Long ago, around 1260 AD ,the south rose window was installed in the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was designed by Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil and was donated by King St. Louis. The window’s themes are from the New Testament and focus on the Triumph of Christ. For the meaning of specific panes you can check out this informative website. The pictures on that site are not mine.
A few facts. The window is almost 13 meters in diameter and contains 84 pieces of glass. Some of the panes have been lost and replaced, including the center one. Many of them are now out of order. Beneath the rose window there are sixteen lancets (spear shaped windows) which were replaced in the 19th century. They depict sixteen prophets and the four evangelists.
Sometime in my early schooling I learned of the miraculous rose windows at Notre Dame. I remember a picture in a textbook in history class. I remember the time I made “stained glass” with my grandmother. We melted Crayons placed between wax paper, then pasted them behind cut out black construction paper. When we hung them in a window it gave the general effect of stained glass.
Beautiful as the window itself is, one of the main factors that contributes to its glory is its surroundings. Hearing the whispered echoes refract endlessly in this holy place, smelling the musty incense from almost a millennium of worship, tracing the steps of millions of believers through the recesses of the hallowed Notre Dame, gives a sense of religious awe. To look up and see the spectrum of colors glittering into the immense hall sends chills down your spine and is a delight to the eyes. My picture hardly does it justice. So you’ll have to go yourself.
Nikon D800 Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56mm f/5.6 ISO 1600 1/200 sec