📍 🇫🇷 Much ado about Strasbourg's Cathedral
"Truly an original work, and not a copy", described French historian Henri Focillon.
Strasbourg Cathedral is a hybrid of Romanesque (11th-12th century) and Gothic architecture (13th-14th century), originally built on an earlier Carolingian church (9th-10th century). A Romanesque dome adds round dimension and shadows to the back of the choir in this cathedral. The 19th century artists respectfully embraced the oriential-inspired forms at the site with the addition of golden Neo-Byzantine frescoes to the late 12th century stones.
It was towards 1350 CE, that this building welcomed pointy gothic vaults, lifting the beautiful pink Vosges sandstone carvings to new heights. The western front of Strasbourg Cathedral is ornate with compound columns, lancettes, rose windows, and traceries that ascend vertically towards the sky. The building captures within its architecture, the Gothic energy and inventiveness.
Don’t forget to see the south portal of the Cathedral - unjustly deserted most of the time. It is there that the pathos expressed through these sculptures will transport you to the Italian Renaissance scenes from later times. In other words, you will witness there “the theatrical genius of the late Middle Ages," as Focillon explains in his writings.
Several eras regrouped in one building. Rare and marvelous.
____ Sources ____
>> Henri Focillon, "The Art of the West in the Middle Ages", 1938