Monday, 29 December 2008

Guingamp basilica


Another collection of photos, this time from the lovely town of Guingamp. Its basilica is an amazing mixture of styles and periods, beginning in the eleventh or twelth century. Its porche Notre Dame (porch of Our Lady) contains not only a chapel to Mary but also a labyrinth. This floor dates from 1854 and represents the difficult path to spiritual awakening - although labyrinths have much older connotations too, from the minotaur's labyrinth in ancient Greece to the mediaeval use of labyrinths as miniature pilgrimages. (A similar revival in the use of labyrinths was also taking place in nineteenth-century England).

The thing I love best about the basilica is the way that assorted grotesques and gargoyles peep out all over it. Some even seem to be creeping into neighbouring buildings!

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