Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kathedrale von Metz

[ Metz Cathedral ]

Pictures and words on this post will only fail to express my feelings and impressions from my trip on Saturday. While driving up a very narrow French street in Metz we finally came to the end to what opened up to a square. You didn't notice this town square however, because the only place your eyes went was up.




Seriously, I think I started laughing out of excitement. The prominent Cathedral took me by complete surprise. Of course it was big, but it was more of the fact that, from the narrow streets it all the sudden dominated all view and penetrated the entire panorama of the surrounding sights. I think there is an expectation when you hear you are going to see a cathedral, but really, my reaction was one that I wasn't braced for. It was literally awe.

I have been to the Grand Cathedral in America a few times, and I think it is gorgeous, but even tourguides at that fantastic structure admit that it is different from its European counterparts in regards to its young age [ it was completed in the past century! ]. The Metz Cathedral was so ornate. Stained glass windows, gorgeous statues, an enormous wooden entrance door. I wasn't even inside yet!

Walking inside trumped my awe times over from minutes before. I think breathtaking is a fair word. Your eyes immediately go up, and up, and then you are just gaping at the ceiling high above you. It relates to standing next to a daunting and huge skyscraper, however, the feeling of being inside something so old, ornate, dark - yet colorful, is different.

Adriane, I think, was very entertained by my enchantment. Standing next to me she added;

Isn't it just amazing that this was built just by man. No machines, no powertools.

It was a beautiful thought, especially when reminded of the statues outside, the shimmering colors of the stained glass inside, and the enormous slabs of stone that lined the walls and crowned at the nave. I really wished I was there for a mass. Fortunately I have many more opportunities to attend church at historic works of art like these!

With Angelika I walked, relishing in the echo of footsteps, and took a closer look at the stained glass in the windows. Angelika excitedly pointed out some very vibrant, and coincidentally famous pieces, which were the works of the renowned artist, Chegall. The artist has 19 stained glass works within the Cathedral, which holds the most expansive collection of stained glass in the world.

Adriane shared another very valid point with me, and one that was rather depressing.

It is sad to think that the man who had the idea and plan for the Cathedral, as well as those building it, never lived to see it completed.

This concept is so true, yet hard to stomach. It is beautiful in a unique way. The Metz Cathedral took over 300 years to erect beginning in the early 13th century. Additions and changes have occured in the Cathedral up until modern times [ with the stained glass of Chegall created in the 1950's as an example ].

I had just witnessed the Cathedral with the third tallest nave in all of France, and one of the tallest in all of Europe. It was such a beautiful sight, and Angelika purchased me a book so that I could research it further, and it has been a very interesting read so far. I lit a candle with my host sisters, a little moment to think about everyone back home that I love dearly, and a split second to reflect on how great everything has been for me so far on this experience in Europe. It truly has been amazing so far.

Being in Metz, even for just a few hours, was so enjoyable, and I was really thankful that my host family took me out there, and that we were able to spend time there together.


  1. Again, I am in total agreement...from Notre Dame to St. Peter's Basicalla...your eyes and mind cannot seem to process all of the awesomely breathtaking sights...made only by men with hand tools as your host sister indicated. However, I find the concept of building something that I will never see finished more inspiring and selfless than many of us today would dedicate our life to create something that we will never see finished???

    Maria K.

  2. in mainz, germany there is a cathedral dedicated entirely to marc chagall's blue stained glass windows - definitely breathtaking.

    i think the closest thing i've seen to my version of disney world is paris. there are probably as many (if not more than) cathedrals and monuments in paris as there are starbucks in seattle. it's like something out of a fairy tale.