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As van Notre-Dame om die geheime van die Middeleeuse argitektuur te onthul

As van Notre-Dame om die geheime van die Middeleeuse argitektuur te onthul


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Die oorblyfsels van verlede jaar se verbranding van die Notre-Dame-katedraal in Parys sal deur wetenskaplikes bestudeer word.

Op 15 April verlede jaar het die wêreld gevries toe 'n elektriese brand die dak en spits van die katedraal verwoes en 'n deel van die gewelfde plafon laat ineenstort. Die voorval is tot 'n nasionale tragedie verklaar, en nou het wetenskaplikes van die Franse nasionale navorsingsorganisasie CNRS 'n multimiljoen-euro-studie van die binneste van die 850 jaar oue heilige gebou begin om meer te wete te kom hoe die middeleeuse messelaars dit gebou het.

In die hoop dat hul werk sal help met die dreigende herstel, sal die wetenskaplikes die fondamente, hout en metaalwerk ondersoek. Dr Yves Gallet, 'n historikus van Gotiese argitektuur aan die Universiteit van Bordeaux-Montaigne, het in 'n artikel op Nature.com gesê dat die nuwe navorsingsprojek 'n 'nuwe bladsy in die geskiedenis van Notre-Dame' kan skryf en erken dat daar "Tans baie grys gebiede".

Bestudeer die werk van vorige meesters

Dr Gallet is in beheer van 'n 30 sterk navorsingspan wat die konstruksie van die 12 ondersoek ste eeuse katedraal, wat in die Middeleeue aangepas is en in die 19de eeu weer gerestoureer is deur argitek Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Of Viollet-Le-Duc sommige van die ouer materiaal hergebruik het, is die vraag wat Martine Regert, 'n biomolekulêre argeoloog by die CNRS se CEPAM-sentrum vir die studie van historiese kulture en omgewings in Nice, een van die nuwe Notre- Dame se leiers.

Notre-Dame de Paris voor die brand, in die 19de eeu herstel deur argitek Eugène Viollet-Le-Ducin. (Mschlindwein / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Om hierdie en ander vrae te beantwoord, sal die navorsers ingegaan word op steenwerk, verbrande hout, en vuurverbrande metaalartefakte en radarbeeldvorming sal die fondamente ondersoek, sê Philippe Dillmann, 'n spesialis in historiese metaalartefakte by die CNRS Laboratory for Archaeomaterials and alteration. Voorspelling in Gif-sur-Yvette, wat die projek met Regert koördineer, in die Nature-artikel.

'N 100 sterk span wetenskaplikes

Die CNRS -projek sal 'n groot inspanning van 100 navorsers in 25 laboratoriums behels en sal ses jaar lank studeer: "messelwerk, hout, metaalwerk, glas, akoestiek, digitale data -insameling en antropologie". Deur die mortier tussen die klippe te bestudeer, wil die navorsers onthul hoe verskillende komposisies vir gewel, mure en vlieënde steunpunte gebruik is. Boonop kom die kalk wat gebruik is om die mortel te maak van fossielryke sedimentêre kalksteen wat kan onthul waar dit vandaan kom, sê Gallet.

En die span historiese forensiese speurders onder leiding van dr. Gallet sal die klippe in Notre-Dame bestudeer om die steengroewe te identifiseer waarin hulle ontstaan ​​het, in 'n poging om die toevoernetwerke en die ekonomie van die werf te herbou. 'N Ander aspek van die projek is om die swakhede van die struktuur van die metselwerk wat deur die hoë temperature van die brand in 2018 beskadig is, te bestudeer, en 'n radarstudie wat deur die grond penetreer, sal die bouers help om te bepaal waar hulle hul pale moet oprig om die onstabiele oorblyfsels van die beskadigde 19 ste eeu spits.

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Notre Dame -katedraal, versterkingswerk aan die gang na die brand, om te keer dat die katedraal in duie stort. ( UlyssePixel / Adobe Stock)

Metalliese leidrade versamel

Die verbrande katedrale se metaalwerk sal bestudeer word deur 'n span spesialiste onder leiding van argeoloog Maxime L 'Héritier van die Universiteit van Parys, wat aan die natuur gesê het dat 'n studie van veranderinge in die gebruik van yster in die katedraalgebou oor so 'n lang tydperk, vanaf die middel Ouderdomme tot die 19 ste eeu, sal besonder onthullend wees.

Deur gesmelte lood van die dak af te bestudeer, kan die navorsers 'n 'chemiese verwysingsdatastel' ontwikkel van die verhoudings van loodisotope en die teenwoordigheid van spoorelemente in die materiaal. Dit, sê dr L 'Héritier, sal 'n begrip gee van "die evolusie van loodkwaliteit en -voorsiening" en miskien selfs die myne waaruit die metaal kom.

Kennis begrawe in hout

'N Ander span van 50 wetenskaplikes sal hul werk sentraliseer oor die beroemde houtwerk van Notre-Dame en veral oor die' houtbos 'bokant die gewelwe in die dak wat verkool en vernietig word in die skip, en hoewel dit vir buitestaanders afskuwelik lyk, is hierdie gebreekte houtsparre onthul 'n skatkis met data en tot dusver versteekte mikrobiese inligting rakende die bou van een van die grootste strukture wat oral op die planeet gebou is.

Alexa Dufraisse, 'n argeoloog by die National Museum of Natural History in Parys, sal die multidissiplinêre houtspan lei en sy beskryf die verbrande struktuur as ''n reuselaboratorium vir argeologie' ', terwyl dit bekend is dat die' bos 'van eikebome is. min is tans bekend oor die ou tegnieke en gereedskap wat die middeleeuse timmermanne gebruik het.

'N Lang lys vaardigheidstelle

Al hierdie werk fokus op drie hoofstene puin in die skip en bo -op die kluise, en die monsters sal deur robotte en hommeltuie versamel word, met sommige van die herwonne materiaal wat hopelik hergebruik kan word in die komende herstelprojek.

Boog by die Notre Dame -katedraal, voor die brand, toon die uitgebreide konstruksie en vaardighede van die Middeleeuse messelaars. (Pxfuel / )

Al die versameling en data -analise word gedokumenteer deur Livio de Luca, 'n spesialis in digitale kartering van argitektuur, by die CNRS se eenheid vir gemengde navorsing in Marseille, wat sê dat sy 'n 'digitale ekosisteem' sal skep wat gebaseer is op die werk van almal die wetenskaplikes wat insluit: historici, argeoloë, ingenieurs, kurators, dendrochronoloë, klimatoloë, biogeochemici, skrynwerkers, bosbouers en ingenieurs, om 'n klein gedeelte te noem ...


Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, 'n boeremeisie wat in die Middeleeuse Frankryk woon, het geglo dat God haar gekies het om Frankryk te lei tot 'n oorwinning in sy langdurige oorlog met Engeland. Sonder militêre opleiding, oortuig Joan die koninklike kroonprins Charles van Valois om haar toe te laat om 'n Franse leër na die beleërde stad Orl ບns te lei, waar dit 'n belangrike oorwinning behaal het oor die Engelse en hul Franse bondgenote, die Bourgondiërs. Nadat sy die prins as koning Karel VII sien kroon het, is Joan gevang deur Anglo-Bourgondiese magte, verhoor vir heksery en kettery en verbrand op die brandstapel in 1431, op 19-jarige ouderdom. Teen die tyd dat sy amptelik heilig verklaar is in 1920, was die meisie van Orl ບns (soos sy bekend was) word al lank beskou as een van die grootste heiliges in die geskiedenis en 'n blywende simbool van Franse eenheid en nasionalisme.


Na die Notre Dame -brand kry wetenskaplikes 'n blik op die oorsprong van die katedraal

Na die brand van 15 April by Notre Dame de Paris, het puin van die ineengestorte dak die vloer besaai gelê, maar baie dele van die katedraal het ongeskonde gebly.

Philippe Lopez/Getty Images

Deel dit:

14 Januarie 2020 om 06:00

Die "woud" van Notre Dame was een van die gunsteling plekke van Olivier de Châlus. Die digte rooster van hout onder die dak van die gebou is 'n toonbeeld van die Middeleeuse konstruksietegnieke wat die ingenieur jare lank ontleed het.

