By Maria Linares
Last Wednesday, the Catholic student association of Reims hosted a special event that took visitors to the city’s famed cathedral during its quiet hours for a night tour.
The night started with confusion and excitement, as no one was sure what to expect from the event as the crowd of over 50 people gathered in front of the cathedral. Once the members of the association and Father Jean-Marie Guerlin arrived, the tour officially started. Standing before the UNESCO world heritage site, Guerlin began to recount its history: how it started as a smaller church, how it grew to its current size, its importance during the First World War, and the many changes it has undergone.
Guerlin also explained some of the images on the facade of the monument, pointing out those of David and Goliath above the rose window, and recounted Pope John Paul II’s visit to the cathedral in September 1996.
After a presentation of the exterior, the crowd moved towards the left side entrance of the cathedral for the interior part of the tour. Once inside, the visitors sat in the choir area for a visual presentation by Guerlin with the help of an English interpreter for non-native French speakers. Guerlin spoke more in detail about the architecture of the cathedral in the interior and exterior, and explained how to read and interpret the stories that were carved on the monument walls.
Once the presentation ended, the visitors could freely explore the dimly lit interior of the cathedral and ask any questions they had about the tour. Footsteps and soft voices echoed as the crowd discovered the new world of the Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral at night.
Photos: Chloé Joubert//The Sundial Press