The Cloisters, Moissac Abbey. December 1877. Photographer: Séraphin-Médéric Mieusement (1840-1905). Licence Ouverte. Wikimedia Commons.

27 Nov 2022

Advent And Christmas. 2022.

Advent 2022 begins on
Sunday, 27 November.

York Minster.
Photo: 31 July 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff
Attribution: "Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0".
(Wikimedia Commons)

The York Minster Web-Site is HERE.

York Minster.
Illustration: THE PRESS

York Minster
Advent and Christmas 2018.
Available on You Tube at

Advent And Christmas. 2022.

Advent 2022 begins on
Sunday, 27 November.

Gloucester Cathedral
Advent and Christmas Services.
Details available at

Available on YouTube at

The Gloucester Cathedral Web-Site
is HERE.

English: The Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral, with Fan-Vaulted Roof, were used as a location in The Harry Potter films.
Deutsch: Der Kreuzgang der Kathedrale von Gloucester.
Esperanto: Klostro de Katedralo Gloucester.
Українська: Крита галерея Глостерського собору, Глостер, Англія.
Photo: 17 January 2018.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

“In The Bleak Mid-Winter”.
Sung by: Gloucester Cathedral Choir.
Available on YouTube at

Gloucester Cathedral.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and The Holy and Indivisible Trinity. Foundation work began in 1089.
Photo: 4 June 2011.
Source: Own work.
Attribution: Saffron Blaze, via
Author: Saffron Blaze
(Wikimedia Commons)

Gloucester Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

Advent And Christmas. 2022.

Advent 2022 begins on
Sunday, 27 November.

Chester Cathedral.
The building of The Nave, begun in 1323,
was halted by The Plague, and was completed 150 years later.
Photo: 22 May 2012.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Available on YouTube at

The Chester Cathedral Web-Site
is HERE.

Chester Cathedral Choir.
Available on YouTube at

Chester Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

Advent And Christmas. 2022.

Advent 2022 begins on
Sunday, 27 November.

Lincoln Cathedral.
Photo: 16 March 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: DrMoschi
(Wikimedia Commons)

Available on YouTube at

The Lincoln Cathedral Web-Site
is HERE.

Lincoln Cathedral Choir sing
“Oh, Holy Night”.
Available on YouTube at

Lincoln Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

Advent And Christmas. 2022.

Advent 2022 begins on
Sunday, 27 November.

The Lady Chapel,
Westminster Cathedral.
Photo: June 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Gryffindor
(Wikimedia Commons)

Available on YouTube at

The Westminster Cathedral Web-Site
is HERE.

Westminster Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

“The New-Born King”.
Westminster Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

The First Sunday Of Advent.

Abbot Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B.
Printmaker was Claude-Ferdinand Gaillard (1834–1887).
Published 1878, or earlier.
Date: 7 May 2007 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.
Author: The original uploader was
(Wikimedia Commons)

Text is from “The Liturgical Year”.
By: Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
Volume 1.

This Sunday, the first of The Ecclesiastical Year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of The Middle Ages, “Ad te levavi” Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, “Aspiciens a longe”, from the first words of one of the Responsories of Matins.

The Station is at Saint Mary Major.

[Editor: The Stations marked in The Roman Missal for certain days in the year, were formerly Processions, in which the whole Clergy and people went to some given Church, and there Celebrated The Office and The Mass.

[This usage, which dates from the earliest period of The Roman Church, and of which Saint Gregory the Great was but the restorer, still exists, at least in a measure; for the Stations are still observed, though with less solemnity and concourse of people, on all the days specified in The Missal].

It is under the auspices of Mary — in the splendid Basilica which possesses The Crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, “Saint Mary’s ad Præsepe” — that The Roman Church recommences, each year, The Sacred Cycle.

It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of The Divine Birth, which is to gladden Heaven and Earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother.

Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the Prayers which are there being offered up: They are now the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.

In The Night Office, The Church commences the reading of The Book of Isaias, who, of all the Prophets, has the most distinctly and explicitly foretold mention of The Messias; and she continues this same Book [Editor: Of Isaias] until Christmas Day, inclusive.