"Daar was 'n baie spesiale houtreuk uit die Middeleeue," sê de Châlus. 'En dit was baie, baie kalm - indrukwekkend, in vergelyking met die baie raserige lewe in die katedraal. Soos een van die min besoekers in die bos toegelaat het, het de Châlus die seldsame voorreg gehad om die krakende geluide te hoor wat deur die geslypte hout uitgegee word en na getalle te kyk wat deur ou timmermanne op die hout geskraap het.

Die geliefde woud is nou verwoes, verlore in 'n brand van 15 April 2019 wat die dak en spits van die katedraal vernietig het en dele van die metselwerk beskadig het. De Châlus, wat vir die wêreldwye ingenieursfirma Arcadis werk, voltooi 'n Ph.D. oor die bou van die katedraal.

Daar is min dokumentasie van die bouproses, wat in 1163 begin het en ongeveer 200 jaar lank voortduur. De Châlus het hom daaraan toegewy om die ongeskrewe konstruksiereëls te terg - hoe bouers byvoorbeeld die grootte van kolomme of die hoogte van vlieënde steunpunte besluit het. Hy merk op dat bouers 100 kilogram klippe meer as 60 meter van die grond af gelig het sonder die voordele van moderne tegnologie. Presies hoe dit bereik is, is met tyd verlore, sê hy.

Olivier de Châlus bestudeer die boutegnieke van Notre Dame. E. Conover

"Notre Dame is my lewe, my hele lewe," sê de Châlus, wat vier jaar lank toesig gehou het oor die gidse wat toeriste deur die katedraal wys. Na die brand het hy vinnig aangesluit by 'n internasionale poging wat deur Franse wetenskaplikes gereël is om hul kundigheid te gebruik om die katedraal te herbou en meer te leer oor die ikoniese gebou. Hy is nou die woordvoerder van die groep, Association des Scientifiques au Service de la Restauration de Notre Dame de Paris - die Vereniging van Wetenskaplikes in Diens van die Herstel van Notre Dame van Parys.

Die brand het toegang tot dele van die gebou oopgemaak wat nie bestudeer kon word toe die struktuur ongeskonde was nie. Wetenskaplikes het planne beraam om die geskiedenis van die katedraal te ondersoek, sowel as die omgewingsimpak van die brand op die omliggende stad. Sommige sal selfs ondersoek wat die verouderde materiaal van die katedraal oor klimaatsverandering kan onthul.

Om georganiseer te word

Toe die vlamme uitdoof, het Parys wanhoop oor die skade aan een van die mees waardevolle historiese strukture. Maar "daar is veel meer om te verloor as wat reeds verlore was", sê argeoloog Maxime L'Héritier van Université Paris 8. As die materiaal wat van die top van die katedraal geval het - klip, hout, yster, lood - nie bestudeer word nie, sê, die kans wat verlore gaan, is “selfs erger as wat die brand veroorsaak het.”

Die dag na die brand het L’Héritier en kunshistorikus Arnaud Ybert van die Université de Bretagne Occidentale in Quimper, Frankryk, die vereniging van wetenskaplikes gevorm. Vandag is meer as 200 wetenskaplikes deel van die groep, insluitend geoloë, argeoloë en ingenieurs. Die vereniging is daarop gemik om die werk tussen kundiges in verskillende spesialiteite te koördineer, kennis te deel en voor te staan ​​vir wetenskaplike studie van die katedraal.

L'Héritier, wat antieke metale bestudeer, wil meer weet oor hoe yster in die struktuur gebruik is, insluitend die integrasie daarvan in die klipmure en die timmerwerk wat die dak gehou het. Terwyl opknappings in die 19de eeu yster by die struktuur gevoeg het, sal die navorsers soek na middeleeuse yster wat tydens die oorspronklike konstruksie geplaas is.

Navorsers Lise Leroux, Aurélia Azéma en Maxime L ’Héritier (links na regs) werk daaraan om die klip en metaal in Notre Dame te verstaan. E. Conover

Radiokoolstofdatering word algemeen gebruik om die ouderdom van materiale te bepaal, maar daarvoor moet die materiaal 'n bietjie koolstof bevat. Gelukkig het die middeleeuse ystervervaardigingstegnieke klein spore van koolstof ingebring, wat, wanneer dit met yster gelegeer is, staal vervaardig. Koolstof wat die staalstukke dateer, kan aantoon of die metaal oorspronklik is, sê L'Héritier.

En die yster, middeleeus of nie, kan "soos 'n termometer" optree, en onthul hoe warm die vuur geword het, sê Philippe Dillmann, 'n argeometallurg by die Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, of CNRS. Namate die temperatuur in die vuur styg, sou die roes op die yster - in wese roes - van tipiese roes tot meer ongewone verbindings verander het. Deur hierdie korrosie te ontleed, kan dit aandui hoeveel hitte die gebou toegedien is, en wetenskaplikes kan ook help om te verstaan ​​hoeveel die hitte die kalksteen wat die grootste deel van die katedraal se struktuur uitmaak, verswak het.

Dillmann is medeleier van 'n tweede poging om navorsers te organiseer om Notre Dame te bestudeer, onder leiding van CNRS. Die CNRS -span sal ook wetenskaplike vergaderings beplan en navorsing saamstel.

Beide groepe is nog in die beplanningsfase omdat die katedraal nog steeds besmet is met die giftige stof wat vrygestel is toe die looddak gebrand het. Die meeste wetenskaplikes het nog nie toegang tot die gebou nie, en al die materiaal daarin moet gesorteer en gekatalogiseer word voordat navorsers dit in die hande kan kry.

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Binne die katedraal

'N Derde groep wetenskaplikes is reeds op die toneel wat help met die opruiming en herstel van die gebou. Navorsers van die Franse Ministerie van Kultuur se Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques, oftewel LRMH, ontwikkel wetenskaplike tegnieke vir die herstel van monumente in Frankryk.

Die laboratorium, geleë in Champs-sur-Marne naby Parys, het 23 wetenskaplikes in diens "vir al die materiaal en vir alle monumente in Frankryk", sê Lise Leroux van LRMH. “Ons is baie besig.” Meer nog ná die brand.

Leroux, 'n geoloog en kenner van die bewaring van klip, help om vas te stel watter van die kalksteenblokke van Notre Dame kan bly of hergebruik kan word, en wat met nuwe klippe vervang moet word. 'Die monument is baie agteruitgegaan,' sê sy. Terwyl die brand die nag woed, veroorsaak die intense hitte en die stortvloed van water deur brandbestryding krake en ander skade aan die klippe naaste aan die vlamme. En toe die kerk se toring ineengestort het, het die impak gapings in die kalksteenplafon geslaan.

Vallende puin het gate in die gewelfde plafon van die katedraal gemaak. Wetenskaplikes help met pogings om vas te stel watter van die oorblywende klippe beskadig is en wat vervang moet word. Brian Katz en Mylène Pardoen/CNRS

Om klippe te vind om beskadigde of vernietigde stene te vervang, verg groot sorg. Om klippe van verskillende komposisies langs mekaar te plaas - byvoorbeeld verskillende soorte kalksteen wat uit verskillende dele van die wêreld ontgin word - kan veroorsaak dat water of besoedeling meer as een steen in die een klip ophoop, wat die struktuur verswak.

Selfs voor die brand was “die monument baie, baie vuil”, sê LRMH -metaalkenner en apteker Aurélia Azéma. Nou ontwerp en toets LRMH -navorsers tegnieke om lood te verwyder, wat in die katedraal gestrooi was toe die dak gebrand het. Metaal, klip, verf en ander materiale vereis op maat gemaakte metodes om die lood te onttrek sonder om skade aan te rig.

Vingerafdrukke van 'n vuur

Probleme met lood strek verder as die katedraalmure. Tydens die brand het uiters hoë temperature veroorsaak dat die lood aërosoliseer in klein deeltjies wat in die lug stort en as stof daar naby val. Dit het die geochemikus Sophie Ayrault, wat giftige metale bestudeer, 'n nuwe projek gegee.

Ayrault, van die Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement in Gif-sur-Yvette, Frankryk, het voorheen gesoek na metale in die sedimente van die Seine, die rivier wat deur Parys loop. Ontleding van sedimentkerne uit die vloedvlakte van die rivier onthul hoe besmetting die afgelope 100 jaar gewissel het.

Om die oorsprong van die lood wat sy opspoor, vas te stel, meet Ayrault die relatiewe konsentrasies van sy isotope - verskillende weergawes van die element met verskillende getalle neutrone in die kern. Die verhoudings is 'n vingerafdruk wat gebruik kan word om die bron van die besmetting op te spoor.

