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Flashcards in Romanesque Churches Deck (20)
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Describing churches

bg info
structure/interior features
exterior features


St Foy -

-St Foy: a young Christian convert living in Roman-occupied France during 2nd century
-at age 12, condemned to die for her refusal to sacrifice to pagan gods
-revered as a martyr (someone who dies for their faith)


St Foy de Conques - Bg info

-monastery of Sainte-Foy established by Benedictine monks
-remains of St Foy preserved there
-important stop on pilgrimage route to Santiage de Compostela
-built on foundations of a smaller basilica


St Foy de Conques - location

-in a rural location among wooded mountains
-higher than normal so it stands out in landscape


St Foy de Conques - structure

-built in Romanesque style
-massive thick walls, small windows
-barrel vaults over the nave
-groin vaults over the side aisles
-galleries built over the side aisles w/ openings onto nave (for pilgrims to watch service)


St Foy de Conques - layout

-cruciform shape w/ circular side chapels
-nave, choir, large transept well-lit by crossing tower
-apse surrounded by an ambulatory w/ there radiating chapels


St Foy de Conques - exterior

-displays buttressed towers + simple, arched windows
-exterior walls are plain, apart from tympanum on front facade
-crossing tower located over intersection between nave + transepts
-tympanum over main portal
-radiating chapels - 3 off ambulatory, 2 off the transepts


St Foy de Conques - interior

-nave wide but darker than other parts (contains barrel vaulting with rhythmical transverse arches)
-wide side aisles
-church is a soaring height (68 feet high)
-open entrances to radiating chapels at back
-has apparently 250 carved capitals


the 3 church examples

St. Foy de Conques, France

Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene in Vèzelay, France

St Lazare Cathedral, Autun


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - bg info

-established by Benedictine monks
-largest romanesque church in France
-pilgrims gathered to venerate supposed remains of St Mary Magdalene
-rebuilt around 1150


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - location

-village of Vèzelay in northeastern France
-stands on a hill at start of 1 of 4 main pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - structure/interior features

-nave v. wide,
-nave roofed with groin vaults (supported by transverse semi-circular arches on massive pillars)
-dark + light stones on arches give a unique chequered effect
-transept: gothic + romanesque vaults


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - layout

-long rectangular basilica shape
-v. small transepts
-large narthex due to large no. of pilgrims


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - relics

-not the original relics, they were burned by Calvinists during 16th century Wars of Religion
-present relics were given in 1876 by Archbishop of Sens. Originally a gift from Pope Martin IV to Diocese of Sens


Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Vèzelay - exterior

-damaged over centuries
-entrance facade is centred around tympanum over doorway
-tower on right
-3 sets of red doors


St Lazare Cathedral, Autun - bg info

-built to house relics of St Lazare (Lazarus, bro of Mary Magdalene) + to accomodate pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela
-Dates to mid 12th century with later gothic additions
-was hoped that Autun would become a major pilgrimage destination


St Lazare Cathedral, Autun - location

-located in the fortified town of Autun on high point overlooking the valley
-near Vèzelay where relic of Mary Magdalene (sister) was claimed to be


St Lazare Cathedral, Autun - structure/interior features/layout

-the Romanesque interior is well preserves + is rather dark
-pointed arches of nave anticipate gothic arches
-latin cross ground plan
-choir + nave divided from side aisles by massive columns
-nave roof formed by pointed barrel vaults
-main high altar at eastern end
-no ambulatory behind altar


St Lazare Cathedral, Autun - exterior

-variety of gothic additions made to church, incl. the great spire after a fire in 15th century, but main core + sculptures remain firmly Romanesque
-Just visible above single story row of chapels flanking the nave are small flying buttresses, added during 13th century
-later addition of gothic + 19th century tower altered the exterior


St Lazare Cathedral, Autun - sculpture

church decorated w/ sculptures + carvings b Gislebertus, who is widely regarded as one of the great Romanesque sculptors