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Stained Glass Window -A Lost Heritage

09-11-2015

A Look at Some Monumental Structures with this Antique Style that is Now on the Verge of Extinction

Stained glass windows are not merely a style; they are an art form in itself. Have you ever noticed how churches, mosques or other significant buildings are often places that offer you peace while you contemplate? Have you also noticed how these buildings usually have giant stained glass windows with beautifully created artwork?

Today, it would be difficult to find such artistically constructed stained glass windows that once ruled building designs.

The purpose of most windows is to allow a view of the outside and let light and air inside. However, with stained glass windows, the purpose is to beautify buildings, control light, and often times tell a story.
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An intricately designed stained glass window reflecting sunlight

Transitions with Every Decade

The first stained glass window dates back to the middle ages. The name was derived from the silver stain applied to the outer surface which, when heated, would turn yellow. By melting different minerals for different amounts of time, an array of colors was obtained.
By the 12th century, cathedrals and castles began to construct intricately designed windows painted with Bible stories in varied colors. Elements that absorbed light and diffused color were also used extensively in the making of stained glass windows.
Soon, homes and town halls started using these windows and a strong demand led to shipping them to various parts of the world.
Stained glass windows were also responsible for the development of the mosaic styles. Medieval glass painters, who observed drastic changes after the Renaissance, started depicting the common man and his emotions on window panels.
Lets take a look at some age-old buildings that are proof of such remarkable designs:

1. Sainte-Chapelle, France

Located in Paris, this cathedral features a unique combination of stained glass windows and Gothic architecture with delicate stonework.
The tall windows spread over 6458 sq. feet with 1130 figures from the Bible painted all over them are considered to be an epitome of beauty.
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Delicately designed windows at the Sainte-Chapelle

2. Craigdarroch Castle, Canada

Built in Victoria, British Columbia, this four-story castle features 32 intricately designed stained glass windows that are considered masterpieces all over the world.
The castle boasts of 39 rooms and covers an area of 25000 sq. feet. Along with its vintage stained glass windows, it also features lavish furnishings from the 1890s. It currently receives 150,000 visitors a year.
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Stunning window patterns at Craigdarroch Castle

3. Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai

Famously known as India’s Big Ben, the Rajabai Clock Tower sports the age-old Bombay-Gothic styled architecture. Located in South Mumbai, the tower stands at a height of 280 feet.
The stained glass windows used in the construction of this tower are supposed to be the best ones in the city. They are built out of the locally available buff colored Kurla stone
Stained glass windows represent the rich cultural art tradition. A closer look at these windows reveals the amazing use of lead and coloured glass to form the images. Closer still and individual colors and shades come alive.
So the next time you find yourself pondering over your choice of uPVC windows, opt for stained glass windows not just for their aesthetic beauty of stories depicted in simplicity but also to marvel at the conjoining of art and science.
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Rajabai Clock Tower – India’s finest piece of Gothic architecture

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