Let us strive to enter into the teaching of the holy Prophet, and let the eye of our Faith affectionately recognise the promised Saviour in the descriptions, sometimes consoling and sometimes terrifying, under which Isaias depicts Him.

The first words of The Church, in the still Midnight, are these:
Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus.
Come, let us adore The King, Our Lord, Who is to come.
There follows the reading of The Book of the Prophet Isaias.

The words of the holy Prophet, or, rather, of God, Who speaks to us by the Prophet, should make a deep impression on The Children of The Church, at this opening of the holy period of Advent.

Who could hear without trembling this voice of Our Lord, Who is despised and unknown even at the very time when He is coming to visit His people ?

Lest men should be terrified at the splendour of His majesty, He divested Himself of it; and far from acknowledging the Divine Power of Him Who thus humbled Himself out of love to them, these men have refused even to know Him; and the Crib where He lay after His birth, had, at first, but two dumb animals to honour or notice it.

The whole World is in expectation of its Redeemer; come, dear Jesus, show Thyself to it by granting it salvation.

The Church, Thy bride, is now commencing another year, and her first word is to Thee, a word which she speaks in the anxious solicitude of a mother for the safety of her children; she cries out to Thee, saying: “Come !” No, we will go no farther in our journey through the desert of this life without Thee, O Jesus !

Time is passing quickly away from us; our day is perhaps far spent, and the shades of our life’s night are fast coming on; arise, O Divine Sun of Justice. Come ! Guide our steps and save us from eternal death.

From First Vespers In Advent To Second Vespers Of 2 February (Feast Of The Purification Of Our Blessed Lady), The Marian Anthem Is "Alma Redemptoris Mater".

"Love's Pure Light".
The Blessed Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.
Artist: Kathy Lawrence.
Illustration: PINTEREST

"Alma Redemptoris Mater".
For Six Voices.
Composed by Diego Ortiz.
Sung by: Cantar Lontano.
Director: Marco Mencoboni.
Available on YouTube at


Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quæ pervia cæli Porta manes,
et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo:
tu quæ genuisti,
Natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore,
Sumens illud Ave,
peccatorum miserere.

Mother of Christ ! Hear thou thy people's cry,
Star of the Deep, and Portal of the Sky !
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

"Alma Redemptoris Mater"
(Simple Tone).
Available on YouTube at

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Alma Redemptoris Mater (English: Loving Mother of Our Saviour) is a Marian Hymn, written in Latin hexameter, and one of four Seasonal Liturgical Marian Antiphons sung at the end of The Office of Compline (the other three Antiphons being Ave Regina CælorumRegina Cœli and Salve Regina).

"Alma Redemptoris Mater".
Composer: Tomás Luis de Victoria
(Ávila, Spain, 1548 - Madrid, Spain, 1611).
Sung by:
Ensemble Plus Ultra.
Director: Michael Noone.
Available on YouTube at

Hermannus Contractus (also called Herman the Cripple, 1013–1054) is said to have composed the Hymn, based on the writings of Saints FulgentiusEpiphanius, and Irenaeus of Lyon.

The Alma Redemptoris Mater is mentioned in The Prioress's Tale, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

It is sung at The Divine Office of Compline, from First Vespers of Advent, until Second Vespers of The Feast of the Purification of The Blessed Virgin Mary (2 February).

"Alma Redemptoris Mater".
Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
(1525 – 1594).
Sung by:
The Tallis Scholars.
Director of Music: Peter Phillips.
Available on YouTube at

La Médaille Miraculeuse. The Miraculous Medal. The Medal Of Our Lady Of Graces. Feast Day, Today, 27 November. In The Diocese Of Brooklyn, United States Of America.

La Médaille Miraculeuse.
The Miraculous Medal.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia.

The Miraculous Medal (French: Médaille Miraculeuse), also known as The Medal of Our Lady Of Graces, is a Medal, the design of which was originated by Saint Catherine Labouré following her Apparitions of The Blessed Virgin Mary in Rue du Bac, Paris, France, and made by a Goldsmith, Adrien Vachette.

According to the Teaching of The Catholic Church, the use of Sacramentals, such as this Medal, prepare people to receive Grace and dispose them to co-operate with it.

