Amiens, Picardie, France

Amiens, Picardie, France

The peerless James C. writes:

Here it is, the magnificent light show that reproduces the medieval polychromatic scheme on the jaw-dropping facade of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens. In person it is so much brighter and more awe-inspiring than photos can capture! The Light of the Middle Ages indeed. I’ve never seen anything quite like it—one of the most luminous—and numinous—sights my eyes have ever witnessed.

If God deigns in His mercy to receive me in paradise, one of the first requests I would like to make of Him is to show me a full-colour Chartres.

A very appropriate (and tasty) drink to accompany the display: a deep blue-coloured beer called Blue Reide, made locally by the Brasserie de la Somme. It is brewed with the famous l’Or Bleu de Picardie (‘Blue Gold of Picardy’), a plant whose flowers produce a pigment (waide in Picardy dialect—woad in English) that provided one of the very few sources for blue dye and painting during the Middle Ages. The burghers of Amiens grew very prosperous from the production and trade in this during the 12th and 13th centuries, which is why they were able to build such a cathedral to Our Lady (the largest in France, with nave vaults reaching almost 140 feet above the floor!). Of course, in Western art of the era, blue is the colour most  associated with the Virgin Mary.

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