21 July 2020

Inside the cathedral at Amiens

Here are three large images showing part of the interior of the cathedral in Amiens. The height of the ceiling is 42.3 meters (nearly 140 feet), which is much higher than the ceiling at Notre-Dame de Paris (33.5 meters = 110 feet). The area covered by the building measures more 7,700 sq. ft. — 1.9 acres, which is more than 80,000 sq. ft.

Notre-Dame d'Amiens suffered significant damage during the First World War. The German army bombarded the town and the cathedral with mortar shells. The people of Amiens sandbagged the front of the church to try to prevent damage to all the sculpture. After the war, the stained-glass windows were dismantled and taken to Paris for restoration work. Unfortunately, an accidental fire in the Paris facility where the work was under way destroyed most of them. The cathedral made it through the Second World War unscathed.

I wish my photos gave a better idea of and feeling for how enormous the Amiens cathedral really is. In fact, it's almost twice as big as Notre-Dame de Paris. I remember the feelings I had when CHM and I were inside the cathedral ten years ago today — dizziness and exhilaration. Over the next few days, I'll be posting some more detailed photos I took there.


  1. This cathedral is really impressive.
    Only the ceiling of the Beauvais cathedral is higher at 48,5 m (159 ft). To give an idea, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is 50 m (164 ft) high.

  2. This is an incredible building. These photos make me think of the people who build it and what an astonishing feat it must have been. If I were inside I would be looking up most of the time.

  3. I must see this the next time I’m in France! How sad that the windows that barely managed to survive WWI were lost in the fire in Paris.

  4. It's good to see these wonderful photos today.

  5. It's impressive alright. I wonder what medieval people going to the services thought. They must have been wowed! Too bad about the windows...looks like the windows at the cathedral at Nantes may face the same fate.

    If only all the architectural damage from WWI and WWII could be undone.

  6. The pictures are absolutely stunning!

  7. Is that a labyrinth on the floor? I think there's one at Chartres.
    Your picture yesterday of the little ant-like people on the front steps clearly conveyed the scale. Amazing building.

    1. Yes, Emm, this is a labyrinth. And, you're right, there is one at Chartres.


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