Another Sacred Space and the Real Purpose of the Trip
One day came. About forty-eight years later.
Swiss architect Le Corbusier's masterpiece, Notre-Dame du Haut, located in Ronchamps, France, was completed in 1954. Located adjacent to a Poor Clares convent, it was created to replace a chapel that had been destroyed during the Second World War. Joe discovered it fourteen years later. And forty-eight years after that, we visited.
This chapel is a world-renowned architectural masterpiece. It is a pilgrimage place for both the faithful (August 15 and September 8 are the feast days) and for architects from all over. In a few months UNESCO will announce the decision about whether it is to become a World Heritage Site. Notre-Dame du Haut is visited by thousands of people every years.
And yet the day we visited, we were alone for almost the duration of our stay. A small group of young elementary school students was finishing their visit as we arrived and a larger group of older students came as we were leaving. But, incredibly, for about an hour, we were alone in and around the church. Forty-eight years. Is anything ever worth that kind of a wait?
Yes. Oh, yes.