I’ve done just enough stone carving myself to appreciate the skill and hard work that went into the extraordinary carvings on the city’s medieval churches. Some of these carvings were intended to teach bible stories, moral lessons or the lives of saints. Others seem to speak more of the imagination and life experiences of the stone mason who worked on them.
The carvings which adorn Notre Dame cathedral, from doorposts to gable ends, could be a life time’s study in themselves, with the aid of binoculars and free access to the back stairs and galleries. I’ve found plenty to wonder at from ground level on public space.
There are stories in stone on secular buildings too, some simple messages, still easy to read, others more obscure.
It’s not just the decorative, carved details that tell stories. The signs of changes and adaptations over the centuries suggest hidden narratives in ordinary walls and sometimes hide surprises.
Click on any photo for a link to the relevant post.