvellously decorated Pillar of Angels, representing the Last Judgement.

DSCN4034 2

This magnificently grand edifice, draws in over two million visitors every year. It was once described by Victor Hugo, as “a gigantic and delicate marvel,”  and by Goethe as ” a sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God,” and is visible for miles around, even from as far away as the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine.

DSCN4002

I hope you’ve enjoyed your grand tour today. To see more entries for the Weekly Photo Challenge, just click on the badge below.

word-press-2013