Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, October 20, 2017

Holy Batcave! - Friday 13th October

There are only two, or perhaps three ecclesiastical structures that we have visited in the world which of their own accord invoke in us a sense of awe, communicating in no uncertain terms that they are perhaps a portal to a presence of far greater significance than we.  St Therese’ in Metz is not on one of them.  

No one could describe it as humble unless one’s usual living space is a room eighty metres long and as wide as it is tall. It’s interior is dark, very dark despite the thousand square metres of stained glass cast in concrete tracery that clads its sides.   The exterior is of that pre-war Germanic school of industrial bunker kind, now garnished with vast areas of concrete cancer and a few dirty dribs left of what was no doubt in 1935 a very futuristic light green colour scheme.  It is not without some redemption though: it’s spire is a work of art, seventy metres tall, with the slenderness ratio of a telegraph pole.

In a watching a train wreck happen kind of way it is completely fascinating.  It is historically and architecturally intriguing, truly pioneering with it’s great concrete arches and stained glass inset.  There can be no doubt that it rightly earns its place on the register of a significant buildings, but it is one that asks more questions that it answers.   It was certainly worth the visit, but we found the walk through the botanical gardens en route to be far more uplifting.


Rob Siemann said...

I most definitely have to go there, to see this!!! To my greater shame, I never visited Metz, 160 km away. Well, I know the train station. Next week hopefully, weather permitting. Thanks for scouting Metz for me! :-)

bitingmidge said...

@Rob Siemann - you do! Do visit the main cathedral down town too, - just search "Metz" in the side bar here and you'll see why we love it so! :-)

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