Na die brand het loodbesmetting naby die katedraal opdragte tot opruiming (hierbo) vereis. Navorsers meet die isotope van lood in monsters wat uit die Seine geneem is en ander plekke rondom Parys om te bepaal watter besmetting deur die brand ontstaan ​​het en wat voorheen gekom het. Francois Mori/AP Foto

Byvoorbeeld, in 'n referaat wat in 2012 in Chemosfeer, Ayrault en kollegas berig dat die handtekening van loodvaste petrol in ouer Seine-sedimente opspoorbaar is, maar verdwyn in sedimente wat neergelê is nadat loodvaste petrol in die middel van die 1980's uitgefaseer is.

Voordat Notre Dame in vlamme opgegaan het, het Ayrault gehoop om die sediment van die Seine na afloop van die dak van Notre Dame te soek - wat, as dit ongeskonde was, tot 460 ton lood bevat, sê sy. Maar Ayrault het nog nie die dakmonsters gekry wat sy nodig gehad het om die vingerafdruk daarvan te onderskei nie. Om die impak van die vuur te verstaan, is die bepaling van die handtekening belangriker.

Na die brand het toetse in parke en skole naby die katedraal bevind dat loodvlakke hoog genoeg is om kinders in gevaar te stel. Maar dit is nie duidelik of al die lood die gevolg was van die brand of dat besmetting dit voorafgegaan het nie. Om hierdie vraag op te los, poog Ayrault om monsters van gesmelte lood en stof uit die vuur te versamel, asook oorblywende ongeskonde dele van die dak. Dan sal sy na toekomstige toetse in die stad na tekens van die leidraad soek.

In die houtwerk

Die verkoolde oorblyfsels van de Châlus se geliefde bos kan ook 'n storie vertel.

Die eikebome wat die houtraamwerk van die dak geword het, het gegroei tydens 'n warm tydperk in Europa, bekend as die Middeleeuse Warm Tydperk, wat van die 11de eeu tot die vroeë 14de eeu geduur het (SN: 8/17/19, bl. 6). As u die hout bestudeer, kan u besonderhede oor die natuurlike verwarming onthul-soos hoe gereeld droogtes voorgekom het-en kan u beter verstaan ​​wat u van die huidige klimaatsverandering kan verwag, sê Alexa Dufraisse van CNRS.

Dufraisse beplan om boomringe binne die verbrande hout te ontleed. Die breedte van die ringe en die hoeveelhede verskillende isotope wat in die hout voorkom, toon die omstandighede waaronder die boom gegroei het. Dit kan insluit hoe nat of droog die klimaat was en die geskatte geografiese ligging van die bos.

Die "woud" van Notre Dame het die dak en spits van die katedraal omhoog gehou. Dit is in die brand verwoes, maar navorsers hoop om die verkoolde oorblyfsels van die middeleeuse eikehoutbalke te bestudeer om te leer oor klimaatsverandering. F. Epaud

Sy en kollegas hoop ook om te leer hoe bouers die bome gekies het en of die woude op een of ander manier bestuur word. "Dit is 'n studie wat ... nooit sou kon uitgevoer word sonder die vernietiging van die struktuur deur vuur nie," sê Dufraisse, 'n dendroantrakoloog, 'n wetenskaplike wat boomringe in verkoolde hout bestudeer.

Ander navorsers ondersoek minder tasbare aspekte van die katedraal, soos die akoestiek en die sosiologiese betekenis daarvan. Antropoloë beplan om onderhoude te voer met mense wat deur die brand geraak is, insluitend toergidse en musikante wat in die katedraal opgetree het, om die sielkundige tol van die brand te verstaan. "Ons onthou almal wat ons gedoen het toe dit brand," sê die molekulêre argeoloog Martine Regert van CNRS, wat saam met Dillmann die CNRS -groep lei.

Regert vergelyk die Notre Dame -ramp met die brand in 2018 in die Brasiliaanse nasionale museum in Rio de Janeiro, waarin miljoene artefakte en bewaarde eksemplare verlore geraak of beskadig is (SN Aanlyn: 9/7/18). In die Rio -brand, "vir my, het ons meer verloor" in terme van die wetenskaplike waarde, sê sy. Maar emosioneel, "was ek waarskynlik meer ontsteld oor Notre Dame."

Die katedraal het 'n buitengewone plek in die harte van Parysenaars en mense regoor die wêreld. As 'n ander katedraal gebrand het, sê de Châlus, sou daar minder belangstelling gewees het. Om te bepaal hoe om weer op te bou, moet ons ook ons ​​verhouding daarmee verstaan, sê hy.

Onderhewig aan emosies, sê de Châlus dat hy gehuil het toe hy die katedraal die eerste keer na die brand binnegekom het. Hy voel 'n onbekende wind op sy rug, wat die kerk in sweef en deur die gate waar dele van die plafon neergestort het. Hy sê oor Notre Dame: "Dit was vir my veel meer as 'n kerk ... veel meer as 'n studievak."

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'N Weergawe van hierdie artikel verskyn in die 18 Januarie 2020 -uitgawe van Wetenskapnuus.


'N Requiem vir Notre Dame de Paris, The Soul of a Nation

Die sielkundige en genie Otto Rank, skrywer van die klassieke werk Kuns en kunstenaar, het gesê dat as u die siel van 'n nasie wil leer ken, eers na die argitektuur gaan. Notre Dame de Paris en die hele gotiese revolusie van die 12de eeuse Renaissance wat dit omhul (saam met Chartres -katedraal 30 myl anderkant Parys), vertel ons baie oor die siel van Frankryk. En ons eie siele.

Dit was my voorreg om te lewe en te studeer en 'n geringe geskiedenis te ondergaan in die skadu van Notre Dame gedurende my drie jaar aan die Institute catholique de Paris wat die geskiedenis en teologie van spiritualiteit van 1967-1970 bestudeer het. Ja, die 'gebeure van 1968', wat die regering van Charles de Gaulle laat val het met studente wat in die strate oproer binne 'n oogskoot van die katedraal, was deel van daardie dae. (Studente was ook oproerig in Duitsland, Berkeley, Madison, New York, ensovoorts, en het destyds betoog teen baie wat gebrekkig was oor die Westerse akademie.)

Notre Dame was 'n getuie van sulke revolusies soos sy was van die Franse Revolusie twee eeue tevore. Sy was ook getuie van die energieke teenwoordigheid van Thomas Jefferson en Benjamin Franklin toe hulle geleer het aan die voete van Franse intellektuele in 'n kritieke tyd van die geboorte van Amerika en sy visie vir 'n sekere vorm van demokrasie.

Op watter manier openbaar Notre Dame aan ons die beste kant van die Franse siel? Eerstens, omdat dit vroulik is - "Notre Dame" beteken "Our Lady" en daar is meer as 500 kerke gebou met die naam "Notre Dame" - Notre Dame de Chartres, Notre Dame de Lyons, ensovoorts oor 'n tydperk van 125 wonderlike jare in die Middeleeue, jare toe die godin laas in die Weste verskyn het: Al hierdie Gotiese katedrale was opgedra aan die goddelike vroulike. (Chartres bevat ook een van die gewildste heiligdomme van die Swart Madonna.)La Frankryk ”is vroulik (Duitsland is manlik). Daar is 'n prioriteit in die renaissance van die 12de eeu vir die godin, vir die Divine Feminine, wat Beauty and the Cosmos en die huwelik van die menslike psige en die kosmos verteenwoordig-St Thomas Aquinas, wat geleef en geleer het aan die Universiteit van Parys vir jaar, en was teenwoordig toe hulle die katedraal bou, het gesê dat elke mens 'n 'capax -heelal' is, wat in staat is tot die heelal.

Die godin in die Middeleeue verteenwoordig die armes, die uitgeworpenes en die marginale. Daarom was sy so gewild. Henry Adams in sy klassieke werk oor Mont Saint Michel en Chartres beklemtoon hierdie punt. Geregtigheid was noodsaaklik vir 'Our Lady', geregtigheid vir die armes, nie geregtigheid vir die regs- en geregtelike klas nie. Sy het saam met die armes, die onderdruktes, die 'outlaws' gestaan.

