The Rose Windows of Notre Dame. Where Do We Go From Here?


Rose window 1

Rose window, Notre Dame

Many ingenious lovely things are gone
That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,
protected from the circle of the moon
That pitches common things about. There stood
Amid the ornamental bronze and stone
An ancient image made of olive wood –
And gone are Phidias' famous ivories
And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.


Joanna here, talking about something that shocked and horrified me last week. I watched fire burning next to the rose windows of Notre Dame.

Those rose windows are perhaps the most famous stained glass in the world. Very old. Very lovely. Anyone who’s been privileged to see them has been moved by the experience.

We still don’t know what shape they’re in.

Notre Dame has three of them over the doors on the south, west, and north of the Cathedral. 

They’re called “rose windows” not because of the color or because they have roses in the stained glass itself, but from the shape. The circle with spoke-like mullions and the delicate  tracery of stone is thought to resemble an open rose. They’re madly characteristic of Gothic architecture and are found in great churches all over northern France.

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