An Eastward Homage, Day 19: Amiens, Part II- St. Firmin’s House

SAM_0625

The cathedrals of France, and of all Europe, present a grandeur, individual and collective. While offered ostensibly to pay homage to Christ, they were usually also intended to show the power and largesse of their patrons.  Lost in time and space, frequently, are the stories of the founders.

St. Firmin taught Christianity to the Picards, and put up the first church in an area outside the walls of Amiens, in the early Fourth Century AD.  For his pains, he was beheaded by the Romans.  The Picards, though, brought his church and its implements into the city, and by 1269, the main cathedral that we see today was in place.

I began my visit, as usual, by circling around the exterior.  The spires, tympanum and outer shell exude the magnificence that reflected Amiens’ exemplary position between Flanders and Paris, and its relative proximity to the English Channel.  The city’s canals are also an outgrowth of the prosperity enjoyed by Picardy, during and after the Crusades of the 12th-14th Centuries and during the Renaissance of the North.

SAM_0628

The cathedral is bounded by gardens, on the west side.

SAM_0632

In this area, a young lady had a successful interview for an office position.  That it happened in an outdoor setting says much of Amiens.  That her poised and confident manner bore fruit says even more.  I saw little, if any, objectification of people here, or anywhere else in Europe.

The tympanum, below, is dedicated to  St. Honore, whose relics were shown around, as a fund raiser for the 1260 iteration of the Cathedral.  His image is seen in the center of the front entrance.

SAM_0638

The tympanum is also graced by several of the great prophets of Judeo-Christian tradition.SAM_0641

Dragons abound here, representing the challenges of the world.SAM_0645

SAM_0650

Before we go inside, here is a glance at Mother Mary, bounded by the saints of both genders.SAM_0647

The women of faith are quite prominent here.SAM_0648

Now, on to the nave.  The worshipers show the scale of this venerable hall.

SAM_0734

The Chapel of St. John the Evangelist is found immediately to the left, upon entering the Cathedral from the south.

SAM_0738

There is always a feeling of space, and of loftiness, in the hall.SAM_0742

Paint was used more extensively in cathedrals the north of France, perhaps reflecting the influence of the Flemish.  The scenes below are a reliquary of John the Baptist.

SAM_0744

SAM_0749

The Blessed Virgin is given her own Chapel, thus certifying the cathedral as Notre Dame d’ Amiens.SAM_0753

The preserved Church of St. Firmin acts as a bolster, spiritually, to the greater cathedral.

SAM_0756

Below, Mary and Jesus are honoured by a saint.SAM_0757

I came to the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, once past the Church of St. Firmin.SAM_0758

This is the Chapel of St. James the ElderSAM_0761

The Grand Altar, and its gold, stem from the time of Louis XIV.SAM_0764

A chapel devoted to St. Jeanne d’ Arc is found to the right of St. James’ chapel.SAM_0768

A trio of memorials to the fallen soldiers of World War I occupies the area to the right of the choir loft. The first honours the Canadian Dragoons.

SAM_0775

The second is dedicated to the fallen from New Zealand.

SAM_0778

There is a large memorial to the soldiers of Australia, at Villers Bretonneux, 16 km east of Amiens.  Hopefully, I will pay my respects there in 2017, along with visiting sites associated with American forces of that conflict.

The Grand Altar, in its glory, was my final view of Notre Dame d’Amiens, St. Firimin’s House.  It is another bit of magnificence.  Yet, as another observer mentioned, no one cathedral can be compared with another.

SAM_0782

NEXT: A Circular Tour Around Amiens

7 thoughts on “An Eastward Homage, Day 19: Amiens, Part II- St. Firmin’s House

  1. Another magnificent cathedral! They can’t be compared with each other except in their grandeur and their beauty! They’re all beautiful, and all significant in their own way in the history of the country and the church!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.