Once the Roman Empire fell, Christianity flourished. Churches and cathedrals began to be built by the Church who acted as the generous patron of monumental Romanesque and Gothic architecture. White Garment of Churches offers a close exploration of the very early French Romanesque church of Paray-le-Monial. At the churches of Autun and Vezelay in France, the camera focuses on the superb Romanesque sculpture of their facades, which feature powerful depictions of heaven and hell. Their purpose: to inspire awe in the faithful and strike fear into the hearts of potential sinners.
The early Gothic Abbey Church of St. Denis near Paris and the blazing glory of the Rose windows in the Cathedral of Chartres are filmed up close. High Gothic Chartres is seen both as a sublime example of Gothic architecture and as the focus of the daily and spiritual life of the town. Historic, social and religious matters that inspired and financed both Romanesque and Gothic church construction are explored by historians passionate about their subject: Paul Crossley, William Clark, and Anne Prache. Michael Woods is host for the series.