Also known as the Amiens Cathedral, it is a Roman Catholic structure and the seat of the Bishop of Amiens. The cathedral is situated on a slight ridge overlooking the River Somme in the administrative capital of the Picardy region of France, roughly one hundred and twenty kilometers north of Paris. With its stone-vaulted nave reaching a height of almost one hundred and forty feet, Our Lady of Amiens is the tallest complete cathedral in France. It also has the greatest interior volume of any French cathedral, estimated at 200,000 cubic meters. Although most of its original stained glass has been lost, the Amiens Cathedral is renowned for the quality and quantity of early 13th century Gothic sculpture in the main west façade and the south transept portal. At the start of World War I, Amiens had been the Advance Base for the British Expeditionary Force. Captured by the German Army in late August of 1914, but recaptured by the French on the next month, Amiens’ proximity to the Western Front and its importance as a rail hub, made it a vital British logistic center. Amiens was one of the key objectives of the German Spring Offensive which was launched on March 27, 1918. During the fighting, Amiens was bombarded by German artillery and aircraft, and more than 2,000 buildings were destroyed. On August 8, 1918, a successful Allied counter stroke, the Battle of Amiens, was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive, which led directly to the Armistice with Germany that ended the war. This slide is part of a collection of lantern slides depicting scenes of Australian YMCA war work during World War I.
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