Nog 'n goeie voorbeeld van die Franse siel op sy beste is die geskenk wat die Franse aan die Verenigde State gemaak het, wat ons as die Statue of Liberty ken. Daar lees ons die volgende, baie in die gees van Notre Dame de Paris en die godin: 'Gee my u moeges, u armes, u saamgedromde massas wat smag om asem te haal, ek lig my lamp langs die goue deur.'

Dit is 'n filosofie wat radikaal verskil van die filosofie wat tans aan die Amerikaanse grense besig is om kinders in die hok te sit en kinders van hul ouers te skei en die poort na asiel toe te sluit teen slagoffers van geweld en misdaad en armoede, hoofsaaklik veroorsaak deur aardverwarming en Amerikaanse optrede in Sentraal -Amerika. Dit is 'n feministiese filosofie wat ons onderlinge afhanklikheid vier, nie net met ander mense en veral die armes nie, maar ook met die hele skepping, die 'skeppingsnet', soos Hildegard van Bingen dit stel, ook in die 12de eeu, die konstruksie van die Notre Dame uit die eeu aan die gang gesit is.

Parys het ook net 'n paar jaar gelede getuig van die COP21 -ooreenkomste, 'n poging om alle nasies bymekaar te bring om die opwarming van die aarde en die afsterwe van Moeder Aarde, Gaia, soos ons haar ken, die hoof te bied. Alhoewel dit onvolmaak was, was dit 'n begin, en Amerika het aangemeld, al was dit hartseer om te sê dat 'n onlangse presidentskap en sy ondersteuners probeer om hierdie belofte van 'n toekoms vir ons kleinkinders en toekomstige geslagte te verlaat. Maar die uitgang, deur diegene wat nog steeds getroud is met ontkenning en bang is om die werklikheid in die gesig te staar, kan eers wettiglik gebeur in 2020. Toekomstige, minder ontkennings-administrasies, kan nog steeds ag slaan op die oproep en lyding van Moeder Aarde en opnuut aansluit.

Die godin wat die Notre Dame verteenwoordig, is nie 'n sentimentele vrou nie, maar 'n kwaai vroulike vrou wat 'n onregverdigheid wil en kan weerstaan, of dit nou omgewings-, rasse-, sosiale, geslags-, geslagsvoorkeur of ekonomies is. Sy sluit nie haar oë op 'n manier om 'geen kwaad te sien nie, hoor geen kwaad nie, spreek geen kwaad' nie. Sy sien almal en word dikwels (soos in Hildegard se visioenêre skilderye) uitgebeeld as meervoudig. Wysheid is so, sy is kosmies en 'n 'vriend van die profete' en 'n liefhebber van Eros en spel en kreatiwiteit. Sy sien wat aangaan, sy sien die werklikheid. Hildegard sê: "Wysheid word in alle kreatiewe werke gevind."

Notre Dame de Paris is so 'n werk - met baie, baie uitdrukkings van kreatiwiteit op sy beste. Oorweeg die loodglas. Dankie hemel baie daarvan is gespaar. Ek het gister 'n kommentator hoor sê dat ons die loodglas wat vernietig is, sal vervang. Nee, ons sal nie. Die Franse loodglas uit die twaalfde eeu was uniek mooi en ondeursigtig en ryk aan blues en rooi, en ons het die formule verloor hoe dit gemaak is. Ons sal nooit loodglas uit die 12de eeu vervang nie. Ons streef moontlik daarna om dit na te volg, maar sal dit nooit weer in sy volle smaak weergee nie. Kyk na die musiek, die konserte en die sangers en die wonderlike orrel wat mense al eeue lank ontroer. Beskou die beeld en die stygende pilare wat u oë na bo uitnooi om die sterre self in te neem.

My mentor aan die Universiteit in Parys, die wonderlike Dominikaanse historikus en geleerde Pere MD Chenu, skrywer van die gevierde werk, Natuur, mens en samelewing in die twaalfde eeu. Hy het vroeër gesê dat die renaissance uit die 12de eeu “die enigste renaissance was wat in die Weste gewerk het”. Dit het na sy mening "gewerk" omdat dit van die wortels af kom - dit was nie van bo na onder nie, net soos die renaissance van die 16de eeu. Dit is afkomstig van die jong en onlangs vrygemaakte diensknegte en kleinboere wat na die stad gejaag het om dit te leer ken, afkomstig van vroue, en dit kom uit gemeentes wat besig was om verhoudings en gemeenskapslewe te herontdek.

daryl_mitchell uit Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Kanada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Beskou die manlike energie van die Sint -Pietersbasiliek in Rome, gebou in die 16de eeu (en betaal deur die verkoop van aflate, wat baie te doen gehad het met die protestantse opstand en revolusie/reformasie) teenoor die vroulike energie van Notre Dame de Paris. Eersgenoemde is koud met al sy marmer en spog met oordrewe manlike beelde (selfs die standbeelde van vroue lyk soos vetterige mans). Daarteenoor laat die stygende vertikaliteit van die Gotiese argitektuur die son inskyn, sy vertikale pilare boots die natuur en die bos na, en 'n plesier in kleure wat op dieselfde pilare rondspring terwyl die son deur die dag beweeg. Die uitvinding van die vlieënde steunpunte (nog steeds na die brand) het dit alles moontlik gemaak. Wat 'n beweging was dit vanweë die verdediging van die Romaanse argitektuur van die koue en donker Middeleeue, met baie klein vensters na die ligte ruimtes van die Goties! 'God as lig', nie 'God as verdediging' nie.

Vandag worstel ons met dieselfde energie van manlike beheer en empirie-opbou en oorheersing teenoor die vroulike wat moederlik, verwelkomend, lig gevul, natuurgebaseerd, skeppingsgerig, eerbiediging van diversiteit is. Chenu het ons seminaar oor die 12de eeuse spiritualiteitsboeke van die katedraalargitektuur van die 12de eeu na ons seminaar gebring. 'U kan nie spiritualiteit aanleer sonder om die kuns van die tydperk te leer nie', sou hy sê. Dit was ook in hierdie tydperk dat daar vir 100 jaar geen veroordeling van homoseksualiteit was nie en seksuele diversiteit aan die Universiteit bestudeer is, soos geleerde John Boswell in sy boek getoon het Christendom, sosiale verdraagsaamheid en homoseksualiteit.

Daardie nasionalistiese bewegings van ons tyd, wat nou aan die spits staan ​​van Steve Bannon, dieselfde man wat die huidige president in die amp gesit het, is gegrond op nostalgie en sentimentalisme en patriargie. Hulle worstel by die gedagte aan die bevryding van vroue, nog minder leierskap van vroue. Hulle verskans homofobie (oorweeg die vriend van Bannon wat nou uit die Vatikaan geskors is, kardinaal Burke, wat die leier is van die opstand teen pous Franciscus se pogings om homoseksueel uit te reik). Hierdie bewegings is ook vol geweld en geweld, soos Carl Jung leer, is 'n integrale deel van sentimentalisme. Die feministiese sosioloog Anne Douglas vertel ons dat sentimentalisme 'galsterige politieke bewussyn' is, dit is die organiese en passievolle soeke na geregtigheid waarmee ons gebore word. En die feministiese digter Adrienne Rich waarsku ons hoe patriargie altyd 'n 'fatalistiese selfhaat' leer.

Hoeveel van hierdie 'fatalistiese selfhaat' is 'n integrale deel van die uiterste regse politieke bewegings van ons tyd? Is dit nie fatalisties en selfsugtig om klimaatsverandering te ontken as dit reeds besig is om die seevlak te verhoog, enersyds droogte en ongeëwenaarde orkane en tornado's en oorstromings te veroorsaak nie?

Is dit nie fatalisties en selfhaat om homofobie te verkoop en te verkondig om sodoende 'n seksuele minderheid te veroordeel tot versoekings tot selfhaat nie? Die onlangse boek In die kas van die Vatikaan: mag, homoseksualiteit, skynheiligheid deur die Franse joernalis Frederic Martel, demonstreer wat 'n diepgaande prys betaal is in die hoofkwartier van die Rooms -Katolieke Kerk in ons tyd - 'n korrupsie van 'n stelsel wat die berugte Gemeente van die Geloofsleer insluit, voorheen die 'heilige inkwisisie, 'en behels talle vorige pouse en kardinale en staatsekretarisse en meer. Hierdie boek bewys dat selfhaat onder gays die wortel is van die bedekking van pedofilie sowel as die diatribes van pouse JP II en Benedictus XVI teenoor gays-selfs al was beide administrasies vol gay kardinale en biskoppe wat besig was met skryf en die verspreiding van hierdie homofobie in God se naam deur verskeie pouslike bulle en geskrifte en meer gedurende die dag, terwyl hulle snags hul seksuele behoeftes vervul.

