Cathedrals as Monuments (5)
In this image of Reims, France, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims appears in the background, standing erect amidst the ruins of the city. The French caption on the postcard reads, "Reims in ruins after the retreat of the Germans," which seems to juxtapose the victory of the Allies, on the one, hand, with the destruction wreaked by the Germans, on the other. It is included in a series of numbered cards issued by Thuillier Company during the first World War; in this case its deckel edge suggests it belonged to a packet of cards that was originally sold as a unit. The prominently displayed ruins of the city draw the viewer's attention to the devastation itself; however, the cathedral, a symbol of the city and an important historical artifact, remains mostly intact, suggesting that the city and its citizens have not been completely vanquished. The photo below attests to the damage sustained by the cathedral, which was extensive. Nevertheless, the iconic cathedral continues to this day to serve as a historical and political monument.