Podtour of Beauvais
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Ambition is good. But sometimes, it goes too far.
The builders of Beauvais cathedral wanted to build
the tallest cathedral in the whole of Europe. And they succeeded - up to
a point. Despite the collapse of the choir vaults during the building process,
they carried on, creating a terrifying high, narrow choir and incredible
And then it all went wrong. The central tower started
to collapse, and the money ran out. As they say, pride comes before a fall.
So now, Beauvais is left with a half a cathedral - but what a half! It even
has two astronomical clocks - a medieval one and a nineteenth century timepiece
- since one wasn't enough.
We also visit the church of Saint-Etienne, an earlier
building with some masterpieces of stained glass and a romanesque window
which shows the Wheel of Fortune. And we learn about the Feast of Fools
and the canons who made donkey noises at Mass!