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Laura Barber

Abbot Suger truly revolutionized the design of churches when he implemented stained glass in the Abbey Church of St. Denis. This was a burial place for the royal family, and thus Suger felt that it should be designed accordingly in a manner that would best honor them. The stained glass allows light to flow into the church, creating a heavenly feeling that transports the visitors. In some of Suger’s reading on philosophy, he found writings about the connection between light and divinity. It was this that sparked his interest in bringing this element into the church. This style was quite different from the Romanesque period, in which windows were small and did not let in much light. The general structure of churches also had to change in order to accommodate this new wall design. Pointed arches became popular because they were able to support the structure without relying on thick walls. This alteration enabled stained glass to gain popularity and was seen in many churches throughout the period, such as in Chartres Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral of Paris.