Cathedral of light

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For the cathedral in Oakland, California, see Cathedral of Christ the Light.
The cathedral of light above the Zeppelintribune

The cathedral of light was a main aesthetic feature of the Nuremberg Rallies that consisted of 130 anti-aircraft searchlights, at intervals of 12 metres, aimed skyward to create a series of vertical bars surrounding the audience. The effect was a brilliant one, both from within the design and on the outside. The cathedral of light was documented in the Nazi Propaganda film Festliches Nürnberg, released in 1937.

It was the brainchild of Albert Speer, who was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to design and organise the Nuremberg Parade Grounds for the annual celebrations. It is still considered amongst Speer's most important works.

The idea was disliked by the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring, because the number of searchlights represented most of Germany's strategic reserve, but Hitler overruled him, suggesting that it was a useful piece of disinformation. "If we use them in such large numbers for a thing like this, other countries will think we're swimming in searchlights."

British Ambassador Sir Nevile Henderson said that it "was both solemn and beautiful... like being in a cathedral of ice."

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