Here is the central door of the facade.
Now we're walking around the south side of the building.
At the arm of the south transept, they've set up a ticket kiosk. You can enter the church to the left or the museum to the right. The grounds beyond the museum are huge. I didn't realize this until after our visit, and I also don't know how much of it is open to the public. A visit to the church itself takes quite a lot of time, and it's possible to exit with information overload.
Here's looking back toward the front of the basilica from the south side where we'll soon enter. You can see the buttresses, which are attached and vertical, not flying as in Notre Dame. Well, it seems they fly for a short distance at the top, but they are not the huge arched affairs of the latter.
Here (on the south side still) you can see how the buttresses hold up the walls and make it possible for the stunning glass windows to take up the expanse of the walls that they do. This was one of the major objectives of Gothic architecture - the design of a building to allow for as much leaded glass in the walls as possible. Since glass and the thin stone frames that hold the glass can't sustain the weight of the building, a solution had to be found for holding up the walls, and buttressing was that solution.
Here's Lee at the door of the south side of the church where we will enter. Does it appear to be damp and shaded here? Look at all the moss! It must play havoc with upkeep and restoration. I wish I had all day to research and write about some of these things we're seeing, but I have to get back to work! Very soon Daryl will be here to help with the final processes of installing our new shopping cart, and it's very exciting!