Four magnificent churches in one day (including two cathedrals) is like getting four aces in poker. You’re over-joyed and don’t know how to react. Should you be modest or gloat! I still can’t believe their majestic beauty where Gothic at its best is about replacing stone walls with soaring panes of glass and letting the light enter where it was blocked before.
I started with Notre Dame in Chalons (the photo with me in front of it), met a man who did the Camino from his home town in western France (he’s also in the same quad), then visited their Cathedral (St Etiene–St Stevens) is a prime example of Gothic achieving its goal (stone to glass).
St Etiene is in the second quad finishing with a pic of a happy train I took to Reims. After dropping off my backpack at the CIS Hostel, I went to their Cathedral which in 2011 celebrated its 800th Anniversary! The stained glass panels were overwhelming–all of course modern works that replaced fire and war damage. It took me two hours just to settle my senses down and keep me focused on a few I especially liked. The left pic in the quad is by Marc Chagal, and the right pic is by Imi Knoebel that flanks Chagal’s pane on both sides and was inaugurated in 2011.
The special historical treat, however, came at the Basilica of St Remi, where in 498 he (as bishop) baptized Clovis, the first king of the Franks. After that, a long chain of Carolingian Kings followed. Mind you, the church that stood here was a predecessor church to today’s basilica, but St Remi is interred in the Basilica’s Sacrament Chapel not far from the altar.
Well, I guess I gloated. Tomorrow it’s back to walking (backtracking).