Die godin uit die 12de eeu aanvaar nie net diversiteit nie. Sy was ook 'n voorstander van die strewe na kennis en die voller uitdrukking daarvan, wysheid. Lady Wisdom. Wysheid is nie net vroulik in die Bybel nie, maar ook in die meeste tale regoor die wêreld. Die revolusie in die onderwys in die 12de eeu wat die universiteit tot stand gebring het, was diepgaande en het die deur oopgemaak vir die hedendaagse wetenskaplike metode (en afkomstig van Islam) en spog met die huwelik van wetenskap en spiritualiteit (dit was die hele lewenswerk van Thomas Aquinas). Ongelukkig is hierdie passie vir wysheid en nie net kennis in die moderne era neergelê nie. In plaas daarvan dat die universiteit 'n plek was om u plek in die heelal te vind-wat die betekenis daarvan was toe die universiteit in die 12de eeu uitgevind is-het dit in die moderne era 'n plek geword om u plek in 'n mensgemaakte plek te vind werkswêreld.

Academia became a jungle of opposing forces--a zoo for reptilian brains to compete to the death and to feed war machines and chemical companies. “Academic barbarism” was Thomas Berry’s word for it. The triumph of the masculine (knowledge) over the feminine (wisdom). And the Earth, Mother Earth, suffers unto death.

Die voog photo essay of 4/16/19 reveals devastation and resilience after the fire.

Is there a meaningful synchronicity to the partial collapse of Notre Dame de Paris in Holy Week? In Passover time? Ek dink so. The story of life, death and resurrection is as pressing as ever. Passover is about liberation. Would that we might be liberated from on-going patriarchy! The president of France immediately called for a fund raising campaign and an effort to rebuild the Cathedral. And it will be rebuilt—provided there is a renewed earth to build it on. If we have only 12 years left to change our ways as a species before climate change completely takes over and dictates the future, then the Cathedral will never be rebuilt. And ought not to be.

Maybe the death of the Cathedral as we knew it for 850 years is yet another wake up call: To wake our souls to the Divine Feminine, to clean up the toxic masculine, to find again a new balance of the two, a balance so integral to Notre Dame where the engineering and construction and mathematical and masculine skills that made it possible are so marvelously matched with the stained glass, non-defensive lift, sunlight, beauty, coordination with nature, love of the Green Man and the Black Madonna, that characterize the Divine Feminine. It is this kind of sacred marriage that our species yearns for today. This is the cathedral—the inner throne within our consciousness—that must precede the outer throne or outer cathedral (“cathedral” means “throne”). Let us work on our hearts and souls to bring this balance back.

As I wrote the day of the burning:

A building has died but what it stood for--the divine feminine movement of Gothic architecture--need not die but needs to resurrect more than ever in human consciousness.

A cathedral by definition meant the throne where the goddess sits ruling the universe with compassion and justice for the poor. Anthropocentrism, clericalism and sexism have co-opted the invention of cathedral to mean the “place where the bishop has his (usually his) throne.” This is false. The cathedral is designed to be the center of the city, it is bringing the goddess to the center of the city to bring the city alive with goddess energies and values. Cities were birthed in the 12th century with the breakup of the land-based economy and religious and political system of the feudal era. The youth fled to the cities where religion reinvented itself apart from the monastic establishment that ruled for eight centuries and where education invented itself apart from the rural monastic educational system in the form of universities. Worship reinvented itself in the Cathedral in the city and apart from the monastic liturgical practice in the countryside.

Today for the first time in human history more than 60% of humans—a great proportion of them young people—are living in cities. The Black Madonna and the “throne as goddess” motif contribute to the resurrection of our cities. They give us a center, a cosmic center, a synthesis and unity and a life-energy by which we can redeem our cities and take them back from lifelessness and thanatos. Artists gather in a city. Celebration and ritual happen in a city. Nature and human nature congregate in a city. No wonder Meister Eckhart and other medieval mystics celebrated the human soul as city and the city as soul. It is the task of a renaissance to bring soul back to city. We might even define renaissance as a “rebirth of cities based on a spiritual initiative.” ##ViveLaCathédraleNotreDame

The Shoshone-Tongva founder of Stop Tribal Genocide, Emilio Reyes (@emiliotongva) responded to the Notre Dame fire this way: “That feeling of Notre Dame burning down is the same feeling Natives feel since 1492. That is 526 years 365 days a year, 24/7.” It is good that we humans share common ground with grief. And even better that we cease to rain grief on to one another and one another’s cultures and symbols and souls, and surely not in the name of our Gods or Goddesses or other idols. Lessons learned? One hopes so.

Meanwhile, let us thank our ancestors and praise them for their wisdom and their quest for beauty and diversity and for justice and their brilliance and craftsmanship and caring that lasted so many centuries and delighted so many souls. Thanks to their genius and yearning for the Divine Mother Notre Dame de Paris happened and survived and thrived and bore witness all these 850 years. May she rise again. May Easter happen to all our souls and all we give birth to.


Tragic Fire Reveals Secrets into Medieval Architecture

In April of 2019, an electrical fire in the roof of the Notre Dame de Paris, a cathedral that has stood as a national and international landmark for 850 years, sparked a blaze that tore through the ceiling beams and partially collapsed the roof. However much a tragedy, architects are turning lemons into lemonade by using the reconstruction process to determine just how, exactly, the magnificent cathedral was built and stood so solidly for so many centuries.

Quoted in an article on Nature.com, Dr. Yves Gallet, a historian of Gothic architecture at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, said the new research project might write a “new page in the history of Notre-Dame”, admitting there are “currently many grey areas”.

The project will involve a massive effort of 100 researchers in 25 laboratories and will last for six years studying: “masonry, wood, metalwork, glass, acoustics, digital data collection, and anthropology”. Studying the mortar between the stones will help the researchers to reveal how different compositions were used for vaulting, walls, and flying buttresses. Furthermore, the lime used to make the mortar came from fossil rich sedimentary limestone that might could reveal where it originated, says Gallet.

And the team of historical forensics detectives led by Dr. Gallet will study the stones at Notre Dame to identify the quarries in which they originated attempting to reconstruct the supply networks and the economy of the site. Another aspect of the project aims to study the structure’s weaknesses to the masonry, which were damaged by the high temperatures of the fire, and a ground-penetrating radar study will help scaffolding builders assess where to erect their poles to dismantle the unstable remnants of the damaged 19th century spire.


Bravado or blunder? Architectural fails of medieval church builders

It was Ascension Day, 1573. Crowds filled Beauvais Cathedral in northern France, ready to celebrate holy mass. But as the solemn procession snaked towards the high altar, heavy thuds could be heard resonating throughout the stone edifice.

Before the eyes of horror-struck worshippers, the colossal 500-foot crossing tower came crashing down, a veil of debris and dust slowly enveloping the church. Only a few years in existence and the tallest of its kind, this was not the first time this ambitious addition had been the cause of the cathedral’s collapse.

Beauvais Cathedral continues to be plagued by structural problems. High above the continuous stream of 21st-century churchgoers and tourists, modern braces are the only element keeping it from crumbling. These may be an unsettling reminder of a medieval disaster, but they are also evidence of a lesson learned: caution over creativity.

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” Although tinged with irony, Oscar Wilde’s words are a testament to medieval architects and masons. In essence, some of our greatest abbey churches and cathedrals– these seemingly divine representations of the Heavenly Jerusalem – are masterpieces of miscalculation and unfortunate happenings (whether deliberate, accidental or foolish).

But though invention could bring disaster, catastrophe also heralded opportunity and discovery. From towering infernos to bodgejobs, medieval ecclesiastical fabric (that is, the walls, floor and roof) is a roster of the stories and characters responsible for its creation.

Hope from the ashes

On a gloomy February morning in 1829, a zealous non-conformist did his very best to burn York Minster to the ground. As choristers made their way across the Minster yard, they noticed sparks rising from the cathedral’s medieval timber roof. As debris, molten lead and blazing timbers began to rain down, firefighters were forced to evacuate the choir.

