Monday, 29 March 2010

A secret at Chartres

I've known Chartres cathedral for five or six years now, visiting it several times a year, in all seasons, early and late. And it still surprises me, from time to time.

It can be just a trick of the light throwing a new accent on to a moulding, or illuminating a window I've not seen so clearly before. It can be a different approach, a slight angle that shows something new.

Yesterday, it was a real secret though.

The North Porch is supported on columns which are ornamented with tiny scenes - David and Goliath, Jubal and his lyre, the Ark of the Covenant. Supporting the columns are lovely plinths carved with fresh springtime leaves; except for one column, which rests on a polygonal foot pierced with little holes. Look inside these holes, and you can see a marvellous bestiary - including this little toad or frog.

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