The Ahwahnee (Majestic Yosemite) Hotel is a grand hotel in Yosemite National Park, California, on the floor of Yosemite Valley, constructed from steel, stone, concrete, wood and glass, which opened in 1927. It is a premiere example of National Park Service rustic architecture, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The Ahwahnee was renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel on March 1, 2016, due to a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name. In the early 1900´s the first director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather, decided that Yosemite needed a first class hotel. While Mather no doubt enjoyed the finer things in life, and was a part of the income and status group that would frequent first class hotels, his motives weren´t entirely aimed at building the kind of hotel he and his friends would enjoy. As head of the fledgling Park Service, and a master politician he understood that the wealthy and powerful held the keys to obtaining the priority and funding that his new department would need to further it´s goals of both protecting the parks and making them accessible to the public.
I have previously written about the exterior of Nore Dame de Reims cathedral. This post takes us through the interior. As you walk through the central portal of the western facade you can look back and see the beautiful stained glass above the portal. Of great importance in the early days of Christianity in Gaul, Reims had a number of archbishops who were major figures in the Roman Catholic Church, canonized after their death. This was the case for the most famous among them, Rémi (440-533) the archbishop who baptized Clovis and instituted the Holy Anointing of Kings. The ceremony was fully established in the 12th century, and after that time almost all French sovereigns were consecrated at Reims. For the Royal Anointing, which took place in the town's cathedral, the Ampulla containing the Chrism, or holy oil, was brought from the Abbey of Saint-Rémi. Rémi, who died in 533, was buried in St Christopher's chapel, which was replaced in the 11th-12th centuries by a Benedictine abbey church. The current cathedral replaced an older church, destroyed by fire in 1211, that was built on the site of the basilica where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remi, bishop of Reims, in AD 496. The cathedral was rebuilt in the13th-14th century.
Saint Sulpice has 21 small chapels all around the exterior. Most are rudimentary but three stand out as exceptional. I have already presented the Lady Chapel at the end of the choir, but the Sacred Heart Chapel (Chapelle du Sacré-Cœur) from 1748, shown above is exceptional. The Baroque woodwork is original and the statue is by Émile Thomas (1817-1882), a student of Pradier. The Sacred Heart (also known as Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) is one of the most widely practiced and well-known devotions, taking Jesus' physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity. It is a particularly French devotion, the feast was first approved in France in 1765 and this chapel is one of the first if not the first devoted to Sacré-Cœur. The woodwork is exquisite and it has historical significance, a definite must see.