The exteriors of the Gothic cathedrals of the later twelfth and the early thirteenth century were in perfect harmony with the interiors - at least in the form in which they were planned; for hardly any were executed completely. Few visitors and even few students realize that. Laon is the only one (except for Tournai in Southern Belgium) that can give a true idea of what a French cathedral was intended to look like.
--- Nikolaus Pevsner, from "An Outline of European Architecture"
|The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Laon (France), ca.1157-1205.
(Click on each picture to view the full-size image.)
The exterior (jpeg 92k)
( Photo from "Monuments de France" by P. Lavedan ©B. Arthaud, 1970. )
|Toward the east end
|East end and up into the high lantern-tower over the crossing
(Color photos by T. Ohbayashi )
|Toward the west end