Interior photograph depicting the stained-glass windows of La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, France. Image online courtesy Wikimedia commons.
They make glass. By day and night,
the fires burn on and bid the sand
let in the light. Great rafts of wood
and big brick hulks ... Big, black flames
shooting out smoke and sparks ...
that marks the death of sand
and the birth of glass
Carl Sandburg "Millville"
In Reckless Ecstacy
Towering over the French town of Chartres, a medieval church (the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres) keeps watch over the neighborhood. Among its many attributes are flying buttresses and stunningly beautiful stained-glass windows.
Before we take a virtual journey, to more closely view Chartres and explore other examples of stained-glass treasures, we need to know something about glass itself:
And ... why did so many people, who lived in the Middle Ages, use bits of colored glass to make windows one cannot see through?