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Title: The Cathedrals of Northern France
Author: Mansfield, M. F. (Milburg Francisco), 1871-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cathedrals of Northern France" ***

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_The Cathedral Series_

_The following, each 1 vol., library 12mo, cloth, gilt top profusely
illustrated. $2.50_

_The Cathedrals of Northern France BY FRANCIS MILTOUN_

_The Cathedrals of Southern France BY FRANCIS MILTOUN_

_The Cathedrals of England BY MARY J. TABER_

_The following, each 1 vol., library 12mo, cloth, gilt top, profusely
illustrated. Net, $2.00_

_The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine BY FRANCIS MILTOUN_

_The Cathedrals of Northern Spain BY CHARLES RUDY_

New England Building, Boston, Mass._

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME ... _de NOYON_]







L. C. Page and Company


_Copyright, 1903_


_All rights reserved_

Published October, 1903

Colonial Press

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.

Boston, Mass., U. S. A.



_"There are two ways of writing a book of travel: to recount the journey
itself or the results of it." This is also the case with regard to any
work which attempts to purvey topographical or historical information of
a nature which is only to be gathered upon the spot; and, when an
additional side-light is shown by reason of the inclusion, as in the
present instance, of the artistic and religious element, it becomes more
and more a question of judicious selection and arrangement of fact,
rather than a mere hazarding of opinions, which, in many cases, can be
naught but conjecture, and may, in spite of any good claim to
authoritativeness, be misunderstood or perverted to an inutile end, or,
what is worse, swallowed in that oblivion where lies so much excellent
thought, which, lacking either balance or timeliness, has become
stranded, wrecked, and practically lost to view because of its
unappropriate and unattractive presentation._

_To-day, the purely technical writer may have little hope of immortality
unless he is broad-minded enough to take a cultivated interest in many
matters outside the ken of his own particular sphere. The best-equipped
person living could not produce a new "Dictionary of Architecture," and
expect it to fill any niche that may be waiting for such a work, unless
he brought to bear, in addition to his own special knowledge, something
of the statistician, something of the professed compiler, and, if
possible, a little of the not unimportant knowledge possessed by the
maker and seller of books, meaning--the publisher. Given these
qualifications, it is likely that he will then produce an ensemble as
far in advance of what otherwise might have been as is the modern
printing machine, as a factor in the dissemination of literature, as
compared with the ancient scribes working to the same end._

_The sentimentalist and rhapsodist in words and ideas is a dwindling
factor at the present day, and a new presentation of fact is
occasionally to be met with in the printed page. The best "book of
travel" within the knowledge of the writer, and perhaps one of the
slightest in bulk ever written in the English language, is Stevenson's
"Inland Voyage"--here were imagination, appreciation, and a new way of
seeing things, and, above all, enthusiasm; and this is the formula upon
which doubtless many a future writer will build his reputation, though
he may never reach the significant heights expressed by Stevenson in the
picturesque wording of his wish to be made Bishop of Noyon._

_This apparent digression into a critical estimate of the making of
books is but another expression of the justification of the writer in
the attempt herein made to set forth in attractive and enduring form
certain facts and realities with regard to the grand and glorious group
of cathedrals of Northern France._

_They have appeared as demanding something more than the conventional
guide-book, or even technical estimates as to their perfections, and the
belief is that the gathering together, after this fashion, of the
contemporary information not always to the hand of the general reader
presents an attraction as appealing and deserving of a place on the
book-shelf as would be an avowed reference work, or a volume made to
sell on the strength of its bulk or ornateness, or, lacking these
questionable attributes, presented in the guise of a whilom text-book,
the sole province of which is to impart "knowledge" after a certain
well recognized and set pattern._

_It is believed that, regardless of much that has been said and written
anent the subject, the fact remains that some considerable numbers of
persons may be supposed to exist who would be glad of a further
suggestion which would make possible an acquaintance with the cathedrals
of France as a part of their own personal experience. To all such, then,
it is to be hoped this book will appeal._

F. M.



Introduction                                                          11


I. Introductory                                                       41

II. Notre Dame de Laon                                                43

III. Notre Dame de Noyon                                              49

IV. Notre Dame de Soissons                                            54


I. Introductory                                                       61

II. Notre Dame d'Amiens                                               64

III. St. Pierre de Beauvais                                           70

IV. Notre Dame de Rouen                                               79

V. Basilique de St. Denis                                             93

VI. Notre Dame de Paris                                              101

VII. St. Julien; Le Mans                                             113

VIII. Notre Dame de Chartres                                         123

IX. Notre Dame de Reims                                              132


I. Introductory                                                      147

II. St. Croix d'Orleans                                              150

III. St. Louis de Blois                                              156

IV. St Gatien de Tours                                               163

V. St. Maurice d'Angers                                              173

VI. St. Pierre de Nantes                                             183


I. St. Etienne d'Auxerre                                             191

II. St. Etienne de Bourges                                           199

III. St. Cyr and St. Juliette de Nevers                              209

IV. St. Mammes de Langres                                            218

V. Notre Dame d'Auxonne                                              220


I. Introductory                                                      223

II. Notre Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer                                   231

III. Notre Dame de Cambrai                                           234

IV. Notre Dame de St. Omer                                           237

V. St. Vaast d'Arras                                                 242

VI. St. Etienne de Toul                                              247

VII. St. Etienne, Chalons-sur-Marne                                  251

VIII. St. Dié                                                        254

IX. St. Lazare d'Autun                                               257

X. St. Bénigne de Dijon                                              262

XI. Notre Dame de Senlis                                             266

XII. St. Etienne de Meaux                                            270

XIII. St. Pierre de Troyes                                           274

XIV. St. Etienne de Sens                                             279


I. Introductory                                                      285

II. Notre Dame d'Evreux                                              288

III. Notre Dame d'Alençon                                            296

IV. St. Pierre de Lisieux                                            301

V. Notre Dame de Séez                                                305

VI. Notre Dame de Bayeux                                             310

VII. Notre Dame de St. Lo                                            315

VIII. Notre Dame de Coutances                                        321

IX. St. Pierre d'Avranches                                           326

X. St. Sol, Dol-de-Bretagne                                          329

XI. St. Malo and St. Servan                                          335

XII. Tréguier                                                        339

XIII. St. Brieuc                                                     342

XIV. St. Pol de Leon                                                 345

XV. St. Corentin de Quimper                                          348

XVI. Vannes                                                          351


I. The Architectural Divisions of France                             353

II. A List of the Departments of France                              356

III. The Church in France                                            359

IV. A List of the Larger French Churches
    Which Were at One Time Cathedrals                                362

V. Chronology of the Chief Styles and Examples of Church Building    365

VI. Dimensions and Chronology                                        366

VII. The French Kings from Charlemagne Onward                        383

VIII. Measurements of the Cathedrals at Amiens and Salisbury         384

IX. French Metres Reduced to English Feet                            385

X. A Brief Glossary of Architectural Terms                           386



Notre Dame de Noyon                                        _Frontispiece_

Notre Dame de Laon                                                    43

Notre Dame de Noyon                                                   47

Notre Dame d'Amiens                                                   64

St. Pierre de Beauvais                                                70

Notre Dame de Rouen                                                   77

Basilique de St. Denis                                                91

Oriflamme of St. Denis                                               100

Notre Dame de Paris                                                  101

Notre Dame de Paris from the River                                   107

St. Julien; Le Mans                                                  111

Notre Dame de Chartres                                               123

Notre Dame de Reims                                                  132

St. Croix d'Orleans                                                  150

St. Louis de Blois                                                   156

St. Gatien de Tours                                                  161

Flying Buttress, St. Gatien de Tours                                 170

St. Maurice d'Angers                                                 171

St. Pierre de Nantes                                                 183

St. Etienne d'Auxerre                                                191

St. Etienne de Bourges                                               197

St. Cyr and St. Juliette de Nevers                                   209

St. Mammes de Langres                                                218

Nancy                                                                227

Boulogne, St. Omer, Arras                                            229

Notre Dame de Cambrai                                                236

St. Etienne de Toul                                                  247

St. Etienne, Chalons-sur-Marne                                       251

St. Dié                                                              254

St. Lazare d'Autun                                                   257

St. Bénigne de Dijon                                                 262

Notre Dame de Senlis                                                 266

St. Etienne de Meaux                                                 270

St. Pierre de Troyes                                                 274

St. Etienne de Sens                                                  279

Notre Dame d'Evreux                                                  289

Window Framing--Evreux                                               295

Notre Dame d'Alençon                                                 296

St. Pierre de Lisieux                                                299

Notre Dame de Séez                                                   305

Notre Dame de Bayeux                                                 310

Notre Dame de St. Lo                                                 315

Notre Dame de Coutances                                              319

St. Pierre d'Avranches                                               326

Column of St. Pierre d'Avranches                                     328

St. Samson, Dol-de-Bretagne                                          329

St. Malo and St. Servan.--Tréguier                                   333

St. Brieuc                                                           342

St. Corentin de Quimper                                              348

Notre Dame d'Amiens (diagram)                                        366

Map of Angers                                                        367

St. Etienne de Bourges (diagram)                                     370

Notre Dame de Laon (diagram)                                         372

St. Julien, le Mans (diagram)                                        373

Map of Nantes                                                        374

Notre Dame de Noyon (diagram)                                        375

Notre Dame de Paris (diagram)                                        376

Notre Dame de Reims (diagram)                                        377

Flying Buttresses, Reims                                             377

Notre Dame de Rouen (diagram)                                        378

Basilique de St. Denis (diagrams)                                    380

Map of Tours                                                         381

Charles VII.                                                         383

Ground Plan                                                          386

Cross Section                                                        387

Interior                                                             388

Cross Section                                                        389

_The Cathedrals of Northern France_


An attempt to enumerate the architectural monuments of France is not
possible without due consideration being given to the topographical
divisions of the country, which, so far as the early population and the
expression of their arts and customs is concerned, naturally divides
itself into two grand divisions of influences, widely dissimilar.

Historians, generally, agree that the country which embraces the
Frankish influences in the north, as distinct from that where are spoken
the romance languages, finds its partition somewhere about a line drawn
from the mouth of the Loire to the Swiss lakes. Territorially, this
approaches an equal division, with the characteristics of architectural
forms well nigh as equally divided. Indeed, Fergusson, who in his
general estimates and valuations is seldom at fault, thus divides
it:--"on a line which follows the valley of the Loire to a point between
Tours and Orleans, then southwesterly to Lyons, and thence along the
valley of the Rhône to Geneva."

With such a justification, then, it is natural that some arbitrary
division should be made in arranging the subject matter of a volume
which treats, in part only, of a country or its memorials; even though
the influences of one section may not only have lapped over into the
other, but, as in certain instances, extended far beyond. As the peoples
were divided in speech, so were they in their manner of building, and
the most thoroughly consistent and individual types were in the main
confined to the environment of their birth. A notable exception is found
in Brittany, where is apparent a generous admixture of style which does
not occur in the churches of the first rank; referring to the imposing
structures of the Isle de France and its immediate vicinity. The "Grand
Cathedrals" of this region are, perhaps, most strongly impressed upon
the mind of whoever takes something more than a superficial interest in
the subject as the type which embodies the loftiest principles of
Gothic forms, and, as such, they are perhaps best remembered by that
very considerable body of persons known as intelligent observers.

The strongest influences at work in the north from the twelfth century
onward have been in favour of the Gothic or pointed styles, whilst, in
the south, civic and ecclesiastical architecture alike were of a
manifest Byzantine or Romanesque tendency. No better illustration of
this is possible than to recall the fact that, when the builders of the
fifteenth century undertook to complete that astoundingly impressive
choir at Beauvais, they sought to rival in size and magnificence its
namesake at Rome, which, under the care of the Pontiff himself, was then
being projected. Thus it was that this thoroughly Gothic structure of
the north was to stand forth as the indicator of local influences, as
contrasted with the Italian design and plans of the St. Peter's of the

A discussion of the merits of any territorial claims as to the inception
of what is commonly known as Gothic architecture, under which name, for
the want of a more familiar term, it shall be referred to herein, is
quite apart from the purport of this volume, and, as such, it were best
ignored. The statement, however, may be made that it would seem clearly
to be the development of a northern influence which first took shape
after a definite form in a region safely comprehended as lying within
the confines of northeastern France, the Netherlands, and the northern
Rhine Provinces. Much has been written on this debatable subject and
doubtless will continue to be, either as an arrow shot into the air by
some wary pedant, or an equally unconvincing statement, without proof,
of some mere follower in the footsteps of an illustrious, but behind the
times, expert. It matters not, as a mere detail, whether it was brought
from the East in imperfect form by the Crusaders, and only received its
development at the hands of some ingenious northerner, or not. Its
development was certainly rapid and sure in the great group which we
know to-day in northern France, and, if proof were wanted, the existing
records in stone ought to be sufficiently convincing to point out the
fact that here Mediæval Gothic architecture received its first and most
perfect development. The _Primaire_: the development of the style
finding its best example at Paris. The _Secondaire_: the
Perfectionnement at Reims, and its Apogee at Amiens. The _Tertiaire_:
practically the beginning of the decadence, in St. Ouen at Rouen, only
a shade removed from the debasement which soon followed. As to the
merits or demerits of the contemporary structures of other nations, that
also would be obviously of comparative unimportance herein except so far
as a comparison might once and again be made to accentuate values.

The earliest art triumphs of the French may well be said to have been in
the development and _perfectionnement_ of Mediæval (Gothic)
architecture. Its builders planned amply, wisely, and well, and in spite
of the interruptions of wars, of invasions, and of revolutions, there is
nowhere to be found upon the earth's surface so many characteristic
attributes of Mediæval Gothic architecture as is to be observed in this
land, extending from the Romanesque types of Fréjus, Périgueux and
Angoulême to that classical degeneration commonly called the
Renaissance, a more offensive example of which could hardly be found
than in the conglomerate structure of St. Etienne du Mont at Paris, or
the more modern and, if possible, even more ugly Cathedral Churches at
Arras, Cambrai, or Rennes in the north.

There may be attractive Italian types in existence out of Italy; but
the fact is that, unless they are undoubted copies of a thoroughly
consistent style to the very end, they impress one as being out of place
in a land where the heights of its own native style are so exalted.

Gothic, regardless of the fact as to whether it be the severe and
unornamental varieties of the Low Countries or the exaggerations of the
most ornately flamboyant style, appears not only to please the casual
and average observer, but the thorough student of ecclesiastical
architecture as well. It has come to be the accepted form throughout the
world of what is best representative of the thought and purpose for
which a great church should stand.

With the Renaissance we have not a little to do, when considering the
cathedrals of France. Seldom, if ever, in the sixteenth century did the
builder or even the restorer add aught but Italian accessories where any
considerable work was to be accomplished. Why, or how, the Renaissance
ever came into being it is quite impossible for any one to say, _sans
doubt_, as is the first rudimentary invention of Gothic itself. Perhaps
it was but the outcome of a desire for something different, if not new;
but in the process the taste of the people fell to a low degree.
Architecture may be said to have been all but divorced from life, and,
while the fabric is a dead thing of itself, it is a very living and
human expression of the tendencies of an era. The Renaissance sought to
revive painting and sculpture and to incorporate them into architectural
forms. Whether after a satisfactory manner or not appears to have been
no concern with the revivers of a style which was entirely unsuited in
its original form to a northern latitude. That which answered for the
needs and desires of a southern race could not be boldly transplanted
into another environment and live without undergoing an evolution which
takes time, a fact not disproven by later events.

The Italians themselves were the undoubted cause of the debasement of
the classical style, evidences having crept into that country nearly a
hundred years before the least vestiges were known in either France or
Germany, the Netherlands, or England, and which, though traceable, had
left but slight impress in Spain. It is doubtless not far wrong to
attribute its introduction into France as the outcome of the wanderings
in Italy of Charles VIII., in the latter years of the XV. century. As a
result of this it is popularly supposed that it was introduced into the
domestic architecture of the nobles who had accompanied the king. Here
it found perhaps its most satisfying expression; in those magnificent
châteaux of the Loire, and the neighbourhood of Tours and Blois, ever a
subject for sentimental praise. One would not seek to pass condemnation
upon the application of revived classic features where they were but the
expression of an individual taste, as in a chateau whose owner so chose
to build and embellish it. Certainly no more splendid edifices of their
kind are known than the magnificent establishments at Blois, Chenonceau,
Chambord, or Chaumont. The style appears, however, out of place; an
admixture meaningless in itself and in its application when, with a
Gothic foundation bequeathed them, builders sought to incorporate into a
cathedral such palpable inconsistencies as was frequently done.

The building of the châteaux was perhaps the first anti-Gothic step in
France and proved to be an influence which spread not slowly, as to
decorative detail at least, and soon of itself established a decided
non-Gothic type.

It was but natural that the cathedral builders should have followed to
some extent this new influence. The Church was ever seeking to
strengthen its popularity, the bishops ensconced themselves in their
cathedral cities as snugly as did a feudal lord in his castle, and their
emulation of wealth outside of the Church was but an effort to keep
their status on a plane with that of the other power which also demanded
allegiance of the people. It is to be regretted that they did not pass
this manifestation by, or at least not encumbered an otherwise
consistent Gothic fabric with superimposed meaningless detail. Such
decorative embellishments as are represented by the tomb of Louis XII.
at St. Denis, and the tombs of the cardinals at Rouen, may be considered
characteristic, though they bear earlier dates by some twenty years than
the south portal of Beauvais, which is thoroughly the best of Gothic, or
St. Maclou at Rouen, which, though highly florid, is without a trace of
anti-Gothic. The extreme (though not a cathedral church) may be seen at
St. Etienne du Mont, wherein the effort is made to incorporate large
masses of pseudo-classical decoration with Gothic, and, alas, with sad

For the most part, the Gothic cathedrals of France, as such, while
closely related to each other in their design and arrangements, have
little to do with those which lie without the confines of the country,
either in general features or in detail. The type is distinctively one
which stands by its own perfections. In size, while in many instances
not having the length of nave of several in England, they have nearly
always an equal, if not a greater, width and an almost invariably
greater height, though not equal in superficial area to St. Peter's in
Italy, the Dom at Cologne, or even the cathedral at Seville in Spain.

Such Romanesque types as are to be seen to the northward of the Loire
are mostly found in the smaller churches of Brittany, while the early
transition type, so familiar throughout the Netherlands, is, in France,
usually seen in the neighbourhood of the frontiers of the Low Countries.

"Les Grandes Cathédrales" of the north are distinctly those of Paris,
Amiens, Reims, Rouen, Beauvais, and Chartres; and it is to them that
reference must continually be made; while the severely plain transitory
types of Noyon or Soissons, or the more effective development of Laon,
and the flamboyant structures of Troyes and Nantes, at least lean toward
the decadence.

The difficulty of assigning ranks to these monumental cathedrals is made
the greater by reason of the fact that to-day it is with but one people
that we have to reckon, so far as their temperament and environment is
concerned. Since feudal times the movement has ever been toward one
nation, one people, and one view, different from that presented in the
middle ages.

For centuries after the break of Roman power it had been mostly one
local influence against another which prevented perfect cohesion to any
national spirit, and thus it was that the tendencies of the cathedral
builders, though Roman as to their teaching and religion, and doubtless,
in many instances, with regard to their birth as well, followed no
special style until the era of Gothic development. Unconsciously,
transitory types crept in, until suddenly throughout northern Europe
there bloomed forth within less than a century of time the so-called
Gothic in all its splendour, and with scarce a century between the
commencement and the completion of some of the most notable of the
group. The Romanesque types which still lingered in Brittany, though
well worthy of special consideration to-day, are unimportant and in a
way insignificant when compared with the grand group.

To most of us it will be impossible to conjure up any more significant
thought with regard to mediæval church architecture than that fostered
by the memories of acquaintanceship with these examples of north France;
an opinion which is further strengthened when it is also recalled that
they are representative of the first really national artistic
expression. For this reason alone, if for no other, the hasty critics
who have so handily claimed precedence elsewhere, might profitably
review the facts of the circumstance which led to so universal an
adoption of the full-blown style in the twelfth and thirteenth

The Romanesque peoples were confined southwards of mid-France at the
time of the withdrawal of the Roman legions, while, in the north, the
conquering Franks sought to wipe out every vestige of their past
influence; hence it may be considered that the new manner of building
had everything in favour of its speedy growth. It was thus definitely
assured of a warm welcome, and, following in the footsteps of Clovis
himself, the rulers were more than willing to aid what they believed
might be a strengthening influence, politically, as well as morally.

The style may be justly said to be a natural and growthful expression of
a race, and more significant than all else is the fact that nowhere,
not even on the Rhine, which with northern France claims the origin of
the style, is to be found any single example equalling in any like
measure the perfections of "Les Grandes Cathédrales Françaises," though
it be recalled that in many instances the German buildings were planned
and often erected by French architects and artisans.

Among the two thousand or more "Monuments Historiques" paternally cared
for by the French government and under the direct control of the
Ministry of Public Instruction and the Beaux Arts, none are of the
relative importance, historically or artistically, of the Grand
Cathedrals. Certain objects, classed as megalithic and antique remains,
may be the connecting links between the past and the present by which
the antiquarian weaves the threads of his historical lore; but neither
these nor the _reliques_ which have been dug from the ground or untombed
from later constructive elements, all of which are generously included
in the general scheme by the Department of Beaux Arts, which has
provided a fund for their preservation and care, have one tithe of the
appealing interest which these great churches bespeak on behalf of the
contemporary life of the times in which they were built, reflecting as
they do many correlated events, and forming, in the interweaving of the
history of their inception and construction, an epitome of well-nigh all
the contemporary events of their environment, as well as the greater
parts which they may have played in general affairs of state.

The best example of a part so played is that of the cathedral at Reims,
which saw the crowning within its walls of nearly every monarch of
France from the time of Philippe Augustus (1173) to that of Charles X.
(1823). The monarchs of France, a long and picturesque line, have ever
sought to ally the Church on their side, and right well they have been
served, not ignoring, of course, certain notable lapses. In the main,
however, the rulers and the people alike, whatever may have been the
periodical dissensions, combined the forces which made possible the
projection and erection of these noble examples of an art which, in the
Gothic forms at least, here came to its greatest and most interesting

Invasion, revolution, and the stress of weather and time, all played
their part in the general desecrations which sooner or later followed;
far the most serious of these visible damages reflected upon us to-day
being the malpractices occurring at the Revolution, whether at the hands
of a _sans culotte_ or of the most respectable of bourgeois, led away by
the excitement of revolt. The depredations were irreparable; they razed,
burned, or ruthlessly shattered shrines, statues, or even reliquaries,
as at Reims, where the Sainted Ampulla, which contained the miraculous
oil brought by a dove from heaven, now preserved in reconstructed
fragments in the sacristy, was dashed to pieces in a fury of
uncontrollable wrath.

The paucity of sculptured decoration in certain places only too plainly
designed for it is, too, frequently painfully apparent. Such sculptured
decoration and glass as were easily to hand met with perhaps the most
ready spoliation, while here and there, from some miraculous reason, a
gem was left entire, though likely enough in a bruised and shattered

This is what befell most of the great churches, and, for this reason,
any work treating of these architectural glories of France must make due
allowance in hazarding opinions as to the merit or lack of merit of any
particular example as it now exists, as compared with what it may have
been as it once was, or had it been completed in accordance with the
original design.

In local and cathedral archives much valuable and interesting
information exists, treating in this very manner such embellishments as
may to-day be lacking; but unfortunately such facts are often buried in
a mass of other irrelevant material which would make its discovery
unusually difficult to any but a very learned local antiquarian. In this
same connection, also, there is a dearth of illustrative material which
can be depended upon as to minutiæ or accuracy of detail. Hence it is
possible to deal only with such general facts as may be supported by the
best contemporary information based upon the researches of others. It
may be well to note here, however, a fact which is often overlooked,
namely, that the written records of France are not only very complete
and exhaustive, but, with respect to Paris itself, to cite an example,
the documentary history, consecutive and exact, from the time of the
decline of Roman power is preserved intact,--a record which is perhaps
not so true of any other large city in Europe.

In dealing with the cathedrals of the north, territorially, we have to
consider those examples which are generally accepted as being all that
a cathedral church should be. Of the first rank are those gathered not
far from the confines of the mediæval Isle of France. They too, are best
representative of the true Gothic spirit, while the southernmost
examples, those of Dijon and Besançon, are of manifest Romanesque or
Byzantine conception. Each, too, is somewhat reminiscent of the early
German manner of building, the latter in respect to the double apse,
which is often found across the Rhine, but seldom seen in France. The
most northerly of all is at St. Omer, where are the somewhat battered
remains of a satisfactory Gothic cathedral, although Amiens, not far to
the south, is perhaps the ideal cathedral when considered from a general
point merely. For the western representative, a line running due west
from Paris almost into the Atlantic finds at Quimper, a small port
fifteen miles from the sea, the Cathedral of St. Corentin, which, though
not as lofty, is more of the manner of building of the Isle of France
than one might suppose would be the case here in this outpost of
Brittany, where are found so many evidences of Romanesque influences,
retained long after they had been given over elsewhere.

Such, then, are the extremes of latitude and of architectural style
which combine to give variety to the interest which is always aroused by
the contemplation of the masterworks of any of the arts, where outside
and contiguous influences have something in common therewith.

As a type to admire, there is no doubt but that the cathedral that
possesses an apsidal termination of the easterly or choir end, as is
nearly the universal custom in France, has charms and beauties which may
be latent, but which are simply winning, when it comes to picturing the
same structure with the squared-off ends so common in England.

It was Stevenson, was it not, who wrote of the satisfaction with which
one always looks upon the east end of a French cathedral, "flanging out
as it often does in sweeping terraces, and settling down broadly upon
the earth as though it were meant to stay." Certainly nothing of the
sort is to be more admired than the rare view of the choir buttresses of
Notre Dame at Paris, likened unto "kneeling angels with half-spread
wings;" the delicate and symmetrical choir buttresses of Amiens; the
sheer fall of Beauvais; or the triply effective termination of the
one-time cathedral of Noyon, which falls away in three gracefully
gentle slopes to the ground. Again Stevenson's power as a descriptive
writer lingers in our memory. He says, of no cathedral in particular,
"where else is to be found so many elegant proportions growing one out
of the other, and all together in one?... Though I have heard a
considerable variety of sermons, I have never yet heard one that was so
expressive as a cathedral. 'Tis the best preacher itself, preaches day
and night, not only telling you of man's art and aspirations in the
past, but convicting your own soul of ardent sympathies; or rather, like
all good preachers, it sets you preaching to yourself,--and every man is
his own doctor of divinity in the last resort."

To best estimate the charms and values of these architectural monuments
one should consider; first, the history and topography of their
environment,--_i. e._ as to why and when they may have been planned and
built; secondly, their personality, as it were,--who were their
founders, their patrons, their bishops; thirdly, the functions in which
they may have partaken, any significant events which may have passed
within their walls or centred within their sees; and fourthly, the
artistic beauties of their fabric and its embellishments.

In most cases all of these values are so interwoven and indissolubly
linked with the growth of the structure itself from its very earliest
foundations that it is hardly possible to detail this information in
true chronological order. The picturesque and romantic elements, of
which there is not a little; the sordid and baneful, of which we may
wish there were less; and the splendid ceremonials of Church and State;
all go to make up a chronicle which no account, of even a special
nature, could afford to neglect.

The picturesque elements of the conversion and baptism of Clovis by St.
Remi at Reims in 496, where, on the site of the present cathedral, he
was adjured to "revere that which thou didst burn and burn that which
thou didst revere," and the crowning on the same spot of Charles VII. in
1429 through the efforts of the Maid, well represent these phases. The
meanness and the unjustness of her later trial and condemnation in the
Abbey Church of St. Ouen at Rouen is another. The affairs of state
consist chiefly of the coronation ceremonies which mostly took place at
Reims, and present a splendid record. Of the monarchs from 1173 onwards
who were not here crowned, Henry IV. was crowned at Chartres; Napoleon
I., at Paris; Louis Philippe, Louis XVIII., and Napoleon III. were not
crowned at all.

Throughout this continuity of state events these great churches were
performing their natural functions of the dissemination of the Word.
Jealousies and bickerings took place, to be sure, but in the main there
was harmony, if rivalry did exist; else it were not possible that so
many of these splendid monuments would have endured to remind us of
their past as well as present existence.

Certain of the sees were merged into greater ones, and others were
abandoned altogether. In this connection there is a curious circumstance
with regard to the one-time Bishop of Bethléem, who, driven from the
Holy Land, was given a see at Clamecy, which see comprehended only the
village in which he resided. What remains of the former cathedral is now
an adjunct to a hotel. The rearrangement of political divisions of
France after the Revolution was the further excuse for establishing but
one diocese to a department, until to-day there are but eighty-four
sees, administered by sixty-seven bishops and seventeen archbishops.

The itinerary of the conventional tour of the Continent usually keeps
well to the beaten track, and so does the conventional traveller. He
does not always get over to Reims, and often does not stop _en route_ at
Amiens; seldom visits Beauvais, and, unless he specially sets out to
"tour" Brittany, a popular enough amusement of the lean of purse in
these days, knows little of the unique charms of Tréguier, Quimper, or
even of Le Mans, with its sublime choir, or of Evreux. As for even a
nodding acquaintance with Noyon or Soissons, two of the most
convincingly beautiful and impressive transitory types, they might as
well be in the wilds of Kamchatka, though they are both situated in a
region well travelled on all sides; while Laon, not far distant, is
hardly known at all, except as a way station _en route_ to Switzerland.
The cathedrals of mid-France are, it is to be feared, even less known
than would on first thoughts seem probable. A certain amount of
sentimentality attaches itself to the châteaux of the Loire, and some
acquaintance with their undeniable pleasing attributes is the portion of
most travellers; but, again, such cathedral cities as Besançon, Nantes,
and Langres are off the well-worn road, and their cathedrals might be
myths so far as a general acquaintance with them is concerned; while
the splendid churches of Bourges, Nevers, and Autun are likewise
practically unknown to the casual traveller.

Tours, Orleans, and Chartres alone appear to be the only recognized
representatives of this section of France which have hitherto attracted
due attention.

With the southland this volume does not deal; that is a subject to be
considered quite by itself,--and significantly, more real interest has
been shown with respect to the architectural monuments of Avignon,
Arles, Nîmes, Le Puy, Périgueux, Carcassonne, and Poitiers than to those
of the Midi. Is it that the days of cheap travel and specially conducted
tours, when ten or fifteen guineas will take one to the Swiss or Italian
lakes, or e'en to Rome and Florence, has caused this apparent neglect of
the country lying between? Certainly our forefathers travelled more
wisely, but then prices and means of locomotion were on quite a
different scale in those days, and not infrequently they were obliged to
confine their travels and observations to more restricted areas.

Perhaps the most lucid arrangement of architectural species is that
given by De Caumont's "Abécêdaire d'Architecture," which divides the
country ethnologically into Brittany; Normandy; Flanders, including
Artois and Picardy; Central France (the Isle of France, Champagne,
Orleanois, Main, Anjou, Touraine, and Berri); and Burgundy,
comprehending the former divisions of Franche Comté, Lorraine, Alsace
(now Belfort), Nivernois, Bourbonnois, and Lyonnois. Of the above
divisions, only that of the Isle of France with La Brie was originally
held by the Crown. The political divisions throughout France now number
eighty-seven departments, taking their names from the principal
topographical features, and replacing in 1790 the thirty-two mediæval
provinces, each of which had their own characteristics of social and
political life, and of which each in turn progressed, stagnated, or fell
backward according to local or periodical conditions. Both the arts of
peace and of war have left an ineradicable impress. In the thirteenth
century the various provinces became welded together into one perfect
whole under Philippe Augustus and the sainted Louis, but retained to no
small extent, even as they do unto to-day, their distinctive local

Because of its cathedrals alone, the Isle of France stands preëminent
among the provinces for each of the thirteen provincial styles of
architecture which are allocated by the Société des Monuments
Historiques. A comparatively small and unified province, it comprehends
within and contiguous to its borders more of the attributes and
principles of a consistent Mediæval architectural style than is
elsewhere to be observed. From Rouen on the west to Reims on the east,
northward to Amiens and southwesterly to Chartres, are grouped the show
pieces of the world's Gothic architecture. Not alone with the respect to
the Grand Cathedrals is this region so richly endowed, but also because
of the smaller and less important, but no less attractive or interesting
examples of Noyon, Senlis, Laon, Soissons, with their one-time cathedral
churches and other varied ecclesiastical and secular edifices.

Beauvais, Gisors, Gourney, Cires-les-Mello, Creil, Royamont,
Nogent-les-Vierges, Villers-St.-Pol, indeed nearly every village and
town within the royal domain, present values and comparisons which place
nearly all of its contemporary structures, be they large or small, at a
grand height above those of other less prolific sections. Lest it be
thought that this statement is drawn largely, and that fineness and
balance of estimate are lacking, it suffices to state that it is not
alone from study and research, but from frequent personal intimacies
that the region has ever proved an inexhaustible store of architectural
values, and one which most well-known authorities, with one accord,
place in the very first rank.

Arthur Young, than whom no more perspicuous observer has ever chronicled
his impressions, wrote (1704) that to see the best of France, the part
most varied in topography, and resourceful and attractive in its
monuments, one should land at Havre and follow the sinuosity of the
Seine to Paris, thence the highroad to Moulins and on to the Rhône at
Valence, an outline which somewhat approaches the limitations of
territory of which this book treats. To be sure, he wrote of economic
and agricultural conditions, and he mostly made his pertinent
observations on land holdings, stock keeping, and hedgerows, or rather
that lack of them which is so apparent throughout France; but these
details of themselves only suggest more complete evidences of the
existing forces which indicate the growth of the wealth and power which
has made this region so rich in its architectural memorials of the
past, and which ought to more than compensate for any lack of scenic

It is to be regretted, of course, that none of these larger cathedrals
are to be seen to-day in their completely perfected forms. To what
extent would not the glories of Reims, of Amiens, of Beauvais, or of
Rouen, be enhanced, were it possible for us to even imagine their
splendour, were they possessed of the symmetry and well-favoured
situation of the Dom at Cologne? And so it is that we can but feel
regret when we mentally note the lack of nave at Beauvais, of spires at
Bourges, and, yet again, regret even with more pain the monstrousness of
the cast-iron _flêche_ which has been added to the central tower at
Rouen. But these are after all minor imperfections--seldom, if ever, in
aught but pleasurable anticipation, do we see in the masterpieces of art
or nature a perfect unity; so why seek to negative their virtues by
futile criticism? It would seem to be all-sufficient that such details,
sins of omission or commission, should be noted merely, that we may pass
on to other charms which must compel our allegiance.

When we visit the cathedrals of the Isle of France, we are at once in
the midst of the best examples of French Gothic architecture, or of
French Mediæval architecture, if the phrase is to be preferred.


_Transition Examples_



Soissons, with Noyon and Laon, all within perhaps thirty miles of one
another, may be said to best represent the nurturing and development of
the early Gothic of France. These simple and somewhat plain types
exemplify the style which was in vogue at the same time in the Low
Countries. It is good Gothic, to be sure,--at least, good as to its
planning,--but without that ornateness or lightness known to-day as
characteristic of the distinctive French type, which so early developed
boldly and beautifully.

One observes the resemblances in style between the notable cathedral at
Tournai, in Belgium, the neighbouring types of French Flanders, and the
cathedrals of this trinity of French towns lying contiguous thereto,
Noyon itself being for long interdependent with the see of Tournai.
Nevertheless, it is a beautiful type which was cradled here in the
country called, by Cæsar, Suessiones; and difficult it would be to
attempt to assign preëminence to any one edifice.

Noyon, without a doubt, has the greatest charm of environment, and is of
itself in every way a pleasing and satisfying example of what should
most truly inspire and impress us in a cathedral. Stevenson describes it
as being "the happiest inspiration of mankind, a thing as specious as a
statue at the first glance, yet, on examination, as lively and
interesting as a forest in detail. The height of its spires cannot be
taken by trigonometry: they measure absurdly short, but how tall they
are to the admiring eye.... I sat outside of my hotel and the sweet
groaning thunder of the organ floated out of the church like a
summons";--and much more of the same sort, all of which tells us that,
once we find ourselves on a plane of intimacy with a great church, we
continually receive new impressions and inspirations, and it is in this
vein that one who has known this group of simple but fascinating
churches on their own ground, so to put it, can but seek to convey the
idea that it is good that we have such contrasting types as a relief and
an antidote to an appetite which otherwise might become sated.

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of NOTRE DAME LAON_]



For over twelve hundred years, until the see was abolished at the
Revolution, Laon was the seat of a bishop who in point of rank was
second only to the primate at Reims. Crowning the apex of a long
isolated hill, upon which the entire town, now a fortress of the third
class, is situated, the cathedral of Notre Dame de Laon, still so called
locally, has endured since the beginning of the twelfth century, and may
be considered a thoroughly representative transition example.

The present structure is on the site of one burned in 1112, and during
comparatively recent years has been entirely restored.

Its crowning glory is in the disposition and number of its fine group of
towers: two flank the western façade, and are rectangular at the base,
dwindling to a smaller polygon, which is flanked with corner belfries
and pierced by a tall lancet in the central structure, showing a
wonderful lightness and open effect. A curious and unique feature of
these towers is the addition of four oxen in carven stone perched high
aloft in the belfries. These sculptured animals may be merely another
expression of symbols of superstition, and if so are far more pleasing
than some of the hideous and monstrous gargoyles ofttimes seen. Two
other towers, each 190 feet in height, adjoin the transepts, to each of
which is attached a double-storied, apsidal, ancient chapel. Two
similarly projected towers are lacking. The lantern is square, with a
shallow, conical, modern roof.

In the transition type Romanesque influences were evidently dying hard.
The Gothic was seldom full blown, and at Laon shows but the merest trace
of pointedness to the arches of the western façade, either in the
portals or in the higher openings.

The lack of a circular termination to the choir is but another
indication of a link with a transitory past; an undeniably false note
and one very unusual in France, the choir being of the squared-off
variety so common in England. This may be coincident with the English
custom of the time, or it may be directly due to a local English
influence;--most probably the latter, inasmuch as an English prelate
held the see for a time, and the city, in the early fifteenth century,
was for a number of years in English hands. It is significant that in
some of the smaller churches of the diocese is to be noted the same

The rose windows of both the eastern and western façades are Gothic in
inception and treatment, and are unusually acceptable specimens of these
supreme efforts of the French mediæval builders, the glass therein being
distinctly good, though perhaps not remarkable.

The transepts are rectangular and, with the ensemble of the entire
structure, were their towers completed, there would be produced, not
only a unique example, but a towering effect only a degree less
interesting than the perfectly proportioned pyramidal form so much
admired in the perfectly developed Gothic.

The interior is equally attractive with the exterior, and, though the
church is not by any means of remarkable dimensions, it presents in its
appropriate disposition of detail a far more roomy and pleasing
arrangement than many a larger example.

The transepts are divided into a nave and side aisles, the columns which
partition them, like those of the nave proper, being cylindrical and of
massive proportions, which, however, lighten as they rise to the
vaulting. They are unusually symmetrical when viewed together, the
capitals of the lower series being ornately carved, each of a varying

Above the aisles are lofty galleries. The nave chapels were added in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The stained glass, like that of the
rose windows, is in the nave distinctly good, particularly that of the
lower range on the southerly side. The pulpit, of carved wood of the
Renaissance period, is not of the importance and quality of this class
of work to be seen across the Rhine border.

The former Bishop's palace, adjoining the left of the choir, is now the
Palais de Justice. A few remains of a former Gothic cloister are to be
remarked, surrounded by the later construction.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Noyon_]



In Notre Dame at Noyon, Notre Dame at Laon, and the cathedral at
Tournai, is to be noted the very unusual division of the interior
elevation into four ranges of openings, this effect being only seen at
Paris and Rouen among the large cathedrals. Noyon and Laon borrowed,
perhaps, from Tournai, where building was commenced at least a century
before either of the French examples first took form. It is perhaps not
essential that such an arrangement be made in order to give an effect of
loftiness, which might not otherwise exist; indeed, it is a question if
the reverse is not actually the case, though the effect is undeniably
one of grandeur. Soissons, too, may rightly enough be included in the
group, though the points of resemblance in this case are confined to the
rising steps to either transept, coupled with the joint possession of
circumambient aisles, and at least the suggested intent of circular
apsidal terminations to the transepts; though it appears that here this
plan was ultimately changed and one transept finished off with the usual
rectangular ending.

In this Noyon plainly excels, and there is found nowhere else in France
the perfect trefoil effect produced by the apsidal terminations of both
transepts and choir. So far as the transepts are concerned, they are of
the manner affected by the builders on the Rhine, notably in the Minster
at Bonn, at Cologne, and again at Neuss in the neighbourhood of Cologne.
With Noyon apparently nothing is lacking either in the perfections of
its former cathedral or in its immediate environment. The country round
about is thoroughly agricultural, and free from the soot and grime of a
manufacturing community. Amid a setting at once historic and romantic,
it has for neighbours the châteaux of Coucy and Perrifonds, with
Compiègne and Chantilly not far distant. The town is unprogressive
enough, and the vast barge traffic of the Oise sidles by, not a mile
away, as if it were all unconscious of the existence of any signs of
modern civilization. As a matter of fact, it hardly is modern. The
accommodation for the weary traveller is of a satisfying and gratifying
quality, as the comparatively few visitors to the place well know. The
city is an ancient foundation, having been known as the Noviodunum of
the Romans. Here Charlemagne was crowned King of the Franks in 768, and
Hugh Capet elected king in 987; and here, in an important stronghold of
Catholicism, as it had long been, Calvin was born in 1509.

Altogether there is much to be found here to charm and stimulate our
imagination. As a type the cathedral stands preëminent. As to detail and
state of preservation, they, too, leave little to be desired, though the
appreciative author of a charming and valuable work treating of a good
half hundred or more of the "architectural glories of France" bemoans
the lack of a satisfying daily "Office." This may be a fault, possibly,
if such be really the case. The fabric of the church has stood the wear
and tear of time and stress exceeding well. Built in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries, it is a thoroughly harmonious and pleasing whole, and
we can well believe all that may have been said of it by the few able
critics who have passed judgment upon its style, as well as the
sentiment conveyed by the phrase that it is "one of the most graceful
and lovable of all the cathedrals of France." The bishopric was
suppressed after the Revolution, and the church is now a dependency of
the Bishop of Beauvais.

The elongated belfry towers are perhaps the first and most noticeable
feature; secondly, the overhanging porch with its supporting frontal
buttresses; thirdly, the before-mentioned tri-apsidal effect of the
easterly end; and, last but not least, the general grouping of the whole
structure in combination with the buildings which are gathered about its
haunches, though with no suspicion of a detracting element as in some
sordid and crowded cities, where, in spite of undeniable
picturesqueness, is presented a squalor and poverty not creditable
either to the city of its habitation or to the cathedral authorities
themselves. From every point of vantage the steeples of Notre Dame de
Noyon add the one ingredient which makes a unity of the entire
ensemble,--a true old-world atmosphere, a town seen in not too apparent
a state of unrepair and certainly not a degenerate.

The interior presents no less striking or noble features. It is not
stupendous or remarkably awesome; but it is grand, with a subtleness
which is inexpressible. Round and pointed arches are intermixed, and
there is a notable display of the round variety in the upper ranges of
the quadrupled elevation of the nave, the lightness, which might
otherwise have been marred, being preserved through the employment of a
series of simple lancets in the clerestory of the choir. Rearward of the
south transept are the chapter-house and the scanty remains of a Gothic
cloister, where a somewhat careworn combination of the forces of nature
and art have culminated in giving an unusually old-world charm to this
apparently neglected gem, as well representative of early French Gothic
as any in existence to-day.



Soissons, the other primitive example, is at once a surprise and a
disappointment. From the railway, on entering the town, one is highly
impressed with the grouping of a sky-piercing, twin-spired structure of
ample and symmetrical proportions; and at some distance therefrom is
seen another building, possibly enough of less importance. Curiously, it
is the cathedral which is the less imposing, and, until one is well up
with the beautifully formed spires, he hardly realizes that they
represent all that is left of the majestic Abbey of _St. Jean des
Vignes_, where Becket spent nine long years. It is a mere bit of stage
scenery, with height and breadth, but no thickness. It is a pity that
such a charming structure as this noble building must once have been is
now left to crumble. The magnificent rose window, or rather the circular
opening which it once occupied, is now but a mere orifice, of great
proportions, but destitute of glazing. The entire confines of the
building, which crowns a slight eminence at the entrance of the town,
are now given over to the use of the military authorities.

A little to the right lies the one-time cathedral of Notre Dame,
Soissons being another of the ci-devant bishoprics suppressed after the
Revolution by the redistribution which gave but one diocese to a
Department. Though not unpleasing, its façade is marred by its lack of
symmetry, while the tower, which rises on the right 215 feet, is not
sufficiently striking to redeem what otherwise is an ordinary enough
ensemble. The tower to the left was never raised above where it now
ends, and the façade, lacking the charm which the edifice might
otherwise have had, were the towers as complete and well proportioned as
are those of a later date which grace the remains of the old abbey, will
be for ever wanting until this completion be carried out.

Romanesque is plainly noticeable in mixture with the early Gothic. The
three portals are not remarkable, or uniform, and are severely plain,
and, though of a noticeable receding depth, are bare and unpeopled. A
well-proportioned rose window, though not so large as many in the
greater cathedrals, has graceful radiating spokes and good glass. This
is flanked by two unpierced lancet-pointed window-frames which but
accentuate the plainness of the entire façade. Above is an arcaded
gallery which was intended to cross the entire front, but which now
stops where the gable joins the northerly tower. Restoration has been
carried on, not sparingly, but in good taste, with the result that, in
spite of its newness at the present writing, it appears as a consistent
and thoroughly conscientious piece of work, and not the mere patchwork
that such repairs usually suggest.

The guide-books tell one that Soissons is famous for its trade in
haricot beans, and incidentally for the beans themselves, and for the
great number of sieges which it has undergone, the last being that
conducted by the Germans, who took possession in October, 1870, after a
bombardment of three days.

Fergusson makes the statement, which is well taken, that the Cathedral
of Notre Dame de Soissons, while not in any sense meriting the term
magnificent, presents, in its interior arrangements, at least, a most
symmetrical and harmonious ensemble. A curious though not unpleasing
effect is produced by the blackened pointing of the interior masonry,
of piers, walls, and vaulting alike. An unusual feature is the
circumambient aisles to the transepts and the suggestion that a trefoil
apsidal termination was originally thought of, when the rebuilding was
taken in hand in the twelfth century. The transept is so completed on
the south side, which possesses also an ancient portal, and, with the
two at Noyon so done, presents a feature which is as much a relief from
the usual rectangle as are the rounded choirs of Continental churches a
beauty in advance of the accepted English manner of treatment of this

The choir rises loftily above the transepts and nave, and, while the
general proportions are not such as to suggest undue narrowness, the
effect is of much greater height than really exists. This, too, is
apparent when viewing the abside itself.

The Chapel of the Rosary in the north transept is overtopped by an
effective arrangement of perpendicular window-framing, supporting a
beautiful rose window of the spoke variety. It is safe to say that, had
the entire space provided been glazed, the effect of lighting would have
been unique among the cathedrals of the world.

The only other decorative embellishments are some tapestries, a few
well-preserved tombs, and an "Adoration" supposed to be by Rubens, which
is perhaps more likely to be genuine, because of the situation of the
church near unto Flanders, than many other examples whose claims have
even less to support them.


_The Grand Group_



Expert opinion, so called, may possibly differ as to just what, or what
not, cathedrals of France should be included in this term. The French
proverb known of all guide-book makers should give a clue as to those
which at least may not be left out.

    "Clocher de Chartres, Nef d'Amiens
    Choeur de Beauvais et Portale de Reims."

Rouen, Paris, and Le Mans should be included, as well possibly as the
smaller but no less convincing examples at Séez, Sens, Laon, and Troyes,
as being of an analogous manner of building, and, by all that goes to
make up the components of a really great church, Bourges might well be
considered in the same group. For practical and divisional purposes it
is perhaps well to compose an octette of the churches of the Isle of
France and those lying contiguous thereto, Paris, Beauvais, St. Denis,
Amiens, Reims, Rouen, Chartres, and Le Mans, which may be taken together
as representative of the greatest art expression of the Gothic builders,
as well as being those around which centred the most significant events
of Church and State. To attempt to catalogue even briefly the charms and
notable attributes of even the first four, would require more than the
compass of several volumes the size of the present, whereas the attempt
made herein is merely to lead with as little digression as possible up
to the chief glories for which they are revered, and to suggest some of
the many important and epoch-making events intimately associated
therewith. More would be impossible, manifestly, unless the present work
were to transcend the limitations which were originally planned for it,
hence it is with no halting assertion that we enter boldly upon that
chronology or résumé which, in a way, presents a marshalled array of
correlated facts which the reader may care to follow in further detail
in the list of bibliographical references included at the end of the

Certain facts relating to the history and the architectural features
generally of these great cathedrals are known to all, and are chronicled
with more or less completeness in many valuable and authoritative
works, ranging from the humble though necessary guide-book to the
extensive if not exhaustive architectural work of reference. The facts
given herein are such, then, as are often overlooked in the
before-mentioned classes of works, and as such are presented, not so
much with the avowed object of imparting information, as to remind the
reader of the wealth of interest that exists with relation to these
shrines of religious art. This seems to be the only preamble possible to
the chapters which attempt to even classify these magnificent buildings,
wherein much is attempted and so little accomplished in recounting their
varied attractions. Let this explanation stand, therefore, for any
seeming paucity of description which may exist.

[Illustration: _Le Bon Dieu d'Amiens_]



The ever impressive Cathedral of Notre Dame d'Amiens is in most English
minds the _beau ideal_ of a French cathedral. It is contemporary with
Salisbury in period, at least, but it has little to remind one of the
actual features of this edifice. Often associated therewith, as a
similar type, it has little in reality in common, except that each is
representative of a supreme style. Beyond this it is hard to see how any
expert, archæologist, antiquary, or what not, would seek to discover
relationship between two such distinct types. Salisbury is the ideal
English cathedral as to situation, surroundings, and general charm and
grace. This no one would attempt to deny; but, in another environment,
how different might it not appear,--as for instance placed beside
Amiens, where in one particular alone, the mere height of nave and
choir, it immediately dwindles into insignificance. Under
such conditions its graceful spire becomes dwarfed and attenuated. Need
more be said?--The writer thinks not, since the present work does not
deal with the comparative merits of any two cathedrals or of national
types; but the suggestion should serve to demonstrate how impossible it
is for any writer, however erudite he may be, to attempt to assign
precedence, or even rank, among the really great architectural works of
an era. This observation is true of many other examples of art

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _d'AMIENS_ ...]

The cathedral at Amiens is dedicated to the Virgin, and is built in the
general form of a Latin cross. Over the principal doorway of the south
portal, on one of the upper plinths, may be seen the inscription which
places the date of the present edifice.

     [+] En l'an`[=q]ue l'Incarnati[=o] valait mcc et xx. Ro....rs, ifu:
     rimisit: le première piere: iasis,... le cors.... Robert...

The work was undertaken by one Robert de Luzarche, in the episcopate of
Evrard de Fouilloy, the forty-fifth Bishop of Amiens, whose tomb may be
seen just within the western doorway, and occupies the site of other
structures which had been variously devastated by fire or invasion in
850, 1019, 1137, and 1218. For fifty years the work went on
expeditiously under various bishops and their architects. "Saint" Louis,
Blanche of Castille, Philippe the Hardy, and the city fathers all aided
the work substantially, and the fabric speedily took on its finished
form. Through the later centuries it still preserved its entity, and
even during the Revolution its walls escaped destruction and defilement
through the devotion of its adherents.

In later days important work and restoration has been carried out under
the paternal care and at the expense of the state; and the city itself
only recently contributed 45,000 francs for the clearing away of
obstructing buildings.

A French writer has said, "It is only with the aid of a Bible and a
history of theology that it is possible to elucidate the vast
iconographic display of the marvellous west front of the cathedral at
Amiens." Like Reims, its three portals of great size are peopled with a
throng of statues. The central portal, known as the Porche du Souvenir,
contains the statue of the Good God of Amiens; that on the right is
called after the Mère de Dieu, and that on the left for St. Fermin the
Martyr. Above the gables is the "Gallery of Kings," just below the
enormous rose windows. Above rise the two towers of unequal loftiness,
and lacking, be it said, thickness in its due proportion. The carven
figures in general are not considered the equal in workmanship of those
at Reims, though the effect and arrangement is similar. For a complete
list of them, numbering some hundreds on this façade alone, the reader
must refer to some local guide-book, of which several are issued in the

The south portal, the _Portal de la Vierge dorée_ or _Portal de Saint
Honoré_, shares company with the west façade in its richness of
sculpture and its rose window and its gable. Here also are to be seen
the supporting buttresses which spring laterally from the wall of the
transept and cross with those which come from the choir.

The north portal, on the side of the Bishop's Palace, does not show the
same richness as the others, though perhaps more than ordinarily ornate.

The spire above the transept crossing is a work of the sixteenth
century, and is perhaps more remarkable than its rather diminutive
appearance, in contrast with the huge bulk of the edifice, would

The extreme height of nave and choir (147 feet), adds immeasurably to
the grand effect produced by the interior, a height in proportion to
breadth nearly double that usual in the English cathedrals. The vaulting
is borne aloft by over one hundred columns. The natural attribute of
such great dimension is a superb series of windows, a promise more than
fulfilled by the three great rose windows and the lofty clerestory of
nave and choir. The sixteenth century glass is exceedingly profuse and

The lateral chapels of the nave were added subsequent to the work of the
early builders, all being of the sixteenth century, while the eleven
choir chapels are of the thirteenth century, all with very ornate iron
grilles, which are a feature only second to a remarkable series of
"choir stalls," numbering over one hundred, showing a wonderful variety
of delicate carved figures of the sixteenth century, the work of one
Jean Turpin, the subjects being mainly Biblical.

A stone screen with elaborate sculptures in high relief surrounds the
choir, that on the south representing the legend of St. Firmin, the
patron of Picardy, and that on the north, scenes connected with the life
of John the Baptist. In a side chapel dedicated to St. John reposes the
alleged head of John the Baptist. Others have appeared elsewhere from
time to time, but as they are not now recognized as being genuine, and
the said apostle not being hydra-headed, it is possible that there will
be those who will choose to throw the weight of their opinions in favour
of the claim of Amiens.

The flying buttresses at Amiens are not of the singular lightness
associated with this notably French characteristic; they are in the
main, however, none the less effective for that, and assuredly, so far
as the work which they have to perform is concerned, it was doubtless
necessary that they should be of more than ordinary strength.

The view of the ensemble from the river shows the massiveness and
general proportions in a unique and superb manner. Amiens is not
otherwise an attractive city, a bustle of grand and cheap hotels,
decidedly a place to be taken _en route_, not like Beauvais, where one
may well remain as long as fancy wills and not feel the too strong hand
of progress intruding upon his ruminations.



Beauvais is by no means an inaccessible place, though how often have we
known one who could not tell in what part of France it was situated. Of
course, being "off the line" is sufficient excuse for the majority of
hurried travellers to pass it by, but, leaving this debatable point out
of the question, let us admit, for the nonce, that it is admirably
located if one only chooses to spend a half-day or more in visiting the
charmingly interesting city and its cathedral, or what there is of it,
for it exists only as a luminous height _sans_ nave, _sans_ tower, and
_sans_ nearly everything, except a choir of such immensity that to see
it is to marvel if not to admire. It is indeed as Hope has said, "a
miracle of loftiness and lightness; appearing as if about to soar into
the air."

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE ... _de BEAUVAIS_]

How many readers, who recognize the charms for which the cathedral is
most revered, know that it was intended to rank as the
St. Peter's of the north, and like its Roman prototype, was to surpass
all other contemporary structures in size and magnificence. This was
marked out for it when, in the middle sixteenth century, the builders of
its central spire, which fell shortly after, sought to rival the Italian
church in a vast Gothic fabric which should be the dominant northern
type in contra-distinction to that of the south. This of itself, were
there no other contributory interests, which there are to a very great
degree, should be all-sufficient to awaken the desire on the part of
every one who journeys Parisward to obtain a more intimate acquaintance
with this great work. Here was an instance of ambition overleaping
itself,--exceeding by far the needs and conditions of its environment
and like many another ill-planned venture, it fell to ruin through a
lack of logic and mental balance. To-day we see a restored fabric,
lacking all the attributes of a great church except that which is
encompassed by that portion lying eastward of the nave proper, its frail
buttresses knitted together by iron rods, its piers latterly doubled in
number, and many more visible signs of an attempt to hold its walls and
roofs up to the work they have to perform.

The present structure, in so far as certain of its components go, was
commenced within five years of Amiens (1225), which calls to mind the
guide-book comparison, which seems so appropriate that it must really
have previously originated from some other source,--Amiens, "a giant in
repose;" Beauvais, "a Colossus on tiptoe."

Its designer built not wisely, nor in this case too well, for before the
end of the century the roof had fallen, and this after repeated
miscalculations and failures. At this time the intermediate piers of the
choir were built and a general modified plan adopted.

Ruskin's favourite simile, with respect to St. Pierre de Beauvais, was
that no Alpine precipice had the sheer fall of the walls of this
choir,--or words to that effect, which is about as far-fetched as many
other of his dictums, which have since been exploded by writers of every
degree of optimism and pessimism. Certainly it is a great height to
which this choir rises, one hundred and fifty-three feet it has been
called, which probably exceeds that of Amiens by a dozen or more feet,
though authorities (_sic_) vary with regard to these dimensions, as
might be supposed; but it is no more like unto a wall of rock than it
is to a lighthouse.

With the crumbling of the sixteenth-century spire on Ascension Day,
1573, restoration of the transepts was undertaken and work on the nave
resumed, which only proceeded, however, to the extent of erecting one
bay to the westward, which stands to this day, the open end filled in
with scantling, weather proofing, and what not,--a bare, gaunt, ugly
patch. Had it been possible to complete the work on its original
magnificent lines, it would have been the most stupendous Gothic fabric
the world has ever known.

Not entirely without beauty, in spite of its great proportions, it is
more with wonder than admiration that one views both its details and
proportions. Though it is perhaps unfair to condemn its style as
unworthy of the Augustan age of French architecture, surely the ambition
with which the work was undertaken was a laudable one enough, and it is
only from the fact that it spells failure in the eyes of many who lack
initiative in their own make-up, that it only qualifiedly may be called
a great work.

The choir, which now dates from 1322, perforce looks unduly short, by
reason of the absence of a nave to add to the effect of horizontal
stability; and the great height of the adjoining transept; but the
chevet and buttresses are certainly a marvel of grace and towering

The portals of the transept are of the period of Francis I., with
flowing lines and ornate decorations--"having passed the severity and
ethical standards of maturity, and progressed well along the path to
senility," as a vigorous Frenchman has put it. True enough in its
application is this livid sentiment,--perhaps,--but its jewel-like south
portal, like the "_gemmed_" west front of Tours, forms an attractive
enough presentment to please most observers who do not delve too deeply
into cause and effect. The north portal is less ornate, but its
beautifully carved doors are by the same hand as that which worked the
opposite portal. The ornamental stonework here is unusual, suggesting an
arrangement which may or may not have been intended as a representation
of the "Tree of Jesse." In any case it is a remarkable work of flowing
Gothic "branches," which, though mainly lacking its intended
interspersed figures, is not only unique among exterior decorations,
but appears as a singularly appropriate treatment of a grand doorway.

Adjoining the choir on the right is a sacristy occupying a small
structure, and to the westward is a fragmentary edifice known as the
_Basse OEuvre_,--one of the oldest existing buildings in France; a
Romano-Byzantine work, variously stated as of the sixth to eighth
century and forming a portion of the original church which occupied the
site of the present Cathedral.

The general impressiveness of this great church--the memory which most
of us will carry away--is caused by its immensity, its loftiness, and
the general effect of lightness. These form an irresistible galaxy of
features which can hardly fail to produce a new and startling sensation
upon any observer.

As to decorative embellishments, the church is by no means lacking. The
coloured glass, typical of the best period of the art, is luxurious and
extensive; that contained in the north and south transept rose windows
being the exceedingly beautiful work of Le Prince, a celebrated
sixteenth-century artist.

Numerous side chapels surround the ambulatory of the choir, and on the
west wall of the transept are hung the eight tapestries after the
sixteenth-century Raphael cartoons now at South Kensington. These
tapestries are, it is to be presumed, late copies, since, of the two
early sets woven at Arras, one is preserved in the Vatican and the other
at the Museum at Berlin. A modern fresco of Jeanne Hachette, a local
Amazon, adorns one of the choir chapels. A modern astronomical clock,
with numerous dials, striking figures, and crowing cocks, is placed near
the north transept. It might naturally be supposed that in our day the
canons of good taste would plead against such a mere "curio" being
housed in a noble church.

The former Bishop's Palace, dating from the fourteenth to sixteenth
centuries, is now the Palace of Justice. The present episcopal residence
is immediately to the north of the Cathedral and is modern.

As a tapestry-making centre Beauvais ranks with the famous Gobelin
Manufactory at Paris.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Rouen_]



Rouen, of all the mediæval cities of France, is ever to the fore in the
memories of the mere traveller for pleasure. In no sense are its charms
of a negative quality, or few in number. Quite the reverse is the case;
but the city's apparent attraction is its extreme accessibility, and the
glamours that a metropolis of rank throws over itself; for it must not
be denied that a countrified environment has not, for all, the appealing
interest of a great city. It is to this, then, that Rouen must accredit
the throngs of strangers which continually flock to its doors from the
Easter time to late autumn. In addition there are its three great
churches, so conveniently and accessibly placed that the veriest tyro in
travel can but come upon them whichever way he strolls. Other monuments
of equal rank there are, too, and altogether, whether it be the mere
hurried pecking of a bird of passage, or the more leisurely attack of
the studiously inclined, Rouen offers perhaps much greater attractions
than are possessed by any other French city of equal rank.

So closely, too, have certain events of English history been interwoven
with scenes and incidents which have taken place here, that the wonder
is that it is not known even more intimately by that huge number of
persons who annually rush across France to Switzerland or Italy.

Chroniclers of the city's history, its churches, and its institutions
have not been wanting, in either French or English; and even the
guide-books enlarge (not unduly) upon its varied charms. Once possessing
thirty-two churches, sixteen yet remain; quite one-half of which may be
numbered to-day as of appealing interest. _En passant_, it may be stated
that here at Rouen, in both Notre Dame and the Abbey Church of St. Ouen,
is found that gorgeous functionary, commonly called "the Suisse," who
seeks your gold or a portion thereof, in return for which he will favour
you by opening an iron wicket into the choir, an incumbrance unnoticed
elsewhere, except at Paris and St. Denis.

The late Gothic church of St. Ouen, where the Maid of Orleans received
her fatal sentence, shows a wonderful unity of design even as to its
modern western towers; a consistency not equally the possession of the
neighbouring cathedral, or even of most great churches. Altogether, this
grand building is regarded as an unparallelled example of the
realization of much that is best of Gothic architecture at its greatest
height. In its central tower alone--which may or may not be suggestive
of a market-basket, accordingly as you will take Ruskin's opinion, or
form one of your own--is the least evidence of the developed flamboyant
found. Its interior is clean-cut and free of obstruction; the extreme
length of its straight lines, both horizontal and perpendicular,
entirely freed from chapel or choir screen, embrace and uphold its
"walls of glass" in an unequalled manner.

In strong contrast to this expressively graceful style is the
ultraflorid type of St. Maclou, the other of that trinity of
architectural splendours, which, with the Cathedral of Notre Dame, form
the chief ecclesiastical monuments of the city. St. Maclou, which dates
from the early fifteenth century, though not of the grand proportions of
either of the other great churches, being rather of the type of the
large parish church as it is known in England, holds one spellbound by
the very daring of its ornaments and tracery, but contains no trace of
non-Gothic. The French passion for the curved line is nowhere more
manifest than here (and in the west front of Notre Dame), where flowing
tracery of window, doorway, portal, and, in general, all exterior
ornament, is startling in its audacity. To view these two contrasting
types before making acquaintance with the Cathedral of Notre Dame
itself, is to prepare oneself for a consideration in some measure of a
combination of the charms of both, woven into one fabric. Nowhere, at
least in no provincial town of France, are to be found such a
categorical display of ecclesiastical architectural details as here.

Rouen has from the second century been an important seat of
Christianity. St. Nicaise, not to be confounded with him of the same
name of Reims, first held a conversion here and was shortly followed by
St. Mellor, who founded the city's first church, on the site of the
present cathedral. In succeeding centuries this foundation gradually
took shape and form until, with the occupation by the Norsemen under
Rollo, was founded a dynasty which fostered the development of theology
and the arts in a manner previously unknown. The cathedral was enlarged
at this time, and upon his death in 930 Rollo was interred therein, as
was also his son in 943. Richard the Fearless followed with further
additions and enlargements, his son Richard being made its forty-third
archbishop. From this time on, the great church-building era, Christian
activities were notably at work, here as elsewhere, and during the
prolific eleventh century great undertakings were in progress; so much
so that what was practically a new church received its consecration, and
dedication to Our Lady, in 1063, in the presence of him who later was to
be known as the Conqueror. To-day it stands summed up thus--a grand
building, rich, confused, and unequal in design and workmanship.

The lower portion of the northwest tower, called the _Tour St. Romain_,
is all that is left of the eleventh-century building, the remainder of
which was destroyed by fire in 1200. Rebuilding followed in succeeding
years and shows work of many styles. Additions, repairs, and
interpolations were incorporated with the fragment of the tower, so that
the structure as we now know it stood complete with the early thirteenth
century. Viollet-le-Duc is the authority for the statement that the
apse and transept, chapels, choir, and two doorways of the west façade
were quite complete before the influence of the perfected Gothic of the
Isle of France was even felt. One Enguerrand was the chief designer of
the new church, assisted by Jean d'Andeli as master mason. The early
century saw the nave chapels built, having been preceded by the _Portail
aux Libraires_, a sort of cloistered north entrance, still so referred
to, one of the most charming and quiet old-world retreats to be found
to-day even within the hallowed precincts of a cathedral. The _Portail
de la Calende_ did not follow until a century later, when the _Tour St.
Romain_ was completed to its roof; at which time was also added the
screen or arcade which separates the _Portail aux Libraires_ from the

This century, too, saw the beginning of the famous _Tour de Beurre_,
built mostly by the contributions of those who paid for the indulgence
of being allowed to eat butter during Lent. Its foundation was laid in
1487 under Archbishop Robert de Croixmore, and it was completed under
Cardinal d'Amboise in 1507. A chapel at the base of the tower is
dedicated to St. Stephen. The ornate decorations of the west front,
added by Georges d'Amboise, are mainly of the sixteenth century and form
no part of the original plan or design. It borders upon the style we
have since learned to decry, but it is, at least, marvellous as to the
skill with which its foliaged and crocketed pinnacles and elaborate
traceries are worked. Ruskin was probably right in this estimate at
least,--"The central gable is the most exquisite piece of pure
flamboyant style extant." At the present day this west front is
undergoing such restoration and general repair that the entire gable,
rose window, and part of the flanking towers are completely covered with
a most hideous array of scaffolding.

The central spire as it exists to-day, in reality an abomination of
abominations, is naturally enough admired by all when first viewed from
afar. It certainly looks not dwarfed, or even fragile, but simply
delicate, and withal graceful, an opinion which ultimate association
therewith speedily dispels. It must be one of the very first examples of
modern iron or steel erection in the world, dating from 1827, following
three former spires, each of which was burned. The architect responsible
for this monstrosity sought to combine two fabrics in incoherent
proportions. More than one authority decries the use of iron as a
constructive element, and Chaucer's description of the Temple of Mars in
the Knight's Tale reads significantly:

    "Wrought all of burned steel...
      Was long and straight and ghastly for to see."

The great part of the exterior of this remarkable church is closely
hidden by a rather squalid collection of buildings. Here and there they
have been cleared away, but, like much of the process of restoration,
where new fabric is let into the old, the incongruity is quite as
objectionably apparent as the crumbling stones of another age. _Notre
Dame de Rouen_ is singularly confined, but there seems no help for it,
and it is but another characteristic of the age in which it was
built,--that the people either sought the shelter of churchly
environment, or that the church was only too willing to stretch forth
its sheltering arms to all and sundry who would lie in its shadow.

In an assignment of ranking beauty to its external features, the
decorative west front must manifestly come first; next the _Portail aux
Libraires_, with its arcaded gateway and the remains of the booksellers'
stalls which still surround its miniature courtyard; then, perhaps,
should follow the _Tour St. Romain_ and the _Portail de la Calende_,
with its charmingly recessed doorway and flanking lancet arches. The
sculptured decorations of all are for the most part intact and
undisfigured. The gable of the southern doorway rises pointedly until
its apex centres with the radiated circular window above, which, by the
way, is not of the exceeding great beauty of the other two rose windows,
which rank with those at Reims and Chartres as the _beaux ideals_ of
these distinctly French achievements.

The interior, viewed down the nave, and showing its great length and
that of the choir, impresses one with a graver sense of unity in the
manner of building than is possible to conceive with regard to the
exterior. The height and length both approximate that of St. Ouen, and,
though the nave rises only to ninety-eight feet, an effect of greater
loftiness is produced by the unusual quadripartite range of openings
from pavement to vaulting: two rows of arches opening into the aisles
before the triforium itself is reached. The lantern at the crossing
supports the ironwork spire, and admits light to the centre of the
church, only to a small degree, however. The south transept, like that
of the north, with its ample double aisles, is of great width, and, were
the framing of the great rose window of less angularity, it would indeed
produce a remarkable effect of grandeur. The other windows, and the
arcading of the triforium, are singularly graceful; not lacking either
strength or firmness, though having no glass of great rarity or
excellence. In this transept is the altar of St. Romain, a
seventeenth-century work of little pretensions.

The north transept contains two features which give it immediate
precedence over any other, when viewed from within: its gracefully
traceried rose window and fine glass, and the delightful stone staircase
leading to the chapter library. Mere description cannot do this stairway
justice. Renaissance it certainly is, and where we might wish to find
nothing but Gothic ornament, it may prove somewhat of a disappointment;
but it is magnificent. Its white marble balustrading gleams in the
strong light thrown from the western transept window and gives an
unmistakable note of richness and sonority. It was built late in the
fifteenth century under orders of Cardinal d'Estonteville. The upper
doorway leads to the treasury, and that of the first landing to the
chamber in which were formerly kept the bibliographical treasures, now
housed in the special building which forms the western wall of the
outside court.

The north and south aisles of the nave are broken into by a series of
chapels, the chief of which are the Chapel to St. Stephen in the base of
the _Tour de Beurre_ and _du Petit St. Romain_, where an abbé or curé
speaking the English tongue is often to be found. On the south side is a
chapel containing the tomb of William Longsword, second Duke of
Normandy, and son of Rollo.

The great attraction of the choir, far more than its beauties of
architectural forms, shown in its graceful columns and deep graven
capitals, will be, for most visitors, its array of elaborate monuments,
including those of Pierre and Louis de Breze, of whom the former, the
Grand Seneschal of Normandy under Charles VII., fell at Monthery, and
was buried here in 1465. More pretentious is the tomb of Louis, his
grandson, erected by his wife Diane de Poitiers, with a significant
inscription which the curious may be pleased to figure out for
themselves. This noble monument is one of those examples hesitatingly
attributed to Jean Goujon. The _pièce de résistance_ is the Renaissance
tomb of the Cardinals d'Amboise. Georges I. was memorialized in 1556 by
his nephew Georges II., who in turn came to share the same tomb. Both
their kneeling figures are beautifully chiselled, and the whole erection
is gorgeously representative of the late sixteenth-century monumental
work, little in keeping with the Gothic fabric which houses it, but
characteristic of the changing thought and influence of its time. Six
symbolical figures of the virtues form a lower course, while the canopy
is surmounted by nineteen figures of apostles, saints, etc. In 1793 the
ashes of these great prelates were scattered to the winds, but the
effigies and their setting fortunately remained uninjured. Other
archbishops of the cathedral are buried in the choir, and the heart of
Richard Coeur de Lion once rested here, as did also the bodies of his
brother Henry, and John, Duke of Bedford.

The choir stalls, mostly the work of Flemish wood-carvers, are notable


[Illustration: _Basilique de St. Denis_]



The Basilica of St. Denis, so-called to-day, built over the remains of
the martyred St. Denis, is in a way the counterpart of the Cathedral of
Reims, in that it also is intimately associated with the Kings of
France. In the former they were, almost without exception, crowned; and
here, at St. Denis, are the memorials of their greatness, and in many
cases their actual tombs. Thus far and no farther may the similarity be
said to exist. The old Abbey of St. Denis has little in common,
architecturally, with the grand Cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims. Of the
two, St. Denis is much the older foundation, and from the point of view
of romance and sentiment holds perhaps the premier place, as well.

The history of the city is one of the most interesting and diversified
of all in the domain of the Kings of France. A Benedictine abbey was
founded here in the reign of Dagobert I., and, under the Carlovingian
dynasty, immediately took on political as well as devout significance.
The Abbot of St. Denis journeyed to Rome in 751 A. D. and secured for
Pepin the papal confirmation of his kingship. Pope Stephen took refuge
here from the Lombards in 754 A. D., during which time he anointed the
king's sons, Charles and Charlemagne; upon the consecration of which act
Pepin handed over to his sons the right and title to his dominions.

Upon the advice of the Abbot Suger, Louis VI. adopted the _Oriflamme_,
or standard of St. Denis, as the banner of the Kings of France, and, for
long after, its red and gold colourings hung above the altar,--only to
be removed when the king should take the field in person.

Abélard, of famed romance, was a monk of the abbey in the twelfth
century; and, in the absence of the sovereign (Louis VII.) in the Holy
Land during the mid-century, the Abbé Suger administered full well the
affairs of the kingdom. This renowned abbot and true lover of art died
in 1151 at St. Denis.

In 1429 "the Maid of Orleans" here delivered up her arms; and a century
and a half later that sturdy Protestant, Henry, abjured the faith to
which he had hitherto so tenaciously clung. In this church, too, the
great Napoleon married Marie Louise in 1810; and his later namesake,
some fifty years after, erected a mausoleum in the crypt, known as the
_Caveau Imperial_, the burial vault of his dynasty, which, however, has
never been so used.

Such in brief is the record of some of the more important affairs of
church and state, which are identified with this fine old cathedral. The
usual books of reference give lengthy lists of the various tombs and
monuments which exist. It is a pity, however, that, in spite of the
laudable ambition of preserving here, in a sort of kingly Valhalla, the
memory of the rulers of a past age, it has degenerated, in turn, to a
mere show-place, with little enough of the real sentiment remaining to
satisfy the seriously inclined, who perforce would wish to be reminded
in some more subtle way than by a mere "rush around the exhibits," which
is about all the half-hourly, personally conducted excursions, with
appropriate fees to be delivered up here and there, amounts to. But for
this, there would still be some of the charm and reverence which such a
noble memorial should inspire, in spite of the fact that revolution and
desecration have played more than a usual share in the general
derangement of the original plans.

Up to the time of Henry IV., the monarchs were mostly interred in
separate tombs, but, following him, his immediate successors were buried
in a common vault. During the Revolution, the Convention decreed that
the royal tombs should be destroyed, and so they mostly were,--the
bodies dug up and interred, if so the process can be called, in a common
grave. In 1817 Louis XVIII. caused the remains of his ancestors, as well
as Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, to be transferred here from the
Madeleine, and in turn he himself was buried here, as well as the Duc de
Berry and several of his children. The preservation of such of the tombs
as survived the many vicissitudes to which they were put, is due to the
fact that many of them were at one time removed to the Musée des
Petits-Augustines, now the Palace des Beaux Arts, at Paris; but in 1817
Louis XVIII. ordered them to be replaced in the crypt of St. Denis; not,
however, on the sites which they formerly occupied, but in an arbitrary
manner which only the great abilities of M. Viollet-le-Duc, who
undertook their rearrangement and restoration, were able to present in
some coherent manner for the marvel of future generations. There are now
therein over fifty monuments and tombs, besides various statues,
medallions, and other memorials.

From an architectural point of view, we have to consider the _Basilique
de St. Denis_ no longer a cathedral, as one of the earliest Gothic
examples in France, though at first glance little enough of the true
Gothic feeling is apparent. About the year 275 a chapel was built here
above the grave of St. Dionysius, the first Bishop of Paris. This was
followed by a large _basilica_, ultimately given over to the uses of
monks of the Benedictine order. Evidences of this former construction
are supposed by archæologists to still remain, but little, earlier than
the structure of the Abbé Suger, meets the eye to-day. Strong is the
trace of the development from the Romanesque façade, completed in 1140,
to pure Gothic construction of a century later. In this church is
commonly supposed to be exhibited for the first time, bearing in mind
that the date of its consecration was 1144, a complete system of
buttresses accompanying the pointed arch of the vaulting, though in
conjunction with semicircular vaulting in the choir aisles.

The west façade is the most notable part of Suger's building. It
contains three deeply recessed round arched portals, decorated with
sculpture, but so disfigured, or at least modified from their original
forms in an attempt to replace the ravages of time and spoliation, that
one can not well judge of their original merit. The south portal shows
symbolical figures of the months and of "St. Dionysius in Prison;" the
central doorway a "Last Judgment," and the "Wise and Foolish Virgins;"
while the north portal depicts "St. Dionysius on His Way to Martyrdom,"
and "The Signs of the Zodiac."

A curious and unusual effect of the upper portion of this grim façade,
like a similar work at Dol-de-Bretagne, is a range of battlements which
were erected for defensive purposes in the fourteenth century. The nave
rises high above this, surmounted by a statue of St. Denis. Above the
lateral portals of the façade are two towers, that on the right rising
two stages above the embattled crest, while that on the left stops at
that level. The spire with which it was formerly surmounted was ruined
by lightning early in the nineteenth century.

The choir, with its radiating chapels, is of a Romanesque order, with
the Gothic attribute of the flying buttress in a high degree of

A general restoration was carried out in the thirteenth century by the
successors of Suger, the Abbés Eudes Clement and Matthieu de Vendôme, in
the best Gothic of the time; and it is to their excellently planned work
that the general fine effect of the present interior arrangements may
properly enough be accredited, though for a fact it seldom is so. A
later restoration, the removing of the ruin wrought by the Revolution,
did not succeed so well. It was not until the really great work of
Viollet-le-Duc, under Napoleon III., that this grand building finally
took on again an acceptable form.

The general interior arrangements, though to-day apparently subservient
to the common attributes of a show-house with its innumerable guides,
functionaries, and fees, are simple and impressive so far as structural
elements are concerned. As for decorations, they are mostly to be found
in that gorgeous array of monuments and tombs before mentioned. The
entrance proper, or vestibule, is of Suger's era and is gloomy and dull,
in strong contrast with the noble and impressive nave, which contains
thirty-seven enormously high windows and a handsome triforium gallery.
This portion dates from the thirteenth century, or immediately following
Suger's régime. The excellent stained glass is modern. The transepts are
mere rudimentary elements, suggested only by the interior arrangement of
the piers, and are simple and impressive.

[Illustration: _Oriflamme of St. Denis_]

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de PARIS_...]



Of all the cathedrals of France, Notre Dame de Paris is most firmly
impressed on the minds of English speaking people. At least, it is more
familiarly known by all who visit that delectable land, and perhaps
rightly so. Poets have sung its praises, and writers of all ranks have
used it in well-nigh every possible fashion as an accessory; indeed,
books almost without number have been written about it, and around it.
This is as it should be, for perhaps no great church is more worthy, or
more prolific in material. For those who would probe deeply into its
story, there is but one way to acquire an intimate knowledge
thereof,--to undertake a course of reading and study in some such way as
a lawyer sets about reading up on a great case. By no other method could
be acquired a tithe of the commonly known facts regarding its past
history; hence the impossibility of attempting to deal fully in a few
pages with this great church, even in a perfunctory manner. The most
that can be safely ventured upon, is to recount some of the facts.

How many have really noticed that none of the diagrams, which show the
ground-plan of this cathedral, indicate the existence of any transepts?
Take, for instance, that which accompanies this volume, which, it may be
said, is drawn correctly,--beyond the omission of a couple of pillars on
either side of the nave, there is nothing to break into the long
parallelogram-like structure, with an apsidal termination. As a matter
of fact, there are a pair of very beautiful transepts, as most
photographs of the exterior, and drawings of the interior, show. They
are, too, in no way attenuated, and are only lost in the ground-plan by
reason of the fact that they follow the very unusual arrangement of not
extending laterally beyond the ample width of the nave and its chapelled
aisles. The south transept façade, with the portal dedicated to St.
Stephen, and two magnificent rose windows, is unquestionably more
pleasing than the west façade itself as to design and arrangement.

Begun in 1163 and consecrated in 1182, the church has undergone many
vicissitudes, changes, and restorations. It has fared ill on many
occasions; perhaps the greatest defilement being that which befell it
during the Revolution, when it was not only foully desecrated, its
statues and other imagery despoiled, but the edifice was actually doomed
to destruction. This fortunately was spared to it, but in the same year
(1793) it became a "Temple of Reason," one of those fanatical exploits
of a set of madmen who are periodically let loose upon the world.
Mysticism, palaverings, and orgies unspeakable took place between its
walls, and it only became sanctified again when Napoleon caused it to be
reopened as a place of divine worship. Again, three-quarters of a
century later, it fell into evil times--when it was turned into a
military rendezvous by the Communards of '71. In turn, they too
retreated, leaving the church, as they supposed, to the mercy of the
flames which they had kindled. Fortunately these were extinguished and
the building again rescued from an untoward fate.

The thirteenth-century façade is usually accredited the finest part of
the church. It comes upon one as rather plain and bare after the
luxuriance of Amiens, Reims, or Rouen. As a model and design, however,
it has served its purpose well, if other examples, variously
distributed throughout England and France, are considered. Its lines, in
fact, are superb and vary little in proportion or extent from what must
perforce be accepted as ideal. Its portals are of good design, and so
also is such sculpture as survived the ravages of the past, though the
outlines of the doorways are severely plain. A series of modern
sculptured effigies of the kings, replacing those destroyed at the
Revolution, forms a plain horizontal band across the entire front; a
none too graceful or pleasing arrangement of itself. A rose window
forty-two feet in width occupies the centre of the next stage, flanked
by two blunt-pointed windows rather bare of glass. Above is an arcaded
gallery of small pointed arches in pairs, also extending across the
entire front. The balustrade, above, holds a number of grotesque
creatures carved in stone. They may be gargoyles, but are not, however,
in this case, of the spout variety, being some of those erections of a
superstitious age which were so frequently added to a mediæval building;
though whether as a mere decoration, or with greater significance,
authorities do not seem to agree. The two uncompleted square towers
overtop all, pierced by the two great lancets, which, with respect to
mere proportions, are unusual if not unique.

The spire above the crossing is a wooden structure covered with lead,
and dates only from the middle of the nineteenth century. Both the north
and south transepts contain magnificent rose windows of even larger
dimensions than that of the west façade. The doorway of the south
transept is ornamented with effective ironwork, but otherwise the
exterior presents no remarkable features.

To the artist's eye the gem of the building is undoubtedly the fine
grouping and ensemble of the flying buttresses at the rear of the choir.
Most persons, so gifted, have tried their prentice, or their master,
hands at depicting this grand marshalled array of "folded wings," and,
but for the gruesome morgue at its foot, which ever intrudes into the
view, one might almost say it is the most idyllic and most specious view
of a great cathedral that it were possible to have. Were it not for this
charming view of these buttressed walls, with the river flowing at their
feet, the Isle de la Cité would be indeed a gloomy spot, with its lurid
historical past, and its present gruesome association with the "house of
the dead." Indeed, it has been questioned as to whether the choir and
chevet of Notre Dame de Paris is not the most beautiful extant. The Isle
de la Cité was the ancient island village of the Parisii.

A sixteenth-century Dutch writer (De Sauteuil) has delivered himself of
these few lines concerning the Seine at this point:

"When first it enters the metropolis it ambitiously stays its rapid
course, and, being truly enamoured with the place, forgets its way, is
uncertain whither to flow, and winds in sweet meanders through the town;
thence filling the pipes with its waters. That which was once a river,
joys to become a fountain."

To carry the suggestion of contrast still farther one should read Hugo's
"Notre Dame" on the spot. It will give a wonderful and whimsical
conception of those weird gargoyles and devils, which have only to be
seen to awaken a new interest in what this great writer has put forth.
For another sensation, pleasant or otherwise, one might look up a copy
of Méyron's wonderful etching of the same subject, or refer to a most
excellent monograph, written not many years since, entitled "The Devils
of Notre Dame." The interior shows the earliest example wherein the
double aisles of the nave are continued around the choir, and the first
introduction of the quadruple range of openings from the pavement to
the vaulting. The aisles and nave are of almost equal height.

The choir, besides being merely apsided, is, in fact, a true semicircle,
a sufficiently unusual arrangement in an early Gothic church to be
remarked; and, in addition, is exceedingly narrow and lofty. The glass
of the rose windows is of old and gorgeous quality, it having escaped
destruction in Revolutionary times, whereas that of the lower range of
windows was mostly destroyed.

The choir stalls are of excellent wooden carving, but the high altar is
modern, dating only from 1874. The choir screen, of the fourteenth
century, shows twenty-three reliefs in stone, once richly gilded, but
now tarnished and dull.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Paris from the River_]


Allied with the see whose jurisdiction includes the Diocese of the
Department of the Seine, should be considered that of Seine and Oise,
which has its bishop's throne esconced in the Cathedral of St. Louis at
Versailles. To all intents and purposes the town is one of those
conglomerate units which go to make up the "traveller's Paris." More can
hardly be said with due regard to the magnificent edifices with which
this cathedral must naturally be classed. The other attractions of this
"court suburb" are so appealing to the sentimentally inclined that it is
to be feared that such will have little eye for the very minor
attractions of the cathedral. The Trianons, the "Grandes Eaux" and the
"Petites Eaux" are all in all to the visitor to Versailles.

As a matter of fact and record, the Cathedral of St. Louis must be
mentioned, if only to be dismissed in a word. Bourasée refers to it as
"a thing cold, unfeeling, and without life." Truthfully, it is a
remarkably ugly building of the middle eighteenth century, with no
details of note and no memorials worthy of even a passing regard, except
a monument to the Duc de Berry, who died in 1820. What embellishment is
given to the interior, is accounted for by the exceeding ruddy glow shed
by the contemporary coloured glass of the none too numerous windows.

[Illustration: _St. Julien; Le Mans_]



Le Mans, like Chartres, sprang from an ancient Celtic hill fort, and,
through successive stages, has since grown to a Roman, a mediæval, and
finally a modern city. It crowns the top of a very considerable
eminence, the like of which, says Professor Freeman, does not exist in
England. Like Chartres, too, it has always retained the balance of power
which has made it the local civil and ecclesiastical capital of its
province. It is, too, more closely associated in English minds than is
Chartres, forming as it did a part of the dominion of a common
sovereign; also by reason of being the birthplace of Henry II., and the
burial-place of Queen Berengaria, the wife of Richard Coeur-de-Lion.

Le Mans stands, without doubt, in advance of Chartres in the importance
and number of its secondary churches, as well as its ecclesiastical,
civil, and military establishments in general. In spite of all this,
the city has never ranked as of supreme importance as a European city;
nor did it ever attain the rank in Gallic times, that the events which
have been woven around it would seem to augur. To-day it is a truly
characteristic, large, provincial town of little or no importance to the
outside world. Self-sufficient as to its own importance, and the events
around which its local life circles, it gives little indication of ever
becoming more of a metropolis than it now is; indeed the census figures
would indicate that the department, of which it is the capital, has
remained stationary as to the numbers of its population, since the

Writers have endeavoured to carry the similarity to English interests
and conditions still farther than the events of history really go to
prove, and have declared that Maine and England should have united in
repelling their common invader. Endeavour has also been made to trace
similarity between the communistic principles of days gone by, which
took form here and at Exeter across the Channel, and have even remarked
the similarity of the topographical features of the surrounding
landscape, wherein the country round about differs so from other parts
of France, being here rolling, hilly, and wooded, as in certain parts
of England; and even stretching a point to include the hedgerows, which,
it must be admitted, are more in evidence in Maine than elsewhere in
France. But these observations apparently prove nothing except that the
majority of persons probably know very little of the real conditions
which exist in the provinces of France, preferring rather that their
journeyings afield should follow more the well-worn road of their

The Cathedral of St. Julien well represents the two distinct epochs in
which church architecture, as it remains to us to-day, was practised
here, and shows, to well-nigh the fullest expression possible, the two
principal transformations of Christian architecture.

As the Angevin style partakes so closely of northern and southern types
intermixed, so the distinctive architectures of Maine, if such there be,
may be said to favour the styles of both Normandy and Anjou; at least so
far as the cathedral at Le Mans shows a combination of Angevin and
Norman detail. The really distinctive southern influence is to be noted
in the Romano-Byzantine nave, the exterior of which, so far as the
western front is concerned, is far more notable in the rigidness and
austerity of its lines, than by any richness of ornamentation or
decoration. Nothing could be more simply plain than this portal, and the
wall and gable which surmount it. A large bare window, of the variety of
that at Angers, stands above the doorway, which, itself, lacks all
attempt at embellishment. What decoration the façade bears is after the
true Byzantine manner, of the nature of brickwork displayed and set into
the wall in geometrically angular fashion. What sculpture there is, two
grotesque animals on either of the buttresses which flank the façade, is
of minor account. This, then, is the extent of the detail of this severe
western façade, the grand portal of the usually accepted great church
being entirely lacking and evidently not thought of as a desirable
detail when this portion of the structure was erected. It has nothing of
the prodigious art expression of the frontispieces of the grand Gothic
churches of the north, or of the less poverty-stricken Byzantine
decoration of its own Meridional portal, which, in so far as the style
can be said to take on richness of form, shows the transition tendencies
of the early twelfth century. This doorway is surmounted by a tympanum,
ornamented by a figure of the Saviour surrounded by the four
Evangelists, a subject which has always proved itself a highly
successful and popular ecclesiastical symbol, and one which in this
case, as in most others, is well made use of. All the figures have
suffered considerably from the ravages of time, but retain much of their
interest and charm in spite of such mutilation. A tower of Romanesque
foundation, but of fifteenth and sixteenth century completion, flanks
this south transept.

The ranking portion of this interesting church is its choir, larger in
superficial area than the entire cathedrals of Noyon or Soissons. Both
from inside and out, it is all that one's imagination could possibly
invent. Its great proportions are as harmonious and graceful as the
lines of a willow-tree; in fact, as to general effect, it may be set
down as a thing of extraordinary grandeur, worthy to rank with Beauvais
or Amiens, and yet different from either, of a quality its very own. At
the commencement of the thirteenth century the canons obtained, from
Philip Augustus, permission to extend their church beyond the city walls
in an easterly direction, and then it was that this wonderful choir took
shape. The work was undertaken in 1217 and was completed soon after the
middle of the same century, and the body of St. Julien, the first
apostle to Le Mans, for whom the church was named, was placed therein by
Geoffroy de Loudon, then bishop, who decorated the windows of the choir
with the magnificent glass with which they are still set.

From a certain distance to the eastward the cathedral at Le Mans
presents a view of the choir, unique in all the world. Other greater
ones there are, if mere height be concerned, and others with more
perfect appendages; but none give the far-spreading effect of encircling
chapels, or are possessed of high springing buttresses of more grace or
beauty than are seen here. He was a rash man who ranked the flying
buttresses as a sign of defective construction, indicating structural
weakness, meaningless and undecorative ornament, and what not. Few have
agreed with this dictum, and few ever will after they have seen Paris,
Beauvais, and Le Mans.

The interior is one of great interest; the nave, even in its early
forms, is none the less attractive because of its austerity. It is, as a
matter of fact, far more interesting here than in its exterior, the
swarthy circular pillars holding aloft arches with just a suspicion of
the ogival style, with narrow, low, and disproportionately small
windows in the aisles, where are also a series of strengthening pillars
of black and white stone, presenting again a reminiscence of the
southern manner, or at least recalling the slate and stone of Angers. In
the choir, with its girdling chapels and double ambulatory, we come upon
the most impressive portion of all. Slightly orientated from the east
and west, it presents by itself, like Beauvais, nearly all of the
attributes of a great church. The columns, arcades, and windows
throughout are all of an unusual elegance and grace, the vaulting rising
with much daring to a remarkable height, which must approach one hundred
and ten or more feet, and the equal of certain other "popularly notable"

The rose window of the south of the transept is a remarkable example of
these masterpieces of the French builder. The framing and the glass with
which it is set is of the richest quality, though it dates only from the
fifteenth century. The organ case is here found in the south transept,
an unusual arrangement in a French church, where it is usually placed
over the western doorway. The vaulting, too, is much loftier here than
in the nave. The aisles of this remarkable choir have the further
unusual attribute of three ranges of openings, while the clerestory,
only, rises above, but with great and imposing beauty. There are a few
funeral monuments of more than ordinary interest, including that of
Queen Berengaria, wife of Richard, the Lion-Hearted, brought from the
Abbey de l'Epau in 1821; a sarcophagus and statue in white marble of
Charles of Anjou, Count of Maine, King of Jerusalem and Sicily (d.
1472), and the mausoleum of Langey du Bellay. In the north aisle are a
number of fifteenth or sixteenth century tapestries. The former bishop's
palace was burned by the Germans in 1871.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Chartres._]



Aside from their wonderful, though non-similar, cathedrals, Chartres and
Le Mans, its neighbour, have much in common. Both have been possessed of
a brilliant array of counts and prelates, both grew from a Celtic
village to their present grand proportions through a series of
vicissitudes, wars, and conquests, until to-day each is preëminent
within its own sphere, and has become not only a centre of
ecclesiastical affairs, but of civil life as well.

The Counts of Chartres and of Blois, in the middle ages, were a powerful
race of men, and should ever be associated with profound respect in
English minds by the fact that here was the birthplace of Adela, the
mother of King Stephen of Blois, and of Henry, Bishop of Winchester.

As for local conditions to-day, Chartres, while having grown to the
state which it now occupies through events which have made it a city of
mark, remains a somnolescent, sparsely built town, with little
suggestion of the progress of modernity. More frequently mentioned in
the note-books of the traveller than Le Mans, it offers perhaps no
greater charms. To be sure, its cathedral, by reason of its open
situation and the charming quality and effect produced by its spires and
its one hundred and thirty windows of coloured glass, at once places it
at the very head amongst the great "show pieces" of France; but it is in
connection with Le Mans, scarcely eighty miles away and so little known,
that it ought really to be studied and considered; which as a matter of
fact it seldom is. The city is hardly in keeping with what we are wont
to associate with the environment of a great cathedral, though this of
itself in no way detracts from its charms. The weekly cattle-market
takes place almost before its very doors, and the battery of hotels
which flank the open square present the air of catering more to the need
of the husbandman than to the tourist;--not a wholly objectionable
feature, either.

Beyond such evidences as an occasional sign-board announcing the fact
that the hostelry possesses a _garage_, _fosse_, or what not for the
necessitous requirements of the automobilist, the inns remain much as
they always were, mere _bourgeoise_ caravansaries.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres jumps full into view immediately
on leaving the railway station, though here it is to be noted that no
delineation has ever been made by modern hand which shows its façade in
its entirety. The roofs of the houses and shops around its base indicate
no special squalor or poverty, as is the case with regard to some
Continental churches, and there is a picturesque grouping of firs and
poplars to the left which adds considerably to an already pleasing
prospect. The whole grouping is, perhaps, none the less attractive than
if the façade, with those extraordinarily beautiful non-contemporary
spires, stood quite unobstructed. In fact, it is doubtful if many a
monumental shrine might not lose considerably, were it taken from its
environment and placed in another which might not suit its graces so

These really fascinating spires, famed of all writers, archæologists,
and painters alike, are the _clef_ by which the whole harmony is
sounded. One cannot but echo, and reëcho, all that has been said of
them, though in a quandary as to which of the two is the more
beautiful: the plain, simple, symmetrical, older spire, or that
wonderful work of Texier's, replacing another burned in 1506, which
rises in gently sculptured and tapered ranges to a height which exceeds
its companion by some twenty-five feet. No more appropriate or
convincing wording could be given of it than by quoting Fergusson's
estimate, which sums it up as being "the most beautifully designed spire
in Europe, surpassing even Strasburg and Antwerp."

It is rather a pity that from no suitably near-by point can one obtain a
full view of the effect of the western façade. One poor little house
seems ever to thrust itself into the ensemble, though it is to-day
apparent that certain others, which must have cut into the front still
more, have been cleared away. Clearly, with all its charm and beauty of
detail, it is for its great and general excellencies that the cathedral
at Chartres most impresses itself upon the memory.

Visitors to-day will have no easy task in locating Lowell's "little
pea-green inn," in which he indited the lines, "A Day in Chartres;" as
appreciative and graceful an estimate of an inanimate thing as ever was
made in verse:

    "The Grecian gluts me with its perfectness
    Unanswerable as Euclid, self-contained,
    The one thing finished in this hasty world.
      But ah! this other, this that never ends,
    Still climbing, luring fancy still to climb,
    As full of morals, half divined, as life,
    Graceful, grotesque, with ever new surprise
    Of hazardous caprices, sure to please,
    Heavy as nightmare, airy light as fern,
    Imagination's very self in stone."

Among the other attractions of the west façade is the Porte Royale, so
called, the central doorway which was only opened for the entrance of
the sovereign. It is decorated with the "signs of the zodiac" and
"symbols of the months." Next in point of richness are the grandly
effective north and south porches, with their triple doorways or
portals, setting back some twenty feet from their jambs, which, as at
Noyon, and in the smaller church at Louviers, are pierced with a
transverse passage.

The north porch, with its range of three open-sided and deeply recessed
doorways, has unmistakably debased tendencies, but is filled with
sculptured statuary of more than ordinarily effective disposition, more
remarkable for magnitude and ornateness than for finesse of skill and
workmanship, or even as a detail of good taste.

The life-size statues of all three recesses are held aloft by pedestals,
on pillars of twisted and of spiralled trunks, a formation reviled by
Ruskin, but producing an effect much more pleasing than some galleries
of effigies we have seen, where the figures appear as if hung up by the
hair of their heads, or are clinging to the walls by invisible spurs at
their heels, or, as is not infrequently the case, are standing or hung
on nothing, as though they were graven of some bewitched magnetic stone.
Here for the first time is seen, in the sculptured figures of the three
great portals, the plastic forms which were to add so greatly to the
Gothic architecture: male and female saints, Evangelists, and Apostles
in great array, all somewhat more than life-size. Only one adverse
impression is cast: that of petrifaction. The figures, almost without
exception, appear as integral parts of the architectural fabric, rather
than as added ornament. They are most ungainly, tall, stiff, and
column-like, much more so than similar works at Reims, or at Amiens,
where the sculpture has something of the vigour and warmth of life.

The south porch, erected in the reign of Henry I. by Jean Cormier,
partly from donations of Matilda, queen of the Norman Conqueror,
contains a series of _basso relievos_,--seen also in the arches of the
choir,--manifestly not of good Gothic principle, and one which is the
very antithesis of the northern spirit, as the name itself implies.

The earliest portion of the existing church, the crypt, is that of a
timber-roofed structure burned in 1020. It was erected early in the
eleventh century by Fulbert, the famous Bishop of Chartres, also
remembered--possibly revered--as being the prolific letter-writer of his

John of Salisbury was bishop in the next century, and under him were
built the lower stages of the western façade and towers. In this church
Edward III. called for the help of Heaven to aid his plans, and here
Henry of Navarre was crowned King of France, a change of venue from
Reims, where so many previous and subsequent coronations were held.

The interior gives a deal of the thrill for which one should always be
prepared. The gloom, so apparent at first, slowly brightens as the eye
becomes accustomed to the finely filtered light, which penetrates
through the gorgeous coloured glass, a feature which ranks with the
spires as a vivid impression to be carried away. Nearly all of this
glass is of equal worth and attractiveness, being, with the exception of
three windows of a late date, and a few uncoloured ones, all of the
gorgeous thirteenth-century variety.

The whole mass of the clerestory throughout gives the effect of windows
heavily hung with tapestries through which the outside light pierces in
minute rays. This comparison is made advisedly, inasmuch as, regardless
of the quality and value of the glass, it is composed mainly of those
minute and fragmentary particles often more rich in colour than design.

There is little doubt but that the result of the deep rich blue, claret,
and orange gives a first effect of insufficient lighting which would try
an artist or photographer sorely, though not a detracting element in
churches which would often appear cold and unconvincing were such an
attribute lacking. There are also three magnificent rose windows of
great size (thirty to forty feet), containing equally good glass.

A double ambulatory surrounds the seven-chapeled choir, which is further
enclosed by a magnificent sculptured stone screen begun in the sixteenth
century by Texier, who designed the marvellous north spire. The _Vierge
du Pilier_ of the north choir aisle, a fifteenth-century shrine, is the
subject of great local veneration. The treasury contains a _relique_ in
the form of the veil of the Virgin, supposed to have been presented by
Charlemagne to Princess Irene.

Other interior details of note are an eleventh-century font; the large
crypt beneath the choir; the unequal level of the pavement of nave and
choir; and the maze, which still exists in the nave. This last feature
is a winding circular path some forty odd feet in diameter, and, in all,
perhaps a thousand feet long. As a penance in place of a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, "the journey of the maze" was performed by the penitent on
his knees--taking perhaps an hour or more, according to the size and
length of the path, which varied with different churches where they
formerly existed. The other most notable example in France is at St.
Quentin, northeast of Paris.



The very ancient city of Reims, now the capital of the Department of the
Marne, was a large centre of population when it first fell under the
sway of the Romans. During Cæsar's occupation it was known as
Duroctorum, in the Præfecture of the Gauls.

A powerful metropolis and a faithful adherent of the Romans, the city
early attained prominence as a centre of Christianity. St. Sixte
preached the word here shortly after the first bishopric was founded,
after capture by the Vandals in 406 A. D. The city was practically razed
by Attila, who afterward met defeat at Chalons. During the Roman Empire
it was the most important town of the Province of Belgica Secunda, later
becoming known as the capital of the Remi, the name given to the people
inhabiting the country round about.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de REIMS_ ...]

In 508 A. D. the Franks under Childeric captured the city, and in 720 A.
D. Charles Martel captured it from Bishop Rigobert. Here, too, Pope
Stephen had his famous interview with Pepin, and attended the crowning
of Louis le Débonnaire in 816 A. D. In 744 it was made an archbishop's
see, with suffragans at Amiens, Beauvais, Chalons, and Soissons. It is
to-day the ecclesiastical capital of France--the Archbishop of Reims
being the metropolitan prelate.

Clovis, son of Childeric, King of the Ripuarian Franks, in 496 A. D.
conquered the last Roman stronghold at Soissons, and, having married a
Burgundian princess, Clotilda, was induced to accept Christianity. He
was accordingly baptized here by St. Remi on Christmas Day, 496 A. D.

Leo III. met Charlemagne here; a council was held in 1119 A. D. by
Calixtus II. in an attempt to reconcile Henry I. and Louis le Gros; and,
later, another, to excommunicate another Henry.

Succeeding years saw a continuity of archbishops, who achieved by their
religious works a world-wide fame and glory. In these early days they
held the temporal as well as spiritual power of the cities, and in some
instances even coined their own specie.

In spite of the changes of the times and conditions of life, the
ancient capital of Belgica Secunda still remains the chief city of the
Departments of the Marne, Ardennes, and Aisne. Its ecclesiastical and
secular monuments, headed by the grand Cathedral of Notre Dame, form an
array which is well worthy of such extended consideration as the
traveller or student can give. The Benedictine Abbey, the Church of St.
Remi, is likewise notable in all of its dimensions and details. Its
construction dates from 1162-1506, though the remains of a former
tenth-century structure are made use of therein. Its chief treasure is
the tomb of St. Remi, a wonderful Renaissance funeral monument of
imposing proportions. Another monumental feature of more than unusual
note, is the magnificent Roman arch of the former fortress of Porte
Mars. This truly majestic specimen of the work of the Roman builder is
supposed to have been erected by Agrippa in 25 B. C., in honour of
Augustus, although another authority puts it as late as the period of
Julian, 361 A. D. At any rate, it has stood the rigours of a northern
clime as well as any Roman memorial extant; indeed, has seen fall all
its contemporaries of the city, for at one time Reims was possessed of
no less than three other gateways, bearing the pagan nomenclature of
Ceres, Mars, and Venus.

The various other memorials of the city are on a no less grand scale,
but the average person will hardly have eyes and ears for more than a
contemplation of the wealth of splendour to be seen in its overpowering
cathedral. Of the glorious group of monumental churches of northern
France, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Reims, if not admittedly the most
beautiful and memorable Gothic edifice in all France, needs but little
qualifying comment. It has a preëminence which has been generally
conceded, and even elaborately endorsed, by most observers qualified to
pass opinion hereon. Contemplation of the wealth of detail, and of the
disposition of its wonderful west front, no less than of its general
excellencies, can but compel the decision that in its exterior, at
least, the Cathedral of Reims is the peer of any existing Gothic fabric.
Though less huge than Strasburg or Cologne, and lacking the doubled tier
of flying buttresses of the latter, it is altogether the most splendid
and well-proportioned Gothic mass extant. The diminishing or pyramidal
effect of the towers and gable of this west façade is an exemplification
of the true symmetry of Gothic form. Lofty, and not closely hemmed in
by surrounding structures, it looms, from any adjacent view-point, fully
two-thirds of its decorated splendour above the general skyline round
about. Aside from modern adulation we have the praise of an early
historian, who delivers himself thus:

_"Decor et majestes praeclarissime hugus structurae omnem scribendi
peritiam longe superat, ob elegantum omnibus est admirationi, at que
sibi similem non habet in tota Gallia."--Met. Rememsis Hist. Dom.
Guliol. Marlot S. Nicasii Rem. Prioris, Tom ii. p. 470._

Following the preaching of St. Remi, and the murder of St. Nicaise, who
founded a church on this site in 400 A. D., Ebo, bishop in 818 A. D.,
laid the foundations of a new church, Louis I. granting that such
material as might be needed be taken from the city wall. To assist, the
sovereign also sent his architect, Rumaldi. In 847 A. D. Archbishop
Nicman secured a renewal of the privileges, and in the presence of the
king the building was consecrated in 862 A. D. The western entrance was
ornamented with graven statues of Louis I., the patron, Pope Stephen,
and the archbishop himself.

This entire fabric succumbed to fire on the 6th of May, 1210, and the
present structure rests merely on the remains of the ancient crypt,
which in a measure survived. Few visible remains of this ancient
foundation are to-day visible. The new church reared itself rapidly
under the immediate supervision of the Archbishop Alberic de Humbert.
The choir, begun within two years of the fire, made such progress as to
allow of the high altar being ceremoniously dedicated within three
years; and, before the middle of the century, the records tell us that
the main body of the church was entirely completed. The right tower was
uncompleted at this time, but was finished by Cardinal Philastre in
1430, up to which time intermittent labour had evolved a superlative
combination of constructive and decorative excellencies. The extreme
lightness of the west front is brought more and more to impress itself
upon one by reason of the consistent disposition of the excellency and
delicacy of its sculptured ornament.

This western front, from the grand portals upward, is the _apogee_ of
French Gothic ornament,--at once the admiration and boast of all France.
Here is no mixture or confusion of style, in design or decoration. The
pointed arches of window and doorway are of the accepted "best manner,"
the heavy detail is placed low and rises gracefully to the "Gallery of
Kings," a grand succession of stone effigies of royalties from Clovis to
Charles VII., a decorative arrangement not made use of elsewhere to
anything like a similar extent, a fact which of itself stamps the
cathedral as the royal church of France. Conceived by one Gaucher, the
portals are not only superior to all others in richness, depth, and
quality of the sculpture shown in the hundreds of figures with which
they are peopled, but are of exceedingly true and appropriate
dimensions, taken in relation with the other parts of their setting.
Immediately above the gable of the central portal is a wonderful rose
window, of the spoke variety, containing thirty-four sections,--of
immense size and nearly forty feet across. This "most perfect rose,"
designed by Bernard de Soissons, may well be credited as one of the
masterworks of architectural decoration in all the world. Flanking this
great window on either side are two open lancet arches, while above is
the "Gallery of Kings" before mentioned. The twin mullioned towers on
either side rise for two hundred and sixty-seven feet. Light and airy,
they depend for their effect of grace and symmetry entirely upon
structural design, lacking sculptured ornament of any kind. Formerly
they possessed spires of a great height, which, however, were destroyed
by fire in the fifteenth century.

"Were all its original attributes complete," says Fergusson, "we should
have the _beau ideal_, externally, of a cathedral." This is probably an
adaptation of Viollet-le-Duc's estimate, which he expresses thus: "This
west façade is the most splendid conception of the thirteenth
century,--Paris, like Laon, being really a transition example, Amiens
representative of different epochs, Chartres a mere reunion of
fragments, and Bourges and Rouen a _mélange_ of three centuries."

The south transept portal, which is of great breadth, contains statues
of the Archbishops of Reims, and one of Clovis. A similar doorway on the
north side, though now walled up, contains, in the tympanum, a fine
sculptured "Last Judgment," while the transept itself houses one of
those great clocks so frequently met with in Continental churches,--in
this instance said to be the oldest running time-piece in existence.

Seven flying buttresses, between the transept and the west front, flank
the nave, each holding aloft an elegantly canopied niche containing a
full-length winged figure, a further unique arrangement being a similar
figure which caps or pinnacles the outer piers, from which the
buttresses spring. Above the point of contact of the buttresses with the
main body, runs an effective balustrade of small pointed arches, while
the abside shows, again, a wonderful combination of the buttress as a
decorative and utile feature, combined.

The exterior may be summed up briefly as being the most gorgeously
peopled and decorated structure of its age--as though it were expressly
designed to show off this great throng of statues to the best possible
advantage. Taken collectively, the series forms, says one writer, "the
most complete and magnificent collection of mediæval iconography
extant." The figures were originally perhaps as many as five thousand,
representing nearly all the families of mankind.

In size the Cathedral of Reims ranks third among the four largest in
France, being exceeded only by Amiens and Chartres, while Paris is
slightly smaller.

The interior presents by no means the awe-inspiring grandeur of the
exterior mass, and is possibly inferior to both Amiens and Chartres,
and though well disposed, lacks the lightness of Cologne or Beauvais. A
first impression rather indicates large proportions of length, breadth,
and height in the nave, though these dimensions are not actually of the
greatest. The transepts, including their aisles, are, however, of an
extreme width, but very short; and the absence of side chapels, either
here or in the nave, produces a regularity of outline unusually

The nave piers, of which there are ten on either side, with two window
piercings, are of a manifestly heavy order, the capitals unusually so,
being very deep and weighty with carving in high relief. The triforium
is severely plain, being a mere shallow gallery of small pointed arches.
The nave itself is, moreover, somewhat gloomy, when contrasted with the
brilliant lighting of the aisles, caused by the peculiar arrangement of
plain and coloured glass, the former filling the windows of the
clerestory and the latter those of the aisles, the reverse being the
case with the opposite ranges. The aisles have no chapels between the
rather low windows, but groups of clustered columns against the walls.
The vaulting is deep, with simple ribs, coloured with a blue ground
spangled with stars and _fleurs-de-lys_. The choir is surrounded by
seven chapels.

There are ten columns in the choir, all with beautifully wrought
capitals. The pavement here is composed of marble taken from Libergier's
abbey church of St. Nicaise, from which edifice, since destroyed, was
transferred the tomb of Jovinus, the Roman prefect of Reims, who became
converted in 366 A. D. The sarcophagus consists of a huge block of
marble, nine feet by four, with a figure of Jovinus, "lion hunting on
horseback," carved in high relief. The roof of the choir is curiously
constructed of wood, of chestnut, say the authorities, as no spiders are
found. The high altar, as reconstructed by Poncelet Paroissien in 1550,
was a very beautiful affair if old prints, usually none too reliable as
to detail, are regarded. It was, however, destroyed during the middle of
the eighteenth century.

The glass of the rose window dates in part from the period of the
greatest richness (thirteenth century).

The sepulchral monuments, aside from the sarcophagus of Jovinus, are
to-day practically _nil_, having been swept away during the terrors of
the Revolution. Two interesting effigies still remain, however, near
the western doorway, a figure of a mailed knight and an abbess.

Among the real riches of the Cathedral are the remarkable and unique
tapestries; well preserved, and of the finest quality of design and
texture. Fourteen, by Lenoncourt, date from 1530-70; those in the south
aisle, the Pepersacks, the gift of Abbé Lorraine, from 1640; and the
modern Gobelins of the nineteenth century, the gift of the government.
The "Tresor," which includes the church plate, most of which appears to
have endured the ravages of invasion and wars, is truly magnificent and
intrinsically of great value. The chief of these are: the chalice of St.
Remi, of the eleventh century; a reliquary containing a thorn from the
Holy Crown; the marble font in which Clovis was baptized in 496 A. D.;
the chasuble of Louis XIII., and the _Sainte Ampoule_, which contained
the holy oil brought by a dove from heaven for use at the conversion of
Clovis, now a mere fragment enclosed in a modern setting, after having
been ruthlessly shattered by a _sans-culotte_ in 1793.

Adjoining the Cathedral, on the right, is the Episcopal Palace, which,
with its dependencies, occupies a hectare or more of ground. In the
first courtyard is the modern library building, which houses the
cathedral's rich bibliographical treasures. Further, through a gateway,
is a structure, in itself a grand building, of the time of Louis XIV.
The right wing was constructed by Le Tellier in 1690. This portion is
now occupied as a dwelling by the archbishop. At the end of the furthest
courtyard is "The House of the Kings," a truly grand establishment, so
called in the official documents because it was the _logement_ of the
monarchs who visited the city on affairs of state. This recalls to mind
not the least notable of the functions performed by the great cathedral

With four exceptions all the Kings of France, from Clovis to Charles X.,
here first entered into their kingly state. The monarchs of France were
a long and picturesque line, and the ceremonies attendant upon their
coronations were accordingly imposing and magnificent. The culmination,
for theatrical splendour and effect, was doubtless that of Charles VII.,
who, through the efforts of the "Maid," here came into his own. It was a
splendid, if gaudy, pageant, and the most memorable event among that
long series which only ended with the coronation of Charles X. in 1823.


_The Cathedrals of the Loire_



The Loire Valley for its whole length may, in every sense, be well
considered the dividing-line between northern and southern influences.
The romance and sentiment which cradled itself here could only have
emanated from the more languid south, and from vastly differing
conditions to those of the colder north. The admiration usually bestowed
upon the attractions of its domestic architectural forms is, no doubt,
fully merited; albeit that the cathedrals of these wealthy and powerful
communities are, no one can possibly deny, if not of a mongrel type, at
least of a degenerate one. It is perhaps hardly fair to note such an
expression without qualification where it is applied to St. Gatien at
Tours, which is really a delightfully picturesque structure; or to St.
Maurice, at Angers, which is unique as to its charm of situation, and
one of the most interesting churches anywhere to be found. But the fact
is that the general plan and design is not only open here to much just
criticism, but is not of the order of consistency which alone entitles
an architectural monument to rank as truly great. In no instance, from
Orleans to Nantes, are the cathedrals of these cities possessed of the
consistent array of charms which would entitle them to a proportionate
share of the admiration which is usually accorded to the great domestic
establishments, the Chateaux of Blois, Chenonceau, Chambord, Langeais,
or Loches.

The climatic conditions of this region hardly more than intimate the
suggestion of the southland, but there is to be seen in the vineyards,
and indeed in things that grow, generally, a notable tendency toward a
luxuriance that is not found northward of this valley. Productive,
prosperous, influential, and possessed of historical and sentimental
associations as a touring ground far beyond any other section of France,
the Valley of the Loire at once takes rank as the land _par excellence_
where the traveller can be sure of a maximum of pleasure and profit; and
one worthy in every way of as prolonged study and sojourn as one's
possibilities and circumstances will allow.

The towns group themselves naturally _en suite_ in the following order:
Orleans, Blois, Tours, Angers, and Nantes, and are so considered in the
pages that follow.

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of Ste CROIX ORLEANS_]



The association of Orleans, in English minds, mostly rests upon the
events connected with the siege. Its history in the past has been mainly
that of bloody warfare and massacre. As the Genabum of Gallia, it was
burned by Cæsar in 52 B. C. in revenge for a previous massacre of the
Romans. By Aurelian it was rebuilt and named Aurelianum, the progenitor
of its present nomenclature. St. Aignan in 451 secured the safety of the
city to the cause of Christianity by warding off Attila's attack.
Clovis captured it in 498, but at his death it became the capital of an
independent kingdom which was afterward, in 613, united with that of
Paris. Activities no less extensive or vivid followed, till the English
besieged the city in 1429, only retiring before the conquering hosts led
by the Maid of Orleans on the 7th of May; the Huguenots held it as a
stronghold under Coligny; and latterly the Germans occupied it, were
driven out, and again reoccupied it as a base in 1870-71. Such, in
brief, is a partial record of its troubles and trials, with scarce a
reference to a Christian or religious motive, if we except Attila's
unsuccessful attack and Coligny's Protestant fervour.

The almost legendary part played by Jeanne d'Arc should suffice to
impress indelibly upon the mind the chief event in connection with any
city with which her name and fame were associated.

In the third century seven bishops were sent out from Rome, to extend
the influence of the Church, to Tours, Orleans, Toulouse, Narbonne,
Paris, Limoges, and Auvergne; though, in spite of the success with which
they met, and the zeal with which they worked, their meetings were
chiefly held in the houses of their more opulent converts, and church
building at the time appears not to have been so much desired as the
dissemination of the Word itself. Since its occupation by the Germans in
"'71," great contrasting elements have sprung up. Nowhere, not even in
the "up-to-date" Rhine cities of Germany, is better exemplified the
trend of the age in which we live. There are notable indications of its
modernity in the architecture of public and private buildings, many
streets and boulevards of the city being laid out anew and bisecting the
older portions.

The Cathedral of St. Croix, of widely contrasting styles and eras, forms
a pleasing enough key-note to it all, in spite of its garish crudities.
At its best, when viewed from the bridge which spans the well-nigh dry
bed of the Loire, it composes well with what is at all times a pleasing
prospect, and is set off to great advantage by the fringe of green
boulevard along the river bank,--a fine enough setting for an
architectural monument of whatever rank, be it new or old, consistent or
conglomerate. As for the classification of the architectural style of
the cathedral itself, it is an unprincipled mixture of components, but
little related to each other. The southern influence is apparent, alike
in the scanty remains of the Romanesque, and the restored Renaissance
portions, while Gothic peeps out here and there, in no mean proportions,
as though it were misplaced and out of its true environment. The
cathedral, which was destroyed in 1567 by the Huguenots, in spite of the
admonitions of the Condés, is still visible in the fragments of the
choir aisles, the fourteenth-century chapels appearing to have been
uninjured. This much remains of the Gothic of Henry IV.'s time. The late
seventeenth-century work is a manifest expression of the debasement of
Gothic, and such other additions as were made in the reigns of the Louis
carry the vulgarities still further, the acme being reached in the
pseudo-classical north and south porches, which are sepulchral-looking
of themselves, and not even of the most admired variety of the species.
The most that can be remarked, considering all the distinctive features,
is the fact that this cathedral is the only Gothic church, so ranking,
that is not of Mediæval growth, a fact which may well account for its
unsatisfactory style.

The façade follows the usual enough arrangement of three portals, though
very ugly ones, flanked by rising towers on either side. In this case
these doorways are of the nondescript variety commonly accepted as base
Gothic, but hardly warranting even such a term of endearment. They are
in fact flamboyant as to their lines, though of a remarkable poverty as
to further embellishment, if we bar a series of misplaced armorial

Topping the gables of the portals are a series of circular apertures,
with framing of a sort, but without glass,--a poor imitation of what a
rose window might be at its worst. Above is an arcaded gallery of nine
graceful arches, the first really attractive ornament of this debased
façade. The towers, finished so late as 1789 by M. Paris, the king's
architect, rise loftily some two hundred and eighty feet, with ranges of
slight columns and perpendicular lines, which give the grand and
imposing effect of height of which the cathedral is undeniably
possessed, and which, when viewed from down the Rue Jeanne d'Arc, is
without doubt impressive,--far more so than greater intimacy will

The nave, of a height of one hundred feet, is flanked by double aisles,
and in appearance is every way superior to the exterior.

No remarkable art treasures are to be seen, if we except a series of
sculptured Stations of the Cross beneath the windows, and the Gothic
altars of the transepts.

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of S. LOUIS BLOIS_]



Regardless of the sentiment which attaches itself to Blois by reason of
its magnificent chateau, and in spite of its undeniably picturesque and
interesting environment, it hardly takes sufficient rank as a cathedral
city to warrant more than a passing consideration. As it is, one cannot
get from under the shadow of its overpowering attraction, and, in spite
of the poverty and depressing qualities of the Cathedral of St. Louis,
perhaps no place in the Loire valley has more claim upon the attention
of the enthusiastic tourist. The wonderful chateau is all that has been
said of it, and more. The picturesqueness of the city's streets of
stairs, and its general up and down hill situation, offering charming
vistas, unique in a city of the north, are, except for its size, really
more suggestive of Genoa or Naples. In the general ensemble of the city,
the Loire is an attraction of itself, when viewed from across that
wonderful stone bridge, the first public work endowed by Louis XV. But
even then, the awkward and uninteresting cathedral does not enter into
the view with that liveliness and impressiveness which we are wont to
associate with such an environment. In short, it must be set down that
in the lack of pleasing qualities in its cathedral, is found Blois'
greatest disappointment.

The tourist _pur sang_ will care little about this. He usually rushes in
and out during the daylight, and recalls but little except the
fascinating staircase of the chateau attributed, as to its spiral
formation, to Da Vinci; the ornamental chimney-pieces; and the fact that
historical events of the past have intermingled inextricably the
gruesome stories of the royal houses which bore respectively the arms of
hedgehog and salamander. This only, with perhaps the memory that at one
time or another a certain event took place involving the use of some
forty odd daggers.

Perhaps, after all, it would be an embarrassment of riches did the town
possess a cathedral, or even other monuments, to vie with this
spectacular attraction which, from every view-point realizes the ideal
of our imagination, as to just what a chateau and its history might be.

From near or far the cathedral shows no charm of outline. Its ridgepole
is marred by three unusually obtrusive "lightning conductors," which
could hardly have been more offensive had they been turned into those
lath-like crosses which are seen elsewhere. Its tower is a monstrosity,
with an egg-shaped protuberance which is neither shapely nor impressive,
while the southern range of the nave and aisle, when viewed laterally,
shows a bareness and poverty of design unusual and painful. The
ensemble, from this point, is one of a certain impressiveness. It could
hardly be otherwise, with the situation which it commands, even were it
the grossest thing that ever took shape in architecture. Its
irregularities and inconsistencies, and the great variety of outline
shown by the roof-tops of the town, perhaps, make up in a measure for
the lack of individual beauties in the church itself.

There is this much to be said, however, for the functions which this
church performs. If all were as much made use of by the market-day
peasants, streaming in from the surrounding country, who, with their
jugs, market-baskets, and what not, in their hands, enter the building,
say a short prayer or two, and toddle out again, there would doubtless
be fewer churches with a poverty-stricken air and more of a better and
more prosperous class.

The greater part of the cathedral which originally stood on this site
was destroyed during the Revolution, and that which was afterward reared
here was merely a restoration by Mansard, who, it is to be presumed,
made such use as was possible of what remained.

The interior, most will agree, is no more remarkable than the exterior
adornments; in fact the same paucity of plan and of detail appears from
one end to the other, inside and out. The aisles are astonishingly low;
the choir and nave, each unusually short. There are no transepts, and
there is no triforium whatever, no chapels of any remarkable beauty, and
little glass that is even passable. On the walls of the nave, beneath
the low clerestory windows, are a series of four carven Renaissance
marble panels, with other blanks suggesting the ultimate addition of
similar sepulchral-looking ornaments. Such, in brief, is a résumé of the
attractions, or rather the lack of them, as it will strike the average
person. It is perhaps no small wonder that the traveller who desires to
study architectural forms, or to sketch them, should prefer the less
holy precincts of the chateau, where every facility is offered for the
pursuance thereof, to that more "blessed ground," covered by the
cathedral, which offers little enough in itself, and that little under a
surveillance which makes one regret that the feudal times are not still
with us,--when we might vent our spleen and anger upon any who offend

[Illustration: _St. Gatien de Tours_]



The _soi-disant_ provincial metropolis of Mr. James' appreciative
favour, the capital of old Touraine, is possessed of great and many
charms for the seeker after new things. He may be passionately fond of
churches; if so, the trinity here to be seen, and the history of their
founders and prelates, and the important part which they played in
church affairs, will edify him greatly. If romance fills his or her
mind, there is no more convenient centre than Tours from which to "_do_"
the châteaux of the Loire. If it be French history, or the study of
modern economic or commercial conditions, the past activities and
present prosperity of the city will give much food for thought. If to
literature one's mind turns, there is the association with Balzac's
birth in the Rue Royale, and his delightful picturings of the city's
environment in the "Curé de Tours," "Le Lys dans la Vallée," and "La
Grenadière." Says Balzac of the habitant: "...He is a listless and
unobliging individual." But the sojourner for a day will probably not
notice this, and, if he should, must simply make allowance, and think
with Henry James of the other memories of "this land of Rabelais,
Descartes, and Balzac; of good dinners, good company, and good houses."
To link the city still closer with letters, the first printing-press in
Touraine was set up here in 1496. Nicolas Jensen, famed as the foremost
Venetian printer of his time, was born in the neighbourhood and was at
one time "Master of the Mint" at Tours. Christopher Plantin, the head of
the famous Antwerp family of printers, likewise was born in the near-by
suburb of St. Avertin près Tours.

Climatically, Touraine appears to linger between the rigours of the
north and the mildness of the southland; at least we are conscious of
another atmosphere, made apparent by such evidences as palms and prunes
growing in the open.

Tours, says her historian, has ever employed the pure French in her
spoken and written word; "patois and provincialisms have no place

St. Martin of Tours erected a church here, in honour of St. Peter and
Paul, as a sort of antidote to the many pagan temples which he had
caused to be destroyed. His successors built several others round about
the city, but they appear to have been all of small size until, in the
fifth century, Perpetus, Bishop of Tours in the reign of Childeric,
caused to be built a more splendid church to replace that which Briceius
had erected over the tomb of St. Martin. This, in turn, was rebuilt by
the celebrated Gregory of Tours, or so ordered by him; until finally in
the seventh century the abbey church of St. Martin of Tours became a
place of pilgrimage for all the Turones. To-day, nought remains of this
great church but the two towers, which have been bisected by the running
of a street throughout the old nave of the church; and thus they stand
as silent sentinels of the means through which Tours arose to its
ecclesiastical dignity. The Tour St. Martin or "de l'Horloge" is of the
twelfth century, and the other, called the Tour de Charlemagne, being
the burial-place of his wife Luitgarde, is, in its lower portions, of
the eleventh century.

The Cathedral of St. Gatien, which should be greatly endeared to the
English people, was commenced by Henry II. in 1170, the choir being the
earliest portion. The transepts followed in the next century, and the
façade as late as the fifteenth, or the beginning of the sixteenth,
century. Of manifestly Renaissance tendency, this façade for sheer charm
and picturesqueness must rank with the best, with the qualifying
statement added that it offends against many consistent artistic and
architectural principles. It is certainly an effective type, although
perhaps not warranting the statement of a certain monarch, whose art
training may to some degree have been wanting, that it was a "jewel in a
gemmed setting." An exceedingly picturesque and attractive pair of
towers rise, through no less than three different styles, to the
inverted egg-cups, which in a purer example might perhaps prove less
pleasing, but which in the present case seem at least to be imbued with
something of the Oriental or Mediterranean influence, not yet fallen
before the actual decadence. Another peculiarity of this charmingly
toned west front is that the rose window is of a peculiar lozenge shape,
"neither square nor round," as one authority puts it. This, of itself,
is decidedly not a graceful arrangement; but the proportions are ample
and the glass is good, so its deficiencies may in a measure be said to
be overbalanced by its merits; and, for that matter, as it is only seen
in its minutia of detail from the inside, where the excellent coloured
glass is seen at its best, it hardly detracts from the general fine
effect of the exterior façade. The western doorways are thoroughly
Renaissance, both inside and out, while the portals themselves offer a
livid suggestion as to what they might have been, were all the bare
niches and blocks filled and mounted with worthy statues. The effect
would have been an undeniable approach to the best matured Gothic, and
would have enhanced greatly this already highly interesting façade. The
buttresses of the choir follow the accepted forms of grace and
effectiveness, and, while not numerous or remarkable as to size, each
springs to a supporting pier gracefully pinnacled and gargoyled. One
instance of the functions of this valuable adjunct to the towering forms
taken by most Gothic structures, is a buttress which springs,
unsymmetrically enough, from the north transept. This rather ungainly
limb flies out like the tentacles of an octopus, grasps a small building
on the opposite side of a narrow roadway, and forms a support to the
irregular construction of the north transept. This was perhaps
necessary as a means of bracing the transept wall, which it might not
have been possible to accomplish otherwise.

The interior presents the unusual feature of the omission of the organ
case from over the western doorway, the organ being in this instance in
the south transept, as at Le Mans. The wall space centered upon the nave
proper is entirely given over to the lozenge-shaped "rose," which, in
spite of its rather heavy framing and kaleidoscopic and patchworky
glass, is withal effective beyond many more gracefully formed openings,
where the glass is either too severely plain, or worked into a supposed
design, which, by reason of its minute particles, is undecipherable. The
design and arrangement of a series of lancets supporting the lozenge
would be remarkable, were it in company with the best glass of the
middle ages. It depicts an "Adoration" in which kings, saints, and
bishops are modelled brilliantly, and with evidence of much good
drawing, a detail often wanting in old, or, for that matter, modern

The glass of the choir, on the other hand, is far better in arrangement,
and shows deep, rich particles which are only at their best in the work
of the early period here shown. In this glass are depicted the arms of
St. Louis, Blanche of Castile, and of the City of Tours. The choir
itself widens out from the crossing of the transept, causing that
deviation between the piers of nave and choir which made necessary the
ungainly flying buttress of the north wall.

The aisles of the nave are of no great width and are fringed with a
series of chapels of which only one, that of the Sacred Heart, is in any
way remarkable. The radiating chapels of the choir are more interesting,
notably the lady-chapel, which contains old glass removed thither from
the church of St. Julien, the subject of one of Turner's rhapsodies in
his "Seine and Loire."

The clerestory of the nave consists of plain glass only; and on the
triforium alone, of exceedingly graceful arcaded columns, depends the
beauty of the upper ranges.

The chief treasure of artistic value and moment is unquestionably the
tomb of the children of Charles VIII. and Anne of Brittany, by whose
early deaths the throne passed to the Valois branch of the Orleans
family. This remarkable monument is of the early sixteenth century and,
according to the report of the _Commission des Monuments Historiques_,
is the work of Guillaume Regnault, a statement which is much more likely
to be correct than the usual guide-book information, which in some
instances credits it to Goujon, and in others to a local apprentice of
his, named Juste. On a Renaissance sarcophagus lie the two tiny
effigies, in white marble, surrounded by guardian angels and other
symbolical figures. The base bears escutcheons of the Dauphins of
France, the arms and two inscriptions referring to the princes and their

[Illustration: _Flying Buttress, St. Gatien de Tours_]

[Illustration: _St. Maurice d'Angers_]



Historically and romantically, Angers, the former capital of Anjou, is
possessed of a past (which may be said to have actively commenced in
989) that cannot fail to arrest and hold one's attention. Capital of the
Dukes of Anjou, and the home of Margaret of Anjou, daughter of René, who
married Henry VI. of England; likewise the cradle of the first
Plantagenets; and immortalized by Shakespeare's King John, who
soliloquizes anent "The flinty ribs of this contemptuous town." With all
this, Angers has perhaps a supreme claim for English consideration. In
spite of all this, and the added attraction of a "real castle," such as
is seldom found outside the children's fairy-tale books, not to mention
the Cathedral of St. Maurice,--of which more anon,--Angers leaves one
with the impression that very much is wanting in order to merit
preëminence in the classification of those memories which a traveller
is wont to store up as a result of his travels and observations. Perhaps
it is the city's pitiful attempt to be gay, to be modern, to undertake
pretentious improvements,--all of which appear to fail utterly in their
purpose. These things cannot be unless they are of a spontaneous growth,
which here they apparently are not. Not that the city still merits the
opprobrious (_sic_) term of "Black Angers" with which most writers and
all makers of guide-books are pleased to refer to it,--it hardly does.
In fact it is doubtful as to just what the term originally meant.
Perhaps it was merely a reference to the gloom caused by the extensive
use in the construction of its buildings of the black slate in which the
neighbourhood abounds;--at any rate the expression is one of undoubted

The two chief attractions are the cathedral and the castle, both
"historical monuments." The latter, as before noted, is the ideal
military stronghold of our early imagination; and if age, magnitude, and
the general air of good preservation, count for anything, it must be one
of the most impressive monuments of its class still to be seen.
Originally its wall, now minus battlements, fronted close upon the
river. It is surrounded by a dry yawning _fosse_, formerly a moat, and
possesses no less than seventeen enormous and perfectly formed towers,
each perhaps eighty feet in height, banded near the top in white and
black stripes. Hardly more than a circling wall to-day, it has stood
well the test of time since it was erected by Philip Augustus and
completed under St. Louis in 1180. Little remains of the Renaissance
portion originally occupied by the Counts of Anjou. Its charm lies
rather in its exterior, the interior confines resembling more a
lumber-yard than anything else,--not worth spending one's time upon,
under the present facilities which are offered for its inspection. One
small structure within the walls is notable as being that in which King
René was born. It is recorded that Wellington received a part of his
military education in Angers. If so, it is probable that he studied this
military defence with some care and minuteness. To us, at least, who
have not been educated with respect to military fortification, it seems
to fill all demands that are likely to be made upon a building of its
class. Doubtless it could have been besieged successfully, and even
battered through to the extent of allowing the outside foe to enter, but
it would probably have been at a fearful cost, and it is possible that
the attempt would be given up before any surrender took place. Such
would appear to an outsider to be the lines on which these magnificent
works of feudal times were built.

One should not speak slightingly of the Cathedral of St. Maurice, though
it comes upon one who journeys from the north, as a thing apart from
anything he has met before; so much so that he is hardly likely to be
able to judge it dispassionately until he has turned his impressions of
it many times over in his mind.

The Angevine style, seen here, is representative of but a very
restricted area. The _Société des Monuments Historiques_ defined it as
"a small district on both sides of the Loire between Normandy and
Acquitaine." It is suggestive of the Roman manner, far more than the
Gothic; though the primitiveness shown in the long, upright lines of the
west front of this cathedral marks it at once as something different
from either Romanesque or Transition,--though Transition it must be,
unless we delimit the confines of that useful term. In any case, it
points unto heaven in a truly devout manner, is not debased in any
particular, and, if not a consistent style, has many of the good
qualities of both. The Cathedral of St. Maurice is best seen from a
point of view which will exaggerate its height, its slimness, and its
straight and upright lines; but even this does not appear to work out to
its disadvantage, in spite of the new note it strikes. It is an
interesting work when viewed from any distance sufficient to throw its
outline well into the air. From across the Maine, it is charming; from
the foot of the stairwayed street which runs downwards from its western
portal, it is picturesque and irresistible, while from any other
view-point in the town, it is grand.

The easterly end is dwarfed by close-lying houses, picturesque enough in
themselves; but the gracefulness of the buttress is wanting. The south
side is, here and there, broken into by additions and interpolations,
none apparently of a contemporary era. It offers a grand effect for an
artist who would study gray walls and crumbling roofs, but the lack of
uniformity will offend most people.

The façade of the west is the most effective feature, so far as
genuineness is concerned. It towers to the sky, its needle-pointed
spires overtopping a crooked street which rises sharply from the river.
There is but one portal, and that is centred with a curious Romanesque
arch half-way across its height, above which is a bas-relief of great
size. The sculpture of this portal, while not as excellent as that seen
in the Isle of France, is of an unusual richness and execution. The next
range is unique among west fronts, being a large central window, but
slightly pointed and little removed from the Romanesque. It is bare of
coloured glass, and is decidedly not an attractive feature. On each side
of this great window are a series of blunt pointed lancets, which form a
sort of arcade which otherwise relieves the bareness which would exist.
Immediately above is a row of niches which hold eight armour-clad
knights of the fifteenth century, inferior perhaps, in execution, to the
sculpture of the portal, but producing an effect, when viewed from the
ground, undeniably fine. It is a detail as interesting, in its way, as
the long "Gallery of the Kings" at Reims. Above rise the slim spires,
with an octagonal cupola superimposed over a central structure, which
looks to this day as though it were originally intended as one of a
battery of three uniform spires. The general plan of this façade is the
masterpiece of design of the building, and, except for the ludicrously
diminutive clock-face, could withstand nobly the cavil of the most
exacting pedant who ever read or studied architectural forms, solely out
of books. In the immediate foreground falls the before mentioned street
of steps. Many old tumble-down houses have recently been cleared away,
and, at the present writing, the view from this point is one which has
apparently not previously existed, and one which it is to be hoped will
not be marred by the erection of any so-called modern improvements.

The interior fills no accepted formula of architectural expression, save
that it is of the manner common to Anjou, the borderland between the
Gothic aisled and the great and aisle-less southern naves, but it holds
one's interest none the less. Perhaps, after all, it is the quality to
interest, quite as much as that to please, which is the standard by
which one makes estimates and forms opinions. There is a not very long
nor very wide nave and choir, neither with aisles, and both with a
vaulting which gives the appearance of being much lower than it really
is, quite the contrary impression to that received from contemplation of
the exterior. The bishop's throne sets midway on the right of the nave.
Each bay of the side walls of the nave is composed of a wide pointed
arch resting immediately upon the ground and filled with stone instead
of glass; reminiscent of a similar effect in the Church of Notre Dame de
la Cloture at Le Mans. The true windows of the nave rise in pairs above
this arch, and contain rich, though somewhat fragmentary, glass of the
thirteenth century. As characteristic of the Angevine style, there is no
triforium or clerestory, and hence, it is claimed, no necessity for
flying buttresses, the support being accomplished by less graceful, if
as effective, heavy square piers built into the outer wall.

The transepts are not pronounced as to length or breadth, their chief
beauty being their rose windows.

The choir, of the twelfth century, shows an interpolated and elaborately
flamboyant doorway of a much later period.

An ornate oaken pulpit of none too good Renaissance carving is in the
nave, and the organ case over the western doorway is supported on the
shoulders of a series of huge, grotesque, but monstrously human, wooden
caryatides. This, with the gigantic, high canopied carven wood pulpit,
one of the most extraordinary in the country, forms a relief to coldly
chiselled stone, certainly;--but few will consider their charms such as
would warrant counting them amongst ecclesiastical treasures.

The fourteenth-century tapestries from Arras (or Paris) were made for
King René and by him given to the cathedral. They represent scenes from
the Apocalypse, and, though having suffered somewhat from the
depredations of the Revolution, still exhibit evidences of rare
qualities of workmanship in their design and colouring.

The _bénitier_ of _verd-antico_ marble supported by figures of lions is
a Byzantine work of the eastern empire, given to the cathedral by King

The Dukes of Anjou and Margaret of Anjou were buried here, but the tomb
of the latter was desecrated and destroyed during the Revolution. Aside
from these, no other monuments of note are to be seen.

The Bishop's Palace, of the twelfth century, standing high beside the
cathedral, was restored by Viollet-le-Duc and reflects a mediæval
splendour unseen elsewhere in the city, with respect to any great or
small domestic establishment.

The Maison Barrault in the Logis Barrault, built by a former mayor of
the city, one time Chancellor of Brittany, was the scene of the
magnificent entertainment offered Cæsar Borgia in 1497. Afterwards it
became the residence of Marie de Medicis; later, a monastic
establishment, then a seminary, and lately simply an ordinary private
school. Says one writer, "No wonder its remains should be so scanty and
ill preserved."

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of St. PIERRE NANTES_]



As a city of commercial and strategic importance, no one will deny that
Nantes is supreme in the Loire valley; that its relations with the
affairs of Church and State are equally important, is a debatable point.
True, the edict in favour of Protestant worship, fathered by Henry IV.,
was a momentous and significant event; but the revocation, and the
subsequent massacres of the rascally Carrier, well-nigh wiped that out.
The history of the city is one long record of warfare and bloodshed.
Though holding the command of the Loire, the city has ever been more
closely identified with Brittany. Here, in its frowning tenth-century
castle, which fronts upon the river immediately in the foreground of the
Cathedral of St. Pierre, with which it forms an unusual grouping of
ecclesiastical and military architecture (M. H.), lived at one time or
another, most of the Kings of France, from Charles VIII. downward. Here,
too, Anne of Brittany was born, and here she married Charles VIII., thus
uniting the Duchy of Brittany with the crown of France. Her subsequent
marriage, in the chapel of the castle, with Louis XII., made for ever
impossible the future independence of the city.

Following the edict came the Revolution; and, as if the preliminary
horrors of massacres and atrocities, which spread to Orange in Vaucluse
and to Arras in Picardy, were not of sufficient stringency, the
"Noyades," or drownings, carried off the poor unfortunates, a boatload
at a time, until it is estimated that perhaps nine thousand were thus
cruelly murdered,--women, children, royalty, and the clergy alike. The
wrath which spent itself seemed to know no rank. The guillotine,
disease, and famine finished the work, so that the population of the
city was, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, immeasurably
inferior in numbers to what it had been a decade before. The details of
these significant events are recounted quite fully enough by historians
generally; but, in reality, it has little to do with the aspect of the
city as it exists to-day, which, if not one of great splendour, partakes
in no small measure of the attributes of a large metropolis, amply
planned, beautifully laid out, and possessing, in addition to the
characteristics of Brittany with which it has been so long identified,
not a little of the influences and attributes of the south.

Immediately to the rear of the chateau is the Cathedral of St. Pierre,
ancient as to its foundation, and grand as to its general effect, both
inside and out, though its exterior is marred by its uncompleted towers.
Lofty, but of heavy proportions, St. Pierre de Nantes would, at first
sight, appear to offer much that goes to make a satisfying
ecclesiastical building. As a matter of fact, it fails in many
particulars to realize any ideal which we have come to admire. The
western façade is more indebted to the rich and reasonably ornate
portals for its undeniable impressiveness, than to the gable of towers,
which have crumbled exceedingly from the effects of wind and weather,
rather than of great age, since they date only from the fifteenth

The choir rests on the remains of an older church, hardly to be seen
to-day in any appreciable evidence, in that restoration and rebuilding
have been so extensively carried on.

The windows throughout are but weak decorative elements, and lack
tracery and glass of a decorative quality, an obvious detraction in any
great architectural work. The south transept shows indications of four
successive periods of construction, and contains the best glass in the
church; otherwise it is severely plain.

The interior is by no means as incoherent as the exterior, the height of
the nave, one hundred and thirty feet, giving an otherwise
unapproachable grandeur; though this admirable dimension is qualified to
no small degree by a triforium of a luxurious florid growth, little in
keeping with the other attributes of firmness and strength.

The chapels throughout are bare and uninteresting so far as their altars
or decorative embellishments are concerned,--what they may be at some
future time, if the _Art Nouveau_ gets a foothold in church decoration,
is fearful to contemplate. Paintings, none too common in French
churches, are here somewhat in excess of customary numbers, though, as
to quality or interest, in no church in France can they vie with those
of the great churches of Italy or Flanders.

Like the neighbouring city of Tours, Nantes has in its cathedral, for
its _pièce de résistance_, a magnificent sepulchral monument, the tomb
of François II., the last Duc de Bretagne, and Marguerite de Foix, his
second wife, erected to their memory by their daughter Anne. This
remarkable mausoleum was executed in 1502-07, after designs of Jehan
Perréal, by Michel Colomb and his pupils, Regnault and Jean de Chartres,
with the assistance of Jérôme de Fiesole, who contributed the ornamental
portion. It fortunately escaped demolition at the Revolution, and was
brought hither and placed in the south transept from the Eglise des
Carmes in 1817. It is a wonderful exemplification of the very best
quality of Renaissance. The main portion of the tomb is of marble, with
black mouldings somewhat shattered in places, but not so much so as to
affect the contour or design. The effigies lie recumbent upon a slab,
their feet resting on a lion and a greyhound, upheld by a series of
miniature figures of the twelve apostles in niches of red marble. At
the corners are four nearly life-size figures, depicting Justice, with
sword and scales, said to be a portrait of the Duchess Anne; Power,
strangling the dragon of Heresy; Prudence, a double face, showing also
Wisdom, with mirror and compass; and Temperance, bearing a curb-bit and
a lantern. A tablet at the head bears the figures of St. Louis and
Charlemagne, and one at the foot, those of St. Francis of Assisi and
Ste. Marguerite, the patrons of the duke and duchess.


Central France_

[Illustration: ST. ETIENNE _d'AUXERRE_]



The entrance to the Burgundian city of Auxerre is more or less confused
if one would, at the first glance, attempt to recognize its cathedral
from among the three fine churches which in true mediæval fashion loom
up over the river Yonne; not that the entrance is not pleasing: the
reverse is actually the case, though one's way into the town lies
through newly made roads. However, upon contemplation of the pleasant
prospect of town and river, he would be an uninspired person indeed who
would not be able to pick out the Cathedral of St. Etienne, with its
singular reddish brown roof, from among its less imposing neighbours. It
is the central building of the three, and it rises majestically above
all, enhanced by the fine grouping of its one lone tower.

As a type to admire, the cathedral, be it said, is not of a superlative
quality; but as a thing of beauty in many of its details and because of
its aforesaid commanding situation, it is one not to be ignored when the
really fine gems of mediæval treasures are catalogued. It is another of
those types, so far as its choir is concerned, which rise to a loftiness
of soaring height, which, in later days, degenerated, or were lost
altogether in the fabric of the transepts and nave. The height of the
choir is perhaps not so great as it really appears, when gauged by its
sheer rise from the river level; but such is the suggestion, at least,
which, after all, is what the eye and certain other of our senses
admire, quite as much as a professed expert classification.

The western front is of unusual appearance in that the southern tower
glances off into the angle of the gable in most curious fashion; not
beautiful, nor as originally intended to remain, but so it is, and
offers at least a comparison of how a lofty gable looks when it lacks
towers of an appropriate height. At the right of this low tower of the
façade, hidden behind a wall, is a thoroughly Pagan doorway, which might
well pass unobserved, did one not actually stumble upon it unawares. It
is a curious reminder of other days and other ways, and how it became an
adjunct of this mediæval church the local records fail to state. The
three main portals of the façade, as that of the transept, are somewhat
bare of ornament, though the main tympanum and the spring of the arch
are fairly filled. These portals are of the late thirteenth century, and
exhibit no traces of the debasement which subsequently entered into the
upper ranges of the tower and lateral portals.

Both the transepts and the west front contain rose windows of good,
though not remarkable design, and each is exceedingly generous in size.
The interior, generally, does not give the effect of the great height
suggested from the rear view of the choir overhanging the river front;
but both nave and choir are of unusual width, and so also is the
clerestory, which is lofty, and set with rare old glass of the most
splendid and valuable quality, in the main the gift of Bishop de
Villeneuve in 1220.

The choir terminates with the usual apse, which is further elongated by
the far-reaching lady-chapel, which adjoins the main fabric in a
graceful and unusual manner. The north tower was completed as late as
the sixteenth century, and that of the south was left unfinished,--as it
is to-day. The gable and its portals are highly decorated with statues,
niches, and crockets.

Around the aisles of nave and choir is a curiously suggested arcade with
an overhanging balustrade ornamented with a series of indifferently
sculptured heads. The bosses of many of the intersecting groins of the
vaults are coloured with questionable effect. There are also many
visible evidences of coloured wall decorations, which might perhaps as
well have been left covered, inasmuch as they have suffered exceedingly
in the attempted restoration; so much so, that it is impossible to say
whether they ever approached acceptable perfection; possibly not, as
they are supposed to date only from the period when much of this class
of work was of none too good a quality.

The triforium of the nave is gracefully balustraded, and the choir
stands apart from the nave, separated by an elaborate eighteenth century
iron _grille_. The ambulatory of the choir sets three steps lower than
the nave, though the platform is on the same level. The crypt beneath
the choir, so often the only existing remains of an earlier church, is
here grandly in evidence, and dates from the eleventh century at least.

There are a few interesting tombs of former Bishops of Auxerre and
others of local celebrity.

On the whole the charm of Auxerre and its cathedral must be admitted to
lie in its general surroundings and immediate environment, quite as much
as because of any remarkably distinctive features of a superlative
quality in the cathedral itself, though an undeniable wealth of
picturesque detail exists.

The conventional guides speak of it as "highly interesting," and so it
is, with its Romanesque remains, its ungainly façade, its three fine but
weather-worn doorways, and its charming river view.

Beside the cathedral stands the old-time Episcopal Palace with its fine
arcaded Romanesque gallery overlooking the river, where the prelates
took their "constitutionals," safely guarded from wind and weather.
To-day this grand building represents the officialdom of the local

Two other noble ecclesiastical monuments are to be seen here, the Church
of St. Germain, or rather, the fragment which was spared by the
Huguenots, now being used as an adjunct to a hospital; and the Church of
St. Pierre. The latter is the most appalling example of a Renaissance
building which one is likely to meet with, and shows in its remarkable
façade, in sheer perversion of misdirected labour, the grossness of
pseudo-classicism, which quite entitles it to rank with that other
equally abominable example in Paris, St. Eustache.

The _portail_ of this remarkable church, locally so called, though in
reality it is only a detached gateway, far from the church building
itself, is a wonderful Italian suggestion, now mellowed and weathered
and undeniably charming in colour in spite of its being so manifestly
out of its environment.

[Illustration: _St. Etienne de Bourges_]



The Cathedral of St. Etienne de Bourges partakes of the same honours
which are accorded to the premier quartette of the Isle of France.
Nearly contemporary with Paris and Laon, this cathedral steps into its
rank with a grandeur and firmness that in a less stolid or more ornate
edifice is often wanting. It retains certain of its Romanesque features,
perhaps unduly pronounced; likewise it has certain attributes of
Burgundian luxuriance; but withal it presents the highly developed
Gothic tendency to a far greater degree than either. Although not far to
the south of Paris, Bourges is thoroughly of another climatic
environment, which not only shows itself in the changed conditions of
life, but in the manner of building as well.

The great transeptless church of St. Etienne is another of those soaring
monuments which rise skyward and hold the eye whenever one is in its
vicinity. Standing on an eminence of not very great height, it
dominates, from every point of view, the plain which surrounds the city
and reminds one of Noyon or Laon in its comparative isolation. Not
because its domicile is not a place of some magnitude, but rather
because the neighbouring houses lie so huddled in a valley or plain,
does the city give the impression of being of less size than it really

The view from the railway on entering the town is, as it has been called
by some imaginative Frenchman, "but the _hors d'oeuvre_ of the
architectural feast to follow," and on drawing still closer, it composes
grandly with the swift-flowing little river lined with the tall slim
trees which are so distinguished a feature of a French landscape.

Like Beauvais, Amiens, and, in only a slightly lesser degree, Le Mans,
the sheer fall of the nave and choir from ridge to ground startles one
by its exaggeration of perpendicular lines. Though by no means of the
great height of these other examples, its great size first impresses one
as its distinguishing feature. It sits, too, on the edge of a beautiful
wooded park which, in conjunction with the modern Episcopal Palace,
forms an ensemble of stone and verdure not often to be seen as the
environment of a French cathedral. The gardens are quite open to the
public and are set forth with clipped hedges, trees, and monumental
stone work of no mean order.

Bourges is another of those ancient foundations of mid-France where
Romish influences died hard, and Gothic, as a perfected type, never, as
it were, attained its majority. Here, the mixture of style is notable;
pointed and rounded arches intermingled, apparently indiscriminately,
with thoroughly Gothic supports, mullions, and piers. These, with the
characteristically Renaissance north and south porches, with their
carven doorways, all go to complete a series of typically fashioned
details, each true to its own age. Such a combination of varying virtues
should give the student, or the seeker after new sensations, something
more to think about than a mere catalogue of consistent charms; for it
cannot be denied that this church, standing aloof from any other single
type, is a marvel of grandeur and impressiveness, whatever may be its
failings when dessicated by the theorist or the archæologist.

It is unlikely that Saracen or even Moorish influences were ever at work
so far north as this; but there is an unquestionable tendency in much
of the debased decoration of this church to more than suggest a
similarity to both. It is, of course, not Gothic, as we know it, nor
Byzantine, _pur sang_, and it is certainly not Italian, but something
quite different. It is, perhaps, worthy of record that the inverted
horseshoe arch more nearly approximates what is commonly considered the
Moorish form; or, to give it a wider _locale_, Mediterranean, at least.
The polygonal turrets which flank the towers and the chapels of the
abside look, too, not unlike a sub-tropical feature, possibly Saracen.
Such details are markedly noticeable here, and it is because of features
such as these that one is minded to consider the church as something
quite different from anything seen elsewhere.

To carry the argument still farther, if these details are to be
considered in any sense Gothic, or any outgrowth thereof, it certainly
augurs much for the possibility of this style having come originally
from the East, or at least the Mediterranean countries. It has been
claimed before now by English and French writers alike, that it may have
developed from the arts of the Moors of Spain, or that it may have grown
up from a primitive style in vogue in the Far East. The comment is given
without further elaboration; but here, at least, we see some basis for
the claim that Gothic is but a transplanted flower after all, and that
it developed so boldly only from the seed's having been blown hither
from some other land, and finding a favourable soil in which to take
root and flourish.

Without transepts, the long flank of the nave and choir is singularly
beautiful, broken into at regular intervals by buttresses which, if not
remarkable examples, are at least graceful, though so light that they
have been visibly stayed by iron rods, as is frequently the case
elsewhere, at Beauvais particularly, where the whole fabric appears to
be hung together by wires.

The actual inception of the cathedral is attributed to Rudolphe de
Turenne, forty-sixth Archbishop of Bourges. Of his known work only the
round-arched crypt remains, upon which foundation the present grand pile
was reared.

The west front possesses a quintette of portals, deeply recessed, but of
a decidedly mixed Gothic and Renaissance treatment as to decoration.
Such a range of elaborated doorways is hardly to be found in such
luxuriance elsewhere, though the fact that there are five in all,
standing grandly in a row, is perhaps not unique of itself. They are
profusely decorated with sculptured forms of angels, saints, and kings.
The tympanum of the central portal contains a "Last Judgment,"
remarkable alike for its magnitude and workmanship. Throughout, these
portals vary in date of their construction, their treatment, and their
excellencies, but in general they are homogeneous and convincing. In the
gables of three are circular piercings which open into a sort of
vestibule or porch; but these are entirely without glass. Another unique
feature of this western front is a curious lofty double-storied
structure, a chapel-like building, of whose functions most will remain
in ignorance. It is connected with the main body of the church by a long
tentacle-like ligature through which, says Henry James, "the groaning of
the organ or the pealing of bells must be transmitted with distressing

The hybrid tower on the extreme left, with many round-arched windows and
much florid ornament, is familiarly called the "Tour de Beurre," and, as
its compeer at Rouen, was built from the contributions of those who were
willing to forego themselves the luxury of butter. To the right is a
much less imposing tower, but one that is much more true as to its
style. It rises scarcely above the central gable, and helps to
exaggerate the lack of uniformity of the façade, a condition much
deplored by the true Gothic builder, though whether such varying detail
does not after all make a more interesting, and perhaps as edifying a
work for pleasurable contemplation, is an open question. There is, in
any event, a marvellous power in this massive west front to confirm
one's opinion that it is a comprehensive and yet varied thing. Another
curious feature of this front is a pair of overlying buttresses of no
apparent purpose as to staying power, since the wall space which they
flank is of no inordinate height. The window space, though, is ample;
and, though mostly in blank to-day, at a future time those blanks might
be broken out; hence the necessity for these extra props.

The interior gives, likewise, a grand impression, one of vaster
magnitude than in reality exists. The length is probably exaggerated by
reason of the lack of transepts; but its breadth, including nave and
aisle, is unusually great, and the height is further magnified by the
fact that the aisles themselves have three ranges of openings, above
which, in the nave, rise the triforium and clerestory,--surely alone a
sufficiently unusual arrangement to account the church as of remarkable
planning. Its great beauty may be said to be the magnificent proportions
throughout, rather than the preëminent intrinsic value of any specific

The rose window of the west end, though of grand proportions, appears to
fail utterly as a supreme effort because of the flatness and depression
given to its circumferential outline. Like that of St. Gatien at Tours
it is of an uncertain lozenge shape, while the effect is further
lessened by the mediocrity of its glass and framing.

The general appearance of the interior is one of symmetrical grandeur,
wherein the effect of each dimension is probably enlarged, but with a
fine and consistent proportion. Its conventional embellishments are not
unduly ornate; though, for that matter, they do not give the impression
of being wanting to any great degree either in quality or quantity. In
no particular, however, is the sculptured form of figure or foliage of
that excellence and magnitude of that of the cathedral at Reims or at

The magnificent proportions of the choir well merit the term of
"Burgundian opulence." Its termination opens with an amplitude often
wanting in even a larger building, the piers being wide apart, without
screening, which heightens still more its generous proportions.

The two picturesque cardinal's hats, with cord and tassels, have long
been pendant from the vault of the choir, and are now dimmed in colour
and thick deep with dust, seemingly destined to fall of sheer old age
and decrepitude. Further particulars concerning this picturesque detail
are wanting only from the lack of any one in attendance from whom one
might get this information,--perhaps some reader of these lines may be
more fortunate.

On the pavement of the nave is a brass rule, inlaid diagonally from the
north to the south wall. Its original use appears to be clothed in some
obscurity, one informative person stating that it is the line of
departmental division, and another that it marks the meridian of Paris,
which is shown on all French navigation charts. Its real purpose is
evidently topographical rather than of religious or symbolical

An ardent French writer deplores the fact that there is no monument
here to show respect for Louis XI., who was born at Bourges and baptized
in the cathedral; a pity, perhaps, and certainly a subject worthy of the
consideration of "the powers that be."

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of S. CYR & Ste. JULIETTE NEVERS_]



A unique experience is one's first contemplation of the "gay little city
of Nevers" from the Pont du Loire, with the none too large Cathedral of
St. Cyr and St. Juliette crowning, as it were, the apex of a series of
steep rises from the Loire, which, even at this distance from the sea,
still retains its ample breadth. Said Arthur Young in his plain and bald
phraseology, "Nevers makes a fine appearance." Here, on the very
threshold of the southland, it is something of a shock to be brought at
once into intimate association with Italian influences and types of
architecture; for, be it recalled, Nevers has been truly "an Italian
stronghold in the midst of France," with little to remind one, but its
speech, that it is merely a provincial French market-town. Nevers was
the seat of the Italian Dukes and Counts of Nièvre, who built the ducal
palace, the _ci-devant_ chateau, now the Palace of Justice. Here, later,
dwelt the nephew of the great Mazarin, who said his king "had a heart
more French than his speech." Through his efforts the Nivernais was
incorporated with the French crown in 1669.

This fine turreted, towered, and decorated building, with its sculpture
attributed to Goujon, is to-day, in appearance at least, what it was in
the past,--the typical urban domestic establishment of grand proportions
and splendid appointments; though it may hardly be said to vie with such
masterpieces as Chambord, Chenonceau, or Blois. Nor, for that matter, is
the town itself entitled to rank, as to its events of historical
importance or the fame or personality of its bishops or counts, with
either Chartres or Le Mans, both of which it somewhat approaches in
point of size.

Aside from its many and varied charms, which have been duly set forth
by most writers on the French provinces who have had anything whatever
to say about it, Nevers should be doubly endeared to all makers of
guide-books and students of ecclesiastical architecture, from the fact
that the Abbé Bourassé, Honorary Canon of Nevers, here wrote and
dedicated to his bishop, Mgr. Dufêtre, a work treating of the French
cathedrals which will ever rank as one of the most delightfully written
and useful books of its class. This fact perhaps is hardly to be
reckoned as of historical moment, but pertinent to the plan of the
present work nevertheless.

Nowhere, not even in Provence or Acquitaine, are to be noted more
significant tendencies toward a southern influence in the matter of
civil and ecclesiastical building. True, many of the minor structures
have to-day descended unto base uses, and many of their perfections and
beauties are therefore sunk below the surface. For instance, where a
palace has become a warehouse, or a church been turned into a stable, or
been given over to the uses of a wine factor.

Before even considering the cathedral itself,--dedicated to the hero of
the legendary tale concerning St. Cyrus, who, depicted as a naked child
riding astride a wild boar, was able to turn the infuriated beast from a
certain King Charles (further designation not given) and preserve him
from danger,--it is well to know that most authorities agree in giving
habitation here to one of the most perfect Romanesque churches in all
northern Europe, that of St. Etienne, built in 1063-96, and consecrated
in the latter year by Ivor, Bishop of Chartres. Of the century
contemporary with this fine work, as yet hardly spoiled by any offensive
restorations, are two columns, in the easterly portion of the Cathedral
of St. Cyr, which bear the date of 1024. From this foundation the lover
of churches will rear for himself an exceedingly interesting and
uncommon type.

Not of the first rank, St. Cyr has the power to hold one's attention far
more closely and interestingly than many of greater worth and magnitude;
and its environment, from every point of view, composes itself into a
picture which it would be hard to duplicate. The grouping of the chevet
of the choir with the low roofs of the town lying at its base, and the
gardens of the ducal chateau in the immediate foreground, forms an
unusually varied combination of the picturesque.

The wealth of Nevers in architectural monuments would be notable in a
town many times its size. The Port de Paris, a not especially attractive
Renaissance gateway, guards the northerly, and the Port du Croux the
westerly, end of the town. This latter groups nobly with the west end
and tower of the cathedral, and is of itself a monument of the first
rank, being so designated by the _Commission des Monumentes
Historiques_. A feudal defence, square, broad-based, turreted, flanked
with circular watch-towers, and still further strengthened by a barbican
which once held a portcullis, this wonderfully effective barrier more
than suggests the mediæval stronghold. Two other towers of the ancient
_enceinte_ still remain, the Tour Gougin, and the Tour St. Eloi.

Intimate acquaintance with the cathedral shows a blending, not
offensive, but in no slight manner, of the Romanesque, early and late
Gothic, and finally Renaissance styles. Nevertheless there is an
apparent cohesiveness often lacking in a larger work, or in one built
within a shorter period of time. One distinctly northern feature there
is; namely, the singular effect given by the double apse of the nave and
choir, reminiscent mainly of the Rhine builders, that of the eastern
end being much the older. The half-obliterated frescoes of the domed
vaulting of the western apse indicate that it was completed after the
pure Italian manner at a considerably later time than the opposite end.
It is hardly a beautiful or even a necessary feature to either the
exterior or interior of a great church, and, fortunately, is unusual in
France, though common enough in Germany, notably at Mainz, Worms, and
Treves. The most remarkable interior effect, aside from this western
apse, is that of the lofty Gothic arches, springing high above the
Romanesque arches of the nave, and naturally of a much later date.
Certainly this must be, so far as the respective proportions of each are
concerned, an entirely unique feature. Notable evidences are to be seen
of frescoes, probably the work of some Italian hand, both on the screen
and in the domed apse. They have apparently been whitewashed over many
times, but remorse, if tardily, has evidently come lately, and such
restoration or renovation as has been possible, has been undertaken.

A dainty and diminutive spiral stairway, suggestive of having been
modelled on the lines of the grand spirals at Chambord or Blois, and
half enclosed in the surrounding wall, leads to the Chapter Room above.
The eastern apse, and the crypt beneath, are the earliest parts readily
to be observed and are probably the remains of the Romanesque structure
built by Hugh II. early in the eleventh century, after the common type
of the Auvergnat and Angevine churches.

Perhaps the best workmanship to be noted is that of the
thirteenth-century chapels surrounding the choir. Reclus, a French
authority, has declared that the ornamental foliage here is not only
really admirable as to itself, but is the "perfection of imitation," and
extends this commendation also to the work on the pillars and capitals
of the north doorway by which the church is usually entered.

The interior generally is brilliant and pleasing, though good glass is
mostly wanting, and the uninterrupted flood of light detracts measurably
from the warmth and geniality suggested by the memory of Bourges,
Chartres, or Auxerre. The rose window over the western apse is pitifully
weak and quite lacking in effectiveness.

A canopied _baldacchino_ rises above the altar and, being of stone
treated in a graceful Gothic manner, is an ornament much more in good
taste than the hideous mahogany or oaken serpentine atrocities which are
often erected.

It is impossible to come into close contact with the exterior of this
cathedral except by approaching it from the eastern end. West front
there is none. As one has said, "It possesses merely a western end." The
western tower, of two non-contemporary orders of Gothic (fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries), whether viewed from near or far, is far more
pleasing than any other general exterior feature. The chevet of the
choir extends, as it were, well into the nave, there being no transepts.
This is evidently a local custom, recalling the neighbouring cathedrals
at Bourges and Auxerre.

The sculptured decoration of the later portion is exceedingly well
disposed, and of such magnitude and numbers as to lack that poverty in
the ensemble often apparent in a more pretentious work.

The Church of St. Etienne in Nevers, so thoroughly Roman in inception of
design and execution of detail, indicates more vividly than any other
example that might possibly be taken, the shortness of time in which the
Gothic development actually took place. With Notre Dame at Paris full
in mind, it is well to recall that these accepted perfect examples of
two contrasting types are scarce a hundred and fifty miles apart, and,
in point of time, but sixty years. What an exemplification this surely
is of the transition which came to the art of church building in the
twelfth century; what extraordinary rapidity of conception and
development, and how narrow were the confines of the true Gothic spirit,
indigenous only to the royal domain, which alone produced the churches
which fully merit the concisely expressed definition of Gothic: "A
manner of building maintained (sustained) by a system of thrust and
counter thrust."

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of S. MAMMÈS LANGRES_]



Langres is reminiscent of but one other cathedral city in the north of
France; like Laon, it occupies and fortifies the crest of a long drawn
out hill, or, to give it dignity, it had perhaps best be called in the
language of the native "de la montagne de Langres," since from its apex,
it is truly dominant of a wide expanse of horizon.

Of the Burgundian transition type, the Cathedral at Langres, dedicated
to St. Jean the Evangel and St. Mammes, is in many ways a remarkable
architectural work, but contaminated beyond cure by two overbearing
Greco-Roman towers and a portal of the mid-eighteenth century. As a
relief, there adjoins the main body of the church, on the southeast, one
of those masterworks of the supreme Gothic era,--a canon's cloister of
an exceeding thirteenth-century beauty. In other respects, the exterior
is of little note except as to its wonderful degree of prominence in the
general grouping of the roofs of the town, when the city is viewed from

The interior spreads itself out in severe and imposing lines with hardly
a remarkable feature in either transepts or nave. The organ-loft, a
Calvary, and a marble statue of the Virgin, by Lescornel, a sculptor of
Langres, and a few modern sculptured monuments, are the only decorative
attributes to be seen, if we except the Renaissance Chapelle des Fonts
Baptismaux with its sculptured vaulting on the left.

The symmetrical choir is in itself the true charm of St. Mammes. It has
a fine ambulatory, and a range of eight monolithic columns, removed,
says tradition, from an ancient Pagan temple. Their capitals are
ornamented with carven foliage, grimacing heads, and fantastic animals.

A sixteenth-century screen surrounds the choir, but is more like unto a
triumphal arch than a churchly accessory.

The high altar is a comparatively modern work, as may be supposed, and
dates only from 1810.

On the right of the choir is an elaborate Roman doorway, and preserved
in the Chapter Room are five paintings depicting the "Chaste Susanne." A
remarkable collection of reliques is shown by the sacristan, in the
Chapelle des Reliques.



The small town of Auxonne, lying between Dijon and Besançon, is seldom
thought of in connection with a cathedral church. There is little there
to compel one's attention beyond the fact that the Church of Notre Dame,
of the fourteenth-sixteenth century, is an interesting enough example of
a minor edifice which at one time was classed as a cathedral.

The church is mainly Gothic and has the unusual arrangement of a
Romanesque tower rising above the transept.


East of Paris_



No arbitrary territorial arrangement can be made to include with
exactness each and every ecclesiastical division, but, since the Royal
Domain and the immediately adjacent territory includes the major portion
of what are commonly accepted as the Grand Cathedrals, it has been
thought permissible, in the present case, to make a further subdivision
which shall include Boulogne and St. Omer, north of Paris; eastward to
the Rhine and southward to include Dijon and Besançon. A topographer
might not make such a division or arrangement of territory; but no other
seems possible which shall include the region lying between the extremes
of Besançon and Boulogne.

The local characteristics or architectural types differ widely within
these limits, both as to style and excellence. In one way, only, have
they advanced under conditions of unity, that of the establishment of a
Christian church, but, otherwise, now favouring the northern influence
and now the southern. The frontier provinces have, as a natural course,
been subject to many retarding influences which have been wanting
elsewhere; for invasion from without may be depended upon to be as
baneful for the preservation of a nation's art treasures as a revolution
from within. The Christian element early forced its way among the
Franks, and Clovis, at the solicitation of his Christian queen and her
bishop, was not averse to adopting what he might otherwise have regarded
as a superstition. His conversion at Reims not only fostered and
propagated Christianity, but gave an impetus to the foundation and
building of churches in a most generous fashion.

The region to the eastward of Paris, which has played no unimportant
part in the history of France, while prolific as to varied types of
church building, possesses but one example of the very first rank,--and
that, as a style which typifies Gothic art, may be said to rank supreme
over all others,--Notre Dame de Reims. As the seat of the Metropolitain,
and the City of Coronations, it was allied closely with early affairs of
Church and State.

The principles and manner adopted by Guillaume of Sens in his great
works early affected the style here, as seen by the many transition
examples, just as the influence of the Monk of St. Bénigne of Dijon
caused the round-arched species of the west of France. At all events the
primitive Gothic influences were early at work and in a measure absorbed
the Romanesque tendencies which had flourished previously.

The most notable exception, an example of the distinctly southern type,
is at Besançon, which has a remarkable array of contrasting style, with
the Romanesque, though not of the best, predominating.

With the cathedrals in the extreme northerly section we have little to
do,--in fact there is little that can be said. St. Omer is possessed of
a wonderful old church which at one time ranked as a cathedral, and
which has glimpses here and there of very good Gothic. There are also,
in this otherwise not very interesting city, two other church buildings
worthy of more than an ordinary amount of attention, the ruins of the
Abbey of St. Bertin and the Church of St. Denis.

Boulogne-sur-Mer has a modern pseudo-classical structure built well into
the nineteenth century. It is more notable as a monument to the
industry of the man who brought about its erection, taking the place of
a former structure burnt during the Revolution, than as a satisfactory
example of a great church. The same may be said with equal truth of the
atrocious Renaissance and Pagan structures to be seen at Cambrai and
Arras, though the conditions under which they were built differ. At
Cambrai, however, the present building replaces a former structure
levelled by fire.

Chalons-sur-Marne,--dear to every French patriot as being renowned for
the manufacture of flags, a suffragan of Reims, has a remarkable
cathedral of Romanesque foundation of the fifth to the seventh
centuries. Its warlike record, from 273 A. D., when Aurelian vanquished
Tetricus, to the occupation by the Germans in 1871, is one long
succession of military affairs. To-day the city is the domicile of the
most important army corps of France.

These towns, with Nancy, Toul, and St. Dié in the valley of the Moselle,
complete the list of those cities which by any stretch of territorial
boundaries could be classed under the head of "East of Paris."

It may be a debatable point as to whether Strasbourg and Metz might not
have been included; the writer is inclined to think that they might have
been, though their interests and influences have always been more
Teutonic than Gallic,--still, they are thoroughly Germanized to-day,
and, as we cannot interrupt the march of time, and the present volume
will otherwise approach the limits originally set out for it, they must
perforce be omitted.

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL NANCY_]

[Illustration: _BOULOGNE_]

[Illustration: _St. OMER_]

[Illustration: _ARRAS_]



Boulogne-sur-Mer is one of those neglected tourist points through which
the much travelled person usually rushes en route to some other place.
It perhaps hardly warrants further consideration except for the history
of its past, and its intimate association with certain events which
might seriously have affected the history of England. It is, however, an
interesting enough place to-day, if one cares for the bustle and rush of
a seaport and fishing town,--not very cleanly, and overrun with
tea-shops and various establishments which cater only to the cockney
abroad, who gathers here in shoals during the summer months. There is,
too, a large colony of resident English, probably attracted by its
nearness to London, and possibly for purposes of retrenchment, for there
is no question but that the franc, of twenty per cent. less value than
the shilling, accomplishes quite as much as a purchasing power. This
must be quite a consideration with _pater-familias_ with a limited
income derived from Consols or some other traditionally "excellent

Most travellers are familiar with what attractions Boulogne really does
offer, but few if any would consider its very modern and ugly cathedral
one of them.

Perched in the centre of the _Haute-Ville_, overlooking the city and
port, the Cathedral of Notre Dame exists to-day more as a monument to
the energy and devotion of its founder than as a notable architectural
work. It follows no particular style, except that it is Italian of the
most debased general type, though no doubt parts of it meet the
dimensions and formulas laid down by accepted good examples in its
native land. There is no doubt but that its domed cupola is manifestly
out of place, though this detail is the only feature which gives the
cathedral any distinction.

A Gothic church stood here up to the Revolution, and the building of the
present structure was devotedly undertaken to replace its loss by a
doubtless earnest man, who, in his zeal, sought to build after what he
considered a newer if not a better style. Parts of the crypt are of the
ancient twelfth century church; but the structure above dates from

Its façade, of a poor classical order, is flanked by two slight cupola
towers equally meaningless and insignificant. Surmounting the central
dome is a colossal statue of the Virgin.

The interior is in no way remarkable or interesting. There are a few
monuments and a gorgeous high altar of precious marbles, mosaic, and
bronze, the gift of Prince Alex Torlonia. The lady-chapel is still
resorted to as a place of pilgrimage by the seafaring and fisher folk of
the neighbourhood.

A modern reproduction of a sarcophagus from the catacombs at Rome forms
the tomb of Mgr. Haffreingue (1871).



Cambrai is one of that quartette of cathedral cities of northern France
which in no sense take rank as ecclesiastical shrines of even ordinarily
interesting, much less beautiful, attributes. Of the other three, Arras,
St. Omer, and Boulogne, St. Omer alone is possessed to-day of anything
approaching the great Gothic churches which were spread broadcast
throughout France during the five centuries of church building in the
middle ages.

In manners and customs, and indeed in speech to some extent, these
cities all partake somewhat of the _locale_ of those of the Low
Countries. These attributes, which have retained their original
identities across the borders, were for many centuries, and even so late
as the seventeenth century, existent in French Flanders. Curiously
enough, in none of these cities are any of the primitive Gothic types to
be noted in the cathedral churches, though many possess their
olden-time belfries and watch towers, preserved to-day with something of
the local pride which evinces itself elsewhere with respect to
cathedrals. It is possible that this is due to the fact that this great
industrial centre of northern France is more given to the arts of
manufacture than to the devotion of church-going or even of church
building. Another notable and almost universal feature of these cities
are the Renaissance or Romanesque gateways,--silent reminders to-day of
the mediæval communities which they once protected, and of the warlike
invasions of the past.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Cambrai is on the site of an older abbey
church, which was of the same ugly style as the present edifice itself,
but which dated, however, only from the early eighteenth century. The
present building is said to furnish a replica, of the vintage of 1859,
of the tasteless and crude style of the earlier building. There are
statues therein of Fenelon, Bishop Belmas, by David d'Angers, and of
Cardinal Regnier; and a series of grisaille windows, after originals by
Rubens, by Geeraerts of Anvers.

The chimes of Cambrai rank among the most noted in Europe. They are
composed of thirty-nine bells and produce a carillon, "very agreeable,"
says a French authority. They certainly do,--the author can endorse this
from a personal knowledge,--and they have not as yet descended to such
banalities as popular military marches. The largest bell, given by
Fenelon in 1786, weighs 7,500 kilos.

[Illustration: Notre Dame de Cambrai]



Under Baldwin of Hainault, Artois, including St. Omer, was ceded to the
kingdom of France as late as the mid-seventeenth century. Few minor
churches are possessed of the galaxy of charms and attractions of the
_ci-devant_ Cathedral of Notre Dame at St. Omer. Hardly in the accepted
forms of good taste are the Byzantine slabs of marble stuck upon the
walls here and there, as in a museum; the Renaissance screens; the
overpowering organ case; the votive offerings and tablets without
number; and the alleged wonderful astronomical clock, with its colossal
wooden figures of the sixteenth century,--all of which go to compose a
heterogeneous mass more interesting as to occasional detail than as a
thorough expression of saintly temperament.

The decorative scheme is carried still further by the large number of
paintings with which the church is hung; a tribute none too common in
France, and more usually associated with the Flemish churches of nearly
every rank. A reflection of their preëminence in this respect is
naturally enough visible in French Flanders.

"The Descent from the Cross," attributed to Rubens, appears likely
enough to be a genuine master, but it has been so roughly restored by
overpainting, that it is to-day of impaired value.

St. Omer, among all the group of northeast France, presents a true
Gothic example in its great Basilique de Notre Dame, and it is a pity
that its further development was along lines which indicate a trend, at
least, toward debasement. This is plainly to be noted in the tracery of
the lower and clerestory windows of nave and aisles.

Its enormous tower covers nearly the entire western end of nave and
aisles, in much the same way as those of some of the fortified churches
of the south. Its Gothic is of the true perpendicular style, however,
and, with the general grand proportions of the building, gives that
immensity and massiveness which is associated only with a church of the
first rank. The _arcs-boutant_ of the nave are hardly deserving of
mention as such, though they are manifestly sturdy props which perform
their functions in perhaps as efficacious a manner as many more graceful
and delicate specimens elsewhere. There is just a suggestion of a
central tower, which, as is often the case in France, has dwindled to a
mere cupola, if it had ever previously grown to a greater height. The
transepts are of imposing dimensions, that on the south having an
enormous rose of perhaps thirty-five feet in diameter, with an
elaborately carved portal below, which contains a "Last Judgment" in the
tympanum. The choir, chevet, and chapels, while existent to a visible
and very beautiful degree, are somewhat overshadowed by the great size
of the transepts. There is this to be said, however: that the choir, a
restoration of our own day, presents, as to style, the type of Gothic
purity at its height. It has five radiating chapels, not including that
of Notre Dame des Miracles, which adjoins the south transept and
contains innumerable votive tablets. For the rest, except for the fact
that the interior partakes of a mere collection of curios and relics, it
is in general no less imposing in its proportions than the exterior. The
clerestory windows, however, are of ill proportions for so grand a
structure, being short and squat; and here, as elsewhere throughout the
building, is to be found only modern glass.

The great bell of the western tower weighs 8,500 kilos.

Chief among the notable accessories and reliques is the monolithic tomb
of St. Erkembode, bishop of the one-time see of Thérouanne, period
725-37. The sarcophagus itself, dating from the same century, was
brought here from the original site. The tomb of St. Omer was restored
in the thirteenth century and shows a remarkable sculptured group of
Christ, the Virgin, and St. John, called the "Great God of Thérouanne."
It was saved from the ruin of the church at Thérouanne, which was
destroyed with the greater part of the town in 1533 by Charles V., in
revenge for the "loss of three bishoprics," as history states. At this
time the sees of St. Omer and Boulogne were founded.

The near-by Palace of Justice, built by Mansart in 1680 and enlarged for
its present use in 1840, was the former Episcopal Palace.

St. Omer has also two other grand churches, St. Sepulchre, of the
fourteenth century, and the ruins of St. Bertin (1326-1520), which,
before the Revolution, with St. Ouen at Rouen, and the collegiate church
at San Quentin, was reckoned as one of the most beautiful Gothic abbeys
in France. To-day it is a magnificent ruin, its huge tower (built in
1431) and portions of the nave and crossing being all that remain. It
was considered the finest church in the Low Countries, and for size,
purity, and uniformity of style it ranked with the best of its



The capital of ancient Flanders was removed from Arras to Ghent when
Artois was ceded to France, and thus it was that the city became French,
as it were, but slowly, its Low Country traditions and customs clinging
closely to it until a late day. The former Cathedral of Notre Dame
ranked as a grand example of the ogival style of the fourteenth century,
in which it was built, and gave to the city of the "tapestry makers" the
distinction of possessing a church composed of much that was best of the
architecture of a fast growing art. Such was the mediæval rank to which
the cathedral at Arras had attained. The new Cathedral of St. Vaast,
dating from 1755 to 1833, is of the Grecian style of temple building,
little suited to the needs of a Christian church. The crucial plan
consecrated by catholic usages of centuries is not however wholly
abandoned. There is something of a suggestion of the Latin cross in its
design, but its abside faces toward the southeast rather than due south,
with its principal entrance to the northwest, a sufficiently unusual
arrangement, where most French churches are duly orientated, to be
remarked, particularly as there is little that can be said in praise of
the structure. The interior follows the general plan of the Corinthian
order; the windows, neither numerous nor of sufficiently ample
dimensions to well serve their purpose, number nine only in the choir,
and five on each side of the nave.

There are, to the abside, seven collateral chapels, some of which
contain passable sculptured monuments, removed from the old abbey of St.
Vaast, a foundation erected in the sixth century and reconstructed by
Cardinal de Rohan in 1754. The remains of the old abbey buildings have
been built around and incorporated in the present Episcopal Palace, the
extensive Musée, and Bibliotheque; and are situated immediately to the
right of the façade of the cathedral.

The grisaille glass seen in the interior is unusual, but mediocre in the

There are, however, some good statues in white marble in the Chapelle de
St. Vaast, while in another chapel, given by Cardinal de la Tour
d'Auvergne, is one equally good of Charles Borromée.

There are four great statues at the extremities of the transepts,
representing the four evangelists; and three others in the choir, of
Faith, Hope, and Charity.

In the north transept, also, are two triptychs of the Flemish school, by
Bellegambe, a native of Douai (1528).

The Abbé Bourassé, in his charming work on the cathedrals of France,
says, plainly, and without fear or favour: "We have tried to speak
impartially of all species of architecture--but why do we not admire the
Cathedral of Arras? It is against all traditions of '_notre art
catholique_.' We contend that this is not good. What, say you, can we
praise? It is a great work--of the stone-mason; you should study it from
some distance. It is without life, without movement, without dignity."

Whatever may be the faults of its cathedral, Arras is, nevertheless, an
interesting city,--modernized, to be sure, by boulevards laid out along
the old fortifications. The Citadel of Vauban (1670), called ironically
"_la belle inutile_," may be classed as a worthless, if not wholly
unpicturesque, ruin, though ranking, when built, as among the most
wonderful fortifications of the times. The wave of Renaissance which
swept northward has left its ineradicable marks here. The Hôtel de Ville
is a remarkable specimen of that art of overloading ornament upon a
square hulk, and making it look like a wedding-cake; though, truth to
tell, coming upon it after the chilliness of the cathedral itself, it is
a cheerful antidote. Dating from 1510, at which time was built the
curious Gothic façade of seven arches, each different as to size and
spring. The added wings in elaborate Renaissance are of the late
sixteenth century and rank among the most effective examples of the
style in France. A belfry surmounts all, 240 feet in height, the
"_joyeuse_" of which weighs nearly nine tons.

Arras may perhaps be most revered for its tapestries, its workers taking
rank with those of the famous manufactories at Paris and Beauvais.
Indeed, it would appear as though experts knew not to which of these
three centres to assign precedence, both Arras and Paris claiming the
honour of having set up the first looms. It is an ancient art, as the
work of craftsmen goes, and more than one writer who has studied deeply
the fascinating intricacies of _haute_ and _basse lisse_, of colour,
texture, design, and what not, has not hesitated to proclaim the city as
having been the grandest centre of tapestry-making which the world has
ever known; and regret can but be universal that it came to an end when
its citizens were put to the sword by Louis XI.

[Illustration: _TOUL_]



Annexed to France, in company with Metz and Verdun, in 1556, Toul,
situated on the left bank of the Moselle, is to-day ranked as a fortress
of the first order. "Can be seen in two hours"--such is the description
usually given by the guide-books to the city which contains, in its
one-time Cathedral St. Etienne, an example which, with respect to the
decorative tracery of its façade savants have declared the equal even of

One of the three former bishoprics of Lorraine, Toul is none too ample
to merit the cognomen of a large town. It once held within its walls,
beside the Cathedral, the Church of St. Gengoult, and several parish
churches and monasteries. Shorn to-day of some of these dignities, with
its bishopric removed to Nancy, it ranks as a military and strategic
stronghold rather than a centre of churchly domination. Since Metz and
Strasbourg were given over to the Germans, Toul's former fortress has
been greatly strengthened.

The cathedral itself may truly be said to bear the characteristics of
both the German and French manner of building, the western or later end
being a superb front, after the French manner, and the easterly or
earlier end having a simple apse and long narrow windows, in the German
fashion. A comparison has been made by Professor Freeman between the
western façade of this church and Notre Dame de Reims. He says, "We are
daring enough to think that, simply as a design, the west front of Toul
outdoes that of Reims; though it will be hardly needful to prove that,
as a whole, Reims far outdoes that of Toul." Quite non-committal, to be
sure, as was this charming writer's way; but, of itself, a sort of
preparation to the observer for the beauties which he is to behold. Here
is the case of a superb richness having been added to a plainer body,
and by no means inharmoniously done. The gable is nearly perfect as to
its juxtaposition. The towers are higher in proportion than at Reims,
giving the effect of being the finished thing as they stand, though
lacking spires or pinnacles. The walls are of those just proportions in
relation to the window piercings which is again French, as contrasted
with a neighbouring example at Metz, where the reverse is the case.

The city was the seat of a bishop as early as the sixth century, and its
government was under his control until 1261, when it became a free
commune. Finally it was conquered by Henry II., and its future assured
to France by the Treaty of Westphalia.

The cathedral dates in part from Romanesque remains of the tenth
century, but its entire interior arrangements were much battered during
the Revolution.

The choir and transept are of the best of thirteenth-century building,
while the nave and side aisles are of the century following. Two towers,
which flank the magnificent façade, rise for nearly two hundred and
fifty feet, and are the work of Jacquemin de Commercy in the fifteenth
century. Adjoining the right aisles are the very beautiful Gothic
cloisters of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. They form a
rectangular enclosure, 225 feet by 165 feet, and are made up of
twenty-four sections of four arches, each with clustered columns.

A fine sculptured altarpiece, "The Adoration of the Shepherds," is in
the Chapelle de la Creche, entered from the cloister.

The present Hôtel-de-Ville was formerly the bishop's palace.

[Illustration: _North Portal Cathedral Chalons-sur-Marne_]



Chalons is perhaps first of all famed as the scene of Attila's great
defeat in the fifth century, one of the world's fifteen decisive

The Cathedral of St. Etienne is not usually considered to be a
remarkable structure; but it is thoroughly typical and characteristic of
a _locale_, which stamps it at once with a mark of genuineness and
sincerity. Of early primitive Gothic in the main, it shares interest
to-day with the four other churches of the city, not overlooking Notre
Dame de l'Epine, some five miles distant to the northward, one of the
most perfectly designed and appointed late Gothic churches which the
world has ever known. It has been called a "miniature cathedral," using
the term, it may be supposed, in the sense of referring only to a
magnificently ornate church. It is indeed worth a pilgrimage thither to
see this true gem of architecture in a wholly undefiled countrified

The Cathedral at Chalons-sur-Marne follows somewhat the traditions of
the German manner of building, at least so far as a certain plainness
and lack of ornate decoration in the main body of the church is
concerned; likewise in the arrangement of its towers, which lie to the
eastward of the transepts; and further with respect to its decidedly
Teutonic arrangement of the rounded columns, or, more properly, pillars,
of its nave.

In general this thirteenth-century church is in the best style of its
era; but the west front presents an incongruous seventeenth-century
addition in the whilom classical style of that day, bad as to its art,
and apparently badly welded into conjunction with the older portion. The
aisles and clerestory windows are of the later decorated period of
Gothic, and present, whether viewed from without or from within, an
exceedingly fine appearance.

Probably the finest and most pleasing impression of the whole structure
is that obtained of the interior, with its pillars of nave and choir, of
the massive order made familiar in the Rhine churches. A reasonable
share of twelfth to sixteenth century glass is still left as its
portion, and the general arrangement of the choir, prolonged, as it is,
well into the nave, gives a certain majesty to this portion of the
church which is perhaps not warranted when we take into consideration
that it must perforce dwarf the nave itself. The arrangement, though not
common, is by no means an unusual one, and it is recalled also, that it
is so employed at Reims.

Situated near the frontier, Chalons-sur-Marne has ever been subject to
that inquietude which usually befalls a border city. German influences
have ever been noticeable, and, even to-day, the significant fact is to
be noted that a curé will hear confessions in German, and that services
are held in that tongue on "Saturdays in St. Joseph's Chapel."

The Episcopal Palace, behind the cathedral, contains a collection of
some sixty paintings, the gift, in 1864, of the Abbé Joannes.

[Illustration: _S. DIÉ_]



St. Dié gets its name, by the corruption of Dieudonné, from St.
Deodatus, who founded a monastery here in the seventh century. It was
built, as was many another great cathedral, in accordance with the
custom of erecting a church over the body or relic of a saint whom it
was especially desired to honour; usually one of local importance, a
patron or a devotee.

The town is perhaps the most inaccessible and "out-of-the-way" place
which harbours a cathedral in all northern France. We might perhaps
except St. Pol-de-Leon and Tréguier in Brittany, neither of which is on
a railway, whereas St. Dié is, but at the very end. When you get there
and want to go on, not back, you simply journey on foot, or awheel if
you can find a conveyance, and take up with another "loose end" of
railway some fifteen miles away, which will take you southward, should
you be going that way. If not, there appears to be nothing for it, but
to retrace your steps whence you came.

The cathedral (locally "La Grande Eglise," it only having been made a
cathedral so recently as 1777) has a fine Romanesque nave of the
eleventh century, with choir and aisles of good Gothic, after the
accepted Rhine manner of building.

The portal, of red sandstone, is of inferior thirteenth-century
workmanship, with statues of Faith and Charity on either side. The
façade is flanked by two square towers.

The interior is curiously arranged with a cordon of sculpture, high in
the vaulting. The capitals of the pillars are likewise ornamented with
highly interesting and ornately sculptured capitals. The choir, as is
most usual, is the masterpiece of the collection, the windows, in
particular, being of the purest ogival style.

In the first chapel, on the right, is a painting, "The Martyrdom of St.
Sebastian," and behind the choir is an ancient work commemorative of
"_Le Peste de St. Dié_."

[Illustration: ST. LAZARE _d'AUTUN_]



This ancient episcopal city has ever been devoted to the cause of
Christianity. "Nowhere," says a French historian, "has the Church
enjoyed more repute than here." The Dukes of Burgundy, its bishops and
people alike, joined in a fervour of labour and zeal to assure its
permanence and progress. In addition, the Gallo-Roman remains point to a
former city of proud attainments. The fine Roman walls, beautifully
jointed, _sans_ cement, are distinctly traceable for a circuit of
perhaps three miles around the city. Other interesting remains are two
fine gateways, commonly referred to as triumphal arches, which they
probably were not, the Porte d'Arroux and the Porte St. Andre; the ruins
of an amphitheatre; and a tower assigned to a former temple of Minerva.
All these, and more, are found inside the old walls; while, without, are
remains of an aqueduct, of a tower dedicated to Janus, and a Roman
bridge crossing the river Torenai. It may be interesting for an
Englishman to recall that the Bishop of Autun, who often presided over
the National Assembly, pleaded in vain with George III. for the
adoption, in England, of the French metric system.

During the destruction of a former building, St. Nazaire, which at one
time performed the functions of a cathedral, the bishops held their
offices in the chapel of the chateau of the Dukes of Burgundy; but, upon
the removal of the residence of the house of Burgundy to Dijon,
transferred their services to the present edifice, which had by that
time been completed.

The Cathedral of St. Lazare is a charmingly graceful, though not great,
structure, mainly of the style "_ogivale premier_," its early Lombard
work of the nave and west front being of the foundation of Robert I.,
Duke of Burgundy. This vast western portal is encased in a great
projective porch, a feature indigenous apparently to Burgundy, and
commonly referred to as the "Burgundian narthex." Following come the
chapels and spires, of exceeding grace and beauty, of the third
_ogivale_ style.

The interior enrichments, like the western doorway, with its Romanesque
sculptures, take rank with the best in Burgundy. The delicately carved
rood-loft, or jube, the small sculptures of the choir and nave, and the
flamboyant chapels of the fifteenth to seventeenth century, challenge
minute attention from those who would study decorative detail _in
extenso_. The capitals of certain columns in the nave have fluted
pilasters in imitation of the antique, but are most curiously ornamented
with grotesque and fantastic human figures on a background of foliage.

The choir, of early pointed style, in its actual disposition and
arrangement, may be included in that classification which comprehends
some of its more important northern compeers, though, as a matter of
fact, it lacks their magnitude. Indeed, the building is one of the
smallest cathedrals in all France. The exterior offers an imposing and
picturesque ensemble, with its crocketed spire rising some two hundred
and fifty or more feet above the roof-tops of the ancient city.

Nearer inspection shows a certain incoherence of construction,
particularly in reference to the evidences of garish crudities in the
work done under Robert I. in 1031-76, in contrast to the later pointed

The doorway of the lateral southern wing is ornamented with a series of
grossly exaggerated columns, in imitation of the antique, with the
addition of an apse, which contrastingly shows work of a late flamboyant

The spire itself is the masterwork of the entire structure, and, unlike
those which surmount many another church, appears not to have suffered
the dangers of fire. As a fifteenth-century work, it merits special
mention. Rising abruptly from a heavy square base, the pyramid is very
acute, and is ornamented at the angles with foliaged crockets, basely
called stone cauliflowers by unimaginative persons. One might say, with
the gentle Abbé Bourassé, that the "ornamentation breaks into sky and
cloud with an exceedingly agreeable effect, far beyond that of a
straight line." The inconsistency lies only in the juxtaposition of the
two western transition towers, which have hardly enough of the Gothic in
them to merit the name.

The lower windows of the nave are of good flamboyant style, with a sort
of Romanesque triforium, and a simple round-headed window in each bay of
the clerestory, which is the more poor in treatment and effect in that
it holds no notable glass. There are none of those distinctly northern
accessories, the great rose windows, and the whole reeks of distinctly a
milder atmosphere. There is a luxuriance of decoration in the many
chapels of different epochs.

The exterior, in general, is of excessive simplicity; but, if it is not
to be placed among those cathedrals and churches accredited the most
notable and most beautiful, it will, at least, take rank as one of the
most ancient to be seen to-day, and has the further benefit of a
glorious environment and association with the past.

[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of S. BÉNIGNE DIJON_]



The power and wealth of the Dukes of Burgundy, whose influence extended
northward to the Netherlands, where they often held court at Ghent and
Bruges, were, in a way, responsible for the opulence and splendour of
the life of the day. So, too, Burgundian architecture became a term
synonymous for the amplitude and grandeur with which many of its
institutions were endowed.

The reign of Philippe le Bon, with that of Charles the Bold, the most
ambitious prince who ever graced his line, was the Augustan age of
Burgundian art. It was the dream of the latter to reincarnate the old
Burgundian kingdom by annexing Lorraine and subduing the advancing Swiss
Confederacy, an ambition which failed, like many others as, or more,
worthy. The conquered duke was killed at Nancy, and was finally buried
in Notre Dame at Bruges.

The Cathedral of St. Bénigne is an outgrowth from the old abbey church,
from which the Italian monk, Guillaume, set forth to found that
remarkable series of monasteries in Normandy and Brittany. It is said,
too, that he crossed the Channel, and had a large share in the works
which were erected at that period in the south of England. The bishop's
throne has been established in this church only since the Revolution,
caused by the destruction of his former cathedral. The early foundations
of the old abbey date far back into antiquity, but the present cathedral
dates only from the thirteenth century. Commonly considered as of Gothic
style, it is in every way more suggestive of the late Romano-Byzantine
type, or at least of the early transition. There is, to be sure, no
poverty of style; but there is an air of stability and firmness of
purpose on the part of its builders, rather than any attempt to either
launch off into something new or untried, or even to consistently remain
in an old groove.

As a fact, it is not a very grand building. Its choir is small, and its
transepts short. In its plan, at least, it resembles the Byzantine form
much more than the elongated Gothic, where every proportion seems to
reach out to its utmost extent.

The west façade is truly fine in the disposition of its parts and
arrangements. It suggests, more than anything, a traditional local
style, favouring nothing else to any remarkable degree except the German
solidity so often to be noted in eastern France. The towers are firmly
set with unfrequent pointed openings. The central portal and vestibule
are deep, and rich with a sculptured "Martyrdom of St. Peter" and a
delightfully graceful arcade just above the portal arch, and another
crossing the gable and joining the towers in a singularly effective
manner. A somewhat heavy but rich pointed window of three lights,
surmounted by a quatrefoil rose, with a slight needle-like spire which
rises just above the gable, completes the ensemble.

The earlier work, seen at its best in the interior, is that of the choir
and transepts, where again the distinguishing features are local. In
the transepts the arches open directly on the side chapels, the southern
arm being gorgeous with brilliant glass. The windows of choir and
transepts throughout are richly traceried and set. The choir itself is
destitute of either ambulatory or chapels.

A lantern is placed at the crossing, supported by gracefully foliaged

The nave is of a much later period, and is not of the richness of the
portion lying to the eastward. The windows of the clerestory, in
particular, will not be considered of the excellence of those of either
transept or choir.

The south tower encloses the tombs of Jean sans Peur and Philippe le
Hardi. The crypt contains the tomb of St. Bénignus.




"Truly rural" is a term which may well be applied to the situation of
Senlis, the ancient Civitas Sylvanectensium of the Romans. Quaint and
attractive to the eye is the entrance to the town from the railway, with
its low-lying roofs, over which tower the spires of the ancient
Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Church of St. Pierre. It forms a
heterogeneous mass of stone, to be sure, and one which looks little
enough, at first glance, like the delicate and graceful cathedral which
makes up the mass in part. It is, in reality, a confused jumble of
towers and turrets which meets the eye, and it takes some little
acquaintance with the details thereof to separate the cathedral from the
adjacent church.

The proximity of the sees of Beauvais, Amiens, and Paris perhaps
accounts for the lack of importance attached to this cathedral. As for
the structure itself, among the minor cathedrals of France, Senlis, with
Séez and Coutances, must ever rank as the peers of that order, with
respect to the grace and beauty of their spires. It may be doubted if
even the spires of Chartres are to be considered as more beautiful than
the diminutive single example to be seen here, particularly when grouped
with its surrounding environment. Individually, as well, its grace and
beauty might even take that rank. The demarcation between the base of
the tower and the gently dwindling spire is almost entirely eliminated,
without the slightest tendency toward debasement in the steeple, which
too often is merely a series of superimposed, meaningless, and
unbeautiful details. Latter-day builders, who want a model for the spire
of a moderate-sized Gothic church, could, it would seem, hardly do
better than to make a replica of this graceful example.

In its façade, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Senlis partakes largely of
the characteristics of the primitive lowland types, reminiscent, at
least, of Noyon or Soissons, and, as such, it may properly be considered
and compared with them.

The transepts of the north and south are not grand members, but they are
compact and graceful, and the façade of the southern arm is of a highly
ornate character, bespeaking a wealth of ambition, if not of ability, on
the part of the architect.

The interior, in spite of the lack of sculptured ornament, shows no
paucity of style, and, except that it is of the bijou variety, might
take rank at once as representative of Gothic style at its best. Under
these conditions, the nave is naturally confined, and lacks a certain
grandeur both as to width and height.

The choir is of true, though not lofty, proportions, the aisles
appearing perhaps too low, if anything, for the height of the nave,
which otherwise appears exceedingly generous with respect to the extent
of its triforium and clerestory.

The transepts, though shallow, are possessed of unusually amplified
aisles, there being, as a matter of fact, two in that portion which
adjoins the nave on the west, a sufficiently unusual arrangement to
warrant comment. The rose windows of the transepts have graceful design
and good framing, though the glass is not of the splendour which we
associate with the most pleasing examples seen elsewhere.



To the eastward of Paris, one first finds the true country atmosphere at
Meaux, famous for its bishops, its grist-mills, and its generally
charming environment.

The picturesque little city is situated on the Marne, some thirty miles
from Paris, amid a verdure which, if not luxuriant, is, at least, a
"fringe of green" that is appealing alike to local pride, and to the
artist or stranger within the gates. It is an ancient bishopric (now
suffragan of Paris), founded in 375 A. D.

[Illustration: ST. ETIENNE _de MEAUX_]

The Cathedral of Saint Etienne de Meaux is called by the French the
"Child of Amiens," and it would have all the dignity of its mother had
but the nave received the same development as the choir. Its general
dimensions are restrained, and it shows in no way any remarkable
architectural ensemble; but, for all that, its power to please is none
the less great. Lacking a certain symmetry, in itself no great fault,
the exterior gives the impression of being to-day much less grand and
imposing than was really planned. Battled by wind and weather, its outer
walls have that scarred and aged look which is a beauty in itself. There
are two towers, one of which is unfinished and capped with an ugly and
angular slate roof, so low that it hardly exists at all, so far as
forming a distinct feature of the façade is concerned. Its companion,
however, rises boldly and in graceful lines to a generous height above
the gable.

The interior plan is regular and simple, with a nave of five bays, the
first two from the west being divided into the infrequent quadruple
range of openings, while the remainder consist of the usual triforium
and clerestory only. The double aisles of the nave are of unusual
height, in order to admit of this double range of openings.

The transepts, if transepts they can be considered, are very shallow,
being merely the depth of the double aisles of the nave and choir, and
are bare and unadorned so far as any notable sculpture or glass is
concerned, though the arched windows which hold the plain glass are of
grand proportions and excellent design as to their framing.

The triforium, throughout, is an arcaded cloister-like effect of slight
arches, supported by slender columns, with a series of glazed windows
behind. It would be a notable and wholly charming arrangement were the
glass of these windows rich in colour, or even old in design.

There is an air of singular lightness, if not actually of grace,
throughout the entire nave and choir, superinduced, perhaps, by the
recent whitening and pointing of the masonry; but the not infrequent
bulging piers, particularly those nearest to the transept crossing, give
a suggestion of ungainliness if not of actual insecurity.

The columns of the choir, supporting a series of firm and gracefully
poised arches, are of unusual height, something over forty feet, it
would appear,--producing a harmony of form and elegance which again
reminds one of Amiens.

There are here copies of the nine Raphael tapestry cartoons, the
originals of which are preserved at South Kensington, also of frescoes
by Guido Reni and Domenichino.

The chief artistic, if not architectural, charm to be seen within the
purlieus of the cathedral is that of the ancient chapter-house, across a
narrow way, to the right of the church itself. This gem of mediæval
building is perhaps not remarkable as to any of the principles which it
sets forth in its manner of construction, but it takes one back some
hundreds of years, a sheer plunge far beyond the age of the most
prominent features of the main church, and gives a thrill somewhat akin
to the emotion which one feels when he comes across a single leaf torn
from an old illuminated manuscript. This charming ruin, for it is hardly
more than that, being a mere lumber-room, shows in the weathered look of
its covered stairway nearly all of the qualities which the painter loves
to depict,--colour, texture, and, above all, that indescribable charm
which artistic folk, and others who can see as they do, call life.

Clearly, the Cathedral of St. Etienne de Meaux, as an interesting
shrine, may be classed well at the head of the secondary cathedrals of
the third Gothic period.




To the thorough student of English history, Troyes is perhaps first
recalled as being the birthplace of the treaty "_decreeing for ever a
common sovereign for England and France_," a treaty which, it is minded,
"stood no while." Again, some dubious antiquary has put it forward as
the home of that variety of weights "which are not avoirdupois."

The Counts of Champagne had, in the once well-walled city, both a castle
and a palace. Olden-time houses, good Gothic woodwork and Renaissance
stonework, are here in abundance; also, according to the authority of
Fergusson, a well-nigh perfect Gothic church in St. Urbain; likewise a
great cathedral,--rather ugly as to its general outline. All these are
possessed by Troyes, and to-day the reminders and remains of each and
all are exceedingly vivid and substantial.

Certain cathedrals of France show plainly the different phases and
developments of the art of building through which they have passed;
others indicate little, if any, deviation from a certain accepted style.
St. Pierre de Troyes is of the first category. Here is Gothic in all its
variations. Its environment, too, is characteristic of the many varying
moods through which its constituency has passed. A truly mediæval city
in the picturesqueness of its older portions, Troyes is famed alike in
affairs of Church and State. The dimensions of the Cathedral at Troyes,
which approach those of the grand group, and the general majesty of its
interior only further this opinion.

The main body covers the none too frequent arrangement of five aisles,
which, following through the transept, continue, with the double pair on
each side, to likewise girdle the choir. The splendour of immensity is
further enhanced by its large windows, including two rose openings set
with old glass, and the general richness of its sculptured decorations.
The abside of the choir is ranked among the best Gothic works of the

The choir, begun in 1206, is composed of thirteen arcades, symbolical of
Christ and the twelve apostles, from the chief of whom the cathedral
takes its name. The windows of the triforium are large and divided into
four compartments. The general disposition of the choir, with its
radiating chapels, is superb; and it is exactly this satisfying, though
perhaps undefinable, quality that is ofttimes lacking in an originally
well-planned work which fails to inspire one. The choir contains an iron
_grille_ of the thirteenth century, of very beautiful workmanship, and
is surrounded by five hexagonally sided chapels.

The principal portion of the nave, erected in the fourteenth, fifteenth,
and sixteenth centuries, interrupted now and again by war and civil
distractions, bears indelible impress of its continued centuries of

The principal façade of the fifteenth century--accredited to one Martin
Chambige and erected just after the nave took form--is of the richness
of Gothic only just previous to its decline. There are three portals,
which are bare of sculptured figures, as indeed is the whole west front.
In arrangement, it resembles the frontispieces of certain of the grand
cathedrals, and, though lacking their sculptured ornateness, is
thoroughly satisfying as a decorative frontage. Had it been executed
fifty years later, it would be hard to imagine to what depths its lines
might not have fallen. As it is, the upper ranges of the tower suggest
the thought. The windows of the aisle and of the clerestory of the nave,
when viewed from the exterior, are grandly traceried and gracefully
coupled by a series of light, firm buttresses, which rise, only from the
gables of the lower set, over the low-lying roof to the spring of the
arch of the upper range. St. Pierre de Troyes suggests, in a mild way,
the "sheer glass walls" so frequently referred to by adulous French
critics when chanting the praises of the highly developed lightness of
their indigenous style. This is further accentuated when one notes the
glazed triforium, a decorative feature reminiscent of that at Séez,
Nevers, Tours, and St. Ouen at Rouen.

Troyes is one of those prominent cathedral cities of Catholic France
whereof the churchman deplores the fact that its men are not of the
church-going class, and that its congregations are mostly of the fair
sex. Be this as it may, except in Brittany, where the whole population
appears unusually devout, the stricture is probably true in a great
measure of all of the north of France; and, be it here said, recent
political edicts will doubtless not tend to increase the propaganda of

The north gable, with its portal and rose window, is of the fifteenth
century, and, with the "lustrous rose" of the south transept, forms a
pair of brilliant jewels which are hardly excelled elsewhere, not even
by the encircled splendour of the forty-foot openings at Reims and
Amiens, the equally extensive one of the north transept at Rouen, or,
most splendid of all, the galaxy at Chartres. These marvels of French
ingenuity and invention are nowhere more splendidly proportioned or
embellished than at Troyes, and are equally attractive viewed from
either within or without.

The chief "_tresor_" consists of a series of wonderful mediæval




Says the Abbé Bourassé, "One of the most beautiful titles to glory in a
church is the antiquity of its foundation," hence, most French
antiquaries who have written upon the subject of the celebrated
Cathedral of St. Etienne of Sens have enlarged upon its "glorious
antiquity." To prove or verify the fact as to whether St. Savinien or
St. Potentien was the first to preach Christian religion here would be a
laborious undertaking. Evidences and knowledge of Roman works are not
wanting, and early Christian edifices of the Romanesque order must
naturally have followed. One learns that an early church on this site
was entirely destroyed by fire in 970, and that a new edifice had
progressed so far that it was dedicated in 997. This, in turn, was
mostly rebuilt, and, two hundred years later (1168), took the form of
the present cathedral. It was completed, in a rather plain and heavy
ogival style, under the capable direction of the William who came to
Canterbury, in response to a call, to rebuild the choir of that English
church in 1174. It is this link, and possibly a sight of the vestments
of À Becket, now preserved among the "_tresor_" of Sens, that binds its
memory with English contemporary life. Whatever may be the contentions
waged as to the claims of English Gothic, it is universally and
unimpeachably admitted that Guillaume de Sens rebuilt that famous choir
of Canterbury, and built it well, and of a newer order of design than
any previous work in England. So let it stand.

Taken by itself, the Cathedral at Sens is a high example of Christian
art. When, however, it is compared with the grand group, it is relegated
immediately to the second rank. The interior, far more than the
exterior, shows a visible disparity of unified style. Romano-Byzantine,
transition, and ogival are all found in the nave and choir, with the
flamboyant, of the fifteenth century, in the ornamental tracery of the
windows of the transepts.

Some visible remains of the earlier structure are shown, built into the
eleventh century walls. Of the same period are other evidences of a
former erection, to be noted in the aisles. The transept and the greater
part of the nave are of the century following, and of the early
thirteenth, and finally the three arcades, by which the nave is entered,
are something very akin to the full-blown Renaissance of the fifteenth

The general plan is symmetrical, and severe, only the twenty chapels
being ungracefully disposed. Ten of these are in the choir and ten in
the nave. For the antiquary, versed in religious archæology, the
Cathedral of Sens would appear, from the very inconsistencies and
exuberance of its style, to be of great interest. The fragments that
remain of its former magnificent glass, the sculptured monuments, and
the tombs and curiosities of the "_tresor_," which escaped Revolutionary
spoliation, all combine in a glorious attraction for one who has the
time and inclination to delve into the reminiscence of history and
association of a past age.

The glass of the choir, and of the chapel of St. Savinien, is of the
thirteenth century. The colour is exceedingly brilliant, lively, and
harmonious, with the iridescence of a mosaic of precious stones.

The sixteenth-century glass, none the less than the framing itself, of
the grand rose windows of the north and south transepts, is equally
remarkable as to design and colour. The former represents the
"Glorification of Jesus Christ," and the latter "Events in the Life of
St. Etienne."

The "_tresor_" of the cathedral is very numerous and is considered the
richest in all France. The most notable are a reliquary of gold, set
with sapphires and pearls, containing a fragment of the True Cross,
given by Charlemagne in the year 800; four magnificent tapestries of the
time of Charles V., representing the "Adoration of the Magi;" and the
pontifical robes of St. Thomas (à Becket), chasuble, aube, stole,
manipule, cordon, two mitres, and two collars. This courageous
archbishop, persecuted by Henry II., took refuge in Sens in 1162. An
elaborate tomb (of the eighteenth century), by Constant, is the
mausoleum of the Dauphin, father of Louis XVI.


_Western Normandy and Brittany_



Most people who have read Ruskin, and most people have done so--in the
past, will undoubtedly concur with his dictum that Rouen's "associated
Norman cities," Bayeux, Caen, Coutances, St. Lo, Lisieux, and Dieppe,
run the entire gamut of mediæval architectural notes; or, as Ruskin
himself has put it, "from the Romanesque to the flamboyant." He might
well have added, the Renaissance and the pseudo-classicism of a later

Beauties there are in this region, galore; and the examples which no
longer exist, but of which the records tell, point to a still larger

Who thinks to-day of Coutances as of being a "cathedral town?" And yet,
there is within it, as to the general effect of situation and the
magnitude of its towering pinnacles, an edifice which perhaps outranks
all but the very greatest. Most likely no thought is given it at all,
except that Coutances is somewhere on the railway line between Cherbourg
and Paris, or that it is near unto Bayeux; also possessed of a
magnificent cathedral, but whose greatest fame lies in a certain false
sentiment associated with its famous tapestry. Not that this great work
is to be decried,--far from it, but the spirit with which it is so often
viewed should be a matter of scorn for every broad-minded traveller.

Lisieux, too, has a wealth of attraction for those who fondly admire
reeking picturesqueness and old timbered houses, though its cathedral
will not please.

Pugin could not resist depicting many of these delightful old houses of
Lisieux in his book on Normandy, though, unlike Ruskin, he had no eye
for its cathedral; most of us will not have.

So much, then, as a plea for a more sincere and thorough appreciation of
the charms of western Normandy. It is cheap; accessible, and has a
practically inexhaustible store of treasure for the traveller or student
of limited time or money, but who will not make of it the usual mere
"bank-holiday" scamper. The same applies also to Brittany, which is
treated elsewhere, with this proviso, that the tourist afoot or awheel
is far better equipped than he who has to depend upon steam and the
rail, two at least of Brittany's cathedrals being "off the line."



The Cathedral at Evreux is another of those edifices which gives one its
best impression when first seen upon entering the city. Charmingly,
possibly romantically, situated, it lies in a shallow valley with all
the picturesqueness of its varied style limned against the sky in truly
impressionistic fashion. This impression, when viewed from the slight
eminence by which the railway enters the town, is a vista of rambling
roofs and a long, sloping street running gently down to the very foot of
the structure, which, set about and interspersed with verdure, as it is
in the spring and summer months, warrants one in counting his
introduction to this charmingly attractive, though non-consistent, type
of church, as one of the events which will live in memory for years.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame d'Evreux_]

If towering spires and pinnacles were a _sine qua non_ for a great and
imposing architectural style, this church would at once rank as one
of the most delightful examples extant; for these very features, albeit
they are mostly of what we have come to accept as a debased form of art,
are nevertheless possessed of a grandeur and magnificence which in many
worthy examples are entirely lacking. The pair of western towers, of
Romanesque foundation, were developed, not in what one knows as Gothic,
but of the manifest and offensive pseudo-classic order. They are capped,
however, with something more akin to Moorish or an Eastern termination
than Italian. The spire which surmounts the central crossing is, without
question, a reminiscence of much that has been accepted as good Gothic
form in the great central-towered English churches. Up to a certain
point this can hardly be denied; but this rather weak, effeminate spire,
which forms such an unusual attribute of a French cathedral, more than
qualifies its right to a place in the first rank of spires. As for the
rest of the exterior, it is a _mélange_ of nearly every known
architectural style. Undeniably fine in parts, like "the curate's egg,"
if a time-worn simile may be permitted, it forms an ensemble which would
preclude its ever being accorded unqualified praise from even the most
liberal-minded and optimistic enthusiast.

By far the most coherent view to be had near by is that from the gardens
of the Archbishop's Palace immediately to the rearward of the choir.
Here the clipped trees, the warm coloured wall, along which the vines
are trained, and what was once a canal, or moat, in the foreground,
combine to present a singularly artistic and pleasing composition.

The north transept, of Bishop le Veneur, is of the superlative degree of
its era (early sixteenth century), bordering upon the profusion of
splayed ornament which so soon after turned to dross, but standing, as
it does, of itself, clearly defined. The gulf was finally crossed when,
less than a half-century later, the incongruous west front with its
ill-mannered towers was built,--in itself a subject worth a deal of
study from the artist who would picture graven stone, but contrasting
unfavourably enough with the heights to which French ecclesiastical
architecture had just previously soared. Here is offered the one unified
Renaissance façade of a French cathedral, welded, as it were, in
unworthy fashion, to a fabric with which it has nothing in common. The
stone-mason here superseded the craftsman; and, with the termination of
the reign of François I., and following with that of Henry II., came the
flowering rankness of a degenerate weed, leaving, as evidence of its
contaminating influence in this one example alone, traces of nearly
every classical order, from the simple Doric column to a hybrid which
shall be unnamed.

The interior presents a general array of incongruities quite as
remarkable as those of the exterior. The nave is very narrow; but the
choir widens out perhaps a dozen feet on either side, adding
immeasurably to an effect which is far more impressive than might
otherwise be supposed.

The nave itself shows many varieties of building, ranging from the
Gothic of the early twelfth to the late fifteenth centuries; the lower
part and the easterly bays are Romanesque, or what perhaps has been
popularly accepted as Norman, and date from 1125; the remainder and the
triforium are of a century later.

The choir is of the decorated species of the early fourteenth century,
with its arcaded triforium glazed, whereas in the nave it is without
glass. The lady-chapel, of the time of Louis XI., shows that inevitable
mark of degeneracy, the "_fleur-de-lys_," in the elaborated tracery of
the window framing. The glass here is, however, excellent, in effect at
any rate, with its gorgeous figures of knights, angels, and peers of
France, drawn with a masterly skill which is often lacking in even more
precious glass.

The chapel screens, some twenty in all, are wondrously turned and carved
of wood. This leads one to venture the thought that the similar
decorative embellishments of the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire
country were slowly creeping northward, and leaving their impress upon
the work of the ecclesiastical builder and decorator. Certainly, the
numerous fine examples of the art of the wood-carver, to be seen in this
cathedral, bespeak much for the decorative quality of wood, when used
considerately in conjunction with stone.

There are two rose windows, of the petal species, unquestionably fine as
to framing, but leaving little space for the effect of the glass, which
they hold only in small proportion.

The "treasury," alone, is enclosed with iron bars, and a _grille_ of
graceful late flowing ironwork forms the screen of the choir. Altogether
the Cathedral at Evreux will be remembered quite as much for its
wonderful array of wooden and iron _grilles_ as for any other of the
specific details among its mass of general attributes.

[Illustration: _Window Framing--Evreux_]

[Illustration: _Notre Dame d'Alençon_]



This former capital of the duchy of the same name is a sleepy,
countrified French town, with little but its reputedly valuable and
beautiful lace to commend it to the average observer.

As a cathedral town, of even secondary rank, it will fall far short of
any preconceived ideas which one may be possessed of concerning it,
though its Cathedral of Notre Dame is in many ways one of those
irresistible shrines, which at least promise, and often fulfil, a great
deal more than their lack of magnitude indicates.

Its façade, lacking the conventional towers, advances well into the
roadway, as a sort of forward porch; as at Louviers near by. This porch
is very ornate, with decorations of the late Gothic period of flowing

After all, it is an incongruous sort of a building, in that only this
porch and its squat central tower, which is nought but a mere cupola,
are in the least decorative.

The nave, the choir and chevet, and chapels, are all of a bareness which
only exaggerates the floridness of these other appendages. The nave
itself is but one hundred and ten feet long, and perhaps a scant thirty
wide, and dates from the fourteenth century. It contains good glass of
the same period, which luckily escaped the spoliation of the Revolution.

The choir is more modern, and much plainer in treatment, and is but
fifty-five feet in length and of the same width as the nave.

There are no transepts; in short, the chief and most interesting
features of the church are the before mentioned details, which,
unquestionably bordering upon the debasement of Gothic art, are in every
way attractive, with lightness and colour, if such an expression may be
applied to gray stone.

Certainly the play of sunlight on gracefully carven stone is indicative
of a brilliancy which might be termed an effect of colour; and it is
with respect to that quality that the west façade of Notre Dame
d'Alençon appeals; more than as an otherwise grand or even highly
interesting structure.

[Illustration: _St. Pierre de Lisieux_]



Lisieux, the city of the Lexavii, taken by Cæsar and besieged by
Geoffrey Plantagenet; its old houses; its crooked streets and
picturesque decay; with its former Cathedral of St. Pierre (M. H.),
memorable as the marriage place of Henry III. and Eleanor of Guienne;
all go to make up the formula of one of the stock sights of Normandy.

It is scarcely an attractive town, in spite of its picturesque
sordidness, made the more so by the smoke arising from many belching
factory chimneys. In fact, one has difficulty in thinking of it as a
cathedral town at all; and, as such, it hardly claims more than a brief
résumé of its important features. A much more interesting, impressive,
and commanding church is that of St. Jacques, which at least has the
stamp of a personality, which in the cathedral itself is entirely
wanting, so far as one's latent sympathies are concerned. In spite of
the purity of that which is Gothic in its fabric, it has little of that
quality which arouses admiration, and which, regardless of the edict of
a certain seer and prophet, is mostly that for which we revere a great
monument,--its power to sway us impressively.

Mr. Ruskin has taken great pains to commend the southern portal as being
"one of the most quaint and pleasing doors in all Normandy,"--a
non-committal enough statement, most will admit, and one with which we
are not obliged to agree. A broader-minded observer would have said that
the main body of the church presents a unity of design, very unusual in
a mediæval work,--excelled by no other example in France. The greater
part of the nave, choir, and transepts is the work of one epoch only;
and, as some writers have it, of one man, Bishop Odericus Vitalis, who
died shortly after its completion, in the latter part of the eleventh
century. As a style, it may be said to be either the last of the
transition or of the very earliest Gothic. Certainly this is something
in its favour; but the general charm of its immediate surroundings is
lacking, and the effect of its interior, with the diminutive windows of
the nave and clerestory, does not tend to satisfy, or even gratify, one
with the sense of pleasure which perhaps its more creditable features
deserve. These are not wholly wanting; for, of course, one must not
forget that doorway of Ruskin's nor the quite idyllic proportions of the
nave with its uniform massive pillars.

The lady-chapel was founded in the fifteenth century by the rascally
Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who, with his brother, prelate of
Winchester, so gleefully burned Joan of Arc. This much he did in
expiation of "_his false judgment_," though, except as a memorial of his
significant remorse, the chapel itself would hardly be remarkable. The
clerestory of nave and choir is considerably later. The transepts vary
as to their windows, and the triforium arches are here at a different
level from those in the nave.

The general exterior view of the cathedral is hardly satisfactory from
any point. On three sides it is almost entirely hemmed in by surrounding
structures, and the frontage, on the great open Place Thiers, is the
first and the last opportunity of an unobstructed view. As the Abbé
Bourassé wrote of the Cathedral at Arras, it is best seen from a
distance, about that, we should say, from which the accompanying drawing
was made. The gardens of the Sous-Prefecture, formerly the Bishop's
Palace, should form in a way a cool green setting for the church; but,
as a matter of fact, they do nothing of the sort, since the enormous
mass of a none too good Renaissance façade extends along quite
two-thirds of the length of the cathedral on the north, and blankets it
thoroughly, scarcely more than the rather stubby tower of the west front
being visible above the roof of the other structure.

Lisieux apparently never ranked as an important see, but depended for
the prominence which it attained previous to the Revolution, when the
see was abolished, on its association with Rouen, to which it was
attached. The neighbouring Cathedrals of Séez, Bayeux, and Coutances far
outrank St. Pierre de Lisieux in size, beauty, and importance.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de SÉEZ_ ...]



The ancient Civitas Sagiorum of the Romans is now a bishopric, suffragan
of Rouen. This ancient Gallic stronghold, which fared hardly in the
Anglo-Norman wars, presents to-day the impression of being a town
somewhat smaller than the usual small town of France. It also has this
advantage,--it is comparatively unknown to tourists, and likewise to
some map-makers; all of which is decidedly in its favour. Seldom is Séez
included in the itinerary of the tourist, even though it is situated in
the heart of the "popular province."

Except for the fact that its charming cathedral is not of the generous
proportions first impressed upon one, it is difficult to realize that
such a noble architectural memorial should so often be overlooked and
apparently neglected by those who might find a great deal of pleasure,
and incidental profit, from a contemplation thereof.

As a town of celebrated history, Séez is of far more relative rank than
its cathedral, which, in spite of its many beauties and charm of detail,
has suffered perhaps more than any other in France, and yet kept a
fairly pure early Gothic style; referring to the many additions and
repairs made necessary by crumbling walls and sinking foundations.

The worst that has arisen from this unhappy state of affairs is, not
that there has been any serious admixture of style, but rather that one
gross interpolation has been foisted upon an otherwise symmetrical
whole,--the enormous advancing buttresses which flank the portal of the
western façade; an addition of the fourteenth century, neither graceful
nor decorative, and only made necessary by a tottering wall. A pity it
is that some other equally effective method was not adopted.

The cathedral is, in a way, a satisfying representation of the cathedral
of our imagination. From a distance, at least, and in comparison with
the low-lying structures round about, it certainly appears as of great
proportions, uniform and complete in itself. Immediate contact with it
somewhat dispels these charms.

All things considered, one finds here, in this idyllic, countrified
setting, a very attractive and fairly consistent Mediæval Gothic church
of the epoch contemporary with that of the best work of the northern
builders, showing unmistakable evidence of having been laid down on good
lines, and after a good design, in spite of the structural defects of
its foundations. From any direction it may be viewed across a quarter of
a mile of ploughed fields. The great national highroad, from the Channel
to Bordeaux, passes straight as a die through the town, and the
cross-country line of the _Chemin de-Fer de Ouest_ ambles slowly
northward or southward; with little occurring to break the quietude of
local ease. The native is for the most part engaged in garnering from
his truck farm, or in carrying its product to the railway, to be
transported to market, and pays little attention to the stray traveller
who occasionally wanders in to study the architectural offering of the

A completed church was here in 1050, having been erected by a monk, Azon
by name. This was burned to the ground in an attempt to drive out a
robber band which had taken shelter therein. Leo IX. engaged Yves, Count
of Bellêne and the Bishop of Alençon, to rebuild it, and restore its
former splendour. This was in the twelfth century, but, later, owing to
the insecure foundations, it was pulled down and rebuilt again. Now
nothing remains of the former twelfth and thirteenth century work but
the lady-chapel of the choir.

The interior of the nave is, at present, entirely filled with
scaffolding, which looks as though it might not be removed for years. As
a restorative policy this is commendable and was necessary, but it
detracts from one's intimate acquaintance with details. About the only
lasting impression of the nave that can now be obtained is that its
proportions are superb, and that its cylindrical pillars, with their
foliaged capitals, would be notable anywhere.

In general effect the choir is charming, having gone through the
restorative process and apparently suffered little thereby. It presents
the unusual basilica form of setting the altar forward on a platform
raised a few steps.

The transepts are of quite idyllic proportions, each possessing an ample
rose window which makes up in design and framing what it may lack in the
quality of glass with which it is set. These transepts, too, have
undergone the usual restoration, and have come safely through with
little sad effect. It is to be hoped that these continued restorations
will be carried out with the same good taste, and in a like consistent
manner. If so, there will be presented for the delectation of
generations of the near future one of the most pleasing of the smaller
cathedrals in all France. The triforium of the choir, and of the nave so
far as it can be observed through the obstructing scaffolding, is
singularly light and graceful, and the window framing throughout, though
entirely lacking notable glass, is of manifest good design.

In fine, then, the general effect of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Séez
is one of lightness and grace, and it may be considered as an
extraordinarily fine architectural monument, in spite of the anomalies
of its west front.

The twin spires rise gracefully for perhaps two hundred and fifty feet,
and are after the best manner of the great Gothic builders; of true
proportions, and of the dwindling pyramidal form so much approved.

The façade, between the towers and the extraordinary buttresses, is
completely filled with an ample Gothic portal, which, though entirely
destitute of sculpture, or indeed carving of any sort, offers a
significant opportunity for some future efforts in this direction.




The magnificently impressive Cathedral of Notre Dame is perhaps less
intimately associated with Bayeux in the average mind than is the
wonderful story-telling tapestry which is domiciled in the same city. As
for this treasure of the past, it is a subject so vast, and of such
great significance, in both history and art, that it has many times been
made the subject of weighty consideration. A well-known English amateur,
the Honourable E. J. Lowell, has stated that popular tradition has
credited it as the handiwork of Matilda, Queen of William the
Conqueror, who worked it to commemorate his glorious achievements. If
this be really so, the queen was probably assisted largely by the ladies
of her court, as the extensive work, measuring some hundred and sixty
odd feet, could hardly have been accomplished single-handed. Professor
Freeman assigns it to a similar period, but worked, as he thinks, by
English workmen, for Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, the Conqueror's

A previous acquaintance with the great cathedrals of the Isle of France
will tend somewhat to nullify the effect which is produced by Notre Dame
de Bayeux, although, in point of size and general arrangements, at
least, it fulfils its functions perhaps more acceptably than many a more
renowned edifice. Its situation, on the side of a steep slope, produces
a curious effect, first, with respect to the choir chevet, which is thus
shown as rather gaunt and bare in its lower elongated stages, though
undeniably a fine work in itself; secondly, in the general interior view
where, from the western entrance, one comes upon the nave pavement a
dozen or more steps below the portal, and again meets with the same
effect further on at the transept crossing. There would appear to have
been no other way but this of placing above ground what might otherwise
have been the crypt; adding immeasurably to the fine appearance of the
interior, the nave and choir appearing to lengthen out interminably by
reason of the western elevation from which they are viewed.

A portion of the western towers, and the crypt which is beneath the
choir, are thought to date from as early as the eleventh century, having
been built by Odo, the half-brother of William the Norman. The
splendidly proportioned Norman nave, with its decorated spandrels and
archivolts, a worthy decorative embellishment developed before the days
of coloured glass, possesses that bright and fresh appearance which is
usually associated with a recent work, whereas, as a matter of fact, it
can hardly be, in its five circular arches at least, later than the late
eleventh or early twelfth century. If it were true that modern
restorative processes commonly disfigured no more than this, it is a
pity that the dust and cobwebs, and a little of the grime of ages, were
not more often removed. Here is the very excess of dog-tooth, arabesque,
and grotesque carving, never found in connection with a building which
is constructively decorative. Here also is an ornate frieze of no great
depth and possessing none of the beauties of the two other distinct
elements. As there is no triforium in the nave proper, this decoration
is, of course, intended merely as a relief to a bareness which, on
account of the generous height, would otherwise exist.

In the choir, the triforium, which is omitted in the nave, springs into
being in beautiful and ornate form. The lower arches, with the supports,
the attributed work of an English architect, are of the usual Gothic
form, in contra-distinction to the rounded heads of those of the nave.
The clerestory, though delicate and graceful, is somewhat curtailed from
the dimensions of that of the west end of the church.

The transepts are unusually bright and cheerful, with a series of
windows more beautifully designed than those of either the choir or
nave. The choir stalls are of oak, carved in the best manner of the

The charming tower group of this cathedral is as effective, perhaps, as
any among all the northern churches. The central belfry, albeit of a
base, though pretentious, rococo design, follows no accepted style, but
adds imposingly to the general outline. (Its height is over three
hundred feet.) In this tower, as in the window tracery, the
_fleur-de-lys_, always a sign of the decadent in Gothic style, is to be
seen. The western towers, with their spires, follow the truest pyramidal
form, and, though carrying both pointed and round-arched openings, are
in every way representative of the best work of their period. The
northwesterly tower has an elongated turret, extending from the lower
ranges, which, when seen from a distance over the roof of the nave,
appears as a protuberance not unlike a dove-cote. This contains the
spiral staircase up which visitors are earnestly implored, by the
caretaker, to wend their way and participate in the view from the
heights above. This view, though undeniably wider in range than are most
elevated view-points, is hardly of interest to one who seeks the
beauties of the structure itself. There are three porches on the west
façade, all fairly well filled with foliaged ornament and bas-reliefs.
They are of the thirteenth century, and of a thoroughly florid order.

Included in the "_tresor_" are two gifts from St. Louis, the chasuble of
St. Regnobert, and an ivory and enamel casket.




This picturesquely situated city of the Cotentin, St. Lo, is so named
from the Bishop St. Laud, who lived in the neighbourhood in the sixth
century. Later, it became a Huguenot stronghold, and was ably, though
unsuccessfully, defended by Colombiers. It forms, with its former
Cathedral of Notre Dame crowning its height, another of those ensembles
which will always linger in the memory of the traveller who first comes
upon it clad in spring and summer verdure. The rippling Vire at its very
feet gives at once the note; it not only binds and enwraps it like the
setting of a precious stone, but adds that one feature which, lacking,
would be a chord misplaced. Perhaps no other cathedral in all France,
with regard to its bijou setting, certainly no other so accessible to
the English tourist, has more dainty charm than this not very grand, but
graceful, church at St. Lo. Its towers, though not uniform as to size,
are of apparently the same gradual proportions, and, if not the most
impressive, are at least the most beautiful in Normandy. They rise high
above the wooded crest which encircles their base in true picture-book
fashion. The attraction of the river, here, is unusual, in that it
presents no accustomed "slummy" picturesqueness, but winds slowly, amid
its green, to the very base of the cliff which upholds the chief portion
of the town and its cathedral.

The façade presents a _mélange_ of the work of at least three epochs, a
not unusual feature in some of the smaller cathedrals. It has a mean
little house built into its northwest corner, a crude and ugly
clock-face stuck unmeaningly on its façade, and a general air of
dilapidation, with respect to the statues originally contained in its
archivolts and niches, which, to say the least, is not creditable to
those who have been responsible for its care. It would seem that so
lively and important a centre of local activity might have devoted a
little more thought and care to the maintenance of this charming

Built up from a foundation of which but little, if any portion, visibly
remains, Notre Dame shows a debasement of design and decoration of its
façade which is not only not admirable, but is, in addition, sadly
disfigured. The one detail, for the most part good in style, is a not
unduly florid arcade, which plainly indicates its superiority over the
rest of the building.

On the north side is an open-air pulpit of stone overhung with a canopy,
a highly interesting detail, though, of course, not a unique one. Unable
to command admiration as an absolute novelty, it is assuredly a charming
feature, and is delicately and profusely sculptured. It suggests much in
conjunction with the busy life of the rather squalid neighbouring
market-place, whose only picturesque attribute is when it is crowded
with the gaiety of a market or a fête day. By far the most compelling
interest in the building, after an inspection of its interior, is the
view to be had from a distance.

The nave is late Gothic, and widens out in curious fashion toward the
east; otherwise the interior arrangements are not remarkable. One
bulbous chapel on the south side supplants the usual transept.

There is no triforium either in choir or nave, the lighting principally
being effected by the large windows of the aisles.

It is pertinent to recall here that one of Charlemagne's own foundations
of the ninth century, destroyed by the barbarians, was situated near by,
the famous Abbey of St. Croix.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Coutances_]



Like many another town of western Normandy, like Falise, Domfront, St.
Lo, Granville, Avranches, and Mont St. Michel itself, Coutances rises
high above the surrounding plain and stands dominant in the landscape
for miles on either hand. Of perhaps more magnitude, as to area, than
any of the other examples, the city has the added attribute of three
towered ecclesiastical edifices, which rise nobly in varying stages far
over the neighbouring roof-tops of the town itself and the tree-clad
slopes which embank it.

The oldest of the Norman Gothic cathedrals, and that which partakes the
most of local character, is Notre Dame de Coutances. Certain French
archæologists have said that the main body of the church is actually
that of the eleventh century. It is more likely, however, that none of
the building at present in view is earlier than the thirteenth century,
the epoch during which contemporaneous Gothic first grew to its
maturity. In any event, such building and construction was going on from
1208 to 1233 as would indicate that it was the entire present edifice
which was being planned at that time. In this case it is quite possible
that the rebuilding was going on slowly, foot by foot, in a manner which
not only encompassed and absorbed the older building, but in reality
eradicated every vestige of it. Says a French writer of enthusiasm, "The
Cathedral of Coutances, as it now stands, is one of the most noble and
grand religious edifices in France, with all the qualities of a monument
of the first order, of perfect dimension, beauty of plan, unity of
workmanship, and distinction of form." Any one of these attributes, were
it literally so, might well turn a commonplace structure into an
unapproachable masterpiece. In a measure, all of his eulogy is quite
true, and the pity is that more do not know of its fascination and

The façade of the Cathedral of Notre Dame is of the indigenous
Norman-Gothic type. The fine towers, in addition to combining the
symmetrical elements of Gothic, have, each, as well, a flanking
towerlet, attached to their outer sides, enclosing a spiral stairway.
These extend to quite the full height of the tower proper; and, though
by no means a wholly attractive feature, are not as offensive as might
at first be supposed. It is doubtful, in fact, if the general strength
and impressiveness of the entire structure would not be impaired were
the arrangements otherwise.

The present ogival structure is built on the remains of a Romanesque
church erected by a famous Bishop of Coutances, Geoffroy de Montbray,
with funds supplied by Guillaume Bras-de-Fer, Odon, Roger, Onfroy, and
Robert, sons of Tancrede-de-Hauteville, the Norman conquerors of Sicily
and Calabria, whose names have been given fabled prominence in more than
one epic poem. The early structure was consecrated in 1056, in the
presence of William, then Duke of Normandy, a few years before he became
the Conqueror. Supposedly none of this former church remains; in fact,
what fragments, if any, exist, are doubtless covered in the present

Mainly, the present structure is thirteenth-century work, with a
lady-chapel of the fourteenth century.

An unusual, and exceedingly beautiful, effect is given by the Gothic
window mullions, between the chapels, in reality a series of
geometrical window-frames, without glass. No florid ornament either
inside or out is to be found to offend against accepted ideals. In
short, "the whole is of a piece complete." The parapets of triforium and
clerestory, with foliaged carvings, are about the only ornate
decorations to be seen.

The central tower, of great proportions, but incomplete as to the
addition of a spire, is a marvel of strength and power. Its interior,
elaborately decorated, forms a lantern at the crossing. Here, as at
Bayeux, the choir is raised a few steps above its aisles, giving a
certain impressiveness beyond what might otherwise exist.

The interior, generally, is admirable. Clustered columns, as they are
commonly called,--in reality they are clustered pillars, if word
derivations are to be considered,--separate both nave and choir from the
aisles; and, in case of the choir, a series of elongated circular
pillars are coupled, one behind the other, an unquestionably unique

The transepts are practically non-existent, as the widening does not
extend beyond the extent of the nave chapels. This leaves the
ground-plan, at least, a mere parallelogram with a rounded eastern end.

Notre Dame de Coutances is one of the few really great Gothic churches
not possessing an example of those French masterworks, the rose window.

Again referring to the fine tower group, it is probably true that, were
the huge central tower properly spired, the ensemble would rival Laon in
regard to its impressive situation and elaborate pinnacles.

St. Pierre, of the fifteenth century, and St. Nicolas, of the
fourteenth, complete the trinity of fine churches which Coutances
possesses. The latter contains the unusual arrangement in a Continental
church of pews in place of chairs, although formerly, it is said, this
feature was not uncommon in Normandy.

The somewhat considerable remains of a Roman acqueduct, near by, are
sufficiently remarkable to warrant passing consideration, even by the
"mere lover of churches."




There is little to recount concerning the See of Avranches. Its
bishopric and its cathedral were alike destroyed during the parlous
times of the bickerings and ravages of Royalists and Republicans of the
Revolutionary period. All that remains to-day is a trifling heap of
stones which would hardly fill a row-boat,--a fragment of a shaft on
which is a tablet reading:

               "ON THIS STONE,
                  HENRY II.,
            ON SUNDAY, 22D MAY 1172."

At its feet is another slab, the aforementioned door-step, on which,
before the papal legate, the remorseful monarch did penance before his
later expiation at Canterbury.

A little farther on is a small heap consisting of shafts and capitals of
columns, a stone sarcophagus and a brass plate stating that they are the
"Derniers restes de la cathédrale d'Avranches; commencée vers 1090 et
consacrée par l'eveque Turgis en 1121." The nave having fallen in, the
rest of the edifice had to be taken down in 1799.

Because of its picturesque environment and situation, Avranches is
perhaps a more than ordinarily attractive setting for a shrine, and it
is well worthy of the attention of the passing traveller, in spite of
its ancient cathedral being now but a heap of stones. Apart from this
it is of little interest, and hence, to most, it will probably remain,
in the words of a French traveller, a mere "silhouette in the distance."


[Illustration: _CATHEDRAL of S. SAMSON DOL_]



The one-time Cathedral of St. Samson, at Dol, is, says an unusually
expressive Frenchman, "a grand, noble, and severe church, now widowed of
its bishops. Its aspect is desolate and abandoned, as if it were but a
ruin _en face sur la grande place_, of itself, but a mere desert of
scrub." This is certainly a vivid and forceful description of even a
wholly unprepossessing shrine. This St. Samson is not, and due allowance
should be made for verbal modelling which, in many cases, is but the
mere expression of a mood _pro tempo_. There is, however, somewhat of
truth in the description. About the granite walls there is a grimness
and gauntness of decay; of changed plans and projects; of devastation;
of restoration; and, finally, of what is, apparently, submission to the
inevitableness of time.

The enormous northwesterly tower is stopped suddenly, with the daylight
creeping through its very framework. Its façade is certainly bare of
ornament, and gives a thorough illustration of paucity of design as well
as of detail. There is, indeed, nothing in the west façade to compel
admiration, and yet there is a fascination about it that to some will be

A sixteenth-century porch, of suggested Burgundian style, forms the main
entrance to the church, and is situated midway along the south side.
Almost directly opposite, on the north, is the curiously contrasting
feature of a crenelated battlement, a reminder of the time when the
church was doubtless a temporal as well as a spiritual stronghold.

The interior, as the exterior, is gloomy and melancholy. One has only to
contemplate the collection of ludicrously slender clustered columns of
the nave, bound together with markedly visible iron strands, to realize
the real weakness of the means by which the fabric has been kept alive.

The nave itself is of true proportions, and, regardless of the severity
of its lines, and the ludicrous pillars, is undeniably fine in effect.

A curiously squared choir-end, but with the small apsed lady-chapel
extending beyond, is another of those curious details which stand out in
a way to be remarked in a French church. In this squared end, and above
the arch made by the pillars of the choir aisle, is a large pointed
window filled with ancient glass which must have been inserted soon
after the church was reconstructed after the fire in the twelfth

The general effect of the nave and aisles is one of extreme narrowness,
which perhaps is not so much really the case when actual measurements
are taken.

In general, the church is supposed by many to resemble the distinct type
of Gothic as it is known across the Channel; and, admitting for the
nonce that possibly many of the Brittany structures were the work of
English builders, this church, in the absence of any records as to who
were its architects, may well be counted as of that number.

The stalls of the choir are of delicately carved wood, before which is
placed a monumental bishop's throne, with elaborate armorial
embellishments. A Renaissance tomb of the sixteenth century, by a pupil
of Michel Colomb, now much injured in its sculptured details of angels
and allegorical figures, is locally considered the "show-piece" of the

[Illustration: _S. MALO & S. SERVAN_]

[Illustration: _TRÉGUIER_]



Welshmen throughout the world rejoice that it was one of their
countrymen, a monk of the sixth century, who gave his name as founder to
the "walled city of St. Malo by the sea." With its outlying and
contiguous towns of St. Servan, Dinan, and Paramé, St. Malo is a
paradise for the mere lover of pleasure resorts. Further, with respect
to the first three places mentioned, there is present not a little of
the romance and history of the past, reflected as it were in a modern
mirror. Not but that the old town of St. Malo, within the walls, is
ancient and picturesque enough, and dirty, too, if one be speciously
critical; but the fact is that the modern Pont Roulant, and the omnific
toot of the steam-tram, ever present in one's sight and hearing, are
forcible reminders of the march of time.

St. Servan, so far as its cathedral is concerned, may be dismissed in a
word. The ancient see of St. Pierre d'Aleth had, at one time, its
dignity vested in a bishop who enthroned himself in a cathedral, the
remains of which exist to-day only as a fragment built into the
fortifications. The bishopric was removed in 1142 to St. Malo.

With St. Malo a difference exists. Its cathedral, now degenerated to a
parish church, is a Gothic work mainly of the fifteenth century, and,
regardless of its unimposing qualities, is one of those fascinating old
buildings which, in its environment and surroundings, appeals perhaps
more largely to us as a component of a whole than as a feature to be
admired by itself. The church, safely sheltered from the ravage of gale
and storm, sits amid narrow winding streets, whose buildings are so
compressed as to rise to heights unusual in the smaller Continental

The edifice is mainly of the fifteenth century, but has been variously
renovated and restored. Gothic, Renaissance, and the transition between
the two are plainly discernible throughout. Perhaps the best art to be
noted is that found in the interior of the choir, with its fine
triforium and clerestory windows above. Here, again, is to be observed
the squared east end of the English contemporary church, a further
reminder, if it be needed, of the influences which were bound to be more
or less exchanged with regard to the arts and customs of the time, on
both shores of _La Manche_.

A few features of passing interest are here, an ivory crucifix, a few
tombs, and some indifferent paintings.

The spire is modern, but gives a suggestion, at least, in viewing the
city from a distance, of something of what a mediæval walled seaport,
with its population huddled close beneath the shadow of the church, and
within the city walls, must have been like. The best example of this
which ever existed in mediæval France, and which exists to-day in a more
than ordinary remarkable state of preservation, is the famous Mount St.
Michel, a few miles only to the eastward, and famed of all, historian,
ecclesiast, artist, and mere pleasure-seeker, alike. Most writers are
pleased to refer to the confiding attitude of mine host, who conducts
the principal hostelry on the Mount, and who guilelessly asks the wary
traveller (ofttimes they _are_ wary) what he has partaken of during his
stay, and makes up the account accordingly. This is, perhaps, not the
least of attributive charms, though it should be a minor one where this
wonderful and real Mount, which takes its name from legendary St.
Michel, is concerned. Indeed, leaving the cathedrals at Rouen, Chartres,
and Le Mans out of the question, it is doubtful if the Abbey of Mont St.
Michel is not the chief remaining architectural glory of the middle
ages, west of Paris.

It is but a short distance from St. Malo to St. Servan, but what a
difference! It is called by the French themselves the daughter of St.
Malo,--the "faubourg grown into a city."

Rabida's "Bretagne" states that there are "nombreux des Anglais à St.
Servan, des jeunes gens vivant dans les pensions brittaniques--des
familles venant l'été faire en Bretagne une cure d'economies pour
l'hiver." Continuing, this discerning author says: "Bathers, bicyclists,
golfists, promenaders, and excursionists abound." Better then let them
hold forth here to their hearts' content; there is little that the lover
of churches will gain from what remains to-day of the town's former
Cathedral of St. Pierre.



This old cathedral city, at the junction of two small streamlets, a
short distance from the sea, lies perhaps a dozen miles away from the
nearest railway. With St. Pol de Leon and St. Brieuc it is, in local
characteristics and customs alike, a something apart from any other
community in northern France. The Bretons are commonly accredited as
being a most devout race, and certainly devotion could take no more
marked turn than the many evidences here to be seen in this "land of
Calvaries." St. Brieuc is a bishopric, suffragan of Rennes, whose
cathedral is a hideous modern structure of the early nineteenth century
quite unworthy as a shrine; but Tréguier's power waned with the
Revolution. Its fourteenth-century church, however, is sufficiently
remarkable by reason of its situation and surroundings, none the less
than in its fabric, to warrant a deviation from well-worn roads in
order to visit it. Chiefly of a late period, it possesses in the Tour de
Hasting, named after the Danish pirate (though why seems obscure), which
enfolds the north transept, a work of the best eleventh-century class.
This should place the church, at once, within the scope of the
designation of a "transition" type. In this tower the windows and
pilasters are of the characteristic round variety of the period. The
south porch is the most highly developed feature as to Mediæval style,
but the attraction lies mainly in its ensembled massiveness, with its
two sturdy towers and a ridiculously spired south _clocher_. Beyond a
certain grimness of fabric the church fails, not a little, to impress
one with even simple grandeur, even when one takes into consideration
the charms of its florid but firmly designed cloister, which, with the
church itself, is classed by the _Département des Beaux Arts_ as one of
the twenty-three hundred "_Monumentes Historiques_." Nevertheless, the
building proves more than ordinarily gratifying, though by no stretch of
the imagination could it be classed as grand.

Loftiness and grandeur are equally lacking in the interior, and there is
great variation of style with respect to the pillars of nave and choir.
This is also the case with the windows, which play the gamut from the
severe round-headed Romanesque to the latest flamboyant development, a
feature which not only disregards most conventions, but, as every one
will admit, most flagrantly offends, with sad results, against the
general constructive elements. A plain triforium, in the nave, blossoms
out, in the south transept and choir, in no hesitating manner, into
exceeding richness. The choir has an apsidal termination and contains
carved wooden stalls which are classed as work of the mid-seventeenth
century, though appearing much more time-worn.

The really popular attribute of the church lies in the reconstructed
monument to St. Yves, the patron saint of advocates, and commonly
considered the most popular in all the Brittany calendar.

Born near Tréguier in 1253, St. Yves' "unheard-of probity and
consideration for the sick and the poor" gained such general respect
that, with his death on the nineteenth of May, 1303, there was
inaugurated a great feast which to-day is yearly celebrated, and all
grieving against a real or fancied wrong have recourse promptly to the
supposedly just favour of this universal patron of the law.

[Illustration: S. BRIEUC]



Unlike many of the smaller towns which contain cathedral churches, St.
Brieuc is a present day bishopric; hence the Cathedral takes on,
perhaps, more significance than it would, were it but an example of a
Mediæval church.

In reality it is not a very wonderful structure, and the guide-books
will tell one practically nothing about it. The town itself is a dull
place, a tidal port, at some little distance from the sea, which flushes
in upon it twice during the round of the clock.

A monastery was founded here in the fifth century by St. Brieuc, from
whom the town itself and the present cathedral take their name. He was a
Celtic monk from Wales, who, upon being expelled from his native land,
located his establishment here, on the site of a former Gallo-Roman
town. The patronal feast of St. Brieuc is held each year on the first of
May and is a curious survival of a mediæval custom.

Some remains of an early church are built into the choir walls, but in
the main this not very grand edifice is of the thirteenth and fourteenth

The tower, with its loopholes, would supposedly indicate that the church
was likewise intended as somewhat of a fortification. The apse is
rounded in the usual form, and on either side extend transepts to the
width of two bays.

Within, the Cathedral is more attractive than without. The elements of
construction and embellishment, while perhaps not ranking with those of
the really great churches, are sufficiently vivid and lively to indicate
that the work was consciously and enthusiastically undertaken. The
lady-chapel is of the thirteenth century, and the transept rose is of
the fifteenth, as is also the Chapel of St. Guillaume, named for the
monk of Dijon who built so many of the monasteries throughout Brittany
and who, it is to be presumed, planned or built the original structure,
the remains of which are found in the present choir.

The windows throughout are either of not very good modern glass, or of
plain leaded lights, which, in the majority of cases, may be considered
as no less an attraction. An elaborate rose is in the western gable.

There are, in the church, various monuments and tombs to former



In the midst of that land which furnishes the south of England with most
of its cauliflowers, artichokes, onions, and asparagus, truly off the
beaten track, in that it is actually off the line of railway, is the
strange and melancholy city of St. Pol de Leon, its _clochers_
dominating, by day at least, both land and sea. It contains the famous
"Kreisker," a name which sounds as though it were Dutch or North German,
which it probably is along with other place names on the near-by coast,
such as Grouin, St. Vaast, Roscoff, and La Hougue.

The tower and spire of this wonderful "Kreisker" rise boldly, from the
transept crossing, in remarkable fashion, and as a marvel of
construction may be said to far outrank the cathedral structure itself.
"Curious and clever" well describes it. As for the former cathedral over
which the Kreisker throws its shadow, it is one of those majestic
twin-towered structures not usually associated with what, when compared
with the larger French towns, must perforce rank as a mere village.

There is much to be said in favour of these little-known near-by places,
namely, that the charm of their attractions amply repays one for any
special labour involved in getting to them, with the additional
advantage, regardless of the fact that a stranger appears somewhat to
the native as a curiosity, that they are "good value for the money
paid." Perhaps the cheapest Continental tour, of say three weeks, that
could be taken, amid a constantly changing environment, if one so
choose, would comprehend this land of Calvaries.

The two cathedral towers of early Gothic flank a generous porch. There
is good glass throughout the church, the circular "rose" of the transept
being a magnificent composition in a granite framing. The nave is of
thirteenth-century Gothic, from the south aisle of which projects a
large chapel dedicated to St. Michael. The double-aisled choir is
garnished with sculptured stalls of the fifteenth century, and,
separated from its aisles by a stone screen, is of much larger
proportions than the nave, and likewise of a later epoch of building.
The apse is flamboyant, as are also the windows of the south transept.
In the chapels are various vaults and tombs, remarkably well preserved,
but of no special moment. In one of these chapels, however, is a curious
painting in the vaulting, representing a "Trinity" possessing three
faces, disposed in the form of a trefoil with three eyes only. A ribbon
or "_banderalle_" bears an inscription in Gothic characters; in the
Breton tongue, "_Ma Donez_" (Mon Dieu).



"C'est Quimper, ce mélange du passé et du présent." A true enough
description of most mediæval cities when viewed to-day; but with no
centre of habitation is it more true than of this city by the
sea,--though in reality it is not by the sea, but rather of it, with a
port always calm and tranquil. It takes rank with Brest as the western
outpost of modern France.

For centuries unconquered, and possessing an individuality of its very
own, this now important prefecture has much to remind us of its past.
History, archæology, and "mere antiquarian lore" abound, and, in its
grandiose Cathedral of St. Corentin, one finds a large subject for his
appreciative consideration.

[Illustration: ST. CORENTIN _de QUIMPER_ ...]

It is of the robust and matured type that familiarity has come to regard
as representative of a bishopric; nothing is impoverished or
curtailed. Its fine towers with modern spires, erected from the proceeds
of a "butter tax," are broad of base and delicately and truly
proportioned. Its ground-plan is equally worthy, though the choir is not
truly orientated. Its general detail and ensemble, one part with
another, is all that fancy has told us a great church should contain,
and one can but be prepared to appreciate it when it is endorsed, and
commented on, by such ardent admirers as De Caumont, Viollet-le-Duc,
Corroyer, and Gonsé, those four accomplished Frenchmen, who probably
knew more concerning Mediæval (Gothic) architecture than all the rest of
the world put together.

From the thirteenth to the fifteenth century there grew up here a work
embracing the ogival and the flamboyant, neither in an undue proportion,
but as well as in any other single structure known. This well shows the
rise, development, and apogee of the style which we commonly call
Gothic, but which the French prefer to call "ogival," and which should
really, if one is to fairly apportion credit where it is due, be best
known as French Mediæval architecture.

Its west façade, with its generous lines, is strongly original. The two
towers, pierced with enormously heightened lancets, are indubitably
graceful and impressive, while a flanking pair of flying buttresses,
with their intermediate piers, form an unusual arrangement in the west
front of a French cathedral.

Above the western gable is a curiously graven effigy of King Grollo in

Considered as a whole, the exterior is representative of the best
contemporary features of the time, but contains few if any which are so
distinctly born of its environment as to be otherwise notable.

The interior vies with the outer portion of the fabric in the general
effect of majesty and good design. The triforium is remarkably beautiful
and is overtopped by a range of clerestory windows which to an
appreciable extent contain good early glass. The easterly end is the
usual semicircular apse.

Among the relics of the Cathedral is a crucifix which is supposed to
emit drops of blood when one perjures himself before it. It is, perhaps,
significant that the people of Finistère, the department which claims
Quimper as its capital, have the repute of being honest folk.

The Bishops of Quimper were, by virtue of the gift of _le roi Grodlon le
Grave_, the only seigneurs of the city during the middle ages.



Vannes was the ancient capital of the Celtic tribe of the Veneti, its
inhabitants being put to rout by Cæsar in 57 B. C. Afterward it became
the Roman town of Duriorigum, and later reverted back to a corruption of
its former name. Christianity having made some progress, a council was
held, and a bishop appointed to the city, and from that time onward its
position in the Christian world appears to have been assured. For
centuries afterward, however, it was the centre of a maelstrom of
internal strife, in which Armoricans, Britons, Franks, and Romans appear
to have been inextricably involved. Then came the Northmen, who burned
the former Cathedral of St. Peter. This was rebuilt in the eleventh
century, and in no small measure forms the foundation of the present
structure, which to-day is the seat of a bishop, suffragan of Rennes.

From this early architectural foundation, to the most florid and
flamboyant of late Gothic, is pretty much the whole range of Mediæval
architectural style. By no means has a grand or even fine structure
resulted. The old choir, suffering from the stress of time, was pulled
down and rebuilt as late as 1770. Thus, this usually excellently
appointed and constructed detail is here of no worthy rank whatever. The
nave and transepts were completed within the hundred years following
1452, and show the last flights of Gothic toward the heights from which
it afterward fell. Transformation and restoration have frequently been
undertaken, with the result that nowhere is to be seen perhaps greater
inconsistencies. The latest of these examples of a perverted industry is
seen in the nineteenth-century additions to the tower and the west
façade. The result is not, be it said, to the credit of its projectors.




_The Architectural Divisions of France_

It is quite possible to construct an ethnographic map of a country from
its architectural remains,--but there must always be diverse and varying
opinions as to the delimitation of one school, as compared with another
lying contiguous thereto.

One may wander from province to province, and continually find
reminders, of another manner of building, from that which is recognized
as the characteristic local species. This could hardly be otherwise. In
the past, as in the present, imitators were not few, and if the adoption
of new, or foreign, ideas was then less rapid, it was no less sure.
Still, in the main, there is a cohesiveness and limitation of
architectural style in France; which, as is but natural to suppose, is
in no way more clearly defined than by the churches which were built
during the middle ages, the earliest types retaining the influence of
massive forms, and the later again debasing itself to a heavy classical
order, neither a copy of anything of a pre-Gothic era, or a happy
development therefrom. Between the two, in a period of scarcely more
than three hundred years, there grew up and developed the ingenious and
graceful pointed style, in all its fearlessness and unconvention.

Political causes had, perhaps, somewhat to do with the confining of a
particular style well within the land of its birth, but on the other
hand, warfare carried with it invasion and conquest of new sections, and
its followers, in a measure, may be said to have carried with them
certain of their former arts, accomplishments, and desires; and so grew
up the composite and mixed types which are frequently met with.

There are a dozen or more architectural styles in what is known as the
France of to-day. The Provençal (more properly, says Fergusson, it
should be called "Gallia Narbonese,") one of the most beautiful and
clearly defined of all; the Burgundian, with its suggestion of
luxuriance and, if not massiveness, at least grandeur; the Auvergnian,
lying contiguous to both the above, with a style peculiarly its own,
though of an uncompromising southern aspect; Acquitanian, defining the
style which lies between Provence, the Auvergnat and the Pyrénées, and a
type quite different from either. The Angevinian, which extends
northward from Limoges to Normandy and Brittany, and northeasterly
nearly to Orleans, is a species difficult to place--it partakes largely
of southern influence, but is usually thought to merit a nomenclature of
its own, as distinct from the type found at Anjou. Turning now to the
northern or Frankish influence, as distinct from the Romance countries;
Brittany joins to no slight degree influences of each region; Normandy
partakes largely of the characteristics of the type of Central France,
which is thoroughly dominated by that indigenous to the Isle of France,
which species properly might include the Bourbonnais and Nivernoise
variants, as being something of a distinct type, though resembling, in
occasional details, southern features. This list, with the addition of
French Flanders, with its Lowland types, completes the arrangement, if
we except Alsace and Lorraine, which favour the German manner of
building rather more than any of the native French types.


_A List of the Departments of France, and of the Ancient Provinces from
which they have been evolved._

_Provinces and date of        _Départements_       _Chefs-Lieux_
union with France_

Ile de France, with La         Seine                Paris
Brie, etc. Always held         Seine-et-Oise        Versailles
by the Crown                   Seine-et-Marne       Melun
                               Oise                 Beauvais
                               Aisne                Laon

Picardie. Louis XIV, 1667      Somme                Amiens

Artois and Boulonnais.         Pas-de-Calais        Arras

Flandre and Hainault           Nord                 Lille
Français. Louis XIV.

Normandie. Philippe            Seine-Inférieure     Rouen
Auguste, 1204                  Eure                 Evreux
                               Calvados             Caen
                               Orne                 Alençon
                               Manche               Saint-Lo

Bretagne. François I.          Ille-et-Vilaine      Rennes
1532                           Côtes-du-Nord        Saint-Brieux
                               Finisterre           Quimper
                               Morbihan             Vannes
                               Loire-Inférieure     Nantes

Orléanais. Louis XII.          Loiret               Orleans
1498                           Loir-et-Cher         Blois

Beauce and Pays Chartrain      Eure-et-Loire        Chartres

Maine. Louis XI. 1481          Sarthe               Le Mans
                               Mayenne              Laval

Anjou. Louis XI. 1481          Maine-et-Loire       Angers

Touraine. Henri III. 1584      Indre-et-Loire       Tours

Poitou. Charles VI. 1416       Vendée               Bourbon-Vendée
                               Deux-Sèvres          Niort
                               Vienne               Poitiers

Berri. Philippe I. 1100        Indre                Châteauroux
                               Cher                 Bourges

Marche. François I. 1531       Creuse               Guéret

Limousin. Charles V.           Haute-Vienne         Limoges
1370                           Corrèze              Tulle

Angoumois. Charles V.          Charente             Angoulême

Saintonge and Aunis.           Charente-Inférieure  La Rochelle

Guienne and Gascogne.          Dordogne             Périgueux
  Charles VII. 1451            Gironde              Bordeaux
                               Lot-et-Garonne       Agen
                               Lot                  Cahors
                               Tarn-et-Garonne      Montauban
                               Aveyron              Rodez
                               Gers                 Auch
                               Hautes-Pyrénées      Tarbes
                               Landes               Mont-de-Marsan

Béarn and French Navarre.      Basses-Pyrénées      Pau
  Louis XIII.

Comté de Foix. Louis XIII.     Ariège               Foix

Roussillon. 1659               Pyrénées-Orientales  Perpignan

Languedoc. John, 1361          Haute-Garonne        Toulouse
                               Tarn                 Albi
                               Aude                 Carcassonne
                               Hérault              Montpellier
                               Gard                 Nîmes

Vivarais                       Ardèche              Privas

Gévaudan                       Lozère               Mende

Velay                          Haute-Loire          Le Puy

Comtat Venaissin, Orange,      Vaucluse             Avignon
  etc. Louis XIV. 1713

Provence. Louis XI. 1481       Bouches-du-Rhône     Marseille
                               Var                  Draguignan
                               Basses-Alpes         Digne

Dauphiné. Philippe de          Isère                Grenoble
  Valois, 1343                 Drôme                Valence
                               Hautes-Alpes         Gap

Lyonnais and Beaujolais        Rhône                Lyon

Forez                          Loire                St. Etienne

Auvergne. Philippe Auguste,    Puy-de-Dôme          Clermont
1210                           Cantal               Aurillac

Bourbonnais. Louis XII.        Allier               Moulins

Nivernais. Charles VII.        Nièvre               Nevers

Bresse, Bugey, etc.            Ain                  Bourg

Bourgogne (duché). Louis       Saône-et-Loire       Mâcon
XI. 1477                       Côte-d'Or            Dijon
                               Yonne                Auxerre

Comté de Bourgogne, or         Doubs                Besançon
Franche-Comté. Peace           Jura                 Lons-le-Saulnier
of Nimeguen, 1678              Haute-Saône          Vesoul

Champagne. Philippe le         Aube                 Troyes.
Bel, 1284                      Marne                Chalons-sur-Marne
                               Haute-Marne          Chaumont
                               Ardennes             Mézières

Lorraine.[*] On the death      Meurthe and Moselle  Nancy
of Stanislas Leczinsky,        Meuse                Bar-le-Duc
1766                           Vosges               Epinal

Alsace.[*] Louis XIV. 1648     Territory of Belfort Belfort
                               Haut-Rhin            Colmar

Corsica. 1794.                 Corse                Ajaccio

Comté de Nice. 1861            Alpes Maritimes      Nice

Savoy                          Savoie               Chambéry
                               Haute-Savoie         Annecy

[*] The greater part of these provinces as they formerly stood
were ceded to Germany, May 10, 1871.


_The Church in France_

_La France Catholique_ is to-day divided into eighty-four dioceses,
administered, as to spiritual affairs, by seventeen archbishops and
sixty-seven bishops. To each diocese is attached a seminary for the
instruction of those who aspire to the priesthood. Each chief town of a
canton has its _curé_, each parish its _desservant_.

_Archbishops and Bishops_    _Dioceses_

PARIS                         Seine

  Chartres                    Eure-et-Loire

  Meaux                       Seine-et-Marne

  Orleans                     Loiret

  Blois                       Loir-et-Cher

  Versailles                  Seine-et-Oise

CAMBRAI                       Nord

  Arras                       Pas-de-Calais

LYON-ET-VIENNE                Rhône, Loire

  Autun                       Saône-et-Loire

  Langres                     Haute-Marne

  Dijon                       Côte-d'Or

  Sainte Claude               Jura

  Grenoble                    Isère

BOURGES                       Cher-et-Indre

  Clermont                    Puy-de-Dôme

  Limoges                     Haute-Vienne et Creuse

  Le Puy                      Haute-Loire

  Tulle                       Corrèze

  Saint Flour                 Cantal

ALBI                          Tarn

  Rodez                       Aveyron

  Cahors                      Lot

  Meude                       Lozère

  Perpignan                   Pyrénées-Orientales

BORDEAUX[*]                   Gironde

  Agen                        Lot-et-Garonne

  Angoulême                   Charente

  Poitiers                    Vienne-et-Deux Sèvres

  Périgueux                   Dordogne

  La Rochelle                 Charente-Inférieure

  Luçon                       Vendée

AUCH                          Gers

  Aire                        Landes

  Tarbes                      Hautes-Pyrénées

  Bayonne                     Basses-Pyrénées

TOULOUSE-NARBONNE             Haute-Garonne

  Montauban                   Tarnè-et-Garonne

  Pamiers                     Ariège

  Carcassonne                 Aude

ROUEN                         Seine-Inférieure

  Bayeux                      Calvados

  Evreux                      Eure

  Séez                        Orne

  Coutances                   Manche

SENS ET AUXERRE               Yonne

  Troyes                      Aube

  Nevers                      Nièvre

  Moulins                     Allier

REIMS                         Arr. de Reims-et-Ardennes

  Soissons                    Aisne

  Chalons-sur-Marne           Marne except Arrond. de Reims

  Beauvais                    Oise

  Amiens                      Somme

TOURS                         Indre-et-Loire

  Le Mans                     Sarthe

  Angers                      Maine-et-Loire

  Nantes                      Loire-Inférieure

  Laval                       Mayenne

AIX, ARLES, AND EMBRUN        Bouches-du-Rhône except Marseilles

  Marseilles                  Arr. de Marseilles

  Fréjus and Toulon           Var

  Digne                       Basses-Alpes

  Gap                         Hautes-Alpes

  Nice                        Alpes-Maritimes

  Ajaccio                     Corse

BESANÇON                      Doubs et Haute-Saône

  Verdun                      Meuse

  Belley                      Ain

  St. Dié                     Vosges

  Nancy                       Meurthe

AVIGNON                       Vaucluse

  Nîmes                       Gard

  Valence                     Drôme

  Viviers                     Ardèche

  Montpellier                 Hérault

RENNES                        Ille-et-Vilaine

  Quimper                     Finisterre

  Vannes                      Morbihan

  St. Brieuc                  Côtes-du-Nord


  Annecy                      Haute-Savoie

  Tarentaise                  Val-de-Tarentaise (Savoie)

  Maurienne                   Val-de-Maurienne (Savoie)

[*] The Archbishop of Bordeaux has three suffragans outside
France: St. Denis and La Reunion, St. Pierre and Fort de France
(Martinique), Basseterre (Guadaloupe).


_A List of the Larger French Churches which were at one time Cathedrals
and usually referred to as such._

NOTE.--Those marked H. M. are classed as Les Monuments Historiques by La
Commission de la Conservation des Monuments Historiques.

Agde            _Hérault_                             H. M.

Alais           _Garde_

Alençon         _Orne_             Notre Dame         H. M.

Alet            _Aude_             Notre Dame         H. M.

Apt             _Vaucluse_                            H. M.

Arles           _Bouches-du-Rhône_ St. Trophimus      H. M.

Arras                              St. Vaast

Auxerre         _Yonne_            St. Etienne        H. M.

Auxonne         _Côte-d'Or_        Notre Dame

Avranches       _Manche_           (remains only)     H. M.

Bazas           _Gironde_          St. Jean           H. M.

Bethléem                           (There was once a Bishop of
                                   Bethléem whose see was the
                                   village of Clamecy only, but
                                   no cathedral.)

Béziers         _Hérault_          St. Nazaire        H. M.

Boulogne        _Pas-de-Calais_    Notre Dame

Bourg           _Ain_              Notre Dame

Brioud          _Haute-Loire_                         H. M.

Cambrai                            Notre Dame

Carcassonne     _Aude_             St. Nazaire        H. M.

Carpentras      _Vaucluse_         St. Siffrein       H. M.

Castres         _Tarn_             St. Benonit

Cavaillon       _Vaucluse_         St. Véran          H. M.

Condom          _Gers_                                H. M.

Conserons       _Ariège_           (See St. Lizier)

Die             _Drôme_                               H. M.

Dinan           _Côtes-du-Nord_    St. Saveur         H. M.

Dol             _Ille-et-Vilaine_  St. Samson         H. M.

Elne            _Pyrénées-Orientales_                 H. M.

Embrun          _Hautes-Alpes_                        H. M.

Glandèves       _Basses-Alpes_     (Bishopric transferred
                                    to Entrevaux)

Grasse          _Alpes-Maritimes_  (Bishopric in XIVth

Laon            _Aisne_            Notre Dame         H. M.

Lavaur          _Tarn_             (Bishopric in XIVth

Lectours        _Gers_             (Bishopric in Xth century)

Lescar          _Basses-Pyrénées_                     H. M.

Lisieux         _Calvados_         St. Pierre

Lodeve          _Hérault_          St. Fulcran        H. M.

Lombez          _Gers_                                H. M.

Mâcon           _Saône-et-Loire_   St. Vincent        H. M.

Mallezais       _Vendée_

Mirepoix        _Ariège_           (Bishopric in XIVth

Noyon           _Oise_             Notre Dame         H. M.

Oloron          _Basses-Pyrénées_                     H. M.

Orange          _Vaucluse_         Notre Dame

Périgueux       _Dordogne_         St. Etienne

St. Bertrand    _Haute-Garonne_                       H. M.
de Comminges

St. Dié         _Vosges_

St. Lizier      _Ariège_                              H. M.

St. Lo          _Manche_          Notre Dame          H. M.

St. Malo        _Ille-et-Vilaine_

Ste. Marie      _Basses-Pyrénées_

St. Omer        _Pas-de-Calais_   Notre Dame          H. M.

St. Papoul      _Aude_                                H. M.

St. Paul Trois  _Drôme_                               H. M.

St. Pol de Leon _Finisterre_                          H. M.

St. Servan      _Ille-et-Vilaine_  St. Pierre d'Aleth

Sarlat          _Dordogne_                            H. M.

Séez            _Orne_             Notre Dame         H. M.

Senez           _Basses-Alpes_                        H. M.

Senlis          _Oise_             Notre Dame         H. M.

Sisteron        _Basses-Alpes_

Soissons        _Aisne_            Notre Dame         H. M.
                                   St. Gervais
                                   St. Protais

Tarbes          _Hautes-Pyrénées_  Eglise de la Séde  H. M.

Toul            _Meurthe_          St. Etienne        H. M.

Toulon          _Var_              Ste. Marie-Majeur

Tréguier        _Côtes-du-Nord_                       H. M.

Uzès            _Gard_             St. Thierry

Vabres          _Aveyron_

Vaiso           _Vaucluse_                            H. M.

Versailles      _Seine-et-Oise_    St. Louis

Vence           _Alpes-Maritimes_                     H. M.

Vienne          _Isère_            St. Maurice        H. M.


_Chronology of the chief styles and examples of church building in the
north of France from the Romano-Byzantine period to that of the

1050-1075 Nevers    St. Etienne               Distinct round-arch
1075-1100 Bayeux    Notre Dame                style
          Caen      St. Etienne

1125-1150 Autun     St. Lazare                Pointed arch in
          St. Denis (choir)                   vaulting and
1150-1175 Angers    St. Maurice               larger works, with
          Paris     Notre Dame                the retaining of
          Sens      St. Etienne               the round in the

1200-1225 Reims     Notre Dame                General adoption
          Auxerre   St. Etienne               of the ogival
          Troyes    Sts. Peter and Paul       style

1225-1250 Amiens    Notre Dame                The completed
          Dijon     St. Bénigne               ogival style
          Bourges   St. Etienne
1250-1275 Noyon     Notre Dame (cloisters)
1300-1325 Rouen     Notre Dame (lady-chapel)
1350-1375 Chartres  Notre Dame

1425-1450 Auxerre   St. Etienne (N. transept) Introduction of
                                              Renaissance detail
1450-1475 Evreux    Notre Dame (transepts     in Italy and
                    and tower)                elaboration of
                                              Gothic in France

1475-1500 Rouen     Notre Dame (S. W.         Renaissance firmly
                    tower)                    grafted in Italy
          Nevers    St. Etienne (S. porch)    and gradually
1500-1525 Beauvais  St. Pierre (S. transept)  appearing in the
          Chartres  Notre Dame (N. W.         Gothic of France

1525-1550 Beauvais  St. Pierre (N. transept)
          Amiens    Notre Dame (flêche)

1550-1575 Beauvais  St. Pierre (central tower Renaissance firmly
                    since destroyed)          established
1600-1625 Orleans   Ste. Croix


_Dimensions and Chronology_


[Illustration: _Notre Dame d'Amiens_]


Length of nave and choir, 469 feet

Width including transepts, 214 feet

Width of nave, 59 feet

Width of aisles, 33-1/2 feet

Height of nave, 141 or 147 feet, estimated variously

Height of aisles, 65 feet

Length of choir, 135 feet

Width of nave including aisles, 150 feet

Length of transepts, 194 feet

Width of transepts, 36 feet, 6 inches

Height of spire, 422 feet

Superficial area, 70,000 square feet (approx.)


Nave and choir, 1220-1288

Choir stalls, 1520

Western towers completed, 1533

Lateral chapels of nave, XVIth century

Choir chapels, XIIIth century




Length of nave and choir, 300 feet

Width of transepts, 40 feet

Height of transepts, 80 feet

Height of nave, 110 feet

Width of nave, 53 feet

Height of spires, 225 feet


Lower walls, Romano-Byzantine

Main body completed, 1240

Choir, XIIth century

Bishop's Palace, XIIth century

Arras tapestries, XIVth century

Choir doorway, XIIIth century

(Recently restored by Viollet-le-Duc)



Length of nave and choir, 302 feet

Height of nave, 66-1/2 feet

Width of nave, 49 feet

Height of tower, 154 feet


Former Cathedral of Notre Dame begun, end of XIIth century

Former Cathedral of Notre Dame completed, 1499

Present Cathedral of St. Vaast, 1755-1833

Triptych of Bellegambe in present Cathedral, 1528

Former Abbey of St. Vaast, now Episcopal Palace since 1754



Height of spire, 325 feet


Transition portion constructed by Robert I.,
Duke of Burgundy, 1031-1076

Spire, XVth century

Sculpture of choir, XVIth century

Flamboyant chapels, XVIth century



Crypt (remains of early work), XIth century

Choir and glass, 1215-1234

Western portals, XIIIth century

Nave, 1334-1373

North transept, 1415-1513

N. W. tower, 1525-1530

Iron _grille_ of choir, XVIIIth century



Central belfry, 300 feet

Length interior, 335 feet

Height interior, 74 feet, 9 inches

Height of western towers, 252 feet


Odo's crypt, XIth century

Circular arches of nave, late XIth or early XIIth century

Portals of west façade, XIIIth century

Chasuble of St. Regnobert, gift of St. Louis, 1226

Date of tapestry (in inventory of church property), 1476



Height of nave, 150 feet

Height of original spire, which fell in 1573, 486 feet

Area of choir, about 28,000 square feet


The Basse OEuvre, VIth to VIIIth centuries

Present building begun, 1225

Dedicated, 1272

Roof fell, 1284

South transept begun, 1500

North transept begun, 1530

North transept finished, 1537

Central spire fell, 1573

Ancient Bishop's Palace, now Palais de Justice,
XIVth to XVIth centuries


[Illustration: _St. Etienne de Bourges_]


Length, 405 feet

Width, 135-1/2 feet

Height of nave, 124-1/2 feet

Height of inner aisle, 66 feet

Height of outer aisle, 28 feet

Height north tower, 217-1/2 feet

Height south tower, 176 feet

Superficial area, 73,170 square feet (approx.)


Dedicated, 1324

Sepulchre, 1336

Crypts, XIIth century

North tower, 1508-1538

Tower St. Etienne completed, 1490

Tower St. Etienne fell, 1506

Choir stalls, 1760



Tower next north door, Romano-Byzantine

Part of nave and choir, Ogival primaire

Aisle and chapels of apse, XIVth century

Apse restored, after fire, in 1672



Length nave and choir, 430 feet

Width, 110 feet

Length nave only, 121 feet

Width nave, 46 feet

Width nave aisles, 19 feet

Height nave, 106 feet

Length transepts, 202 feet

Width transepts, 70 feet

Height of north spire, 403 feet

Height of south spire, 365 feet

Rose window, diameter, 40 to 43 feet

Area, 65,000 square feet (approx.)


Wooden church burned, 1020

Crypt under chevet of choir, 1029
(only remains of original church)

Work of rebuilding stopped, 1048

South portal erected, 1060

Work aided by Matilda, queen of William I., 1083

Lower portion of main body built, 1100-1150

Western towers, 1145

Fire damaged greater part, 1194

Vaulting completed, 1220

Porches of transepts added, 1250

Building consecrated, October 17, 1260

Sacristy and screen in crypt, XIIIth century

North spire burned, 1506

Texier's spire erected, 1507-1515

Texier's spire repaired, 1629

South spire repaired, 1754

Belfry and roof burned (vaulting unharmed), 1836



Length, 368 feet, 6 inches

Transept, length, 112 feet

Transept, width, 23 feet


Church consecrated, 1076

Church burnt, 1119

Northwest tower foundations laid, 1352

Northwest tower completed, 1417

North transept, XVIth century

Nave, early XIIth to late XVth century

Choir, XIVth century

Lady-chapel, XIIIth century


[Illustration: _Laon_]


Length of nave and choir, 351 feet

Height of nave, 80 feet

Width of nave, 67 feet, 7 inches

Length of transepts, 174 feet

Width of transepts, 35 feet, 9 inches

Height of western towers, 173 feet

Height of southwest tower and spire (formerly), 328 feet

Western circular window, 26 feet

Superficial area, 44,000 square feet (approx.)


Original church burned, 1112

New edifice begun, 1114

Entirely rebuilt, 1190

General restoration, 1851


[Illustration: _LE MANS_]


Length of nave and choir, 369 feet

Width of nave and aisles, 78 feet

Width of choir, 123 feet

Height of choir, 108 feet

Area of choir, 30,000 square feet (approx.)

Length of transept, 178 feet

Width of transept, 32 feet


West façade, XIth century

Transition, south portal, XIIth century

Nave and transepts reconstructed, XIIth century

Church extended beyond city walls, XIIIth century

Choir rebuilt, 1200

Choir restored, 1858

Coloured glass, XIIIth, XIVth, XVth centuries

Rose window, south transept, XVth century

Former Bishop's Palace destroyed by Germans, 1871



Height of nave, 109 feet

Length of nave, 275 feet

Length of transepts, 120 feet


Bishopric founded, 375 A.D.

Choir in part, XIIth century

Restored, 1852




Height of western towers, 270 feet

Height of nave, 130 feet


Remains of choir contains, XIIth century

Romanesque church rebuilt, XVth century

West front, 1434-1500

North transept and choir only completed in XIXth century

Tomb of François II. and Marguerite de Foix, 1507

Later restoration, 1852


[Illustration: _Noyon_]


Length, 338 feet

Width of nave and aisles, 64 feet, 10 inches

Height of nave, 74 feet, 6 inches

Height of aisles, 28 feet, 9 inches

Height of choir, 26 feet, 3 inches

Height of towers, 200 feet

Superficial area, 30,000 square feet (approx.)


First constructed, 989

Burnt, 1131

Rebuilding undertaken, 1137-1150

Choir, transepts, and nave completed, 1167-1200

Timber work burnt, 1293

Chapter-house built, XIIIth century

Five bays of cloister built, XIVth century

Restored under governmental supervision, 1840



Height of towers, 280 feet

Height of nave, 100 feet


First bishops sent from Rome, IIIrd century

Cathedral destroyed by Huguenots, 1567

Chapels of nave which still remain, XIVth century

Late Gothic mainly of XVIIth century

Western towers completed, 1789


[Illustration: _Paris_]


Length, 390 feet

Width, 144 feet

Height of nave, 102 feet

Diameter of rose windows in transept, 36 feet

Superficial area, 64,100 square feet


Founded by Bishop de Sully, 1160-1170

High altar dedicated, 1182

Interior completed (approx.), 1208

West front, 1223-1230

Western towers, 1235

Transept portals, 1257


[Illustration: _Reims_]

[Illustration: _Flying Buttresses, Reims_]


Western towers, 267 feet

Area, 65,000 feet (approx.)


First stone laid, 1212

First portion dedicated, 1215

Chapter takes possession of choir, 1244

Nave commenced, 1250

Transept and abside ornamented, 1295

South tower begun and completed, 1380-1391

Coronation of Charles VII., 1427

Southwest tower completed by Philastre, 1430

Tapestries added to choir, 1444

Belfry of the Angel built, 1497

Gable of the Assumption and Zodiac, 1408

Reëstablishment of grand altar, 1547

Repairs to portals and vaulting, 1610

Cathedral becomes national property, 1790

Exterior repairs and restoration, 1811

General restorations, 1840

2,083,411 francs voted by Chamber for restorations, 1875

Gifts of Gobelin tapestries, 1848


[Illustration: _Notre Dame Rouen_]


Length of nave and choir, 450 feet

Width, including transepts, 177 feet

Width of nave and aisles, 105 feet

Length of choir only, 118 feet

Height of nave, 92 feet

Height of central spire, 480 feet

Height of Tour de Beurre, 252 feet

Height of Tour St. Romain, 246 feet

Area (originally), 53,000 square feet


First church founded on site of cathedral by St. Mellar, VIIth century

Cathedral enlarged under Rollo, who was buried therein in 930

Consecrated and dedicated, 1063

Tour St. Romain, remains of, XIth century

Destroyed by fire, 1200

New building completed, XIIIth century

Portail de la Calende, XIVth century

Tour de Beurre laid, 1487

Tour de Beurre completed, 1507

Flamboyant west front, XVIth century

Altar of St. Romain, XVIIth century

Tomb of the Cardinals, 1556

Central spire, 1823

Restoration of west front, 1897



Length, 384 feet

Width, 124 feet

Height, 98 feet

Area, 44,000 square feet


Relique of True Cross given by Charlemagne, 800 A. D.

Early church destroyed by fire, 970

New church dedicated, 997

Present building completed, 1168

Choir rebuilt, 1174

Present transept and nave, XIIth and XIIIth centuries

Glass in chapel of St. Savinien, XIIIth century

Glass of rose windows, XVIth century

Mausoleum of the Dauphin, XVIIIth century



Length of nave and choir, 354 feet

Width, 133 feet

Clerestory windows (height), 33 feet


Chapel first built above grave of St. Dionysius the martyr, 275 A. D.

Benedictine abbey first founded here in reign of Dagobert, 628

Pope Stephen took refuge here, 754

Romanesque façade, 1140

Consecration of the building, 1144

Nave, XIIIth century

Abbot Suger died, 1151

General restoration by Suger's successors, XIIIth century

Crenelated battlement added to façade, XIVth century

Spire burned by lightning, XIXth century

General restoration by Viollet-le-Duc, 1860

Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette reinterred here (removed from
the Madeleine), 1817

[Illustration: CRYPT S. DENIS]

[Illustration: S DENIS]



The great bell of tower weighs 8,500 kilos.


Bishopric founded, 1533

Astronomical clock, XVIth century

Tomb of St. Erkembode, VIIIth century

Tomb of St. Omer restored, XIIIth century

Former Episcopal Palace, now Palais de Justice, 1680




Length of nave and choir, 256 feet

Width, 95 feet


Choir begun, 1170

Tour Charlemagne, XIth century

Tour St. Martin, XIIth century

Transepts, 1316

West façade, 1430-1500

Southwest tower, 1507

Tomb of children of Charles VIII., 1483



Length, 394 feet

Width, 168 feet

Height, 96 feet

Height northwest tower, 202 feet


Apse and chapels, 1206-1223

Choir and transepts, 1314-1315

Iron _grille_ of choir, XIIIth century

Church consecrated, 1430

West façade, XVth century

Nave constructed during XIVth, XVth, XVIth centuries

North gable, XVth century

Tower St. Pierre, 1559-1568

Northwest tower demolished by lightning, 1700

Vaulting of transepts fell, 1840

Restoration of choir and transepts, 1840


_The French Kings from Charlemagne Onward_

                                 A. D.

Charlemagne                       768

Louis le Débonnaire               814

Charles le Chauve                 840

Louis II., le Bègue               877

Louis III.                        879

Carloman                          879

Charles le Gros                   884

Eudes                             887

Charles III., the Simple          893

Robert I.                         922

Rodolf of Burgundy                923

Louis IV., the Stranger           936

Lothaire                          954

Louis V., le Fainéant             986

Hugh Capet                        987

Robert II., the Wise              996

Henry I.                         1031

Philip I., l'Amoureux            1060

Louis VI., le Gros               1108

Louis VII., le Jeune             1137

Philip Augustus                  1180

Louis VIII., the Lion            1223

Louis IX., the Saint             1226

Philip III., the Hardy           1270

Philip IV., the Fair             1285

Louis X., Hutin                  1314

John I.                          1316

Philip V.                        1316

Charles IV., le Bel              1322

Philip VI., de Valois            1328

John II., the Good               1350

Charles V., le Sage              1364

Charles VI., the Beloved         1380

Charles VII., the Victorious     1422

Louis XI.                        1461

Charles VIII.                    1483

Louis XII., of Orleans           1498

Francis I.                       1515

Henry II.                        1547

Francis II.                      1559

Charles IX.                      1560

Henry III.                       1574

Henry IV., the Great             1589

Louis XIII., the Just            1610

Louis XIV., le Grand             1643

Louis XV.                        1715

Louis XVI.                       1774

Revolutionary Tribunal           1793

Directory                        1795

Napoleon, Consul                 1799

Napoleon I., Emperor             1804

Louis XVIII.                     1814

Charles X.                       1824

Louis Philippe                   1830

Republic                         1848

Napoleon III., Emperor           1852

Republic                         1870

[Illustration: CHARLES VII]


_Measurements of the Cathedrals at Amiens and Salisbury_


                                            _Amiens_       _Salisbury_
                                          _French feet_   _English feet_

Length east to west                           415                    452
Length west door to choir                     220                    246
Length behind choir, including lady-chapel     63                     65
Length transepts north to south               182                    210
Width nave                                     42.9                   34.5
Width transept                                 42.9
Width side aisles                              18                     17.5
Width windows                                  41                     48
Width nave and side aisles                     78.9                  102
Width west front                              150                    115
Height vault, nave                            132                     84
Height vault, choir                           129
Height west towers                            210
Height chapels                                 60
Height side aisles, nave                       60.8
Height side aisles, choir                      57.8                   38
Distance between pillars                       16
Height grand arches                            78                     78
Number of pillars                              46
Number of chapels                              25
Length of choir                               130                    140

(The old French foot is the equal of 1.06576 English feet.)

The above comparative measurements are given as being of the
contemporary types of English and French cathedrals, being nearly
approximate to each other as to the date of their erection and
measurements. The figures themselves are transcribed from a little-known
but thoroughly conscientious work by G. D. Whittington, entitled
"Contributions to an Ecclesiastical Survey of France."


_French Metres Reduced to English Feet_

Metres  English feet and  Metres  English feet and  Metres  English feet and
         decimal parts             decimal parts             decimal parts

  1        3.281           20         65.618         300        984.270

  2        6.562           30         98.427         400       1312.360

  3        9.843           40        131.236         500       1640.450

  4       13.123           50        164.045         600       1968.539

  5       16.404           60        196.854         700       2296.629

  6       19.685           70        229.663         800       2624.719

  7       22.966           80        262.472         900       2952.809

  8       26.247           90        295.281        1000       3280.899

  9       29.528          100        328.090

 10       32.809          200        656.180


_A Brief Glossary of architectural terms, with popular definitions, as
applied to the components which compose the principal features of a
cathedral church_

[Illustration: NO. 1. GROUND PLAN]

A Lady-chapel            The principal chapel, usually behind the
                         high altar, at the extremity or eastern end
                         of choir, dedicated to Our Lady (Notre

B Transept               The middle portion of a church, which projects
                         at right angles with the main body
                         of nave and choir

C Porch                  Usually the vestibule or receding doorway

D Lantern or crossing    Where the transept crosses and joins choir
                         and nave, usually with windows, if a lantern

E Choir                  That portion of the edifice in which are
                         stalls for the choristers, and chapter, also
                         containing the _Maître d'Autel_

F Ambulatory             The aisles or colonnade which surround
                         the choir

G Chapels                Literally a small place of worship containing
                         an altar. In a great church, which
                         may contain several, they are usually
                         dedicated to male and female saints

H Nave                   The main body of a church, extending from
                         the choir to the principal façade; _i. e._
                         that part between the outer aisles

I Aisles                 The lateral passage on either side of the
                         nave and separated therefrom by piers
                         or pillars

J Portal                 Literally, the framework of a doorway

K Abside                 The domed easterly end of a church

L Sacristy               The apartment in which is kept the church
                         plate and vestments

[Illustration: NO. 2. CROSS SECTION]

A Nave aisle vaulting    The arched roof of stone

B Nave vaulting          The arched roof of stone

C Flying buttress        A supporting outside prop of the thrust
                         variety. Notably a distinguishing feature
                         of mediæval Gothic architecture

D Side aisle             The passage which flanks the nave

E Buttress pier          The outer support of a flying buttress

F Pinnacle               On towers, buttress piers, gables, etc.

G Gargoyle               A projecting water-spout carved grotesquely

H Niche                  A recess in a wall, or surmounting a pier;
                         primarily to hold a statue

[Illustration: NO. 3. INTERIOR]

A Clerestory             The upper range of windows of the nave;
                         rising above the adjoining portions

B Triforium              Literally, a blind window--a range of
                         openings, or possibly an arcade-effect
                         only, coming below the clerestory and
                         above the lower arches of the nave

C Arch (between nave and ai
                         Joining the piers or pillars which separate
                         nave from aisles

D Pillars (of nave)      Commonly called pillars, columns, and
                         piers, but more often are literally pillars,
                         being made up of blocks of stone one
                         upon another

E Vaulting               The stone arched roof

F West wall              Here, in the true Gothic church, is usually
                         found a rose window, though often obscured
                         by the organ case

G Arcaded gallery        A feature frequently seen in the interior of
                         great churches, as distinct from the triforium.
                         Either decorative or of practical

H Pavement               The floor, always of stone, and often of
                         marble or mosaic

[Illustration: NO. 4. CROSS SECTION]

A Flying buttresses      A thrust support, or prop, extending from
                         the main fabric to an outer pier

B Timber roof            The timber or scantling above the nave,
                         which supports the outer tiled or leaden

C Nave                   The main body of a church

D Aisle                  The passage which flanks the nave

E Outer aisle            A second or outer passage flanking the nave

F Stairway to roof of aisle
                         Stairways from the interior pavement, leading
                         to triforium, belfry, or roof

G Crypt                  In reality a lower or subterranean church
                         or chapel; from _crypta_, to hide

H Buttress pier          The outer support of a flying buttress, or
                         one lying directly against the wall which
                         it strengthens


Abélard, 94.

Acquitaine, 176, 211.

Adela, mother of King Stephen of Blois, 121.

Agrippa, 134.

Aisne, Department of the, 134.

Alençon, Bishop of, 307.

Alençon, Notre Dame d', 296-298.

Amboise, Cardinal d', 84, 90.

Amboise, Georges d', 85, 90.

Amiens, 32, 35, 37, 61, 62, 117, 129, 133, 200, 267, 272, 278.

Amiens, Bishop of, 65.

Amiens, Cathedral at, 140, 141, 384.

Amiens, Flying buttresses at, 67.

Amiens, Notre Dame d', 64, 69, 72, 366, 367.

"Ampoule, Sainte," The, 25, 143.

Angers, 119, 149.

Angers, Bishop's Palace at, 181.

Angers, Castle at, 175.

Angers, David d', 235.

Angers, St. Maurice d', 147, 173-182, 367, 368.

Angevine Churches, The, 215.

Angevine details at Le Mans, 115.

Angevine style of architecture, The, 176, 180.

Angoulême, 15.

Anjou, 115.

Anjou, Counts of, 175.

Anjou, Dukes of, 173, 181.

Anjou, Margaret of, 173.

Anne of Brittany, 169, 184.

Anne, Duchess (_see also_ Anne of Brittany), 188.

Antwerp, 126.

Architectural divisions of France, 34.

Ardennes, Department of the, 134.

Arles, 33.

Arras, 15, 184, 226.

Arras, Belfry at, 245;
  Citadel of, 244;
  Hôtel de Ville, 245.

Arras, St. Vaast d', 242-246, 368.

Artois, 237, 242.

Assisi, St. Francis of, 188.

Attila, 132.

Attila, Attack on Aurelianum, 150.

Attila, Defeat at Chalons, 251.

Augustus, 134.

Aurelian, 150, 226.

Autun, 33, 257, 258.

Autun, St. Lazare d', 257-261, 368.

Auvergne, 151.

Auvergnat Churches, The, 215.

Auxerre, 215.

Auxerre, Bishops of, 194.

Auxerre, Episcopal Palace at, 195.

Auxerre, St. Etienne d', 191-196, 369.

Auxonne, Notre Dame d', 220.

Avignon, 33.

Avranches, 321.

Avranches, Notre Dame de, 326-328.

Azon, 307.

Baldwin of Hainault, 237.

Balzac, 164.

Bayeux, 285.

Bayeux, Odo, Bishop of, 311, 312.

Bayeux, Notre Dame de, 310-314, 369.

Bayeux, Tapestry of, 310, 311.

Beauvais, 13, 19, 20, 32, 35, 37, 61, 69, 117-119, 133, 200, 267.

Beauvais, Bishop of, 52, 303.

Beauvais, Romano-Byzantine work at, 75.

Beauvais, Cathedral of St. Pierre, 28, 70-76, 140, 369.

Beaux Arts, Département de, 23, 340.

Beaux Arts, Palais des, 96.

Becket, St. Thomas à, 54, 280, 282, 327.

Bedford, Duke of, 90.

Belgica, Secunda, 132.

Bellegambe, 244.

Bellêne, Count of, 307.

Belmas, Bishop, 235.

Benedictine Abbey at St. Denis, 93.

Berengaria, Queen, 113, 120.

Bernard de Soissons, 138.

Berry, Duc de, 96, 108.

Besançon, 27, 32, 223, 225.

Bethléem, Bishop of, 31.

Bishop's Palace, The (Amiens), 67.

Bishop's Palace, The, at Beauvais, 76.

"Black Angers," 174 (_see_ Shakespeare on Angers).

Blanche of Castile, 66, 169.

Blois, 18, 149, 210, 215.

Blois, Chateau of, 157.

Blois, Counts of, 121.

Blois, King Stephen of, 121.

Blois, St. Louis de, 156.

Bonn, Minster at, 50.

Borgia, Cæsar, 182.

Borromée, 244.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, 223, 225.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, Notre Dame de, 231-233.

Bourassé, Abbé, 108, 211, 260, 279, 303.

Bourges, 33, 37, 61, 215.

Bourges, St. Etienne de, 139, 199-208, 370.

Brest, 348.

Bretagne, Duc de, 187.

Briceius, 165.

Brittany, 12, 20, 27, 32.

Brittany, Chancellor of, 182.

Brittany, Duchy of, 184.

Bruges, 262.

Burgundy, 258, 259, 262.

Byzantine influences at Bourges, 202.

Byzantine tendencies, 13;
  conception, 27.

Caen, 285.

Cæsar, burned Orleans, 150.

Calixtus II., 133.

Calvin (John), 51.

Cambrai, 15, 226.

Cambrai, Notre Dame de, 234-236.

Capet, Hugh, 51.

Carcassonne, 33.

Carlovingian Dynasty, The, 94.

Carrier, 183.

Cathedrals, The Grand, 23.

Cathedrals of the North, 26.

"Caveau Imperial," The, at St. Denis, 95.

Chalons (sur Marne), 132, 133, 226.

Chalons-sur-Marne, St. Etienne de, 251-253, 371.

Chambidge, Martin, 276.

Chambord, 18, 210, 214.

Champagne, Counts of, 274.

Chancellor of Brittany, 182.

Chantilly, Chateau of, 50.

Charlemagne, 51, 133, 282.

Charlemagne, Tour de, 165.

Charles of Anjou, 120.

Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, 262-263.

Charles (King), 212.

Charles V., 240, 282.

Charles VII., 30, 138, 144.

Charles VIII., 17, 169, 184.

Charles X., 24, 144.

Chartres, 20, 30, 33, 35, 61, 62, 113, 210, 215, 278, 338.

Chartres, Celtic foundation of, 124.

Chartres, Counts of, 121.

Chartres, Details at, 87.

Chartres, Jean de, 187.

Chartres, Notre Dame de, 121, 139, 140, 141, 371.

Chartres, Spires of Cathedral at, 125, 267.

Chaste Susanne, Painting of, 220.

Chateau of the Italian Dukes (at Nevers), 210.

Chateaux of the Loire, 18, 32, 148.

Chaucer's "Temple of Mars," 86.

Chaumont, 18.

Chenonceau, 18, 210.

Childeric, 132, 133.

Cires-les-Mello, 35.

Clamecy, 31.

Clement, Eudes, 99.

Clotilda, wife of Clovis, 133.

Clovis, 22, 30, 138, 139, 143, 144, 224.

Clovis, Baptism of, 133.

Coligny, 151.

Cologne, Apse-sided transepts at, 50.

Cologne, Cathedral at, 20, 37, 135, 141.

Colomb, Michel, 187, 332.

Colombiers, 315.

Commercy, Jacquemin de, 250.

Commission des Monuments Historiques, 35, 170, 176, 213.

Compiègne, Chateau of, 50.

Condés, The, 153.

Constant, 282.

Cormier, Jean, 129.

Corroyer, 349.

Coucy, Chateau of, 50.

Coutances, 267, 285, 286, 321.

Coutances, Notre Dame de, 321-325.

Creil, 35.

Croixmore, Abp. Robert de, 84.

Crusaders, The, 14.

Dagobert I., 93.

D'Arc, Jeanne, 151, 303.

Dauphins of France, The, 170.

Da Vinci, 157.

De Breze, Louis, 89.

De Breze, Pierre, 89.

De Caumont, "Abécêdaire'd Architecture," 33, 349.

De Sauteuil, 106.

Descartes, 164.

Descent from the Cross, The (by Rubens), 239.

Devils of Notre Dame, The, 106.

Dieppe, 285.

Dijon, 27, 223, 258.

Dijon, St. Bénigne of, 225, 262-265.

Dinan, 335.

Dol-de-Bretagne, Façade at, 98.

Dol-de-Bretagne, St. Samson de, 329-332.

Domenichino, 272.

Domfront, 321.

Douai, 244.

Du Bellay Langey, 120.

Dufêtre, Mgr., 211.

Duroctorum, 132.

East of Paris, 221.

Eastern influences at Bourges, 202.

Ebo, Bishop of Reims, 136.

Edict of Nantes, The, 183.

Edward III., 129.

English characteristics of Gothic, 45, 68.

Estonteville, Cardinal d', 88.

Evreux, 32.

Evreux, Notre Dame d', 288-295, 372.

Exeter, 114.

Falise, 321.

Fenelon, 235, 236.

Fergusson, quoted, 12, 56, 126, 139.

Fiesole, Jérôme de, 187.

Flemish school of painting, 244.

Flemish wood-carving, 90.

Florence, 33.

Flying buttresses, Notre Dame de Paris, 28;
  Notre Dame d'Amiens, 28;
  Tours, 167.

Foix, Marguerite de, 187.

Fouilloy, Evrard de, 65.

France, Architectural divisions of, 34.

France, Ecclesiastical capital of, 133.

France, Kings of, 24, 93, 383.

Francis I., 74.

Francis II., Tomb of, 187.

Franks, The, 22.

Franks, The Ripuarian, 133.

Franks, Invasion of, 132, 133, 224.

Frankish influence, 11.

Freeman, Prof. Aug., 113, 248, 311.

Fréjus, 15.

French Flanders, 41.

French Gothic Architecture, 38.

French Mediæval Architecture, 38.

French Revolution, The, 31, 43, 44, 52, 55, 96, 99, 103, 142, 184, 226.

Fulbert, Bishop of Chartres, 129.

"Gallery of Kings," at Amiens, 67.

Gallery of Kings, The (at Reims), 138, 178.

Gaucher, 138.

Geeraerts (of Antwerp), 235.

Genabum (of Gallia), 150.

Genoa, 157.

German manner of building, 27.

Ghent, 242, 262.

Gisors, 35.

Gobelin Tapestries, 76, 143.

Gonsé, 349.

Good God of Amiens, The, 66.

Gothic, Development of, 14, 24;
  Rudimentary, 16;
  Anti, 18;
  Non, 18.

Goujon, Jean, 89, 170.

Gourney, 35.

Grand Cathedrals, The, 12, 20, 35, 61-63.

Granville, 321.

Grouin, 345.

Guillaume of Sens, 225.

Guillaume Bras-de-Fer, 323.

Hachette, Jeanne, 76.

Haffreingue, Mgr., 233.

Henry I., 129, 133.

Henry II. (of France), 113, 166, 249.

Henry II. (of England), 282, 301, 325.

Henry IV., 30, 96, 133, 153, 183.

Henry of Navarre, 129.

House of the Kings, The, 144.

Hugh II., 215.

Hugo's "Notre Dame," 106.

Huguenots, The, 153, 195.

Humbert, Alberic de, 137.

Irene, Princess, 130.

Isle de la Cité, 105, 106.

Isle of France, 12, 27, 61.

Italian influences, 17.

Ivor (Bishop of Chartres), 212.

James (Henry), 163, 204.

Jean sans Peur, 265.

Jensen, Nicolas, 164.

Joannes, Abbé, 253.

John, Duke of Bedford, 90.

John the Baptist, 69.

Jovinus, Tomb of, 142.

Juste, 170.

"Kreisker," The (at St. Pol de Leon), 345.

La Hougue, 345.

Langres, 32.

Langres, La Montagne de, 218.

Langres, St. Mammes de, 218-220.

Laon, 20, 32, 41, 61, 325.

Laon, Notre Dame de, 43-46, 49, 139, 372-373.

Laon, Palais de Justice, 46.

Last Judgment, The (at Bourges), 204.

Le Mans, 32, 61, 62, 120, 121, 124, 168, 200, 210, 338.

Le Mans, German invasion of, 120.

Le Mans, Notre Dame de la Cloture, 180.

Le Mans, St. Julien, 113-120, 373, 374.

Leo III., 133.

Leo IX., 307.

Le Puy, 33.

Lescornel, 219.

Le Tellier, 144.

Le Veneur, Bishop, 292.

Libergier, 142.

Limoges, 151.

Lisieux, 285, 286, 301.

Lisieux, St. Pierre de, 301-304.

Loire, Cathedrals of the, 145.

Loire, Valley of the, 147, 148.

Loire, Chateaux of, 18, 32, 147.

Longsword, William, 89.

Lorraine, Abbé, 143.

Loudon, Geoffroy de, 118.

Louis le Débonnaire, 133.

Louis le Gros, 133.

Louis I., 136.

Louis VI., 94.

Louis XI., 208, 246.

Louis XII., 184.

Louis XII., Tomb of, at St. Denis, 19.

Louis XIV., 144.

Louis XVI., 96, 282.

Louis XVIII., 31, 96, 143.

Louis Philippe, 31.

Louviers, 127, 297.

Low Countries, The, 16, 20.

Lowell (James Russell), "A Day in Chartres," 126.

Lowell, Hon. E. J., 310.

Luitgarde, 165.

Luzarche, Robert de, 65.

Madeleine, The, 96.

Maid of Orleans, The, 81, 94, 144, 151.

Maine, 114.

Maine, Count of, 120.

Mainz, 214.

Mansard, 159, 240.

Margaret of Anjou, 173, 181.

Marie Antoinette, 96.

Marie de Medicis, 182.

Marie Louise, 95.

Marne, Department of, 132, 134.

Marne, River, 270.

Martel, Charles, 133.

Matilda, queen of William the Conqueror, 129, 310, 311.

Mazarin (Cardinal), 210.

Meaux, 270.

Meaux, St. Etienne de, 270-273, 374.

Medicis, Marie de, 182.

Mère de Dieu, 66.

Metz, 227, 248, 249.

Méyron, Etchings of, 106.

Montbray, Geoffroy de, 323.

Monthery, 89.

Mont St. Michel, 321, 337, 338;
  Abbey of, 338.

Monuments, Historical, 23, 340.

Moorish type of architecture at Bourges, 201.

Moors of Spain, The, 202.

Moselle, Valley of the, 226.

Moulins, 36.

Musée des Petits Augustines, 96.

Nancy, 226.

Nancy, Cathedral at, 227.

Nantes, 20, 32, 148, 149.

Nantes, Edict of, 183.

Nantes, St. Pierre de, 183, 374, 375.

Naples, 157.

Napoleon I., 31, 103;
  Marriage of, 95.

Napoleon III., 31, 99.

Narbonne, 151.

"Narthex, Burgundian," 258.

Netherlands, The, 14.

Neuss, Apse-sided transepts at, 50.

Nevers, 33, 277.

Nevers, St. Cyr and St. Juliette de, 209.

Nevers, St. Etienne de, 212, 216.

Nevers, The Pont du Loire, 209.

Nevers, Tour Gougin, 213;
  Tour St. Eloi, 213.

Nicman, Archbishop, 136.

Nièvre, Counts of, 210.

Nîmes, 33.

Nivernais, The, 210.

Nogent-les-Vierges, 35.

Normandy, 115, 176.

Normandy, Duke of, 89.

Norsemen, The, 82.

Notre Dame d'Alençon, 296-298.

Notre Dame d'Amiens, 64-69, 72, 366, 367.

Notre Dame d'Auxonne, 220.

Notre Dame de Bayeux, 310-314, 369.

Notre Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer, 231-233.

Notre Dame de Cambrai, 234-236.

Notre Dame de Chartres, 121, 139-141, 371.

Notre Dame de Coutances, 321-325.

Notre Dame d'Evreux, 288-295, 372.

Notre Dame de la Cloture (Le Mans), 180.

Notre Dame de Laon, 43-46, 372.

Notre Dame de l'Epine, 251.

Notre Dame de Noyon, 29, 49-53, 199, 375, 376.

Notre Dame de Paris, 28, 49, 101-107, 139, 140, 199, 376, 377.

Notre Dame de Reims, 132-144, 248, 249.

Notre Dame de Rouen, 37, 49, 79-90, 139, 338, 378, 379.

Notre Dame de St. Lo, 315-318.

Notre Dame de St. Omer, 237-241, 380.

Notre Dame de Senlis, 266-269.

Noviodunum, 51.

Noyades, The, 184.

Noyon, 20, 32, 41, 117, 127, 268.

Noyon, Notre Dame de, 29, 49-53, 199, 375, 376.

Odericus Vitalis, Bishop, 302.

Odon, 323.

Oise, The River, 50.

Onfroy, 323.

Orange, 184.

Oriflamme, The, 94.

Orleans, 33, 148, 149.

Orleans, Captured by Clovis, 151, 152.

Orleans Family, The, 169.

Orleans, German occupation of, 151.

Orleans, St. Croix d', 150-155, 376.

Orleans, The Maid of, 81, 94, 144, 151.

Palais de Justice, Beauvais, 76.

Paramé, 335.

Paris, 20, 61, 267.

Paris, Documentary history of, 26.

Paris, East of, 221.

Paris, Notre Dame de, 28, 49, 101-107, 139, 140, 199, 217, 376, 377.

Paroissien, Poncelet, 142.

Pepersack Tapestries at Reims, The, 143.

Pepin, 94, 133.

Périgueux, 15, 33.

Perpetus, Bishop of Tours, 165.

Perréal, Jehan, 187.

Perrifonds, Chateau of, 50.

Philastre, Cardinal, 137.

Philippe Augustus, 24, 34, 117.

Philippe le Bon, 262.

Philippe le Hardi, 66, 265.

Picardy, 184.

Picardy, Patron Saint of, 69.

Plantagenets, Cradle of the, 173.

Poitiers, 33.

Poitiers, Diane de, 89.

Pont du Loire, Nevers, 209.

Pope Stephen, 94.

Portal de St. Honoré (Amiens), 67.

Portal de la Vierge Dorée (Amiens), 67.

Porte d'Arroux, Autun, 257.

Porte St. Andre, Autun, 257.

Provence, 211.

Quimper, 27, 32, 348.

Quimper, St. Corentin de, 348-350.

Rabelais, 164.

Rabida, "Bretagne" of, 338.

Raphael, Tapestry cartoons at S. Kensington, 76.

Reclus, 215.

Regnault, 187.

Regnier, Cardinal, 235.

Reims, 32, 35, 37, 128, 129, 224, 226, 278.

Reims, Baptism of Clovis at, 30.

Reims, Capture of, by Vandals, 132.

Reims, Cathedral at, 24.

Reims, Details at, 87.

Reims, Devastation at, 25.

Reims, Notre Dame de, 93, 132-144, 248, 249.

Reims, Portals of Cathedral, 66.

Reims, Roman remains at, 134.

Reims, St. Nicaise of, 82.

Remi, Capital of the, 132.

Renaissance, The, 16.

Renaissance Architecture at Bourges, 201.

Renaissance façade at Tours, 166, 167.

Renaissance wood-carving, 46.

René, King, 173, 175, 181.

Reni, Guido, 272.

Rennes, 15.

Revolution, The French, 31, 43, 44, 52, 55, 96, 99, 103, 142, 184, 226.

Rhine, The, 23, 27, 223.

Rhine Provinces, The, 14.

Rhône, The, 36.

Richard Coeur-de-Lion, 90, 113, 120.

Richard the Fearless, 83.

Rigobert, Bishop, 133.

Robert I., Duke of Burgundy, 258, 260.

Robert, son of Tancrede-de-Hauteville, 323.

Roger, son of Tancrede-de-Hauteville, 323.

Rohan, Cardinal de, 243.

Rollo, 82, 89.

Romanesque tendencies, 13, 27, 44;
  types, 20, 21.

Roman power, Decline of, 26.

Roman remains at Reims, 134.

Romans, The, at Genabum (Orleans), 150.

Romano-Byzantine work  at Beauvais, 75.

Romano-Byzantine nave at Le Mans, 115.

Rome, 33.

Rosary, Chapel of the (Soissons), 57.

Roscoff, 345.

Rouen, 19, 35, 37, 61, 62.

Rouen, Cathedral at, 37, 49, 79-90, 139, 338, 378, 379.

Rouen, Notre Dame de, 37, 49, 79-90, 139, 338, 378, 379.

Rouen, Tour de Beurre, 204.

Royal Domain, The, 223.

Royale, Rue (Tours), 163.

Royamont, 35.

Rubens, 235, 238.

Rubens, "Adoration" by (Soissons), 58.

Rumaldi, 136.

Ruskin on Rouen Cathedral, 85.

Ruskin, quoted, 72, 81, 128, 285, 302.

St. Aignan, 150.

St. Bénigne (Monk of Dijon), 225.

St. Bénigne (Cathedral), 262-265.

St. Bertin, Abbey of (St. Omer), 225, 240.

St. Brieuc, 339, 342.

St. Brieuc, Cathedral of, 342-344.

St. Corentin, Cathedral of, 27.

St. Corentin de Quimper, 348-350.

St. Croix, Abbey of, 318.

St. Croix d'Orleans, 150-155, 376.

St. Cyr and St. Juliette de Nevers, 209.

St. Denis, 19, 61.

St. Denis, Abbey of, 93.

St. Denis, Abbot of, 94.

St. Denis, Basilique de, 93-100, 379.

St. Denis, Church of (at St. Omer), 225.

St. Denis, Crypt of, 96.

St. Deodatus, 254.

St. Dié, 226, 254-256.

St. Dié (Cathedral), 255, 256.

St. Dionysius, 97, 98.

St. Etienne d'Auxerre, 191-196, 369.

St. Etienne de Bourges, 199-208, 370.

St. Etienne (Chalons-sur-Marne), 251-253, 371.

St. Etienne de Meaux, 270-273, 374.

St. Etienne du Mont (Paris), 15, 19.

St. Etienne de Nevers, 212, 216.

St. Etienne de Sens, 279-282, 379.

St. Etienne de Toul, 247-250.

St. Eustache, Church of, Paris, 196.

St. Fermin the Martyr, 67, 68.

St. Francis of Assisi, 188.

St. Gatien de Tours, 147, 163, 206, 381.

St. Gengoult, Church of (Toul), 248.

St. Germain, Church of (at Auxerre), 195.

St. Jean the Evangel, 218.

St. Jean des Vignes, Abbey of, 54.

St. John, 69.

St. Julien, Church of (at Tours), 169.

St. Julien, Le Mans, 113-120, 373, 374.

St. Laud, Bishop, 315.

St. Lazare d'Autun, 257-261, 368.

St. Lo, 285, 321.

St. Lo, Notre Dame de, 315-318.

St. Louis, 34, 66, 188, 314.

St. Louis, Arms of, 169.

St. Louis de Blois, 156.

St. Louis de Versailles, Cathedral of, 108.

St. Maclou, Church of (Rouen), 19, 81.

St. Malo, 335, 338.

St. Malo, Cathedral of, 336-338.

St. Mammes de Langres, 218-220.

Ste. Marguerite, 188.

St. Martin (of Tours), 165.

St. Martin, Tour de (at Tours), 165.

St. Maurice d'Angers, 147, 173-182, 367, 368.

St. Nazaire (Autun), 258.

St. Nicaise, 82, 136, 142.

St. Nicolas de Coutances, 325.

St. Mellor, 82.

St. Omer, 27, 223, 225.

St. Omer, Notre Dame de, 237 241, 380.

St. Ouen, Church of (Rouen), 15, 30, 80, 87, 241, 277.

St. Peter's, at Rome, 20.

"St. Peter's of the North," 71.

"St. Peter's of the South," 13.

St. Peter and Paul, Church of (at Tours), 165.

St. Pierre d'Aleth, 336.

St. Pierre de Beauvais, 28, 70-76, 140, 369.

St. Pierre de Coutances, 325.

St. Pierre de Lisieux, 301-304.

St. Pierre de Nantes, 183, 374, 375.

St. Pierre de Troyes, 274-278, 381, 382.

St. Pol de Leon, 255, 339, 345.

St. Pol de Leon, Cathedral of, 345-347.

St. Potentien, 279.

St. Quentin, Maze at, 131.

St. Remi, 31, 133, 134, 136.

St. Samson, 329-332.

St. Savinien, 279, 282.

St. Sepulchre, Church of (at St. Omer), 240.

St. Servan, 335, 338.

St. Sixte, 132.

St. Urbain, 275.

St. Vaast d'Arras, 242-246, 345, 368.

St. Yves, 341.

"Sainte Ampoule," The, 25, 143.

Salisbury, Cathedral at, 64, 384.

Salisbury, John of, 129.

Saracen type of architecture at Bourges, 201.

Séez, 61, 267, 277, 305.

Séez, Notre Dame de, 305-309.

Seine, The, 36, 106.

Seine and Loire (by J. M. W. Turner), 169.

Seine, Department of, 108.

Senlis, 266.

Senlis, Notre Dame de, 266-269.

Sens, 61, 279.

Sens, Guillaume of, 225, 280.

Sens, St. Etienne de, 279-282, 379.

Seville, Cathedral at, 20.

Shakespeare on Angers (in "King John"), 173.

Societé des Monuments Historiques, 35, 170, 176.

Soissons, 20, 32, 41, 117, 133, 268.

Soissons, Bombardment of, by the Germans, 56.

Soissons, Notre Dame de, 54-58.

South Kensington, 272.

Stephen, Pope, 136.

Stevenson (Robert Louis), 28, 42.

Strasbourg, 248.

Strasburg, Cathedral at, 126, 135, 227.

Suger, Abbot, The, 94, 97.

"Suisse, The," 80.

Tancrede-de-Hauteville, 323.

Tapestries at Angers, 181.

Tapestries at Bayeux, 310-311.

Tapestries at Le Mans, 120.

Tapestries at Reims, 142, 143.

Tapestries at Soissons, 58.

Tapestries from Raphael's cartoons (at Beauvais), 76.

Tapestry-making at Beauvais, 76;
  at Paris; at Arras, 76, 242, 245, 246.

Tetricus, 226.

Texier, 126, 131.

"Thérouanne, The Great God of," 240.

Torenai River, 258.

Torlonia, Prince Alex, 233.

Toul, 226, 247-250.

Toul, St. Etienne de, 247-250.

Toulouse, 151.

Tour d'Auvergne, Cardinal de la, 244.

Tour de Beurre (Rouen), 84, 89.

Tour de Charlemagne (at Tours), 165.

Tour de Hasting (at Tréguier), 340.

Tour Gougin (at Nevers), 213.

Tour de l'Horloge (at Tours), 165.

Tour St. Eloi (at Nevers), 213.

Tour de St. Martin (at Tours), 165.

Touraine, Old, 163.

Tournai, 41.

Tours, 18, 33, 277.

Tours, Church of St. Peter and Paul, 165.

Tours, St. Gatien de, 147, 163, 206, 381.

Tours (St. Martin of), 165.

Tours, West front of St. Gatien, 74.

Transition examples, 39.

Transition Style of Architecture, The, 176.

Tréguier, 32, 255, 339.

Tréguier, Cathedral of, 339-341.

"Tresor," The, at Reims, 143.

"Tresor," The, at Troyes, 278.

"Tresor," The, at Sens, 282.

"Tresor," The, at Bayeux, 314.

Treves, 214.

Trianons, The, 108.

Troyes, 20, 61, 274, 275.

Troyes, St. Pierre de, 274-278, 381, 382.

Turner (J. M. W.), "Seine and Loire," 169.

Valence, 36.

Valois Branch of the Orleans Family, 169.

Vannes, 351.

Vannes, Cathedral of, 351, 352.

Vauban, 244.

Vaucluse, 184.

Vendôme, Matthieu de, 99.

Versailles, Fountains at, 108.

Versailles, St. Louis de, 108.

Villeneuve, Bishop de, 193.

Villers-St.-Pol, 35.

Viollet-le-Duc, 83, 96, 99, 139, 181, 349.

Vire, River, 315.

Wellington, Duke of, 175.

Westphalia, Treaty of, 249.

William, Duke of Normandy, 323.

Winchester, Henry, Bishop of, 121.

Winchester, Prelate of, 303.

Wood-carving (at Amiens), 68.

Worms, 214.

Yonne, The River, 191.

Young, Arthur, 36, 209.

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