When I was planning to write a book about labyrinths I knew I had to visit the cathedral of Chartres, south of Paris, where one of the most beautiful and significant labyrinth is situated. I decided to walk from Paris to Chartres on one of the old paths of the St. James pilgrims routes. After three days I arrived at the porch of the cathedral and was immediately welcomed and wrapped up by this very special place. It was like an invitation to resonate and bond to which I gave hand and heart.

From that day on I came back to visit the cathedral several times a year. I brought groups there, held seminars, gave guides tours, and with every visit I learned more about the building, the figures, the stain glass windows, the music. After years I got the allowance to be in the cathedral before or after the official opening hours, to sit with a group waiting for the morning light, or walk the labyrinth in the dim light of the evening. Sometimes the cathedral appears to me like handing us a coat or a scarf, to comfort our soul and warm our heart. Chartres became for me a place of spiritual resource, where I spent wonderful weeks under the sign of friendships and sharing.

In great thankfulness to the beauty and strength of this place which dwells within me, while I live my life which mainly involves spending time with my wife and family, being the headmaster of a Montessori School, writing books and texts, building labyrinths and teaching and sharing my experiences in seminars and lectures.

Places of Light – the Gift of Cathedrals to the World

Book Cover "Places of Light" by Gernot Candolini and Jennifer Brandon

This book written together by Gernot Candolini and Jennifer Brandon chooses some of the exemplary cathedrals of Europe and North America with beautiful images and poetic, descriptive texts that inspire and inform. They offer glimpses into the spiritual, visionary, and artistic beauty and mastery of these spaces, inspired by God and built by human hands. 

Reading the powerful stories connected to these sacred spaces: like the reconciliation crusade of Vezelay, the destruction of Cluny, the origins of Sagrada Familia and others will lead you into the awe and excitement that these places exist and will also probably place a seed in your mind to travel and visit by yourself. The book will inspire your heart to explore the architectural and artistic elements that make these churches what they are: sources of power, smiling stones, wrapping crypts, uplifting music and places of light.

Places of Light deserves to be read slowly. It is that beautiful. Candolini and Brandon offer much more than a glowing visual pilgrimage of cathedrals. The accompanying prose is a testament to the human spirit and the journey of the soul in life. They wisely claim that ‘Sometimes dark, deep quiet is just the environment needed to see clearly.’

Paula D’Arcy, author of Gift of the Red Bird and Stars at Night

Labyrinths – Walking toward the Center

Book cover "Labyrinths - Walking toward the Center" by Gernot Candolini

When I got interested in the labyrinth, we, as family decided to pack ourselves in the caravan and head out for a half year tour of Europe’s rich and diverse labyrinths. Afterwards I was invited by a publisher to tell our story. It became a bestseller in Germany and was translated to English, Dutch, Italian and Slovenian. This book is a reflective look at the history, meaning and use of Labyrinths filled with history, reflection, part travelogue, part spiritual memoir and personal insight.

The emphasis in the book is on the poetic dimension and on a religious spirituality that is subtle and meditative.

„I found the book to be well researched and well written. And full of wonderful words and reflections!“

Dan Noyes