Sacred Spaces and Places

                Sainte Chapelle really reminded me of some of the earlier subjects we studied because it was a religious place specifically constructed as a place to worship a deity. Specifically, the fact that it was constructed to hold the remnants of Christ’s cross and the crown of thorns echoed the same sentiments as some of the other churches we studied. Looking at Saint Denis, they mentioned that that place was once sacred to the people that lived there previously. I just find it interesting that humankind has this desire to make places sacred and to protect certain objects that could relate to the divine. This same idea was carried out at Morbihan where it is believed that the megaliths could have been built in reverence to the sacred space where they now rest. Similarly, Sainte Chapelle was created to protect and revere objects that were very important to the story of Christ. I think this “trend” shows a tremendous amount of faithfulness and dedication to religion.

                Speaking of dedication, I was also blown away by how much these places of worship mean to the people that identify with them. Growing up in the U.S., although I have seen beautiful churches here, I have never strongly identified or cared about a space in the way that the people of Europe cared about the windows of Chartres during the war. Furthermore, if we look at the history of Sainte Chapelle we can see that the church was ravaged by several damaging fires throughout the years and yet the people still rebuilt. There is such a sense of ownership and wonderment that exudes from the history of Sainte Chapelle. It took so many years and such dedication to build and still people continued to rebuild even after much of it was destroyed. At the beginning of this class I found the megaliths amazing because of the amount of human energy it took to create those sites. However, looking at the amazing structures of Chartres and Sainte Chapelle, we can see that these beautiful places of worship are in their own way just as impressive.

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