Catherine Labouré stated that, on 19 July 1830, The Eve of The Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, she woke up after hearing the voice of one child calling her to the Chapel, where she heard The Virgin Mary say to her: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the Grace to do what is necessary. Tell your Spiritual Director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the World.”

On 27 November 1830, Catherine reported that The Blessed Mother returned during evening Meditations. She displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe. She wore many rings, set with gems, that shone rays of light over the globe.

Around the margin of the frame, appeared the words: “Ô, Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous” (“O, Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee”). As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a Cross, and the stylised Sacred Heart of Jesus Crowned with Thorns and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a Sword.

Asked why some of the gems did not shed light, Mary reportedly replied: “Those are the Graces for which people forget to ask.” Sister Catherine then heard The Virgin Mary ask her to take these images to her Father Confessor, telling him that they should be put on Medallions, and saying: “All who wear them will receive great Graces.”

Sister Catherine did so, and after two years of investigation and observation of Catherine's ordinary daily behaviour, the Priest took the information to his Archbishop without revealing Catherine's identity. The request was approved and Medallions were designed and produced through a Goldsmith, Adrien Vachette.

The Chapel, in which Saint Catherine experienced her Visions, is located at The Mother House of The Daughters of Charity in Rue du Bac, Paris. The incorrupt bodies of Saint Catherine Labouré and Saint Louise de Marillac, a Co-Founder of The Congregation Of The Daughters Of Charity Of Saint Vincent De Paul, are interred in the Chapel, which continues to receive daily visits from Catholic Pilgrims, today.

Pope John Paul II used a slight variation of the reverse image as his Coat-of-Arms, The Marian Cross, a plain Cross with an M underneath the Right-Hand Bar (which signified The Blessed Virgin at The Foot of The Cross when Jesus was being Crucified).

The following Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Our Lady Of The Miraculous Medal.
   Feast Day 27 November
      (in The Diocese of Brooklyn, New York).


White Vestments.


Our Blessed Lady, appearing in the year 1832 to Catherine Labouré, a Sister of Charity, showed her the pattern of Medal now universally known as “The Miraculous Medal”, because of the many wonders which it has pleased Almighty God to work by its means in His Church.

Among these is the marvellous Conversion, in Rome, in 1842, of the Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne.

Mass: Erit quasi signum.
The Nicene Creed: Is said or sung.

English: Fr. Ratisbonne in 1865.
Français: Cdv du Père Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne.
Date: 1865.
Source: Cdv ancienne.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia.

Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne, N.D.S., (May 1, 1814, Strasbourg, Alsace, France - May 6, 1884, Ein Karem, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, Ottoman Empire) was a French Jew who Converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit Catholic Priest and Missionary.

He later was a Co-Founder of The Congregation Of Our Lady of Sion, a Religious Congregation dedicated to the Conversion of Jews to The Catholic Faith.

26 Nov 2022

Winston’s Way With Words.

“The Roaring Lion”.
30 December 1941.
Photographer: Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Illustration: FINE ART AMERICA

“A single glass of Champagne
imparts a feeling of exhilaration.

The nerves are braced.

The imagination is agreeably shrived.

The wits become more nimble.

A bottle produces the opposite effect”.

Tongeren Abbey Cloisters, Belgium.

English: Tongeren Abbey Cloisters, Belgium.
Deutsch: Kreuzgang der Liebfrauenbasilika
in Tongerenin der Provinz Limburg (Belgien).
Photo: 11 October 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: GFreihalter
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Peter Of Alexandria. Bishop And Martyr. “The Seal Of The Martyrs”. Whose Feast Day Is, Today, 26 November.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Peter Of Alexandria.
   Bishop And Martyr.
   Feast Day 26 November.


Red Vestments.

Saint Peter of Alexandria.
CNA file photo.

"At Alexandria," says The Roman Martyrology, "the birth in Heaven of Saint Peter, Bishop of that City, who, resplendent with The Light of Every Virtue, was beheaded by order of The Emperor Maximinus in 311 A.D."

Mass: Státuit. Of a Martyr.


The following Text is from CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY

By: Benjamin Mann.

