Blueprint of medieval cathedral

This is cool. The top image shows a drawing on parchment from the 1260s. It is one of the earliest existing architectural drawings and depicts the façade, or front, of Strasbourg Cathedral in France. The “blueprint” almost stands a meter tall. What’s so special about this medieval artifact is that it still exists: single sheets rarely survive from the Middle Ages (with the exception of charters). Equally special is that we can compare the drawing to the real thing (lower pic): it is not hard to recognizes the big round window in both drawing and real building - note also the door underneath it and the pointy window to the right. How great that we are given a peek on the medieval architect’s drawing board. Ironically, he did not live to see his creation built, because the cathedral was finished in the 14th century.

Pic: Musée de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg, Inv. no. 2. More about the drawing here. The photograph is from this blog.

How senseless is everything that can be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out.
Remarque on WWI
Either, insanely, we grant the State a complete carte blanche to force us to learn whatever it wants us to learn, or, with equal lunacy, we imagine that there is some kind of innocent pre-cultural knowledge which we should permit spontaneously to emerge. By an ironic twist, the latter can also become what the State enforces. Of course, what in reality occurs is an incoherent mix of the two: a utilitarian approach to what is deemed economically useful and a romantically amoral and narcissistic approach to the arts and humanities.
John Milbank on schooling