Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A tale of two cathedrals

On Ascension Day 1573, just after the congregation had filed out of the building, the cathedral tower at Beauvais in Northern France fell through the roof. A monument to mediaeval hubris (it was, for a few short years, the tallest building in Europe), it  has never been finished. But at least nobody died.

On All Saints' Day 1755 the Great Lisbon Earthquake struck, while the churches and Lisbon cathedral were packed with worshippers. Thousands died. Meanwhile the non-worshippers, walking or picnicking away from the city, survived the quake and also the following fire and tsunami.

Christians 1, Atheists 1.

(Beauvais Cathedral reference: James Hannam God's Philosophers (Icon Books 2009), p 106-7