Denver, Colorado. 25 November 2012 / 09:45 a.m. (CNA/EWTN News).- Local Commemorations of the 4th-Century A.D. Martyr, Saint Peter of Alexandria, will take place on 25 November and, also, on 26 November. Although his Feast Day in The Western Tradition (on the latter date) is no longer a part of The Roman Catholic Church’s Universal Calendar, he remains especially beloved among Catholic and Orthodox Christians of The Egyptian Coptic Tradition.

Tradition attests that the Egyptian Bishop was the last Believer to suffer death at the hands of Roman Imperial authorities for his Faith in Christ. For this reason, Saint Peter of Alexandria is known as "The Seal of The Martyrs".

He is said to have undertaken severe Penances for the sake of The Suffering Church during his lifetime, and written Letters of encouragement to those in prison, before going to his death at the close of "The Era of The Martyrs."

Both the date of Peter’s birth, and of his Ordination as a Priest, are unknown. It is clear, however, that he was chosen to lead Egypt’s main Catholic Community in 300 A.D., after the death of Saint Theonas of Alexandria.

He may have previously been in charge of Alexandria’s well-known Catechetical School, an important centre of Religious Instruction in The Early-Church. Peter’s own theological writings were cited in a later 5th-Century A.D. dispute over Christ’s Divinity and Humanity.

In 302 A.D., the Emperor Diocletian and his subordinate, Maximinus, attempted to wipe out The Church in the territories of The Roman Empire. They used their authority to destroy Church properties, imprison and torture Believers, and eventually kill those who refused to take part in pagan ceremonies. As The Bishop of Alexandria, Peter offered Spiritual Support to those who faced these penalties, encouraging them to hold to their Faith without compromise.

Saint Sylvester. Abbot. Feast Day 26 November.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Sylvester.
   Feast Day 26 November.


White Vestments.

Saint Sylvester receives Holy Communion
from The Hand of Our Lady (see, below).
Artist: Claudio Ridolfi.
Date: 1632.
Illustration: VULTUS CHRISTI

Saint Sylvester was born of noble parentage at Osimo, in The Marches of Ancona, Italy. Owing to his rare merit, The Canons of The Cathedral of Osimo admitted him to share their dignity. When present, one day, at the funeral of an illustrious man, a relative of his, he was struck by the hideous appearance of the body of a man who had been so handsome, and exclaimed: "I am, today, what he was, and, one day, I shall be what he is" (Collect).

He immediately gave up everything (Gospel) and retired into a desert, where he devoted himself to Penance and Meditation (Introit). "Later, he built at Monte Fano," says The Roman Breviary, "a Church in honour of The Holy Father, Benedict, who advised him in a vision to Found a Religious Order, whose Rule and Habit he described to him. It was The Order of The Sylvestrines."

This Branch of The Benedictine Order spread in a short time and already numbered twenty-five Houses in Italy when its Founder died in 1267, at the age of ninety.

Mass: Os justi. (Of Abbots).
Commemoration: Saint Peter of Alexandria. (From The Collects of The Mass: Státuit).

The following Text is from VULTUS CHRISTI

Communion from The Hands of Our Lady.

The most famous Marian prodigy in his life took place when, of a night, The Blessed Virgin appeared to him in a dream and said, “Sylvester, dost thou desire to receive The Body of my Son ?”

With trepidation, he answered, “My heart is ready, Oh, Lady; let it be done unto me according to thy word.”

What I find most extraordinary is that Saint Sylvester, being a Monk already steeped in The Word of God through the familiar repetition of it in The Sacred Liturgy, answered Our Blessed Lady in two phrases already held and pondered within her Immaculate Heart.

The first phrase, taken from Psalm 107:2 — “Paratum cor meum Deus paratum cor meum” — “My heart is ready, Oh, God, my heart is ready” is the perfect act of preparation for Holy Communion.

The second phrase is Our Blessed Lady’s own acquiescence to The Mystery of The Incarnation, as recorded in Luke 1:30 — “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” — “Be it done to me according to thy word”. Receiving her very own words from the lips of her servant, Sylvester, The Mother of God gave him Holy Communion.

