Two‐dimensional photonic band‐structure effects have been observed in the visible and near‐uv regions, between 350 and 800 nm. These effects appear in all‐solid‐state arrays of glass cylinders in a glass matrix. The arrays have center‐to‐center nearest‐neighbor separations between 0.188 and 0.278 μm, perfect long‐range order, and low refractive index contrast. For light propagating perpendicular to the cylinder axes, very narrow attenuations appear in the transmission spectra as a result of the photonic band structure. The positions of these attenuations are determined by the periodicity, composition, and symmetry of the arrays. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.