The beautiful art of stained glass has been decorating buildings around the world since Medieval Times. More traditionally found in the windows of churches and other holy buildings, today it can be found in hotels, art exhibitions and even cruise ships.
To celebrate the amazing craftsmanship of stained glass design, we’ve put together five of the most fantastic and famous stained glass windows from around the world…
1. The Palau De La Musica Catalana Skylight – Barcelona
The skylight of the Palau de la Música Catalana is a stained glass masterpiece which is symbolic of the sun and sky. These breath-taking windows are set in arches on both sides of the main concert hall. The centre of the skylight drops into a dome like shape almost like a stained glass chandelier in sparkling shades of gold like the sun.
2. Henri Matisse, Nuit de Noël – New York
This stained glass window was installed in the Rockefeller Center in December 1952 to mark the start of the festive season. At this time 83 year old artist Matisse was recovering from a major surgery. Painting and sculpture were too physically challenging, so he had turned to paper cutting. This is how he designed the 11 foot Nuit de Noël. Matisse described the window as a “performance by an orchestra.”
3. Grand Hotel Ciudad de México – Mexico
The incredible Tiffany stained glass ceiling of the five-star Grand Hotel in Mexico City is made by the artist Jacques Gruber. It has been delicately built out of more than 20,000 pieces of glass.
This famous hotel is known for its French Art Nouveau style and the design of the glass ceiling is meant to represent the railroad, which at the time was a symbol of modernity.
4. Sainte Chapelle Cathedral – Paris
The stunning Sainte-Chapelle in Paris was built in the 13th century by King Louis IX. Sainte-Chapelle is world famous for its collection of 15, 50 foot windows. Each enormous window displays a biblical scene in rainbow coloured facets of glass. The interior of the cathedral is dominated by the stained glass and when the light shines through it is truly an unforgettable sight.
5. Coventry Cathedral – United Kingdom
Coventry’s cathedral is not only famous for its huge tapestry of Christ (once thought to be the world’s largest), but also for its remarkable 81 foot high baptistery window designed by John Piper. All 195 panels of this enormous stained glass wall create an extraordinary blaze of coloured light within the cathedral.