Green ray of light will appear on Christ statue

Green ray of light on Christ statue in Strasbourg Cathedral
Photo credit: Jean-Claude Hatterer

The phenomenon is unique in France

Strasbourg Cathedral offers a great light show from next Wednesday.

For the spring equinox, a ray of green light will appear on the statue of the Christ.

The phenomenon happens twice a year during the autumn and the spring equinox.

Strasbourg resident Maurice Rosart discovered it in 1972 and made it public in 1984. He said: “I have been passionate about cathedrals since my childhood. So I was looking at cathedrals and the way they were built and I discovered this green light. It is very interesting to see how Christ is associated with light.”

Hundreds of people come every year to see the equinox light and it is a chance for visitors and photographers to catch the moment. Mr Rosart added: “I would like to share with everyone how beautiful it is.”

Mr Rosart has been studying the phenomenon for years and believes it was all thought up by the architect Gustave Klotz (who studied arts in Rome), although nothing has been officially proven.

“The green ray of light in Strasbourg Cathedral equals the most beautiful Italian meridians”, said Mr Rosart. As every cathedral, Strasbourg has its own meridian which is shown on this unique green ray of light. In Italy, meridians are very present in churches. They are more noticeable because noble materials such as marble or gold are used. They always indicate time of equinoxes, like in Strasbourg.

On the first day of spring, the green light will be above the statue of the Christ at exactly 11:38, if the sun shines. The ray of green light will then move down on the statue during six days.

The ray of light comes from outside and goes through the stained glass where Juda is represented. It creates a green light through the colour of his left foot which is reflected on the statue at the centre of the Cathedral.

During the autumn equinox, the green light goes up instead of down on the statue.

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