Claudio Ridolfi painted the episode in 1632.

25 Nov 2022

Sainte-Cécile Cathedral. Albi, France.

Albi Cathedral,

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia,
unless stated otherwise.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia (French: Basilique Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi), also known as Albi Cathedral, is The Seat of The Catholic Archbishop of Albi.

First built in the aftermath of The Albigensian Crusade, the grim Exterior resembles a fortress, but the Interior is lavishly decorated with Art and Sculpture, a very ornate Choir Screen, and Walls in Bright Blues and Golds, in The Toulousian, or, Southern French, Gothic Style.

It was begun in 1282 and was under construction for 200 years. It is claimed to be the largest brick building in the World.[1] In 2010, the Cathedral, along with its Episcopal Buildings, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique Architecture and the remarkable consistency in its design.[2][3]

English: Sainte-Cécile Cathedral.
Albi, France.
Français: Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi.
Photo: 8 May 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: ByacC
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Cathedral Of Our Lady Of Strasbourg, France. Cathédrale Notre-Dame De Strasbourg. Liebfrauenmünster Zu Straßburg.

Strasbourg Cathedral,
Alsace, France.
Photo: 8 February 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
"Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0"
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Traditional Latin Mass in Strasbourg Cathedral,
Saint-Laurent Chapel.
Feast Day of Sainte Jeanne d'Arc (Saint Joan of Arc).
Photo: 30 May 2015.
Source: Own work.
Author: Christophe117
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Nave,
Strasbourg Cathedral,
Alsace, France.
Photo: 8 February 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
"Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0"
(Wikimedia Commons)

Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopædia,
unless otherwise stated.

Strasbourg Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, German: Liebfrauenmünster zu Straßburg), also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of High-, or Late-, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318. The construction of the cathedral, which had started in the year 1015 and had been relaunched in 1190, was finished in 1439.[6]

At 142 metres (466 feet), it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874 (227 years), when it was surpassed by Saint. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg, Germany. Today, it is the sixth-tallest Church in the World and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in The Middle Ages.

English: Statues on the Right of The Great West Door, Strasbourg Cathedral.
Français: Statues de l'ébrasement droit de la porte centrale du portail occidental de la cathédrale de Strasbourg.
Photo: 27 December 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Coyau.
Attribution: Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Strasbourg Cathedral.
Available on YouTube at

Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", and by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading Tree of God", the Cathedral is visible far across the Plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone, from the Vosges, used in construction, gives the Cathedral its characteristic pink hue.

The site of Strasbourg Cathedral was used for several successive Religious buildings, starting from the Argentoratum period (when a Roman Sanctuary occupied the site) up to the building that is there today.

It is known that a Cathedral was erected by Bishop Saint Arbogast, of the Strasbourg Diocese, at the end of the 7th-Century, on the base of a temple dedicated to The Virgin Mary, but nothing remains of it today. Strasbourg's previous Cathedral, remains of which, dating back to the Late-4th-Century A.D., or Early-5th-Century A.D., were unearthed in 1948 and 1956, was situated at the site of the current Église Saint-Étienne.

English: West façade
of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg.
Français: Façade ouest
de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg.
Photo: 20 August 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Neuceu.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In the 8th-Century A.D., the first Cathedral was replaced by a more important building that would be completed under the Reign of Charlemagne. Bishop Remigius von Straßburg (also known as Rémi) wished to be buried in the Crypt, according to his Will, dated 778 A.D.

It was certainly in this building that the Oaths of Strasbourg were pronounced in 842 A.D. Excavations carried out, recently, reveal that this Carolingian Cathedral had three Naves and three Apses. A poem described this Cathedral decorated with Gold and Precious Stones by Bishop Ratho (also Ratald, or, Rathold). The Basilica caught fire on multiple occasions, in 873 A.D., 1002, and 1007.

English: The Nave,
Cathedral of Our Lady, Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
Deutsch: Langhaus des Münsters Unserer Lieben Frau,
Straßburg, Elsass, Frankreich.
Photo: 17 May 2015.
Source: Own work.
Author: Zairon
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1015, Bishop Werner von Habsburg laid the first Stone of a new Cathedral on the ruins of the Carolingian Basilica. He then constructed a Cathedral in the Romanesque Style of architecture. That Cathedral burned to the ground in 1176, because, at that time, the Naves were covered with a wooden framework.