Long into the night, the people of York strove to save the rest of the structure, but the pulpit, organ and much irreplaceable music were destroyed. Even before the fire was extinguished, authorities suspected arson. The culprit, Jonathan Martin, was sent to Bedlam for the rest of his life.

York owes much of its origins to several disastrous fires. Infernos struck a handful of times throughout the medieval period, while the current structure faced further blazes in 1753, 1840 and most recently in 1984. But during clearance of rubble from the 1829 disaster, the Clerk of Works, John Browne, realised that the columns of the nave extended far beneath the ruined floor of the choir. In a great streak of luck, excavations revealed the remains of the Romanesque choir and crypt. Out of this catastrophe, one of the most important ever archaeological discoveries pertaining to the previous building was made. History can therefore offer hope, as tragedy frequently leads to triumph.

Living in the past

Relatively few medieval masons had the opportunity to design religious buildings from scratch. Invention was commonly restricted by what had gone before, requiring mor creative adaptation. What resulted was often an extraordinary mix of calamity, evolution and revolution. An exemplar of such invention from catastrophe was Ely Cathedral’s Octagon.

In February 1322, the church’s Romanesque crossing tower crashed to the ground with such “thunderous noise” that many believed the cause to be an earthquake. Barely had the dust settled before an experimental new space was envisioned: a vast, 21-metre-wide octagonal later soaring up through the centre of the church. It was without precedent in English architecture, having eight piers, rather than the usual four of a more orthodox tower.

Central or crossing towers were the nuisance of the medieval mason. The arches wanted to push outwards, so the buildings were sometimes guilty of misbehaviour that could produce a collapse. Cathedrals were essentially a house of cards, where the placement of every individual stone played a pivotal role. Nonetheless, as well as “beneficial” collapses like Ely, the towers also remained a consistent outlet for creative ambition. After two further storeys were added to the tower at Wells Cathedral in the early 14th century, the entire structure was threatening collapse.

But the master mason’s bold and original solution became one of the most memorable sights of all English architecture and part of the very identity of the cathedral: three strainer arches, one under each crossing arch (to take the weight) – mimicking what many refer to as scissors, owls or eyes. We can only wonder whether the medieval clergy regarded them with such idiosyncrasy.

Though invention involved risk, it also required self-belief. Dubbed “crazy”, the ribbed vault over the choir at Lincoln Cathedral is something of an enigma. Although there were no obvious structural risks in its creation, there is a clear set of additional ribs in the pattern which disrupt the overall symmetry. The only explanation for this unorthodoxy over uniformity, is that the design was worked out as building progressed – a cavalier approach to not thinking too far ahead.

Far from crazy, this was actually a rational response to the particular geometries of the cathedral, though admittedly it did give way to a slew of additional mistakes: especially noticeable are the juxtaposition of irregular arches and a motley crew of misalignments in the main transepts.

A further high-point of creative satisfaction in the simple audacity of the mason’s choice can be found in Gloucester Cathedral’s choir. Essentially, any past faults were concealed (and any further work required reduced) by the insertion of a “skin” or frame of tracery, which stretches across the interior of the Romanesque fabric. So, employing this web of secrets, the Benedictine monks hid their past mistakes without losing any of the old work – blessed monks.

Completing the work of those who have gone before has often led to tragedy and trouble. Building work had to be strung out over lengthy periods, whatever the associated reason – resources, economics, expertise, disease. While in many cases this did not inhibit invention, occasionally master masons enjoyed overthrowing the designs of their predecessors resulting in rather interesting architectural discord.

Perhaps the most infamous, at least for the story behind the blunder, is the “odd” southernmost pier or column of Durham Cathedral’s south transept. To accentuate the most significant areas in the choir and transept of the great Norman cathedral, piers (upright supports) are incised with spiral fluting (vertical grooves), while a mix of lozenges, chevrons (V shapes) and fluting follows in the nave. But one pier, known as the Apprentice’s Column, features a very noticeable break in its pattern, instead fusing the spiral and chevron designs.

Legend has it this hybrid south-transept column was executed by an apprentice in the master mason’s absence (this tale has also been linked to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland and Lincoln Cathedral, so its authenticity is dubious). In actuality, there are many possible reasons for the anomaly. Some have dismissed it as a mistake resulting from the miscalculation of blocks required for assembly, while others have given it much more profound importance.

Medieval builders frequently used spirals to highlight areas of special sanctity, following the model of Old St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. On these grounds, the pier may have indicated where the relics of St Cuthbert were once temporarily housed, or at least the location of a reliquary or altar.

No fear of failure

The medieval mentality certainly valued virtue in experiment there was no fear in taking a chance on the unknown. Relatively few scale models were used as reference, so the construction of our greatest cathedrals and abbey churches was as much a learning process as anything else. In around 1195, the monastic church of St Albans saw a programme of work to the western section of the nave. A key part of the scheme involved a magnificent new façade.

The ambitious design was the brainchild of new abbot, John de Cella, eager to make his mark. But his plan soon began to unravel. Not only was progress slow but walls began collapsing and the carving disintegrated, supposedly having been left out for the winter.

The abbot blamed master mason Hugh de Goldclif for the shoddy outcome, suggesting his desire for too much unnecessary and costly carving was the cause, and so dismissed him.

The trivial tussle was thus immortalised in the fabric. Hugh planned his nave extension with sumptuous octagonal columns surrounded by eight detached shafts. Along the west wall, the bottom sections remain unfinished – like the stumps of a tree, forever waiting to receive the shafts that would never be.

Although careful attention was customarily paid to preserving old work and matching it with the new, in many cases the relief that fabric still remained, and remained stable, was enough to simply add a handy roof boss, decorative headstop or fancy foliage to conceal any bodges. And so, fabric is often littered with rather comical corrections.

An abundance can be found at the east end of York, its irregularities comprising the subtle characteristics which make the Minster such amsplendid and important architectural edifice. Many of these stem from a need to accomplish the work in two phases throughout the 14th century from the problems in setting out a new structure designed to link the old with the new.

What resulted was a slight kink in the south arcade causing it to deviate southwards from the fourth pier from the east – essentially, producing a concertinaed wall. You can also distinctly see the joins – the junction between the two stages of work. !e corbels (projecting blocks) to the east of the vaulting shafts within the Lady Chapel are decorated with leaves, while to the west, within the choir, they are plainly moulded. And Carlisle Cathedral faced similar wonky woes – in fact it is riddled with them – with every arm of its central crossing plagued by a concertinaed distortion due to sinking piers.

Reviving Notre-Dame

In the aftermath of the fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame on 15 April, experts are rallying round in the hopes of saving what remains, and restoring the sacred landmark to its former glory. But what options are available for its future? At present, we can only speculate, but the primary concern will be removing the cages of melted sca olding that were covering much of the exterior as part of ongoing restoration efforts.

The whole will then be protected (using an umbrella-type sheath) to keep out the elements. From there, a detailed inspection can be carried out of the interior. Surprisingly, some of the masonry and wood will be salvaged and even reused, so time will be spent sifting through the mounds of fallen debris. Archaeological surveys of the stonework, timber and glass will then be undertaken in order to assess what survives, and to inform possible approaches to the building’s future design – whatever they might be. At this stage, that is still unconfirmed.

But rather than bemoaning 21st-century design, perhaps we need to accept that, fundamentally, the past can be recaptured. Though pastiche is frequently unsuitable, there is room for contemporary design which employs traditional skills and materials yet captures original form without appearing incongruous.

The devil and the detail

There are some mistakes that defy belief. In 1248, master mason Gerhard of Ryle was commissioned to design a new plan for the cathedral at Cologne, after the old was discovered no longer worthy. Consumed by doubt over his own abilities, he began to despair. As he gazed across the Rhine upon his work so far, a stranger appeared before him.

The stranger began compiling a superb plan to construct the cathedral in just three years. Astonished, Gerhard petitioned the gentleman what he must give in exchange for the plan. The stranger requested Gerhard’s soul. Hy het ingestem.

Countless versions of the concluding part of the story survive, but all agree on one thing: Master Gerhard’s happiness was short-lived. After engineering his own vengeful plot to deceive the Devil, he imposed a curse on the cathedral: as soon as it was to be completed, the end of the world would come. Essentially, Cologne would never be finished.

For centuries, it appeared as if this premonition had merit. In reality, the foundation stone of the north tower was laid around 1500, but little more work progressed and efforts on the cathedral slowly ceased. And so people began to tell the fable. It was not until 1842 that work began once again, with completion in 1880.

