Imagine you’re a peasant, hundreds of years ago. You wake up in the brisk cold of an early morning. There’s no heat, no electricity, and if you want to relieve yourself, your option is a trip outside. Slowly, you crawl out of bed and build a small fire. If you’re lucky, you scrounge together a few morsels of food to last the day. Then, it’s off to church, because today is the day you get to worship. It’s a rare day, because the days you go to church are typically the only ones you’re not working all day every day. In a world with no distractions, you get to hear stories and sing and talk to your neighbors. What’s more, the church itself is warm by the time you arrive, and the inside is adorned with more riches and wonders than you’ll ever see outside these walls. As you kneel down to begin your prayers, you get the full force of the Church’s power rising above you. And for those peasants who looked up, to the place where God himself was supposed to reside, they were treated with some of the world’s most astonishing works of art. Over the course of centuries, the church has commissioned some of the most impressive feats of engineering and artistry ever to grace the tops of their ceilings and act as their portal to God. Here are some of the best.
1. Wells Cathedral in Wells, England
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