Five Porches – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

The “Five Porches,” Main Entrance Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit:© Victorianl | Dreamstime

five porches roost

a clutch of stone buttresses

maid flying legend


An unprecedented five porches (most French Gothic cathedrals have one to three portals/entrances) open the Main Entrance to Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges (Bourges Cathedral) France (built 1195 A.D. – 1324 A.D.)

The featured central wooden doors are ensconced in stone carvings depicting the apocalypse. The figure of Christ is featured in the middle column (mullion/trumeau) overseeing the proceedings of the Last Judgment (image below).

Central Doors of Five Porches, Main Entrance, Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Victorianl | Dreamstime

And, conspicuous by its absence, Bourges Cathedral is one of only a few cathedrals with no transept (the interior midpoint of a cathedral’s layout, important for supporting the enormous weight of the roof vaults.)

Without a transept, Bourges Cathedral‘s builders entrusted the building’s stability to its clutch of exterior flying buttresses (see wider angle photo below.)

Flying Buttress facade view: Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Gunold | Dreamstime

Trivia: In the winter of 1429, a teenager dressed in her armor visited Bourges Cathedral to pray before departing for battle. The event is commemorated inside the cathedral in one of its chapels. Much of the world will come to know that teenager as Joan of Arc (“the maid of Orleans.”)

Bourges Cathedral, France aerial view below:

Bourges Cathedral, France. Image credit: © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime

For more #ThursdayDoors visit host Dan Antion at No Facilities

Visit Thursday Doors’ annual writing challenge #TDWC her

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

52 thoughts on “Five Porches – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

      1. Indeed, there is lots of history architecturally, too. They took calculated risks in cathedral construction without all the modern-day technologies we enjoy. Pretty amazing!


  1. Marvelous photography
    Squeezing these stunning five portals
    Into one image

    Interesting chapter in the history of the church and her cathedrals

    In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches, which is called Bethzathan in the Jewish language, so I wonder if the inspiration came from the pool of Bethesda?

    The story of the maid flying legend is
    Finely honed in

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent point about Bethzathan! I don’t know if that inspired this grand entrance. However, there was a large population of settlers from Israel in Bourges during the time period living alongside the French. So the influence, I think, makes sense.

      Yes, the photo is quite an accomplishment in capturing scale and all five doors.

      Happy Thursday! Much peace to you!


      1. Yes, fascinating indeed, since the pool with its five porches is a place of healing.
        The settlers could very well have influenced the name with Bethesda in mind. John 5:2 refers to this pool.

        “Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.”

        Thank you.
        Have a lovely Thursday too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing building. I love the bits of historic trivia you added and incorporated into your poem. I watched an old version of “House of Wax” last night (with Vincent Price), Afterwards, I searched and read a little about Joan of Arc, one of his “creations.” Funny that she should show up here. I hope you’re having a good week, Suzette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Dan,

      Serendipity at work in the Joan of Arc connection to “House of Wax” and the cathedral…amazing how these “connections” seep into daily life unawares!! So cool. Thanks for sharing!

      There is much history to this cathedral. Glad you found something of interest in the selected vignettes.

      Thank you! Happy long weekend!

      Thank you, Dan, for hosting ThursdayDoors. Much appreciated, truly!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point Maggie yes, I think…I don’t know for certain , but it does look like they were trying to challenge themselves to build the greatest and best they could collectively imagine.
      Joan of Arc is “the maid of Orleans.” I was playing on the word “made” as well in the haiku.

      Liked by 1 person

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