Fuelled by faith and guided by daring engineering, medieval ecclesiastical masons and architects forever changed how we build. Pushing the limits of their technology, their quest to reach celestial heights often came at the price of structural instability, mistake, fire and even ultimate collapse. But this construction took place before the era of elaborate plans or drawings, so dealing with individual components rather than comprehensive schemes was par for the course.

Furthermore, the range of skills expected of masons was extensive: from hewing and squaring the blocks of stone, to sculpting it into capitals, the entire process could often be in their hands. Is it any wonder mistakes occurred? So although earthly limitations brought some cathedrals crashing to the ground, on the whole they fulfilled the purpose of achieving heaven on earth. Just remember: a glorious cathedral, Satan does not build, so best not to get around mistakes by making a pact with the Devil.

Emma J Wells is associate lecturer in ecclesiastical history at the University of York.


Built on Faith

Last spring, Tallon scanned the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., which was begun in 1907, long after the Middle Ages had ended. He was looking for evidence of the influence of William Goodyear, a renowned American art historian who believed that the allure of Gothic cathedrals can be traced to imperfections that builders purposefully introduced.

The architects charged with completing the National Cathedral had consulted Goodyear, and Tallon wondered whether he'd find some intentional flaws in the neo-Gothic building.

Hy het. Though most of the structure is perfectly plumb, the great columns at the center of the cathedral were built ever-so-slightly outwards, and the choir doesn't align exactly with the nave. To Goodyear, imperfection "was the secret sauce," says Tallon, "that medieval folks sprinkled on their buildings to make them beautiful."

Tallon believes the true "secret sauce" was faith. "There was a biblical, a moral imperative to build a perfect building," he says, "because the stones of the building were directly identified with the stones of the Church"—the people who make up the body of the church.

"I like to think that this laser scanning work and even some of the conventional scholarship I do is informed by that important world of spirituality," says Tallon. "It's such a beautiful idea."


Archaeology in the ashes of Notre Dame

Two years ago, a fire devastated Paris' iconic Catholic cathedral. An archaeologist outlines the unprecedented research scientists are now undertaking to make the most of the disaster.

The night of April 15, 2019, brought unimaginable tragedy to Paris' iconic medieval Catholic cathedral. I was on the metro at the time, when I got a phone call from a colleague: "Notre Dame is burning." When the train crossed the Seine a few minutes later, I saw it with my own eyes, from a distance, helpless. The fire caused the cathedral spire to collapse, most of the roof was destroyed, and its upper walls were severely damaged.

The first time I could access Notre Dame was in December 2019, more than six months after the fire. I pulled on a mandatory protective suit and powered respirator to protect me from lead emissions, and was taken up to the top of the southern transept. From there, I gasped at the site of the northern great rose window through the wide hole where the spire had totally collapsed. Ek was sprakeloos. The vaults were a total mess of carbonized wooden and metallic pieces.

The atmosphere was oppressive. Although I had watched the fire many times on television, only at that moment did I truly realize how devastating the blaze was and how demanding the task was before us — not just for the architects restoring the building, but also for us archaeologists brought in to study the entangled vestiges of the cathedral.

Working on Notre Dame was obvious for me from that moment. As a medieval archaeologist and historian, I have worked for 20 years studying Gothic constructions. I knew that although the upper parts of the cathedral had burnt, there was still much more to lose if we, scientists, did not step in. The day after the fire, a few colleagues and I decided to create an association to collect and preserve any and all information that we could. Our movement gathered more than 200 scientists in a couple of weeks, all willing to serve Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, the Regional Archaeological Department had the remnants of the burnt framework, roof, and spire recognized as archaeological remains and organized an archaeological excavation with the help of the Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques (LRMH). Research could begin.

It was not long before the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Ministry of Culture decided to organize and fund this research in close interaction with the architects and the public contracting authority. Several dedicated working groups were set up on "Stone," "Wood," "Glass," "Metal," "Structure," "Heritage Emotions," "Acoustics," and "Digital Data." Due to my experience in the use of metals in Gothic churches (I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the subject), I was asked to gather and coordinate the metal group, currently counting about 15 members from different institutions.

Ironically, it is actually far easier for us archaeologists to investigate the monument now than it was before the fire. Although the fire released a lot of lead, making it necessary for researchers to don protective clothing and abide by procedures to avoid lead toxicity, we no longer face the obstacles presented by floods of tourists on the site, and materials damaged by the fire are now more available for analysis. Together, we have learned a lot about the building, its materials, and the possibilities for reconstruction.

The cathedral was started in the 1160s and mostly finished by the 1260s, with many modifications, repairs, and restorations over the following centuries.

Our metal group has been focused on uncovering the "iron skeleton" of the building: armature including chains, cramps, pins, and nails used to hold up the wood and stone. We now know much of the metal dates to the time of the original construction in the 12th and early 13th centuries. We think we have just found a set of about 1,000 nails 12-cm long used in the original framework for the suspended wooden pathway, dating from the 13th century. A series of iron cramps (40-cm long iron staples) were discovered just below the beams on top of the upper walls, which were literally unreachable before the fire. Some more were unveiled in the domed tribunes and in the nave chapels using metal detectors.

Trees felled to build the cathedral hold a record in their tree rings of what the climate was like.

Some of the pieces are being examined under the microscope and are undergoing chemical and mechanical tests, along with carbon dating of trace amounts of carbon in the metal. Our studies aim to clarify how these metal components were used in the building structure, when they were installed, and also the metal's quality and where it was sourced from. This will shed some light on the choices made by the builders, along with ancient supply and trade routes. It will also help in assessing the course and impact of the fire, and the possibilities of reusing some of the old components in reconstruction.

Our investigations also focus on lead. This metal was used for roofing tiles since the earliest stages of Notre Dame's construction, to seal stones and iron armatures, and for decoration, particularly in the 19th-century spire. Hundreds of tons of lead were used in the building, yet so little is known about this metal.

Our research aims to identify the practices of craftspersons and the different sources of lead that were used (including recycled material). Byvoorbeeld, the 13th-century roof was tiled again in the 18th and 19th centuries by recasting part of the old lead, according to the incomplete records of the building yard. Our analyses will use comparisons of the isotopic composition of medieval and 19th-century lead to add details to this picture. More than 270 lead samples have been analyzed so far, showing different construction phases in the tribunes and adding precision to former architectural studies.

Lead is also of interest to environmental scientists and health researchers: The cathedral blaze released toxic lead dust into the air in a mix of medieval and modern lead. Some researchers have been tracking its potential contribution to air pollution in Paris.

The archaeologists and dendrochronologists of the wood group do not have access to the wooden vestiges yet. The burnt timbers, polluted with lead, have been evacuated to a distant, dedicated warehouse. It will open soon for researchers.

There is much to learn from the burnt medieval framework, known as "the forest," which incorporates wood from more than 1,000 trees. Before the fire, getting permission to take samples for dating was not an easy process only about 70 samples were dated by dendrochronologists.

Thanks to the digital mapping and archaeological excavation that were carried out, the original place of each burnt beam in the framework can be reconstructed.

The timbers can also provide information on the 12th-century climate. From about 950-1250, the North Atlantic region spanning from eastern North America to western Eurasia experienced a spell of warm weather called the Medieval Warm Period. Trees living during this period, and felled to build the cathedral, will hold a record in their tree rings of what the climate was like. While there are other records of the climate at this time, the huge number of samples now available from Notre Dame will make an unprecedented contribution to this subject of study. Understanding the details of past warm periods helps in understanding today's global warming.

Comment: So the cathedral, considered a masterpiece of engineering and art, was constructed during the Medieval Warm Period if that's what warming can do for a civilization, then it's probably too bad that our world is entering a cooling period.

The stone group is currently investigating the masonries of the north and south transepts of the cathedral, each of which holds a stunning stained-glass rose window. Archival records have suggested that these transepts were the work of two successive masters: Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil. But our analysis of lead joints from the galleries below the rose windows suggests that they share a similar composition, and so, might have been made at the same time. The ongoing investigation of the type and shape of stones used in each transept will help determine if they were erected simultaneously.

Architects completed their first diagnosis of the cathedral's structure in December 2020, but much remains to be done. As these lines are written, the lasts vestiges of the burnt roof and spire are still being excavated and removed from the cleaned vaults, almost two years after the fire. In February of this year, some stones collapsed from the vaults due to frost. Renovation works are unlikely to begin before the end of 2021.

