The brilliant example of the Gothic architecture, Amiens Cathedral was built in the 13th century, between 1200 and 1270. The architects Robert of Luzarches, Thomas and Regnault de Cormont, expressed the idea of Nave. The initiator of the construction was Bishop Evrard de Fouilly. Amiens Cathedral was built in France, Picardy district. The architects used mainly gray hard sandstone for Nave. However, the traditional rose window was made of color glass and the statue “Golden Madonna” used to be covered with gold. The size of Amiens Cathedral is rather impressive as it is believed to be the highest Gothic Cathedral in the country. Currently it is located in Amiens, on the river Somme not too far from Paris.
Amiens Cathedral is not a simple temple for worship. It is a real artwork that reveals a story of spiritual existence. Particularly, the idea is focused on portraying Jesus Christ, the essence of his life, crucifixion and resurrection. Different parts of Cathedral describe different aspects. For instance, bent cross on the floor of Nave, presents the power of Jesus over death.
Moreover, the artwork shows the collection of figures. Thus, the sculpture decorations of three portals of the Cathedral are devoted to three themes: the Last Judgment, the Virgin Mary and the first Bishop of the city who later was canonized and recognized as Amiens patron. Numeral other sculptures represent physical and spiritual worlds in their different aspects. Personages, from Old Testament, are found side by side with mystical gargoyles, angels and apostles share their places with “Gallery of Kings”.
The Cathedral is full of symbols. Thus, the traditional element of Gothic architecture, rose window, in Nave has an inverted five-pointed star within. Originally this element was included in order to symbolize five stigmata; the wounds Jesus Christ received while Crucifixion and had after Resurrection as a sign of holiness. In the early Christianity pentagram was interpreted only in this way. However, nowadays some skeptics treat this figure as hidden symbol of Satanism. To prove this idea, they point out that there are also triquetras and valknuts on the walls of the Cathedral, the signs of the highest rank. However, this argument is also disputable as originally triquetra was a symbol of Holy Trinity and had nothing common with occultism as well as valknut though the latest takes its origin in Scandinavian culture.
Concerning the key features of Amiens Cathedral it is important to point out that they are unique in comparison with other Gothic Cathedrals of that period. According to the original plan the towers of Nave should have been built much taller and wider. Nevertheless, after the half of towers was ready, the architects decided to stop building. That is why there appears some disharmony with regard to accuracy and symmetry of other architectural elements of facade. It is the only Cathedral in France that differs from other artworks with its misbalance in lines. At the mean time, it is believed to be a precious box because of numeral sculptures, reliefs, and carving covering its facade. Towers different by their height and design add more picturesqueness and enigma to the whole ensemble.
In spite of the fact that Nave was made of gray sandstone, scientists revealed that its western part in the 13th century was colored. Few traces of the paint can be found with the help of complex analysis. One more distinct feature of Nave is the rose window, the single, stained-glass window in this artwork though, in other temples there are several of them. This difference can be explained by the meaning it implies. Rose window with pentagram within situated in the western part of long Nave symbolizes God’s blessings and forgiveness, which people obtain after passing through a long way from darkness to redemption.
Amiens Cathedral is a Gothic artwork. That is why mystical and allegoric ideas implemented there are presented via symmetrical lines, gray color, sculptures of mythological creatures, and scenes of the Last Judgment which make real people think about their life and actions and accept Jesus Christ in their lives.