Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is the landmark of the city and known in the whole world. It is surrounded by a big place where tourists and inhabitants of Strasbourg like to take a walk. In 2015, the city has celebrated the millennial anniversary of its cathedral. What makes this monument extraordinarily impressive are the steeple with a height of 140 metres, the principal façade with interesting portal statues and the rosette with a 15 metres diameter. Inside the Strasbourg Cathedral, you can admire the Pillar of Angels (pilier des Anges), the pulpit, the Astronomical clock and the big organ, built by André Silbermann. The construction of the Strasbourg Cathedral began in 1015 in Roman style, but later was continued in a Gothic style (from 1235 to 1275) and then in High Gothic style (from 1276 to 1330).
For those having the time and the patience, there is a special spectacle taking place in the beginning of spring and autumn: you can observe a green shaft of light illuminating the Christ. This is taking place during the equinox period, when night and day have the same duration. The shaft of light moves from one window of the lower south-side of the cathedral to the head of the Christ, placed on the crucifix above the pulpit. The green colour comes from a shoe of Judas, immortalised in this window. The spectacle takes about 15 minutes and is only seen when it is sunny outside. In spring, it takes place at 11.38am and in automn at 12.24pm.
The southern tower has never been completet, but one can go up to a platform of 66 metres height. The steps are narrow and climbing them is quite hard, but it is worth it: the view is absolutely fantastic. You can see the narrow little streets, the European parliament, the Rhine valley, the Vosges and the Black Forest. There are other steps for going down. The northern tower is not accesible for the public. It has a height of 142 metres. The restauration of the cathedral's spire has been finished in 2003.
The Strasbourg Cathedral and its pulpit
The pulpit of Our Lady of Strasbourg is made in white sandstone and is a masterpiece of High Gothic masons. It has been built in 1486 by Johannes Hammer.
The big organ of the cathedral
In 1716, André Silbermann built the cathedral's big organ, having three keyboards, 39 ranges and about 2.200 pipes. Its golden casing mesures 20 metres of height and dates from 1489.
The Strasbourg Cathedral and its Astronomic clock
The Astronomic clock in Our Lady of Strasbourg is a masterpiece of the Middle Ages. According to a legend, its inventor and architect lost his eyesight in order to not reveal the complicated mechanism of the clock. The clockwork mechanism is winded up once a week. It is set after Strasbourg's meridian and, for this reason, rings at 12.30pm for noon. Other astronomic times can be seen, too. Plus, the mechanism of the clock starts moving big cogs and some figures: the apostles pass by the Christ; when the 4th, 8th and 12th apostle pass by, a cock is singing.
The Pillar of Angels in front of the Astronomic clock
The Pillar of Angels is a representation of the Last Judgement and the main pillar in the centre of the Cathedral. It has been built between 1220 and 1230. It stabilizes the vault of the southern transept and bears twelve sculptures representing the evangelistes. Above, there are angels playing the trumpet. On top, Christ is represented.
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