Chartres 1: the cosmic coding of its towers in height

The lunar crescent atop the “moon” tower’s cross.

Chartres, in north-west France, is a very special version of the Gothic transcept cathedral design. Having burnt down more than once, due to wooden ceilings, its reconstruction over many building seasons and different masonic teams, as funds permitted, would have needed strong organizing ideas to inform the work (as per Master Masons of Chartres by John James).

As shown below, Chartres main towers are unequal in height and the “western” facade itself does not align to east-west, as normal Christian churches do. The left tower is also higher than the right tower and, it has been said, the left represents the Sun and the right the Moon. The height of the left tower, to its globe below its cross, is indeed the solar year of 365 days in feet. But the height of the shorter right tower, to its own globe, is not the 354.367 days of the lunar year (of 12 months); rather, it is the top of its cross, sporting a crescent moon suggesting it is a moon tower, that is 354 and a third feet high.

The cosmic time coding of the two towers as solar year->lunar year between the globe’s height (on left in red) and the top of the cross (on right in blue). But the left tower also indicates the Saturn synod of 378 days to the top of its cross. The for-square rectangle, geometrically relating the solar (diagonal) and lunar years, is shown.

That is, the height of the lunar year in feet, from the same starting point as the solar tower’s height as the solar year, the lunar year would be to the top of the lunar cross, where the crescent is attached, and not to its globe. There is then a reasonable connection between the solar and lunar years and the two towers. However, it is also interesting to see the number of days, as feet, of the left tower to its own cross. It is exactly 378 feet, the synodic period of Saturn in days. Readers of my books and this site will remember that the ratio between the lunar year and Saturn synod is exactly 16/15: a musical semitone within the ancient tuning system called Just intonation.

This arrangement suggests Chartres was built to be a time-factored monument, which may be why the cathedral was aligned to midsummer sunrise (which was a megalithic norm) rather than being aligned east-west. Built on top of a solitary promontory, horizon events would have been clear across the flat fertile plains.

NEXT: the harmony in its towers

Interpreting Chartres
  1. the cosmic coding of its towers in height
  2. the harmony in its towers
  3. design of the west façade

Yet to come: the design of the Rose Window.

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