Admiring French Cathedrals


Unlike Jessica, I haven’t traveled in Europe much, and after months of Buddhist temples and stupas, seeing some of the grand Christian cathedrals of France impressed me so much I nearly became Catholic. I was struck by the symmetry displayed in the ceilings – the way the arches come together, the gothic style of stonework that sometimes resembles dripping wax, the paintings and mosaics.

The first set of photos are from the church and cloister of the Jacobins in Toulouse. Considered the most beautiful Dominican church in Christian Europe, and now partly a museum, it was first built in the 1200s. The remains of St. Thomas of Aquinas rest here.


Tomb of Aquinas

a modern art showing in the refectory



The following set comes from the Lyon Cathedral, built from 1180-1480. It seats the Archbishop of Lyon.






Finally, a few from the Basilique de Fourvière in Lyon, built in the 1800s and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was the most spectacular church we’ve seen anywhere. Sparkling with gold and brimming with colors, every inch of it was covered with mosaics and paintings. We both gasped with sensory overload and divine awe the moment we entered it.







Graffiti outside the church


It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.

– Aquinas