It is unusual to have such a combination of research and scientific skill all focused at the same time on a single monument. The result is really fascinating and fruitful. From a true disaster, Notre Dame's fire gave birth to an unprecedented scientific project and a unique opportunity for researchers and scientists working on building heritage.


What You Never Knew About Notre Dame Cathedral

Few buildings have achieved megastar status like Notre Dame de Paris. But despite the daily barrage of paparazzi outside her door she’s managed to keep her best secrets hidden from the masses. Here’s an inside look at hidden details and anecdotes you never knew you never knew about the coolest cathedral on the continent.

Gargoyle on Notre Dame cathedral/ Corey Frye

Halt, impostor!

Besides scaring away evil spirits and reminding sinners of the demons awaiting them in Hell, gargoyles originally served a practical purpose as rain gutters. Still today, water from the roof travels along the grooved back of each creature until it’s spat out of their mouths, far enough away to keep the building’s foundations dry and solid.

The coolest part? This secret function is evident in the word gargoyle that we use today it comes from the French verb “gargouiller” which means to gargle water in your throat. So it’s simple really—any stone creature that doesn’t gargle—no matter how nasty and gnarly—is a big fat faker.

Get the best view of these legit gargoyles by walking along the building’s northern exterior.

Statue of St Denis at Notre Dame cathedral/ Corey Frye

Walking straight a-head

Before Marie Antoinette nabbed the top slot for Most Fabulous French Beheading, there was Saint Denis. Legend says that in 250 A.D. the Romans caught him preaching Christianity here and ordered that he be decapitated at the top of Montmartre. But it was a scorcher that day, so the fatigued soldiers decided to do the dirty deed halfway up the hill.

Enter the miracle: Denis’ headless body gets up off the ground, picks up its own cranium, and proceeds to walk several miles—while the head gave a sermon! Fun fact: many believe this event gave Montmartre its name, being a derivative of the French words for “mountain” and “martyr”.

Find Saint Denis on the left-hand doorway of Notre Dame’s western facade.

Facade of Notre Dame cathedral by Corey Frye

Romancing the stone

In the mood for vast riches and everlasting life? Notre Dame can lead you to it, according to some. Legend has it that hidden messages were embedded in the façade which when deciphered will lead you to the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystical object that transforms any metal into gold and provides immortality to its possessor.

Example: the round medallions at the main entrance purportedly spell out the secret steps of the Philosopher’s Stone recipe. Decode them all and voilà—you’ve got the next several millennia to look forward to. You may even live long enough to see Parisians learn to clean up after their dogs.

These medallions adorn both sides of the cathedral’s central doorway.

Artisanal craftsmanship showcased in Notre Dame cathedral/ Corey Frye

Money talks

Unlike the less-than-savory slave practices that bore Egyptian pyramids and Roman temples, most of Notre Dame’s workers were paid artisans. But in order for workers to cash in on those famously deep pockets of the Catholic Church, a reliable payment system was a must.

Because of this, each stonemason created a personal insignia that was pounded into every block he sized, ensuring proper reimbursement at the end of the day. Though most of these voices from the past have faded over the last 800 years, a little bit of Sherlock-ing will reveal several hidden survivors.

Find these symbols in the round columns along both side aisles (where the chapels are located).

A small model depicting Notre Dame’s construction/ Corey Frye

A small model inside the church sheds light on the ingenuity of the medieval mind. In a time when Home Depots were few and far between, individual work stations provided the construction site with all necessary materials. Rope? Handmade onsite every day. Nails? Hit up the resident blacksmith. Need to replace a broken thingy? Go see the thingy guy.

Also on display is a medieval crane, seen on the right-hand side of this picture. It was essentially a large wooden hamster wheel that required workers to get inside and “treadmill” each hunk of stone up to vertiginous heights. Imagine the number of stones that make up a cathedral, then ponder cranking them up one by one. A job for the interns, surely.

You’ll find the model behind the altar in the back of the cathedral.


What Does The Notre Dame Have In Common With Alchemy, Hidden Codes And the Philosopher’s Stone?

Jumpstory.

Cathédrale Notre is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris it was constructed in 1345. It is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

The structure mysteriously caught fire in 2019, which caused immense damage to the building. Quite a lot of people were left heartbroken as Notre Dame is full of rich, vibrant, and peculiar history. The walls of Norte Dame started multiple debates amid history enthusiasts as they depict an intriguing tale.

Multiple scholars claim that the cathedral is full of informative carvings. The cathedral itself is known as the book in stone by many individuals all over the globe. In around 1926, an anonymous volume hit the Parisian occult underworld. The book contained extensive information regarding Notre Dame’s link with alchemy and ancient powers. The book was titled Le Mystère des cathédrales of die Mystery of the Cathedrals.

Quite a lot of people wanted to meet the writer who composed this masterpiece. However, they never found the person who compiled all the information regarding the cathedrals of Paris.

The locals of Paris eventually discovered that the book was written by an author called Fulcanelli. His book heavily impacted the world and was named a literary miracle as it contained mind-boggling information about the gothic cathedral of Paris. The book, however, remained utterly unknown outside of French occult and famous alchemical circles.

Fulcanelli is not the only one who tried to shed some light on the ancient walls of Notre Dame de Paris. Multiple authors came forth with similar claims and theories. Quite a lot of them claim that there are secret messages on the walls and entranceways of Notre-Dame, and most of them depict the existence of alchemy and ancient powers.

Fulcanelli’s book, in general, suggests importance far beyond the antiquarian idea that the cathedrals were designed as alchemical texts. To understand the actual purpose of Notre Dame’s existence, one must first understand Fulcanelli and his masterpiece.

Le Mystère des Cathédrales” by Fulcanelli (1926). Source: history.com

No one truly knows who this person is. Some people claim that he was a French author who studied ancient alchemy throughout his life. He was the one who originally spotted various symbols and messages on the walls of Notre Dame and other significant cathedrals. We have no idea how he managed to accumulate such extensive information regarding the ancient walls of various cathedrals.

His work and ideas gave a new perspective to modern-day experts and history enthusiasts. Quite a lot of people went to search the philosopher’s stone in Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. They returned empty-handed, though. They could not find Nicolas Flamel‘s legendary stone that Fulcanelli claimed to be hidden in one of the secret chambers of Notre Dame.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Source: Pinterest

Gothic art on the walls of Notre Dame De Paris:

According to Fulcanelli, Gothic art can be described as the art of light or the spirit. The author claimed that Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel was written in the secret or code language. In Le Mystère des cathédrales , he also mentioned a great deal about Tiresias, the Greek seer who shared the secrets of Olympus.

As per ancient accounts, Tiresias was taught the language of the birds by Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Moreover, Fulcanelli claims that gothic art is a kind of ancient magic. Mortals must decode the engravings in order to find an accurate answer.

Imaginary portrait of Nicolas Flamel. Bron: Wikimedia Commons

How many of you have read J. K Rowling’s Harry Potter series? I am certain most of you must have gone through the series at least once as it’s considered a modern-day classic. The first book is about a special stone that resurrects the dead and gives immense power to the bearer.

There’s a real-life Philosopher’s Stone, though. According to the tales that surround the Parisian communities, Nicolas Flamel was a French manuscript seller who somehow stumbled upon a unique yet powerful stone. After his death, he acquired a reputation as an alchemist believed to have found the Philosopher’s Stone.

As per multiple ancient accounts, the said stone is somewhere in the Notre Dame. One must decipher the secret messages written on the walls of the cathedral to obtain the stone. Stories claim that the Philosopher’s Stone can turn ordinary metals such as iron, tin, lead, zinc, nickel, or copper into precious metals like gold and silver.

It can also give special powers to its bearer. Quite a lot of people have tried finding the stone in the cathedral. None could interpret the messages carved on the walls of Notre Dame.

As stated above, Notre Dame holds significance in Parisian culture. It is also known as the bell tower of Paris and is over 857 years old. History enthusiasts are still waiting for someone to decipher the codes and language of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.



Kommentaar:

  1. Brarg

    sowel as almal, en die variante?

  2. Sanderson

    Sorry I'm interruption.

  3. Cambeul

    You must tell you have been misled.

  4. Glewlwyd

    Dit is aangenaam, die bewonderenswaardige gedagte

  5. Vutaxe

    Congratulations, it is simply magnificent idea



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