Whenever I am going to the Netherlands, by car, full of Blanquette, homemade sambal and home made confiture, I try to visit some special places. And participate in some special ceremonies. This time it was Chartres, Gisors and Amiens.
On the way north I met my friend Door who had come south to Chartres and would drive with me to Holland.
Chartres itself is a wonderful place. But the cathedral is a real jewel. It is almost a miracle. Built on a very ancient site of the druids, over a well deep under the cathedral. The cathedral is standing on a hill so it can be seen from far away, ‘floating’ over the countryside. The cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. With magnificent stained glass windows and hundreds of statues. Among them two Black Madonna’s, the ND du Pillar and the ND de Sous Terre. And a stained glass window picturing a purple Black Madonna. Very special. The Black Madonna’s are magic. Many are fascinated by those ancient statues. Some say that they trigger very high frequency electromagnetic waves in our brain, enhancing our awareness.
Entering the cathedral is like experiencing an initiation. It is overwhelming. There are thousands of sculptures. Many of saints and martyrs, but there is also one of the Ark of the Covenant, on wheels.
We arrived on Thursday evening and were in time to see a spectacular laser show played out on the side and the front of the cathedral. Hundreds of people were watching this magic show on the square in front of the cathedral. It was ‘ah’ and ‘wow’ everywhere. And after the show the air was full of Orbs.
The next morning, on Friday, we could walk the famous labyrinth. It is 666 feet long. It was a bit busy but not too busy to fully enjoy the experience. And again it was magic.
After walking the labyrinth we went underground in the huge crypt below the cathedral. To see the ND Sous Terre, a piece of the cloth of the Virgin Mary, the place of the well, a very ancient part of the cathedral and a stained glass window with Mary Magdalene at the cross. So beautiful.
01 Chartres cathedral
02 Looking up
03 ND du Pillar
04 The Ark of the Covenant
05 Lasershow 1
06 Lasereshow 2
07 lasershow 3
08 Lasershow 4
09 Lasershow 5
10 Full of Orbs
11 The next day
12 In the center of the labyrinth
13 Door in the center
14 Walking the labyrinth
15 Just magic
16 The crypt
17 The oldest part
18 MM at the foot of the cross
19 The blue 'Black Madonna'
20 magnificent stained glass windows
21 MM lifted to heaven
It is not so far from Chartres. And on the way to Amiens. So we decided to pay it a visit. Gisors is a magic place, a place with a curious history. It was on the border between English and French territory in Normandy and as such it was a good meeting place for the English and France kings. Henry II of England and Philip II of France met there in 1187. A special year. The year that Jerusalem was lost. Possibly after a foolish action of the grandmaster of the Knights Templar, Gerard de Ridefort. But at the meeting something went wrong. The English took flight in the castle and the French cut down the age-old elm tree in front of the castle.
The cutting down of the elm could however also have another meaning, a more symbolic meaning. It might signal the separation between the Priory of Sion, some say the Godfathers of the Knights Templar and the Knights Templar themselves. Possibly because of the foolish action of Gerard de Ridefort. But maybe also be because the Priory didn’t like it that the Knights Templar had taken the Ark of the Covenant out of Abyssinia. First to Jerusalem and later to the Languedoc.
But there are more stories. Some of them were told by the French author Gerard de Sede, in his book “Les Templiers sont parmi nous” (the Templars are among us). He was the one who had also written the book L’Or Maudit (The Accursed Treasure). The book about the treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau. Gerard de Sede thinks that the treasure and the archives of the knights Templar had been moved in 1307 to Gisors. Just before the knights Templar in France were apprehended by laymen of King Philippe le Bel on October 13th 1307. And indeed in 1946 Roger Lhomoy is said to have found this treasure under the chapel of Ste Catharina, just outside the castle. He was able to get into the crypt because of an opening
Caused by a bombardment in World War II. The chapel was closed. When in 1962 an official investigation took place, the chapel was empty.
We first went to the church of Saint-Gervais-Saint Protais. Where we found some beautiful portraits of Mary Magdalene and some wonderful statues of the local Notre Dame.
Then we went to the castle. Located in the middle of a beautiful park. A wondrous sight. Finally we went to our B & B, located in a real chateau!
22 ND de Gisors
23 Mary Magdalene at the cross
24 A smiling mother and child!
25 An imprisoned Mary
26 Another damaged painting of MM
27 Door and the castle
28 An impressive sight
29 Our B & B
What a wonderful place. And what a beautiful cathedral. At the entrance we are being welcomed by a smiling angel. And Mary Magdalene was everywhere, which is rather unusual for a cathedral. Being the ‘iron’ fortress of bishops and cardinals, who are, most of the time, not so fond of Mary Magdalene. Then there is, so they say, the skull of John the Baptist. I don’t know but there was a long line of people waiting to see it. And there is a curious statue of Jesus. On the cross but not looking tormented at all.
The cathedral is huge with strange windows and several side chapels. One could stay here for hours. And finally, on the way back, I just had to touch this lovely lady.
31 Smiling angel
32 Handing out the 'bread'
33 Lifted to heaven
34 Both sensual and sad
35 ND of Amiens
36 Kneeling at Jesus' feet
37 The skull of John the baptist
38 Strange windows
39 Inside the cathedral
40 Looking up at the cross
41 Curious position of Jesus
42 At the Last Supper
43 I had to touch her