Tag Archives: stained glass

The Champagne stained glass window in Reims cathedral

Over many years I have gathered together a wide range of imagery about grape growing and wine making, but although I have visited Reims cathedral on several occasions, I have never before had a camera with the right lens to take close up pictures of the famous stained glass window representing wine growing in the Champagne region.    Last weekend was different, and a leisurely afternoon provided the opportunity to share the imagery below.

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The window in the south transept was completed in 1954 following the removal of earlier glass in the 18th century, and damage to the cathedral in the 1914-18 war.  Funding came from  the Champagne Houses, winegrowers, overseas agents and others who wanted to help restore the cathedral.  The imagery shows many of the stages in making Champagne, but does so in the style of medieval glass.  It provides a fascinating insight into Champagne production as it was in the middle of the 20th century.

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The stained glass of Chartres Cathedral

Traveling south across France provided an opportunity to stop off overnight at the wonderful old medieval town of Chartres in the Beauce plain to the north of the river Loire in France.  At the centre of the old town is the magnificent Gothic cathedral, rebuilt in the first quarter of the 13th century after the earlier Romanesque cathedral had been burnt down by fire in 1194.  In the summer, it is now beautifully lit in a son et lumière display at night. The cathedral has one of the most extensive and beautiful sets of medieval stained glass windows in the world, and it was wonderful to see these with the morning sunshine flooding through them.  The glass was largely donated by the rich guild members of the town between 1210 and 1240 and beautifully portray scenes from the bible alongside those from daily life in the 13th century.  I particularly like those of agricultural production and wine making, captured in the selection of my photographs below.  These also include a beautiful earlier blue window of the Virgin and Child that survived the fire of 1194, and was reincorporated into a 13th century window.

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Filed under France, Photographs