Stained Glass Windows…For The Illiterate Masses

By | February 15, 2019

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Crucifixion, stained-glass window (13th century), Canterbury Cathedral (Unesco World Heritage List, 1988), England, United Kingdom. Source: (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

A focal point of nearly every Catholic cathedral of the middle ages is the stained glass windows. Exquisitely detailed, stained glass quickly became the number one art form of medieval Europe. The windows, however, served a more practical function than decorating the church buildings. They provided a way to explain the biblical teachings to the illiterate masses. 

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Egyptian bracelet. Source: (

Colored Glass was Actually an Egyptian Thing

It was the ancient Egyptians that first developed methods of making colored glass. They mostly used small bits of colors glass to make jewelry items. The Romans acquired this craft from the Egyptians and soon, they too were making small, decorative pieces using stained or colored glass.