Laon Cathedral Up Close

February 7, 2010By Paris UpdateArchive



Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

This tiny exhibition in the upper reaches of the superb Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (1 Place du Trocadéro, 75116 Paris) is an absolute must, if only for what is says about the redemptive power of work. The centerpiece is a gorgeously detailed 1/75 scale model of one of the first of France’s great Gothic cathedrals, built (the model) by 57 prison inmates at Cergy Pontoise and on the Ile de Ré. Around it are samples of the impedimenta thrown up by this sort of project – progress books, the molds used to form the bricks, the books providing historical background and context, an atmospheric video interview and more. For an added bonus while you’re there, lose yourself in the labyrinth of structures containing full-scale facsimiles of some of France’s surviving Romanesque and Gothic church wall paintings, and goggle at the glorious bird’s eye view of Paris, the Eiffel Tower and its surroundings. R. Hesse


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