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Great Mandalas: Rose Window of Notre Dame

Great Mandalas of the World


Mandalas appear in every culture on the planet. We are surrounded by them. I thought that it would be nice to profile some of the beautiful Mandalas that have stood the test of time.


The Rose Window of Notre Dame

On April 15, 2019, the world watched in horror as Notre Dame de Paris was engulfed in flames. In just an hour, one of the finest Gothic Cathedrals was destroyed by fire. In the night, many thought that the famous rose windows, built in 1260 and 42 feet in diameter, was gone forever. As the first light of dawn broke over the Cathedral, the world discovered that this masterpiece survived the fire to cast its light on the Cathedral once more.


When I make a mandala, it is usually only about seven inches in diameter and I can erase when I make a mistake, but the makers of the window could not. Each piece of glass was made specifically for the window. Just a like a normal Mandala, the wheel shape is used with Christ in the center.


The Rose window is 42 feet in diameter and consists of ninety-four rosettes, or small circles going out from the center. Christ is in the center. The first row of medallions depicts the twelve apostles. The second depicts famous martyrs and saint, particularly those who were important to King Louis IX, or St. Louis. The third depicts and fourth rows depict angels, old testament figures, and saints. The huge rose window mandala is actually made up of many smaller mandalas. It is one of the finest and most detailed gothic stained-glass windows in the world.

Check it out below.



The Rose window has been through the hundred years war, the protestant Reformation, the sack of the Cathedral during the French Revolution, when a large part was destroyed, restoration in the 1800’s, World War I, bombing of WWII, and now the fire. Through it all, it has survived. It has been renewed and restored. Today, as the sun rose over Paris, it cast its light into the darkness and ashes of the firs and shone on the altar, showing the saw to the future.




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