After that disaster, Bishop Heinrich von Hasenburg decided to construct a new Cathedral, to be more beautiful than that of Basel, which was just being finished. Construction of the new Cathedral began on the Foundations of the preceding structure, and did not end until Centuries later. Werner's Cathedral's Crypt, which had not burned, was kept, and expanded Westwards.

The Rose Window,
Our Lady Of Strasbourg, France.
Photo: 24 June 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Doc Searls
(Wikimedia Commons)

The construction began with the Quire (Choir) and the North Transept in a Romanesque Style, reminiscent of, and actually inspired by, the Imperial Cathedrals in its monumental size and height. But, in 1225, a team coming from Chartres revolutionised the construction by suggesting a Gothic Style.

The parts of the Nave that had already been begun, in Romanesque Style, were torn down and, in order to find money to finish the Nave, the Chapter resorted to Indulgences in 1253. The money was kept by the Œuvre Notre-Dame (Editor: The Strasbourg Museum), which also hired architects and stone workers. The influence of the Chartres Masters was also felt in the sculptures and statues; the "Pillar of Angels" (Pilier des anges), a representation of The Last Judgment on a Pillar in the Southern Transept, facing the Astronomical Clock, owes to their expressive style.

Like the City of Strasbourg, the Cathedral connects German and French cultural influences, while the Eastern structures, e.g. the Choir and South Portal, still have very Romanesque features, with more emphasis placed on walls than on windows.

English: The Romanesque Chevet of Strasbourg Cathedral.
Deutsch: Romanischer Chorabschluss
des Straßburger Münsters.
Photo: 4 September 2013.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Above all, the famous West Front, decorated with thousands of figures, is a masterpiece of the Gothic era. The Tower is one of the first to rely substantially on craftsmanship, with the final appearance being one with a high degree of linearity captured in stone. While previous façades were certainly drawn prior to construction, Strasbourg has one of the earliest façades whose construction is inconceivable without prior drawing.

Strasbourg Cathedral and Cologne Cathedral together represent some of the earliest uses of architectural drawing. The work of Professor Robert O. Bork, of the University of Iowa, suggests that the design of the Strasbourg façade, while seeming almost random in its complexity, can be constructed using a series of rotated octagons.

The North Tower, completed in 1439, was the world's tallest building from 1647 (when the Spire of Saint Mary's Church, Stralsund, Germany, burnt down) until 1874, (when the Tower of Saint Nikolai's Church in Hamburg, Germany, was completed).

The planned South Tower was never built and, as a result, with its characteristic asymmetrical form, Strasbourg Cathedral is now the premier landmark of Alsace. One can see thirty kilometers from the Observation Level, which provides a view of the Rhine Banks, from the Vosges all the way to The Black Forest. The Octagonal Tower is the combined work of architects Ulrich Ensingen (Shaft) and Johannes Hültz of Cologne (top). Ensingen worked on the Cathedral from 1399 to 1419, and Hültz from 1419 to 1439.

The Tympanum on the Right Portal.
Strasbourg Cathedral, Alsace, France.
Photo: 2 August 2020.
Author: Paul Barker Hemings
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1505, architect Jakob von Landshut and sculptor Hans von Aachen finished re-building the Saint-Lawrence Portal (Portail Saint-Laurent), outside the Northern Transept, in a markedly Post-Gothic, Early-Renaissance Style. As with the other Portals of the Cathedral, most of the statues now to be seen in situ are copies, the originals having been moved to the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.

In the Late Middle Ages, the City of Strasbourg had managed to liberate itself from the domination of the Bishop and to rise to the status of Free Imperial City. The outgoing 15th-Century was marked by the Sermons of Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg and by the emerging Protestant Reformation, represented in Strasbourg by figures such as John Calvin, Martin Bucer and Jacob Sturm von Sturmeck.

