| images by john ecker, pantheon photography

Cathedral of Notre Dame, Laon, France

CATHEDRAL OF NOTRE DAME, LAON, FRANCE:  This beautiful early Gothic Cathedral in northern Champagne is visible from kilometres away.  It sits on the highest point of the ancient town.  The steep drive to the top is exhilarating in itself, via narrow roads with many switchbacks.  We arrived late in the day and found the building was locked.  We’d have to await the next day for a visit inside the massive cathedral.  With the western sun on the massive red doors, the beauty of the steep gables and statuary were aglow like no other time of the day.   Notre Dame was completed in 1225 after nearly seventy-five years of construction.   The interior is magnificent.  My favourite feature is the 13th century crossing lantern.   And, on the west façade you can see the memorial to World War I Commonwealth war dead.  Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 16-85 mm at 39mm,  f5,  1/50 sec., ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker

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