Podtour of Beauvais
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!