In 1524, the City Council assigned the Cathedral to the Protestant faith, while the building suffered some damage from iconoclastic assaults. In 1539, the world's first documented Christmas Tree was set up inside the Münster. After the annexation of the City by Louis XIV of France, on 30 September 1681, and a Mass celebrated in the Cathedral on 23 October 1681 in the presence of the King and Prince-Bishop, Franz Egon of Fürstenberg, the Cathedral was returned to the Catholics and its inside re-designed according to the Catholic Liturgy of the Counter-Reformation.

The Great West Portals,
Strasbourg Cathedral, Alsace, France.
Photo: 13 January 2013.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1682, the Choir Screen (built in 1252) was broken out to expand the Quire (Choir) towards the Nave. Remains of the Choir Screen are displayed in the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame and in The Cloisters. The Main, or High, Altar, a major work of Early-Renaissance sculpture, was also demolished that year. Fragments can be seen in the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.

A round, Baroque Sacristy, of modest proportions, was added North-East of the Northern Transept, in 1744, by the City's Chief Architect, Joseph Massol, according to Plans by Robert de Cotte. Between 1772 and 1778, architect Jean-Laurent Goetz surrounded the Cathedral with a Gallery, in Early-Gothic-Revival Syle, in order to re-organise the merchants' shops that used to settle around the building (and would do so until 1843).

In April 1794, the Enragés, who ruled the City, started planning to tear the Spire down, on the grounds that it hurt the principle of equality. The Tower was saved, however, when, in May of the same year, citizens of Strasbourg crowned it with a giant tin Phrygian Cap, of the kind the Enragés themselves wore. This artefact was later kept in the historical collections of the City, until they were all destroyed in a massive fire in August 1870.

English: The Rose Window
and Gallery of The Apostles,
Strasbourg Cathedral, Alsace, France.
Français: Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. Façade occidentale, Rosace et galerie des Apôtres.
Photo: 5 April 2010.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

During the Siege of Strasbourg, the Cathedral was hit by Prussian artillery and the metal Cross, on the Spire, was bent. The Crossing Dome's's roof was pierced and it was subsequently reconstructed in a grander, Romanesque Revival Style by The Notre-Dame Workshop's long-time Chief Architect, Gustave Klotz.

During World War II, Strasbourg's Cathedral was seen as a symbol for both warring parties. Adolf Hitler, who visited it on 28 June 1940, intended to transform the Church into a "National Sanctuary of the German People" or into a Monument to The Unknown Soldier, on 1 March 1941, General Leclerc, of France, made the "Vow of Kufra" (Serment de Koufra), stating he would "rest the weapons only when our beautiful Colours fly again on Strasbourg's Cathedral".

During that same war, the Stained-Glass was removed, in seventy-four Cases, from the Cathedral and stored in a Salt Mine, near Heilbronn, Germany. After the war, it was returned to the Cathedral by the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section of the United States Military.

The Crossing and The Chevet
Strasbourg Cathedral in 1671.
Drawing by Johann Jacob Arhardt.
Author: Johann Jacob Arhardt (1613-1674)
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Cathedral was hit by British and American bombs during air raids on Strasbourg's Centre, on 11 August 1944, which also heavily damaged the Palais Rohan and the Sainte-Madeleine Church. In 1956, the Council of Europe donated the famous Choir Window, by Max Ingrand, the "Strasbourg Madonna" (see also Flag of Europe Biblical interpretation). The last War Damages were only repaired in the Early-1990s.

In October 1988, when the City was commemorating 2,000 years of the Founding of Argentoratum, Pope Saint John Paul II visited and Celebrated Mass in the Cathedral. This event was also an occasion to celebrate the Franco-Germany Reconciliation.

In 2000, an Al-Qaeda plot to bomb the adjacent Christmas Market was prevented by French and German Police.

The Vaults in The Crypt,
Strasbourg Cathedral, Alsace, France.
Photo: 27 November 2014.
Source: Own work.
© Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons
(Wikimedia Commons)

Notre Dame de Strasbourg turned into a “Temple of Reason” during The French Revolution.
Source: J. Ch. Dieterich: Revolutions-Almanach von 1795.
Göttingen 1794, ad p.327.
(Wikimedia Commons)
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