CEILING OVER NAVE, AMIENS CATHEDRAL, FRANCE: Amiens’ Cathedral of Notre Dame sits atop a gently rising hill above the peaceful River Somme in northern France. While the actual date of completion is somewhat disputed, most historians agree the church was completed around 1270. It took approximately 50 years to build— in an era of no motors, cranes nor any electrical or gas powered tools. It was built with brains, brawn and stone using clever hoists, ramps, levers and fulcrums. Amazing, really. Although Amiens is not the tallest Gothic cathedral in France (that’s Beauvais, although it remains incomplete), it is the largest. The nave ceiling rises 139 feet above the floor, roughly the same height as a modern fourteen storey building.
In the First World War, the town of Amiens sustained heavy damage during the “Kaiser’s Battle,” the last major offensive of the German Army. The battle raged within miles of the cathedral. It sustained some heavy bombardment and several chapels were damaged. The main structure remained sound. I like this photo for its geometric patterns and the various gradients of pink and yellow colour cast by the sunlight beaming in through the upper windows.
Shot handheld and braced with a Nikon D300, 16-85 DX zoom lens at 16mm, ISO 3200, 1/80 sec., f11. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography