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Title: The Cathedrals of Southern 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.

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[Illustration]

[Illustration]

THE CATHEDRALS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE


    _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_

    _L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
    New England Building, Boston, Mass._

[Illustration: ST. ANDRÉ ... _de BORDEAUX_]



THE CATHEDRALS OF
SOUTHERN FRANCE

By FRANCIS MILTOUN

AUTHOR OF "THE CATHEDRALS
OF NORTHERN FRANCE,"
"DICKENS' LONDON," ETC.,
WITH NINETY ILLUSTRATIONS,
PLANS, AND DIAGRAMS,
By BLANCHE McMANUS

[Illustration]

BOSTON

L. C. Page and Company

MDCCCCV

_Copyright, 1904_
BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY

(INCORPORATED)

_All rights reserved_

Published August, 1904

_Third Impression_

Colonial Press

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, Mass., U. S. A.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

Introduction                                                          11

PART I. SOUTHERN FRANCE IN GENERAL

I. The Charm of Southern France                                       23

II. The Church in Gaul                                                34

III. The Church Architecture of Southern
France                                                                50

PART II. SOUTH OF THE LOIRE

I. Introductory                                                       71

II. L'Abbaye de Maillezais                                            81

III. St. Louis de la Rochelle                                         82

IV. Cathédrale de Luçon                                               85

V. St. Front de Périgueux                                             87

VI. St. Pierre de Poitiers                                            92

VII. St. Etienne de Limoges                                          104

VIII. St. Odilon de St. Flour                                        112

IX. St. Pierre de Saintes                                            115

X. Cathédrale de Tulle                                               118

XI. St. Pierre d'Angoulême                                           120

XII. Notre Dame de Moulins                                           126

XIII. Notre Dame de le Puy                                           134

XIV. Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand                                  144

XV. St. Fulcran de Lodève                                            152

PART III. THE RHONE VALLEY

I. Introductory                                                      159

II. St. Etienne de Chalons-sur-Saône                                 170

III. St. Vincent de Macon                                            174

IV. St. Jean de Lyon                                                 177

V. St. Maurice de Vienne                                             186

VI. St. Apollinaire de Valence                                       190

VII. Cathédrale de Viviers                                           195

VIII. Notre Dame d'Orange                                            197

IX. St. Véran de Cavaillon                                           200

X. Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon                                     204

XI. St. Siffrein de Carpentras                                       221

XII. Cathédrale de Vaison                                            226

XIII. St. Trophime d'Arles                                           228

XIV. St. Castor de Nîmes                                             236

XV. St. Théodorit d'Uzès                                             245

XVI. St. Jean d'Alais                                                249

XVII. St. Pierre d'Annecy                                            252

XVIII. Cathédrale de Chambéry                                        255

XIX. Notre Dame de Grenoble                                          258

XX. Belley and Aoste                                                 267

XXI. St. Jean de Maurienne                                           269

XXII. St. Pierre de St. Claude                                       272

XXIII. Notre Dame de Bourg                                           277

XXIV. Glandève, Senez, Riez, Sisteron                                280

XXV. St. Jerome de Digne                                             283

XXVI. Notre Dame de Die                                              287

XXVII. Notre Dame et St. Castor d'Apt                                289

XXVIII. Notre Dame d'Embrun                                          292

XXIX. Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Gap                              296

XXX. Notre Dame de Vence                                             300

XXXI. Cathédrale de Sion                                             302

XXII. St. Paul Troix Château                                         305

PART IV. THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST

I. Introductory                                                      313

II. St. Sauveur d'Aix                                                323

III. St. Reparata de Nice                                            328

IV. Ste. Marie Majeure de Toulon                                     332

V. St. Etienne de Fréjus                                             335

VI. Église de Grasse                                                 339

VII. Antibes                                                         341

VIII. Ste. Marie Majeure de Marseilles                               342

IX. St. Pierre d'Alet                                                350

X. St. Pierre de Montpellier                                         352

XI. Cathédrale d'Agde                                                358

XII. St. Nazaire de Béziers                                          363

XIII. St. Jean de Perpignan                                          368

XIV. Ste. Eulalia d'Elne                                             372

XV. St. Just de Narbonne                                             375

PART V. THE VALLEY OF THE GARONNE

I. Introductory                                                      383

II. St. André de Bordeaux                                            396

III. Cathédrale de Lectoure                                          402

IV. Notre Dame de Bayonne                                            405

V. St. Jean de Bazas                                                 411

VI. Notre Dame de Lescar                                             413

VII. L'Eglise de la Sède: Tarbes                                     417

VIII. Cathédrale de Condom                                           420

IX. Cathédrale de Montauban                                          422

X. St. Etienne de Cahors                                             425

XI. St. Caprias d'Agen                                               429

XII. Ste. Marie d'Auch                                               432

XIII. St. Etienne de Toulouse                                        439

XIV. St. Nazaire de Carcassone                                       449

XV. Cathédrale de Pamiers                                            461

XVI. St. Bertrand de Comminges                                       464

XVII. St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire                                       469

XVIII. Sts. Benoit et Vincent de Castres                             471

XIX. Notre Dame de Rodez                                             474

XX. Ste. Cécile d'Albi                                               482

XXI. St. Pierre de Mende                                             490

XXII. Other Old-Time Cathedrals in and about the
Basin of the Garonne                                                 495

APPENDICES

I. Sketch Map Showing the Usual Geographical
Divisions of France                                                  503

II. A Historical Table of the Dioceses of the
South of France up to the beginning of
the nineteenth century                                               504

III. The Classification of Architectural Styles in
France according to De Caumont's "Abécédaire
d'Architecture Religieuse"                                           510

IV. A Chronology of Architectural Styles in
France                                                               511

V. Leading Forms of Early Cathedral Constructions                    513

VI. The Disposition of the Parts of a Tenth-Century
Church as defined by Violet-le-Duc                                   514

VII. A Brief Definitive Gazetteer of the Natural
and Geological Divisions Included in the
Ancient Provinces and Present-Day Departments
of Southern France, together
with the local names by which the _pays et
pagi_ are commonly known                                             516

VIII. Sketch Map of the Bishoprics and Archbishoprics
of the South of France at the
Present Day                                                          519

IX. Dimensions and Chronology                                        520

Index                                                                545



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                    PAGE

St. André de Bordeaux                             _Frontispiece_

The Concordat (From Napoleon's Tomb)                                  43

St. Louis de La Rochelle                                              82

Cathédrale de Luçon                                                   85

St. Front de Périgueux                                                87

Detail of the Interior of St. Front de Périgueux                      90

Poitiers                                                              93

St. Etienne de Limoges                                               105

Reliquary of Thomas à Becket                                         111

Cathédrale de Tulle                                   facing         118

St. Pierre d'Angoulême                                facing         120

Notre Dame de Moulins                                 facing         126

Notre Dame de Le Puy                                  facing         134

Le Puy                                                               138

The Black Virgin, Le Puy                                             143

Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand                        facing         144

St. Vincent de Macon                                  facing         174

St. Jean de Lyon                                      facing         176

St. Apollinaire de Valence                                           190

St. Véran de Cavaillon                                               200

Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon                                        205

Villeneuve-les-Avignon                                facing         212

Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon                         facing         218

St. Trophime d'Arles                                                 228

St. Trophime d'Arles                                  facing         228

Cloisters, St. Trophime d'Arles                                      233

St. Castor de Nîmes                                                  236

St. Castor de Nîmes                                                  237

St. Théodorit d'Uzès                                                 245

Cathédrale de Chambéry                                               255

Notre Dame de Grenoble                                               258

St. Bruno                                                            261

Belley                                                               265

St. Jean de Maurienne                                                269

St. Pierre de St. Claude                              facing         272

Notre Dame de Bourg                                                  275

Notre Dame de Sisteron                                facing         280

St. Jerome de Digne                                                  283

Notre Dame d'Embrun                                                  292

The Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes                                        320

St. Sauveur d'Aix                                                    321

Detail of Doorway of the Archbishop's Palace, Fréjus                 338

Eglise de Grasse                                                     339

Marseilles                                                           343

The Old Cathedral, Marseilles                                        345

St. Pierre de Montpellier                             facing         352

Cathédrale d'Agde                                                    358

St. Nazaire de Béziers                                               361

St. Jean de Perpignan                                                368

Ste. Eulalia d'Elne                                                  372

St. Just de Narbonne                                  facing         374

Cloister of St. Just de Narbonne                      facing         378

Notre Dame de Bayonne                                 facing         404

Eglise de la Sède, Tarbes                                            417

St. Etienne de Cahors                                 facing         424

Ste. Marie d'Auch                                     facing         432

St. Etienne de Toulouse                               facing         438

Nave of St. Etienne de Toulouse                                      445

St. Nazaire de Carcassonne                            facing         448

The Old Cité de Carcassonne before and after the Restoration         451

Two Capitals of Pillars in St. Nazaire de Carcassonne;
and the Rude Stone Carving of Carcas                                 454

St. Nazaire de Carcassonne                            facing         454

Cathédrale de Pamiers                                                461

St. Bertrand de Comminges                             facing         464

St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire                                             469

Sts. Benoit et Vincent de Castres                     facing         470

Notre Dame de Rodez                                   facing         474

Choir-Stalls, Rodez                                                  480

Ste. Cécile d'Albi                                    facing         482

St. Pierre de Mende                                   facing         490

Sketch Map of France                                                 503

Medallion                                                            510

Leading Forms of Early Cathedral Constructions                       513

Plan of a Tenth Century Church                                       514

Sketch Map of the Bishoprics and Archbishoprics of the
South of France at the Present Day                                   519

St. Caprias d'Agen (diagram)                                         520

Baptistery of St. Sauveur d'Aix (diagram)                            521

Ste. Cécile d'Albi (diagram)                                         522

St. Pierre d'Angoulême (diagram)                                     523

St. Trophime d'Arles (diagram)                                       524

Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon (diagram)                              525

St. Etienne de Cahors (diagram)                                      527

St. Veran de Cavaillon (diagram)                                     528

Cathédrale de Chambéry (diagram)                                     529

Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand (diagram)                             530

St. Bertrand de Comminges (diagram)                                  530

Notre Dame de Le Puy (diagram)                                       532

St. Etienne de Limoges (diagram)                                     532

St. Jean de Lyon (diagram)                                           533

St. Just de Narbonne (diagram)                                       535

Notre Dame d'Orange (diagram)                                        536

St. Front de Périgueux (diagram)                                     537

St. Jean de Perpignan (diagram)                                      537

St. Pierre de Poitiers (diagrams)                                    538

Notre Dame de Rodez (diagram)                                        539

St. Etienne de Toulouse (diagram)                                    541

St. Paul Trois Châteaux (diagram)                                    542

Cathédrale de Vaison (diagram)                                       543

[Illustration]



_The Cathedrals of Southern France_



INTRODUCTION


Too often--it is a half-acknowledged delusion, however--one meets with
what appears to be a theory: that a book of travel must necessarily be a
series of dull, discursive, and entirely uncorroborated opinions of one
who may not be even an intelligent observer. This is mere intellectual
pretence. Even a humble author--so long as he be an honest one--may well
be allowed to claim with Mr. Howells the right to be serious, or the
reverse, "with his material as he finds it;" and that "something
personally experienced can only be realized on the spot where it was
lived." This, says he, is "the prime use of travel, and the attempt to
create the reader a partner in the enterprise" ... must be the excuse,
then, for putting one's observations on paper.

He rightly says, too, that nothing of perilous adventure is to-day any
more like to happen "in Florence than in Fitchburg."

A "literary tour," a "cathedral tour," or an "architectural tour,"
requires a formula wherein the author must be wary of making
questionable estimates; but he may, with regard to generalities,--or
details, for that matter,--state his opinion plainly; but he should
state also his reasons. With respect to church architecture no average
reader, any more than the average observer, willingly enters the arena
of intellectual combat, but rather is satisfied--as he should be, unless
he is a Freeman, a Gonse, or a Corroyer--with an ampler radius which
shall command even a juster, though no less truthful, view.

Not from one book or from ten, in one year or a score can this be had.
The field is vast and the immensity of it all only dawns upon one the
deeper he gets into his subject. A dictionary of architecture, a
compendium or gazetteer of geography, or even the unwieldy mass of fact
tightly held in the fastnesses of the Encyclopædia Britannica will not
tell one--in either a long or a short while--all the facts concerning
the cathedrals of France.

Some will consider that in this book are made many apparently trifling
assertions; but it is claimed that they are pertinent and again are
expressive of an emotion which mayhap always arises of the same mood.

Notre Dame at Rodez is a "warm, mouse-coloured cathedral;" St. Cécile
d'Albi is at once "a fortress and a church," and the once royal city of
Aigues-Mortes is to-day but "a shelter for a few hundred pallid, shaking
mortals."

Such expressions are figurative, but, so far as words can put it, they
are the concentrated result of observation.

These observations do not aspire to be considered "improving," though it
is asserted that they are informative.

Description of all kinds is an art which requires considerable
forethought in order to be even readable. And of all subjects, art and
architecture are perhaps the most difficult to treat in a manner which
shall not arouse an intolerant criticism.

Perhaps some credit will be attained for the attempts herein made to
present in a pleasing manner many of the charms of the ecclesiastical
architecture of southern France, where a more elaborate and erudite work
would fail of its object. As Lady Montagu has said in her
"Letters,"--"We travellers are in very hard circumstances. If we say
nothing new, we are dull, and have observed nothing. If we tell any new
thing, we are laughed at as fabulous and romantic."

This book is intended as a contribution to travel literature--or, if the
reader like, to that special class of book which appeals largely to the
traveller.

Most lovers of art and literature are lovers of churches; indeed, the
world is yearly containing more and more of this class. The art
expression of a people, of France in particular, has most often first
found its outlet in church-building and decoration. Some other countries
have degenerated sadly from the idea.

In recent times the Anglo-Saxon has mostly built his churches,--on what
he is pleased to think are "improved lines,"--that, more than anything
else, resemble, in their interiors, playhouses, and in their exteriors,
cotton factories and breweries.

This seemingly bitter view is advanced simply because the writer
believes that it is the church-members, using the term in its broad
sense, who are responsible for the many outrageously unseemly
church-buildings which are yearly being erected; not the
architects--who have failings enough of their own to answer for.

It is said that a certain great architect of recent times was
responsible for more bad architecture than any man who had lived before
or since. Not because he produced such himself, but because his feeble
imitators, without his knowledge, his training, or his ambition, not
only sought to follow in his footsteps, but remained a long way in the
rear, and stumbled by the way.

This man built churches. He built one, Trinity Church, in Boston, U. S.
A., which will remain, as long as its stones endure, an entirely
successful transplantation of an exotic from another land. In London a
new Roman Catholic cathedral has recently been erected after the
Byzantine manner, and so unexpectedly successful was it in plan and
execution that its author was "medalled" by the Royal Academy; whatever
that dubious honour may be worth.

Both these great men are dead, and aside from these two great examples,
and possibly the Roman Catholic cathedral, and the yet unachieved
cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, where, in an
English-speaking land, has there been built, in recent times, a
religious edifice of the first rank worthy to be classed with these two
old-world and new-world examples?

They do these things better in France: Viollet-le-Duc completed St. Ouen
at Rouen and the cathedral at Clermont-Ferrand, in most acceptable
manner. So, too, was the treatment of the cathedral at
Moulins-sur-Allier--although none of these examples are among the
noblest or the most magnificent in France. They have, however, been
completed successfully, and in the true spirit of the original.

To know the shops and boulevards of Paris does not necessarily presume a
knowledge of France. This point is mentioned here from the fact that
many have claimed a familiarity with the cathedrals of France; when to
all practical purposes, they might as well have begun and ended with the
observation that Notre Dame de Paris stands on an island in the middle
of the Seine.

The author would not carp at the critics of the first volume of this
series, which appeared last season. Far from it. They were, almost
without exception, most generous. At least they granted,
_unqualifiedly_, the reason for being for the volume which was put
forth bearing the title: "Cathedrals of Northern France."

The seeming magnitude of the undertaking first came upon the author and
artist while preparing the first volume for the press. This was made the
more apparent when, on a certain occasion, just previous to the
appearance of the book, the author made mention thereof to a friend who
_did_ know Paris--better perhaps than most English or American writers;
at least he ought to have known it better.

When this friend heard of the inception of this book on French
cathedrals, he marvelled at the fact that there should be a demand for
such; said that the subject had already been overdone; and much more of
the same sort; and that only yesterday a certain Miss---- had sent him
an "author's copy" of a book which recounted the results of a journey
which she and her mother had recently made in what she sentimentally
called "Romantic Touraine."

Therein were treated at least a good half-dozen cathedrals; which,
supplementing the always useful Baedeker or Joanne, and a handbook of
Notre Dame at Paris and another of Rouen, covered--thought the author's
friend at least--quite a representative share of the cathedrals of
France.

This only substantiates the contention made in the foreword to the first
volume: that there were doubtless many with a true appreciation and love
for great churches who would be glad to know more of them, and have the
ways--if not the means--smoothed in order to make a visit thereto the
more simplified and agreeable. Too often--the preface continued--the
tourist, alone or personally conducted in droves, was whirled rapidly
onward by express-train to some more popularly or fashionably famous
spot, where, for a previously stipulated sum, he might partake of a more
lurid series of amusements than a mere dull round of churches.

"Cities, like individuals, have," says Arthur Symons, "a personality and
individuality quite like human beings."

This is undoubtedly true of churches as well, and the sympathetic
observer--the enthusiastic lover of churches for their peculiarities,
none the less than their general excellencies--is the only person who
will derive the maximum amount of pleasure and profit from an intimacy
therewith.

Whether a great church is interesting because of its antiquity, its
history, or its artistic beauties matters little to the enthusiast. He
will drink his fill of what offers. Occasionally, he will find a
combination of two--or possibly all--of these ingredients; when his joy
will be great.

Herein are catalogued as many of the attributes of the cathedrals of the
south of France--and the records of religious or civil life which have
surrounded them in the past--as space and opportunity for observation
have permitted.

More the most sanguine and capable of authors could not promise, and
while in no sense does the volume presume to supply exhaustive
information, it is claimed that all of the churches included within the
classification of cathedrals--those of the present and those of a past
day--are to be found mentioned herein, the chief facts of their history
recorded, and their notable features catalogued.



_PART I_

_Southern France in General_



I

THE CHARM OF SOUTHERN FRANCE


The charm of southern France is such as to compel most writers thereon
to become discursive. It could not well be otherwise. Many things go to
make up pictures of travel, which the most polished writer could not
ignore unless he confined himself to narrative pure and simple; as did
Sterne.

One who seeks knowledge of the architecture of southern France should
perforce know something of the life of town and country in addition to a
specific knowledge of, or an immeasurable enthusiasm for, the subject.

Few have given Robert Louis Stevenson any great preëminence as a writer
of topographical description; perhaps not all have admitted his ability
as an unassailable critic; but the fact is, there is no writer to whom
the lover of France can turn with more pleasure and profit than
Stevenson.

There is a wealth of description of the country-side of France in the
account of his romantic travels on donkey-back, or, as he whimsically
puts it, "beside a donkey," and his venturesome though not dangerous
"Inland Voyage." These early volumes of Stevenson, while doubtless well
known to lovers of his works, are closed books to most casual
travellers. The author and artist of this book here humbly acknowledge
an indebtedness which might not otherwise be possible to repay.

Stevenson was devout, he wrote sympathetically of churches, of
cathedrals, of monasteries, and of religion. What his predilections were
as to creed is not so certain. Sterne was more worldly, but he wrote
equally attractive prose concerning many things which English-speaking
people have come to know more of since his time. Arthur Young, "an
agriculturist," as he has been rather contemptuously called, a century
or more ago wrote of rural France after a manner, and with a
profuseness, which few have since equalled. His creed, likewise, appears
to be unknown; in that, seldom, if ever, did he mention churches, and
not at any time did he discuss religion.

In a later day Miss M. E. B. Edwards, an English lady who knows France
as few of her countrywomen do, wrote of many things more or less allied
with religion, which the ordinary "travel books" ignored--much to their
loss--altogether.

Still more recently another English lady, Madam Marie Duclaux,--though
her name would not appear to indicate her nationality,--has written a
most charming series of observations on her adopted land; wherein the
peasant, his religion, and his aims in life are dealt with more
understandingly than were perhaps possible, had the author not been
possessed of a long residence among them.

Henry James, of all latter-day writers, has given us perhaps the most
illuminating accounts of the architectural joy of great churches,
châteaux and cathedrals. Certainly his work is marvellously
appreciative, and his "Little Tour in France," with the two books of
Stevenson before mentioned, Sterne's "Sentimental Journey,"--and Mr.
Tristram Shandy, too, if the reader likes,--form a quintette of voices
which will tell more of the glories of France and her peoples than any
other five books in the English language.

When considering the literature of place, one must not overlook the fair
land of Provence or the "Midi of France"--that little-known land lying
immediately to the westward of Marseilles, which is seldom or never
even tasted by the hungry tourist.

To know what he would of these two delightful regions one should read
Thomas Janvier, Félix Gras, and Mêrimêe. He will then have far more of
an insight into the places and the peoples than if he perused whole
shelves of histories, geographies, or technical works on archæology and
fossil remains.

If he can supplement all this with travel, or, better yet, take them
hand-in-hand, he will be all the more fortunate.

At all events here is a vast subject for the sated traveller to grasp,
and _en passant_ he will absorb not a little of the spirit of other days
and of past history, and something of the attitude of reverence for
church architecture which is apparently born in every Frenchman,--at
least to a far greater degree than in any other nationality,--whatever
may be his present-day attitude of mind toward the subject of religion
in the abstract.

France, be it remembered, is not to-day as it was a century and a half
ago, when it was the fashion of English writers to condemn and revile it
as a nation of degraded serfs, a degenerate aristocracy, a corrupt
clergy, or as an enfeebled monarchy.

Since then there has arisen a Napoleon, who, whatever his faulty morals
may have been, undoubtedly welded into a united whole those widely
divergent tendencies and sentiments of the past, which otherwise would
not have survived. This was prophetic and far-seeing, no matter what the
average historian may say to the contrary; and it has in no small way
worked itself toward an ideal successfully, if not always by the most
practical and direct path.

One thing is certain, the lover of churches will make the round of the
southern cathedrals under considerably more novel and entrancing
conditions than in those cities of the north or mid-France. Many of the
places which shelter a great cathedral church in the south are of little
rank as centres of population; as, for instance, at Mende in Lozère,
where one suddenly finds oneself set down in the midst of a green basin
surrounded by mountains on all sides, with little to distract his
attention from its remarkably picturesque cathedral; or at Albi, where a
Sunday-like stillness always seems to reign, and its fortress-church,
which seems to regulate the very life of the town, stands, as it has
since its foundation, a majestic guardian of well-being.

There is but one uncomfortable feature to guard against, and that is the
_mistral_, a wind which blows down the Rhône valley at certain seasons
of the year, and, in the words of the habitant, "blows all before it."
It is not really as bad as this, but its breath is uncomfortably cold,
and it does require a firm purpose to stand against its blast.

Then, too, from October until March, south of Lyons, the nights, which
draw in so early at this season of the year, are contrastingly and
uncomfortably cold, as compared with the days, which seem always to be
blessed with bright and sunshiny weather.

It may be argued that this is not the season which appeals to most
people as being suitable for travelling. But why not? Certainly it is
the fashion to travel toward the Mediterranean during the winter months,
and the attractions, not omitting the allurements of dress clothes,
gambling-houses, and _bals masqués_ are surely not more appealing than
the chain of cities which extend from Chambéry and Grenoble in the Alps,
through Orange, Nîmes, Arles, Perpignan, Carcassonne, and the slopes of
the Pyrenees, to Bayonne.

In the departments of Lozère, Puy de Dôme, Gard and Auvergne and
Dordogne, the true, unspoiled Gallic flavour abides in all its
intensity. As Touraine, or at least Tours, claims to speak the purest
French tongue, so this region of streams and mountains, of volcanic
remains, of Protestantism, and of an--as yet--unspoiled old-worldliness,
possesses more than any other somewhat of the old-time social
independence and disregard of latter-day innovations.

Particularly is this so--though perhaps it has been remarked before--in
that territory which lies between Clermont-Ferrand and Valence in one
direction, and Vienne and Rodez in another, to extend its confines to
extreme limits.

Here life goes on gaily and in animated fashion, in a hundred dignified
and picturesque old towns, and the wise traveller will go a-hunting
after those which the guide-books complain of--not without a sneer--as
being dull and desultory. French, and for that matter the new régime of
English, historical novelists are too obstinately bent on the study of
Paris, "At all events," says Edmund Gosse, "since the days of Balzac and
George Sand, and have neglected the provincial boroughs."

They should study mid-France on the spot; and read Stevenson and Mérimée
while they are doing it. It will save them a deal of worrying out of
things--with possibly wrong deductions--for themselves.

The climatic conditions of France vary greatly. From the gray,
wind-blown shores of Brittany, where for quite three months of the
autumn one is in a perpetual drizzle, and the equally chilly and bare
country of the Pas de Calais, and the more or less sodden French
Flanders, to the brisk, sunny climate of the Loire valley, the Cevennes,
Dauphiné, and Savoie, is a wide range of contrast. Each is possessed of
its own peculiar characteristics, which the habitant alone seems to
understand in all its vagaries. At all events, there is no part of
France which actually merits the opprobrious deprecations which are
occasionally launched forth by the residents of the "garden spot of
England," who see no topographical beauties save in their own wealds and
downs.

France is distinctly a self-contained land. Its tillers of the soil, be
they mere agriculturists or workers in the vineyards, are of a race as
devoted and capable at their avocations as any alive.

They do not, to be sure, eat meat three times a day--and often not once
a week--but they thrive and gain strength on what many an
English-speaking labourer would consider but a mere snack.

Again, the French peasant is not, like the English labourer, perpetually
reminded, by the independence of the wealth surrounding him, of his own
privations and dependence. On the contrary, he enjoys contentment with a
consciousness that no human intervention embitters his condition, and
that its limits are only fixed by the bounds of nature, and somewhat by
his own industry.

Thus it is easy to inculcate in such a people somewhat more of that
spirit of "_l'amour de la patrie_," or love of the land, which in
England, at the present time, appears to be growing beautifully less.

So, too, with love and honour for their famous citizens, the French are
enthusiastic, beyond any other peoples, for their monuments, their
institutions, and above all for their own province and department.

With regard to their architectural monuments, still more are they proud
and well-informed, even the labouring classes. Seldom, if ever, has the
writer made an inquiry but what it was answered with interest, if not
with a superlative intelligence, and the Frenchman of the lower
classes--be he a labourer of the towns or cities, or a peasant of the
country-side--is a remarkably obliging person.

In what may strictly be called the south of France, that region
bordering along the Mediterranean, Provence, and the southerly portion
of Languedoc, one is manifestly environed with a mellowness and
brilliance of sky and atmosphere only to be noted in a sub-tropical
land, a feature which finds further expression in most of the attributes
of local life.

The climate and topographical features take on a contrastingly different
aspect, as does the church architecture and the mode of life of the
inhabitants here in the southland.

Here is the true romance country of all the world. Here the Provençal
tongue and its literature have preserved that which is fast fleeting
from us in these days when a nation's greatest struggle is for
commercial or political supremacy. It was different in the days of
Petrarch and of Rabelais.

But there are reminders of this glorious past yet to be seen, more
tangible than a memory alone, and more satisfying than mere written
history.

At Orange, Nîmes, and Arles are Roman remains of theatres, arenas, and
temples, often perfectly preserved, and as magnificent as in Rome
itself.

At Avignon is a splendid papal palace, to which the Holy See was
transferred by Clement V. at the time of the Italian partition, in the
early fourteenth century, while Laura's tomb, or the site of it, is also
close at hand.

At Clermont-Ferrand, in Auvergne, Pope Urban, whose monument is on the
spot, urged and instigated the Crusades.

The Christian activities of this land were as strenuous as any, and
their remains are even more numerous and interesting. Southern Gaul,
however, became modernized but slowly, and the influences of the
Christian spirit were not perhaps as rapid as in the north, where Roman
sway was more speedily annulled. Still, not even in the churches of
Lombardy or Tuscany are there more strong evidences of the inception and
growth of this great power, which sought at one time to rule the world,
and may yet.



II

THE CHURCH IN GAUL


Guizot's notable dictum, "If you are fond of romance and history," may
well be paraphrased in this wise: "If you are fond of history, read the
life histories of great churches."

Leaving dogmatic theory aside, much, if not quite all, of the life of
the times in France--up to the end of the sixteenth century--centred
more or less upon the Church, using the word in its fullest sense. Aside
from its religious significance, the influence of the Church, as is well
known and recognized by all, was variously political, social, and
perhaps economic.

So crowded and varied were the events of Church history in Gaul, it
would be impossible to include even the most important of them in a
brief chronological arrangement which should form a part of a book such
as this.

It is imperative, however, that such as are mentioned should be brought
together in some consecutive manner in a way that should indicate the
mighty ebb and flow of religious events of Church and State.

These passed rapidly and consecutively throughout Southern Gaul, which
became a part of the kingdom of the French but slowly.

Many bishoprics have been suppressed or merged into others, and again
united with these sees from which they had been separated. Whatever may
be the influences of the Church, monastic establishments, or more
particularly, the bishops and their clergy, to-day, there is no question
but that from the evangelization of Gaul to the end of the nineteenth
century, the parts played by them were factors as great as any other in
coagulating and welding together the kingdom of France.

The very large number of bishops which France has had approximates eight
thousand eminent and virtuous names; and it is to the memory of their
works in a practical way, none the less than their devotion to preaching
the Word itself, that the large number of magnificent ecclesiastical
monuments have been left as their heritage.

There is a large share of veneration and respect due these pioneers of
Christianity; far more, perhaps, than obtains for those of any other
land. Here their activities were so very great, their woes and troubles
so very oppressive, and their final achievement so splendid, that the
record is one which stands alone.

It is a glorious fact--in spite of certain lapses and influx of
fanaticism--that France has ever recognized the sterling worth to the
nation of the devotion and wise counsel of her churchmen; from the
indefatigable apostles of Gaul to her cardinals, wise and powerful in
councils of state.

The evangelization of Gaul was not an easy or a speedy process. On the
authority of Abbé Morin of Moulins, who, in _La France Pontificale_, has
undertaken to "chronologize all the bishops and archbishops of France
from the first century to our day," Christianity came first to Aix and
Marseilles with Lazare de Béthanie in 35 or 36 A. D.; followed shortly
after by Lin de Besançon, Clement de Metz, Demêtre de Gap, and Ruf
d'Avignon.

Toward the end of the reign of Claudian, and the commencement of that of
Nero (54-55 A. D.), there arrived in Gaul the seven Apostle-bishops,
the founders of the Church at Arles (St. Trophime), Narbonne (St. Paul),
Limoges (St. Martial), Clermont (St. Austremoine), Tours (St. Gatien),
Toulouse (St. Saturnin), and Trèves (St. Valère).

It was some years later that Paris received within its walls St. Denis,
its first Apostle of Christianity, its first bishop, and its first
martyr.

Others as famous were Taurin d'Evreux, Lucien de Beauvais, Eutrope de
Saintes, Aventin de Chartres, Nicaise de Rouen, Sixte de Reims, Savinien
de Sens, and St. Crescent--the disciple of St. Paul--of Vienne.

From these early labours, through the three centuries following, and
down through fifteen hundred years, have passed many traditions of these
early fathers which are well-nigh legendary and fabulous.

The Abbé Morin says further: "We have not, it is true, an entirely
complete chronology of the bishops who governed the Church in Gaul, but
the names of the great and noble army of bishops and clergy, who for
eighteen hundred years have succeeded closely one upon another, are
assuredly the most beautiful jewels in the crown of France. Their
virtues were many and great,--eloquence, love of _la patrie_,
indomitable courage in time of trial, mastery of difficult situation,
prudence, energy, patience, and charity." All these grand virtues were
practised incessantly, with some regrettable eclipses, attributable not
only to misfortune, but occasionally to fault. A churchman even is but
human.

With the accession of the third dynasty of kings,--the Capetians, in
987,--the history of the French really began, and that of the Franks,
with their Germanic tendencies and elements, became absorbed by those of
the Romanic language and character, with the attendant habits and
customs.

Only the Aquitanians, south of the Loire, and the Burgundians on the
Rhône, still preserved their distinct nationalities.

The feudal ties which bound Aquitaine to France were indeed so slight
that, when Hugh Capet, in 990, asked of Count Adelbert of Périgueux,
before the walls of the besieged city of Tours: "Who made thee count?"
he was met with the prompt and significant rejoinder, "Who made thee
king?"

At the close of the tenth century, France was ruled by close upon sixty
princes, virtually independent, and yet a still greater number of
prelates,--as powerful as any feudal lord,--who considered Hugh Capet
of Paris only as one who was first among his peers. Yet he was able to
extend his territory to such a degree that his hereditary dynasty
ultimately assured the unification of the French nation. Less than a
century later Duke William of Normandy conquered England (1066); when
began that protracted struggle between France and England which lasted
for three hundred years.

Immediately after the return of the pious Louis VII. from his disastrous
crusade, his queen, Eleanor, the heiress of Poitou and Guienne, married
the young count Henry Plantagenet of Maine and Anjou; who, when he came
to the English throne in 1153, "inherited and acquired by marriage"--as
historians subtly put it--" the better half of all France."

Until 1322 the Church in France was divided into the following dioceses:

    Provincia Remensis (Reims)
    Provincia Rotomagensis (All Normandy)
    Provincia Turonensis (Touraine, Maine, Anjou, and Brittany)
    Provincia Burdegalensis (Poitou, Saintonge,
      Angumois, Périgord, and Bordelais)
    Provincia Auxitana (In Gascoigne)
    Provincia Bituricensis (Berri, Bourbonnais, Limosin, and Auvergne)
    Provincia Senonensis (Sens)
    Provincia Lugdunensis (Bourgogne and Lyonnais)
    Provincia Viennensis (Vienne on the Rhône)
    Provincia Narbonensis (Septimania)
    Provincia Arelatensis (Arles)
    Provincia Aquensis (Aix-en-Provence)
    Provincia Ebredunensis (The Alpine Valleys)

The stormy days of the reign of Charles V. (late fourteenth century)
throughout France were no less stringent in Languedoc than elsewhere.

Here the people rose against the asserted domination of the Duke of
Anjou, who, "proud and greedy," was for both qualities abhorred by the
Languedocians.

He sought to restrain civic liberty with a permanent military force, and
at Nîmes levied heavy taxes, which were promptly resented by rebellion.
At Montpellier the people no less actively protested, and slew the
chancellor and seneschal.

By the end of the thirteenth century, social, political, and
ecclesiastical changes had wrought a wonderful magic with the map of
France. John Lackland (_sans terre_) had been compelled by
Philippe-Auguste to relinquish his feudal possessions in France, with
the exception of Guienne. At this time also the internal crusades
against the Waldenses and Albigenses in southern France had powerfully
extended the royal flag. Again, history tells us that it was from the
impulse and after influences of the crusading armies to the East that
France was welded, under Philippe-le-Bel, into a united whole. The
shifting fortunes of France under English rule were, however, such as to
put little stop to the progress of church-building in the provinces;
though it is to be feared that matters in that line, as most others of
the time, went rather by favour than by right of sword.

Territorial changes brought about, in due course, modified plans of the
ecclesiastical control and government, which in the first years of the
fourteenth century caused certain administrative regulations to be put
into effect by Pope John XXII. (who lies buried beneath a gorgeous
Gothic monument at Avignon) regarding the Church in the southern
provinces.

So well planned were these details that the Church remained practically
under the same administrative laws until the Revolution.

Albi was separated from Bourges (1317), and raised to the rank of a
metropolitan see; to which were added as suffragans Cahors, Rodez, and
Mende, with the newly founded bishoprics of Castres and Vabres added.
Toulouse was formed into an archbishopric in 1327; while St. Pons and
Alet, as newly founded bishoprics, were given to the ancient see of
Narbonne in indemnification for its having been robbed of Toulouse. The
ancient diocese of Poitiers was divided into three, and that of Agen
into two by the erection of suffragans at Maillezais, Luçon, Sarlat, and
Condom. By a later papal bull, issued shortly after their establishment,
these bishoprics appear to have been abolished, as no record shows that
they entered into the general scheme of the revolutionary suppression.

On August 4, 1790, all chapters of cathedral churches, other than those
of the metropoles (the mother sees), their bishops, and in turn their
respective curés, were suppressed. This ruling applied as well to all
collegiate churches, secular bodies, and abbeys and priories generally.

Many were, of course, reëstablished at a subsequent time, or, at least,
were permitted to resume their beneficent work. But it was this general
suppression, in the latter years of the eighteenth century, which led up
to the general reapportioning of dioceses in that composition of Church
and State thereafter known as the Concordat.

[Illustration: _The Concordat_ (_From Napoleon's Tomb_)]

Many causes deflected the growth of the Church from its natural
progressive pathway. The Protestant fury went nearly to fanaticism, as
did the equally fervent attempts to suppress it. The "Temples of Reason"
of the Terrorists were of short endurance, but they indicated an unrest
that has only in a measure moderated, if one is to take later political
events as an indication of anything more than a mere uncontrolled
emotion.

Whether a great future awaits Protestantism in France, or not, the
power of the Roman Church is undoubtedly waning, in attracting
congregations, at least.

Should a Wesley or a Whitfield arise, he might gain followers, as strong
men do, and they would draw unto them others, until congregations might
abound. But the faith could hardly become the avowed religion of or for
the French people. It has, however, a great champion in the powerful
newspaper, _Le Temps_, which has done, and will do, much to popularize
the movement.

The Protestantism of Lot and Lot et Garonne is considerable, and it is
of very long standing. It is recorded, too, that as late as October,
1901, the Commune of Murat went over _en masse_ to Protestantism because
the Catholic bishop at Cahors desired his communicants to rise from
their beds at what they considered an inconveniently early hour, in
order to hear mass.

This movement in Languedoc was not wholly due to the tyranny of the Duke
of Anjou; it was caused in part by the confiscation or assumption of the
papal authority by France. This caused not only an internal unrest in
Italy, but a turbulence which spread throughout all the western
Mediterranean, and even unto the Rhine and Flanders. The danger which
threatened the establishment of the Church, by making the papacy a
dependence of France, aroused the Italian prelates and people alike, and
gave rise to the simultaneous existence of both a French and an Italian
Pope.

Charles V. supported the French pontiff, as was but natural, thus
fermenting a great schism; with its attendant controversies and horrors.

French and Italian politics became for a time inexplicably mingled, and
the kingdom of Naples came to be transferred to the house of Anjou.

The Revolution, following close upon the Jansenist movement at Port
Royal, and the bull Unigenitus of the Pope, resulted in such riot and
disregard for all established institutions, monarchical, political, and
religious, that the latter--quite as much as the others--suffered undue
severity.

The Church itself was at this time divided, and rascally intrigue, as
well as betrayal, was the order of the day on all sides. Bishops were
politicians, and priests were but the tools of their masters; this to no
small degree, if we are to accept the written records.

Talleyrand-Périgord, Bishop of Autun, was a member of the National
Assembly, and often presided over the sittings of that none too
deliberate body.

In the innovations of the Revolution, the Church and the clergy took,
for what was believed to be the national good, their full and abiding
share in the surrender of past privileges.

At Paris, at the instance of Mirabeau, they even acknowledged, in some
measure, the principle of religious liberty, in its widest application.

The appalling massacres of September 2, 1792, fell heavily upon the
clergy throughout France; of whom one hundred and forty were murdered at
the _Carmes_ alone.

The Archbishop of Arles on that eventful day gave utterance to the
following devoted plea:

"_Give thanks to God, gentlemen, that He calls us to seal with our blood
the faith we profess. Let us ask of Him the grace of final perseverance,
which by our own merit we could not obtain._"

The Restoration found the Church in a miserable and impoverished
condition. There was already a long list of dioceses without bishops;
of cardinals, prelates, and priests without charges, many of them in
prison.

Congregations innumerable had been suppressed and many sees had been
abolished.

The new dioceses, under the Concordat of 1801, one for each department
only, were of vast size as compared with those which had existed more
numerously before the Revolution.

In 1822 thirty new sees were added to the prelature. To-day there are
sixty-seven bishoprics and seventeen archbishoprics, not including the
colonial suffragans, but including the diocese of Corsica, whose seat is
at Ajaccio.

Church and State are thus seen to have been, from the earliest times,
indissolubly linked throughout French dominion.

The king--while there was a king--was the eldest son of the Church, and,
it is said, the Church in France remains to-day that part of the Roman
communion which possesses the greatest importance for the governing body
of that faith. This, in spite of the tendency toward what might be
called, for the want of a more expressive word, irreligion. This is a
condition, or a state, which is unquestionably making headway in the
France of to-day--as well, presumably, as in other countries--of its own
sheer weight of numbers.

One by one, since the establishment of the Church in Gaul, all who
placed any limits to their ecclesiastical allegiance have been turned
out, and so turned into enemies,--the Protestants, the Jansenists,
followers of the Bishop of Ypres, and the Constitutionalists.
Reconciliation on either side is, and ever has been, apparently, an
impossibility.

Freedom of thought and action is undoubtedly increasing its license, and
the clergy in politics, while a thing to be desired by many, is, after
all, a thing to be feared by the greater number,--for whom a popular
government is made. Hence the curtailment of the power of the monks--the
real secular propagandists--was perhaps a wise thing. We are not to-day
living under the conditions which will permit of a new Richelieu to come
upon the scene, and the recent act (1902) which suppressed so many
monastic establishments, convents, and religious houses of all ranks,
including the Alpine retreat of "La Grande Chartreuse," may be taken
rather as a natural process of curtailment than a mere vindictive
desire on the part of the State to concern itself with "things that do
not matter." On the other hand, it is hard to see just what immediate
gain is to result to the nation.



III

THE CHURCH ARCHITECTURE OF SOUTHERN FRANCE


The best history of the Middle Ages is that suggested by their
architectural remains. That is, if we want tangible or ocular
demonstration, which many of us do.

Many of these remains are but indications of a grandeur that is past and
a valour and a heroism that are gone; but with the Church alone are
suggested the piety and devotion which still live, at least to a far
greater degree than many other sentiments and emotions; which in their
struggle to keep pace with progress have suffered, or become effete by
the way.

To the Church, then, or rather religion--if the word be preferred--we
are chiefly indebted for the preservation of these ancient records in
stone.

Ecclesiastical architecture led the way--there is no disputing that,
whatever opinions may otherwise be held by astute archæologists,
historians, and the antiquarians, whose food is anything and everything
so long as it reeks of antiquity.

The planning and building of a great church was no menial work. Chief
dignitaries themselves frequently engaged in it: the Abbot Suger, the
foremost architect of his time--prime minister and regent of the kingdom
as he was--at St. Denis; Archbishop Werner at Strasbourg; and William of
Wykeham in England, to apportion such honours impartially.

Gothic style appears to have turned its back on Italy, where, in
Lombardy at all events, were made exceedingly early attempts in this
style. This, perhaps, because of satisfying and enduring classical works
which allowed no rivalry; a state of affairs to some extent equally true
of the south of France. The route of expansion, therefore, was
northward, along the Rhine, into the Isle of France, to Belgium, and
finally into England.

No more true or imaginative description of Gothic forms has been put
into literature than those lines of Sir Walter Scott, which define its
characteristics thus:

    "... Whose pillars with clustered shafts so trim,
    With base and capital flourished 'round,
    Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound."

In modern times, even in France, church-building neither aspired to, nor
achieved, any great distinction.

Since the Concordat what have we had? A few restorations, which in so
far as they were carried out in the spirit of the original were
excellent; a few added members, as the west front and spires of St. Ouen
at Rouen; the towers and western portal at Clermont-Ferrand; and a few
other works of like magnitude and worth. For the rest, where anything of
bulk was undertaken, it was almost invariably a copy of a Renaissance
model, and often a bad one at that; or a descent to some hybrid thing
worse even than in their own line were the frank mediocrities of the era
of the "Citizen-King," or the plush and horsehair horrors of the Second
Empire.

Most characteristic, and truly the most important of all, are the
remains of the Gallo-Roman period. These are the most notable and
forceful reminders of the relative prominence obtained by mediæval
pontiffs, prelates, and peoples.

These relations are further borne out by the frequent juxtaposition of
ecclesiastical and civic institutions of the cities
themselves,--fortifications, palaces, châteaux, cathedrals, and
churches, the former indicating no more a predominance of power than the
latter.

A consideration of one, without something more than mere mention of the
other, is not possible, and incidentally--even for the
church-lover--nothing can be more interesting than the great works of
fortification--strong, frowning, and massive--as are yet to be seen at
Béziers, Carcassonne, or Avignon. It was this latter city which
sheltered within its outer walls that monumental reminder of the papal
power which existed in this French capital of the "Church of Rome"--as
it must still be called--in the fourteenth century.

To the stranger within the gates the unconscious resemblance between a
castellated and battlemented feudal stronghold and the many
churches,--and even certain cathedrals, as at Albi, Béziers, or
Agde,--which were not unlike in their outline, will present some
confusion of ideas.

Between a crenelated battlement or the machicolations of a city wall,
as at Avignon; or of a hôtel de ville, as at Narbonne; or the same
detail surmounting an episcopal residence, as at Albi, which is a
veritable _donjon_; or the Palais des Papes, is not a difference even of
degree. It is the same thing in each case. In one instance, however, it
may have been purely for defence, and in the other used as a decorative
accessory; in the latter case it was no less useful when occasion
required. This feature throughout the south of France is far more common
than in the north, and is bound to be strongly remarked.

Two great groups or divisions of architectural style are discernible
throughout the south, even by the most casual of observers.

One is the Provençal variety, which clings somewhat closely to the lower
valley of the Rhône; and the other, the Aquitanian (with possibly the
more restricted Auvergnian).

These types possess in common the one distinctive trait, in some form or
other, of the round-arched vaulting of Roman tradition. It is hardly
more than a reminiscence, however, and while not in any way resembling
the northern Gothic, at least in the Aquitanian species, hovers on the
borderland between the sunny south and the more frigid north.

The Provençal type more nearly approximates the older Roman, and,
significantly, it has--with less interpolation of modern ideas--endured
the longest.

The Aquitanian style of the cathedrals at Périgueux and Angoulême, to
specialize but two, is supposed to--and it does truly--bridge the gulf
between the round-arched style which is _not_ Roman and the more
brilliant and graceful type of Gothic.

With this manner of construction goes, of course, a somewhat different
interior arrangement than that seen in the north.

A profound acquaintance with the subject will show that it bears a
certain resemblance to the disposition of parts in an Eastern mosque,
and to the earlier form of Christian church--the basilica.

In this regard Fergusson makes the statement without reservation that
the Eglise de Souillac more nearly resembles the Cairène type of
Mohammedan mosque than it does a Christian church--of any era.

A distinct feature of this type is the massive pointed arch, upon which
so many have built their definition of Gothic. In truth, though, it
differs somewhat from the northern Gothic arch, but is nevertheless very
ancient. It is used in early Christian churches,--at Acre and
Jaffa,--and was adopted, too, by the architects of the Eastern Empire
long before its introduction into Gaul.

The history of its transportation might be made interesting, and surely
instructive, were one able to follow its orbit with any definite
assurance that one was not wandering from the path. This does not seem
possible; most experts, real or otherwise, who have tried it seem to
flounder and finally fall in the effort to trace its history in
consecutive and logical, or even plausible, fashion.

In illustration this is well shown by that wonderful and unique church
of St. Front at Périgueux, where, in a design simple to severity, it
shows its great unsimilarity to anything in other parts of France; if we
except La Trinité at Anjou, with respect to its roofing and piers of
nave.

It has been compared in general plan and outline to St. Marc's at
Venice, "but a St. Marc's stripped of its marbles and mosaics."

In the Italian building its founders gathered their inspiration for many
of its structural details from the old Byzantine East. At this time the
Venetians were pushing their commercial enterprises to all parts.
North-western France, and ultimately the British Isles, was the end
sought. We know, too, that a colony of Venetians had established itself
as far northward as Limoges, and another at Périgueux, when, in 984,
this edifice, which might justly be called Venetian in its plan, was
begun.

No such decoration or ornamentation was presumed as in its Adriatic
prototype, but it had much beautiful carving in the capitals of its
pillars and yet other embellishments, such as pavements, monuments, and
precious altars, which once, it is said, existed more numerously than
now.

Here, then, was the foundation of a new western style, differing in
every respect from the Provençal or the Angevinian.

Examples of the northern pointed or Gothic are, in a large way, found as
far south as Bayonne in its cathedral; in the spires of the cathedral at
Bordeaux; and less grandly, though elegantly, disposed in St. Nazaire in
the old _Cité de Carcassonne_; and farther north at Clermont-Ferrand,
where its northern-pointed cathedral is in strong contrast to the
neighbouring Notre Dame du Port, a remarkable type distinctly local in
its plan and details.

From this point onward, it becomes not so much a question of defining
and placing types, as of a chronological arrangement of fact with regard
to the activities of the art of church-building.

It is doubtless true that many of the works of the ninth and tenth
centuries were but feeble imitations of the buildings of Charlemagne,
but it is also true that the period was that which was bringing about
the development of a more or less distinct style, and if the Romanesque
churches of France were not wholly Roman in spirit they were at least
not a debasement therefrom.

Sir Walter Scott has also described the Romanesque manner of
church-building most poetically, as witness the following quatrain:

    "Built ere the art was known
    By pointed aisle and shafted stalk
    The arcades of an alleyed walk
      To emulate in stone."

However, little remains in church architecture of the pre-tenth century
to compare with the grand theatres, arenas, monuments, arches, towers,
and bridges which are still left to us. Hence comparison were futile.
Furthermore, there is this patent fact to be reckoned with, that the
petty followers of the magnificent Charlemagne were not endowed with as
luxurious a taste, as large a share of riches, or so great a power; and
naturally they fell before the idea they would have emulated.

As a whole France was at this period amid great consternation and
bloodshed, and traces of advancing civilization were fast falling before
wars and cruelties unspeakable. There came a period when the intellect,
instead of pursuing its rise, was, in reality, degenerating into the
darkness of superstition.

The church architecture of this period--so hostile to the arts and
general enlightenment--was undergoing a process even more fatal to its
development than the terrors of war or devastation.

It is a commonplace perhaps to repeat that it was the superstition
aroused by the Apocalypse that the end of all things would come with the
commencement of the eleventh century. It was this, however, that
produced the stagnation in church-building which even the ardour of a
few believing churchmen could not allay. The only great religious
foundation of the time was the Abbey of Cluny in the early years of the
tenth century.

When the eleventh century actually arrived, Christians again bestirred
themselves, and the various cities and provinces vied with each other in
their enthusiastic devotion to church-building, as if to make up for
lost time.

From this time onward the art of church-building gave rise to that
higher skill and handicraft, the practice of architecture as an art, of
which ecclesiastical art, as was but natural, rose to the greatest
height.

The next century was productive of but little change in style, and,
though in the north the transition and the most primitive of Gothic were
slowly creeping in, the well-defined transition did not come until well
forward in the twelfth century, when, so soon after, the new style
bloomed forth in all its perfected glory.

The cathedrals of southern France are manifestly not as lively and
vigorous as those at Reims, Amiens, or Rouen; none have the splendour
and vast extent of old glass as at Chartres, and none of the smaller
examples equal the symmetry and delicacy of those at Noyon or Senlis.

Some there be, however, which for magnificence and impressiveness take
rank with the most notable of any land. This is true of those of Albi,
Le Puy, Périgueux, and Angoulême. Avignon, too, in the _ensemble_ of its
cathedral and the papal palace, forms an architectural grouping that is
hardly rivalled by St. Peter's and the Vatican itself.

In many of the cities of the south of France the memory of the past,
with respect to their cathedrals, is overshadowed by that of their
secular and civic monuments, the Roman arenas, theatres, and temples. At
Nîmes, Arles, Orange, and Vienne these far exceed in importance and
beauty the religious establishments.

The monasteries, abbeys, and priories of the south of France are perhaps
not more numerous, nor yet more grand, than elsewhere, but they bring
one to-day into more intimate association with their past.

The "Gallia-Monasticum" enumerates many score of these establishments as
having been situated in these parts. Many have passed away, but many
still exist.

Among the first of their kind were those founded by St. Hilaire at
Poitiers and St. Martin at Tours. The great Burgundian pride was the
Abbey of Cluny; much the largest and perhaps as grand as any erected in
any land. Its church covered over seventy thousand square feet of area,
nearly equalling in size the cathedrals at Amiens and at Bourges, and
larger than either those at Chartres, Paris, or Reims. This great church
was begun in 1089, was dedicated in 1131, and endured for more than
seven centuries. To-day but a few small fragments remain, but note
should be made of the influences which spread from this great monastic
establishment throughout all Europe; and were second only to those of
Rome itself.

The lovely cloistered remains of Provence, Auvergne, and Aquitaine, the
comparatively modern Charterhouse--called reminiscently the Escurial of
Dauphiné--near Grenoble, the communistic church of St. Bertrand de
Comminges, La Chaise Dieu, Clairvaux, and innumerable other abbeys and
monasteries will recall to mind more forcibly than aught else what their
power must once have been.

Between the seventh and tenth centuries these institutions flourished
and developed in all of the provinces which go to make up modern France.
But the eleventh and twelfth centuries were the golden days of these
institutions. They rendered unto the land and the people immense
service, and their monks studied not only the arts and sciences, but
worked with profound intelligence at all manner of utile labour. Their
architecture exerted a considerable influence on this growing art of the
nation, and many of their grand churches were but the forerunners of
cathedrals yet to be. After the twelfth century, when the arts in France
had reached the greatest heights yet attained, these religious
establishments were--to give them historical justice--the greatest
strength in the land.

In most cases where the great cathedrals were not the works of bishops,
who may at one time have been members of monastic communities
themselves, they were the results of the efforts of laymen who were
direct disciples of the architect monks.

The most prolific monastic architect was undoubtedly St. Bénigne of
Dijon, the Italian monk whose work was spread not only throughout
Brittany and Normandy, but even across the Channel to England.

One is reminded in France that the nation's first art expression was
made through church-building and decoration. This proves Ruskin's
somewhat involved dicta, that, "architecture is the art which disposes
and adorns the edifices raised by man ... a building raised to the
honour of God has surely a use to which its architectural adornment fits
it."

From whatever remote period the visible history of France has sprung, it
is surely from its architectural remains--of which religious edifices
have endured the most abundantly--that its chronicles since Gallo-Roman
times are built up.

In the south of France, from the Gallic and Roman wars and invasions, we
have a basis of tangibility, inasmuch as the remains are more numerous
and definite than the mere pillars of stone and slabs of rock to be
found in Bretagne, which apocryphally are supposed to indicate an
earlier civilization. The _menhirs_ and _dolmens_ may mean much or
little; the subject is too vague to follow here, but they are not found
east of the Rhône, so the religion of fanaticism, of whatever species of
fervour they may have resulted from, has left very little impress on
France as a nation.

After the rudest early monuments were erected in the south, became
ruined, and fell, there followed gateways, arches, aqueducts, arenas,
theatres, temples, and, finally, churches; and from these, however
minute the stones, the later civilizing and Christianizing history of
this fair land is built up.

It is not possible to ignore these secular and worldly contemporaries of
the great churches. It would be fatal to simulate blindness, and they
could not otherwise be overlooked.

After the church-building era was begun, the development of the various
styles was rapid: Gothic came, bloomed, flourished, and withered away.
Then came the Renaissance, not all of it bad, but in the main entirely
unsuitable as a type of Christian architecture.

Charles VIII. is commonly supposed to have been the introducer of the
Italian Renaissance into France, but it was to Francois I.--that great
artistic monarch and glorifier of the style in its domestic forms at
least--that its popularization was due, who shall not say far beyond its
deserts? Only in the magnificent châteaux, variously classed as Feudal,
Renaissance, and Bourbon, did it partake of details and plans which
proved glorious in their application. All had distinctly inconsistent
details grafted upon them; how could it have been otherwise with the
various fortunes of their houses?

There is little or nothing of Gothic in the château architecture of
France to distinguish it from the more pronounced type which can hardly
be expressed otherwise than as "the architecture of the French
châteaux." No single word will express it, and no one type will cover
them all, so far as defining their architectural style. The castle at
Tarascon has a machicolated battlement; Coucy and Pierrefonds are
towered and turreted as only a French château can be; the ruined and
black-belted château of Angers is aught but a fortress; and Blois is an
indescribable mixture of style which varies from the magnificent to the
sordid. This last has ever been surrounded by a sentiment which is
perhaps readily enough explained, but its architecture is of that
decidedly mixed type which classes it as a mere hybrid thing, and in
spite of the splendour of the additions by the houses of the Salamander
and the Hedgehog, it is a species which is as indescribable (though more
effective) in domestic architecture as is the Tudor of England.

With the churches the sentiments aroused are somewhat different. The
Romanesque, Provençal, Auvergnian, or Aquitanian, all bespeak the real
expression of the life of the time, regardless of whether individual
examples fall below or rise above their contemporaries elsewhere.

The assertion is here confidently made, that a great cathedral church
is, next to being a symbol of the faith, more great as a monument to its
age and environment than as the product of its individual builders;
crystallizing in stone the regard with which the mission of the Church
was held in the community. Church-building was never a fanaticism,
though it was often an enthusiasm.

There is no question but that church history in general, and church
architecture in particular, are becoming less and less the sole pursuit
of the professional. One does not need to adopt a transcendent doctrine
by merely taking an interest, or an intelligent survey, in the social
and political aspects of the Church as an institution, nor is he
becoming biassed or prejudiced by a true appreciation of the symbolism
and artistic attributes which have ever surrounded the art of
church-building of the Roman Catholic Church. All will admit that the
æsthetic aspect of the church edifice has always been the superlative
art expression of its era, race, and locality.



_PART II_

_South of the Loire_



I

INTRODUCTORY


The region immediately to the southward of the Loire valley is generally
accounted the most fertile, abundant, and prosperous section of France.
Certainly the food, drink, and shelter of all classes appear to be
arranged on a more liberal scale than elsewhere; and this, be it
understood, is a very good indication of the prosperity of a country.

Touraine, with its luxurious sentiment of châteaux, counts, and bishops,
is manifestly of the north, as also is the border province of Maine and
Anjou, which marks the progress and development of church-building from
the manifest Romanesque types of the south to the arched vaults of the
northern variety.

Immediately to the southward--if one journeys but a few leagues--in
Poitou, Saintonge, and Angoumois, or in the east, in Berri, Marche, and
Limousin, one comes upon a very different sentiment indeed. There is an
abundance for all, but without the opulence of Burgundy or the splendour
of Touraine.

Of the three regions dealt with in this section, Poitou is the most
prosperous, Auvergne the most picturesque,--though the Cevennes are
stern and sterile,--and Limousin the least appealing.

Limousin and, in some measure, Berri and Marche are purely pastoral;
and, though greatly diversified as to topography, lack, in abundance,
architectural monuments of the first rank.

Poitou, in the west, borders upon the ocean and is to a great extent
wild, rugged, and romantic. The forest region of the Bocage has ever
been a theme for poets and painters. In the extreme west of the province
is the Vendée, now the department of the same name. The struggles of its
inhabitants on behalf of the monarchical cause, in the early years of
the Revolution, is a lurid page of blood-red history that recalls one of
the most gallant struggles in the life of the monarchy.

The people here were hardy and vigorous,--a race of landlords who lived
largely upon their own estates but still retained an attachment for the
feudatories round about, a feeling which was unknown elsewhere in
France.

Poitiers, on the river Clain, a tributary of the Vienne, is the chief
city of Poitou. Its eight magnificent churches are greater, in the
number and extent of their charms, than any similar octette elsewhere.

The valley of the Charente waters a considerable region to the southward
of Poitiers. "_Le bon Roi_" Henri IV. called the stream the most
charming in all his kingdom. The chief cities on its banks are La
Rochelle, the Huguenot stronghold; Rochefort, famed in worldly fashion
for its cheeses; and Angoulême, famed for its "_Duchesse_," who was also
worldly, and more particularly for its great domed cathedral of St.
Pierre.

With Auvergne one comes upon a topographical aspect quite different from
anything seen elsewhere.

Most things of this world are but comparative, and so with Auvergne. It
is picturesque, certainly. Le Puy has indeed been called "by one who
knows," "the most picturesque place in the world." Clermont-Ferrand is
almost equally attractive as to situation; while Puy de Dôme, Riom, and
St. Nectaire form a trio of naturally picturesque topographical
features which it would be hard to equal within so small a radius
elsewhere.

The country round about is volcanic, and the face of the landscape shows
it plainly. Clermont-Ferrand, the capital, was a populous city in Roman
times, and was the centre from which the spirit of the Church survived
and went forth anew after five consecutive centuries of devastation and
bloodshed of Vandals, Visigoths, Franks, Saracens, Carlovingians and
Capetians.

Puy de Dôme, near Clermont-Ferrand, is a massive rocky mount which rises
nearly five thousand feet above the sea-level, and presents one of those
uncommon and curious sights which one can hardly realize until he comes
immediately beneath their spell.

Throughout this region are many broken volcanic craters and lava
streams. At Mont Doré-le-Bains are a few remains of a Roman thermal
establishment; an indication that these early settlers found--if they
did not seek--these warm springs of a unique quality, famous yet
throughout the world.

An alleged "Druid's altar," more probably merely a _dolmen_, is situated
near St. Nectaire, a small watering-place which is also possessed of an
impressively simple, though massive, Romanesque church.

At Issiore is the _Eglise de St. Pol_, a large and important church,
built in the eleventh century, in the Romanesque manner. Another most
interesting great church is _La Chaise Dieu_ near Le Puy, a remarkable
construction of the fourteenth century. It was originally the monastery
of the _Casa Dei_. It has been popularly supposed heretofore that its
floor was on a level with the summit of Puy de Dôme, hence its
appropriate nomenclature; latterly the assertion has been refuted, as it
may be by any one who takes the trouble to compare the respective
elevations in figures. This imposing church ranks, however, unreservedly
among the greatest of the mediæval monastic establishments of France.

The powerful feudal system of the Middle Ages, which extended from the
Atlantic and German Oceans nearly to the Neapolitan and Spanish
borders--afterward carried still farther into Naples and Britain--finds
its most important and striking monument of central France in the
Château of Polignac, only a few miles from Le Puy. This to-day is but a
ruin, but it rises boldly from a depressed valley, and suggests in every
way--ruin though it be--the mediæval stronghold that it once was.

Originally it was the seat of the distinguished family whose name it
bears. The Revolution practically destroyed it, but such as is left
shows completely the great extent of its functions both as a fortress
and a palace.

These elements were made necessary by long ages of warfare and
discord,--local in many cases, but none the less bloodthirsty for
that,--and while such institutions naturally promulgated the growth of
Feudalism which left these massive and generous memorials, it is hard to
see, even to-day, how else the end might have been obtained.

Auvergne, according to Fergusson, who in his fact has seldom been found
wanting, "has one of the most beautiful and numerous of the
'round-Gothic' styles in France ... classed among the perfected styles
of Europe."

Immediately to the southward of Le Puy is that marvellous country known
as the Cevennes. It has been commonly called sterile, bare,
unproductive, and much that is less charitable as criticism.

It is not very productive, to be sure, but a native of the land once
delivered himself of this remark: "_Le mûrier a été pendant longtemps
l'arbre d'or du Cevenol._" This is prima-facie evidence that the first
statement was a libel.

In the latter years of the eighteenth century the Protestants of the
Cevennes were a large and powerful body of dissenters.

A curious work _in English_, written by a native of Languedoc in 1703,
states "that they were at least ten to one Papist. And 'twas observed,
in many Places, the Priest said mass only for his Clerk, Himself, and
the Walls."

These people were not only valiant but industrious, and at that time
held the most considerable trade in wool of all France.

To quote again this eighteenth-century Languedocian, who aspired to be a
writer of English, we learn:

"God vouchsafed to Illuminate this People with the Truths of the Gospel,
several Ages before the Reformation.... The _Waldenses_ and _Albigenses_
fled into the Mountains to escape the violence of the Crusades against
them.... Cruel persecution did not so wholly extinguish the Sacred Light
in the _Cevennes_, but that some parts of it were preserved among its
Ashes."

As early as 1683 the Protestants in many parts of southern France drew
up a _Project_ of non-compliance with the Edicts and Declarations
against them.

The inhabitants in general, however, of the wealthy cities of
Montpellier, Nîmes and Uzès were divided much as factions are to-day,
and the Papist preference prevailing, the scheme was not put into
execution. Because of this, attempted resistance was made only in some
parts of the Cevennes and Dauphiné. Here the dissenters met with comfort
and assurance by the preachings of several ministers, and finally sought
to go out proselytizing among their outside brethren in affliction. This
brought martyrdom, oppression, and bloodshed; and finally culminated in
a long series of massacres. Children in large numbers were taken from
their parents, and put under the Romish faith, as a precaution,
presumably, that future generations should be more tractable and
faithful.

It is told of the Bishop of Alais that upon visiting the curé at Vigan,
he desired that forty children should be so put away, forthwith. The
curé could find but sixteen who were not dutiful toward the Church, but
the bishop would have none of it. Forty was his quota from that village,
and forty must be found. Forty _were_ found, the rest being made up
from those who presumably stood in no great need of the care of the
Church, beyond such as already came into their daily lives.

It seems outrageous and unfair at this late day, leaving all question of
Church and creed outside the pale, but most machination of arbitrary law
and ruling works the same way, and pity 'tis that the Church should not
have been the first to recognize this tendency. However, these
predilections on the part of the people are scarcely more than a memory
to-day, in spite of the fact that Protestantism still holds forth in
many parts. Taine was undoubtedly right when he said that it was
improbable that such a religion would ever satisfy the French
temperament.

Limousin partakes of many of the characteristics of Auvergne and Poitou.
Its architectural types favour the latter, and its topographical
features the former. The resemblance is not so very great in either
case, but it is to be remarked. Its chief city, Limoges, lies to the
northward of the _Montagnes du Limousin_, on the banks of the Vienne,
which, through the Loire, enters the Atlantic at St. Nazaire.

In a way, its topographical situation, as above noted, accounts far
more for its tendencies of life, the art expression of its churches, and
its ancient enamels and pottery of to-day, than does its climatic
situation. It is climatically of the southland, but its industry and its
influences have been greatly northern.

With the surrounding country this is not true, but with its one centre
of population--Limoges--it is.



II

L'ABBAYE DE MAILLEZAIS


Maillezais is but a memory, so far as its people and power are
concerned. It is not even a Vendean town, as many suppose, though it was
the seat of a thirteenth-century bishopric, which in the time of Louis
Quatorze was transferred to La Rochelle.

Its abbey church, the oldest portion of which dates from the tenth to
the twelfth centuries, is now but a ruin.

In the fourteenth century the establishment was greatly enlarged and
extensive buildings added.

To-day it is classed, by the Commission des Monuments Historiques, among
those treasures for which it stands sponsor as to their antiquity,
artistic worth, and future preservation. Aside from this and the record
of the fact that it became, in the fourteenth century, the seat of a
bishop's throne,--with Geoffroy I. as its first occupant,--it must be
dismissed without further comment.

[Illustration]



III

ST. LOUIS DE LA ROCHELLE


The city of La Rochelle will have more interest for the lover of history
than for the lover of churches.

Its past has been lurid, and the momentous question of the future rights
of the Protestants of France made this natural stronghold the
battle-ground where the most stubborn resistance against Church and
State was made.

The siege of 1573 was unsuccessful. But a little more than half a
century later the city, after a siege of fourteen months, gave way
before the powerful force brought against it by Cardinal Richelieu in
person, supported by Louis XIII.

For this reason, if for no other, he who would know from personal
acquaintance the ground upon which the mighty battles of the faith were
fought will not pass the Huguenot city quickly by.

The Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle naturally might not be supposed
to possess a very magnificent Roman cathedral. As a matter of fact it
does not, and it has only ranked as a cathedral city since 1665, when
the bishopric was transferred from Maillezais. The city was in the hands
of the Huguenots from 1557 until the siege of 1628-1629; and was, during
all this time, the bulwark of the Protestant cause in France.

The present cathedral of St. Louis dates only from 1735.

Its pseudo-classic features classify it as one of those structures
designated by the discerning Abbé Bourassé as being "cold-blooded and
lacking in lustre."

It surely is all of that, and the pity is that it offers no charm
whatever of either shape or feature.

It is of course more than likely that Huguenot influence was here so
great as to have strangled any ambition on the part of the mediæval
builders to have erected previously anything more imposing. And when
that time was past came also the demise of Gothic splendour. The
transition from the pointed to the superimposed classical details, which
was the distinctive Renaissance manner of church-building, was not as
sudden as many suppose, though it came into being simultaneously
throughout the land.

There is no trace, however, in the cathedral of St. Louis, of anything
but a base descent to features only too well recognized as having little
of churchly mien about them; and truly this structure is no better or
worse as an art object than many others of its class. The significant
aspect being that, though it resembles Gothic not at all, neither does
it bear any close relationship to the Romanesque.

The former parish church of St. Barthèlemy, long since destroyed, has
left behind, as a memory of its former greatness, a single lone tower,
the work of a Cluniac monk, Mognon by name. It is worth hours of
contemplation and study as compared with the minutes which could
profitably be devoted to the cathedral of St. Louis.

[Illustration]



IV

CATHÉDRALE DE LUÇON


When the see of Luçon was established in the fourteenth century it
comprehended a territory over which Poitiers had previously had
jurisdiction. A powerful abbey was here in the seventh century, but the
first bishop, Pierre de la Veyrie, did not come to the diocese until
1317. The real fame of the diocese, in modern minds, lies in the fact
that Cardinal Richelieu was made bishop of Luçon in the seventeenth
century (1606 to 1624).

The cathedral at Luçon is a remarkable structure in appearance. A hybrid
conglomerate thing, picturesque enough to the untrained eye, but
ill-proportioned, weak, effeminate, and base.

Its graceful Gothic spire, crocketed, and of true dwindling dimensions,
is superimposed on a tower which looks as though it might have been
modelled with a series of children's building-blocks. This in its turn
crowns a classical portal and colonnade in most uncanny fashion.

In the first stage of this tower, as it rises above the portal, is what,
at a distance, appears to be a diminutive _rosace_. In reality it is an
enormous clock-face, to which one's attention is invariably directed by
the native, a species of local admiration which is universal throughout
the known world wherever an ungainly clock exists.

The workmanship of the building as a whole is of every century from the
twelfth to the seventeenth, with a complete "restoration" in 1853. In
the episcopal palace is a cloistered arcade, the remains of a
fifteenth-century work.

A rather pleasing situation sets off this pretentious but unworthy
cathedral in a manner superior to that which it deserves.

[Illustration]



V

ST. FRONT DE PÉRIGUEUX


The grandest and most notable tenth-century church yet remaining in
France is unquestionably that of St. Front at Périgueux.

From the records of its history and a study of its distinctive
constructive elements has been traced the development of the transition
period which ultimately produced the Gothic splendours of the Isle of
France.

It is more than reminiscent of St. Marc's at Venice, and is the most
notable exponent of that type of roofing which employed the cupola in
groups, to sustain the thrust and counterthrust, which was afterward
accomplished by the ogival arch in conjunction with the flying
buttress.

Here are comparatively slight sustaining walls, and accordingly no great
roofed-over chambers such as we get in the later Gothic, but the whole
mass is, in spite of this, suggestive of a massiveness which many more
heavily walled churches do not possess. Paradoxically, too, a view over
its roof-top, with its ranges of egg-like domes, suggests a frailty
which but for its scientifically disposed strains would doubtless have
collapsed ere now.

This ancient abbatial church succeeded an earlier _basilique_ on the
same site. Viollet-le-Duc says of it: "It is an importation from a
foreign country; the most remarkable example of church-building in Gaul
since the barbaric invasion."

The plan of the cathedral follows not only the form of St. Marc's, but
also approximates its dimensions. The remains of the ancient basilica
are only to be remarked in the portion which precedes the foremost
cupola.

St. Front has the unusual attribute of an _avant-porch_,--a sort of
primitive narthen, as was a feature of tenth-century buildings (see plan
and descriptions of a tenth-century church in appendix), behind which is
a second porch,--a vestibule beneath the tower,--and finally the first
of the group, of five central cupolas.

The _clocher_ or belfry of St. Front is accredited as being one of the
most remarkable eleventh-century erections of its kind in any land. It
is made up of square stages, each smaller than the other, and crowned
finally by a conic cupola.

Its early inception and erection here are supposed to account for the
similarity of others--not so magnificent, but like to a marked
degree--in the neighbouring provinces.

Here is no trace of the piled-up tabouret style of later centuries, and
it is far removed from the mosque-like minarets which were the undoubted
prototypes of the mediæval clochers. So, too, it is different, quite,
from the Italian _campanile_ or the _beffroi_ which crept into civic
architecture in the north; but whose sole example in the south of France
is believed to be that curious structure which still holds forth in the
papal city of Avignon.

Says Bourassé: "The cathedral of St. Front at Périgueux is unique." Its
foundation dates with certitude from between 1010 and 1047, and is
therefore contemporary with that of St. Marc's at Venice--which it so
greatly resembles--which was rebuilt after a fire between 977 and 1071.

[Illustration: _Detail of the Interior of St. Front de Périgueux_]

The general effect of the interior is as impressive as it is unusual,
with its lofty cupolas, its weighty and gross pillars, and its massive
arches between the cupolas; all of which are purely constructive
elements.

There are few really ornamental details, and such as exist are of a
severe and unprogressive type, being merely reminiscent of the antique.

In its general plan, St. Front follows that of a Grecian cross, its
twelve wall-faces crowned by continuous pediments. Eight massive
pillars, whose functions are those of the later developed buttress,
flank the extremities of the cross, and are crowned by pyramidal cupolas
which, with the main roofing, combine to give that distinctive character
to this unusual and "foreign" cathedral of mid-France.

St. Front, from whom the cathedral takes its name, became the first
bishop of Périgueux when the see was founded in the second century.



VI

ST. PIERRE DE POITIERS


IN 1317 the diocese of Poitiers was divided, and parts apportioned to
the newly founded bishoprics of Maillezais and Luçon. The first bishop
of Poitiers was St. Nectaire, in the third century. By virtue of the
Concordat of 1801 the diocese now comprehends the Departments of Vienne
and Deux-Sèvres.

The cathedral of St. Pierre de Poitiers has been baldly and tersely
described as a "mere Lombard shell with a Gothic porch." This hardly
does it justice, even as to preciseness. The easterly portion is
Lombard, without question, and the nave is of the northern pointed
variety; a not unusual admixture of feature, but one which can but
suggest that still more, much more, is behind it.

The pointed nave is of great beauty, and, in the westerly end, contains
an elaborate _rosace_--an infrequent attribute in these parts.

[Illustration: Poitiers]

The aisles are of great breadth, and are quite as lofty in
proportion. This produces an effect of great amplitude, nearly as much
so as of the great halled churches at Albi or the aisleless St. André at
Bordeaux, and contrasts forcibly in majesty with the usual Gothic
conception of great height, as against extreme width.

Of Poitiers Professor Freeman says: "It is no less a city of counts than
Angers; and if Counts of Anjou grew into Kings of England, one Countess
of Poitiers grew no less into a Queen of England; and when the young
Henry took her to wife, he took all Poitou with her, and Aquitaine and
Gascogne, too, so great was his desire for lands and power." Leaving
that aspect apart--to the historians and apologists--it is the churches
of Poitiers which have for the traveller the greatest and all-pervading
interest.

Poitiers is justly famed for its noble and numerous mediæval church
edifices. Five of them rank as a unique series of Romanesque types--the
most precious in all France. In importance they are perhaps best ranked
as follows: St. Hilaire, of the tenth and eleventh centuries; the
Baptistère, or the Temple St. Jean, of the fourth to twelfth centuries;
Notre Dame de la Grande and St. Radegonde, of the eleventh and twelfth
centuries; and La Cathédrale, dating from the end of the Romanesque
period. Together they present a unique series of magnificent churches,
as is truly claimed.

When one crosses the Loire, he crosses the boundary not only into
southern Gaul but into southern Europe as well; where the very aspects
of life, as well as climatic and topographical conditions and features,
are far different from those of the northern French provinces.

Looking backward from the Middle Ages--from the fourteenth century to
the fourth--one finds the city less a city of counts than of bishops.

Another aspect which places Poitiers at the very head of ecclesiastical
foundations is that it sustained, and still sustains, a separate
religious edifice known as the Baptistère. It is here a structure of
Christian-Roman times, and is a feature seldom seen north of the Alps,
or even out of Italy. There is, however, another example at Le Puy and
another at Aix-en-Provence. This Baptistère de St. Jean was founded
during the reign of St. Hilaire as bishop of Poitiers, a prelate whose
name still lives in the Église St. Hilaire-le-Grand.

The cathedral of St. Pierre is commonly classed under the generic style
of Romanesque; more particularly it is of the Lombard variety, if such a
distinction can be made between the two species with surety. At all
events it marks the dividing-line--or period, when the process of
evolution becomes most marked--between the almost pagan plan of many
early Christian churches and the coming of Gothic.

In spite of its prominence and its beauty with regard to its
accessories, St. Pierre de Poitiers does not immediately take rank as
the most beautiful, nor yet the most interesting, among the churches of
the city: neither has it the commanding situation of certain other
cathedrals of the neighbouring provinces, such as Notre Dame at Le Puy,
St. Maurice at Angers, or St. Front at Périgueux. In short, as to
situation, it just misses what otherwise might have been a commanding
location.

St. Radegonde overhangs the river Clain, but is yet far below the
cathedral, which stands upon the eastern flank of an eminence, and from
many points is lost entirely to view. From certain distant
vantage-ground, the composition is, however, as complete and imposing an
ensemble as might be desired, but decidedly the nearer view is not so
pleasing, and somewhat mitigates the former estimate.

There is a certain uncouthness in the outlines of this church that does
not bring it into competition with that class of the great churches of
France known as _les grandes cathédrales_.

The general outline of the roof--omitting of course the scanty
transepts--is very reminiscent of Bourges; and again of Albi. The
ridge-pole is broken, however, by a slight differentiation of height
between the choir and the nave, and the westerly towers scarcely rise
above the roof itself.

The easterly termination is decidedly unusual, even unto peculiarity. It
is not, after the English manner, of the squared east-end variety, nor
yet does it possess an apse of conventional form, but rather is a
combination of the two widely differing styles, with considerably more
than a suggested apse when viewed from the interior, and merely a flat
bare wall when seen from the outside. In addition three diminutive
separate apses are attached thereto, and present in the completed
arrangement a variation or species which is distinctly local.

The present edifice dates from 1162, its construction being largely due
to the Countess Eleanor, queen to the young Earl Henry.

The high altar was dedicated in 1199, but the choir itself was not
finished until a half-century later.

There is no triforium or clerestory, and, but for the aisles, the
cathedral would approximate the dimensions and interior outlines of that
great chambered church at Albi; as it is, it comes well within the
classification called by the Germans _hallenkirche_.

Professor Freeman has said that a church that has aisles can hardly be
called a typical Angevin church; but St. Pierre de Poitiers is
distinctly Angevin in spite of the loftiness of its walls and pillars.

The west front is the most elaborate constructive element and is an
addition of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with flanking towers
of the same period which stand well forward and to one side, as at
Rouen, and at Wells, in England.

The western doorway is decorated with sculptures of the fifteenth
century, in a manner which somewhat suggests the work of the northern
builders; who, says Fergusson, "were aiding the bishops of the southern
dioceses to emulate in some degree the ambitious works of the Isle of
France."

The ground-plan of this cathedral is curious, and shows, in its interior
arrangements, a narrowing or drawing in of parts toward the east. This
is caused mostly by the decreasing effect of height between the nave and
choir, and the fact that the attenuated transepts are hardly more than
suggestions--occupying but the width of one bay.

The nave of eight bays and the aisles are of nearly equal height, which
again tends to produce an effect of length.

There is painted glass of the thirteenth century in small quantity, and
a much larger amount of an eighteenth-century product, which shows--as
always--the decadence of the art. Of this glass, that of the _rosace_ at
the westerly end is perhaps the best, judging from the minute portions
which can be seen peeping out from behind the organ-case.

The present high altar is a modern work, as also--comparatively--are the
tombs of various churchmen which are scattered throughout the nave and
choir. In the sacristy, access to which is gained by some mystic rite
not always made clear to the visitor, are supposed to be a series of
painted portraits of all the former bishops of Poitiers, from the
fourteenth century onward. It must be an interesting collection if the
outsider could but judge for himself; as things now are, it has to be
taken on faith.

A detail of distinct value, and a feature which shows a due regard for
the abilities of the master workman who built the cathedral, though his
name is unknown, is to be seen in the tympana of the canopies which
overhang the stalls of the choir. Here is an acknowledgment--in a
tangible if not a specific form--of the architectural genius who was
responsible for the construction of this church. It consists of a
sculptured figure in stone, which bears in its arms a compass and a T
square. This suggests the possible connection between the Masonic craft
and church-building of the Middle Ages; a subject which has ever been a
vexed question among antiquaries, and one which doubtless ever will be.

The episcopal residence adjoins the cathedral on the right, and the
charming Baptistère St. Jean is also close to the walls of, but quite
separate from, the main building of the cathedral.

The other architectural attractions of Poitiers are nearly as great as
its array of churches.

The Musée is exceedingly rich in archæological treasures. The
present-day Palais de Justice was the former palace of the Counts of
Poitou. It has a grand chamber in its _Salle des Pas-perdus_, which
dates from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries as to its decorations.
The ramparts of the city are exceedingly interesting and extensive. In
the modern hôtel de ville are a series of wall decorations by Puvis de
Chavannes. The Hôtel d'Aquitaine (sixteenth century), in the Grand Rue,
was the former residence of the Priors of St. John of Jerusalem.

The _Chronique de Maillezais_ tells of a former bishop of Poitiers who,
about the year 1114, sought to excommunicate that gay prince and poet,
William, the ninth Count of Poitiers, the earliest of that race of poets
known as the troubadours. Coming into the count's presence to repeat the
formula of excommunication, he was threatened with the sword of that gay
prince. Thinking better, however, the count admonished him thus: "No, I
will not. I do not love you well enough to send you to paradise." He
took upon himself, though, to exercise his royal prerogative; and
henceforth, for his rash edict, the bishop of Poitiers was banished for
ever, and the see descended unto other hands.

The generally recognized reputation of William being that of a "_grand
trompeur des dames_," this action was but a duty which the honest
prelate was bound to perform, disastrous though the consequences might
be. Still he thought not of that, and was not willing to accept
palliation for the count's venial sins in the shape of that nobleman's
capacities as the first chanter of his time,--poetic measures of
doubtful morality.



VII

ST. ETIENNE DE LIMOGES

    "_Les Limosinats_ leave their cities poor, and they return
    poor, after long years of labour."

    --DE LA BÉDOLLIERE.


Limoges was the capital around which centred the life and activities of
the _pays du Limousin_ when that land marked the limits of the domain of
the Kings of France. (Guienne then being under other domination.)

The most ancient inhabitants of the province were known as _Lemovices_,
but the transition and evolution of the vocable are easily followed to
that borne by the present city of Limoges, perhaps best known of art
lovers as the home of that school of fifteenth century artists who
produced the beautiful works called _Emaux de Limoges_.

[Illustration: _St. Etienne de Limoges_]

The earliest specimens of what has come to be popularly known as Limoges
enamel date from the twelfth century; and the last of the great
masters in the splendid art died in 1765.

The real history of this truly great art, which may be said to have
taken its highest forms in ecclesiology,--of which examples are
frequently met with in the sacristies of the cathedral churches of
France and elsewhere--is vague to the point of obscurity. A study of the
subject, deep and profound, is the only process by which one can acquire
even a nodding acquaintance with all its various aspects.

It reached its greatest heights in the reign of that artistic monarch,
François I. To-day the memory and suggestion of the art of the
enamelists of Limoges are perpetuated by, and, through those cursory
mentors, the guide-books and popular histories, often confounded with,
the production of porcelain. This industry not only flourishes here, but
the famous porcelain earth of the country round about is supplied even
to the one-time royal factory of Sèvres.

St. Martial was the first prelate at Limoges, in the third century. The
diocese is to-day a suffragan of Bourges, and its cathedral of St.
Etienne, while not a very ancient structure, is most interesting as to
its storied past and varied and lively composition.

Beneath the western tower are the remains of a Romanesque portal which
must have belonged to an older church; but to all intents and purposes
St. Etienne is to-day a Gothic church after the true northern manner.

It was begun in 1273 under the direct influence of the impetus given to
the Gothic development by the erection of Notre Dame d'Amiens, and in
all its parts,--choir, transept, and nave,--its development and growth
have been most pleasing.

From the point of view of situation this cathedral is more attractively
placed than many another which is located in a city which perforce must
be ranked as a purely commercial and manufacturing town. From the Pont
Neuf, which crosses the Vienne, the view over the gardens of the
bishop's palace and the Quai de l'Evêché is indeed grand and imposing.

Chronologically the parts of this imposing church run nearly the gamut
of the Gothic note--from the choir of the thirteenth, the transepts of
the fourteenth and fifteenth, to the nave of the early sixteenth
centuries. This nave has only latterly been completed, and is preceded
by the elegant octagonal tower before mentioned. This _clocher_ is a
thirteenth-century work, and rises something over two hundred and four
feet above the pavement.

In the north transept is a grand rose window after the true French
mediæval excellence and magnitude, showing once again the northern
spirit under which the cathedral-builders of Limoges worked.

In reality the façade of this north transept might be called the true
front of the cathedral. The design of its portal is elaborate and
elegant. A series of carved figures in stone are set against the wall of
the choir just beyond the transept. They depict the martyrdom of St.
Etienne.

The interior will first of all be remarked for its abundant and
splendidly coloured glass. This glass is indeed of the quality which in
a later day has often been lacking. It dates from the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, except a part, readily discernible, which is of the
nineteenth.

The remains of a precious choir-screen are yet very beautiful. It has
been removed from its original position and its stones arranged in much
disorder. Still it is a manifestly satisfying example of the art of the
stone-carver of the Renaissance period. It dates from 1543. Bishop
Langeac (d. 1541), who caused it to be originally erected, is buried
close by, beneath a contemporary monument. Bishops Bernard Brun (d.
1349) and Raynaud de la Porte (d. 1325) have also Renaissance monuments
which will be remarked for their excess of ornament and elaboration.

In the crypt of the eleventh century, presumably the remains of the
Romanesque church whose portal is beneath the western tower, are some
remarkable wall paintings thought to be of a contemporary era. If so,
they must rank among the very earliest works of their class.

The chief treasures of the cathedral are a series of enamels which are
set into a reredos (the canon's altar in the sacristy). They are the
work of the master, Noel Loudin, in the seventeenth century.

In the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is a monumental fountain in bronze and
porcelain, further enriched after the manner of the mediæval enamel
workers.

The _collection de ceramique_ in the Musée is unique in France, or for
that matter in all the world.

The _ateliers de Limoges_ were first established in the thirteenth
century by the monks of the Abbey of Solignac.

A remarkable example of the work of the _émailleurs limousins_ is the
twelfth-century reliquary of Thomas à Becket, one-time Archbishop of
Canterbury.

[Illustration: _Reliquary of Thomas à Becket_]

At the rear of the cathedral the Vienne is crossed by the
thirteenth-century bridge of St. Etienne. Like the cathedrals, châteaux,
and city walls, the old bridges of France, where they still remain, are
masterworks of their kind. To connect them more closely with the cause
of religion, it is significant that they mostly bore the name of, and
were dedicated to, some local saint.



VIII

ST. ODILON DE ST. FLOUR


Though an ancient Christianizing centre, St. Flour is not possessed of a
cathedral which gives it any great rank as a "cathedral town."

The bishopric was founded in 1318, by Raimond de Vehens, and the present
cathedral of St. Odilon is on the site of an ancient basilica. It was
begun in 1375, dedicated in 1496, and finished--so far as a great church
ever comes to its completion--in 1556.

Its exterior is strong and massive, but harmonious throughout. Its
façade has three portals, flanked by two square towers, which are capped
with modern _couronnes_.

The interior shows five small naves; that is, the nave proper, with two
aisles on either side.

Beside the western doorway are somewhat scanty traces of mediæval mural
paintings depicting Purgatory, while above is the conventionally
disposed organ _buffet_.

A fine painting of the late French school is in one of the side chapels,
and represents an incident from the life of St. Vincent de Paul. In
another chapel is a bas-relief in stone of "The Last Judgment,"
reproduced from that which is yet to be seen in the north portal of
Notre Dame de Reims. In the chapel of St. Anthony of Padua is a painting
of the "Holy Family," and in another--that of Ste. Anne--a remarkable
work depicting the "Martyred St. Symphorien at Autun."

In the lower ranges of the choir is some fine modern glass by Thévenot,
while high above the second range is a venerated statue of _Le Christ
Noir_.

From this catalogue it will be inferred that the great attractions of
the cathedral at St. Flour are mainly the artistic accessories with
which it has been embellished.

There are no remarkably beautiful or striking constructive elements,
though the plan is hardy and not unbeautiful. It ranks among cathedrals
well down in the second class, but it is a highly interesting church
nevertheless.

A chapel in the nave gives entrance to the eighteenth-century episcopal
palace, which is in no way notable except for its beautifully laid-out
gardens and terraces. The sacristy was built in 1382 of the remains of
the ancient Château de St. Flour, called De Brezons, which was itself
originally built in the year 1000.



IX

ST. PIERRE DE SAINTES


The chief architectural feature of this ancient town--the _Mediolanum
Santonum_, chief town of the Santoni--is not its rather uninspiring
cathedral (rebuilt in 1585), nor yet the church of St. Eutrope
(1081--96) with its underground crypt--the largest in France.

As a historical monument of rank far more interest centres around the
Arc de Triomphe of Germanicus, which originally formed a part of the
bridge which spans the Charente at this point. It was erected in the
reign of Nero by Caius Julius Rufus, a priest of Roma and Augustus, in
memory of Germanicus, Tiberius, his uncle, and his father, Drusus.

The bridge itself, or what was left of it, was razed in the nineteenth
century, which is of course to be regretted. A monument which could have
endured a matter of eighteen hundred years might well have been left
alone to takes its further chances with Father Time. Since then the
bridge has been rebuilt on its former site, a procedure which makes the
hiatus and the false position of the arch the more apparent. The
cloister of the cathedral, in spite of the anachronism, is in the early
Gothic manner, and the campanile is of the fifteenth century.

Saintes became a bishopric, in the province of Bordeaux, in the third
century. St. Eutrope--whose name is perpetuated in a fine Romanesque
church of the city--was the first bishop. The year 1793 saw the
suppression of the diocesan seat here, in favour of Angoulême.

In the main, the edifice is of a late date, in that it was entirely
rebuilt in the latter years of the sixteenth century, after having
suffered practical devastation in the religious wars of that time.

The first mention of a cathedral church here is of a structure which
took form in 1117--the progenitor of the present edifice. Such
considerable repairs as were necessary were undertaken in the fifteenth
century, but the church seen to-day is almost entirely of the century
following.

The most remarkable feature of note, in connection with this
_ci-devant_ cathedral, is unquestionably the luxurious flamboyant tower
of the fifteenth century.

This really fine tower is detached from the main structure and occupies
the site of the church erected by Charlemagne in fulfilment of his vow
to Pepin, his father, after defeating Gaiffre, Duc d'Aquitaine.

In the interior two of the bays of the transepts--which will be readily
noted--date from the twelfth century, while the nave is of the
fifteenth, and the vaulting of nave and choir--hardy and strong in every
detail--is, in part, as late as the mid-eighteenth century.

The Église de St. Eutrope, before mentioned, is chiefly of the twelfth
century, though its crypt, reputedly the largest in all France, is of a
century earlier.

Saintes is renowned to lovers of ceramics as being the birthplace of
Bernard Pallisy, the inventor of the pottery glaze; and is the scene of
many of his early experiments. A statue to his memory adorns the Place
Bassompierre near the Arc de Triomphe.



X

CATHÉDRALE DE TULLE


The charm of Tulle's cathedral is in its imposing and dominant
character, rather than in any inherent grace or beauty which it
possesses.

It is not a beautiful structure; it is not even picturesquely disposed;
it is grim and gaunt, and consists merely of a nave in the severe
Romanesque-Transition manner, surmounted by a later and non-contemporary
tower and spire.

In spite of this it looms large from every view-point in the town, and
is so lively a component of the busy life which surrounds it that it
is--in spite of its severity of outline--a very appealing church edifice
in more senses than one.

[Illustration: CATHÉDRALE _de TULLE...._]

Its tall, finely-proportioned tower and spire, which indeed is the chief
attribute of grace and symmetry, is of the fourteenth century, and,
though plain and primitive in its outlines, is far more pleasing than
the crocketed and rococo details which in a later day were composed into
something which was thought to be a spire.

In the earliest days of its history, this rather bare and cold church
was a Benedictine monastery whose primitive church dated as far back as
the seventh century. There are yet remains of a cloister which may have
belonged to the early church of this monastic house, and as such is
highly interesting, and withal pleasing.

The bishopric was founded in 1317 by Arnaud de St. Astier. The
Revolution caused much devastation here in the precincts of this
cathedral, which was first stripped of its _trésor_, and finally of its
dignity, when the see was abolished.



XI

ST. PIERRE D'ANGOULÊME


Angoulême is often first called to mind by its famous or notorious
Duchesse, whose fame is locally perpetuated by a not very suitable
column, erected in the Promenade Beaulieu in 1815. There is certainly a
wealth of romance to be conjured up from the recollection of the famous
Counts of Angoulême and their adherents, who made their residence in the
ancient château which to-day forms in part the Hôtel de Ville, and in
part the prison. Here in this château was born Marguerite de Valois, the
Marguerite of Marguerites, as François I. called her; here took welcome
shelter, Marie de Medici after her husband's assassination; and here,
too, much more of which history tells.

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE ... _a' ANGOULÊME_]

What most histories do not tell is that the cathedral of St. Pierre
d'Angoulême, with the cathedral of St. Front at Périgueux and Notre Dame
de Poitiers, ranks at the very head of that magnificent architectural
style known as Aquitanian.

St. Ansone was the first bishop of the diocese--in the third century.
The see was then, as now, a suffragan of Bordeaux. Religious wars, here
as throughout Aquitaine, were responsible for a great unrest among the
people, as well as the sacrilege and desecration of church property.

The most marked spoliation was at the hands of the Protestant Coligny,
the effects of whose sixteenth-century ravages are yet visible in the
cathedral.

A monk--Michel Grillet--was hung to a mulberry-tree,--which stood where
now is the Place du Murier (mulberry),--by Coligny, who was reviled thus
in the angry dying words of the monk: "You shall be thrown out of the
window like Jezebel, and shall be ignominiously dragged through the
streets." This prophecy did not come true, but Coligny died an
inglorious death in 1572, at the instigation of the Duc de Guise.

This cathedral ranks as one of the most curious in France, and, with its
alien plan and details, has ever been the object of the profound
admiration of all who have studied its varied aspects.

Mainly it is a twelfth-century edifice throughout, in spite of the
extensive restorations of the nineteenth century, which have eradicated
many crudities that might better have been allowed to remain. It is
ranked by the Ministère des Beaux Arts as a _Monument Historique_.

The west front, in spite of the depredations before, during, and after
the Revolution, is notable for its rising tiers of round-headed arches
seated firmly on proportionate though not gross columns, its statued
niches, the rich bas-reliefs of the tympanum of its portal, the
exquisite arabesques, of lintel, frieze, and archivolt, and, above all,
its large central arch with _Vesica piscis_, and the added decorations
of emblems of the evangels and angels. In addition to all this, which
forms a gallery of artistic details in itself, the general disposition
of parts is luxurious and remarkable.

As a whole, St. Pierre is commonly credited as possessing the finest
Lombard detail to be found in the north; some say outside of Italy.
Certainly it is prodigious in its splendour, whatever may be one's
predilections for or against the expression of its art.

The church follows in general plan the same distinctive style. Its
tower, too, is Lombard, likewise the rounded apside, and--though the
church is of the elongated Latin or cruciform ground-plan--its
possession of a great central dome (with three others above the
nave--and withal aisleless) points certainly to the great domed churches
of the Lombard plain for its ancestry.

The western dome is of the eleventh century, the others of the twelfth.
Its primitiveness has been more or less distorted by later additions,
made necessary by devastation in the sixteenth century, but it ranks
to-day, with St. Front at Périgueux, as the leading example of the style
known as Aquitanian.

Above the western portal is a great window, very tall and showing in its
glass a "Last Judgment."

A superb tower ends off the _croisillon_ on the north and rises to the
height of one hundred and ninety-seven feet. "Next to the west front and
the domed roofing of the interior, this tower ranks as the third most
curious and remarkable feature of this unusual church." This tower, in
spite of its appealing properties, is curiously enough not the original
to which the previous descriptive lines applied; but their echo may be
heard to-day with respect to the present tower, which is a
reconstruction, of the same materials, and after the same manner, so far
as possible, as the original.

As the most notable and peculiar details of the interior, will be
remarked the cupolas of the roof, and the lantern at the crossing, which
is pierced by twelve windows.

For sheer beauty, and its utile purpose as well, this great _lanthorn_
is further noted as being most unusual in either the Romanesque or
Gothic churches of France.

The choir is apse-ended and is surrounded by four chapels of no great
prominence or beauty.

The south transept has a _tour_ in embryo, which, had it been completed,
would doubtless have been the twin of that which terminates the transept
on the north.

The foundations of the episcopal residence, which is immediately beside
the cathedral (restored in the nineteenth century), are very ancient. In
its garden stands a colossal statue to Comte Jean, the father of
François I.

Angoulême was the residence of the Black Prince after the battle of
Poitiers, though no record remains as to where he may have lodged. A
house in the Rue de Genève has been singled out in the past as being
where John Calvin lived in 1533, but it is not recognizable to-day.



XII

NOTRE DAME DE MOULINS

     "_Les Bourbonnais sont aimables, mais vains, légers et facilement
     oublieux, avec rien d'excessif, rien d'exubérance dans leur
     nature._"

    --ANDRÉ ROLLAND.


Until he had travelled through Bourbonnais, "the sweetest part of
France--in the hey-day of the vintage," said Sterne, "I never felt the
distress of plenty."

This is an appropriate enough observation to have been promulgated by a
latter-day traveller. Here the abundance which apparently pours forth
for every one's benefit knows no diminution one season from another. One
should not allow his pen to ramble to too great an extent in this vein,
or he will soon say with Sterne: "Just Heaven! it will fill up twenty
volumes,--and alas, there are but a few small pages!"

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de MOULINS_]

It suffices, then, to reiterate, that in this plenteous land of
mid-France there is, for all classes of man and beast, an abundance and
excellence of the harvest of the soil which makes for a fondness to
linger long within the confines of this region. Thus did the far-seeing
Bourbons, who, throughout the country which yet is called of them, set
up many magnificent establishments and ensconced themselves and their
retainers among the comforts of this world to a far greater degree than
many other ruling houses of mediæval times. Perhaps none of the great
names, among the long lists of lords, dukes, and kings, whose lands
afterward came to make the solidarity of the all-embracing monarchy,
could be accused of curtailing the wealth of power and goods which
conquest or bloodshed could secure or save for them.

The power of the Bourbons endured, like the English Tudors, but a
century and a half beyond the period of its supremacy; whence, from its
maturity onward, it rotted and was outrooted bodily.

The literature of Moulins, for the English reading and speaking world,
appears to be an inconsiderable quantity. Certain romances have been
woven about the ducal château, and yet others concerning the
all-powerful Montmorencies, besides much history, which partakes
generously of the components of literary expression.

In the country round about--if the traveller has come by road, or for
that matter by "_train omnibus_"--if he will but keep his eyes open, he
will have no difficulty in recognizing this picture: "A little
farmhouse, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, and about as
much corn--and close to the house, on one side, a _potagerie_ of an acre
and a half, full of everything which could make plenty in a French
peasant's house--and on the other side a little wood, which furnished
wherewithal to dress it."

To continue, could one but see into that house, the picture would in no
small degree differ from this: "A family consisting of an old,
gray-headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law, and
their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them ... all sitting
down together to their lentil soup; a large wheaten loaf in the middle
of the table; and a flagon of wine at each end of it, and promised joy
throughout the various stages of the repast."

Where in any other than this land of plenty, for the peasant and
prosperous alike, could such a picture be drawn of the plenitude which
surrounds the home life of a son of the soil and his nearest kin? Such
an equipment of comfort and joy not only makes for a continuous and
placid contentment, but for character and ambition; in spite of all that
harum-scarum Jeremiahs may proclaim out of their little knowledge and
less sympathy with other affairs than their own. No individualism is
proclaimed, but it is intimated, and the reader may apply the
observation wherever he may think it belongs.

Moulins is the capital of the Bourbonnais--the name given to the
province and the people alike. The derivation of the word Bourbon is
more legendary than historical, if one is to give any weight to the
discovery of a tablet at _Bourbonne-les-Bains,_ in 1830, which bore the
following dedication:

    DEO, APOL
    LINI BORVONI
    ET DAMONAE
    C DAMINIUS
    FEROX CIVIS
    LINGONUS EX
    VOTO

Its later application to the land which sheltered the race is elucidated
by a French writer, thus:

"Considering that the names of all the cities and towns known as _des
sources d'eaux thermales_ commence with either the prefix _Bour_ or
_Bor_, indicates a common origin of the word ... from the name of the
divinity which protects the waters."

This is so plausible and picturesque a conjecture that it would seem to
be true.

Archæologists have singled out from among the most beautiful _chapelles
seigneuriales_ the one formerly contained in the ducal palace of the
Bourbons at Moulins. This formed, of course, a part of that gaunt,
time-worn fabric which faces the westerly end of the cathedral.

Little there is to-day to suggest this splendour, and for such one has
to look to those examples yet to be seen at Chambord or Chenonceaux, or
that of the Maison de Jacques Coeur at Bourges, with which, in its
former state, this private chapel of the Bourbons was a contemporary.

The other chief attraction of Moulins is the theatrical Mausolée de
Henri de Montmorency, a seventeenth-century work which is certainly
gorgeous and splendid in its magnificence, if not in its æsthetic value
as an art treasure.

The fresh, modern-looking cathedral of Notre Dame de Moulins is a more
ancient work than it really looks, though in its completed form it dates
only from the late nineteenth century, when the indefatigable
Viollet-le-Duc erected the fine twin towers and completed the western
front.

The whole effect of this fresh-looking edifice is of a certain elegance,
though in reality of no great luxuriousness.

The portal is deep but unornamented, and the rose window above is of
generous design, though not actually so great in size as at first
appears. Taken _tout ensemble_ this west front--of modern design and
workmanship--is far more expressive of the excellent and true
proportions of the mediæval workers than is usually the case.

The spires are lofty (312 feet) and are decidedly the most beautiful
feature of the entire design.

The choir, the more ancient portion (1465-1507), expands into a more
ample width than the nave and has a curiously squared-off termination
which would hardly be described as an apside, though the effect is
circular when viewed from within. The choir, too, rises to a greater
height than the nave, and, though there is no very great discrepancy in
style between the easterly and westerly ends, the line of demarcation is
readily placed. The square flanking chapels of the choir serve to give
an ampleness to the ambulatory which is unusual, and in the exterior
present again a most interesting arrangement and effect.

The cathedral gives on the west on the Place du Château, with the bare,
broken wall of the ducal château immediately _en face_, and the
Gendarmerie, which occupies a most interestingly picturesque Renaissance
building, is immediately to the right.

The interior arrangements of this brilliant cathedral church are quite
as pleasing and true as the exterior. There is no poverty in design or
decoration, and no overdeveloped luxuriance, except for the accidence of
the Renaissance tendencies of its time.

There is no flagrant offence committed, however, and the ambulatory of
the choir and its queer overhanging gallery at the rear of the altar are
the only unusual features from the conventional decorated Gothic plan;
if we except the _baldachino_ which covers the altar-table, and which
is actually hideous in its enormity.

The bishop's throne, curiously enough,--though the custom is, it
appears, very, very old,--is placed _behind_ the high-altar.

The triforium and clerestory of the choir have gracefully heightened
arches supported by graceful pillars, which give an effect of exceeding
lightness.

In the nave the triforium is omitted, and the clerestory only overtops
the pillars of nave and aisles.

The transepts are not of great proportions, but are not in any way
attenuated.

Under the high-altar is a "Holy Sepulchre" of the sixteenth century,
which is penetrated by an opening which gives on the ambulatory of the
choir.

There is a bountiful display of coloured glass of the Renaissance
period, and, in the sacristy, a _triptych_ attributed to Ghirlandajo.

There are no other artistic accessories of note, and the cathedral
depends, in the main, for its satisfying qualities in its general
completeness and consistency.



XIII

NOTRE DAME DE LE PUY

     "Under the sun of the _Midi_ I have seen the Pyrenees and the Alps,
     crowned in rose and silver, but I best love Auvergne and its bed of
     gorse."

    --PIERRE DE NOLHAC.


Le Puy has been called--by a discerning traveller--and rightly enough,
too, in the opinion of most persons--"_the most picturesque spot in the
world_." Whether every visitor thereto will endorse this unqualifiedly
depends somewhat on his view-point, and still more on his ability to
discriminate.

Le Puy certainly possesses an unparalleled array of what may as well be
called rare attractions. These are primarily the topographical,
architectural, and, first, last, and all times, picturesque elements
which only a blind man could fail to diagnose as something unique and
not to be seen elsewhere.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de LE PUY_.]

In the first category are the extraordinary pinnacles of volcanic
rock with which the whole surrounding landscape is peopled; in the
second, the city's grand architectural monuments, cathedrals, churches,
monastery and the château of Polignac; while thirdly, the whole aspect
is irritatingly picturesque to the lover of topographical charm and
feature. Here the situation of the city itself, in a basin of
surrounding peaks, its sky-piercing, turreted rocks, and the general
effect produced by its architectural features all combine to present
emotions which a large catalogue were necessary to define.

Moreover, Le Puy is the gateway to a hitherto almost unknown region to
the English-speaking tourist. At least it would have been unknown but
for the eulogy given it by the wandering Robert Louis Stevenson, who, in
his "Travels with a Donkey," (not "On a Donkey,"--mark the distinction),
has made the Cevennes known, at least as a nodding acquaintance,
to--well, a great many who would never have consciously realized that
there was such a place.

Le Puy is furthermore as yet unspoiled by the "conducted tourist," and
lives the same life that it has for many generations. Electric trams
have come to be sure, and certain improvements in the way of boulevards
and squares have been laid out, but, in the main, the narrow, tortuous
streets which ascend to its cathedral-crowned height are much as they
always were; and the native pays little heed to the visitor, of which
class not many ever come to the city--perhaps for the reason that Le Puy
is not so very accessible by rail. Both by the line which descends the
Rhône valley and its parallel line from Paris to Nîmes, one has to
branch off, and is bound to lose from three to six hours--or more, at
some point or other, making connections. This is as it should be--in
spite of the apparent retrogression.

When one really does get to Le Puy nothing should satisfy him but to
follow the trail of Stevenson's donkey into the heart of the Cevennes,
that wonderful country which lies to the southward, and see and know for
himself some of the things which that delectable author set forth in the
record of his travels.

Monastier, Le Cheylard, La Bastide, Notre Dame des Neiges, Mont Mézenac,
and many more delightful places are, so far as personal knowledge goes,
a sealed book to most folk; and after one has visited them for himself,
he may rest assured they will still remain a sealed book to the mass.

The ecclesiastical treasures of Le Puy are first and foremost centred
around its wonderful, though bizarre, Romanesque cathedral of Notre
Dame.

Some have said that this cathedral church dates from the fifth century.
Possibly this is so, but assuredly there is no authority which makes a
statement which is at all convincing concerning any work earlier than
the tenth century.

Le Puy's first bishop was St. Georges,--in the third century,--at which
time, as now, the diocese was a suffragan of Bourges.

The cathedral itself is perched on a hilltop behind which rises an
astonishing crag or pinnacle,--the _rocher Corneille_, which, in turn,
is surmounted by a modern colossal bronze figure, commonly called _Notre
Dame de France_. The native will tell you that it is called "the Virgin
of Le Puy." Due allowance for local pride doubtless accounts for this.
Its height is fifty feet, and while astonishingly impressive in many
ways, is, as a work of art, without beauty in itself.

[Illustration: _Le Puy_]

There is a sort of subterranean or crypt-like structure, beneath the
westerly end of the cathedral, caused by the extreme slope of the rock
upon which the choir end is placed. One enters by a stairway of sixty
steps, which is beneath the parti-coloured façade of the twelfth
century. It is very striking and must be a unique approach to a
cathedral; the entrance here being two stories below that of the
pavement of nave and choir. This porch of three round-arched naves is
wholly unusual. Entrance to the main body of the church is finally
gained through the transept.

The whole structure is curiously kaleidoscopic, with blackish and dark
brown tints predominating, but alternating--in the west façade, which
has been restored in recent times--with bands of a lighter and again a
darker stone. It has been called by a certain red-robed mentor of
travel-lore an ungainly, venerable, but singular edifice: quite a
non-committal estimate, and one which, like most of its fellows, is
worse than a slander. It is most usually conceded by French
authorities--_who might naturally be supposed to know their
subject_--that it is very nearly the most genuinely interesting
exposition of a local manner of church-building extant; and as such the
cathedral at Le Puy merits great consideration.

The choir is the oldest portion, and is probably not of later date than
the tenth century. The glass therein is modern. It has a possession, a
"miraculous virgin,"--whose predecessor was destroyed in the fury of the
Revolution,--which is supposed to work wonders upon those who bestow an
appropriate votive offering. To the former shrine came many pilgrims,
numbering among them, it is said rather indefinitely and doubtfully,
"several popes and the following kings: Louis VII., Philippe-Auguste,
Philippe-le-Hardi, Charles VI., Charles VII., Louis XI., and Charles
VIII."

To-day, as if doubtful of the shrine's efficacy, the pilgrims are few in
number and mostly of the peasant class.

The bays of the nave are divided by round-headed arches, but connected
with the opposing bay by the ogival variety.

The transepts have apsidal terminations, as is much more frequent south
of the Loire than in the north of France, but still of sufficient
novelty to be remarked here. The east end is rectangular--which is
really a very unusual attribute in any part of France, only two examples
elsewhere standing out prominently--the cathedrals at Laon and
Dol-de-Bretagne. The cloister of Notre Dame, small and simple though it
be, is of a singular charm and tranquillity.

With the tower or cupola of this cathedral the architects of Auvergne
achieved a result very near the _perfectionnement_ of its style. Like
all of the old-time _clochers_ erected in this province--anterior to
Gothic--it presents a great analogy to Byzantine origin, though, in a
way, not quite like it either. Still the effect of columns and pillars,
in both the interior construction and exterior decoration of these fine
towers, forms something which suggests, at least, a development of an
ideal which bears little, or no, relation to the many varieties of
_campanile_, _beffroi_, _tour_ or _clocher_ seen elsewhere in France.
The spire, as we know it elsewhere, a dominant pyramidal termination,
the love of which Mistral has said is the foundation of patriotism, is
in this region almost entirely wanting; showing that the influence, from
whatever it may have sprung, was no copy of anything which had gone
before, nor even the suggestion of a tendency or influence toward the
pointed Gothic, or northern style. Therefore the towers, like most other
features of this style, are distinctly of the land of its
environment--Auvergnian.

This will call to mind, to the American, the fact that Trinity Church in
Boston is manifestly the most distinctive application, in foreign lands,
of the form and features of the manner of church-building of the
Auvergne.

Particularly is this to be noted by viewing the choir exterior with its
inlaid or geometrically planned stonework: a feature which is Romanesque
if we go back far enough, but which is distinctly Auvergnian in its
mediæval use.

For sheer novelty, before even the towering bronze statue of the Virgin,
which overtops the cathedral, must be placed that other needle-like
basaltic eminence which is crowned by a tiny chapel dedicated to St.
Michel.

This "_aiguille_," as it is locally known, rises something over two
hundred and fifty feet from the river-bed at its base; like a sharp
cone, dwindling from a diameter of perhaps five hundred feet at its base
to a scant fifty at its apex.

St. Michel has always had a sort of vested proprietorship in such
pinnacles as this, and this tiny chapel in his honour was the erection
of a prelate of the diocese of Le Puy in the tenth century. The chapel
is Romanesque, octagonal, and most curious; with its isolated
situation,--only reached by a flight of many steps cut in the rock,--and
its tesselated stone pavements, its mosaic in basalt of the portal, and
its few curious sculptures in stone. As a place of pilgrimage for a
twentieth-century tourist it is much more appealing than the
Virgin-crowned _rocher Corneille_; each will anticipate no
inconsiderable amount of physical labour, which, however, is the true
pilgrim spirit.

The château of Polignac _compels_ attention, and it is not so very
foreign to church affairs after all; the house of the name gave to the
court of Louis XIV. a cardinal.

To-day this one-time feudal stronghold is but a mere ruin. The
Revolution finished it, as did that fury many another architectural
glory of France.

[Illustration: _The Black Virgin, Le Puy_]



XIV

NOTRE DAME DE CLERMONT-FERRAND


Clermont-Ferrand is the hub from which radiates in the season,--from
April to October,--and in all directions, the genuine French _touriste_.
He is a remarkable species of traveller, and he apportions to himself
the best places in the _char-à bancs_ and the most convenient seats at
_table d'hôte_ with a discrimination that is perfection. He is not much
interested in cathedrals, or indeed in the twin city of Clermont-Ferrand
itself, but rather his choice lies in favour of Mont Doré, Puy de Dôme,
Royat, St. Nectaire, or a dozen other alluring tourist resorts in which
the neighbouring volcanic region abounds.

By reason of this--except for its hotels and cafés--Clermont-Ferrand is
justly entitled to rank as one of the most ancient and important centres
of Christianity in France.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de CLERMONT-FERRAND_]

Its cathedral is not of the local manner of building: it is of manifest
Norman example. But the Église Notre Dame du Port is Auvergnian of
the most profound type, and withal, perhaps more appealing than the
cathedral itself. Furthermore the impulse of the famous crusades first
took form here under the fervent appeal of Urban II., who was in the
city at the Council of the Church held in 1095. Altogether the part
played by this city of mid-France in the affairs of the Christian faith
was not only great, but most important and far-reaching in its effect.

In its cathedral are found to a very considerable extent those
essentials to the realization of the pure Gothic style, which even Sir
Christopher Wren confessed his inability to fully comprehend.

It is a pleasant relief, and a likewise pleasant reminder of the
somewhat elaborate glories of the Isle of France, to come upon an
edifice which at least presents a semblance to the symmetrical pointed
Gothic of the north. The more so in that it is surrounded by Romanesque
and local types which are peers among their class.

Truly enough it is that such churches as Notre Dame du Port, the
cathedral at Le Puy, and the splendid series of Romanesque churches at
Poitiers are as interesting and as worthy of study as the resplendent
modern Gothic. On the other hand, the transition to the baseness of the
Renaissance,--without the intervention of the pointed style,--while not
so marked here as elsewhere, is yet even more painfully impressed upon
one.

The contrast between the Romanesque style, which was manifestly a good
style, and the Renaissance, which was palpably bad, suggests, as
forcibly as any event of history, the change of temperament which came
upon the people, from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

This cathedral is possessed of two fine western towers (340 feet in
height), graceful in every proportion, hardy without being clumsy,
symmetrical without weakness, and dwindling into crowning spires after a
manner which approaches similar works at Bordeaux and Quimper. These
examples are not of first rank, but, if not of masterful design, are at
least acceptable exponents of the form they represent.

These towers, as well as the western portal, are, however, of a very
late date. They are the work of Viollet-le-Duc in the latter half of the
nineteenth century, and indicate--if nothing more--that, where a good
model is used, a modern Gothic work may still betray the spirit of
antiquity. This gifted architect was not so successful with the western
towers of the abbey church of St. Ouen at Rouen. Externally the
cathedral at Clermont-Ferrand shows a certain lack of uniformity.

Its main fabric, of a black volcanic stone, dates from 1248 to 1265. At
this time the work was in charge of one Jean Deschamps.

The church was not, however, consecrated until nearly a century later,
and until the completion of the west front remained always an unfinished
work which received but scant consideration from lovers of church
architecture.

The whole structure was sorely treated at the Revolution, was entirely
stripped of its ornaments and what monuments it possessed, and was only
saved from total destruction by a subterfuge advanced by a local
magistrate, who suggested that the edifice might be put to other than
its original use.

The first two bays of the nave are also of nineteenth-century
construction. This must account for the frequent references of a former
day to the general effect of incompleteness. To-day it is a coherent if
not a perfect whole, though works of considerable magnitude are still
under way.

The general effect of the interior is harmonious, though gloomy as to
its lighting, and bare as to its walls.

The vault rises something over a hundred feet above the pavement, and
the choir platform is considerably elevated. The aisles of the nave are
doubled, and very wide.

The joints of pier and wall have been newly "pointed," giving an
impression of a more modern work than the edifice really is.

The glass of the nave and choir is of a rare quality and unusually
abundant. How it escaped the fury of the Revolution is a mystery.

There are two fifteenth-century rose windows in the transepts, and a
more modern example in the west front, the latter being decidedly
inferior to the others. The glass of the choir is the most beautiful of
all, and is of the time of Louis IX., whose arms, quartered with those
of Spain, are shown therein. The general effect of this coloured glass
is not of the supreme excellence of that at Chartres, but the effect of
mellowness, on first entering, is in every way more impressive than that
of any other cathedral south of the Loire.

The organ _buffet_ has, in this instance, been cut away to allow of the
display of the modern _rosace_. This is a most thoughtful consideration
of the attributes of a grand window; which is obviously that of giving a
pleasing effect to an interior, rather than its inclusion in the
exterior scheme of decoration.

In the choir is a _retable_ of gilded and painted wood, representing the
life of St. Crépinien, a few tombs, and in the chapels some frescoes of
the thirteenth century. There is the much-appreciated astronomical
clock--a curiosity of doubtful artistic work and symbolism--in one of
the transepts.

A statue of Pope Urban II. is _en face_ to the right of the cathedral.

At the Council of 1095 Urban II. preached for the first crusade to
avenge the slaughter "of pilgrims, princes, and bishops," which had
taken place at Romola in Palestine, and to regain possession of
Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre from the Turkish Sultan, Ortock.

The enthusiasm of the pontiff was so great that the masses forthwith
entered fully into the spirit of the act, the nobles tearing their red
robes into shreds to form the badge of the crusader's cross, which was
given to all who took the vow.

By command of the Pope, every serf who took the cross was to obtain his
liberty from his overlord. This fact, perhaps, more than any other led
to the swelled ranks of the first crusade under Peter the Hermit.

The rest is history, though really much of its written chronicle is
really romance.

Clermont was a bishopric in the third century, with St. Austremoine as
its first bishop. The diocese is to-day a suffragan of Bourges.

At the head of the Cours Sablon is a fifteenth-century fountain,
executed to the order of a former bishop, Jacques d'Amboise.

The bibliothèque still preserves, among fifty thousand volumes and
eleven hundred MSS., an illuminated folio Bible of the twelfth century,
a missal which formerly belonged to Pope Clement VI., and a
ninth-century manuscript of the monk, Gregory of Tours.

Near the cathedral in the Rue de Petit Gras is the birthplace of the
precocious Blaise Pascal, who next to Urban II.--if not even before
him--is perhaps Clermont's most famous personage. A bust of the
celebrated writer is let into the wall which faces the Passage Vernines,
and yet another adorns the entrance to the bibliothèque; and again
another--a full-length figure this time--is set about with growing
plants, in the Square Blaise Pascal. Altogether one will judge that
Pascal is indeed the most notable figure in the secular history of the
city. This most original intellect of his time died in 1662, at the
early age of thirty-nine.



XV

ST. FULCRAN DE LODÈVE


Lodève, seated tightly among the mountains, near the confluence of the
rivers Solondre and Lergue, not far from the Cevennes and the borders of
the Gévaudan, was a bishopric, suffragan of Narbonne, as early as the
beginning of the fourth century.

It had been the capital of the Gallic tribe of the Volsques, then a
pagan Roman city, and finally was converted to Christianity in the year
323 by the apostle St. Flour, who founded the bishopric, which, with so
many others, was suppressed at the Revolution.

The city suffered greatly from the wars of the Goths, the Albigenses,
and later the civil wars of the Protestants and Catholics. The bishops
of Lodève were lords by virtue of the fact that the title was bought
from the viscounts whose honour it had previously held. _St. Guillem Ley
Desert_ (O. F.), a famous abbey of the Benedictines, founded by an
ancestor of the Prince of Orange, is near by.

The ancient cathedral of St. Fulcran is situated in the _haute-ville_
and dates, as to its foundation walls, from the middle of the tenth
century. The reconstructed present-day edifice is mainly of the
thirteenth century, and as an extensive work of its time is entitled to
rank with many of the cathedral churches which survived the Revolution.
By the end of the sixteenth century, the last remaining work and
alterations were completed, and one sees therefore a fairly consistent
mediæval church. The west façade is surmounted by _tourelles_ which are
capped with a defending _mâchicoulis_, presumably for defence from
attack from the west, as this battlement could hardly have been intended
for mere ornament, decorative though it really is. The interior height
rises to something approximating eighty feet, and is imposing to a far
greater degree than many more magnificent and wealthy churches.

The choir is truly elegant in its proportions and decorations, its chief
ornament being that of the high-altar, and the white marble lions which
flank the stalls. From the choir one enters the ruined cloister of the
fifteenth century; which, if not remarkable in any way, is at least
distinctive and a sufficiently uncommon appendage of a cathedral church
to be remarked.

A marble tomb of a former bishop,--Plantavit de la Pause,--a
distinguished prelate and bibliophile, is also in the choir. This
monument is a most worthy artistic effort, and shows two lions lying at
the foot of a full-length figure of the churchman. It dates from 1651,
and, though of Renaissance workmanship, its design and sculpture--like
most monumental work of its era--are far ahead of the quality of
craftsmanship displayed by the builders and architects of the same
period.

The one-time episcopal residence is now occupied by the _hôtel de
ville_, the _tribunal_, and the _caserne de gendarmerie_. As a shelter
for civic dignity this is perhaps not a descent from its former glory,
but as a _caserne_ it is a shameful debasement; not, however, as mean as
the level to which the papal palace at Avignon has fallen.

The guide-book information--which, be it said, is not disputed or
reviled here--states that the city's manufactories supply _surtout des
draps_ for the army; but the church-lover will get little sustenance for
his refined appetite from this kernel of matter-of-fact information.

Lodève is, however, a charming provincial town, with two ancient bridges
crossing its rivers, a ruined château, _Montbrun_, and a fine promenade
which overlooks the river valleys round about.



_PART III

The Rhône Valley_



I

INTRODUCTORY


The knowledge of the geographer Ptolemy, who wrote in the second century
with regard to the Rhône, was not so greatly at fault as with respect to
other topographical features, such as coasts and boundaries.

Perhaps the fact that Gaul had for so long been under Roman dominion had
somewhat to do with this.

He gives, therefore, a tolerably correct account as to this mighty
river, placing its sources in the Alps, and tracing its flow through the
lake _Lemannus_ (Leman) to _Lugdunum_ (Lyon); whence, turning sharply to
the southward, it enters the Mediterranean south of Arles. Likewise, he
correctly adds that the upper river is joined with the combined flow of
the Doubs and Saône, but commits the error of describing their source to
be also in the Alps.

Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who knew these parts well,--his home was near
Autun,--has described the confluence of the Saône and Rhône thus:

"The width and depth of the two rivers are equal, but the swift-flowing
Rhône discharges twice the volume of water of the slow-running Saône.
They also differ remarkably in colour. The Saône is emerald-green and
the Rhône blue-green. Here the minor river loses its name and character,
and, by an unusual process, the slowest and most navigable stream in
Europe joins the swiftest and least navigable. The _Flumen Araris_
ceases and becomes the _Rhodanus_."

The volume of water which yearly courses down the Rhône is perhaps
greater than would first appear, when, at certain seasons of the year,
one sees a somewhat thin film of water gliding over a wide expanse of
yellow sand and shingle.

Throughout, however, it is of generous width and at times rises in a
true torrential manner: this when the spring freshets and melting Alpine
snows are directed thither toward their natural outlet to the sea.
"Rivers," said Blaise Pascal, "are the roads that move." Along the great
river valleys of the Rhône, the Loire, the Seine, and the Rhine were
made the first Roman roads, the prototypes of the present-day means of
communication.

The development of civilization and the arts along these great pathways
was rapid and extensive. Two of them, at least, gave birth to
architectural styles quite differing from other neighbouring types: the
_Romain-Germanique_--bordering along the Rhine and extending to Alsace
and the Vosges; and the _Romain-Bourguignon_, which followed the valley
of the Rhône from Bourgogne to the Mediterranean and the Italian
frontier, including all Provence.

The true source of the Rhône is in the Pennine Alps, where, in consort
with three other streams, the Aar, the Reuss, and the Ticino, it rises
in a cloven valley close to the lake of Brienz, amid that huge jumble of
mountain-tops, which differs so greatly from the popular conception of a
mountain range.

Dauphiné and Savoie are to-day comparatively unknown by parlour-car
travellers. Dauphiné, with its great historical associations, the wealth
and beauty of its architecture, the magnificence of its scenery, has
always had great attractions for the historian, the archæologist, and
the scholar; to the tourist, however, even to the French tourist, it
remained for many years a _terra incognita_. Yet no country could
present the traveller with a more wonderful succession of ever-changing
scenery, such a rich variety of landscape, ranging from verdant plain to
mountain glacier, from the gay and picturesque to the sublime and
terrible. Planted in the very heart of the French Alps, rising terrace
above terrace from the lowlands of the Rhône to the most stupendous
heights, Dauphiné may with reason claim to be the worthy rival of
Switzerland.

The romantic associations of "La Grande Chartreuse"; of the charming
valley towns of Sion and Aoste, famed alike in the history of Church and
State; and of the more splendidly appointed cities of Grenoble and
Chambéry, will make a new leaf in the books of most peoples'
experiences.

The rivers Durance, Isère, and Drôme drain the region into the more
ample basin of the Rhône, and the first of the three--for sheer beauty
and romantic picturesqueness--will perhaps rank first in all the world.

The chief associations of the Rhône valley with the Church are centred
around Lyon, Vienne, Avignon, and Arles. The associations of history--a
splendid and a varied past--stand foremost at Orange, Nîmes, Aix, and
Marseilles. It is not possible to deal here with the many _pays et pagi_
of the basin of the Rhône.

Of all, Provence--that golden land--stands foremost and compels
attention. One might praise it _ad infinitum_ in all its splendid
attributes and its glorious past, but one could not then do it justice;
better far that one should sum it up in two words--"Mistral's world."

The popes and the troubadours combined to cast a glamour over the "fair
land of Provence" which is irresistible. Here were architectural
monuments, arches, bridges, aqueducts, and arenas as great and as
splendid as the world has ever known. Aix-en-Provence, in King René's
time, was the gayest capital of Europe, and the influence of its arts
and literature spread to all parts.

To the south came first the Visigoths, then the conflicting and
repelling Ostrogoths; between them soon to supplant the Gallo-Roman
cultivation which had here grown so vigorously.

It was as late as the sixth century when the Ostrogoths held the
brilliant sunlit city of Arles; when follows a history--applicable as
well to most of all southern France--of many dreary centuries of
discordant races, of varying religious faiths, and adherence now to one
lord and master, and then to another.

Monuments of various eras remain; so numerously that one can rebuild for
themselves much that has disappeared for ever: palaces as at Avignon,
castles as at Tarascon and Beaucaire, and walled cities as at
Aigues-Morte. What limitless suggestion is in the thought of the
assembled throngs who peopled the tiers of the arenas and theatres of
Arles and Nîmes in days gone by. The sensation is mostly to be derived,
however, from thought and conjecture. The painful and nullifying
"_spectacles_" and "_courses des taureaux_," which periodically hold
forth to-day in these noble arenas, are mere travesties on their
splendid functions of the past. Much more satisfying--and withal more
artistic--are the theatrical representations in that magnificent outdoor
theatre at Orange; where so recently as the autumn of 1903 was given a
grand representation of dramatic art, with Madame Bernhardt, Coquelin,
and others of the galaxy which grace the French stage to-day, taking
part therein.

Provençal literature is a vast and varied subject, and the women of
Arles--the true Arlesians of the poet and romancer--are astonishingly
beautiful. Each of these subjects--to do them justice--would require
much ink and paper. Daudet, in "_Tartarin_," has these opening words, as
if no others were necessary in order to lead the way into a new world:
"IT WAS SEPTEMBER AND IT WAS PROVENCE." Frederic Mistral, in "Mirèio,"
has written the great modern epic of Provence, which depicts the life as
well as the literature of the ancient troubadours. The "Fountain of
Vaucluse" will carry one back still further in the ancient Provençal
atmosphere; to the days of Petrarch and Laura, and the "little fish of
Sorgues."

What the Romance language really was, authorities--if they be
authorities--differ. Hence it were perhaps well that no attempt should
be made here to define what others have failed to place, beyond this
observation, which is gathered from a source now lost to recollection,
but dating from a century ago at least:

"The southern or Romance language, the tongue of all the people who
obeyed Charlemagne in the south of Europe, proceeded from the
parent-vitiated Latin.

"The Provençaux assert, and the Spaniards deny, that the Spanish tongue
is derived from the original Romance, though neither the Italians nor
the French are willing to owe much to it as a parent, in spite of the
fact that Petrarch eulogized it, and the troubadours as well.

"The Toulousans roundly assert that the Provençal is the root of all
other dialects whatever (_vide Cazeneuve_). Most Spanish writers on the
other hand insist that the Provençal is derived from the Spanish (_vide
Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas; Madrid, 1779_)."

At all events the idiom, from whatever it may have sprung, took root,
propagated and flourished in the land of the Provençal troubadours.

Whatever may have been the real extent of the influences which went out
from Provence, it is certain that the marriage of Robert with
Constance--daughter of the first Count of Provence, about the year
1000--was the period of a great change in manners and customs
throughout the kingdom. Some even have asserted that this princess
brought in her train the troubadours who spread the taste for poetry and
its accompaniments throughout the north of France.

The "Provence rose," so celebrated in legend and literature, can hardly
be dismissed without a word; though, in truth, the casual traveller will
hardly know of its existence, unless he may have a sweet recollection of
some rural maid, who, with sleeves carefully rolled up, stood before her
favourite rose-tree, tenderly examining it, and driving away a buzzing
fly or a droning wasp.

These firstlings of the season are tended with great pride. The
distinctive "rose of Provence" is smaller, redder, and more elastic and
concentric than the _centifoliæ_ of the north, and for this reason,
likely, it appears the more charming to the eye of the native of the
north, who, if we are to believe the romanticists, is made a child again
by the mere contemplation of this lovely flower.

The glory of this rich red "Provence rose" is in dispute between
Provence and Provins, the ancient capital of La Brie; but the weight of
the argument appears to favour the former.

Below Arles and Nîmes the Rhône broadens out into a many-fingered
estuary, and mingles its Alpine flood with the blue waters of the
Mediterranean.

The delta has been formed by the activity and energy of the river
itself, from the fourth century--when it is known that Arles lay sixteen
miles from the sea--till to-day, when it is something like thirty. This
ceaseless carrying and filling has resulted in a new coast-line, which
not only has changed the topography of the region considerably, but may
be supposed to have actually worked to the commercial disadvantage of
the country round about.

The annual prolongation of the shores--the reclaimed water-front--is
about one hundred and sixty-four feet, hence some considerable gain is
accounted for, but whether to the nation or the "squatter" statistics do
not say.

The delta of the Rhône has been described by an expansive French writer
as: "Something quite separate from the rest of France. It is a wedge of
Greece and of the East thrust into Gaul. It came north a hundred (or
more) years ago and killed the Monarchy. It caught the value in, and
created the great war-song of the Republic."

There is a deal of subtlety in these few lines, and they are given here
because of their truth and applicability.



II

ST. ETIENNE DE CHALONS-SUR-SAÔNE


"The cathedral at Chalons," says Philip Gilbert Hamerton,--who knew the
entire region of the Saône better perhaps than any other
Anglo-Saxon,--"has twin towers, which, in the evening, at a distance,
recall Notre Dame (at Paris), and there are domes, too, as in the
capital."

An imaginative description surely, and one that is doubtless not without
truth were one able to first come upon this riverside city of mid-France
in the twilight, and by boat from the upper river.

Chalons is an ideally situated city, with a placidness which the slow
current of the Saône does not disturb. But its cathedral! It is no more
like its Parisian compeer than it is like the Pyramids of Egypt.

In the first place, the cathedral towers are a weak, effeminate
imitation of a prototype which itself must have been far removed from
Notre Dame, and they have been bolstered and battened in a shameful
fashion.

The cathedral at Chalons is about the most ancient-looking possession of
the city, which in other respects is quite modern, and, aside from its
charming situation and general attractiveness, takes no rank whatever as
a centre of ancient or mediæval art.

Its examples of Gallic architecture are not traceable to-day, and of
Roman remains it possesses none. As a Gallic stronghold,--it was never
more than that,--it appealed to Cæsar merely as a base from which to
advance or retreat, and its history at this time is not great or
abundant.

A Roman wall is supposed to have existed, but its remains are not
traceable to-day, though tradition has it that a quantity of its stones
were transported by the monk Bénigne for the rotunda which he built at
Dijon.

The city's era of great prosperity was the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, when its fortifications were built up anew, its cathedral
finished, and fourteen churches held forth.

From this high estate it has sadly fallen, and there is only its
decrepit cathedral, rebuilt after a seventeenth-century fire, and two
churches--one of them modern--to uphold its ecclesiastical dignity.

The towers of the cathedral are of the seventeenth century, but the
so-called "Deanery Tower" is more ancient, and suggestive of much that
is militant and very little that is churchly.

The interior has been restored, not wholly with success, but yet not
wholly spoiled.

In plan and arrangement it is a simple and severe church, but acceptable
enough when one contemplates changes made elsewhere. Here are to be seen
no debased copies of Greek or Roman orders; which is something to be
thankful for.

The arches of the nave and choir are strong and bold, but not of great
spread. The height of the nave, part of which has come down from the
thirteenth century, is ninety feet at least.

There are well-carved capitals to the pillars of the nave, and the
coloured glass of the windows of triforium and clerestory is rich
without rising to great beauty.

In general the style is decidedly a _mélange_, though the cathedral is
entitled to rank as a Gothic example. Its length is 350 feet.

The _maître-autel_ is one of the most elegant in France.

Modern improvement has cleared away much that was picturesque, but
around the cathedral are still left a few gabled houses, which serve to
preserve something of the mediæval setting which once held it.

The courtyard and its dependencies at the base of the "Deanery Tower"
are the chief artistic features. They appeal far more strongly than any
general accessory of the cathedral itself, and suggest that they once
must have been the components of a cloister.

The see was founded in the fifth century as a suffragan of Lyon.



III

ST. VINCENT DE MACON


The _Mastieo_ of the Romans was not the Macon of to-day, though, by
evolution, or corruption, or whatever the process may have been, the
name has come down to us as referring to the same place. The former city
did not border the river, but was seated on a height overlooking the
Saône, which flows by the doors of the present city of Macon.

Its site is endowed with most of the attributes included in the
definition of "commanding," and, though not grandly situated, is, from
any riverside view-point, attractive and pleasing.

When it comes to the polygonal towers of its olden cathedral, this
charming and pleasing view changes to that of one which is curious and
interesting. The cathedral of St. Vincent is a battered old ruin, and no
amount of restoration and rebuilding will ever endow it with any more
deserving qualities.

[Illustration: ST. VINCENT _de MACON_.]

The Revolution was responsible for its having withered away, as it was
also for the abolishment of the see of Macon.

The towers stand to-day--lowered somewhat from their former
proportions--gaunt and grim, and the rich Burgundian narthen, which lay
between, has been converted--not restored, mark you--into an inferior
sort of chapel.

The destruction that fell upon various parts of this old church might as
well have been more sweeping and razed it to the ground entirely. The
effect could not have been more disheartening.

Macon formerly had twelve churches. Now it has three--if we include this
poor fragment of its one-time cathedral. Between the Revolution and the
coronation of Napoleon I. the city was possessed of no place of worship.

Macon became an episcopal see, with Placide as its first bishop, in the
sixth century. It was suppressed in 1790.

The bridge which crosses the river to the suburb of St. Laurent is
credited as being the finest work of its kind crossing the Saône.
Hamerton has said that "its massive arches and piers, wedge-shaped to
meet the wind, are pleasant to contemplate after numerous festoons of
wire carrying a roadway of planks." This bridge was formerly surmounted,
at either end, with a castellated gateway, but, like many of these
accessories elsewhere, they have disappeared.

The famous bridge at Cahors (shown elsewhere in this book) is the best
example of such a bridge still existing in France.

As a "cathedral city," Macon will not take a high rank. The "great man"
of Macon was Lamartine. His birthplace is shown to visitors, but its
present appearance does not suggest the splendid appointments of its
description in that worthy's memoirs.

Macon is the _entrepôt_ of the abundant and excellent _vin du
Bourgogne_, and the strictly popular repute of the city rests entirely
on this fact.

[Illustration: ST. JEAN _de LYON_.]



IV

ST. JEAN DE LYON


The Lyonnais is the name given to that region lying somewhat to the
westward of the city of Lyon. It is divided into three distinct parts,
_le Lyonnais_ proper, _le Forez_, and _le Beaujolais_. Its chief
appellation comes from that of its chief city, which in turn is more
than vague as to its etymology: _Lugdunum_ we know, of course, and we
can trace its evolution even unto the Anglicized Lyons, but when
philologists, antiquarians, and "pedants of mere pretence" ask us to
choose between _le corbeau_--_lougon_, _un eminence_--_dounon_,
_lone_--an arm of a river, and _dun_ the Celtic word for height, we are
amazed, and are willing enough to leave the solving of the problem to
those who will find a greater pleasure therein.

Lyon is a widely-spread city, of magnificent proportions and pleasing
aspect, situated as it is on the banks of two majestic, though
characteristically different rivers, the Rhône and the Saône.

In many respects it is an ideally laid-out city, and the scene from the
heights of Fourvière at night, when the city is brilliant with
many-lighted workshops, is a wonderfully near approach to fairy-land.

Whether the remarkable symmetry of the city's streets and plan is the
result of the genius of a past day, or of the modern progressive spirit,
is in some doubt. Certainly it must originally have been a delightfully
planned city, and the spirit of modernity--though great--has not by any
means wholly eradicated its whilom charm of another day.

It may be remarked here that about the only navigable portion of the
none too placid Rhône is found from here to Avignon and Arles, to which
points, in summer at least, steam-craft--of sorts--carry passengers with
expedition and economy--down-stream; the journey up-river will amaze one
by the potency of the flood of this torrential stream--so different from
the slow-going Saône.

The present diocese, of which the see of Lyon is the head, comprehends
the Department of the Rhône et Loire. It is known under the double
vocable of Lyon et Vienne, and is the outgrowth of the more ancient
ecclesiastical province of Vienne, whose archiepiscopal dignity was
domiciled in St. Maurice.

It was in the second century that St. Pothin, an Asiatic Greek, came to
the ancient province of Lyon as archbishop. The title carried with it
that of primate of all Gaul: hence the importance of the see, from the
earliest times, may be inferred.

The architectural remains upon which is built the flamboyant Gothic
church of St. Nizier are supposed to be those of the primitive cathedral
in which St. Pothin and St. Irenæus celebrated the holy rites. The claim
is made, of course, not without a show of justification therefor, but it
is a far cry from the second century of our era to this late day; and
the sacristan's words are not convincing, in view of the doubts which
many non-local experts have cast upon the assertion. The present _Église
St. Nizier_ is furthermore dedicated to a churchman who lived as late as
the sixth century.

The present cathedral of St. Jean dates from the early years of the
twelfth century, but there remains to-day another work closely allied
with episcopal affairs--the stone bridge which spans the Saône, and
which was built some two hundred years before the present cathedral by
Archbishop Humbert.

Though a bridge across a river is an essentially practical and utile
thing, it is, perhaps, in a way, as worthy a work for a generous and
masterful prelate as church-building itself. Certainly this was the case
with Humbert's bridge, he having designed the structure, superintended
its erection, and assumed the expense thereof. It is recorded that this
worthy churchman gained many adherents for the faith, so it may be
assumed that he builded as well as he knew.

St. Jean de Lyon dates from 1180, and presents many architectural
anomalies in its constructive elements, though the all-pervading Gothic
is in the ascendant. From this height downward, through various
interpolations, are seen suggestions of many varieties and styles of
church-building. There is, too, an intimation of a motif essentially
pagan if one attempts to explain the vagaries of some of the
ornamentation of the unusual septagonal Lombard choir. This is further
inferred when it is known that a former temple to Augustus stood on the
same site. If this be so, the reasoning is complete, and the classical
ornament here is of a very early date.

The fabric of the cathedral is, in the main, of a warm-coloured
freestone, not unlike dark marble, but without its brilliancy and
surface. It comes from the heights of Fourvière,--on whose haunches the
cathedral sits,--and by virtue of the act of foundation it may be
quarried at any time, free of all cost, for use by the Church.

The situation of this cathedral is most attractive; indeed its greatest
charm may be said to be its situation, so very picturesquely disposed is
it, with the Quai de l'Archevêché between it and the river Saône.

The choir itself--after allowing for the interpolation of the early
non-Christian fragments--is the most consistently pleasing portion. It
presents in general a fairly pure, early Gothic design. Curiously
enough, this choir sits below the level of the nave and presents, in the
interior view, an unusual effect of amplitude.

With the nave of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the style
becomes more mixed--localized, one may say--if only consistent details
might be traced. At any rate, the style grows perceptibly heavier and
more involved, without the simplicity of pre-Gothic work. Finally, as
one comes to the heavily capped towers, there is little of grace and
beauty left.

In detail, at least, if not in general, St. Jean runs quite the whole
scale of mediæval architectural style--from the pure Romanesque to the
definite, if rather mixed, Gothic.

Of the later elements, the most remarkable is the fifteenth-century
Bourbon chapel, built by Cardinal Charles and his brother Pierre. This
chapel presents the usual richness and luxuriance of its time. If all
things are considered, it is the chief feature of interest within the
walls.

The west front has triple portals, reminiscent, as to dimensions, of
Amiens, though by no means so grandly peopled with statues; the heavy,
stunted towers, too, are not unlike those of Amiens. These twin towers
are of a decidedly heavy order, and are not beautiful, either as
distinct features or as a component of the ensemble. Quite in keeping
also are the chief decorations of the façade, which are principally a
series of superimposed medallions, depicting, variously, the signs of
the zodiac, scenes from the life of St. Jean, and yet others suggesting
scenes and incidents from Genesis, with an admixture of heraldic
symbolism which is here quite meaningless and singularly inappropriate,
while still other entablatures present scenes illustrating the "Legend
of St. Nicholas" and "The Law of Aristotle."

The general effect of the exterior, the façade in particular, is very
dark, and except in a bright sunlight--which is usual--is indeed gloomy.
In all probability, this is due to the discolouring of the soft stone of
which the cathedral is built, as the same effect is scarcely to be
remarked in the interior.

In a tower on the south side--much lower, and not so clumsily built up
as the twin towers--hangs one of the greatest _bourdons_ in France. It
was cast in 1662, and weighs ten thousand kilos.

Another curiosity of a like nature is to be seen in the interior, an
astronomical clock--known to Mr. Tristram as "that great clock of
Lippius of Basle." Possessed of a crowing cock and the usual toy-book
attributes, this great clock is a source of perennial pride to the
native and the makers of guide-books. Sterne, too, it would appear,
waxed unduly enthusiastic over this really ingenious thing of wheels and
cogs. He said: "I never understood the least of mechanism. I declare I
was never able yet to comprehend the principles of a squirrel-cage or a
knife-grinder's wheel, yet I will go see this wonderful clock the first
thing I do." When he did see it, he quaintly observed that "it was all
out of joint."

The rather crude coloured glass--though it is precious glass, for it
dates from the thirteenth century, in part--sets off bountifully an
interior which would otherwise appear somewhat austere.

In the nave is a marble pulpit which has been carved with more than
usual skill. It ranks with that in St. Maurice, at Vienne, as one of the
most beautiful in France.

The cathedral possesses two _reliques_ of real importance in the crosses
which are placed to the left and right of the high-altar. These are
conserved by a unique custom, in memory of an attempt made by a _concile
génêral_ of the church, held in Lyon in 1274, to reconcile the Latin and
Greek forms of religion.

The sacristy, in which the bountiful, though not historic, _trésor_ is
kept, is in the south transept.

Among the archives of the cathedral there are, says a local antiquary,
documents of a testamentary nature, which provided the means for the
up-keep of the fabric without expense to the church, until well into the
eighteenth century.

On the apex of the height which rises above the cathedral is the
Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière--"one of those places of
pilgrimage, the most venerated in all the world," says a confident
French writer. This may be so; it overlooks ground which has long been
hallowed by the Church, to a far greater degree than many other parts,
but, like so many places of pilgrimage of a modern day, its nondescript
religious edifice is enough to make the church-lover willingly pass it
by. The site is that of the ancient _Forum Vetus_ of the Romans, and as
such is more appealing to most than as a place of pilgrimage.



V

ST. MAURICE DE VIENNE

     "At the feet of seven mountains; on the banks of a large river; an
     antique city and a _cité neuve_."

     --FRANÇOIS PONSARD.


Though widowed to-day of its bishop's throne, Vienne enjoys with Lyon
the distinction of having its name attached to an episcopal see. The
ancient archbishopric ruled over what was known as the Province of
Vienne, which, if not more ancient than that of Lyon, dates from the
same century--the second of our Christian era--and probably from a few
years anterior, as it is known that St. Crescent, the first prelate of
the diocese, was firmly established here as early as 118 A. D. In any
event, it was one of the earliest centres of Christianity north of the
Alps.

To-day, being merged with the diocese of Lyon, Vienne is seldom credited
as being a cathedral city. Locally the claim is very strongly made, but
the Mediterranean tourist never finds this out, unless, perchance, he
"drops off" from the railway in order to make acquaintance with that
remarkable Roman temple to Augustus, of which he may have heard.

Then he will learn from the _habitants_ that by far their greatest
respect and pride are for their _ancienne Cathédrale de St. Maurice_,
which sits boldly upon a terrace dominating the course of the river
Rhône.

In many respects St. Maurice de Vienne will strike the student and lover
of architecture as being one of the most lively and appealing edifices
of its kind. The Lombard origin of many of its features is without
question; notably the delightful gallery on the north side, with its
supporting columns of many grotesque shapes.

Again the parapet and terrace which precede this church, the
ground-plan, and some of the elevations are pure Lombard in motive.

There are no transepts and no ancient chapels at the eastern
termination; the windows running down to the pavement. This, however,
does not make for an appearance at all _outré_--quite the reverse is the
case. The general effect of the entire internal distribution of parts,
with its fine approach from the nave to the sanctuary and choir, is
exceedingly notable.

Of the remains of the edifice, which was erected on the foundations of a
still earlier church, in 1052 (reconstructed in 1515), we have those of
the primitive, but rich, ornamentation of the façade as the most
interesting and appealing.

The north doorway, too, indicates in its curious _bas-reliefs_, of the
twelfth or thirteenth centuries, a luxuriance which in the north--in the
Romanesque churches at least--came only with later centuries.

There are few accessories of note to be seen in the choir or chapels: a
painting of St. Maurice by Desgoffés, a small quantity of
fourteenth-century glass, the mausoleum of Cardinal de Montmorin, a
sixteenth-century tomb, and, in one of the chapels, some modern glass of
more than usual brilliance.

The pulpit is notable, and, with that in St. Jean de Lyon, ranks as one
of the most elaborate in France.

For the rest, one's admiration for St. Maurice de Vienne must rest on
the glorious antiquity of the city, as a centre of civilizing and
Christianizing influence.

When Pope Paschal II. (1099-1118) confirmed the metropolitan privileges
of Vienne, and sent the _pallium_ to its archbishop, he assigned to him
as suffragans the bishops of Grenoble, Valence, Dié, Viviers, Geneva,
and St. Jean de Maurienne, and conferred upon him the honorary office of
primate over Monstiers in Tarentaise. Still later, Calixtus II.
(1119-24) favoured the archbishopric still further by not only
confirming the privileges which had gone before, but investing the
archbishop with the still higher dignity of the office of primate over
the seven ecclesiastical Provinces of Vienne, Bourges, Bordeaux, Auch,
Narbonne, Aix, and Embrun.

[Illustration]



VI

ST. APOLLINAIRE DE VALENCE


Valence, the Valentia of the Romans, is variously supposed to be
situated in southeastern France, Provence, and the Cevennes. For this
reason it will be difficult for the traveller to locate his guide-book
reference thereto.

It is, however, located in the Rhône valley on the very banks of that
turgid river, and it seems inexplicable that the makers of the
red-covered couriers do not place it more definitely; particularly in
that it is historically so important a centre.

The most that can usually be garnered by the curious is that it is "well
built in parts, and that those parts only are of interest to the
traveller." As a matter of fact, they are nothing of the sort; and the
boulevards, of which so much is made, are really very insignificant; so,
too, are the cafés and restaurants, to which far more space is usually
given than to the claim of Valence as an early centre of Christianity.

Valence is not a great centre of population, and is appealing by reason
of its charming situation, in a sort of amphitheatre, before which runs
the swift-flowing Rhône. There is no great squalor, but there is a
picturesqueness and charm which is wholly dispelled in the newer
quarters, of which the guide-books speak.

There is, moreover, in the cathedral of St. Apollinaire, a small but
highly interesting "Romanesque-Auvergnian" cathedral; rebuilt and
reconsecrated by Urban II., in the eleventh century, and again
reconstructed, on an entirely new plan, in 1604. Besides this curious
church there is a "Protestant temple," which occupies the former chapel
of the ancient Abbey of St. Rufus, that should have a singularly
appealing interest for English-speaking folk.

The préfecture occupies another portion of the abbey, which in its
various disintegrated parts is worthy of more than passing
consideration.

The bishopric was founded here at Valence in the fourth century--when
Emelien became the first bishop. The see endures to-day as a suffragan
of Avignon; whereas formerly it owed obedience to Vienne (now Lyon et
Vienne).

The ancient cathedral of St. Apollinaire is almost wholly conceived and
executed in what has come to be known as the Lombard style.

The main body of the church is preceded on the west by an extravagant
rectangular tower, beneath which is the portal or entrance; if, as in
the present instance, the comprehensive meaning of the word suggests
something more splendid than a mere doorway.

There has been remarked before now that there is a suggestion of the
Corinthian order in the columns of both the inside and outside of the
church. This is a true enough detail of Lombard forms as it was of the
Roman style, which in turn was borrowed from the Greeks. In later times
the neo-classical details of the late Renaissance period produced quite
a different effect, and were in no way comparable to the use of this
detail in the Lombard and Romanesque churches.

In St. Apollinaire, too, are to be remarked the unusual arch formed of a
rounded trefoil. This is found in both the towers, and is also seen in
St. Maurice at Vienne, but not again until the country far to the
northward and eastward is reached, where they are more frequent,
therefore their use here may be considered simply as an interpolation
brought from some other soil, rather than an original conception of the
local builder.

Here also is seen the unusual combination of an angular pointed arch in
conjunction with the round-headed Lombard variety. This, in alternation
for a considerable space, on the south side of the cathedral. It is a
feature perhaps not worth mentioning, except from the fact that both the
trefoil and wedge-pointed arch are singularly unbeautiful and little in
keeping with an otherwise purely southern structure.

The aisles of St. Apollinaire, like those of Notre Dame de la Grande at
Poitiers, and many other Lombardic churches, are singularly narrow,
which of course appears to lengthen them out interminably.

If any distinctive style can be given this small but interesting
cathedral, it may well be called the style of Lyonnaise.

It dates from the twelfth century as to its foundations, but was rebuilt
on practically a new ground-plan in 1604.

To-day it is cruciform after the late elongated style, with lengthy
transepts and lofty aisles.

The chief feature to be observed of its exterior is its heavy square
tower (187 feet) of four stories. It is not beautiful, and was rebuilt
in the middle nineteenth century, but it is imposing and groups
satisfactorily enough with the _ensemble_ round about. Beneath this
tower is a fine porch worked in Crussol marble.

There is no triforium or clerestory. In the choir is a cenotaph in white
marble to Pius VI., who was exiled in Valence, and who died here in
1799. It is surmounted by a bust by Canova, whose work it has become the
fashion to admire sedulously.



VII

CATHÉDRALE DE VIVIERS


The bishopric of Viviers is a suffragan of Avignon, and is possessed of
a tiny cathedral church, which, in spite of its diminutive proportions,
overtops quite all the other buildings of this ancient capital of the
Vivarais.

The city is a most picturesque setting for any shrine, with the narrow,
tortuous streets--though slummy ones--winding to the cliff-top on which
the city sits high above the waters of the Rhône.

The choir of this cathedral is the only portion which warrants remark.
It is of the fourteenth century, and has no aisles. It is in the
accepted Gothic style, but this again is coerced by the Romanesque
flanking tower, which, to all intents and purposes, when viewed from
afar, might well be taken for a later Renaissance work.

A nearer view dissects this tower into really beautiful parts. The base
is square, but above--in an addition of the fifteenth century--it blooms
forth into an octagon of quite original proportions.

In the choir are some Gobelin tapestries and paintings by Mignard;
otherwise there are no artistic attributes to be remarked.



VIII

NOTRE DAME D'ORANGE


The independent principality of Orange (which had existed since the
eleventh century), with the papal State of Avignon, the tiny Comté
Venaissin, and a small part of Provence were welded into the Department
of Vaucluse in the redistribution of political divisions under Napoleon
I. The house of Nassau retains to-day the honorary title of Princes of
Orange, borne by the heir apparent to the throne of Holland. More
anciently the city was known as the Roman _Arausio_, and is yet famous
for its remarkable Roman remains, the chief of which are its triumphal
arch and theatre--one of the largest and most magnificent, if not
actually the largest, of its era.

The history of the church at Orange is far more interesting and notable
than that of its rather lame apology for a cathedral of rank. The see
succumbed in 1790 in favour of Avignon, an archbishopric, and Valence,
one of its suffragans.

The persecution and oppression of the Protestants of Orange and Dauphiné
are well-recorded facts of history.

A supposedly liberal and tolerant maker of guide-books (in English) has
given inhabitants of Orange a hard reputation by classing them as a
"ferocious people." This rather unfair method of estimating their
latter-day characteristics is based upon the fact that over three
hundred perished here by the guillotine during the first three months of
the Revolution. It were better had he told us something of the
architectural treasures of this _ville de l'art célèbre_. He does
mention the chief, also that "the town has many mosquitoes," but, as for
churches, he says not a word.

The first bishop was St. Luce, who was settled here in the fourth
century, at the same time that St. Ruff came to Avignon.

As a bishopric, Orange was under the control of St. Trophime's
successors at Arles.

Notre Dame d'Orange is a work of little architectural pretence, though
its antiquity is great as to certain portions of its walls. The oldest
portion dates from 1085, though there is little to distinguish it from
the more modern additions and reparations, and is in no way suggestive
of the splendour with which the ancient Roman theatre and arch were
endowed.

The chief attribute to be remarked is the extreme width of nave, which
dates from 1085 to 1126. The cathedral itself, however, is not an
architectural example of any appealing interest whatever, and pales
utterly before the magnificent and splendid preservations of secular
Roman times.

Since, however, Orange is a city reminiscent of so early a period of
Christianity as the fourth century, it is to be presumed that other
Christian edifices of note may have at one time existed: if so, no very
vivid history of them appears to have been left behind, and certainly no
such tangible expressions of the art of church-building as are seen in
the neighbouring cities of the Rhône valley.

[Illustration]



IX

ST. VÉRAN DE CAVAILLON


"It is the plain of Cavaillon which is the market-garden of Avignon;
from whence come the panniers of vegetables and fruits, the _buissons
d'artichauts_, and the melons of 'high reputation.'"

Such is the rather free paraphrase of a most charmingly expressed
observation on this Provençal land of plenty, written by an
eighteenth-century Frenchman.

If it was true in those days, it is no less true to-day, and, though
this book is more concerned with churches than with _potagerie_, the
observation is made that this fact may have had not a little to do with
the early foundation of the church, here in a plenteous region, where it
was more likely to prosper than in an impoverished land.

The bishopric was founded in the fifth century by St. Genialis, and it
endured constantly until the suppression in 1790.

All interest in Cavaillon, in spite of its other not inconsiderable
claims, will be centred around its ancient cathedral of St. Véran,
immediately one comes into contact therewith.

The present structure is built upon a very ancient foundation; some have
said that the primitive church was of the seventh century. This present
cathedral was consecrated by Pope Innocent IV. in person, in 1259, and
for that reason possesses a considerable interest which it would
otherwise lack.

Externally the most remarkable feature is the arrangement and decoration
of the apside--there is hardly enough of it to come within the
classification of the chevet. Here the quintuple flanks, or sustaining
walls, are framed each with a pair of columns, of graceful enough
proportions in themselves, but possessed of inordinately heavy capitals.

An octagonal cupola, an unusual, and in this case a not very beautiful
feature, crowns the centre of the nave. In reality it serves the purpose
of a lantern, and allows a dubious light to trickle through into the
interior, which is singularly gloomy.

To the right of the nave is a curiously attenuated _clocher_, which
bears a clock-face of minute proportions, and holds a clanging
_bourdon_, which, judging from its voice, must be as proportionately
large as the clock-face is small.

Beneath this tower is a doorway leading from the nave to the cloister, a
beautiful work dating from a much earlier period than the church itself.

This cloister is not unlike that of St. Trophime at Arles, and, while
plain and simple in its general plan of rounded arches and vaulting, is
beautifully worked in stone, and admirably preserved. In spite of its
severity, there is no suggestion of crudity, and there is an elegance
and richness in its sculptured columns and capitals which is unusual in
ecclesiastical work of the time.

The interior of this church is quite as interesting as the exterior.
There is an ample, though aisleless, nave, which, though singularly dark
and gloomy, suggests a vastness which is perhaps really not justified
by the actual state of affairs.

A very curious arrangement is that the supporting wall-pillars--in this
case a sort of buttress, like those of the apside--serve to frame or
enclose a series of deep-vaulted side chapels. The effect of this is
that all of the flow of light, which might enter by the lower range of
windows, is practically cut off from the nave. What refulgence there
is--and it is not by any means of the dazzling variety--comes in through
the before-mentioned octagon and the upper windows of the nave.

In a chapel--the gift of Philippe de Cabassole, a friend of
Petrarch's--is a funeral monument which will even more forcibly recall
the name and association of the poet. It is a seventeenth-century tomb
of Bishop Jean de Sade, a descendant of the famous Laura, whose ashes
formerly lay in the Église des Cordeliers at Avignon, but which were, it
is to be feared, scattered to the winds by the Revolutionary fury.

At the summit of Mont St. Jacques, which rises high above the town, is
the ancient _Ermitage de St. Véran_; a place of local pilgrimage, but
not otherwise greatly celebrated.



X

NOTRE DAME DES DOMS D'AVIGNON


It would be difficult to say with precision whether Avignon were more
closely connected in the average mind with the former papal splendour,
with Petrarch and his Laura, or with the famous Félibrage.

Avignon literally reeks with sentimental associations of a most healthy
kind. No probable line of thought suggested by Avignon's historied and
romantic past will intimate even the mawkish, the sordid, or the banal.
It is, in almost limitless suggestion, the city of France above all
others in which to linger and drink in the life of its past and present
to one's fullest capacities.

For the "literary pilgrim," first and foremost will be Avignon's
association with Petrarch, or rather he with it. For this reason it
shall be disposed of immediately, though not in one word, or ten; that
would be impossible.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon_]

"'The grave of Laura!' said I. 'Indeed, my dear sir, I am obliged to you
for having mentioned it,'" were the words with which the local
bookseller was addressed by an eighteenth-century traveller. "'Otherwise
one might have gone away, to their everlasting sorrow and shame, without
having seen this curiosity of your city.'"

The same record of travel describes the guardian of this shrine as "a
converted Jew, who, from one year's end to another, has but two duties
to perform, which he most punctually attends to. The one to take care of
the grave of Laura, and to show it to strangers, the other to give them
information respecting all the curiosities. Before his conversion, he
stood at the corner by the Hôtel de Ville offering lottery tickets to
passers-by, and asking, till he was hoarse, if they had anything to
sell. Not a soul took the least notice of him. His beard proved a
detriment in all his speculations. Now that he has become a Christian,
it is wonderful how everything thrives with him."

At the very end of the Rue des Lices will be found the last remains of
the Église des Cordeliers--reduced at the Revolution to a mere tower and
its walls. Here may be seen the spot where was the tomb of Laura de
Sade. Arthur Young, writing just before the Revolution, described it as
below; though since that time still other changes have taken place, with
the result that "Laura's Grave" is little more than a memory to-day, and
a vague one at that.

"The grave is nothing but a stone in the pavement, with a figure
engraved on it already partly effaced, surrounded by an inscription in
Gothic letters, and another on the wall adjoining, with the armorial
bearings of the De Sade family."

To-day nothing but the site--the location--of the tomb is still there,
the before-mentioned details having entirely disappeared. The vault was
apparently broken open at the Revolution, and its ashes scattered. It
was here at Avignon, in the Église de St. Claire, as Petrarch himself
has recorded, that he first met Laura de Sade.

The present mood is an appropriate one in which to continue the
Petrarchian pilgrimage countryward--to the famous Vaucluse. Here
Petrarch came as a boy, in 1313, and, if one chooses, he may have his
_déjeuner_ at the _Hôtel Pétrarque et Laure_; not the same, of course,
of which Petrarch wrote in praise of its fish of Sorgues; but you will
have them as a course at lunch nevertheless. Here, too, the famed
_Fontaine_ first comes to light and air; and above it hangs "Petrarch's
Castle," which is not Petrarch's castle, nor ever was. It belonged
originally to the bishops of Cavaillon, but it is possible that Petrarch
was a guest there at various times, as we know he was at the more
magnificent _Palais des Papes_ at Avignon.

This château of the bishops hangs perilously on a brow which rises high
above the torrential _Fontaine_, and, if sentiment will not allow of its
being otherwise ignored, it is permissible to visit it, if one is so
inclined. No special hardship is involved, and no great adventure is
likely to result from this journey countryward. Tourists have been known
to do the thing before "just to get a few snapshots of the fountain."

As to why the palace of the popes came into being at Avignon is a
question which suggests the possibilities of the making of a big book.

The popes came to Avignon at the time of the Italian partition, on the
strength of having acquired a grant of the city from Joanna of Naples,
for which they were supposed to give eighty thousand golden crowns.
They never paid the bill, however; from which fact it would appear that
financial juggling was born at a much earlier period than has hitherto
been supposed.

Seven popes reigned here, from 1305 to 1370; when, on the termination of
the Schism, it became the residence of a papal legate. Subsequently
Louis XIV. seized the city, in revenge for an alleged affront to his
ambassador, and Louis XV. also held it for ten years.

The curious fact is here recalled that, by the treaty of Tolentino (12th
February, 1797), the papal power at Rome conceded formally for the first
time--to Napoleon I.--their ancient territory of Avignon. On the terms
of this treaty alone was Pope Pius allowed to remain nominal master of
even shreds of the patrimony of St. Peter.

The significant events of Avignon's history are too great in purport and
number to be even catalogued here, but the magnificent papal residence,
from its very magnitude and luxuriance, compels attention as one of the
great architectural glories, not only of France, but of all Europe as
well.

Here sat, for the major portion of the fourteenth century, the papal
court of Avignon; which the uncharitable have called a synonym for
profligacy, veniality, and luxurious degeneracy. Here, of course, were
held the conclaves by which the popes of that century were elected;
significantly they were all Frenchmen, which would seem to point to the
fact of corruption of some sort, if nothing more.

Rienzi, the last of the tribunes, was a prisoner within the walls of
this great papal stronghold, and Simone Memmi of Sienna was brought
therefrom to decorate the walls of the popes' private chapel; Petrarch
was _persona grata_ here, and many other notables were frequenters of
its hospitality.

The palace walls rise to a height of nearly ninety feet, and its
battlemented towers add another fifty; from which one may infer that its
stability was great; an effect which is still further sustained when the
great thickness of its sustaining walls is remarked, and the infrequent
piercings of windows and doorways.

This vast edifice was commenced by Pope Clement V. in the early years of
the thirteenth century, but nothing more than the foundations of his
work were left, when Benedict XII., thirty years later, gave the work
into the hands of Peter Obreri--who must have been the Viollet-le-Duc
of his time.

Revolution's destroying power played its part here, as generally
throughout France, in defacing shrines, monuments, and edifices, civil
and ecclesiastical, with little regard for sentiment and absolutely none
for reason.

The mob attacked the papal palace with results more disastrous than the
accumulated debasement of preceding centuries. The later régime, which
turned the magnificent halls of this fortress-like palace into a mere
barracks--as it is to-day--was quite as iconoclastic in its temperament.

One may realize here, to the full, just how far a great and noble
achievement of the art and devotion of a past age may sink. The ancient
papal palace at Avignon--the former seat of the power of the Roman
Catholic religion--has become a mere barracks! To contemplate it is more
sad even than to see a great church turned into a stable or an
abattoir--as can yet be seen in France.

In its plan this magnificent building preserves its outlines, but its
splendour of embellishment has very nearly been eradicated, as may be
observed if one will crave entrance of the military incumbent.

[Illustration: VILLENEUVE-. _les-AVIGNON_]

In 1376 Pope Gregory XI. left Avignon for Rome,--after him came the two
anti-popes,--and thus ended what Petrarch has called "_L'Empia
Babilonia_."

The cathedral of Notre Dame des Doms pales perceptibly before the
splendid dimensions of the papal palace, which formerly encompassed a
church of its own of much more artistic worth.

In one respect only does the cathedral lend a desirable note to the
_ensemble_. This, by reason of its commanding situation--at the apex of
the Rocher des Doms--and by the gilded statue of the Virgin which
surmounts the tower, and supplies just the right quality of colour and
life to a structure which would be otherwise far from brilliant.

From the opposite bank of the Rhône--from Villeneuve-les-Avignon--the
view of the parent city, the papal residence, the cathedral, and that
unusual southern attribute, the _beffroi_, all combine in a most
glorious picture of a superb beauty; quite rivalling--though in a far
different manner--that "plague spot of immorality,"--Monte Carlo, which
is mostly thought to hold the palm for the sheer beauty of natural
situation.

The cathedral is chiefly of the twelfth century, though even a near-by
exterior view does not suggest any of the Gothic tendencies of that era.
It is more like the heavy bungling style which came in with the
Renaissance; but it is not that either, hence it must be classed as a
unique variety, though of the period when the transition from the
Romanesque to Gothic was making inroads elsewhere.

It has been said that the structure dates in part from the time of
Charlemagne, but, if so, the usual splendid appointments of the true
Charlemagnian manner are sadly lacking. There may be constructive
foundations of the eleventh century, but they are in no way distinctive,
and certainly lend no liveliness to a building which must ever be ranked
as unworthy of the splendid environment.

As a church of cathedral rank, it is a tiny edifice when compared with
the glorious northern ground-plans: it is not much more than two hundred
feet in length, and has a width which must be considerably less than
fifty feet.

The entrance, at the top of a long, winding stair which rises from the
street-level of the Place du Palais to the platform of the rock, is
essentially pagan in its aspect; indeed it is said to have previously
formed the portal of a pagan temple which at one time stood upon the
site. If this be so, this great doorway--for it is far larger in its
proportions than any other detail--is the most ancient of all the
interior or exterior features.

The high pediment and roof may be pointed Gothic, or it may not; at any
rate, it is in but the very rudimentary stage. Authorities do not agree;
which carries the suggestion still further that the cathedral at Avignon
is of itself a queer, hybrid thing in its style, and with not a tithe of
the interest possessed by its more magnificent neighbour.

The western tower, while not of great proportions, is rather more
massive than the proportions of the church body can well carry. What
decoration it possesses carries the pagan suggestion still further, with
its superimposed fluted pillars and Corinthian columns.

The gloomy interior is depressing in the extreme, and whatever
attributes of interest that it has are largely discounted by their
unattractive setting.

There are a number of old paintings, which, though they are not the work
of artists of fame, might possibly prove to be of creditable
workmanship, could one but see them through the gloom. In the
before-mentioned porch are some frescoes by Simone Memmi, executed by
him in the fourteenth century, when he came from Sienna to do the
decorations in the palace.

The side chapels are all of the fourteenth century; that of St. Joseph,
now forming the antechamber of the sacristy, contains a noteworthy
Gothic tomb and monument of Pope John XXII. It is much mutilated to-day,
and is only interesting because of the personality connected therewith.
The custodian or caretaker is in this case a most persistently voluble
person, who will give the visitor little peace unless he stands by and
hears her story through, or flees the place,--which is preferable.

The niches of this highly florid Gothic tomb were despoiled of their
statues at the Revolution, and the recumbent effigy of the Pope has been
greatly disfigured. A much simpler monument, and one quite as
interesting, to another Pope, Benedict XII.,--he who was responsible for
the magnificence of the papal palace,--is in a chapel in the north aisle
of the nave, but the _cicerone_ has apparently no pride in this
particular shrine.

An ancient (pagan?) altar is preserved in the nave. It is not
beautiful, but it is undoubtedly very ancient and likewise very curious.

The chief accessory of interest for all will doubtless prove to be the
twelfth-century papal throne. It is of a pure white marble, rather cold
to contemplate, but livened here and there with superimposed gold
ornament. What decoration there is, chiefly figures representing the
bull of St. Luke and the lion of St. Mark, is simple and severe, as
befitted papal dignity. To-day it serves the archbishop of the diocese
as his throne of dignity, and must inspire that worthy with ambitious
hopes.

The chapter of the cathedral at Avignon--as we learn from history--wears
purple, in company with cardinals and kings, at all celebrations of the
High Mass of Clara de Falkenstein. From a well-worn vellum quarto in the
library at Avignon one may read the legend which recounts the connection
of Ste. Clara de Mont Falcone with the mystery of the Holy Trinity; from
which circumstance the honour and dignity of the purple has been granted
to the prelates of the cathedral.

No mention of Avignon, or of Arles, or of Nîmes could well be made
without a reference to the revival of Provençal literature brought about
by the famous "Félibrage," that brotherhood founded by seven poets, of
whom Frederic Mistral is the most popularly known.

The subject is too vast, and too vastly interesting to be slighted here,
so perforce mere mention must suffice.

The word Félibre was suggested by Mistral, who found it in an old hymn.
Its etymology is uncertain, but possibly it is from the Greek, meaning
"a lover of the beautiful."

The original number of the Félibres was seven, and they first met on the
fête-day of Ste. Estelle; in whose honour they adopted the seven-pointed
star as their emblem. Significantly, the number seven has much to do
with the Félibres and Avignon alike. The enthusiastic Félibre tells of
Avignon's seven churches, its seven gates, seven colleges, seven
hospitals, and seven popes--who reigned at Avignon for seven decades;
and further that the word Félibre has seven letters, as, also, has the
name of Mistral, one of its seven founders--who took seven years in
writing his epics.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _des DOMS d'AVIGNON_]

The machicolated walls, towers, and gateways of Avignon, which
protected the city in mediæval times, and--history tells us--sheltered
twice as many souls as now, are in a remarkable state of preservation
and completeness, and rank foremost among the masterworks of
fortification of their time. This outer wall, or _enceinte_, was built
at the instigation of Clement VI., in 1349, and was the work of but
fourteen years.

A hideously decorated building opposite the papal palace--now the
_Conservatoire de Musique_--was formerly the papal mint.

The ruined bridge of St. Bénezet, built in the twelfth century, is a
remarkable example of the engineering skill of the time. Surmounting the
four remaining arches--still perfect as to their configuration--is a
tiny chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas, which formerly contained
_reliques_ of St. Bénezet.

The extraordinary circumstance which led up to the building of this
bridge seems legendary, to say the least.

It is recorded that St. Bénezet, its founder, who was a mere shepherd,
became inspired by God to undertake this great work. The inspiration
must likewise have brought with it not a little of the uncommon skill of
the bridge-builder, and, considering the extent and scope of the
projected work, something of the spirit of benefaction as well.

The foundation was laid in 1171, and it was completed, after seventeen
years of labour, in 1188.

On this bridge, near the entrance to the city, was erected a hospital of
religious persons, who were denominated _Les Frères du Pont_, their
offices being to preserve the fabric, and to afford succour to all
manner of travellers.

The boldness and utility of this undertaking,--it being the only means
of communication between Avignon and the French territory beyond the
Rhône,--as well as the permanency assured to it by the annexing of a
religious foundation, cannot fail to grant to the memory of its holy
founder something more than a due share of veneration on behalf of his
genius and perspicacity.



XI

ST. SIFFREIN DE CARPENTRAS


The tiny city of Carpentras, most picturesquely situated on the equally
diminutive river Auzon which enters the Rhône between Orange and
Avignon, was a Roman colony under Augustus, and a bishopric under St.
Valentin in the third century.

A suffragan of Avignon, the papal city, the see was suppressed in 1790.

The Bishops of Carpentras, it would appear, were a romantic and
luxury-loving line of prelates, though this perhaps is aught against
their more devout virtues.

They had a magnificent palace overhanging the famous "Fountain of
Vaucluse," and repaired thither in mediæval times for the relaxation
which they evidently much appreciated. They must have been veritable
patrons of literature and the arts, as Petrarch and his fellows-in-art
were frequently of their household.

The ancient cathedral of St. Siffrein is dedicated to a former bishop of
Carpentras, who died in the sixth century.

As this church now stands, its stones are mainly of the early sixteenth
century. The west façade is entirely without character, and is pierced
at the pavement with a gross central doorway flanked by two others; poor
copies of the _Greco-Romain_ style, which, in many of its original
forms, was certainly more pleasing than here. Each of these smaller
doorways have for their jambs two beautifully toned columns of red
jasper, from a baptistère of which there are still extensive remains at
Venasque near by.

This baptistère, by the way, and its neighbouring Romanesque and Gothic
church, is quite worth the energy of making the journey countryward,
eleven kilometres from Carpentras, to see.

It is nominally of the tenth century, but is built up from fragments of
a former Temple to Venus, and its situation amid the rocks and tree-clad
hilltops of the Nesque valley is most agreeable.

The portal on the south side--though, for a fact, it hardly merits the
dignity of such a classification--is most ornately sculptured. A figure
of the Virgin, in the doorway, it locally known as Notre Dame des
Neiges.

Much iconographic symbolism is to be found in this doorway, capable of
various plausible explanations which shall not be attempted here.

It must suffice to say that nowhere in this neighbourhood, indeed
possibly not south of the Loire, is so varied and elaborate a collection
of symbolical stone-carving to be seen.

There is no regularly completed tower to St. Siffrein, but a still
unachieved tenth-century _clocher_ in embryo attaches itself on the
south.

The interior presents the general effect of Gothic, and, though of late
construction, is rather of the primitive order.

There are no aisles, but one single nave, very wide and very high, while
the apse is very narrow, with lateral chapels.

Against the western wall are placed four paintings; not worthy of
remark, perhaps, except for their great size. They are of the
seventeenth or eighteenth century. A private corridor, or gallery, leads
from this end of the church to the episcopal palace, presumably for the
sole use of the bishops and their guests. The third chapel on the right
is profusely decorated and contains a valuable painting by Dominique de
Carton. Another contains a statue of the Virgin, of the time of Louis
XIV., and is very beautiful.

A tomb of Bishop Laurent Buti (d. 1710) is set against the wall, where
the apse adjoins the nave.

Rearward on the high-altar is a fine painting by an unknown artist of
the Italian school.

The old-time cathedral of St. Siffrein was plainly not of the
poverty-stricken class, as evinced by the various accessories and
details of ornamentation mentioned above. It had, moreover, in
conjunction with it, a most magnificent and truly palatial episcopal
residence, built by a former cardinal-bishop, Alexandri Bichi, in 1640.
To-day it serves the functions of the _Palais de Justice_ and a prison;
in the latter instance certainly a fall from its hitherto high estate.
Built about by this ancient residence of the prelates of the Church is
also yet to be seen, in much if not quite all of its pristine glory, a
_Gallo-Romain arc de Triomphe_ of considerable proportions and much
beauty of outline and ornament.

As to period, Prosper Mérimée, to whom the preservation of the ancient
monuments of France is largely due, has said that it is contemporary
with its compeer at Orange (first or second century).

The Porte d'Orange, in the Grande Rue, is the only _relique_ left at
Carpentras of the ancient city ramparts built in the fourteenth century
by Pope Innocent VI.



XII

CATHÉDRALE DE VAISON


The Provençal town of Vaison, like Carpentras and Cavaillon, is really
of the basin of the Rhône, rather than of the region of the snow-crowned
Alps which form its background. It is of little interest to-day as a
cathedral city, though the see dates from a foundation of the fourth
century, by St. Aubin, until the suppression of 1790.

Its former cathedral is hardly the equal of many others which have
supported episcopal dignity, but it has a few accessories and attributes
which make it notable.

Its nave is finely vaulted, and there is an eleventh-century cloister,
which flanks the main body of the church on the left, which would be
remarked under any circumstances.

The cloister, though practically a ruin,--but a well preserved
one,--shows in its construction many beautiful Gallo-Romain and early
Gothic columns which are exceedingly beautiful in their proportions. In
this cloister, also, are some fragments of early Christian tombs, which
will offer unlimited suggestion to the archæologist, but which to the
lover of art and architecture are quite unappealing.

The _Église St. Quinin_ is a conglomerate edifice which has been built
up, in part, from a former church which stood on the same site in the
seventh century. It is by no means a great architectural achievement as
it stands to-day, but is highly interesting because of its antiquity. In
the cathedral the chief article of real artistic value is a _bénitier_,
made from the capital of a luxurious Corinthian column. One has seen
sun-dials and drinking-fountains made from pedestals and sarcophagi
before--and the effect has not been pleasing, and smacks not only of
vandalism, but of a debased ideal of art, but this column-top, which has
been transformed into a _bénitier_, cannot be despised.

The _bête-noir_ of all this region, and of Vaison in particular,--if one
is to believe local sentiment,--is the high sweeping wind, which at
certain seasons blows in a tempestuous manner. The habitant used to say
that "_le mistral, le Parlement, et Durance sont les trois fléaux de
Provence_."

[Illustration]



XIII

ST. TROPHIME D'ARLES

     "In all the world that which interests me most is _La Fleur des
     'Glais'_ ... It is a fine plant.... It is the same as the _Fleurs
     des Lis d'Or_ of the arms of France and of Provence."

    --FREDERIC MISTRAL.


[Illustration: ST. TROPHIME _d'ARLES_ ...]

Two French writers of repute have recently expressed their admiration of
the marvellous country, and the contiguous cities, lying about the mouth
of the Rhône; among which are Nîmes, Aigues-Mortes, and--of far greater
interest and charm--Arles. Their opinions, perhaps, do not differ very
greatly from those of most travellers, but both Madame Duclaux, in
"The Fields of France," and René Bazin, in his _Récits de la Plaine et
de la Montagne_, give no palm, one to the other, with respect to their
feeling for "the mysterious charm of Arles."

It is significant that in this region, from Vienne on the north to Arles
and Nîmes in the south, are found such a remarkable series of Roman
remains as to warrant the statement by a French antiquarian that "in
Rome itself are no such temples as at Vienne and Nîmes, no theatres so
splendidly preserved as that at Orange,--nor so large as that of
Arles,--and that the magnificent ruined colosseum on the Tiber in no
wise has the perfections of its compeer at Nîmes, nor has any triumphal
arch the splendid decorations of that at Reims in the champagne
country."

With these facts in view it is well to recall that many non-Christian
influences asserted themselves from time to time, and overshadowed for a
temporary period those which were more closely identified with the
growth of the Church. The Commission des Monuments Historiques catalogue
sixteen notable monuments in Arles which are cared for by them: the
Amphitheatre, the remains of the Forum,--now built into the façade of
the Hôtel du Nord,--the remains of the Palais de Constantin, the Abbey
of Montmajour, and the one-time cathedral of St. Trophime, and its
cloister--to particularize but a few.

To-day, as anciently, the ecclesiastical province is known as that of
Aix, Arles, and Embrun. Arles, however, for a time took its place as an
archbishopric, though to-day it joins hands again with Aix and Embrun;
thus, while enjoying the distinction of being ranked as an
archbishopric, its episcopal residence is at Aix.

It was at Arles that the first, and only, English pope--Adrian
Breakspeare--first entered a monastic community, after having been
refused admission to the great establishment at St. Albans in
Hertfordshire, his native place. Here, by the utmost diligence, he
acquired the foundation of that great learning which resulted in his
being so suddenly proclaimed the wearer of the tiara, in 1154.

St. Trophime came to Arles in the first century, and became the first
bishop of the diocese. The first church edifice on this site was
consecrated in 606 by St. Virgil, under the vocable of St. Etienne. In
1152 the present church was built over the remains of St. Trophime,
which were brought thither from St. Honorat des Alyscamps. So far as the
main body of the church is concerned, it was completed by the end of the
twelfth century, and only in its interior is shown the development of
the early ogival style.

The structure was added to in 1430, when the Gothic choir was extended
eastward.

The aisles are diminutively narrow, and the window piercings throughout
are exceedingly small; all of which makes for a lack of brilliancy and
gloom, which may be likened to the average crypt. The only radiance
which ever penetrates this gloomy interior comes at high noon, when the
refulgence of a Mediterranean sun glances through a series of long
lancets, and casts those purple shadows which artists love. Then, and
then only, does the cathedral of St. Trophime offer any inducement to
linger within its non-impressive walls.

The exterior view is, too, dull and gloomy--what there is of it to be
seen from the Place Royale. By far the most lively view is that obtained
from across the ruins of the magnificent Roman theatre just at the rear.
Here the time-resisting qualities of secular Roman buildings combine
with the cathedral to present a bright, sunny, and appealing picture
indeed.

St. Trophime is in no sense an unworthy architectural expression. As a
Provençal type of the Romanesque,--which it is mostly,--it must be
judged as quite apart from the Gothic which has crept in to but a slight
extent.

The western portal is very beautiful, and, with cloister, as interesting
and elaborate as one could wish.

It is the generality of an unimposing plan, a none too graceful tower
and its uninteresting interior, that qualifies the richness of its more
luxurious details.

The portal of the west façade greatly resembles another at St. Gilles,
near by. It is a profusely ornamented doorway with richly foliaged stone
carving and elaborate _bas-reliefs_.

The tympanum of the doorway contains the figure of a bishop in
sacerdotal costume, doubtless St. Trophime, flanked by winged angels and
lions. The sculptures here date perhaps from the period contemporary
with the best work at Paris and Chartres,--well on into the Middle
Ages,--when sculpture had not developed or perfected its style, but was
rather a bad copy of the antique. This will be notably apparent when the
stiffness and crudeness of the proportions of the figures are taken into
consideration.

[Illustration: _Cloisters, St. Trophime d'Arles_]

The wonderful cloister of St. Trophime is, on the east side, of
Romanesque workmanship, with barrel vaulting, and dates from 1120. On
the west it is of the transition style of a century later, while on the
north the vaulting springs boldly into the Gothic of that period--well
on toward 1400.

The capitals of the pillars of this cloistered courtyard are most
diverse, and picture in delicately carved stone such scenes of Bible
history and legend as the unbelief of St. Thomas, Ste. Marthe and the
Tarasque, etc. It is a curious _mélange_ of the vagaries of the stone
carver of the Middle Ages,--these curiously and elaborately carved
capitals,--but on the whole the _ensemble_ is one of rare beauty, in
spite of non-Christian and pagan accessories. These show at least how
far superior the classical work of that time was to the later
Renaissance.

The cemetery of Arles, locally known as Les Alyscamps, literally teems
with mediæval and ancient funeral monuments; though many, of course,
have been removed, and many have suffered the ravages of time, to say
nothing of the Revolutionary period. One portion was the old pagan
burial-ground, and another--marked off with crosses--was reserved for
Christian burial.

It must have been accounted most holy ground, as the dead were brought
thither for burial from many distant cities.

Danté mentions it in the "Inferno," Canto IX.:

     "Just as at Arles where the Rhône is stagnant The sepulchres make
     all the ground unequal."

Ariosto, in "Orlando Furioso," remarks it thus:

     "Many sepulchres are in this land."

St. Rémy, a few leagues to the northeast of Arles, is described by all
writers as wonderfully impressive and appealing to all who come within
its spell;--though the guide-books all say that it is a place without
importance.

René Bazin has this to say: "_St. Rémy, ce n'est pas beau, ce St.
Rémy_." Madame Duclaux apostrophizes thus: "We fall at once in love with
St. Rémy." With this preponderance of modern opinion we throw in our lot
as to the charms of St. Rémy; and so it will be with most, whether with
regard to its charming environment or its historical monuments, its
arch, or its funeral memorials. One will only come away from this
charming _petite ville_ with the idea that, in spite of its five
thousand present-day inhabitants, it is something more than a modern
shrine which has been erected over a collection of ancient relics. The
little city breathes the very atmosphere of mediævalism.

[Illustration]



XIV

ST. CASTOR DE NÎMES


Like its neighbouring Roman cities, Nîmes lives mostly in the glorious
past.

In attempting to realize--if only in imagination--the civilization of a
past age, one is bound to bear always in mind the _motif_ which caused
any great art expression to take place.

Here at Nîmes the church builder had much that was magnificent to
emulate, leaving style apart from the question.

[Illustration: _St. Castor de Nîmes_]

He might, when he planned the cathedral of St. Castor, have avowed his
intention of reaching, if possible, the grace and symmetry of the
_Maison Carée_; the splendour of the temple of Diana; the majesty of the
_Tour Magna_; the grandeur of the arena; or possibly in some measure a
blend of all these ambitious results.

Instead, he built meanly and sordidly, though mainly by cause of
poverty.

The Church of the Middle Ages, though come to great power and influence,
was not possessed of the fabulous wealth of the vainglorious Roman, who
gratified his senses and beautified his surroundings by a lavish
expenditure of means, acquired often in a none too honest fashion.

The imperative need of the soul was for a house of worship of some sort,
and in some measure relative to the rank of the prelate who was to guard
their religious life. This took shape in the early part of the eleventh
century, when the cathedral of St. Castor was built.

Of the varied and superlative attractions of the city one is attempted
to enlarge unduly; until the thought comes that there is the making of a
book itself to be fashioned out of a reconsideration of the splendid
monuments which still exist in this city of celebrated art. To
enumerate them all even would be an impossibility here.

The tiny building known as the _Maison Carée_ is of that greatness which
is not excelled by the "Divine Comedy" in literature, the "Venus of
Milo" in sculpture, or the "Transfiguration" in painting.

The delicacy and beauty of its Corinthian columns are the more apparent
when viewed in conjunction with the pseudo-classical portico of
mathematical clumsiness of the modern theatre opposite.

This theatre is a dreadful caricature of the deathless work of the
Greeks, while the perfect example of _Greco-Romain_ architecture--the
_Maison Carée_--will endure as long as its walls stand as the fullest
expression of that sense of divine proportion and _magique harmonie_
which the Romans inherited from the Greeks. Cardinal Alberoni called it
"a gem which should be set in gold," and both Louis Quatorze and
Napoleon had schemes for lifting it bodily from the ground and
reëstablishing it at Paris.

_Les Arènes_ of Nîmes is an unparalleled work of its class, and in far
better preservation than any other extant. It stands, welcoming the
stranger, at the very gateway of the city, its _grand axe_ extending
off, in arcaded perspective, over four hundred and twenty feet, with
room inside for thirty thousand souls.

These Romans wrought on a magnificent scale, and here, as elsewhere,
they have left evidences of their skill which are manifestly of the
non-decaying order.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Commission des Monuments Historiques lists in all at Nîmes nine of
these historical monuments over which the paternal care of the Ministère
de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux Arts ever hangs.

As if the only really fine element in the Cathedral of St. Castor were
the façade, with its remarkable frieze of events of Bible history, the
Commission has singled it out for especial care, which in truth it
deserves, far and away above any other specific feature of this church.

Christianity came early to Nîmes; or, at least, the bishopric was
founded here, with St. Felix as its first bishop, in the fourth century.
At this time the diocese was a suffragan of Narbonne, whilst to-day its
allegiance is to the archiepiscopal throne at Avignon.

The cathedral of St. Castor was erected in 1030, restored in the
thirteenth century, and suffered greatly in the wars of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries.

These depredations have been--in part--made good, but in the main it is
a rather gaunt and painful fabric, and one which is unlooked for amid so
magnificent neighbours.

It has been said by Roger Peyer--who has written a most enticing
monograph on Nîmes--"that without prejudice we can say that the churches
constructed in the city _dans nos jours_ are far in advance of the
cathedral." This is unquestionably true; for, if we except the very
ancient façade, with its interesting sculptured frieze, there is little
to impress the cathedral upon the mind except its contrast with its
surrounding architectural peers.

The main plan, with its flanking north-westerly square tower, is
reminiscent of hundreds of parish churches yet to be seen in Italy;
while its portal is but a mere classical doorway, too mean even to be
classed as a detail of any rank whatever.

The façade has undergone some breaking-out and stopping-up of windows
during the past decade; for what purpose it is hard to realize, as the
effect is neither enhanced nor the reverse.

A gaunt supporting buttress, or what not, flanks the tower on the south
and adds, yet further, to the incongruity of the _ensemble_.

In fine, its decorations are a curious mixture of a more or less pure
round-headed Roman style of window and doorway, with later Renaissance
and pseudo-classical interpolations.

With the interior the edifice takes on more of an interesting character,
though even here it is not remarkable as to beauty or grace.

The nave is broad, aisleless, and bare, but presents an air of grandeur
which is perhaps not otherwise justified; an effect which is doubtless
wholly produced by a certain cheerfulness of aspect, which comes from
the fact that it has been restored--or at least thoroughly furbished
up--in recent times.

The large Roman nave, erected, it has been said, from the remains of a
former temple of Augustus, has small chapels, without windows, beyond
its pillars in place of the usual side aisles.

Above is a fine gallery or _tribune_, which also surrounds the choir.

The modern mural paintings--the product of the Restoration period--give
an air of splendour and elegance, after the manner of the Italian
churches, to an appreciably greater extent than is commonly seen in
France.

In the third chapel on the left is an altar-table made of an early
Christian sarcophagus; a questionable practice perhaps, but forming an
otherwise beautiful, though crude, accessory.

[Illustration]



XV

ST. THÉODORIT D'UZÈS


The ancient diocese of Uzès formerly included that region lying between
the Ardèche, the Rhône, and the Gardon, its length and breadth being
perhaps equal--fourteen ancient leagues. As a bishopric, it endured from
the middle of the fifth century nearly to the beginning of the
nineteenth.

In ancient Gallic records its cathedral was reckoned as some miles from
the present site of the town, but as no other remains than those of St.
Théodorit are known to-day, it is improbable that any references in
mediæval history refer to another structure.

This church is now no longer a cathedral, the see having been suppressed
in 1790.

The bishop here, as at Lodève and Mende, was the count of the town, and
the bishop and duke each possessed their castles and had their
respective spheres of jurisdiction, which, says an old-time chronicler,
"often occasioned many disputes." Obviously!

In the sixteenth century most of the inhabitants embraced the
Reformation after the example of their bishop, who, with all his
chapter, publicly turned Protestant and "sent for a minister to Geneva."

What remains of the cathedral to-day is reminiscent of a highly
interesting mediæval foundation, though its general aspect is distinctly
modern. Such rebuilding and restoration as it underwent, in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, made of it practically a new
edifice.

The one feature of mark, which stands alone as the representative of
mediæval times, is the charming tower which flanks the main body of the
church on the right.

It is known as the "Tour Fenestrelle" and is of the thirteenth century.
It would be a notable accessory to any great church, and is of seven
stories in height, each dwindling in size from the one below, forming a
veritable campanile. Its height is 130 feet.

The interior attractions of this minor church are greater than might be
supposed. There is a low gallery with a superb series of wrought-iron
_grilles_, a fine tomb in marble--to Bishop Boyan--and in the transept
two paintings by Simon de Chalons--a "Resurrection" and a "Raising of
Lazarus."

The inevitable obtrusive organ-case is of the seventeenth century, and
like all of its kind is a parasitical abomination, clinging precariously
to the western wall.

The sacristy is an extensive suite of rooms which contain throughout a
deep-toned and mellow oaken wainscot.

For the rest, the lines of this church follow the conventionality of its
time. Its proportions, while not great, are good, and there is no marked
luxuriance of ornament or any exceeding grace in the entire structure,
if we except the detached tower before mentioned.

The situation of the town is most picturesque; not daintily pretty, but
of a certain dignified order, which is the more satisfying.

The ancient château, called Le Duché, is the real architectural treat of
the place.



XVI

ST. JEAN D'ALAIS


Alais is an ancient city, but greatly modernized; moreover it does not
take a supreme rank as a cathedral city, from the fact that it held a
bishop's throne for but a hundred years. Alais was a bishopric only from
1694 to 1790.

The cathedral of St. Jean is an imposing structure of that obtrusive
variety of architectural art known as "Louis Quinze," and is unworthy of
the distinction once bestowed upon it.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that the Cevenole country was so largely
and aggressively Protestant that the see of Alais did not endure. Robert
Louis Stevenson tells of a stranger he met in these mountain parts--that
he was a Catholic, "and made no shame of it. No shame of it! The phrase
is a piece of natural statistics; for it is the language of one of a
minority.... Ireland is still Catholic; the Cevennes still Protestant.
Outdoor rustics have not many ideas, but such as they have are hardy
plants and thrive flourishingly in persecution."

Built about in the façade of this unfeeling structure are some remains
of a twelfth-century church, but they are not of sufficient bulk or
excellence to warrant remark.

An advancing porch stands before this west façade and is surmounted by a
massive tower in a poor Gothic style.

The vast interior, like the exterior, is entirely without distinction,
though gaudily decorated. There are some good pictures, which, as works
of art, are a decided advance over any other attributes of this
church--an "Assumption," attributed to Mignard, in the chapel of the
Virgin; in the left transept, a "Virgin" by Deveria; and in the right
transept an "Annunciation" by Jalabert.

Alais is by no means a dull place. It is busy with industry, is
prosperous, and possesses on a minute scale all the distractions of a
great city. It is modern to the very core, so far as appearances go. It
has its Boulevard Victor Hugo, its Boulevard Gambetta, and its Lycée
Dumas. The Hôpital St. Louis--which has a curious doubly twisted
staircase--is of the eighteenth century; a bust of the Marquis de la
Fère-Alais, the Cevenole poet, is of the nineteenth; a monument of
bronze, to the glory of Pasteur, dates from 1896; and various other
bronze and stone memorials about the city all date and perpetuate the
name and fame of eighteenth and nineteenth-century notables.

The Musée--another recent creation--occupies the former episcopal
residence, of eighteenth-century construction.

The Hôtel de Ville is quite the most charming building of the city. It
has fine halls and corridors, and an ample bibliothèque. Its present-day
Salle du Conseil was the ancient chamber of the _États du Languedoc_.



XVII

ST. PIERRE D'ANNECY


The Savoian city of Annecy was formerly the ancient capital of the
Genevois.

Its past history is more closely allied with other political events than
those which emanated from within the kingdom of France; and its
ecclesiastical allegiance was intimately related with Geneva, from
whence the episcopal seat was removed in 1535.

In reality the Christian activities of Annecy had but little to do with
the Church in France, Savoie only having been ceded to France in 1860.
Formerly it belonged to the ducs de Savoie and the kings of Sardinia.

Annecy is a most interesting city, and possesses many, if not quite all,
of the attractions of Geneva itself, including the Lake of Annecy, which
is quite as romantically picturesque as Lac Leman, though its
proportions are not nearly so great.

The city's interest for the lover of religious associations is perhaps
greater than for the lover of church architecture alone, but, as the two
must perforce go hand in hand the greater part of the way, Annecy will
be found to rank high in the annals of the history and art of the
religious life of the past.

In the chapel of the Visitation, belonging to the convent of the same
name, are buried St. François de Sales (d. 1622) and Ste. Jeanne de
Chantal (d. 1641). The chapel is architecturally of no importance, but
the marble ornament and sculptures and the rich paintings are
interesting.

The ancient chapel of the Visitation--the convent of the first monastery
founded by St. Francis and Ste. Jeanne--immediately adjoins the
cathedral.

Christianity first came to Annecy in the fourth century, with St.
Emilien. For long after its foundation the see was a suffragan of the
ancient ecclesiastical province of Vienne. To-day it is a suffragan of
Chambéry.

The rather ordinary cathedral of St. Pierre has no great interest as an
architectural type, and is possessed of no embellishments of a rank
sufficiently high to warrant remark. It dates only from the sixteenth
century, and is quite unconvincing as to any art expression which its
builders may have possessed.

The episcopal palace (1784) adjoins the cathedral on the south.

[Illustration]



XVIII

CATHÉDRALE DE CHAMBÉRY


The city of Chambéry in the eighteenth century must have been a
veritable hotbed of aristocracy. A French writer of that day has indeed
stated that it is "the winter residence of all the aristocracy of
Savoie; ... with twenty thousand francs one could live _en grand
seigneur_; ... a country gentleman, with an income of a hundred and
twenty louis d'or a year, would as a matter of course take up his abode
in the town for the winter."

To-day such a basis upon which to make an estimate of the value of
Chambéry as a place of residence would be, it is to be feared,
misleading.

Arthur Young closes his observations upon the agricultural prospects of
Savoie with the bold statement that: "On this day, left Chambéry much
dissatisfied,--for the want of knowing more of it."

Rousseau knew it better, much better. "_S'il est une petite ville au
monde où l'on goûte la douceur de la vie dans un commerce agréable et
sûr, c'est Chambéry._"

Savoie and the Comté de Nice were annexed to France only as late as
1860, and from them were formed the departments of Savoie, Haute-Savoie,
and the Alpes-Maritimes.

Chambéry is to-day an archbishopric, with suffragans at Annecy,
Tarentaise, and St. Jean de Maurienne. Formerly conditions were
reversed, and Chambéry was merely a bishopric in the province de
Tarentaise. Its first bishop, Michel Conseil, came in office, however,
only in 1780.

The cathedral is of the fourteenth century, in the pointed style, and as
a work of art is distinctly of a minor class.

The principal detail of note is a western portal which somewhat
approaches good Gothic, but in the main, both inside and out, the
church has no remarkable features, if we except some modern glass, which
is better in colour than most late work of its kind.

As if to counteract any additional charm which this glass might
otherwise lend to the interior, we find a series of flamboyant traceries
over the major portion of the side walls and vaulting. These are garish
and in every way unpleasing, and the interior effect, like that of the
exterior, places the cathedral at Chambéry far down the scale among
great churches.

Decidedly the architectural embellishments of Chambéry lie not in its
cathedral.

The chapel of the ancient château, dating in part from the thirteenth
century, but mainly of the Gothic-Renaissance period, is far and away
the most splendid architectural monument of its class to be seen here.

_La Grande Chartreuse_ is equally accessible from either Chambéry or
Grenoble, and should not be neglected when one is attempting to
familiarize himself with these parts.

[Illustration]



XIX

NOTRE DAME DE GRENOBLE


It is an open question as to whether Grenoble is not possessed of the
most admirable and impressive situation of any cathedral city of France.

At all events it has the attribute of a unique background in the _massif
de la Chartreuse_, and the range of snow-clad Alps, which rise so
abruptly as to directly screen and shelter the city from all other parts
lying north and east. Furthermore this natural windbreak, coupled with
the altitude of the city itself, makes for a bright and sunny, and
withal bracing, atmosphere which many professed tourist and health
resorts lack.

Grenoble is in all respects "a most pleasant city," and one which
contains much of interest for all sorts and conditions of pilgrims.

Anciently Grenoble was a bishopric in the diocese of the Province of
Vienne, to whose archbishop the see was at that time subordinate. Its
foundation was during the third century, and its first prelate was one
Domninus.

In the redistribution of dioceses Grenoble became a suffragan of Lyon et
Vienne, which is its status to-day.

As might naturally be inferred, in the case of so old a foundation, its
present-day cathedral of Notre Dame partakes also of early origin.

This it does, to a small degree only, with respect to certain of the
foundations of the choir. These date from the eleventh century, while
succeeding eras, of a mixed and none too pure an architectural style,
culminate in presenting a singularly unconvincing and cold church
edifice.

The "pointed" tabernacle, which is the chief interior feature, is of the
middle fifteenth century, and indeed the general effect is that of the
late Middle Ages, if not actually suggestive of still later modernity.

The tomb of Archbishop Chissé, dating from 1407, is the cathedral's
chief monumental shrine.

To the left of the cathedral is the ancient bishop's palace; still used
as such. It occupies the site of an eleventh-century episcopal
residence, but the structure itself is probably not earlier than the
fifteenth century.

In the _Église de St. André_, a thirteenth-century structure, is a tomb
of more than usual sentimental and historical interest: that of Bayard.
It will be found in the transept.

No mention of Grenoble could well ignore the famous monastery of _La
Grande Chartreuse_.

Mostly, it is to be feared, the monastery is associated in mundane minds
with that subtle and luxurious _liqueur_ which has been brewed by the
white-robed monks of St. Bruno for ages past; and was until quite
recently, when the establishment was broken up by government decree and
the real formula of this sparkling _liqueur_ departed with the migrating
monks.

The opinion is ventured, however, that up to the time of their
expulsion (in 1902), the monks of St. Bruno combined solitude,
austerity, devotion, and charity of a most practical kind with a
lucrative commerce in their distilled product after a successful manner
not equalled by any religious community before or since.

[Illustration: S. Bruno]

The Order of St. Bruno has weathered many storms, and, during the
Terror, was driven from its home and dispersed by brutal and riotous
soldiery. In 1816 a remnant returned, escorted, it is said, by a throng
of fifty thousand people.

The cardinal rule of the Carthusians is abstemiousness from all
meat-eating; which, however, in consideration of their calm, regular
life, and a diet in which fish plays an important part, is apparently
conducive to that longevity which most of us desire.

It is related that a certain Dominican pope wished to diminish the
severity of St. Bruno's regulations, but was met by a delegation of
Carthusians, whose _doyen_ owned to one hundred and twenty years, and
whose youngest member was of the ripe age of ninety. The amiable
pontiff, not having, apparently, an argument left, accordingly withdrew
his edict.

Of all these great Charterhouses spread throughout France, _La Grande
Chartreuse_ was the most inspiring and interesting; not only from the
structure itself, but by reason of its commanding and romantic situation
amid the forest-clad heights of the Savoyan Alps.

The first establishment here was the foundation of St. Bruno (in 1084),
which consisted merely of a modest chapel and a number of isolated
cubicles.

This foundation only gave way--as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries--to an enlarged structure more in accord with the demands and
usage of this period.

The most distinctive feature of its architecture is the grand cloister,
with its hundred and fifteen Gothic arches, out of which open the sixty
cells of the sandalled and hooded white-robed monks, who, continuing St.
Bruno's regulation, live still in isolation. In these cells they spent
all of their time outside the hours of work and worship, but were
allowed the privilege of receiving one colleague at a time. Here, too,
they ate their meals, with the exception of the principal meal on
Sundays, when they all met together in the refectory.

The _Église de la Grande Chartreuse_ itself is very simple, about the
only distinctive or notable feature being the sixteenth-century
choir-stalls. At the midnight service, or at _matins_, when the simple
church is lit only by flaming torches, and the stalls filled with
white-robed _Chartreux_, is presented a picture which for solemnity and
impressiveness is as vivid as any which has come down from mediæval
times.

The chanting of the chorals, too, is unlike anything heard before; it
has indeed been called, before now, angelic. Petrarch, whose brother was
a member of the order, has put himself on record as having been
enchanted by it.

As many as ten thousand visitors have passed through the portals of _La
Grande Chartreuse_ during the year, but now in the absence of the
monks--temporary or permanent as is yet to be determined--conditions
obtain which will not allow of entrance to the conventual buildings.

No one, however, who visits either Grenoble or Chambéry should fail to
journey to St. Laurent du Pont--the gateway of the fastness which
enfolds _La Grande Chartreuse_, and thence to beneath the shadow of the
walls which for so long sheltered the parent house of this ancient and
powerful order.

[Illustration: _Belley_]



XX

BELLEY AND AOSTE


En route to Chambéry, from Lyon, one passes the little town of Belley.
It is an ancient place, most charmingly situated, and is a suffragan
bishopric, strangely enough, of Besançon, which is not only Teutonic in
its tendencies, but is actually of the north.

At all events, Belley, in spite of its clear and crisp mountain air, is
not of the same climatic zone as the other dioceses in the archbishopric
of Besançon.

Its cathedral is distinctly minor as to style, and is mainly Gothic of
the fifteenth century; though not unmixed, nor even consistent, in its
various parts. No inconsiderable portion is modern, as will be plainly
seen.

One distinctly notable feature is a series of Romanesque columns in the
nave, possibly taken from some pagan Roman structure. They are
sufficiently of importance and value to be classed as "_Monuments
Historiques_," and as such are interesting.

Aoste (Aoste-St.-Genix) is on the site of the Roman colony of Augustum,
of which to-day there are but a few fragmentary remains. It is perhaps a
little more than a mile from the village of St. Genix, with which to-day
its name is invariably coupled. As an ancient bishopric in the province
of Tarentaise, it took form in the fourth century, with St. Eustache as
its first bishop. To-day the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of all this
region--the Val-de-Tarentaise--is held by Tarentaise.

[Illustration]



XXI

ST. JEAN DE MAURIENNE


St. Jean de Maurienne is a tiny mountain city well within the
advance-guard of the Alpine range. Of itself it savours no more of the
picturesque than do the immediate surroundings. One can well understand
that vegetation round about has grown scant merely because of the dearth
of fructifying soil. The valleys and the ravines flourish, but the
enfolding walls of rock are bare and sterile.

This is the somewhat abbreviated description of the _pagi_ garnered from
an ancient source, and is, in the main, true enough to-day.

Not many casual travellers ever get to this mountain city of the Alps;
they are mostly rushed through to Italy, and do not stop short of the
frontier station of Modane, some thirty odd kilometres onward; from
which point onward only do they know the "lie of the land" between Paris
and Piedmont.

St. Jean de Maurienne is to-day, though a suffragan of Chambéry, a
bishopric in the old ecclesiastical province of Tarentaise. The first
archbishop--as the dignity was then--was St. Jacques, in the fifth
century.

The cathedral of St. Jean is of a peculiar architectural style, locally
known as "Chartreusian." It is by no means beautiful, but it is not
unpleasing. It dates, as to the epoch of its distinctive style, from the
twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, though it has been so fully restored
in our day that it may as well be considered as a rebuilt structure, in
spite of the consistent devotion to the original plan.

The chief features of note are to be seen in its interior, and, while
they are perhaps not of extraordinary value or beauty, in any single
instance, they form, as a whole, a highly interesting disposition of
devout symbols.

Immediately within the portico, by which one enters from the west, is a
plaster model of the tomb of Count Humbert, the head of the house of
Savoie.

In the nave is an altar and mausoleum in marble, gold, and mosaic,
erected by the Carthusians to St. Ayrald, a former bishop of the diocese
and a member of their order.

In the left aisle of the nave is a tomb to Oger de Conflans, and another
to two former bishops.

Through the sacristy, which is behind the chapel of the Sacred Heart, is
the entrance to the cloister. This cloister, while not of ranking
greatness or beauty, is carried out, in the most part, in the true
pointed style of its era (1452), and is, on the whole, the most charming
attribute of the cathedral.

The choir has a series of carved stalls in wood, which are unusually
acceptable. In the choir, also, is a _ciborium_, in alabaster, with a
_reliquaire_ which is said to contain three fingers of John the Baptist,
brought to Savoie in the sixth century by Ste. Thècle.

The crypt, beneath the choir, is, as is most frequently the case, the
remains of a still earlier church, which occupied the same site, but of
which there is little record extant.



XXII

ST. PIERRE DE ST. CLAUDE


St. Claude is charmingly situated in a romantic valley of the Jura.

The sound of mill-wheels and the sight of factory chimneys mingle
inextricably with the roaring of mountain torrents and the solitude of
the pine forest.

The majority of the inhabitants of these valleys lead a simple and
pastoral life, with cheese-making apparently the predominant industry.
Manufacturing of all kinds is carried on, in a small way, in nearly
every hamlet--in tiny cottage _ateliers_--wood-carving, gem-polishing,
spectacle and clock-making, besides turnery and wood-working of all
sorts.

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE _de ST. CLAUDE_]

St. Claude, with its ancient cathedral of St. Pierre, is the centre of
all these activities; which must suggest to all publicists of time-worn
and _ennuied_ lands a deal of possibilities in the further
application of such industrial energies as lie close at hand.

In 1789, when Arthur Young, in his third journey through France, passed
through St. Claude, the count-bishop of the diocese, the sole inheritor
of its wealthy abbey foundation and all its seigneurial dependencies,
had only just enfranchised his forty thousand serfs.

Voltaire, the atheist, pleaded in vain the cause of this Christian
prelate, and for him to be allowed to sustain his right to bond-men; but
opposition was too great, and they became free to enjoy property rights,
could they but once acquire them. Previously, if childless, they had no
power to bequeath their property; it reverted simply to the seigneur by
custom of tradition.

In the fifth century, St. Claude was the site of a powerful abbey. It
did not become an episcopal see, however, until 1742, when its first
bishop was Joseph de Madet.

At the Revolution the see was suppressed, but it rose again,
phoenix-like, in 1821, and endures to-day as a suffragan of Lyon et
Vienne.

The cathedral of St. Pierre is a fourteenth-century edifice, with later
work (seventeenth century) equally to be remarked. As a work of
restoration it appears poorly done, but the entire structure is of more
than ordinary interest; nevertheless it still remains an uncompleted
work.

The church is of exceedingly moderate dimensions, and is in no sense a
great achievement. Its length cannot be much over two hundred feet, and
its width and height are approximately equal (85 feet), producing a
symmetry which is too conventional to be really lovable.

Still, considering its environment and the association as the old abbey
church, to which St. Claude, the bishop of Besançon, retired in the
twelfth century, it has far more to offer in the way of a pleasing
prospect than many cathedrals of greater architectural worth.

There are, in its interior, a series of fine choir-stalls in wood, of
the fifteenth century--comparable only with those at Rodez and Albi for
their excellence and the luxuriance of their carving--a sculptured
_Renaissance retable_ depicting the life of St. Pierre, and a modern
high-altar. This last accessory is not as worthy an art work as the two
others.

[Illustration: _Notre Dame de Bourg_]



XXIII

NOTRE DAME DE BOURG


The chief ecclesiastical attraction of Bourg-en-Bresse is not its
one-time cathedral of Notre Dame, which is but a poor Renaissance affair
of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries.

The famous Église de Brou, which Matthew Arnold described so justly and
fully in his verses, is a florid Gothic monument which ranks among the
most celebrated in France. It is situated something less than a mile
from the town, and is a show-piece which will not be neglected. Its
charms are too many and varied to be even suggested here.

There are a series of sculptured figures of the prophets and apostles,
from a fifteenth or sixteenth-century _atelier_, that may or may not
have given the latter-day Sargent his suggestion for his celebrated
"frieze of the prophets." They are wonderfully like, at all events, and
the observation is advisedly included here, though it is not intended as
a sneer at Sargent's masterwork.

This wonderful sixteenth-century Église de Brou, in a highly decorated
Gothic style, its monuments, altars, and admirable glass, is not
elsewhere equalled, as to elaborateness, in any church of its size or
rank.

Notre Dame de Bourg--the cathedral--though manifestly a Renaissance
structure, has not a little of the Gothic spirit in its interior
arrangements and details. It is as if a Renaissance shell--and not a
handsome one--were enclosing a Gothic treasure.

There is the unusual polygonal apside, which dates from the fifteenth or
sixteenth century, and is the most curious part of the entire edifice.

The octagonal tower of the west has, in its higher story, been replaced
by an ugly dome-shaped excrescence surmounted by an enormous gilded
cross which is by no means beautiful.

The west façade in general, in whose portal are shown some evidences of
the Gothic spirit, which at the time of its erection had not wholly
died, is uninteresting and all out of proportion to a church of its
rank.

The interior effect somewhat redeems the unpromising exterior.

There is a magnificent marble high-altar, jewel-wrought and of much
splendour. The two chapels have modern glass. A fine head of Christ,
carved in ivory, is to be seen in the sacristy. Previous to 1789 it was
kept in the great council-chamber of the _États de la Bresse_.

In the sacristy also there are two pictures, of the German school of the
sixteenth century.

There are sixty-eight stalls, of the sixteenth century, carved in wood.
Curiously enough, these stalls--of most excellent workmanship--are not
placed within the regulation confines of the choir, but are ranged in
two rows along the wall of the apside.



XXIV

GLANDÈVE, SENEZ, RIEZ, SISTERON


The diocese of Digne now includes four _ci-devant_ bishoprics, each of
which was suppressed at the Revolution.

The ruins of the ancient bishopric of Glandève are to-day replaced by
the small town of D'Entrevaux, whose former cathedral of St. Just has
now disappeared. The see of Glandève had in all fifty-three bishops, the
first--St. Fraterne--in the year 459.

Senez was composed of but thirty-two parishes. It was, however, a very
ancient foundation, dating from 445 A. D. Its cathedral was known as
Notre Dame, and its chapter was composed of five canons and three
dignitaries. At various times forty-three bishops occupied the episcopal
throne at Senez.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de SISTERON_]

The suppression likewise made way with the bishopric at Riez, a charming
little city of Provence. The see was formerly composed of fifty-four
parishes, and its cathedral of Notre Dame had a chapter of eight
canons and four dignitaries. The first bishop was St. Prosper, in the
early part of the fifth century. Ultimately he was followed by
seventy-four others. Two "councils of the church" were held at Riez, the
first in 439, and the second in 1285.

The diocese of Sisteron was situated in the charming mountain town of
the Basses-Alps. This brisk little fortress-city still offers to the
traveller many of the attractions of yore, though its former cathedral
of Notre Dame no longer shelters a bishop's throne.

Four dignitaries and eight canons performed the functions of the
cathedral, and served the fifty parishes allied with it.

The first bishop was Chrysaphius, in 452, and the last, François Bovet,
in 1789. This prelate in 1801 refused the oath of allegiance demanded by
the new régime, and forthwith resigned, when the see was combined with
that of Digne.

The ancient cathedral of Notre Dame de Sisteron of the eleventh and
twelfth centuries is now ranked as a "_Monument Historique_." It dates,
in the main, from the twelfth century, and is of itself no more
remarkable than many of the other minor cathedrals of this part of
France.

Its chief distinction lies in its grand _retable_, which is decorated
with a series of superb paintings by Mignard.

The city lies picturesquely posed at the foot of a commanding height,
which in turn is surmounted by the ancient citadel. Across the defile,
which is deeply cut by the river Durance, rises the precipitous Mont de
la Baume, which, with the not very grand or splendid buildings of the
city itself, composes the ensemble at once into a distinctively
"old-world" spot, which the march of progress has done little to temper.

It looks not a little like a piece of stage-scenery, to be sure, but it
is a wonderful grouping of the works of nature and of the hand of man,
and one which it will be difficult to duplicate elsewhere in France; in
fact, it will not be possible to do so.

[Illustration]



XXV

ST. JEROME DE DIGNE


The diocese of Digne, among all of its neighbours, has survived until
to-day. It is a suffragan of Aix, Arles, and Embrun, and has
jurisdiction over the whole of the Department of the Basses-Alps. St.
Domnin became its first bishop, in the fourth century.

The ancient Romanesque cathedral of Notre Dame--from which the bishop's
seat has been removed to the more modern St. Jerome--is an unusually
interesting old church, though bare and unpretentious to-day. It dates
from the twelfth century, and has all the distinguishing marks of its
era. Its nave is, moreover, a really fine work, and worthy to rank with
many more important. There are, in this nave, some traces of a series of
curious wall-paintings dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth
centuries.

St. Jerome de Digne--called _la cathédrale fort magnifiante_--is a
restored Gothic church of the early ages of the style, though it has
been placed--in some doubt--as of the fifteenth century.

The apse is semicircular, without chapels, and the general effect of the
interior as a whole is curiously marred by reason of the lack of
transepts, clerestory, and triforium.

This notable poverty of feature is perhaps made up for by the amplified
side aisles, which are doubled throughout.

The western portal, which is of an acceptable modern Gothic, is of more
than usual interest as to its decorations. In the tympanum of the arch
is a figure of the Saviour giving his blessing, with the emblems of the
Evangelists below, and an angel and the pelican--the emblem of the
sacrament--above. Beneath the figure of the Saviour is another of St.
Jerome, the patron, to whom the cathedral is dedicated.

A square, ungainly tower holds a noisy peal of bells, which, though a
great source of local pride, can but prove annoying to the stranger,
with their importunate and unseemly clanging.

The chief accessories, in the interior, are an elaborate organ-case,--of
the usual doubtful taste,--a marble statue of St. Vincent de Paul (by
Daumas, 1869), and a sixteenth or seventeenth-century statue of a former
bishop of the diocese.

Digne has perhaps a more than ordinary share of picturesque environment,
seated, as it is, luxuriously in the lap of the surrounding mountains.

St. Domnin, the first bishop, came, it is said, from Africa at a period
variously stated as from 330 to 340 A. D., but, at any rate, well on
into the fourth century. His enthronement appears to have been
undertaken amid much heretical strife, and was only accomplished with
the aid of St. Marcellin, the archbishop of Embrun, of which the diocese
of Digne was formerly a suffragan.

The good St. Domnin does not appear to have made great headway in
putting out the flame of heresy, though his zeal was great and his
miracles many. He departed this world before the dawn of the fifth
century, and his memory is still brought to the minds of the
communicants of the cathedral each year on the 13th of February--his
fête-day--by the display of a reliquary, which is said to
contain--somewhat unemphatically--the remains of his head and arm.

Wonderful cures are supposed to result to the infirm who view this
_relique_ in a proper spirit of veneration, and devils are warranted to
be cast out from the true believer under like conditions.

A council of the Church was held at Digne in 1414.



XXVI

NOTRE DAME DE DIE


The _Augusta Dia_ of the Romans is to-day a diminutive French town lying
at the foot of the _colline_ whose apex was formerly surmounted by the
more ancient city.

It takes but little ecclesiastical rank, and is not even a tourist
resort of renown. It is, however, a shrine which encloses and surrounds
many monuments of the days which are gone, and is possessed of an
ancient Arc de Triomphe which would attract many of the genus
"_touriste_", did they but realize its charm.

The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin, sheltered a bishop's throne from
the foundation of the bishopric until 1285, when a hiatus
ensued--apparently from some inexplicable reason--until 1672, when its
episcopal dignity again came into being. Finally, in 1801, the diocese
came to an end. St. Mars was the first bishop, the see having been
founded in the third century.

The porch of this cathedral is truly remarkable, having been taken from
a former temple to Cybele, and dates at least from some years previous
to the eleventh century. Another portal of more than usual remark--known
as the _porte rouge_--is fashioned from contemporary fragments of the
same period.

While to all intents and purposes the cathedral is an early
architectural work, its rank to-day is that of a restored or rebuilt
church of the seventeenth century.

The nave is one of the largest in this part of France, being 270 feet in
length and seventy-six feet in width. It has no side aisles and is
entirely without pillars to break its area, which of course appears more
vast than it really is.

What indications there are which would place the cathedral among any of
the distinct architectural styles are of the pointed variety.

Aside from its magnificent dimensions, there are no interior features of
remark except a gorgeous Renaissance pulpit and a curious _cène_.



XXVII

NOTRE DAME ET ST. CASTOR D'APT


Apt is doubtfully claimed to have been a bishopric under St. Auspice in
the first century, but the ancient _Apta Julia_ of Roman times is to-day
little more than an interesting by-point, with but little importance in
either ecclesiological or art matters.

Its cathedral--as a cathedral--ceased to exist in 1790. It is of the
species which would be generally accepted as Gothic, so far as exterior
appearances go, but it is bare and poor in ornament and design, and as a
type ranks far down the scale.

In its interior arrangements the style becomes more florid, and takes on
something of the elaborateness which in a more thoroughly worthy
structure would be unremarked.

The chief decoration lies in the rather elaborate _jubé_, or
choir-screen, which stands out far more prominently than any other
interior feature, and is without doubt an admirable example of this not
too frequent attribute of a French church.

Throughout there are indications of the work of many epochs and eras,
from the crypt of the primitive church to the Chapelle de Ste. Anne,
constructed by Mansard in the seventeenth century. This chapel contains
some creditable paintings by Parrocel, and yet others, in a still better
style, by Mignard.

The crypt, which formed a part of the earlier church on this site, is
the truly picturesque feature of the cathedral at Apt, and, like many of
its kind, is now given over to a series of subterranean chapels.

Among the other attributes of the interior are a tomb of the Ducs de
Sabron, a marble altar of the twelfth century, a precious enamel of the
same era, and a Gallo-Romain sarcophagus of the fifth century.

As to the exterior effect and ensemble, the cathedral is hardly to be
remarked, either in size or splendour, from the usual parish church of
the average small town of France. It does not rise to a very ambitious
height, neither does its ground-plan suggest magnificent proportions.
Altogether it proves to be a cathedral which is neither very interesting
nor even picturesque.

The little city itself is charmingly situated on the banks of the
Coulon, a small stream which runs gaily on its way to the Durance, at
times torrential, which in turn goes to swell the flood of the Rhône
below Avignon.

The former bishop's palace is now the préfecture and Mairie.

[Illustration]



XXVIII

NOTRE DAME D'EMBRUN


Embrun, not unlike its neighbouring towns in the valley of the Durance,
is possessed of the same picturesque environment as Sisteron and Digne.
It is perched high on that species of eminence known in France as a
_colline_, though in this case it does not rise to a very magnificent
height; what there is of it, however, serves to accentuate the
picturesque element as nothing else would.

The episcopal dignity of the town is only partial; it shares the
distinction with Aix and Arles.

The Église Notre Dame, though it is still locally known as "_la
cathédrale_," is of the twelfth century, and has a wonderful old
Romanesque north porch and peristyle set about with gracefully
proportioned columns, the two foremost of which are supported upon the
backs of a pair of weird-looking animals, which are supposed to
represent the twelfth-century stone-cutter's conception of the king of
beasts. In the tympanum of this portal are sculptured figures of Christ
and the Evangelists, in no wise of remarkable quality, but indicating,
with the other decorative features, a certain luxuriance which is not
otherwise suggested in the edifice.

The Romanesque tower which belongs to the church proper is, as to its
foundations, of very early date, though, as a finished detail, it is
merely a rebuilt fourteenth-century structure carried out on the old
lines. There is another tower, commonly called "_la tour brune_," which
adjoins the ancient bishop's palace, and dates from at least a century
before the main body of the church.

The entire edifice presents an architectural _mélange_ that makes it
impossible to classify it as of any one specific style, but the opinion
is hazarded that it is all the more interesting a shrine because of this
incongruity.

The choir, too, indicates that it has been built up from fragments of a
former fabric, while the west front is equally unconvincing, and has the
added curious effect of presenting a variegated façade, which is, to say
the least and the most, very unusual. A similar suggestion is found
occasionally in the Auvergne, but the interweaving of party-coloured
stone, in an attempt to produce variety, has too often not been taken
advantage of. In this case it is not so very pleasing, but one has a
sort of sympathetic regard for it nevertheless.

In the interior there are no constructive features of remark; indeed
there is little embellishment of any sort. There is an
eighteenth-century altar, in precious marbles, worked after the old
manner, and in the sacristy some altar-fittings of elaborately worked
Cordovan leather, a triptych which is dated 1518, some brilliant glass
of the fifteenth century, and in the nave a Renaissance organ-case
which encloses an organ of the early sixteenth century.

Near by is Mont St. Guillaume (2,686 metres), on whose heights is a
_sanctuaire_ frequented by pilgrims from round about the whole valley of
the Durance.

From "Quentin Durward," one recalls the great devotion of the Dauphin of
France--Louis XI.--for the statue of Notre Dame d'Embrun.



XXIX

NOTRE DAME DE L'ASSOMPTION DE GAP


Gap is an ancient and most attractive little city of the Maritime Alps,
of something less than ten thousand inhabitants.

Its cathedral is also the parish church, which suggests that the city is
not especially devout.

The chapter of the cathedral consists of eight canons, who, considering
that the spiritual life of the entire Department of the
Hautes-Alpes--some hundred and fifty thousand souls--is in their care,
must have a very busy time of it.

St. Demetrius, the friend of St. John the Evangelist, has always been
regarded as the first apostle and bishop of the diocese. He came from
Rome to Gaul in the reign of Claudian, and began his work of
evangelization in the environs of Vienne under St. Crescent, the
disciple of St. Paul. From Vienne Demetrius came immediately to Gap and
established the diocese here.

Numerous conversions were made and the Church quickly gained adherents,
but persecution was yet rife, as likewise was superstition, and the
priests were denounced to the governors of the province, who forthwith
put them to death in true barbaric fashion.

Amid these inflictions, however, and the later Protestant persecutions
in Dauphiné, the diocese grew to great importance, and endures to-day as
a suffragan of Aix, Arles, and Embrun.

The Église de Gap has even yet the good fortune to possess personal
_reliques_ of her first bishop, and accordingly displays them with due
pride and ceremony on his _jour de fête_, the 26th October of each year.
Says a willing but unknowing French writer: "Had Demetrius--who came to
Gap in the first century--any immediate successors? That we cannot say.
It is a period of three hundred years which separates his tenure from
that of St. Constantine, the next prelate of whom the records tell."

Three other dioceses of the former ecclesiastical province have been
suppressed, and Gap alone has lived to exert its tiny sphere of
influence upon the religious life of the present day.

The history of Gap has been largely identified with the Protestant cause
in Dauphiné. There is, in the Prefecture, a monument to the Due de
Lesdiguières--Françoise de Bonne--who, from the leadership of the
Protestants went over to the Roman faith, in consideration of his being
given the rank of _Connétable de France_. Why the mere fact of his
apostasy should have been a sufficient and good reason for this
aggrandizement, it is difficult to realize in this late day; though we
know of a former telegraph messenger who became a count.

Another reformer, Guillaume Farel, was born and lived at Gap. "He
preached his first sermon," says History, "at the mill of Burée, and his
followers soon drove the Catholics from the place; when he himself took
possession of the pulpits of the town."

From all this dissension from the Roman faith--though it came
comparatively late in point of time--rose the apparent apathy for
church-building which resulted in the rather inferior cathedral at Gap.

No account of this unimportant church edifice could possibly be justly
coloured with enthusiasm. It is not wholly a mean structure, but it is
unworthy of the great activities of the religious devotion of the past,
and has no pretence to architectural worth, nor has it any of the
splendid appointments which are usually associated with the seat of a
bishop's throne.

Notre Dame de l'Assomption is a modern edifice in the style
_Romano-Gothique_, and its construction, though elaborate both inside
and out, is quite unappealing.

This is the more to be marvelled at, in that the history of the diocese
is so full of incident; so far, in fact, in advance of what the tangible
evidences would indicate.



XXX

NOTRE DAME DE VENCE


Vence,--the ancient Roman city of Ventium,--with five other dioceses of
the ecclesiastical province of Embrun, was suppressed--as the seat of a
bishop--in 1790. It had been a suffragan bishopric of Embrun since its
foundation by Eusèbe in the fourth century.

The ancient cathedral of Notre Dame is supposed to show traces of
workmanship of the sixth, tenth, twelfth, and fifteenth centuries, but,
excepting that of the latter era, it will be difficult for the casual
observer to place the distinctions of style.

The whole ensemble is of grim appearance; so much so that one need not
hesitate to place it well down in the ranks of the church-builder's art,
and, either from poverty of purse or purpose, it is quite
undistinguished.

In its interior there are a few features of unusual remark: an ancient
sarcophagus, called that of St. Véran; a _retable_ of the sixteenth
century; some rather good paintings, by artists apparently unknown; and
a series of fifty-one fifteenth-century choir-stalls of quite notable
excellence, and worth more as an expression of artistic feeling than all
the other features combined.

The only distinction as to constructive features is the fact that there
are no transepts, and that the aisles which surround the nave are
doubled.



XXXI

CATHÉDRALE DE SION


The small city of Sion, the capital of the Valais, looks not unlike the
pictures one sees in sixteenth-century historical works.

It is brief, confined, and unobtrusive. It was so in feudal times, when
most of its architecture partook of the nature of a stronghold. It is so
to-day, because little of modernity has come into its life.

The city, town, or finally village--for it is hardly more, from its
great lack of activity--lies at the foot of three lofty, isolated
eminences. A great conflagration came to Sion early in the nineteenth
century which resulted in a new lay-out of the town and one really fine
modern thoroughfare, though be it still remarked its life is yet
mediæval.

Upon one of these overshadowing heights is the present episcopal
residence, and on another the remains of a fortress--formerly the
stronghold of the bishops of Sion. On this height of La Valère stands
the very ancient church of Ste. Catherine (with a tenth or
eleventh-century choir), occupying, it is said, the site of a Roman
temple.

In the mid-nineteenth century the Jesuits gained a considerable
influence here and congregated in large numbers.

The city was the ancient Sedanum, and in olden time the bishop bore also
the title of "Prince of the Holy Empire." The power of this prelate was
practically unlimited, and ordinances of state were, as late as the
beginning of the nineteenth century, made in his name, and his arms
formed the embellishments of the public buildings and boundary posts.

Rudolf III., king of Burgundy, from the year 1000, made them counts of
Valais.

St. Théodule was the first bishop of Sion,--in the fourth century,--and
is the patron of the diocese.

In 1070 the bishop of Sion came to England as papal legate to consecrate
Walkelin to the see of Winchester.

In 1516 Bishop Schinner came to England to procure financial aid from
Henry VIII. to carry on war against France.

The cathedral in the lower town is a fifteenth-century work which
ought--had the manner of church-building here in this isolated region
kept pace with the outside world--to be Renaissance in style. In
reality, it suggests nothing but the earliest of Gothic, and, in parts,
even Romanesque; therefore it is to be remarked, if not admired.

Near by is the modern episcopal residence.

The records tell of the extraordinary beauty and value of the _trésor_,
which formerly belonged to the cathedral: an ivory pyx, a reliquary, and
a magnificent manuscript of the Gospels--given by Charles the Great to
St. Maurice, and acquired by the town in the fourteenth century. This
must at some former time have been dispersed, as no trace of it is known
to-day.

Sion was formerly a suffragan bishopric of Tarantaise, which in turn has
become to-day a suffragan of Chambéry.



XXXII

ST. PAUL TROIS CHÂTEAUX


St. Paul Trois Châteaux is a very old settlement. As a bishopric it was
known anciently as Tricastin, and dates from the second century. St.
Restuit was its first bishop. It was formerly the seat of the ancient
Roman colony of _Augusta Tricastinorum_. Tradition is responsible for
the assertion that St. Paul was the first prelate of the diocese, and
being born blind was cured by Jesus Christ. This holy man, after having
recovered his sight, took the name of Restuit, under which name he is
still locally honoured. One of his successors erected to his honour, in
the fourth century, a chapel and an altar. These, of course have
disappeared--hence we have only tradition, which, to say the least, and
the most, is, in this case, quite legendary.

The city was devastated in the fifth century by the Vandals; in 1736 by
the Saracens; and taken and retaken by the Protestants and Catholics in
the fourteenth century.

As a bishopric the "Tricastin city" comprised but thirty-six parishes,
and in the rearrangement attendant upon the Revolution was suppressed
altogether. Ninety-five bishops in all had their seats here up to the
time of suppression. Certainly the religious history of this tiny city
has been most vigorous and active.

The city conserves to-day somewhat of its ancient birthright, and is a
picturesque and romantic spot, in which all may tarry awhile amid its
tortuous streets and the splendid remains of its old-time builders. Few
do drop off, even, in their annual rush southward, in season or out, and
the result is that St. Paul Trois Châteaux is to-day a delightfully "old
world" spot in the most significant meaning of the phrase.

Of course the habitant still refers to the seat of the former bishop's
throne as a cathedral, and it is with pardonable pride that he does so.

This precious old eleventh and twelfth-century church is possessed of as
endearing and interesting an aspect as the city itself. It has been
restored in recent times, but is much hidden by the houses which hover
around its walls. It has a unique portal which opens between two jutting
columns whose shafts uphold nothing--not even capitals.

In fact, the general plan of the cathedral follows that of the Latin
cross, though in this instance it is of rather robust proportions. The
transepts, which are neither deep nor wide, are terminated with an apse,
as is also the choir, which depends, for its embellishments, upon the
decorative effect produced by eight Corinthian columns.

The interior, the nave in particular, is of unusual height for a not
very grand structure; perhaps eighty feet. Its length is hardly greater.

The orders of columns rise vaultwards, surmounted by a simple
entablature. These are perhaps not of the species that has come to be
regarded as good form in Christian architecture, but which, for many
reasons, have found their way into church-building, both before and
since the rise of Gothic.

Under a triforium, in blind, is a sculptured drapery; again a feature
more pagan than Christian, but which is here more pleasing than when
usually found in such a false relation.

Both these details are in imitation of the antique, and, since they date
from long before the simulating of pseudo-classical details became a
mere fad, are the more interesting and valuable as an art-expression of
the time.

For the rest, this one-time cathedral is uncommon and most singular in
all its parts, though nowhere of very great inherent beauty.

An ancient gateway bears a statue of the Virgin. It was the gift of a
former Archbishop of Paris to the town of his birth.

An ancient Dominican convent is now the _École Normale des Petits Frères
de Marie_. Within its wall have recently been discovered a valuable
mosaic work, and a table or altar of carved stone.

In the suburbs of the town have also recently been found much beautiful
Roman work of a decorative nature; a geometric parchment in mosaic; a
superb lamp, in worked bronze; a head of Mercury (now in the Louvre),
and much treasure which would make any antiquarian literally leap for
joy, were he but present when they were unearthed.

Altogether the brief résumé should make for a desire to know more of
this ancient city whose name, even, is scarcely known to those
much-travelled persons who cross and recross France in pursuit of the
pleasures of convention alone.



_PART IV_

_The Mediterranean Coast_



I

INTRODUCTORY


The Mediterranean shore of the south of France, that delectable land
which fringes the great tideless sea, bespeaks the very spirit of
history and romance, of Christian fervour, and of profane riot and
bloodshed.

Its ancient provinces,--Lower Languedoc, the Narbonensis of Gaul;
Provence, the most glorious and golden of all that went to make up
modern France,--the mediæval capital of King René, Aix-en-Provence, and
the commercial capital of the Phoceans (559 B. C.), Massilia, all
combine in a wealth of storied lore which is inexhaustible.

The tide of latter-day travel descends the Rhône to Marseilles, turns
eastward to the conventional pleasures of the Riviera, and utterly
neglects the charms of La Crau, St. Rémy, Martiques, and Aigues-Mortes;
or the more progressive, though still ancient cathedral cities of
Montpellier, Béziers, Narbonne, or Perpignan.

There is no question but that the French Riviera is, in winter, a land
of sunshiny days, cool nights, and the more or the less rapid life of
fashion. Which of these attractions induces the droves of personally-,
semi-, and non-conducted tourists to journey thither, with the first
advent of northern rigour, is doubtful; it is probably, however, a
combination of all three.

It is a beautiful strip of coast-line from Marseilles to Mentone, and
its towns and cities are most attractively placed. But a sojourn there
"in the season," amid the luxury of a "palace-hotel," or the bareness of
a mediocre _pension_, is a thing to be dreaded. Seekers after health and
pleasure are supposed to be wonderfully recouped by the process; but
this is more than doubtful. Vice is rarely attractive, but it is always
made attractive, and weak tea and _pain de ménage_ in a Riviera
boarding-house are no more stimulating than elsewhere; hence the many
virtues of this sunlit land are greatly nullified.

"A peculiarity of the Riviera is that each of the prominent
watering-places possesses a tutelary deity of our own. (Modest this!)
Thus, for instance, no visitor to Cannes is allowed to forget the name
of Lord Brougham, while the interest at Beaulieu and Cap Martin centres
around another great English statesman, Lord Salisbury. Cap d'Antibes
has (or had) for its _genius loci_ Grant Allen, and Valescure is chiefly
concerned with Mrs. Humphry Ward and Mrs. Oliphant."

This quotation is, perhaps, enough to make the writer's point here: Why
go to the Riviera to think of Lord Brougham, long since dead and gone,
any more than to Monte Carlo to be reminded of the unfortunate end which
happened to the great system for "breaking the bank" of Lord----, a
nineteenth-century nobleman of notoriety--if not of fame?

The charm of situation of the Riviera is great, and the interest
awakened by its many reminders of the historied past is equally so; but,
with regard to its architectural remains, the most ready and willing
temperament will be doomed to disappointment.

The cathedral cities of the Riviera are not of irresistible attraction
as shrines of the Christian faith; but they have much else, either
within their confines or in the immediate neighbourhood, which will go
far to make up for the deficiency of their religious monuments.

It is not that the architectural remains of churches of another day, and
secular establishments, are wholly wanting. Far from it; Fréjus, Toulon,
Grasse, and Cannes are possessed of delightful old churches, though they
are not of ranking greatness, or splendour.

Still the fact remains that, of themselves, the natural beauties of the
region and the heritage of a historic past are not enough to attract the
throngs which, for any one of a dozen suspected reasons, annually, from
November to March, flock hither to this range of towns, which extends
from Hyères and St. Raphael, on the west, to Bordighera and Ospadeletti,
just over the Italian border, on the east.

It is truly historic ground, this; perhaps more visibly impressed upon
the mind and imagination than any other in the world, if we except the
Holy Land itself.

Along this boundary were the two main routes, by land and by water,
through which the warlike and civil institutions of Rome first made
their way into Gaul, conquered it, and impressed thereon indelibly for
five hundred years the mighty power which their ambition urged forward.

At Cimiez, a suburb of Nice, they have left a well-preserved
amphitheatre; at Antibes the remains of Roman towers; Villefranche--the
port of Nice--was formerly a Roman port; Fréjus, the former _Forum
Julii_, has remains of its ancient harbour, its city walls, an
amphitheatre, a gateway, and an arch, and, at some distance from the
city, the chief of all neighbouring remains, an aqueduct, the crumbling
stones of which can be traced for many miles.

Above the promontory of Monaco, where the Alps abruptly meet the sea,
stands the tiny village of _La Turbie_, some nineteen hundred feet above
the waters of the sparklingly brilliant Mediterranean. Here stands that
venerable ruined tower, the great _Trophoea Augusti_ of the Romans,
now stayed and strutted by modern masonry. It commemorates the Alpine
victories of the first of the emperors, and overlooks both Italy and
France. Stripped to-day of the decorations and sculptures which once
graced its walls, it stands as a reminder of the first splendid
introduction of the luxuriant architecture of Rome into the precincts
of the Western Empire.

Here it may be recalled that sketching, even from the hilltops, is a
somewhat risky proceeding for the artist. The surrounding eminences--as
would be likely so near the Italian border--are frequently capped with a
fortress, and occupied by a small garrison, the sole duty of whose
commandant appears to be "heading off," or worse, those who would make a
picturesque note of the environment of this _ci-devant_ Roman
stronghold. The process of transcribing "literary notes" is looked upon
with equal suspicion, or even greater disapproval, in that--in
English--they are not so readily translated as is even a bad drawing. So
the admonition is here advisedly given for "whom it may concern."

From the Rhône eastward, Marseilles alone has any church of a class
worthy to rank with those truly great. Its present cathedral of Ste.
Marie-Majeure assuredly takes, both as to its plan and the magnitude on
which it has been carried out, the rank of a masterwork of architecture.
It is a modern cathedral, but it is a grand and imposing basilica, after
the Byzantine manner.

Westward, if we except Béziers, where there is a commanding cathedral;
Narbonne, where the true sky-pointing Gothic is to be found; and
Perpignan, where there is a very ancient though peculiarly disposed
cathedral, there are no really grand cathedral churches of this or any
other day. On the whole, however, all these cities are possessed of a
subtle charm of manner and environment which tell a story peculiarly
their own.

Foremost among these cities of Southern Gaul, which have perhaps the
greatest and most appealing interest for the traveller, are Carcassonne
and Aigues-Mortes.

Each of these remarkable reminders of days that are gone is unlike
anything elsewhere. Their very decay and practical desertion make for an
interest which would otherwise be unattainable.

Aigues-Mortes has no cathedral, nor ever had; but Carcassonne has a very
beautiful, though small, example in St. Nazaire, treated elsewhere in
this book.

Both Aigues-Mortes and Carcassonne are the last, and the greatest,
examples of the famous walled and fortified cities of the Middle Ages.

Aigues-Mortes itself is a mere dead thing of the marshes, which once
held ten thousand souls, and witnessed all the pomp and glitter which
attended upon the embarking of Louis IX. on his chivalrous, but
ill-starred, ventures to the African coasts.

"Here was a city built by the whim of a king--the last of the Royal
Crusaders." To-day it is a coffin-like city with perhaps a couple of
thousand pallid, shaking mortals, striving against the marsh-fever,
among the ruined houses, and within the mouldering walls of an ancient
Gothic burgh.

[Illustration: _The Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes_]

[Illustration: _St. Sauveur d'Aix_]



II

ST. SAUVEUR D'AIX


Aix, the former capital of Provence, one of the most famous ancient
provinces, the early seat of wealth and civilization, and the native
land of the poetry and romance of mediævalism, was the still more
ancient _Aquæ Sextiæ_ of the Romans--so named for the hot springs of the
neighbourhood. It was their oldest colony in Gaul, and was founded by
Sextius Calvinus in B. C. 123.

In King René's time,--"_le bon roi_" died at Aix in
1480,--_Aix-en-Provence_ was more famous than ever as a "gay capital,"
where "mirth and song and much good wine" reigned, if not to a
degenerate extent, at least to the full expression of liberty.

In 1481, just subsequent to René's death, the province was annexed to
the Crown, and fifty years later fell into the hands of Charles V., who
was proclaimed King of Arles and Provence. This monarch's reign here was
of short duration, and he evacuated the city after two months' tenure.

During all this time the church of Aix, from the foundation of the
archbishopric by St. Maxine in the first century (as stated rather
doubtfully in the "_Gallia Christiania_"), ever advanced hand in hand
with the mediæval gaiety and splendour that is now past.

Who ever goes to Aix now? Not many Riviera tourists even, and not many,
unless they are on a mission bent, will cross the Rhône and the Durance
when such appealingly attractive cities as Arles, Avignon, and Nîmes lie
on the direct pathway from north to south.

Formerly the see was known as the Province of Aix. To-day it is known as
Aix, Arles, and Embrun, and covers the Department of Bouches-du-Rhône,
with the exception of Marseilles, which is a suffragan bishopric of
itself.

The chief ecclesiastical monuments of Aix are the cathedral of St.
Sauveur, with its most unusual _baptistère_; the church of St.
Jean-de-Malte of the fourteenth century; and the comparatively modern
early eighteenth-century church of La Madeleine, with a fine
"Annunciation" confidently attributed by local experts to Albrecht
Dürer.

The cathedral of St. Sauveur is, in part, an eleventh-century church.
The portions remaining of this era are not very extensive, but they do
exist, and the choir, which was added in the thirteenth century, made
the first approach to a completed structure. In the next century the
choir was still more elaborated, and the tower and the southern aisle of
the nave added. This nave is, therefore, the original nave, as the
northern aisle was not added until well into the seventeenth century.

The west façade contains a wonderful, though non-contemporary, door and
doorway in wood and stone of the early sixteenth century. This doorway
is in two bays, divided by a pier, on which is superimposed a statue of
the Virgin and Child, framed by a light garland of foliage and fruits.
Above are twelve tiny statuettes of _Sibylles_ or the theological
virtues placed in two rows. The lower range of the archivolt is divided
by pilasters bearing the symbols of the Evangelists, deeply cut
arabesques of the Genii, and the four greater prophets--Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

Taken together, these late sculptures of the early sixteenth century
form an unusually mixed lot; but their workmanship and disposition are
pleasing and of an excellence which in many carvings of an earlier date
is often lacking.

The interior shows early "pointed" and simple round arches, with
pilasters and pediment which bear little relation to Gothic, and are yet
not Romanesque of the conventional variety. These features are mainly
not suggestive of the Renaissance either, though work of this style
crops out, as might be expected, in the added north aisle of the nave.

The transepts, too, which are hardly to be remarked from the
outside,--being much hemmed about by the surrounding buildings,--also
indicate their Renaissance origin.

The real embellishments of the interior are: a triptych--"The Burning
Bush," with portraits of King René, Queen Jeanne de Laval, and others;
another of "The Annunciation;" a painting of St. Thomas, by a
sixteenth-century Flemish artist; and some sixteenth-century tapestries.
None of these features, while acceptable enough as works of art, compare
in worth or novelty with the tiny _baptistère_, which is claimed as of
the sixth century.

This is an unusual work in Gaul, the only other examples being at
Poitiers and Le Puy. It resembles in plan and outline its more famous
contemporary at Ravenna, and shows eight antique columns, from a former
temple to Apollo, with dark shafts and lighter capitals. The dome has a
modern stucco finish, little in keeping with the general tone and
purport of this accessory. The cloister of St Sauveur, in the Lombard
style, is very curious, with its assorted twisted and plain columns,
some even knotted. The origin of its style is again bespoke in certain
of the round-headed arches. Altogether, as an accessory to the
cathedral, if to no other extent, this Lombard detail is forceful and
interesting.



III

ST. REPARATA DE NICE

     "What would you, then? I say it is most engaging, in winter when
     the strangers are here, and all work day and night; but it is a
     much better place in summer, when one can take their ease."

    --PAUL ARÈNE.


Whatever may be the attractions of Nice for the travelled person, they
certainly do not lie in or about its cathedral. The guide-books call it
simply "the principal ecclesiastical edifice ... of no great interest,"
which is an apt enough qualification.

In a book which professes to treat of the special subject of cathedral
churches, something more is expected, if only to define the reason of
the lack of appealing interest.

One might say with the Abbé Bourassé,--who wrote of St. Louis de
Versailles,--"It is cold, unfeeling, and without life;" or he might
dismiss it with a few words of lukewarm praise, which would be even
less satisfying.

More specifically the observation might be passed that the lover of
churches will hardly find enough to warrant even passing consideration
_on the entire Riviera_.

This last is in a great measure true, though much of the incident of
history and romance is woven about what--so far as the church-lover is
concerned--may be termed mere "tourist points."

At all events, he who makes the round, from Marseilles to San Remo in
Italy, must to no small extent subordinate his love of ecclesiastical
art and--as do the majority of visitors--plunge into a whirl of gaiety
(_sic_) as conventional and unsatisfying as are most fulsome, fleeting
pleasures.

The sensation is agreeable enough to most of us, for a time at least,
but the forced and artificial gaiety soon palls, and he who puts it all
behind him, and strikes inland to Aix and Embrun and the romantically
disposed little cathedral towns of the valley of the Durance, will come
once again into an architectural zone more in comport with the subject
suggested by the title of this book.

It is curious to note that, with the exception of Marseilles and Aix,
scarce one of the suffragan dioceses of the ancient ecclesiastical
province of Aix, Arles, and Embrun is possessed of a cathedral of the
magnitude which we are wont to associate with the churchly dignity of a
bishop.

St. Reparata de Nice is dismissed as above; that of Antibes was early
transferred or combined with that of Grasse; Grasse itself endured for a
time--from 1245 onward--but was suppressed in 1790; Glandève, Senez, and
Riez were combined with Digne; while Fréjus has become subordinate to
Toulon, though it shares episcopal dignity with that city.

In spite of these changes and the apparently inexplicable tangle of the
limits of jurisdiction which has spread over this entire region,
religion has, as might be inferred from a study of the movement of early
Christianity in Gaul, ever been prominent in the life of the people, and
furthermore is of very long standing.

The first bishop of Nice was Amantius, who came in the fourth century.
With what effect he laboured and with what real effect his labours
resulted, history does not state with minutiæ. The name first given to
the diocese was _Cemenelium_.

In 1802 the diocese of Nice was allied with that of Aix, but in the
final readjustment its individuality became its own possession once
more, and it is now a bishopric, a suffragan of Marseilles.

As to architectural splendour, or even worth, St. Reparata de Nice has
none. It is a poor, mean fabric in the Italian style; quite unsuitable
in its dimensions to even the proper exploitation of any beauties that
the style of the Renaissance may otherwise possess.

The general impression that it makes upon one is that it is but a
makeshift or substitute for something more pretentious which is to come.

The church dates from 1650 only, and is entirely unworthy as an
expression of religious art or architecture. The structure itself is
bare throughout, and what decorative embellishments there are--though
numerous--are gaudy, after the manner of stage tinsel.



IV

STE. MARIE MAJEURE DE TOULON


The episcopal dignity of Toulon is to-day shared with Fréjus, whereas,
at the founding of the diocese, Toulon stood alone as a bishopric in the
ecclesiastical province of Arles. This was in the fifth century. When
the readjustment came, after the Revolution, the honour was divided with
the neighbouring coast town of Fréjus.

In spite of the fact that the cathedral here is of exceeding interest,
Toulon is most often thought of as the chief naval station of France in
the Mediterranean. From this fact signs of the workaday world are for
ever thrusting themselves before one.

As a seaport, Toulon is admirably situated and planned, but the contrast
between the new and old quarters of the town and the frowning
fortifications, docks, and storehouses is a jumble of utilitarian
accessories which does not make for the slightest artistic or æsthetic
interest.

Ste. Marie Majeure is a Romanesque edifice of the eleventh and twelfth
centuries. Its façade is an added member of the seventeenth century, and
the belfry of the century following. The church to-day is of some
considerable magnitude, as the work of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries comprehended extensive enlargements.

As to its specific style, it has been called Provençal as well as
Romanesque. It is hardly one or the other, as the pure types known
elsewhere are considered, but rather a blend or transition between the
two.

The edifice underwent a twelfth-century restoration, which doubtless was
the opportunity for incorporating with the Romanesque fabric certain
details which we have come since to know as Provençal.

During the Revolution the cathedral suffered much despoliation, as was
usual, and only came through the trial in a somewhat imperfect and
poverty-stricken condition. Still, it presents to-day some considerable
splendour, if not actual magnificence.

Its nave is for more reasons than one quite remarkable. It has a length
of perhaps a hundred and sixty feet, and a width scarcely thirty-five,
which gives an astonishing effect of narrowness, but one which bespeaks
a certain grace and lightness nevertheless--or would, were its
constructive elements of a little lighter order.

In a chapel to the right of the choir is a fine modern _reredos_, and
throughout there are many paintings of acceptable, if not great, worth.
The pulpit, by a native of Toulon, is usually admired, but is a modern
work which in no way compares with others of its kind seen along the
Rhine, and indeed throughout Germany. One of the principal features
which decorate the interior is a tabernacle by Puget; while an admirable
sculptured "Jehovah and the Angels" by Veyrier, and a "Virgin" by
Canova--which truly is not a great work--complete the list of artistic
accessories.

The first bishop of Toulon, in the fifth century, was one Honoré.



V

ST. ETIENNE DE FRÉJUS


The ancient episcopal city of Fréjus has perhaps more than a due share
of the attractions for the student and lover of the historic past. It is
one of the most ancient cities of Provence. Its charm of environment,
people, and much else that it offers, on the surface or below, are as
irresistible a galaxy as one can find in a small town of scarce three
thousand inhabitants. And Fréjus is right on the beaten track, too,
though it is not apparent that the usual run of pleasure-loving,
tennis-playing, and dancing-party species of tourist--at a small sum per
head, all included--ever stop here _en route_ to the town's more
fashionable Riviera neighbours--at least they do not _en masse_--as they
wing their way to the more delectable pleasures of naughty Nice or
precise and proper Mentone.

The establishment of a bishopric here is somewhat doubtfully given by
"_La Gallia Christiania_" as having been in the fourth century. Coupled
with this statement is the assertion that the cathedral at Fréjus is
very ancient, and its foundation very obscure; but that it was probably
built up from the remains of a "primitive temple consecrated to an
idol." Such, at least, is the information gleaned from a French source,
which does not in any way suggest room for doubt.

Formerly the religious administration was divided amongst a provost, an
archdeacon, a sacristan, and twelve canons. The diocese was suppressed
in 1801 and united with that of Aix, but was reëstablished in 1823 by
virtue of the Concordat of 1817. To-day the diocese divides the honour
of archiepiscopal dignity with that of Toulon.

The foundations of St. Etienne are admittedly those of a pagan temple,
but the bulk of the main body of the church is of the eleventh century.
The tower and its spire--not wholly beautiful, nor yet in any way
unbeautiful--are of the period of the _ogivale primaire_.

As to style, in so far as St. Etienne differs greatly from the early
Gothic of convention, it is generally designated as
Provençal-Romanesque. It is, however, strangely akin to what we know
elsewhere as primitive Gothic, and as such it is worthy of remark,
situated, as it is, here in the land where the pure round-arched style
is indigenous.

The portal has a doorway ornamented with some indifferent Renaissance
sculptures. To the left of this doorway is a _baptistère_ containing a
number of granite columns, which, judging from their crudeness, must be
of genuine antiquity.

There is an ancient Gothic cloister, hardly embryotic, but still very
rudimentary, because of the lack of piercings of the arches; possibly,
though, this is the result of an afterthought, as the arched openings
appear likely enough to have been filled up at some time subsequent to
the first erection of this feature.

The bishop's palace is of extraordinary magnitude and impressiveness,
though of no very great splendour. In its fabric are incorporated a
series of Gallo-Roman pilasters, and it has the further added
embellishment of a pair of graceful twin _tourelles_.

The Roman remains throughout the city are numerous and splendid, and, as
a former seaport, founded by Cæsar and enlarged by Augustus, the city
was at a former time even more splendid than its fragments might
indicate. To-day, owing to the building up of the foreshore, and the
alluvial deposits washed down by the river Argens, the town is perhaps a
mile from the open sea.

[Illustration: _Detail of Doorway of the Archibishop's Palace, Fréjus_]

[Illustration]



VI

ÉGLISE DE GRASSE


Grasse is more famed for its picturesque situation and the manufacture
of perfumery than it is for its one-time cathedral, which is but a
simple and uninteresting twelfth-century church, whose only feature of
note is a graceful doorway in the pointed style.

The diocese of Grasse formerly had jurisdiction over Antibes, whose
bishop--St. Armentaire--ruled in the fourth century.

The diocese of Grasse--in the province of Embrun--did not come into
being, however, until 1245, when Raimond de Villeneuve was made its
first bishop. The see was suppressed in 1790.

There are, as before said, no accessories of great artistic worth in the
Église de Grasse, and the lover of art and architecture will perforce
look elsewhere. In the Hôpital are three paintings attributed to Rubens,
an "Exaltation," a "Crucifixion," and a "Crowning of Thorns." They may
or may not be genuine works by the master; still, nothing points to
their lack of authenticity, except the omission of all mention thereof
in most accounts which treat of this artist's work.



VII

ANTIBES


Cap d'Antibes, on the Golfe Jouan, is one of those beauty-spots along
the Mediterranean over which sentimental rhapsody has ever lent, if not
a glamour which is artificial, at least one which is purely æsthetic.

One must not deny it any reputation of this nature which it may possess,
and indeed, with St. Raphael and Hyères, it shares with many another
place along the French Riviera a popularity as great, perhaps, as if it
were the possessor of even an extraordinarily beautiful cathedral.

The churchly dignity of Antibes has departed long since, though its
career as a former bishopric--in the province of Aix--was not brief, as
time goes. It began in the fourth century with St. Armentaire, and
endured intermittently until the twelfth century, when the see was
combined with that of Grasse, and the ruling dignity transferred to that
place.



VIII

STE. MARIE MAJEURE DE MARSEILLES

     "These brown men of Marseilles, who sing as they bend at their
     oars, are Greeks."

    --CLOVIS HUGHES.


Marseilles is modern and commercial; but Marseilles is also ancient, and
a centre from which have radiated, since the days of the Greeks, much
power and influence.

It is, too, for a modern city,--which it is to the average
tourist,--wonderfully picturesque, and shows some grand architectural
effects, both ancient and modern.

[Illustration: _Marseilles_]

The _Palais de Long Champs_ is an architectural grouping which might
have dazzled luxurious Rome itself. The Chamber of Commerce, with its
decorations by Puvis de Chavannes, is a structure of the first rank; the
_Cannebière_ is one of those few great business thoroughfares which are
truly imposing; while the docks, shipping, and hotels, are all of
that preëminent magnitude which we are wont to associate only with a
great capital.

As to its churches, its old twelfth-century cathedral remains to-day a
mere relic of its former dignity.

[Illustration: _The Old Cathedral, Marseilles_]

It is a reminder of a faith and a power that still live in spite of the
attempts of the world of progress to live it down, and has found its
echo in the present-day cathedral of Ste. Marie Majeure, one of the few
remarkably successful attempts at the designing of a great church in
modern times. The others are the new Westminster Roman Catholic
Cathedral London, the projected cathedral of St. John the Divine in New
York, and Trinity Church in Boston.

As an exemplification of church-building after an old-time manner
adapted to modern needs, called variously French-Romanesque, Byzantine,
and, by nearly every expert who has passed comment upon it, by some
special _nomenclature of his own_, the cathedral at Marseilles is one of
those great churches which will live in the future as has St. Marc's at
Venice in the past.

Its material is a soft stone of two contrasting varieties,--the green
being from the neighbourhood of Florence, and the white known as _pierre
de Calissant_,--laid in alternate courses. Its deep sunken portal, with
its twin flanking Byzantine towers, dominates the old part of the city,
lying around about the water-front, as do few other churches, and no
cathedrals, in all the world.

It stands a far more impressive and inspiring sentinel at the water-gate
of the city than does the ludicrously fashioned modern "sailors' church"
of Notre Dame de la Gard, which is perched in unstable fashion on a
pinnacle of rock on the opposite side of the harbour.

This "curiosity"--for it is hardly more--is reached by a cable-lift or
funicular railway, which seems principally to be conducted for the
delectation of those winter birds of passage yclept "Riviera tourists."

The true pilgrim, the sailor who leaves a votive offering, or his wife
or sweetheart, who goes there to pray for his safety, journeys on foot
by an abrupt, stony road,--as one truly devout should.

This sumptuous cathedral will not please every one, but it cannot be
denied that it is an admirably planned and wonderfully executed
_neo-Byzantine_ work. In size it is really vast, though its chief
remarkable dimension is its breadth. Its length is four hundred and
sixty feet.

At the crossing is a dome which rises to one hundred and ninety-seven
feet, while two smaller ones are at each end of the transept, and yet
others, smaller still, above the various chapels.

The general effect of the interior is--as might be
expected--_grandoise_. There is an immensely wide central nave, flanked
by two others of only appreciably reduced proportions.

Above the side aisles are galleries extending to the transepts.

The decorations of mosaic, glass, and mural painting have been the work
of the foremost artists of modern times, and have been long in
execution.

The entire period of construction extended practically over the last
half of the nineteenth century.

The plans were by Léon Vaudoyer, who was succeeded by one Espérandieu,
and again by Henri Rêvoil. The entire detail work may not even yet be
presumed to have been completed, but still the cathedral stands to-day
as the one distinct and complete achievement of its class within the
memory of living man.

The pillars of the nave, so great is their number and so just and true
their disposition, form a really decorative effect in themselves.

The choir is very long and is terminated with a domed apse, with domed
chapels radiating therefrom in a symmetrical and beautiful manner.

The episcopal residence is immediately to the right of the cathedral, on
the Place de la Major.

Marseilles has been the seat of a bishop since the days of St. Lazare in
the first century. It was formerly a suffragan of Arles in the Province
d'Arles, as it is to-day, but its jurisdiction is confined to the
immediate neighbourhood of the city.



IX

ST. PIERRE D'ALET


In St. Pierre d'Alet was a former cathedral of a very early date;
perhaps as early as the ninth century, though the edifice was entirely
rebuilt in the eleventh. To-day, even this structure--which is not to be
wondered at--is in ruins.

There was an ancient abbey here in the ninth century, but the bishopric
was not founded until 1318, and was suppressed in 1790.

The most notable feature of this ancient church is the wall which
surrounds or forms the apside. This quintupled _pan_ is separated by
four great pillars, in imitation of the Corinthian order; though for
that matter they may as well be referred to as genuine antiques--which
they probably are--and be done with it.

The capitals and the cornice which surmounts them are richly ornamented
with sculptured foliage, and, so far as it goes, the whole effect is
one of liberality and luxury of treatment.

Immediately beside the ruins of this old-time cathedral is the Église
St. André of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.



X

ST. PIERRE DE MONTPELLIER

    _La Ville de Montpellier_

    "Elle est charmante et douce ...
    Avec son vast ciel, toujours vibrant et pur,

           *       *       *       *       *

    Elle est charmante avec ses brunes jeunes filles
    ... le noir diamant de leurs yeux!"

    --HENRI DE BORNIER.


Montpellier is seated upon a hill, its foot washed by two small and
unimportant rivers.

A seventeenth-century writer has said: "This city is not very ancient,
though now it be the biggest, fairest, and richest in Languedoc, after
Toulouse."

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE _de MONTPELLIER_]

From a passage in the records left by St. Bernard, the Abbot of
Clairvaux, it is learned that there was a school or seminary of
physicians here as early as 1155, and the perfect establishment of a
university was known to have existed just previous to the year 1200.
This institution was held in great esteem, and in importance second
only to Paris. To-day the present establishment merits like approbation,
and, sheltered in part in the ancient episcopal palace, and partly
enclosing the cathedral of St. Pierre, it has become inseparable from
consideration in connection therewith.

The records above referred to have this to say concerning the
university: "Tho' Physic has the Precendence, yet both Parts of the Law
are taught in one of its Colleges, by Four Royal Professors, with the
Power of making Licentiates and Doctors." Continuing, he says: "The
ceremony of taking the M. D. degree is very imposing; if only the
putting on and off, seven times, the old gown of the famous Rabelais."

Montpellier was one of "the towns of security" granted by Henry IV. to
the Protestants, but Louis XIII., through the suggestions of his
cardinals, Richelieu and Mazarin, forced them by arms to surrender this
place of protection. The city was taken after a long siege and vigorous
defence in 1622.

Before the foundation of Montpellier, the episcopal seat was at
Maguelonne, the ancient Magalonum of the Romans. The town does not exist
to-day, and its memory is only perpetuated by the name Villeneuve les
Maguelonne, a small hamlet on the bay of that name, a short distance
from Montpellier.

The Church had a foothold here in the year 636, but the ferocity of
Saracen hordes utterly destroyed all vestiges of the Christian faith in
their descent upon the city.

Says the Abbé Bourassé: "In the eleventh century another cathedral was
dedicated by Bishop Arnaud, and the day was made the occasion of a fête,
in consideration of the restoration of the church, which had been for a
long time abandoned."

It seems futile to attempt to describe a church which does not exist,
and though the records of the later cathedral at Maguelonne are very
complete, it must perforce be passed by in favour of its descendant at
Montpellier.

Having obtained the consent of François I., the bishop of Maguelonne
solicited from the pontiff at Rome the privilege of transferring the
throne. In a bull given in 1536, it was decreed that this should be done
forthwith. Accordingly, the bishop and his chapter transferred their
dignity to a Benedictine monastery at Montpellier, which had been
founded in 1364 by Pope Urban V.

The wars of the Protestants desecrated this great church, which, like
many others, suffered greatly from their violence, so much so that it
was shorn entirely of its riches, its reliquaries, and much of its
decoration.

The dimensions of this church are not great, and its beauties are quite
of a comparative quality; but for all that it is a most interesting
cathedral.

The very grim but majestic severity of its canopied portal--with its
flanking cylindrical pillars, called by the French _tourelles
élancés_--gives the key-note of it all, and a note which many a more
perfect church lacks.

This curious porch well bespeaks the time when the Church was both
spiritual and militant, and ranks as an innovation--though an incomplete
and possibly imperfect one--in the manner of finishing off a west
façade. Its queer, suspended canopy and slight turreted towers are
unique; though, for a fact, they suggest, in embryo, those lavish
Burgundian porches; but it is only a suggestion, because of the
incompleteness and bareness. However, this porch is the distinct
fragment of the cathedral which will appeal to all who come into contact
therewith.

The general effect of the interior is even more plain than that of the
outer walls, and is only remarkable because of its fine and true
proportions of length, breadth, and height.

The triforium is but a suggestion of an arcade, supported by black
marble columns. The clerestory above is diminutive, and the window
piercings are infrequent. At the present time the choir is hung with a
series of curtains of _panne_--not tapestries in this case. The effect
is more theatrical than ecclesiastical.

The architectural embellishments are to-day practically _nil_, but
instead one sees everywhere large, uninterrupted blank walls without
decoration of any sort.

The principal decorations of the southern portal are the only relaxation
in this otherwise simple and austere fabric. Here is an elaborately
carved tympanum and an ornamented architrave, which suggests that the
added mellowness of a century or two yet to come will grant to it some
approach to distinction. This portal is by no means an insignificant
work, but it lacks that ripeness which is only obtained by the process
of time.

Three rectangular towers rise to unequal heights above the roof, and,
like the western porch, are bare and primitive, though they would be
effective enough could one but get an _ensemble_ view that would bring
them into range. They are singularly unbeautiful, however, when compared
with their northern brethren.

[Illustration]



XI

CATHÉDRALE D'AGDE


This tiny Mediterranean city was founded originally by the Phoenicians
as a commercial port, and finally grew, in spite of its diminutive
proportions, to great importance.

Says an old writer: "Agde is not so very big, but it is Rich and
Trading-Merchantmen can now come pretty near Agde and Boats somewhat
large enter into the Mouth of the River; where they exchange many
Commodities for the Wines of the Country."

Agde formerly, as if to emphasize its early importance, had its own
viscounts, whose estates fell to the share of those of Nîmes; but in
1187, Bernard Atton, son of a Viscount of Nîmes, presented to the Bishop
of Agde the viscounty of the city. Thus, it is seen, a certain
good-fellowship must have existed between the Church and state of a
former day.

Formerly travellers told tales of Agde, whereby one might conclude its
aspect was as dull and gloomy as "Black Angers" of King John's time; and
from the same source we learn of the almost universal use of a dull,
slate-like stone in the construction of its buildings. To-day this
dulness is not to be remarked. What will strike the observer, first and
foremost, as being the chief characteristic, is the castellated
_ci-devant_ cathedral church. Here is in evidence the blackish basalt,
or lava rock, to a far greater extent than elsewhere in the town. It was
a good medium for the architect-builder to work in, and he produced in
this not great or magnificent church a truly impressive structure.

The bishopric was founded in the fifth century under St. Venuste, and
came to its end at the suppression in 1790. Its former cathedral is
cared for by the _Ministère des Beaux-Arts_ as a _monument historique_.
The structure was consecrated as early as the seventh century, when a
completed edifice was built up from the remains of a pagan temple,
which formerly existed on the site. Mostly, however, the work is of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries, notably the massive square tower which,
one hundred and twenty feet in height, forms a beacon by sea and a
landmark on shore which no wayfarer by ship, road, or rail is likely to
miss.

A cloister of exceedingly handsome design and arrangement is attached to
the cathedral, where it is said the _mâchicoulis_ is the most ancient
known. This feature is also notable in the roof-line of the nave, which,
with the extraordinary window piercings and their disposition, heightens
still more the suggestion of the manner of castle-building of the time.
The functions of the two edifices were never combined, though each--in
no small way--frequently partook of many of the characteristics of the
other.

Aside from this really beautiful cloister, and a rather gorgeous, though
manifestly good, painted altar-piece, there are no other noteworthy
accessories; and the interest and charm of this not really great church
lie in its aspect of strength and utility as well as its environment,
rather than in any real æsthetic beauty.

[Illustration: _St. Nazaire de Béziers_]



XII

ST. NAZAIRE DE BÉZIERS


St. Nazaire de Béziers is, in its strongly fortified attributes of
frowning ramparts and well-nigh invulnerable situation, a continuation
of the suggestion that the mediæval church was frequently a stronghold
in more senses than one.

The church fabric itself has not the grimness of power of the more
magnificent St. Cécile at Albi or Notre Dame at Rodez, but their
functions have been much the same; and here, as at Albi, the ancient
episcopal palace is duly barricaded after a manner that bespeaks, at
least, forethought and strategy.

These fortress-churches of the South seem to have been a product of
environment as much as anything; though on the other hand it may have
been an all-seeing effort to provide for such contingency or emergency
as might, in those mediæval times, have sprung up anywhere.

At all events, these proclaimed shelters, from whatever persecution or
disasters might befall, were not only for the benefit of the clergy, but
for all their constituency; and such stronghold as they offered was for
the shelter, temporary or protracted, of all the population, or such of
them as could be accommodated. Surely this was a doubly devout and
utilitarian object.

In this section at any rate--the extreme south of France, and more
particularly to the westward of the _Bouches-du-Rhône_--the regional
"wars of religion" made some such protection necessary; and hence the
development of this type of church-building, not only with respect to
the larger cathedral churches, but of a great number of the parish
churches which were erected during the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries.

The other side of the picture is shown by the acts of intolerance on the
part of the Church, for those who merely differed from them in their
religious tenets and principles. Fanatics these outsiders may have been,
and perhaps not wholly tractable or harmless, but they were, doubtless,
as deserving of protection as were the faithful themselves. This was not
for them, however, and as for the violence and hatred with which they
were held here, one has only to recall that at Béziers took place the
crowning massacres of the Albigenses--"the most learned, intellectual,
and philosophic revolters from the Church of Rome."

Beneath the shadow of these grim walls and towers over twenty thousand
men and women and children were slaughtered by the fanatics of orthodox
France and Rome; led on and incited by the Bishop of Béziers, who has
been called--and justly as it would seem--"the blackest-souled bigot who
ever deformed the face of God's earth."

The cathedral at Béziers is not a great or imposing structure when taken
by itself. It is only in conjunction with its fortified walls and
ramparts and commanding situation that it rises to supreme rank.

It is commonly classed as a work of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries,
and with the characteristics of its era and local environment, it
presents no very grand or ornate features.

Its first general plan was due to a layman-architect, Gervais, which
perhaps accounts for a certain lack of what might otherwise be referred
to as ecclesiastical splendour.

The remains of this early work are presumably slight; perhaps nothing
more than the foundation walls, as a fire in 1209 did a considerable
damage.

The transepts were added in the thirteenth century, and the two dwarfed
towers in the fourteenth, at which period was built the _clocher_ (151
feet), the apside, and the nave proper.

There is not a great brilliancy or refulgent glow from the fabric from
which St. Nazaire de Béziers is built; as is so frequent in secular
works in this region. The stone was dark, apparently, to start with, and
has aged considerably since it was put into place. This, in a great
measure, accounts for the lack of liveliness in the design and
arrangement of this cathedral, and the only note which breaks the
monotony of the exterior are the two statues, symbolical of the ancient
and the modern laws of the universe, which flank the western portal--or
what stands for such, did it but possess the dignity of magnitude.

So far as the exterior goes, it is one's first acquaintance with St.
Nazaire, when seen across the river Orb, which gives the most lively and
satisfying impression.

The interior attributes of worth and interest are more numerous and
pleasing.

The nave is aisleless, but has numerous lateral chapels. The choir has a
remarkable series of windows which preserve, even to-day, their ancient
protecting _grilles_--a series of wonderfully worked iron scrolls. These
serve to preserve much fourteenth-century glass of curious, though
hardly beautiful, design. To a great extent this ancient glass is hidden
from view by a massive eighteenth-century _retable_, which is without
any worth whatever as an artistic accessory.

A cloister of the fourteenth century flanks the nave on the south, and
is the chief feature of really appealing quality within the confines of
the cathedral precincts.

The view from the terrace before the cathedral is one which is hardly
approachable elsewhere. For many miles in all directions stretches the
low, flat plain of Languedoc; the Mediterranean lies to the east; the
Cevennes and the valley of the Orb to the north; with the lance-like
Canal du Midi stretching away to the westward.

As might be expected, the streets of the city are tortuous and narrow,
but there are evidences of the march of improvement which may in time be
expected to eradicate all this--to the detriment of the picturesque
aspect.

[Illustration]



XIII

ST. JEAN DE PERPIGNAN


Perpignan is another of those provincial cities of France which in
manners and customs sedulously imitate those of their larger and more
powerful neighbours.

From the fact that it is the chief town of the Départment des
Pyrénêes-Orientales, it perhaps justifies the procedure. But it is as
the ancient capital of Rousillon--only united with France in 1659--that
the imaginative person will like to think of it--in spite of its modern
cafés, tram-cars, and _magazins_.

Like the smaller and less progressive town of Elne, Perpignan retains
much the same Catalonian flavour of "physiognomy, language, and dress;"
and its narrow, tortuous streets and the _jalousies_ and _patios_ of its
houses carry the suggestion still further.

The Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 changed the course of the city's
destinies, and to-day it is the fortress-city of France which commands
the easterly route into Spain.

The city's Christian influences began when the see was removed hither
from Elne, where it had been founded as early as the sixth century.

The cathedral of St. Jean is a wonderful structure. In the lines of its
apside it suggests those of Albi, while the magnitude of its great
strongly roofed nave is only comparable with that of Bordeaux as to its
general dimensions. The great distinction of this feature comes from the
fact that its Romanesque walls are surmounted by a truly ogival vault.
This great church was originally founded by the king of Majorca, who
held Rousillon in ransom from the king of Aragon in 1324.

The west front is entirely unworthy of the other proportions of the
structure, and decidedly the most brilliant and lively view is that of
the apside and its chapels. There is an odd fourteenth-century tower,
above which is suspended a clock in a cage of iron.

The whole design or outline of the exterior of this not very ancient
cathedral is in the main Spanish; it is at least not French.

This Spanish sentiment is further sustained by many of the interior
accessories and details, of which the chief and most elaborate are an
altar-screen of wood and stone of great magnificence, a marble _retable_
of the seventeenth century, a baptismal font of the twelfth or
thirteenth century, some indifferent paintings, the usual organ _buffet_
with fifteenth-century carving, and a tomb of a former bishop (1695) in
the transept.

The altars, other than the above, are garish and unappealing.

A further notable effect to be seen in the massive nave is the very
excellent "pointed" vaulting.

There are, close beside the present church, the remains of an older St.
Jean--now nought but a ruin.

The Bourse (locally called _La Loge_, from the Spanish _Lonja_) has a
charming cloistered courtyard of a mixed Moorish-Gothic style. It is
well worthy of interest, as is also the citadel and castle of the King
of Majorca. The latter has a unique portal to its chapel.

It is recorded that Bishop Berengarius II. of Perpignan in the year 1019
visited the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, and on his return built a
church or chapel on similar lines in memory of his pilgrimage. No
remains of it are visible to-day, nor can it be further traced. Mention
of it is made here from the fact that it seems to have been a worthy
undertaking,--this memorial of a prelate's devotion to his faith.

[Illustration]



XIV

STE. EULALIA D'ELNE


Elne is the first in importance of the dead cities which border the Gulf
of Lyons.

It is the ancient _Illiberis_, frequently mentioned by Pliny, Livy, and,
latterly, Gibbon.

To-day it is ignored by all save the _commis voyageur_ and a
comparatively small number of the genuine French _touristes_.

Formerly the ancient province of Rousillon, in which Elne is situated,
and which bordered upon the Spanish frontier, was distinctly Spanish as
to manners and customs. It is, moreover, the reputed spot where
Hannibal first encamped after crossing the Pyrenees on his march to
Rome.

Like Bayonne, at the other extremity of the Pyrenean mountain chain, it
commanded the gateway to Spain, and even to-day is the real entrance of
the railway route to Barcelona, as is Bayonne to Madrid.

Between these two cities, for a distance approaching one hundred and
eighty miles, there is scarce a highway over the mountain barrier along
which a wheeled vehicle may travel with comfort, and the tiny Republic
of Andorra, though recently threatened with the advent of the railway,
is still isolated and unspoiled from the tourist influence, as well as
from undue intercourse with either France or Spain, which envelop its
few square miles of area as does the Atlantic Ocean the Azores.

To-day Elne is no longer the seat of a bishop, the see of Rousillon
having been transferred to Perpignan in the fourteenth century, after
having endured from the time of the first bishop, Domnus, since the
sixth century.

There has been left as a reminder a very interesting and beautiful
smaller cathedral church of the early eleventh century.

Alterations and restorations, mostly of the fifteenth century, have
changed its material aspect but little, and it still remains a highly
captivating monumental glory; which opinion is further sustained from
the fact that the _Commission des Monuments Historiques_ has had the
fabric under its own special care for many years.

It is decidedly a minor edifice, and its parts are as unimpressive as
its lack of magnitude; still, for all that, the church-lovers will find
much crude beauty in this Romanesque basilica-planned church, with its
dependant cloister of a very beautiful flowing Gothic of the fifteenth
century.

The chief artistic treasures of this ancient cathedral, aside from its
elegant cloister, are a _bénitier_ in white marble; a portal of some
pretensions, leading from the cathedral to its cloister; a
fourteen-century tomb, of some considerable artistic worth; and a
_bas-relief_, called the "Tomb of Constans."

There is little else of note, either in or about the cathedral, and the
town itself has the general air of a glory long past.

[Illustration: ST. JUST _de NARBONNE_]



XV

ST. JUST DE NARBONNE


The ancient province of Narbonenses--afterward comprising Languedoc--had
for its capital what is still the city of Narbonne. One may judge of the
former magnificence of Narbonne by the following lines of _Sidonius
Apollinaris_:

    "Salve Narbo potens Salubritate,
    Qui Urbè et Rure simul bonus Videris,
    Muris, Civibus, ambitu, Tabernis,
    Portis, Porticibus, Foro, Theatro,
    Delubris, Capitoliis, Monetis,
    Thermis, Arcubus, Harreis, Macellis,
    Pratis, Fontibus, Insulus, Salinis,
    Stagnis, Flumine, Merce, Ponte, Ponto,
    Unus qui jure venere divos
    Lenoeum, Cererum, Palem, Minervam,
    Spicis, Palmite, Poscius, Tapetis."

Narbonne is still mighty and healthful, if one is to judge from the
activities of the present day; is picturesque and pleasing, and far
more comfortably disposed than many cities with a more magnificently
imposing situation.

The city remained faithful to the Romans until the utmost decay of the
western empire, at which time (462) it was delivered to the Goths.

It was first the head of a kingdom, and later, when it came to the
Romans, it was made the capital of a province which comprised the fourth
part of Gaul.

This in turn was subdivided into the provinces of _Narbonenses_,
_Viennensis_, the _Greek Alps_, and the _Maritime Alps_, that is, all of
the later _Savoie_, _Dauphiné_, _Provence_, _Lower Languedoc_,
_Rousillon_, _Toulousan_, and the _Comté de Foix_.

Under the second race of kings, the Dukes of _Septimannia_ took the
title of _Ducs de Narbonne_, but the lords of the city contented
themselves with the name of viscount, which they bore from 1134 to 1507,
when Gaston de Foix--the last Viscount of Narbonne--exchanged it for
other lands, with his uncle, the French king, Louis XII. The most
credulous affirm that the Proconsul Sergius Paulus--converted by St.
Paul--was the first preacher of Christianity at Narbonne.

The Church is here, therefore, of great antiquity, and there are
plausible proofs which demonstrate the claim.

The episcopal palace at Narbonne, closely built up with the Hôtel de
Ville (rebuilt by Viollet-le-Duc), is a realization of the progress of
the art of domestic fortified architecture of the time.

Like its contemporary at Laon in the north, and more particularly after
the manner of the papal palace at Avignon and the archbishop's palace at
Albi, this structure combined the functions of a domestic and official
establishment with those of a stronghold or a fortified place of no mean
pretence.

Dating from 1272, the cathedral of St. Just de Narbonne suggests
comparison with, or at least the influence of, Amiens.

It is strong, hardy, and rich, with a directness of purpose with respect
to its various attributes that in a less lofty structure is wanting.

The height of the choir-vault is perhaps a hundred and twenty odd feet,
as against one hundred and forty-seven at Amiens, and accordingly it
does not suffer in comparison.

It may be remarked that these northern attributes of lofty vaulting and
the high development of the _arc-boutant_ were not general throughout
the south, or indeed in any other region than the north of France. Only
at Bazas, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Auch, Toulouse, and Narbonne do we find
these features in any acceptable degree of perfection.

The architects of the Midi had, by resistance and defiance, conserved
antique traditions with much greater vigour than they had endorsed the
new style, with the result that many of their structures, of a period
contemporary with the early development of the Gothic elsewhere, here
favoured it little if at all.

Only from the thirteenth century onward did they make general use of
ogival vaulting, maintaining with great conservatism the basilica plan
of Roman tradition.

In many other respects than constructive excellence does St. Just show a
pleasing aspect. It has, between the main body of the church and the
present Hôtel de Ville and the remains of the ancient _archevêché_, a
fragmentary cloister which is grand to the point of being scenic. It
dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and is decidedly the
most appealing feature of the entire cathedral precincts.

[Illustration: CLOISTER OF ST. JUST _de NARBONNE_....]

The cathedral itself still remains unachieved as to completeness, but
its _tourelles_, its vaulting, its buttresses, and its crenelated walls
are most impressive.

There are some elaborate tombs in the interior, in general of the time
of Henri IV.

The _trésor_ is rich in missals, manuscripts, ivories, and various altar
ornaments and decorations.

The choir is enclosed with a series of arena-like _loges_, outside which
runs a double aisle.

There are fragmentary evidences of the one-time possession of good
glass, but what paintings are shown appear ordinary and are doubtless of
little worth.

Decidedly the cathedral is an unusually splendid, if not a truly
magnificent, work.



_PART V_

_The Valley of the Garonne_



I

INTRODUCTORY


The basin of the Garonne includes all of the lower Aquitanian province,
Lower Languedoc,--still a debatable and undefinable land,--and much of
that region known of lovers of France, none the less than the native
himself, as the _Midi_.

Literally the term _Midi_ refers to the south of France, but more
particularly that part which lies between the mouth of the Rhône and the
western termination of the Pyrenean mountain boundary between France and
Spain.

The term is stamped indelibly in the popular mind by the events which
emanated from that wonderful march of the legion, known as "_Les Rouges
du Midi_," in Revolutionary times. We have heard much of the excesses of
the Revolution, but certainly the vivid history of "_Les Rouges_" as
recounted so well in that admirable book of Félix Gras (none the less
truthful because it is a novel), which bears the same name, gives every
justification to those valiant souls who made up that remarkable
phalanx; of whose acts most historians and humanitarians are generally
pleased to revile as cruelty and sacrilege unspeakable.

Félix Gras himself has told of the ignoble subjection in which his own
great-grandfather, a poor peasant, was held; and Frederic Mistral tells
of a like incident--of lashing and beating--which was thrust upon a
relative of his. If more reason were wanted, a perusal of the written
records of the Marseilles Battalion will point the way. Written history
presents many stubborn facts, difficult to digest and hard to swallow;
but the historical novel in the hands of a master will prove much that
is otherwise unacceptable. A previous acquaintance with this fascinating
and lurid story is absolutely necessary for a proper realization of the
spirit which endowed the inhabitants of this section of the _pays du
Midi_.

To-day the same spirit lives to a notable degree. The atmosphere and the
native character alike are both full of sunshine and shadow; grown men
and women are yet children, and gaiety, humour, and passion abound
where, in the more austere North, would be seen nought but indifference
and indolence.

It is the fashion to call the South languid, but nowhere more than at
Bordeaux--where the Garonne joins La Gironde--will you find so great and
ceaseless an activity.

The people are not, to be sure, of the peasant class, still they are not
such town-dwellers as in many other parts, and seem to combine, as do
most of the people of southern France, a languor and keenness which are
intoxicating if not stimulating.

Between Bordeaux and Toulouse are not many great towns, but, in the
words of Taine, one well realizes that "it is a fine country." The
Garonne valley, with a fine alluvial soil, grows, productively and
profitably, corn, tobacco, and hemp; and by the utmost industry and
intelligence the workers are able to prosper exceedingly.

The traveller from the Mediterranean across to the Atlantic--or the
reverse--by rail, will get glimpses now and then of this wonderfully
productive river-bottom, as it flows yellow-brown through its
osier-bedded banks; and again, an intermittent view of the Canal du
Midi, upon whose non-raging bosom is carried a vast water-borne traffic
by barge and canal-boat, which even the development of the railway has
not been able to appreciably curtail.

Here, too, the peasant proprietor is largely in evidence, which is an
undoubted factor in the general prosperity. His blockings, hedgings, and
fencings have spoiled the expanse of hillside and vale in much the same
manner as in Albion. This may be a pleasing feature to the uninitiated,
but it is not a picturesque one. However, the proprietorship of small
plots of land, worked by their non-luxury demanding owners, is
accountable for a great deal of the peace and plenty with which all
provincial France, if we except certain mountainous regions, seems to
abound. It may not provide a superabundance of this world's wealth and
luxury, but the French farmer--in a small way--has few likes of that
nature, and the existing conditions make for a contentment which the
dull, brutal, and lethargic farm labourer of some parts of England might
well be forced to emulate, if even by ball and chain.

Flat-roofed houses, reminiscent of Spain or Italy--born of a mild
climate--add a pleasing variety of architectural feature, while the
curiously hung bells--with their flattened belfries, like the headstones
in a cemetery--suggest something quite different from the motives which
inspired the northern builders, who enclosed their chimes in a
roofed-over, open-sided cubicle. The bells here hang merely in apertures
open to the air on each side, and ring out sharp and true to the last
dying note. It is a most picturesque and unusual arrangement, hardly to
be seen elsewhere as a characteristic feature outside Spain itself, and
in some of the old Missions, which the Spanish Fathers built in the
early days of California.

Between Bayonne and Bordeaux, and bordered by the sea, the Garonne, and
the Adour, is a nondescript land which may be likened to the deserts of
Africa or Asia, except that its barrenness is of the sea salty. It is by
no means unpeopled, though uncultivated and possessed of little
architectural splendour of either a past or the present day.

Including the half of the department of the Gironde, a corner of Lot et
Garonne, and all of that which bears its name, the Landes forms of
itself a great seaboard plain or morass. It is said by a geographical
authority that the surface so very nearly approaches the rectilinear
that for a distance of twenty-eight miles between the dismal villages of
Lamothe and Labonheyre the railway is "a visible meridian."

The early eighteenth-century writers--in English--used to revile all
France, so far as its topographical charms were concerned, with
panegyrics upon its unloveliness and lack of variety, and of being
anything more than a flat, arid land, which was not sufficient even unto
itself.

What induced this extraordinary reasoning it is hard to realize at the
present day.

Its beauties are by no means as thinly sown as is thought by those who
know them slightly--from a window of a railway carriage, or a sojourn of
a month in Brittany, a week in Provence, or a fortnight in Touraine.

The _ennui_ of a journey through France is the result of individual
incapacity for observation, not of the country. Above all, it is
certainly not true of Guienne or Gascony, nor of Provence, nor of
Dauphiné, nor Auvergne, nor Savoie.

As great rivers go, the Garonne is not of very great size, nor so very
magnificent in its reaches, nor so very picturesque,--with that minutiæ
associated with English rivers of a like rank,--but it is suggestive of
far more than most streams of its size and length, wherever found.

Its source is well within the Spanish frontier, in the picturesque Val
d'Aran, where the boundary between the two countries makes a curious
détour, and leaves the crest of the Pyrenees, which it follows
throughout--with this exception--from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

The Garonne becomes navigable at Cazères, some distance above Toulouse,
and continues its course, enhanced by the confluence of the Tarn, the
Lot, the Arriège, and the Dordogne, beyond the junction of which, two
hundred and seventy odd miles from the head of navigation, the estuary
takes on the nomenclature of _La Gironde_.

Of the ancient provinces of these parts, the most famous is Guienne,
that "fair duchy" once attached--by a subtle process of reasoning--to
the English crown.

It is distinguished, as to its economic aspect, by its vast vineyards,
which have given the wines, so commonly esteemed, the name of claret.
These and the other products of the country have found their way into
all markets of the world through the Atlantic coast metropolis of
Bordeaux.

The Gascogne of old was a large province to the southward of Guienne. A
romantic land, say the chroniclers and _mere litterateurs_ alike.
"Peopled by a race fiery, ardent, and impetuous ... with a peculiar
tendency to boasting, hence the term _gasconade_." The peculiar and
characteristic feature of Gascogne, as distinct from that which holds in
the main throughout these parts, is that strange and wild section called
the _Landes_, which is spoken of elsewhere.

The ancient province of Languedoc, which in its lower portion is
included in this section, is generally reputed to be the pride of France
with regard to climate, soil, and scenery. Again, this has been ruled
otherwise, but a more or less intimate acquaintance with the region does
not fail to endorse the first claim. This wide, strange land has not
vastly changed its aspect since the inhabitants first learned to fly
instead of fight.

This statement is derived to a great extent from legend, but, in
addition, is supported by much literary and historical opinion, which
has recorded its past. It is not contemptuous criticism any more than
Froissart's own words; therefore let it stand.

When the French had expelled the Goths beyond the Pyrenees, Charlemagne
established his governors in Languedoc with the title of Counts of
Toulouse. The first was Corson, in 778; the second St. W. du Courtnez or
Aux-Cornets, from whence the princes of Orange derive their pedigree, as
may be inferred from the hunting-horns in their arms.

Up to the eighteenth century these states retained a certain
independence and exercise of home rule, and had an Assembly made up of
"the three orders of the kingdom," the clergy, the nobility, and the
people. The Archbishop of Narbonne was president of the body, though he
was seldom called upon but to give the king money. This he acquired by
the laying on of an extraordinary imposition under the name of
"_Don-Gratuit_."

The wide, rolling country of Lower Languedoc has no very grand
topographical features, but it is watered by frequent and ample streams,
and peopled with row upon row of sturdy trees, with occasional groves of
mulberries, olives, and other citrus fruits. Over all glows the
luxuriant southern sun with a tropical brilliance, but without its
fierce burning rays.

Mention of the olive suggests the regard which most of us have for this
tree of romantic and sentimental association. As a religious emblem, it
is one of the most favoured relics which has descended to us from
Biblical times.

A writer on southern France has questioned the beauty of the growing
tree. It does, truly, look somewhat mop-headed, and it does spread
somewhat like a mushroom, but, with all that, it is a picturesque and
prolific adjunct to a southern landscape, and has been in times past a
source of inspiration to poets and painters, and of immeasurable profit
to the thrifty grower.

The worst feature which can possibly be called up with respect to Lower
Languedoc is the "skyey influences" of the Mistral, dry and piercingly
cold wind which blows southward through all the Rhône valley with a
surprising strength.

Madame de Sévigné paints it thus in words:

"_Le tourbillon, l'ouragan, tous les diables dechainés qui veulent bien
emporter votre château._"

Foremost among the cities of the region are Toulouse, Carcassonne,
Montpellier, Narbonne, and Béziers, of which Carcassonne is preëminent
as to its picturesque interest, and perhaps, as well, as to its storied
past.

The Pyrenees have of late attracted more and more attention from the
tourist, who has become sated with the conventionality of the "trippers'
tour" to Switzerland. The many attractive resorts which the Pyrenean
region has will doubtless go the way of others elsewhere--if they are
given time, but for the present this entire mountain region is possessed
of much that will appeal to the less conventional traveller.

Of all the mountain ranges of Europe, the Pyrenees stand unique as to
their regularity of configuration and strategic importance. They bind
and bound Spain and France with a bony ligature which is indented like
the edge of a saw.

From the Atlantic at Bayonne to the Mediterranean at Port Bou, the
mountain chain divides its valleys and ridges with the regularity of a
wall-trained shrub or pear-tree, and sinks on both sides to the level
plains of France and Spain. In the midst of this rises the river
Garonne. Its true source is in the Piedrafitta group of peaks, whence
its waters flow on through Toulouse, various tributaries combining to
give finally to Bordeaux its commanding situation and importance. Around
its source, which is the true centre of the Pyrenees, is the parting
line between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. On one side the waters
flow down through the fields of France to the Biscayan Bay, and on the
other southward and westward through the Iberian peninsula.

Few of the summits exceed the height of the ridge by more than two
thousand feet; whereas in the Alps many rise from six to eight thousand
feet above the _massif_, while scenic Mont Blanc elevates its head over
fifteen thousand feet.

As a barrier, the Pyrenees chain is unique. For over one hundred and
eighty miles, from the Col de la Perche to Maya--practically a suburb of
Bayonne--not a carriage road nor a railway crosses the range.

The etymology of the name of this mountain chain is in dispute. Many
suppose it to be from the Greek _pur_ (fire), alluding to the volcanic
origin of the peaks. This is endorsed by many, while others consider
that it comes from the Celtic word _byren_, meaning a mountain. Both
derivations are certainly apropos, but the weight of favour must always
lie with the former rather than the latter.

The ancient province of Béarn is essentially mediæval to-day. Its local
tongue is a pure Romance language; something quite distinct from mere
_patois_. It is principally thought to be a compound of Latin and
Teutonic with an admixture of Arabic.

This seems involved, but, as it is unlike modern French, or Castilian,
and modern everything else, it would seem difficult for any but an
expert student of tongues to place it definitely. To most of us it
appears to be but a jarring jumble of words, which may have been left
behind by the followers of the various conquerors which at one time or
another swept over the land.



II

ST. ANDRÉ DE BORDEAUX

     "One finds here reminders of the Visigoths, the Franks, the
     Saracens, and the English; and the temples, theatres, arenas, and
     monuments by which each made his mark of possession yet remain."

    --AURELIAN SCHOLL.


Taine in his _Carnets de Voyage_ says of Bordeaux: "It is a sort of
second Paris, gay and magnificent ... amusement is the main business."

Bordeaux does not change. It has ever been advanced, and always a centre
of gaiety. Its fêtes and functions quite rival those of the capital
itself,--at times,--and its opera-house is the most famed and
magnificent in France, outside of Paris.

It is a city of enthusiastic demonstrations. It was so in 1814 for the
Bourbons, and again a year later for the emperor on his return from
Elba.

In 1857 it again surpassed itself in its enthusiasm for Louis Napoleon,
when he was received in the cathedral, under a lofty dais, and led to
the altar with the cry of "_Vive l'empereur_;" while during the bloody
Franco-Prussian war it was the seat of the provisional government of
Thiers.

Here the Gothic wave of the North has produced in the cathedral of St.
André a remarkably impressive and unexpected example of the style.

In the general effect of size alone it will rank with many more
important and more beautiful churches elsewhere. Its total length of
over four hundred and fifty feet ranks it among the longest in France,
and its vast nave, with a span of sixty feet, aisleless though it be,
gives a still further expression of grandeur and magnificence.

It is known that three former cathedrals were successfully destroyed by
invading Goths, Saracens, and warlike Normans.

Yet another structure was built in the eleventh century, which, with the
advent of the English in Guienne, in the century following, was enlarged
and magnified into somewhat of an approach to the present magnificent
dimensions, though no English influence prevailed toward erecting a
central tower, as might have been anticipated. Instead we have two
exceedingly graceful and lofty spired towers flanking the north
transept, and yet another single tower, lacking its spire, on the south.

The portal of the north transept--of the fourteenth century--is an
elaborate work of itself. It is divided into two bays that join beneath
a dais, on which is a statue of Bertrand de Goth, who was Pope in 1305,
under the name of Clement V. He is here clothed in sacerdotal habits,
and stands upright in the attitude of benediction.

At the lower right-hand side are statues of six bishops, but, like that
of Pope Clement, they do not form a part of the constructive elements of
the portal, as did most work of a like nature in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries, but are made use of singly as a decorative motive.

The spring of the arch which surrounds the tympanum is composed of a
cordon of foliaged stone separating the six angels of the _première
archivolte_ from the twelve apostles of the second, and the fourteen
patriarchs and prophets of the third.

In the tympanum are three _bas-reliefs_ superimposed one upon the
other, the upper being naturally the smaller. They represent the Christ
triumphant, seated on a dais between two angels, one bearing a staff and
the other a veil, while above hover two other angelic figures holding
respectively the moon and sun.

The arrangement is not so elaborate or gracefully executed as many, but
in its simple and expressive symbolism, in spite of the fact that the
whole added ornament appears an afterthought, is far more convincing
than many more pretentious works of a similar nature.

Another exterior feature of note is seen at the third pillar at the
right of the choir. It is a curious double (back-to-back) statue of Ste.
Anne and the Virgin. It is of stone and of the late sixteenth century,
when sculpture--if it had not actually debased itself by superfluity of
detail--was of an excellence of symmetry which was often lacking
entirely from work of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The choir-chevet is a magnificent pyramidal mass of piers, pinnacles,
and buttresses of much elegance.

The towers which flank the north transept are adorned with an excellent
disposition of ornament.

The greater part of this cathedral was constructed during the period of
English domination; the choir would doubtless never have been achieved
in its present form had it not been for the liberality of Edward I. and
Pope Clement V., who had been the archbishop of the diocese.

The cathedral of St. André dates practically from 1252, and is, in
inception and execution, a very complete Gothic church.

Over its aisleless nave is carried one of the boldest and most
magnificent vaults known. The nave is more remarkable, however, for this
gigantic attribute than for any other excellencies which it possesses.

In the choir, which rises much higher than the nave, there comes into
being a double aisle on either side, as if to make up for the
deficiencies of the nave in this respect.

The choir arrangement and accessories are remarkably elaborate, though
many of them are not of great artistic worth. Under the organ are two
sculptured Renaissance _bas-reliefs_, taken from the ancient _jube_, and
representing a "Descent from the Cross" and "Christ Bearing the Cross."
There are two religious paintings of some value, one by Jordaens, and
the other by Alex. Veronese. Before the left transept is a monument to
Cardinal de Cheverus, with his statue. Surrounding the stonework of a
monument to d'Ant de Noailles (1662) is a fine work of wood-carving.

The high-altar is of the period contemporary with the main body of the
cathedral, and was brought thither from the Église de la Réole.

The Province of Bordeaux, as the early ecclesiastical division was
known, had its archiepiscopal seat at Bordeaux in the fourth century,
though it had previously (in the third century) been made a bishopric.



III

CATHÉDRALE DE LECTOURE


Lectoure, though defunct as a bishopric to-day, had endured from the
advent of Heuterius, in the sixth century, until 1790.

In spite of the lack of ecclesiastical remains of a very great rank,
there is in its one-time cathedral a work which can hardly be
contemplated except with affectionate admiration.

The affairs of a past day, either with respect to Church or State,
appear not to have been very vivid or highly coloured; in fact, the
reverse appears to be the case. In pre-mediæval times--when the city was
known as the Roman village of _Lactora_--it was strongly fortified, like
most hilltop towns of Gaul.

The cathedral dates for the most part from the thirteenth century, and
in the massive tower which enwraps its façade shows strong indications
of the workmanship of an alien hand, which was neither French nor
Italian. This tower is thought to resemble the Norman work of England
and the north of France, and in some measure it does, though it may be
questioned as to whether this is the correct classification. This tower,
whatever may have been its origin, is, however, one of those features
which is to be admired for itself alone; and it amply endorses and
sustains the claim of this church to a consideration more lasting than a
mere passing fancy.

The entire plan is unusually light and graceful, and though, by no
stretch of opinion could it be thought of as Gothic, it has not a little
of the suggestion of the style, which at a former time must have been
even more pronounced in that its western tower once possessed a spire
which rose to a sky-piercing height.

The lower tower still remains, but the spire, having suffered from
lightning and the winds at various times, was, a century or more ago,
removed.

The nave has a series of lateral chapels, each surmounted by a sort of
gallery or tribune, which would be notable in any church edifice, and
there is fine traceried vaulting in the apsidal chapels, which also
contain some effective, though modern coloured glass.

The former episcopal residence is now the local Mairie.

On a clear day, it is said, the towers of the cathedral at Auch may be
seen to the northward, while in the opposite direction the serrated
ridge of the Pyrenees is likewise visible.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de BAYONNE_]



IV

NOTRE DAME DE BAYONNE

     "Distant are the violet Pyrenees, wonderful and regal in their
     grandeur. The sun is bright, and laughs joyously at the Béarnais
     peasant."

    --JEAN RAMEAU.


Bayonne is an ancient town, and was known by the Romans as _Lapurdum_.
As a centre of Christianity, it was behind its neighbours, as no
bishopric was founded here until Arsias Rocha held the see in the ninth
century. No church-building of remark followed for at least two
centuries, when the foundations were laid upon which the present
cathedral was built up.

Like the cities and towns of Rousillon, at the opposite end of the
Pyrenean chain, Bayonne has for ever been of mixed race and
characteristics. Basques, Spaniards, Béarnese, and "alien French"--as
the native calls them--went to make up its conglomerate population in
the past, and does even yet in considerable proportions.

To the reader of history, the mediæval Béarn and Navarre, which to-day
forms the Department of the Basses-Pyrénées in the southwest corner of
France, will have the most lively interest, from the fact of its having
been the principality of _Henri Quatre_, the "good king" whose name was
so justly dear. The history of the Béarnese is a wonderful record of a
people of which too little is even yet known.

Bayonne itself has had many and varied historical associations, though
it is not steeped in that antiquity which is the birthright of many
another favoured spot.

Guide-books and the "notes-and-queries columns" of antiquarian journals
have unduly enlarged upon the fact that the bayonet--to-day a well-nigh
useless appendage as a weapon of war--was first invented here. It is
interesting as a fact, perhaps, but it is not of æsthetic moment.

The most gorgeous event of history connected with Bayonne and its
immediate vicinity--among all that catalogue, from the minor Spanish
invasions to Wellington's stupendous activities--was undoubtedly that
which led up to the famous Pyrenean Treaty made on the Isle du Faisan,
close beside the bridge, in the river Bidassoa, on the Spanish frontier.

The memory of the parts played therein by Mazarin and De Haro, and not
less the gorgeous pavilion in which the function was held, form a
setting which the writers of "poetical plays" and "historical romances"
seem to have neglected.

This magnificent apartment was decorated by Velasquez, who, it is said,
died of his inglorious transformation into an upholsterer.

The cathedral at Bayonne is contemporary with those at Troyes, Meaux,
and Auxerre, in the north of France. It resembles greatly the latter as
to general proportions and situation, though it possesses two completed
spires, whereas St. Etienne, at Auxerre, has but one.

In size and beauty the cathedral at Bayonne is far above the lower rank
of the cathedrals of France, and in spite of extensive restorations, it
yet stands forth as a mediæval work of great importance.

From a foundation of the date of 1140, a structure was in part completed
by 1213, at which time the whole existing fabric suffered the ravages of
fire. Work was immediately undertaken again, commencing with the choir;
and, except for the grand portal of the west front, the whole church was
finished by the mid-sixteenth century.

Restoration of a late date, induced by the generosity of a native of the
city, has resulted in the completion of the cathedral, which, if not a
really grand church to-day, is an exceedingly near approach thereto.

The fine western towers are modern, but they form the one note which
produces the effect of _ensemble_, which otherwise would be entirely
wanting.

The view from the Quai Bergemet, just across the Adour, for
picturesqueness of the quality which artists--tyros and masters
alike--love to sketch, is reminiscent only of St. Lo in Normandy.

Aside from the charm of its general picturesqueness of situation and
grouping, Notre Dame de Bayonne will appeal mostly by its interior
arrangements and embellishments.

The western portal is still lacking the greatness which future ages may
yet bestow upon it, and that of the north transept, by which one enters,
is, though somewhat more ornate, not otherwise remarkable.

A florid cloister of considerable size attaches itself on the south,
but access is had only from the sacristy.

The choir and apse are of the thirteenth century, and immediately
followed the fire of 1213.

Neither the transepts nor choir are of great length; indeed, they are
attenuated as compared with those of the more magnificent churches of
the Gothic type, of which this is, in a way, an otherwise satisfying
example.

The patriotic Englishman will take pride in the fact that the English
arms are graven somewhere in the vaulting of the nave. He may not be
able to spy them out,--probably will not be,--but they likely enough
existed, as a mid-Victorian writer describes them minutely, though no
modern guides or works of local repute make mention of the feature in
any way. The triforium is elegantly traceried, and is the most worthy
and artistic detail to be seen in the whole structure.

The clerestory windows contain glass of the fifteenth century; much
broken to-day, but of the same excellent quality of its century, and
that immediately preceding. The remainder of the glass, in the
clerestory and choir, is modern.

In the sacristy is a remarkable series of perfectly preserved
thirteenth-century sculptures in stone which truthfully--with the
before-mentioned triforum--are the real "art treasures" of the
cathedral. The three naves; the nave proper and its flanking aisles; the
transepts, attenuated though they be; and the equally shallow choir, all
in some way present a really grand effect, at once harmonious and
pleasing.

The pavement of the sanctuary is modern, as also the high-altar, but
both are generously good in design. These furnishings are mainly of
Italian marbles, hung about with tapestries, which, if not of
superlative excellence, are at least effective.

Modern mural paintings with backgrounds in gold decorate the _abside_
chapels.

There are many attributes of picturesque quality scattered throughout
the city: its unique trade customs, its shipping, its donkeys, and,
above any of these, its women themselves picturesque and beautiful. All
these will give the artist many lively suggestions.

Not many of the class, however, frequent this Biscayan city; which is a
loss to art and to themselves. A plea is herein made that its
attractions be better known by those who have become _ennuied_ by the
"resorts."



V

ST. JEAN DE BAZAS


At the time the grand cathedrals of the north of France were taking on
their completed form, a reflex was making itself felt here in the South.
Both at Bayonne and Bazas were growing into being two beautiful churches
which partook of many of the attributes of Gothic art in its most
approved form.

St. Jean de Bazas is supposedly of a tenth-century foundation, but its
real beginnings, so far as its later approved form is concerned, came
only in 1233. From which time onward it came quickly to its completion,
or at least to its dedication.

It was three centuries before its west front was completed, and when so
done--in the sixteenth century--it stood out, as it does to-day, a
splendid example of a façade, completely covered with statues of such
proportions and excellence that it is justly accounted the richest in
the south of France.

It quite equals, in general effect, such well-peopled fronts as Amiens
or Reims; though here the numbers are not so great, and, manifestly, not
of as great an excellence.

This small but well-proportioned church has no transepts, but the
columnar supports of its vaulting presume an effect of length which only
Gothic in its purest forms suggests.

The Huguenot rising somewhat depleted and greatly damaged the sculptured
decorations of its façade, and likewise much of the interior ornament,
but later repairs have done much to preserve the effect of the original
scheme, and the church remains to-day an exceedingly gratifying and
pleasing example of transplanted Gothic forms.

The diocese dates from the foundation of Sextilius, in the sixth
century.



VI

NOTRE DAME DE LESCAR


The bishopric here was founded in the fifth century by St. Julian, and
lasted till the suppression of 1790; but of all of its importance of
past ages, which was great, little is left to-day of ecclesiastical
dignity.

Lescar itself is an attractive enough small town of France,--it contains
but a scant two thousand inhabitants,--but has no great distinction to
important rank in any of the walks of life; indeed, its very aspect is
of a glory that has departed.

It has, however, like so many of the small towns of the ancient Béarn, a
notably fine situation: on a high _coteau_ which rises loftily above the
_route nationale_ which runs from Toulouse to Bayonne.

From the terrace of the former cathedral of Notre Dame can be seen the
snow-clad ridge of the Pyrenees and the umbrageous valley and plain
which lie between. In this verdant land there is no suggestion of what
used--in ignorance or prejudice--to be called "an aspect austere and
sterile."

The cathedral itself is bare, unto poverty, of tombs and monuments, but
a mosaic-worked pavement indicates, by its inscriptions and symbols,
that many faithful and devout souls lie buried within the walls.

The edifice is of imposing proportions, though it is not to be classed
as truly great. From the indications suggested by the heavy pillars and
grotesquely carved capitals of its nave, it is manifest that it has been
built up, at least in part, from remains of a very early date. It mostly
dates from the twelfth century, but in that it was rebuilt during the
period of the Renaissance, it is to the latter classification that it
really belongs.

The curiously carved capitals of the columns of the nave share, with the
frescoes of the apse, the chief distinction among the accessory details.
They depict, in their ornate and deeply cut heads, dragons and other
weird beasts of the land and fowls of the air, in conjunction with
unshapely human figures, and while all are intensely grotesque, they are
in no degree offensive.

There is no exceeding grace or symmetry of outline in any of the parts
of this church, but, nevertheless, it has the inexplicable power to
please, which counts for a great deal among such inanimate things as
architectural forms. It would perhaps be beyond the powers of any one to
explain why this is so frequently true of a really unassuming church
edifice; more so, perhaps, with regard to churches than to most other
things--possibly it is because of the local glamour or sentiment which
so envelops a religious monument, and hovers unconsciously and
ineradicably over some shrines far more than others. At any rate, the
former cathedral of Notre Dame at Lescar has this indefinable quality to
a far greater degree than many a more ambitiously conceived fabric.

The round-arched window and doorway most prevail, and the portal in
particular is of that deeply recessed variety which allows a mellow
interior to unfold slowly to the gaze, rather than jump at once into
being, immediately one has passed the outer lintel or jamb.

The entire suggestion of this church, both inside and out, is of a
structure far more massive and weighty than were really needed for a
church of its size, but for all that its very stable dimensions were
well advised in an edifice which was expected to endure for ages.

The entire apse is covered, inside, with a series of frescoes of a very
acceptable sort, which, though much defaced to-day, are the principal
art attribute of the church. Their author is unknown, but they are
probably the work of some Italian hand, and have even been credited to
Giotto.

The choir-stalls are quaintly carved, with a luxuriance which, in some
manner, approaches the Spanish style. They are at least representative
of that branch of Renaissance art which was more representative of the
highest expression than any other.

In form, this old cathedral follows the basilica plan, and is perhaps
two hundred feet in length, and some seventy-five in width.

The grandfather of Henri IV. and his wife--_la Marguerites des
Marguerites_--were formerly buried in this cathedral, but their remains
were scattered by either the Huguenots or the Revolutionists.

Curiously enough, too, Lescar was the former habitation of a Jesuit
College, founded by Henri IV. after his conversion to the Roman faith,
but no remains of this institution exist to-day.

[Illustration]



VII

L'ÉGLISE DE LA SÈDE: TARBES


Froissart describes Tarbes as "a fine large town, situated in a plain
country; there is a city and a town and a castle ... the beautiful river
Lisse which runs throughout all Tharbes, and divides it, the which river
is as clear as a fountain."

Froissart himself nods occasionally, and on this particular occasion has
misnamed the river which flows through the city, which is the Adour. The
rest of his description might well apply to-day, and the city is most
charmingly and romantically environed.

Its cathedral will not receive the same adulation which is bestowed upon
the charms of the city itself. It is a poor thing, not unlike, in
appearance, a market-house or a third-rate town hall of some mean
municipality.

Once the Black Prince and his "fair maid of Kent" came to this town of
the Bigorre, to see the Count of Armagnac, under rather doleful
circumstances for the count, who was in prison and in debt to Gaston
Phoebus for the amount of his ransom.

The "fair maid," however, appears to have played the part of a good
fairy, and prevailed upon the magnificent Phoebus to reduce the ransom
to the extent of fifty thousand francs.

In this incident alone there lies a story, of which all may read in
history, and which is especially recommended to those writers of
swash-buckler romances who may feel in need of a new plot.

There is little in Tarbes but the memory of a fair past to compel
attention from the lover of antiquity, of churches, or of art; and there
are no remains of any note--even of the time when the Black Prince held
his court here.

The bishopric is very ancient, and dates from the sixth century, when
St. Justin first filled the office. In spite of this, however, there is
very little inspiration to be derived from a study of this quite
unconvincing cathedral, locally known as the Église de la Sède.

This Romanesque-Transition church, though dating from the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries, has neither the strength and character of the
older style, nor the vigour of the new.

The nave is wide, but short, and has no aisles. At the transept is a
superimposed octagonal cupola, which is quite unbeautiful and
unnecessary. It is a fourteenth-century addition which finally oppresses
this ungainly heavy edifice beyond the hope of redemption.

Built upon the façade is a Renaissance portal which of itself would be a
disfigurement anywhere, but which here gives the final blow to a
structure which is unappealing from every point.

The present-day prefecture was the former episcopal residence.

The bishopric, which to-day has jurisdiction over the Department of the
Hautes-Pyrénées, is a suffragan of the mother-see of Auch.



VIII

CATHÉDRALE DE CONDOM


The history of Condom as an ecclesiastical see is very brief.

It was established only in 1317, on an ancient abbey foundation, whose
inception is unknown.

For three centuries only was it endowed with diocesan dignity. Its last
_titulaire_ was Bishop Bossuet.

The fine Gothic church, which was so short-lived as a cathedral, is more
worthy of admiration than many grander and more ancient.

It dates from the early sixteenth century, and shows all the distinct
marks of its era; but it is a most interesting church nevertheless, and
is possessed of a fine unworldly cloister, which as much as many
another--more famous or more magnificent--must have been conducive to
inspired meditation.

The portal rises to a considerable height of elegance, but the façade
is otherwise austere.

In the interior, a choir-screen in cut stone is the chief artistic
treasure. The sacristy is a finely decorated and beautifully
proportioned room.

In the choir is a series of red brick or terra-cotta stalls of poor
design and of no artistic value whatever.

The ancient residence of the bishops is now the Hôtel de Ville, and is a
good example of late Gothic domestic architecture. It is decidedly the
architectural _pièce de resistance_ of the town.



IX

CATHÉDRALE DE MONTAUBAN


Montauban, the location of an ancient abbey, was created a bishopric, in
the Province of Toulouse, in 1317, under Bertrand du Puy. It was a
suffragan of the see of Toulouse after that city had been made an
archbishopric in the same year, a rank it virtually holds to-day, though
the mother-see is now known by the double vocable of Toulouse-Narbonne.

Montauban is in many ways a remarkable little city; remarkable for its
tidy picturesqueness, for its admirable situation, for the added
attraction of the river Tarn, which rushes tumblingly past its _quais_
on its way from the Gorges to the Garonne; in short, Montauban is a most
fascinating centre of a life and activity, not so modern that it jars,
nor yet so mediæval that it is uncomfortably squalid.

The lover of architecture will interest himself far more in the
thirteenth-century bridge of bricks which crosses the Tarn on seven
ogival arches, than he will in the painfully ordinary and unworthy
cathedral, which is a combination of most of the undesirable features of
Renaissance church-building.

The façade is, moreover, set about with a series of enormous sculptured
effigies perched indiscriminately wherever it would appear that a
foothold presented itself. There are still a few unoccupied niches and
cornices, which some day may yet be peopled with other figures as gaunt.

Two ungraceful towers flank a classical portico, one of which is
possessed of the usual ludicrous clock-face.

The interior, with its unusual flood of light from the windows of the
clerestory, is cold and bare. Its imposed pilasters and heavy cornices
are little in keeping with the true conception of Christian
architecture, and its great height of nave--some eighty odd feet--lends
a further chilliness to one's already lukewarm appreciation.

The one artistic detail of Montauban's cathedral is the fine painting by
Ingres (1781-1867) to be seen in the sacristy, if by any chance you can
find the sacristan--which is doubtful. It is one of this artist's most
celebrated paintings, and is commonly referred to as "The Vow of Louis
XIII."

[Illustration: ST. ETIENNE _de CAHORS_.]



X

ST. ETIENNE DE CAHORS


St. Genulphe was the first bishop of Cahors, in the fourth century. The
diocese was then, as now, a suffragan of Albi. The cathedral of St.
Etienne was consecrated in 1119, but has since--and many times--been
rebuilt and restored.

This church is but one of the many of its class, built in Aquitaine at
this period, which employed the cupola as a distinct feature. It shares
this attribute in common with the cathedrals at Poitiers, Périgueux, and
Angoulême, and the great churches of Solignac, Fontevrault, and
Souillac, and is commonly supposed to be an importation or adaptation of
the domes of St. Marc's at Venice.

A distinct feature of this development is that, while transepts may or
may not be wanting, the structures are nearly always without side
aisles.

What manner of architecture this style may presume to be is impossible
to discuss here, but it is manifestly not Byzantine _pur-sang_, as most
guide-books would have the tourist believe.

Although much mutilated in many of its accessories and details, the
cathedral at Cahors fairly illustrates its original plan.

There are no transepts, and the nave is wide and short, its area being
entirely roofed by the two circular cupolas, each perhaps fifty feet in
diameter. In height these two details depart from the true hemisphere,
as has always been usual in dome construction. There were discovered, as
late as 1890, in this church, many mural paintings of great interest. Of
the greatest importance was that in the westerly cupola, which presents
an entire composition, drawn in black and colour.

The cupola is perhaps forty feet in diameter, and is divided by the
decorations into eight sectors. The principal features of this
remarkable decoration are the figures of eight of the prophets, David,
Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezra, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk, each a
dozen or more feet in height.

Taken as a whole, in spite of their recent discovery, these elaborate
decorations are supposed to have been undertaken by or under the
direction of the bishops who held the see from 1280 to 1324; most likely
under Hugo Geraldi (1312-16), the friend of Pope Clement V. and of the
King of France. This churchman was burned to death at Avignon, and the
see was afterward administered by procuration by Guillaume de Labroa
(1316-1324), who lived at Avignon.

It is then permissible to think that these wall-paintings of the
cathedral at Cahors are perhaps unique in France. Including its
sustaining wall, one of the cupolas rises to a height of eighty-two
feet, and the other to one hundred and five feet.

The north portal is richly sculptured; and the choir, with its
fifteenth-century ogival chapels, has been rebuilt from the original
work of 1285.

The interior, since the recently discovered frescoes of the cupolas,
presents an exceedingly rich appearance, though there are actually few
decorative constructive elements.

The apse of the choir is naturally pointed, as its era would indicate,
and its chapels are ornamented with frescoes of the time of Louis XII.;
neither very good nor very bad, but in no way comparable to the
decorations of the cupolas.

The only monument of note in the interior is the tomb of Bishop Alain de
Solminiac (seventeenth century).

The paintings of the choir are supposed to date from 1315, which
certainly places them at a very early date. A doorway in the right of
the nave gives on the fifteenth-century cloister, which, though
fragmentary, must at one time have been a very satisfactory example. The
ancient episcopal palace is now the prefecture. The bishop originally
bore the provisional title of Count of Cahors, and was entitled to wear
a sword and gauntlets, and it is recorded that he was received, upon his
accession to the diocese, by the Vicomte de Sessac, who, attired in a
grotesque garb, conducted him to his palace amid a ceremony which to-day
would be accounted as buffoonery pure and simple. From the accounts of
this ceremony, it could not have been very dignified or inspiring.

The history of Cahors abounds in romantic incident, and its capture by
Henry of Navarre in 1580 was a brilliant exploit.

Cahors was the birthplace of one of the French Popes of Avignon, John
XXII. (who is buried in Notre Dame des Doms at Avignon).



XI

ST. CAPRAIS D'AGEN


Agen, with Cahors, Tulle, Limoges, Périgueux, Angoulême, and Poitiers,
are, in a way, in a class of themselves with respect to their
cathedrals. They have not favoured aggrandizement, or even restoration
to the extent of mitigating the sentiment which will always surround a
really ancient fabric.

The cathedral at Bordeaux came strongly under the Gothic spell; so did
that at Clermont-Ferrand, and St. Nazaire, in the Cité de Carcassonne.
But those before-mentioned did not, to any appreciable extent, come
under the influence of the new style affected by the architects of the
Isle of France during the times of Philippe-Auguste (d. 1223).

At the death of Philippe le Bel (1314), the royal domain was
considerably extended, and the cathedrals at Montpellier, Carcassonne,
and Narbonne succumbed and took on Gothic features.

The diocese of Agen was founded in the fourth century as a suffragan of
Bordeaux. Its first bishop was St. Phérade. To-day the diocese is still
under the parent jurisdiction of Bordeaux, and the see comprises the
department of Lot-et-Garonne.

A former cathedral church--St. Etienne--was destroyed at the Revolution.

The Romanesque cathedral of St. Caprais dates, as to its apses and
transepts, from the eleventh century.

Its size is not commonly accredited great, but for a fact its nave is
over fifty-five feet in width; greater than Chartres, and nearly as
great as Amiens in the north.

This is a comparison which will show how futile it is not to take into
consideration the peers, compeers, or contemporaries of architectural
types when striving to impress its salient features upon one's senses.

This immense vault is covered with a series of cupolas of a modified
form which finally take the feature of the early development of the
ogival arch. This, then, ranks as one of the early transitions between
barrel-vaulted and domed roofs, and the Gothic arched vaulting which
became so common in the century following.

As to the general ground-plan, the area is not great. Its Romanesque
nave is stunted in length, if not in width, and the transepts are
equally contracted. The choir is semicircular, and the general effect is
that of a tri-apsed church, seldom seen beyond the immediate
neighbourhood of the Rhine valley.

The interior effect is considerably marred by the modern mural frescoes
by Bézard, after a supposed old manner. The combination of colour can
only be described as polychromatic, and the effect is not good.

There are a series of Roman capitals in the nave, which are of more
decided artistic worth and interest than any other distinct feature.

At the side of the cathedral is the _Chapelle des Innocents_, the
ancient chapter-house of St. Caprais, now used as the chapel of the
college. Its façade has some remarkable sculptures, and its interior
attractions of curiously carved capitals and some tombs--supposed to
date from the first years of the Christian era--are of as great interest
as any of the specific features of the cathedral proper.



XII

STE. MARIE D'AUCH


The first bishop of Auch was Citerius, in the fourth century.
Subsequently the Province d'Auch became the see of an archbishop, who
was Primate of Aquitaine. This came to pass when the office was
abolished or transferred from Eauze in the eighth century. The diocese
is thus established in antiquity, and endures to-day with suffragans at
Aire, Tarbes, and Bayonne.

The cathedral of Ste. Marie d'Auch is not of itself an ancient
structure, dating only from the late fifteenth century. Its choir,
however, ranks among the most celebrated in the Gothic style in all
Europe, and the entire edifice is usually accorded as being the most
thoroughly characteristic (though varied as to the excellence of its
details) church of the _Midi_ of France, though built at a time when the
ogival style was projecting its last rays of glory over the land.

[Illustration: STE. MARIE _d'AUCH_]

In its general plan it is of generous though not majestic proportions,
and is rich and aspiring in its details throughout.

An ancient altar in this present church is supposed to have come from
the humble basilica which was erected here by St. Taurin, bishop of
Eauze, soon after the foundation of the see. If this is so, it is
certainly of great antiquity, and is exceedingly valuable as the record
of an art expression of that early day.

Taurin II., in 845, rebuilt a former church, which stood on the site of
the present cathedral; but, its dimensions not proving great enough for
the needs of the congregation, St. Austinde, in 1048, built a much
larger church, which was consecrated early in the twelfth century.

Various other structures were undertaken, some completed only in part
and others to the full; but it was not until 1548 that the present Ste.
Marie was actually consecrated by Jean Dumas.

"This gorgeous ceremony," says the Abbé Bourassé, "was accomplished amid
great pomp on the anniversary day of the dedication of the
eleventh-century basilica on the same site."

In 1597 further additions were made to the vaulting, and the fine choir
glass added. Soon after this time, the glass of the nave chapels was put
into place, being the gift of Dominique de Vic. The final building
operations--as might be expected--show just the least suspicion of
debasement. This quality is to be remarked in the choir-screen, the
porch and towers, and in the balustrades of the chapels, to say nothing
of the organ supports.

The west front is, in part, as late as the seventeenth century.

In this façade there is an elaborately traceried rose window, indicating
in its painted glass a "Glory of Angels." It is not a great work, as
these chief decorative features of French mediæval architecture go, but
is highly ornate by reason of its florid tracery, and dates, moreover,
from that period when the really great accomplishment of designing in
painted glass was approaching its maturity.

If any feature of remark exists to excite undue criticism, it is that of
a certain incongruity or mixture of style, which, while not widely
separated in point of time, has great variation as to excellence.

In spite of this there is, in the general _ensemble_, an imposing
picturesqueness to which distance lends the proverbial degree of
enchantment.

The warm mouse-coloured cathedral and its archbishop's palace, when seen
in conjunction with the modern ornamental gardens and _escalier_ at the
rear, produces an effect more nearly akin to an Italian composition than
anything of a like nature in France.

It is an _ensemble_ most interesting and pleasing, but as a worthy
artistic effort it does perhaps fall short of the ideal.

The westerly towers are curious heavy works after the "French Classical"
manner in vogue during the reign of Louis XIV. They are not beautiful of
themselves, and quite unexpressive of the sanctity which should surround
a great church.

The portal is richly decorated, and contains statues of St. Roche and
St. Austinde. It has been called an "imitation of the portal of St.
Peter's at Rome," but this is an opinion wholly unwarranted by a
personal acquaintance therewith. The two bear no resemblance except that
they are both very inferior to the magnificent Gothic portals of the
north.

The interior embellishments are as mixed as to style, and of as varied
worth, as those of the exterior.

The painted glass (by a Gascon artist, Arnaud de Moles, 1573) is usually
reckoned as of great beauty. This it hardly is, though of great value
and importance as showing the development of the art which produced it.
The colour is rich,--which it seldom is in modern glass,--but the design
is coarse and crude, a distinction that most modern glass has as well.
_Ergo_, we have not advanced greatly in this art.

The chief feature of artistic merit is the series of one hundred and
thirteen choir-stalls, richly and wonderfully carved in wood. If not the
superior to any others in France, these remarkable examples of
Renaissance woodwork are the equal of any, and demonstrate, once again,
that it was in wood-carving, rather than sculptures in stone, that
Renaissance art achieved its greatest success.

A distinct feature is the disposition made of the accessories of the
fine choir. It is surrounded by an elaborate screen, surmounted by
sculpture of a richness quite uncommon in any but the grander and more
wealthy churches.

Under the reign of St. Louis many of the grand cathedrals and the larger
monastic churches were grandly favoured with this accessory, notably at
Amiens and Beauvais, at Burgos in Spain, and at Canterbury.

Here the elaborate screen was designed to protect the ranges of stalls
and their canopied _dossiers_, and give a certain seclusion to the
chapter and officiants.

Elsewhere--out of regard for the people it is to be presumed--this
feature was in many known instances done away with, and the material of
which it was constructed--often of great richness--made use of in
chapels subsequently erected in the walls of the apside or in the side
aisles of the nave. This is to be remarked at Rodez particularly, where
the reërected _clôture_ is still the show-piece of the cathedral.

The organ _buffet_ is, as usual (in the minds of the local resident), a
remarkably fine piece of cabinet-work and nothing more. One always
qualifies this by venturing the opinion that no one ever really does
admire these overpowering and ungainly accessories.

What triforium there is is squat and ugly, with ungraceful openings, and
the high-altar is a modern work in the pseudo-classic style, quite
unworthy as a work of art.

The five apsidal chapels are brilliant with coloured glass, but
otherwise are not remarkable.

In spite of all incongruity, Ste. Marie d'Auch is one of those
fascinating churches in and about which one loves to linger. It is hard
to explain the reason for this, except that its environment provides the
atmosphere which is the one necessary ingredient to a full realization
of the appealing qualities of a stately church.

The archiepiscopal palace adjoins the cathedral in the rear, and has a
noble _donjon_ of the fourteenth century. Its career of the past must
have been quite uneventful, as history records no very bloody or riotous
events which have taken place within or before its walls.

Fénelon was a student at the College of Auch, and his statue adorns the
Promenade du Fossé.

[Illustration: ST. ETIENNE _de TOULOUSE_]



XIII

ST. ETIENNE DE TOULOUSE


The provincialism of Toulouse has been the theme of many a French writer
of ability,--offensively provincial, it would seem from a consensus of
these written opinions.

"Life and movement in abundance, but what a life!" ... "The native is
saved from coarseness by his birth, but after a quarter of an hour the
substratum shows itself." ... "The working girl is graceful and has the
vivacity of a bird, but there is nothing in her cackle." ... "How much
more beautiful are the stars that mirror themselves in the gutter of the
Rue du Bac." ... "There is a yelp in the accents of the people of the
town."

Contrariwise we may learn also that "the water is fine," "the quays are
fine," and "fine large buildings glow in the setting sun in bright and
softened hues," and "in the far distance lies the chain of the Pyrenees,
like a white bed of watery clouds," and "the river, dressed always in
smiling verdure, gracefully skirts the city."

These pessimistic and optimistic views of others found the contributors
to this book in somewhat of a quandary as to the manner of mood and
spirit in which they should approach this provincial capital.

They had heard marvels of its Romanesque church of St. Saturnin, perhaps
the most perfect and elaborate of any of its kind in all France; of the
curious amalgamated edifice, now the cathedral of St. Etienne, wherein
two distinct church bodies are joined by an unseemly ligature; of the
church of the Jacobins; and of the "seventy-seven religious
establishments" enumerated by Taine.

All these, or less, were enough to induce one to cast suspicion aside
and descend upon the city with an open mind.

Two things one must admit: Toulouse does somewhat approach the gaiety of
a capital, and it _is_ provincial.

Its list of attractions for the visitor is great, and its churches
numerous and splendid, so why carp at the "ape-like manners" of the
corner loafers, who, when all is said, are vastly less in number here
than in many a northern centre of population.

The Musée is charming, both as to the disposition of its parts and its
contents. It was once a convent, and has a square courtyard or promenade
surrounded by an arcade. The courtyard is set about with green shrubs,
and a lofty brick tower, pierced with little arched windows and
mullioned with tiny columns, rises skyward in true conventual fashion.

Altogether the Musée, in the attractiveness of its fabric and the size
and importance of its collections, must rank, for interest to the
tourist, at the very head of those outside Paris itself.

As for the churches, there are many, the three greatest of which are the
cathedral of St. Etienne, St. Saturnin, and the Église des Jacobins; in
all is to be observed the universal application or adoption of _des
matériaux du pays_--bricks.

In the cathedral tower, and in that of the Église des Jacobins, a Gothic
scheme is worked out in these warm-toned bricks, and forms, in contrast
with the usual execution of a Gothic design, a most extraordinary
effect; not wholly to the detriment of the style, but certainly not in
keeping with the original conception and development of "pointed"
architecture.

In 1863 Viollet-le-Duc thoroughly and creditably restored St. Saturnin
at great expense, and by this treatment it remains to-day as the most
perfectly preserved work extant of its class.

It is vast, curious, and in a rather mixed style, though thoroughly
Latin in motive.

It is on the border-line of two styles; of the Italian, with respect to
the full semicircular arches and vaulting of the nave and aisles; the
square pillars destitute of all ornament, except another column standing
out in flat relief--an intimation of the quiet and placid force of their
functions.

With the transition comes a change in the flowered capitals, from the
acanthus to tracery and grotesque animals.

There are five domes covering the five aisles, each with a semicircular
vault. The walls, with their infrequent windows, are very thick.

The delightful belfry--of five octagonal stages--which rises from the
crossing of the transepts, presents, from the outside, a fine and
imposing arrangement. So, too, the chapelled choir, with its apse of
rounded vaults rising in imposing tiers. This fine church is in direct
descent from the Roman manner; built and developed as a simple idea,
and, like all antique and classical work,--approaching purity,--is a
living thing, in spite of the fact that it depicts the sentiment of a
dead and gone past.

It might not be so successfully duplicated to-day, but, considering that
St. Saturnin dates from the eleventh century, its commencement was
sufficiently in the remote past to allow of its having been promulgated
under a direct and vigorous Roman influence.

The brick construction of St. Saturnin and of the cathedral is not of
that justly admired quality seen in the ancient Convent of the Jacobins,
which dates from the thirteenth century. Here is made perhaps the most
beautiful use of this style of mediæval building. It is earlier than the
Pont de Montauban, the churches at Moissac or Lombez, and even the
cathedral at Albi, but much later than the true Romanesque brickwork,
which alternated rows of brick with other materials.

The builders of Gallo-Romain and Merovingian times favoured this earlier
method, but work in this style is seldom met with of a later date than
the ninth century.

The Église of St. Saturnin shows, in parts, brickwork of a century
earlier than the Église des Jacobins, but, as before said, it is not so
beautiful.

When the Renaissance came to deal with _brique_, it did not do so badly.
Certainly the domestic and civil establishments of Touraine in this
style--to particularize only one section--are very beautiful. Why the
revival was productive of so much thorough badness when it dealt with
stone is one of the things which the expert has not as yet attempted to
explain; at least, not convincingly.

The contrasting blend of the northern and southern motive in the hybrid
cathedral at Toulouse will not remain unnoticed for long after the first
sensation of surprise at its curious ground-plan passes off.

Here are seen a flamboyant northern choir and aisles in strange
juxtaposition with a thirteenth-century single vaulted nave, after the
purely indigenous southern manner.

This nave nearly equals in immensity those in the cathedrals of Albi and
Bordeaux. It has the great span of sixty-two feet, necessitating the
employment of huge buttresses, which would be remarkable anywhere, in
order to take the thrust. The unobstructed flooring of this splendid
nave lends an added dignity of vastness. Near the vaulted roof are the
only apertures in the walls. Windows, as one knows them elsewhere, are
practically absent.

[Illustration: _Nave of St. Etienne de Toulouse_]

The congregations which assemble in this great aisleless nave present a
curiously animated effect by reason of the fact that they scatter
themselves about in knots or groups rather than crowding against either
the altar-rail or pulpit, occasionally even overflowing into the
adjoining choir. The nave is entirely unobstructed by decorations, such
as screens, pillars, or tombs. It is a mere shell, _sans_ gallery,
_sans_ aisles, and _sans_ triforium.

The development of the structure from the individual members of nave and
choir is readily traced, and though these parts show not the slightest
kind of relationship one to the other, it is from these two fragmentary
churches that the completed, if imperfect, whole has been made.

The west front, to-day more than ever, shows how badly the cathedral has
been put together; the uncovered bricks creep out here and there, and
buildings to the left, which formerly covered the incongruous joint
between the nave and choir, are now razed, making the patchwork even
more apparent. The square tower which flanks the portal to the north is
not unpleasing, and dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The portal is not particularly beautiful, and is bare of decorations of
note. It appears to have been remodelled at some past time with a view
to conserving the western rose window.

There are no transepts or collateral chapels, which tends to make the
ground-plan the more unusual and lacking in symmetry.

The choir (1275-1502) is really very beautiful, taken by itself, far
more so than the nave, from which it is extended on a different axis.

It was restored after a seventeenth-century fire, and is supposed to be
less beautiful to-day than formerly.

There are seventeen chapels in this choir, with much coloured glass of
the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, all with weird polychromatic
decorations in decidedly bad taste.

Toulouse became a bishopric in the third century, with St. Saturnin as
its first bishop. It was raised to the rank of archiepiscopal dignity in
1327, a distinction which it enjoys to-day in company with Narbonne. Six
former suffragan bishoprics, Pamiers, Rieux, Mirepoix, Saint-Papoul,
Lombez, and Lavaur were suppressed at the Revolution.

In the magnificent Musée of the city is _un petit monument_, without an
inscription, but bearing a cross _gammée_ or _Swastika_, and a
palm-leaf, symbols of the divine Apollo and Artemis. It seems curious
that this tiny record in stone should have been found, as it was, in the
mountains which separate the sources of the Garonne and the Adour, as
the _Swastika_ is a symbol supposedly indigenous to the fire and
sun-worshippers of the East, where it figures in a great number of their
monuments.

It is called, by the local antiquary, a Pyrenean altar. If this is so,
it is of course of pagan origin, and is in no way connected with
Christian art.

[Illustration: St. NAZAIRE _de CARCASSONNE_]



XIV

ST. NAZAIRE DE CARCASSONNE


With old and new Carcassonne one finds a contrast, if not as great as
between the hyphenated Hungarian cities of Buda and Pest, at least as
marked in detail.

In most European settlements, where an old municipality adjoins a modern
one, walls have been razed, moats filled, and much general modernization
has been undertaken.

With Carcassonne this is not so; its winding ways, its _culs-de-sacs_,
narrow alleys, and towering walls remain much as they always were, and
the great stronghold of the Middle Ages, vulnerable--as history
tells--from but one point, remains to-day, after its admirable
restoration of roof and capstone, much as it was in the days when modern
Carcassonne was but a scattering hamlet beneath the walls of the older
fortification.

One thing will always be recalled, and that is that a part of the
_enceinte_ of the ancient _Cité_ was a construction of the sixth
century--the days of the Visigoths--and that its subsequent development
into an almost invulnerable fortress was but the endorsement which later
centuries gave to the work and forethought of a people who were supposed
to possess no arts, and very little of ingenuity.

This should suggest a line of investigation to one so minded; while for
us, who regard the ancient walls merely as a boundary which sheltered
and protected a charming Gothic church, it is perhaps sufficient to
recall the inconsistency in many previous estimates as to what great
abilities, if any, the Goths possessed.

If it is true that the Visigoths merely followed Roman tradition, so
much the more creditable to them that they preserved these ancient walls
to the glory of those who came after, and but added to the general plan.

Old and new Carcassonne, as one might call them, in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries had each their own magistrates and a separate
government. The _Cité_, elevated above the _ville_, held also the
garrison, the _presidial_ seat, and the first seneschalship of the
province.

The bishopric of the _Cité_ is not so ancient as the _ville_ itself; for
the first prelate there whose name is found upon record was one Sergius,
"who subscribed to a 'Council' held at Narbonne in 590."

[Illustration: _The Old Cité de Carcassonne before and after the
Restoration_]

St. Hilaire, who founded the abbey at Poitiers, came perhaps before
Sergius, but his tenure is obscure as to its exact date.

The cathedral of St. Michel, in the lower town, has been, since 1803,
the seat of the bishop's throne.

It is a work unique, perhaps, in its design, but entirely unfeeling and
preposterous in its overelaborate decorations. It has a long
parallelogram-like nave, "_entièrement peinte_," as the custodian refers
to it. It has, to be sure, a grand vault, strong and broad, but there
are no aisles, and the chapels which flank this gross nave are mere
painted boxes.

Episcopal dignity demanded that some show of importance should be given
to the cathedral, and it was placed in the hands of Viollet-le-Duc in
1849 for restoration. Whatever his labours may have been, he doubtless
was not much in sympathy with this clumsy fabric, and merely "restored"
it in some measure approaching its twelfth-century form.

It is with St. Nazaire de Carcassonne, the tiny _église_ of the old
_Cité_ and the _ci-devant_ cathedral that we have to do.

This most fascinating church, fascinating for itself none the less than
its unique environment, is, in spite of the extended centuries of its
growth, almost the equal in the purity of its Gothic to that of St.
Urbain at Troyes. And this, in spite of evidences of rather bad joining
up of certain warring constructive elements.

The structure readily composes itself into two distinct parts: that of
the Romanesque (round arch and barrel vault) era and that of the Gothic
of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

No consideration of St. Nazaire de Carcassonne is possible without first
coming to a realization of the construction and the functions of the
splendidly picturesque and effective ramparts which enclosed the ancient
_Cité_, its cathedral, châteaux, and various civil and domestic
establishments.

In brief, its history and chronology commences with the Visigoth
foundation, extending from the fifth to the eighth centuries to the time
(1356) when it successfully resisted the Black Prince in his bloody
ravage, by sword and fire, of all of Languedoc.

Legend has it that in Charlemagne's time, after that monarch had
besieged the town for many years and was about to raise the siege in
despair, a certain tower,--which flanked the château,--defended only by
a _Gauloise_ known as _Carcaso_, suddenly gave way and opened a breach
by which the army was at last able to enter.

A rude figure perpetuating the fame of this _Madame Carcaso_--a
veritable Amazon, it would seem--is still seen, rudely carved, over the
Porte Narbonnaise.

[Illustration: _Two Capitals of Pillars in St. Nazaire de Carcassonne;
and the Rude Stone Carving of Carcas_]

It is the inner line of ramparts which dates from the earliest period.
The château, the postern-gate, and most of the interior construction are
of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, while the outer fortification is
of the time of St. Louis, the latter part of the thirteenth century.

[Illustration: ST. NAZAIRE ... _de CARCASSONNE_]

The Saracens successfully attacked and occupied the city from 713 to
759, but were routed by Pepin-le-Bref. In 1090 was first founded the
strong _vicomtale_ dynasty of the Trencavels. In 1210 the Crusaders,
under Simon de Montfort and the implacable Abbot of Citeaux, laid siege
to the _Cité_, an act which resulted in the final massacre, fifty of the
besieged--who surrendered--being hanged, and four hundred burned alive.

In addition to the walls and ramparts were fifty circular protecting
towers. The extreme length of the inner enclosure is perhaps
three-quarters of a mile, and of the outer nearly a full mile.

It is impossible to describe the magnitude and splendour of these city
walls, which, up to the time of their restoration by Viollet-le-Duc, had
scarcely crumbled at all. The upper ranges of the towers, roof-tops,
ramparts, etc., had become broken, of course, and the sky-line had
become serrated, but the walls, their foundations, and their outline
plan had endured as few works of such magnitude have before or since.

Carcassonne, its history, its romance, and its picturesque qualities,
has ever appealed to the poet, painter, and historian alike.

Something of the halo of sentiment which surrounds this marvellous
fortified city will be gathered from the following praiseful admiration
by Gustave Nadaud:

CARCASSONNE

    "'I'm growing old, I've sixty years;
        I've laboured all my life in vain;
      In all that time of hopes and fears
        I've failed my dearest wish to gain;
      I see full well that here below
        Bliss unalloyed there is for none.
      My prayer will ne'er fulfilment know;
        I never have seen Carcassonne,
        I never have seen Carcassonne!

    "'You see the city from the hill--
        It lies beyond the mountains blue,
      And yet to reach it one must still
        Five long and weary leagues pursue,
      And, to return, as many more!
        Ah! had the vintage plenteous grown,
      The grape withheld its yellow store!
        I shall not look on Carcassonne,
        I shall not look on Carcassonne!

    "'They tell me every day is there
        Not more nor less than Sunday gay;
      In shining robes and garments fair
        The people walk upon their way.
      One gazes there on castle walls
        As grand as those of Babylon,
      A bishop and two generals!
        I do not know fair Carcassonne,
        I do not know fair Carcassonne!

    "'The curé's right; he says that we
        Are ever wayward, weak, and blind;
      He tells us in his homily
        Ambition ruins all mankind;
      Yet could I there two days have spent,
        While the autumn sweetly shone,
      Ah, me! I might have died content
        When I had looked on Carcassonne,
        When I had looked on Carcassonne!

    "'Thy pardon, Father, I beseech,
        In this my prayer if I offend;
      One something sees beyond his reach
        From childhood to his journey's end.
      My wife, our little boy, Aignan,
        Have travelled even to Narbonne,
      My grandchild has seen Perpignan,
        And I have not seen Carcassonne,
        And I have not seen Carcassonne!'

     "So crooned one day, close by Limoux,
        A peasant double bent with age,
     'Rise up, my friend,' said I, 'with you
        I'll go upon this pilgrimage.'
      We left next morning his abode,
        But (Heaven forgive him) half way on
      The old man died upon the road;
        He never gazed on Carcassonne,
        Each mortal has his Carcassonne!"

St. Nazaire is possessed of a Romanesque nave which dates from 1096, but
the choir and transepts are of the most acceptable Gothic forms of the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

This choir is readily accounted as a masterwork of elegance, is purely
northern in style and treatment, and possesses also those other
attributes of the _perfectionnement_ of the style--fine glass, delicate
fenestration, and superlative grace throughout, as contrasted with the
heavier and more cold details of the Romanesque variety.

The nave was dedicated by Urbain II., and was doubtless intended for
defence, if its square, firmly bedded towers and piers are suggestive of
that quality. The principal _porte_--it does not rise to the grandeur of
a _portail_--is a thorough Roman example. The interior, with its great
piers, its rough barrel-vault, and its general lack of grace and
elegance, bespeaks its functions as a stronghold. A Romanesque tower in
its original form stands on the side which adjoins the ramparts.

With the choir comes the contrast, both inside and out.

The apside, the transepts, the eleven gorgeous windows, and the extreme
grace of its piers and vaulting, all combine in the fullest expression
of the architectural art of its time.

This admirable Gothic addition was the work of Bishop Pierre de
Rochefort in 1321. The transept chapels and the apse are framed with
light soaring arches, and the great easterly windows are set with
brilliant glass.

In a side chapel is the former tomb of Simon de Montfort, whose remains
were buried here in 1218. At a subsequent time they were removed to
Montfort l'Amaury in the Isle of France. Another remarkable tomb is that
of Bishop Radulph (1266). It shows an unusually elaborate sculptured
treatment for its time, and is most ornate and beautiful.

In the choir are many fine fourteenth-century statues; a tomb with a
sleeping figure, thought to be that of Bishop du Puy of Carcassonne;
statues of the Virgin, St. Nazaire, and the twelve apostles; an
elaborate high-altar; and a pair of magnificent candlesticks, bearing
the arms of Bishop Martin (1522).

An eleventh-century crypt lies beneath the choir. The sacristy, as it is
to-day, was formerly a thirteenth-century chapel.

The organ is commonly supposed to be the most ancient in France. It is
not of ranking greatness as a work of art, but it is interesting to
know that it has some redeeming quality, aside from its conventional
ugliness.

The _tour carrée_, which is set in the inner rampart just in front of
the cathedral, is known as the Bishop's Tower. It is a tower of many
stages, and contains some beautifully vaulted chambers.

The celebrated _tour des Visigoths_, which is near by, is the most
ancient of all.

The entrance to the old _Cité_ is _via_ the Pont Vieux, which is itself
a mediæval twelfth or thirteenth century architectural monument of rare
beauty. In the middle of this old bridge is a very ancient iron cross.

[Illustration]



XV

CATHÉDRALE DE PAMIERS


"Une _petite ville sur la rive droite de l'Ariège, siege d'un évêche_."
These few words, with perhaps seven accompanying lines, usually dismiss
this charming little Pyrenean city, so far as information for the
traveller is concerned.

It is, however, one of these neglected tourist points which the
traveller has ever passed by in his wild rush "across country."

To be sure, it is considerably off the beaten track; so too are its
neighbouring ancient bishoprics of Mirepoix and St. Bertrand de
Comminges, and for that reason they are comparatively unspoiled.

The great and charming attraction of Pamiers is its view of the serrated
ridge of the Pyrenees from the _promenade de Castellat_, just beyond the
cathedral.

For the rest, the cathedral, the fortified _Église de Notre Dame du
Camp_, the ancient _Église de Cordeliers_, the many old houses, and the
general sub-tropical aspect of the country round about, all combine to
present attractions far more edifying and gratifying than the
allurements of certain of the Pyrenean "watering-places."

The cathedral itself is not a great work; its charm, as before said,
lies in its environments.

Its chief feature--and one of real distinction--is its octagonal
_clocher_, in brick, dating from the fourteenth century. It is a
singularly graceful tower, built after the local manner of the _Midi_ of
France, of which St. Saturnin and the Église des Jacobins at Toulouse
are the most notable.

Its base is a broad square machicolated foundation with no openings, and
suggests, as truly as does the tower at Albi, a churchly stronghold
unlikely to give way before any ordinary attack.

In the main, the church is a rebuilt, rather than a restored edifice.
The nave, and indeed nearly all of the structure, except its dominant
octagonal tower, is of the seventeenth century. This work was undertaken
and consummated by Mansart after the manner of that period, and is far
more acceptable than the effect produced by most "restored churches."

The eleventh-century abbey of St. Antoine formed originally the seat of
the throne of the first bishop of Pamiers, Bernard Saisset, in 1297.



XVI

ST. BERTRAND DE COMMINGES


To-day St. Bertrand de Comminges, the ancient _Lugdunum Convenarum_
(through which one traces its communistic foundation), is possessed of
something less than six hundred inhabitants. Remains of the Roman
ramparts are yet to be seen, and its _ci-devant_ cathedral,--of the
twelfth to fourteenth centuries--suppressed in 1790, still dominates the
town from its heights. Arthur Young, writing in the eighteenth century,
describes its situation thus: "The mountains rise proudly around and
give their rough frame to this exquisite little picture."

The diocese grew out of the monkish community which had settled here in
the sixth century, when the prelate Suavis became its first bishop.
To-day the nearest bishop's seat is at Tarbes, in the archbishopric of
Auch.

[Illustration: ST. BERTRAND _de COMMINGES_]

As to architectural style, the cathedral presents what might ordinarily
be called an undesirable mixture, though it is in no way
uninteresting or even unpleasing.

The west front has a curious Romanesque doorway, and there is a
massiveness of wall and buttress which the rather diminutive proportions
of the general plan of the church make notably apparent. Otherwise the
effect, from a not too near view-point, is one of a solidity and
firmness of building only to be seen in some of the neighbouring
fortress-churches.

A tower of rather heavy proportions is to-day capped with a pyramidal
slate or timbered apex after the manner of the western towers at Rodez.
From a distance, this feature has the suggestion of the development of
what may perhaps be a local type of _clocher_. Closer inspections, when
its temporary nature is made plain, disabuses this idea entirely. It is
inside the walls that the great charm of this church lies. It is
elaborately planned, profuse in ornament,--without being in any degree
redundant,--and has a warmth and brilliancy which in most Romanesque
interiors is wanting.

This interior is representative, on a small scale, of that class of
structure whose distinctive feature is what the French architect calls
a _nef unique_, meaning, in this instance, one of those great
single-chambered churches without aisles, such as are found at
Perpignan, new Carcassonne, Lodève, and in a still more amplified form
at Albi.

There are of course no aisles; and for a length of something over two
hundred feet, and a breadth of fifty-five, the bold vault--in the early
pointed style--roofs one of the most attractive and pleasing church
interiors it is possible to conceive.

Of the artistic accessories it is impossible to be too enthusiastic.
There are sixty-six choir-stalls, most elaborately carved in
wood--perhaps mahogany--of a deep rich colouring seldom seen. Numerous
other sculptured details in wood and stone set off with unusual effect
the great and well-nigh windowless side walls.

The organ _buffet_ of Renaissance workmanship--as will naturally be
inferred--is a remarkably elaborate work, much more to be admired than
many of its contemporaries.

Among the other decorative features are an elaborately conceived "tree
of Jesse," an unusually massive rood-loft or _jube_, and a high-altar of
much magnificence.

The choir is surrounded by eleven chapels, showing in some instances
the pure pointed style, and in the latter ones that of the Renaissance.

A fourteenth-century funeral monument of Bishop Hugh de Castillione is
an elaborate work in white marble; while a series of paintings on the
choir walls,--illustrating the miracles of St. Bertrand,--though of a
certain crudity, tend to heighten the interest without giving that
effect of the over-elaboration of irrelative details not unfrequently
seen in some larger churches.

At St. Bertrand de Comminges and the cathedrals at Arles, Cavaillon, and
Aix-en-Provence, Elne-en-Roussillon, and Le Puy-en-Velay are
conserved--in a more or less perfect state of preservation--a series of
delightful twelfth-century cloisters. These churches possess this
feature in common with the purely monastic houses, whose builders so
frequently lavished much thought and care on these enclosed and
cloistered courtyards.

As a mere detail--or accessory, if you will,--an ample cloister is
expressive of much that is wanting in a great church which lacks this
contributory feature.

Frequently this part was the first to succumb to the destroying
influence of time, and leave a void for which no amount of latter-day
improvement could make up. Even here, while the cloister ranks as one of
the most beautiful yet to be seen, it is part in a ruinous condition.

[Illustration]



XVII

ST. JEAN-BAPTISTE D'AIRE


This city of the Landes, that wild, bleak region of sand-dunes and
shepherds, abuts upon the more prosperous and fertile territory of the
valley of the Adour. By reason of this juxtaposition, its daily life
presents a series of contrasting elements as quaint and as interesting
as those of the bordering Franco-Spanish cities of Perpignan and
Bayonne.

From travellers in general, and lovers of architecture in particular, it
has ever received but scant consideration, though it is by no means the
desert place that early Victorian writers would have us believe. It is
in reality a well-built mediæval town, with no very lurid events of the
past to its discredit, and, truthfully, with no very marvellous
attributes beyond a certain subtle charm and quaintness which is perhaps
the more interesting because of its unobtrusiveness.

It has been a centre of Christian activity since the days of the fifth
century, when its first bishop, Marcel, was appointed to the diocese by
the mother-see of Auch.

The cathedral of St. Jean-Baptiste belongs to the minor class of
present-day cathedrals, and is of a decidedly conglomerate architectural
style, with no imposing dimensions, and no really vivid or lively
details of ornamentation. It was begun in the thirteenth century, and
the work of rebuilding and restoration has been carried on well up to
the present time.

[Illustration: STS. BENOIT et VINCENT _de CASTRES_]



XVIII

STS. BENOIT ET VINCENT DE CASTRES


Castres will ever rank in the mind of the wayfarer along the byways of
the south of France as a marvellous bit of stage scenery, rather than as
a collection of profound, or even highly interesting, architectural
types.

It is one of those spots into which a traveller drops quite
unconsciously _en route_ to somewhere else; and lingers a much longer
time than circumstances would seem to justify.

This is perhaps inexplicable, but it is a fact, which is only in a
measure accounted for by reason of the "local colour"--whatever that
vague term of the popular novelist may mean--and customs which weave an
entanglement about one which is difficult to resist.

The river Agout is as weird a stream as its name implies, and divides
this haphazard little city of the Tarn into two distinct, and quite
characteristically different, parts.

Intercourse between Castres and its faubourg, Villegondom, is carried on
by two stone bridges; and from either bank of the river, or from either
of the bridges, there is always in a view a ravishingly picturesque
_ensemble_ of decrepit walls and billowy roof-tops, that will make the
artist of brush and pencil angry with fleeting time.

The former cathedral is not an entrancingly beautiful structure; indeed,
it is not after the accepted "good form" of any distinct architectural
style. It is a poor battered thing which has suffered hardly in the
past; notably at the hands of the Huguenots in 1567. As it stands
to-day, it is practically a seventeenth-century construction, though it
is yet unfinished and lacks its western façade.

The vaulting of the choir, and the chapels are the only constructive
elements which warrant remark. There are a few paintings in the choir,
four rather attractive life-size statues, and a series of severe but
elegant choir-stalls.

The former _évêché_ is to-day the Hôtel de Ville, but was built by
Mansart in 1666, and has a fine _escalier_ in sculptured stone.

As a centre of Christianity, Castres is very ancient. In 647 there was
a Benedictine abbey here. The bishopric, however, did not come into
being until 1317, and was suppressed in 1790.



XIX

NOTRE DAME DE RODEZ


The cathedral at Rodez, whose diocese dates from the fifth century and
whose first bishop was St. Amand, is, in a way, reminiscent--in its
majesty of outline and dominant situation--of that at Albi.

It is not, however, after the same manner, but resembles it more
particularly with respect to its west façade, which is unpierced in its
lower stages by either doorway or window.

Here, too, the entrance is midway in its length, and its front presents
that sheer flank of walled barrier which is suggestive of nothing but a
fortification.

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME _de RODEZ_ ...]

This great church--for it is truly great, pure and simple--makes up in
width what it lacks in length. Its nave and aisles are just covered by a
span of one hundred and twenty feet,--a greater dimension than is
possessed by Chartres or Rouen, and nearly as great as Paris or
Amiens.

Altogether Notre Dame de Rodez is a most pleasing church, though
conglomerate as to its architecture, and as bad, with respect to the
Renaissance gable of its façade, as any contemporary work in the same
style.

Rodez lacks, however, the great enfolding tower central of Albi.

This mellow and warm-toned cathedral, from its beginnings in the latter
years of the thirteenth century to the time when the Renaissance cast
its dastardly spell over the genius who inspired its original plan, was
the result of the persevering though intermittent work of three
centuries, and even then the two western towers were left incomplete.

This perhaps was fortunate; otherwise they might have been topped with
such an excrescence as looms up over the doorless west façade.

The Gascon compares the pyramidal roofs which cap either tower--and with
some justness, too--to the pyramids of Egypt, and for that reason the
towers are, to him, the most wonderful in the universe. Subtle humour
this, and the observer will have little difficulty in tracing the
analogy.

Still, they really are preferable, as a decorative feature, to the
tomb-like headboard which surmounts the central gable which they flank.
The ground-plan is singularly uniform, with transepts scarcely
defined--except in the interior arrangements--and yet not wholly absent.

The elaborate tower, called often and with some justification the
_beffroi_, which flanks, or rather indicates, the northerly transept, is
hardly pure as to its Gothic details, but it is a magnificent work
nevertheless.

It dates from 1510, is two hundred and sixty-five feet high, and is
typical of most of the late pointed work of its era. The final stage is
octagonal and is surmounted by a statue of the Virgin surrounded by the
Evangelists. This statue may or may not be a worthy work of art; it is
too elevated, however, for one to decide.

The decorations of the west front, except for the tombstone-like
Renaissance gable, are mainly of the same period as the north transept
tower, and while perhaps ultra-florid, certainly make a fine appearance
when viewed across the _Place d'Armes_.

This west front, moreover, possesses that unusual attribute of a
southern church, an elaborate Gothic rose window; and, though it does
not equal in size or design such magnificent examples as are seen in the
north, at Reims, Amiens, or Chartres, is, after all, a notable detail of
its kind.

The choir, chevet, and apside are of massive building, though not
lacking grace, in spite of the absence of the _arcs-boutants_ of the
best Gothic.

Numerous grotesque gargoyles dot the eaves and gables, though whether of
the spout variety or mere symbols of superstition one can hardly tell
with accuracy when viewed from the ground level.

The north and south portals of the transepts are of a florid nature,
after the manner of most of the decorations throughout the structure,
and are acceptable evidence of the ingenious craft of the stone-carver,
if nothing more.

The workmanship of these details, however, does not rise to the heights
achieved by the architect who outlined the plan and foundation upon
which they were latterly imposed. They are, too, sadly disfigured, the
tympanum in the north portal having been disgracefully ravished.

The interior arrangements are doubly impressive, not only from the
effect of great size, but from the novel colour effect--a sort of dull,
glowing pink which seems to pervade the very atmosphere, an effect which
contrasts strangely with the colder atmosphere of the Gothic churches of
the north. A curious feature to be noted here is that the sustaining
walls of the vault rest directly on piers _sans_ capitals; as effective,
no doubt, as the conventional manner, but in this case hardly as
pleasing.

Two altars, one at either end of nave and choir, duplicate the
arrangement seen at Albi.

The organ _buffet_, too, is of the same massiveness and elaborateness,
and is consequently an object of supreme pride to the local authorities.

It seems difficult to make these useful and necessary adjuncts to a
church interior of the quality of beauty shared by most other
accessories, such as screens, altars, and choir-stalls, which, though
often of the contemporary Renaissance period, are generally beautiful in
themselves. The organ-case, however, seems to run either to size,
heaviness, or grotesqueness, or a combination of all. This is true in
this case, where its great size, and plentifully besprinkled _rococo_
ornament, and unpleasantly dull and dingy "pipes" are of no æsthetic
value whatever. The organ, moreover, occupies the unusual position--in a
French church--of being over the western doorway.

The nave is of extreme height, one hundred and ten feet, and is of
unusual width, as are also the aisles.

The rose window, before remarked, shows well from the inside, though its
glass is not notable.

A series of badly arched lancets in the choir are ungraceful and not in
keeping with the other constructive details. The delicately sculptured
and foliaged screen or _jubé_ at the crossing is a late
fifteenth-century work.

In one of the chapels is now to be seen, in mutilated fragments, the
ancient sixteenth-century _clôture du choeur_. It was a remarkable and
elaborate work of _bizarre_ stone-carving, which to-day has been
reconstructed in some measure approaching its former completeness by the
use of still other fragments taken from the episcopal palace. The chief
feature as to completeness and perfection is the doorway, which bears
two lengthy inscriptions in Latin. The facing of the _clôture_
throughout is covered with a range of pilasters in Arabesque, but the
niches between are to-day bare of their statues, if they ever really
possessed them.

[Illustration: _Choir-stalls, Rodez_]

The choir-stalls and bishop's throne in carved wood are excellent, as
also an elaborately carved wooden _grille_ of a mixed Arabesque and
Gothic design.

There are four other chapel or alcove screens very nearly as elaborate;
all of which features, taken in conjunction one with the other, form an
extensive series of embellishments such as is seldom met with.

Two fourteenth-century monuments to former prelates are situated in
adjoining chapels, and a still more luxurious work of the same
period--the tomb of Gilbert de Cantobre--is beneath an extensive altar
which has supposedly Byzantine ornament of the tenth century.

Rodez was the seat of a bishop (St. Amand) as early as the fifth
century.

Then, as now, the diocese was a suffragan of Albi, whose first bishop,
St. Clair, came to the mother-see in the century previous.



XX

STE. CÉCILE D'ALBI


The cathedral of Ste. Cécile d'Albi is one of the most interesting, as
well as one of the most curious, in all France. It possesses a quality,
rare among churches, which gives it at once the aspect of both a church
and a fortress.

As the representative of a type, it stands at the very head of the
splendid fortress-churches of feudal times. The remarkable disposition
of its plan is somewhat reflected in the neighbouring cathedral at Rodez
and in the church at Esnades, in the Department of the
Charente-Inférieure.

In the severe and aggressive lines of the easterly, or choir, end, it
also resembles the famous church of St. Francis at Assisi, and the
ruined church of Sainte Sophie at Famagousta in the Island of Cyprus.

[Illustration: ST. CÉCILE _d'ALBI_ ...]

It has been likened by the imaginative French--and it needs not so very
great a stretch of the imagination, either--to an immense vessel.
Certainly its lines and proportions somewhat approach such a form; as
much so as those of Notre Dame de Noyon, which Stevenson likened to an
old-time craft with a high poop. A less æsthetic comparison has been
made with a locomotive of gigantic size, and, truth to tell, it is not
unlike that, either, with its advancing tower.

The extreme width of the great nave of this church is nearly ninety
feet, and its body is constructed, after an unusual manner, of a warm,
rosy-coloured brick. In fact the only considerable portions of the
structure not so done are the _clôture_ of the choir, the
window-mullions, and the flamboyant Gothic porch of the south side.

By reason of its uncommon constructive elements,--though by no means is
it the sole representative of its kind in the south of France,--Ste.
Cécile stands forth as the most considerable edifice of its kind among
those which were constructed after this manner of Roman antiquity.

Brickwork of this nature, as is well known, is very enduring, and it
therefore makes much for the lasting qualities of a structure so built;
much more so, in fact, than the crumbling soft stone which is often
used, and which crumbles before the march of time like lead in a
furnace.

Ste. Cécile was begun in 1282, on the ruins of the ancient church of St.
Croix. It came to its completion during the latter years of the
fourteenth century, when it stood much as it does to-day, grim and
strong, but very beautiful.

The only exterior addition of a later time is the before-remarked florid
south porch. This _baldaquin_ is very charmingly worked in a light brown
stone, and, while flamboyant to an ultra degree, is more graceful in
design and execution than most works of a contemporary era which are
welded to a stone fabric whose constructive and decorative details are
of quite a distinctly different species. In other words, it composes and
adds a graceful beauty to the brick fabric of this great church; but
likely enough it would offend exceedingly were it brought into
juxtaposition with the more slim lines of early Gothic. Its detail here
is the very culmination of the height to which Gothic rose before its
final debasement, and, in its spirited non-contemporaneous admixture
with the firmly planted brick walls which form its background, may be
reckoned as a _baroque_ in art rather than as a thing _outré_ or
misplaced.

In further explanation of the peculiar fortress-like qualities possessed
by Ste. Cécile, it may be mentioned here that it was the outcome of a
desire for the safety of the church and its adherents which caused it to
take this form. It was the direct result of the terrible wars of the
Albigenses, and the political and social conditions of the age in which
it was built,--the days when the Church was truly militant.

Here, too, to a more impressive extent than elsewhere, if we except the
papal palace at Avignon, the episcopal residence as well takes on an
aspect which is not far different from that possessed by some of the
secular châteaux of feudal times. It closely adjoins the cathedral,
which should perhaps dispute this. In reality, however, it does not, and
its walls and foundations look far more worldly than they do devout. As
to impressiveness, this stronghold of a bishop's palace is thoroughly in
keeping with the cathedral itself, and the frowning battlement of its
veritable _donjon_ and walls and ramparts suggests a deal more than the
mere name by which it is known would justify. Such use as it was
previously put to was well served, and the history of the troublous
times of the mediæval ages, when the wars of the Protestants, "the
cursed Albigenses," and the natural political and social dissensions,
form a chapter around which one could weave much of the history of this
majestic cathedral and its walled and fortified environment.

The interior of the cathedral will appeal first of all by its very grand
proportions, and next by the curious ill-mannered decorations with which
the walls are entirely covered. There is a certain gloom in this
interior, induced by the fact that the windows are mere elongated slits
in the walls. There are no aisles, no triforium, and no clerestory;
nothing but a vast expanse of wall with bizarre decorations and these
unusual window piercings. The arrangement of the openings in the tower
are even more remarkable--what there are of them, for in truth it is
here that the greatest likeness to a fortification is seen. In the lower
stages of the tower there are no openings whatever, while above they are
practically nothing but loopholes.

The fine choir-screen, in stone, is considered one of the most beautiful
and magnificent in France, and to see it is to believe the statement.
The entire _clôture_ of the choir is a wonderful piece of stonework, and
the hundred and twenty stalls, which are within its walls, form of
themselves an excess of elaboration which perhaps in a more garish light
would be oppressive.

The wall-paintings or frescoes are decidedly not beautiful, being for
the most part crudely coloured geometrical designs scattered about with
no relation one to another. They date from the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, and are doubtless Italian as to their workmanship, but they
betray no great skill on the part of those unknowns who are responsible
for them.

The pulpit is an unusually ornate work for a French church, but is
hardly beautiful as a work of art. No more is the organ-case, which, as
if in keeping with the vast interior, spreads itself over a great extent
of wall space.

Taken all in all, the accessories of the cathedral at Albi, none the
less than the unique plan and execution thereof, the south porch, the
massive tower, the _jube_ and _clôture_ of the choir, the vast
unobstructed interior, and the _outré_ wall decorations, place it as one
of the most consistently and thoroughly completed edifices of its rank
in France. Nothing apparently is wanting, and though possessed of no
great wealth of accessory--if one excepts the choir enclosure alone--it
is one of those shrines which, by reason of its very individuality, will
live long in the memory. It has been said, moreover, to stand alone as
to the extensive and complete exemplification of "_l'art decoratif_" in
France; that is, as being distinctively French throughout.

The evolution of these component elements took but the comparatively
small space of time covered by two centuries--from the fourteenth to the
sixteenth. The culmination resulted in what is still to be seen in all
its pristine glory to-day, for Ste. Cécile has not suffered the
depredation of many another shrine.

The general plan is distinctly and indigenously French; French to the
very core--born of the soil of the _Midi_, and bears no resemblance
whatever to any exotic from another land.

With the decorative elements the case may be somewhat qualified. The
_baldaquin_--like the choir-screen--more than equals in delicacy and
grace the portals of such masterworks as Notre Dame de Rouen, St.
Maclou, or even the cathedral at Troyes, though of less magnitude than
any of these examples. On the other hand, it was undoubtedly inspired by
northern precept, as also were the ornamental sculptures in wood and
stone which are to be seen in the interior.

Albi was a bishopric as early as the fourth century, with St. Clair as
its first bishop. At the time the present cathedral was begun it became
an archbishopric, and as such it has endured until to-day, with
suffragans at Rodez, Cahors, Mende, and Perpignan.



XXI

ST. PIERRE DE MENDE


In the heart of the Gévaudan, Mende is the most picturesque,
mountain-locked little city imaginable, with no very remarkable features
surrounding it, nor any very grand artificial ones contained within it.

The mountains here, unlike the more fruitful plains of the lower
Gévaudan, are covered with snow all of the winter. It is said that the
inhabitants of the mountainous upper Gévaudan used to "go into Spain
every winter to get a livelihood." Why, it is difficult to understand.
The mountain and valley towns around Mende look no less prosperous than
those of Switzerland, though to be sure the inhabitants have never here
had, and perhaps never will have, the influx of tourists "to live off
of," as in the latter region.

[Illustration: ST. PIERRE _de MENDE_]

During an invasion of the _Alemanni_ into Gaul, in the third century,
the principal city of Gévaudan was plundered and ruined. The bishop,
St. Privat, fled into the Cavern of Memate or Mende, whither the Germans
followed and killed him.

The holy man was interred in the neighbouring village of Mende, and the
veneration which people had for his memory caused them to develop it
into a considerable place. Such is the popular legend, at any rate.

The city had no bishop of its own, however, until the middle of the
tenth century. Previously the bishops were known as Bishops of Gévaudan.
At last, however, the prelates fixed their seat at Mende, and "great
numbers of people resorted thither by reason of the sepulchre of St.
Privat."

By virtue of an agreement with Philippe-le-Bel, in 1306, the bishop
became Count of Gévaudan. He claimed also the right of administering the
laws and the coining of specie.

Mende is worth visiting for itself alone and for its cathedral. It is
difficult to say which will interest the absolute stranger the more.

The spired St. Pierre de Mende is but a fourteenth-century church, with
restorations of the seventeenth, but there is a certain grimness and
primitiveness about its fabric which would otherwise seem to place it
as of a much earlier date.

The seventeenth-century restorations amounted practically to a
reconstruction, as the Calvinists had partly destroyed the fabric. The
two fine towers of the century before were left standing, but without
their spires.

The city itself lies at a height of over seven hundred kilometres, and
the _pic_ rises another three hundred kilometres above. The surrounding
"green basin of hillsides" encloses the city in a circular depression,
which, with its cathedral as the hub, radiates in long, straight
roadways to the bases of these verdure-clad hills.

It is not possible to have a general view of the cathedral without its
imposing background of mountain or hilltops, and for this reason, while
the entire city may appear dwarfed, and its cathedral likewise
diminished in size, they both show in reality the strong contrasting
effect of nature and art.

The cathedral towers, built by Bishop de la Rovère, are of sturdy though
not great proportions, and the half-suggested spires rise skyward in as
piercing a manner as if they were continued another hundred feet.

As a matter of fact one rises to a height of two hundred and three
feet, and the other to two hundred and seventy-six feet, so at least,
they are not diminutive. The taller of these pleasing towers is really a
remarkable work.

The general plan of the cathedral is the conventional Gothic conception,
which was not changed in the seventeenth-century reconstruction.

The nave is flanked with the usual aisles, which in turn are abutted
with ten chapels on either side.

Just within the left portal is preserved the old _bourdon_ called _la
Non-Pareille_, a curiosity which seems in questionable taste for
inclusion within a cathedral.

The rose window of the portal shows in the interior with considerable
effect, though it is of not great elegance or magnificence of itself.

In the _Chapelle des Catechismes_, immediately beneath the tower, is an
unusual "Assumption." As a work of art its rank is not high, and its
artist is unknown, but in its conception it is unique and wonderful.

There are some excellent wood-carvings in the _Chapelle du Baptistère_,
a description which applies as well to the stalls of the choir.

Around the sanctuary hang seven tapestries, ancient, it is said, but of
no great beauty in themselves.

In a chapel on the north side of the choir is a "miraculous statue" of
_la Vierge Noir_.

The organ _buffet_ dates from 1640, and is of the ridiculous
overpowering bulk of most works of its class.

The bishopric, founded by St. Sévérein in the third century at Civitas
Gabalorum, was reëstablished at Mende in the year 1000.

The Ermitage de St. Privat, the holy shrine of the former habitation of
the holy man whose name it bears, is situated a few kilometres away on
the side of Mont Mimat. It is a favourite place of pilgrimage, and from
the platform of the chapel is to be had a fine view of the city and its
cathedral.



XXII

OTHER OLD-TIME CATHEDRALS IN AND ABOUT THE BASIN OF THE GARONNE


_Dax_

At Dax, an ancient thermal station of the Romans, is a small cathedral,
mainly modern, with a portal of the thirteenth century.

It was reconstructed from these thirteenth-century remains in the
seventeenth century, and exhibits no marks of beauty which would have
established its ranking greatness even at that time.

Dax was a bishopric in the province of Auch in the third century, but
the see was suppressed in 1802.


_Eauze_

Eauze was an archbishopric in the third century, when St. Paterne was
its first dignitary. Subsequently--in the following century--the
archbishopric was transferred to Auch.

As _Elusa_ it was an important place in the time of Cæsar, but was
completely destroyed in the early part of the tenth century. Eauze,
therefore, has no church edifice which ever ranked as a cathedral, but
there is a fine Gothic church of the late fifteenth century which is, in
every way, an architectural monument worthy of remark.


_Lombez_

The bishopric of Lombez, in the ancient ecclesiastical province of
Toulouse, endured from 1328 (a tenth-century Benedictine abbey
foundation).

Its first bishop was one Roger de Comminges, a monk who came from the
monastic community of St. Bertrand de Comminges.

The see was suppressed in 1790.


_St. Papoul_

St. Papoul was a bishopric from 1317 until 1790. Its cathedral is in
many respects a really fine work. It was an ancient abbatial church in
the Romanesque style, and has an attractive cloister built after the
same manner.


_Rieux_

Rieux is perhaps the tiniest _ville_ of France which has ever possessed
episcopal dignity. It is situated on a mere rivulet--a branch of the
Arize, which itself is not much more, but which in turn goes to swell
the flood of La Garonne. Its one-time cathedral is perhaps not
remarkable in any way, though it has a fine fifteenth-century tower in
_brique_. The bishopric was founded in 1370 under Guillaumé de Brutia,
and was suppressed in 1790.


_Lavaur_

Lavaur was a bishopric, in the ecclesiastical province of Toulouse, from
1317 to 1790.

Its cathedral of brick is of the fourteenth century, with a _clocher_
dating from 1515, and a smaller tower, embracing a _jacquemart_, of the
sixteenth century.

In the interior is a fine sixteenth-century painting, but there are no
other artistic treasures or details of note.


_Oloron_

Oloron was a bishopric under St. Gratus in the sixth century; it ceased
its functions as the head of a diocese at the suppression of 1790.

The former cathedral of Ste. Marie is a fine Romanic-Ogivale edifice of
the eleventh century, though its constructive era may be said to extend
well toward the fifteenth before it reached completion. There is a
remarkably beautiful Romanesque sculptured portal. The nave is doubled,
as to its aisles, and is one hundred and fifty feet or more in length
and one hundred and six wide, an astonishing breadth when one comes to
think of it, and a dimension which is not equalled by any minor
cathedral.

There are no other notable features beyond the general attractiveness of
its charming environment.

The ancient _évêche_ has a fine Romanesque tower, and the cathedral
itself is reckoned, by a paternal government, as a "_monument
historique_," and as such is cared for at public expense.


_Vabres_

Vabres was a bishopric which came into being as an aftergrowth of a
Benedictine foundation of the ninth century, though its episcopal
functions only began in 1318, and ceased with the Revolutionary
suppression. It was a suffragan in the archiepiscopal diocese of Albi.

Its former cathedral, while little to be remarked to-day as a really
grand church edifice, was by no means an unworthy fane. It dates from
the fourteenth century, and in part is thoroughly representative of the
Gothic of that era. It was rebuilt in the eighteenth century, and a fine
_clocher_ added.


_St. Lizier or Couserans_

The present-day St. Lizier--a tiny Pyrenean city--was the former
Gallo-Romain city of Couserans. It retained this name when it was first
made a bishopric by St. Valère in the fifth century. The see was
suppressed in 1790.

The Église de St. Lizier, of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,
consists of a choir and a nave, but no aisles. It shows some traces of
fine Roman sculpture, and a mere suggestion of a cloister.

The former bishop's palace dates only from the seventeenth century.


_Sarlat_

A Benedictine abbey was founded here in the eighth century, and from
this grew up the bishopric which took form in 1317 under Raimond de
Roquecarne, which in due course was finally abolished and the town
stripped of its episcopal rank.

The former cathedral dates from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and
in part from the fifteenth. Connected therewith is a sepulchral chapel,
called the _tour des Maures_. It is of two _étages_, and dates from the
twelfth century.


_St. Pons de Tomiers_

St. Pons is the seat of an ancient bishopric now suppressed. It is a
charming village--it can hardly be named more ambitiously--situated at
the source of the river Jaur, which rises in the Montagnes Noir in Lower
Languedoc.

Its former cathedral is not of great interest as an architectural type,
though it dates from the twelfth century.

The façade is of the eighteenth century, but one of its side chapels
dates from the fourteenth.


_St. Maurice de Mirepoix_

Mirepoix is a charming little city of the slopes of the Pyrenees.

Its ancient cathedral of St. Maurice dates from the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries, and has no very splendid features or
appointments,--not even of the Renaissance order,--as might be expected
from its magnitude. Its sole possession of note is the _clocher_, which
rises to an approximate height of two hundred feet.

The bishopric was founded in 1318 by Raimond Athone, but was suppressed
in 1790.

[Illustration: THE END.]



_Appendices_


I

[Illustration: _Sketch map showing the usual geographical divisions of
France. I., north; II., northwest; III., east; IV., southwest; V.,
southeast: also the present departments into which the government is
divided, with their names; and the mediæval provinces which were
gradually absorbed into the kingdom of France._

_There is in general one bishopric to a department._

_The subject-matter of this book treats of all of southwestern and
southeastern France; with, in addition, the departments of
Saône-et-Loire, Jura, Rhône, Loire, Ain, and Allier._]


II

_A Historical Table of the Dioceses of the South of France up to the
beginning of the nineteenth century._

_Province d'Aix_

    _Name_            _Diocese founded_       _First bishop_    _Date of
                                                                suppression_

    Aix               _Nice, Avignon, Ajaccio, and Digne were allied
                      therewith in 1802, and Marseilles and Alger in
                      1822._

    (Archbishopric)   First century (?)       St. Maxim (?)

    Antibes           Transferred to Grasse

    Apt               First century (?)       St. Auspice           1790

    Grasse            (Jurisdiction over Antibes.)

    Gap               Fifth century           St. Démétrius

    Riez              Fifth century           St. Prosper           1790

    Fréjus            Fourth century          Acceptus

    Sisteron          Fifth century           Chrysaphius

_Province d'Albi_

    Albi              Fourth century          St. Clair
      Bishopric
      (Archbishopric) 1317 (?)                Anthime

    Castres           647 as a Benedictine    Robert, the first     1790
                      Abbey.                  Abbot
                      1317 as a Bishopric

    Mende             Third century at        St. Sévérein
                      Civitas Gabalorum.      and Genialis
                      Reëstablished
                      here in the
                      year 1000

    Cahors             Fourth century          St. Genulphe

    Rodez              Fifth century           St. Amand

    Arisitum           Sixth century detached  Déothaire          Rejoined
                       from the diocese of                        to Rodez
                       Rodez                                         670

    Vabres             Benedictine                                  1790
                       Abbey,   862.
                       Bishopric, 1317

_Province d'Arles_

    Arles              First century           St. Trophime         1790
      (Archbishopric)

    Marseilles         First century           St. Lazare

    St. Paul-Trois     Second century          St. Restuit          1790
    Châteaux, or
    Tricastin

    Toulon             Fifth century           Honoré               1790

    Orange             Fifth century           St. Luce             1790

_Province d'Auch_

    Eauze              Third century            St. Paterne          720
      (Archbishopric)

    Auch               Fourth century           Citerius
      (Bishopric then
      Archbishopric)

    Dax                Third century            St. Vincent         1802

    Lectoure           Sixth century            Heuterius           1790

    Comminges          Sixth century            Suavis              1790

    Conserans          Fifth century            St. Valère          1790

    Aire               Fifth century            Marcel

    Bazas              Sixth century            Sextilius          (?)

    Tarbes             Sixth century            St. Justin

    Oloron             Sixth century            Gratus              1790

    Lescar             Fifth century            St. Julien          1790

    Bayonne            Ninth century            Arsias Rocha

    _Province d'Avignon_

    Avignon           Fourth century          St. Ruf
     (Bishopric,
     becoming
     Archbishopric
     in fifteenth
     century)
    Carpentras        Third century           St. Valentin          1790
    Vaison            Fourth century          St. Aubin             1790
    Cavaillon         Fifth century           St. Genialis          1790

    _Province de Bordeaux_

    Bordeaux
     (Bishopric)      Third century
     (Archbishopric)  Fourth century          Oriental
    Agen              Fourth century          St. Phérade
    Condom                                    Raimond de
     (Ancient                                  Galard
     abbey--foundation
     date unknown)
      Bishopric)      Fourteenth century
    Angoulême         Third century           St. Ansome
    Saintes           Third century           St. Eutrope           1793
    Poitiers          Third century           St. Nectaire
    Maillezais        Fourteenth century      Geoffrey I.
     (afterward at
     La Rochelle)
    Luçon             1317                    Pierre de La
     (Seventh-century                          Veyrie
     abbey)
    Périgueux         Second century          St. Front
    Sarlat            1317                    Raimond de
     (Eighth-century                           Roquecorne
     Benedictine
     abbey)

    _Province de Bourges_

    Bourges           Third century           St. Ursin
     (Archbishopric)
    Clermont-Ferrand  Third century           St. Austremoine
    St. Flour         1318                    Raimond de
     (Ancient priory)                          Vehens
    Limoges           Third century           St. Martial
    Tulle             1317                    Arnaud de
    (Seventh-century                           Saint-Astier
     Benedictine
     abbey)
    Le Puy            Third century           St. Georges

    _Province d'Embrun_

    Embrun
     (Archbishopric)  Fourth century          St. Marcellin         1793
    Digne             Fourth century          St. Domnin
    Antibes           Fourth century          St. Armentaire
     (afterward at
     Grasse)
     Grasse                                   Raimond de            1790
                                               Villeneuve
                                               (1245)
    Vence             Fourth century          Eusèbe                1790
    Glandève          Fifth century           Fraterne              1790
    Senez             Fifth century           Ursus                 1790
    Nice              Fourth century          Amantius
     (formerly at
     Cemenelium)

    _Province de Lyon_

    Lyon              _The Archbishop of Lyon was Primate of Gaul._
     (Archbishopric)  Second century          St. Pothin
    Autun             Third century           St. Amateur
    Mâcon             Sixth century           Placide               1790
    Chalon-sur-Saône  Fifth century           Paul                  1790
    Langres           Third century           St. Just
    Dijon             Bishopric in 1731       Jean Bonhier
     (Fourth-century
     abbey)
    Saint Claude      Bishopric in 1742       Joseph de
     (Fifth-century                            Madet
     abbey)

    _Province de Narbonne_

    Narbonne          Third century           St. Paul              1802
     (Archbishopric)

    Saint-Pons-de-    1318                    Pierre Roger          1790
     Tomières(Tenth-
     century abbey)
    Alet              1318                    Barthélmy             1790
     (Ninth-century
     abbey)
    Béziers           Fourth century          St. Aphrodise         1702
    Nîmes             Fourth century          St. Felix
    Alais             1694                    Chevalier de          1790
                                               Saulx
    Lodève            Fourth century (?)      St. Flour             1790
    Uzès              Fifth century           Constance             1790
    Agde              Fifth century           St. Vénuste           1790
    Maguelonne        Sixth century           Beotius
     (afterward at
     Montpellier)
    Carcassonne       Sixth century           St. Hilaire
    Elne              Sixth century           Domnus
     (afterward at
     Perpignan)

    _Province de Tarentaise_

    Tarentaise        Fifth century           St. Jacques
     (Archbishopric)
    Sion              Fourth century          St. Théodule
    Aoste             Fourth century          St. Eustache
    Chambéry          1780                    Michel Conseil

    _Province de Toulouse_

    Toulouse
     (Bishopric)      Third century           St. Saturnin
     (Archbishopric)                                                1327
    Pamiers           1297                    Bernard Saisset
     (Eleventh-century
     abbey)

    Rieux             1317                    Guillaume
                                               de Brutia
    Montauban         1317                    Bertrand du Puy
      (Ancient abbey)
    Mirepoix          1318                    Raimond               1790
                                              Athone
    Saint-Papoul      1317                    Bernard de la         1790
                                               Tour
    Lombès            1328                    Roger de              1790
     (Tenth-century                            Commminges
     abbey)
    Lavaur            1317                    Roger d'Armagnac      1790

    _Province de Vienne_

    Vienne            Second century          St. Crescent          1790
     (Archbishopric)
    Grenoble          Third century           Domninus
    Genève (Switz.)   Fourth century          Diogène               1801
    Annency           1822                    Claude de Thiollaz
    Valence           Fourth century          Emelien
    Dié               Third century           Saint Mars
    Viviers           Fifth century           Saint Janvier         1790
    St. Jean de       Fifth century           Lucien
     Maurienne


III


     _The Classification of Architectural Styles in France according to
     De Caumont's "Abécédaire d'Architecture Religieuse."_

    Architecture      Primordiale      From the Vth to the Xth centuries.
      Romaine
                      Secondaire       From the end of the Xth
                                         century to the beginning of
                                         the XIIth
                      Tertiaire or
                        transition     XIIth century
    Architecture      Primitive        XIIIth century
      Ogivale         Secondaire       XIVth century
                      Tertiaire        XVth and the first part of the
                                         XVIth century

[Illustration]


IV

_A Chronology of Architectural Styles in France_


Following more or less upon the lines of De Caumont's territorial and
chronological divisions of architectural style in France, the various
species and periods are thus further described and defined:

The Merovingian period, commencing about 480; Carlovingian, 751;
Romanesque or Capetian period, 987; Transitional, 1100 (extending in the
south of France and on the Rhine till 1300); early French Gothic or
Pointed (_Gothique à lancettes_), mid-twelfth to mid-thirteenth
centuries; decorated French Gothic (_Gothique rayonnant_), from the
mid-thirteenth to mid-fifteenth centuries, and even in some districts as
late as the last decade of the fifteenth century; Flamboyant (_Gothique
flamboyant_), early fifteenth to early sixteenth; Renaissance, dating at
least from 1495, which gave rise subsequently to the _style Louis XII.
and style François I_.

With the reign of Henri II., the change to the Italian style was
complete, and its place, such as it was, definitely assured. French
writers, it may be observed, at least those of a former generation and
before, often carry the reference to the _style de la Renaissance_ to a
much later period, even including the neo-classical atrocities of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

_Bizarre_ or _baroque_ details, or the _style perruque_, had little
place on French soil, and the later exaggerations of the _rococo_, the
styles _Pompadour_ and _Dubarri_, had little if anything to do with
church-building, and are relevant merely insomuch as they indicate the
mannerisms of a period when great churches, if they were built at all,
were constructed with somewhat of a leaning toward their baseness, if
not actually favouring their eccentricities.


V

[Illustration: _Neo-Basilica-IX Cent._

_Lombard Cruciform XI Century_

_The Romanesque Of Southern France in the XI Century_

_Norman Cruciform Plan XI Century_

_Leading forms of early cathedral constructions_]


VI

_The disposition of the parts of a tenth-century church, as defined by
Viollet-le-Duc_


Of this class are many monastic churches, as will be evinced by the
inclusion of a cloister in the diagram plan. Many of these were
subsequently made use of, as the church and the cloisters, where they
had not suffered the stress of time, were of course retained. St.
Bertrand de Comminges is a notable example among the smaller structures.

In the basilica form of ground-plan, which obtained to a modified
extent, the transepts were often lacking, or at least only suggested.
Subsequently they were added in many cases, but the tenth-century church
_pur sang_ was mainly a parallelogram-like structure, with, of course,
an apsidal termination.

[Illustration: _Plan X Century Church_]

    A The choir

    B The _exedra_, meaning literally a niche or throne--in this instance
    for the occupancy of the bishop, abbot, or prior--apart
    from the main edifice

    C The high-altar

    D Secondary or specially dedicated altars

    E The transepts, which in later centuries expanded and lengthened

    G The nave proper, down which was reserved a free passage
    separating the men from the women

    H The aisles

    I The portico or porch which precedes the nave (_i. e._, the
    narthen of the primitive basilica), where the pilgrims who
    were temporarily forbidden to enter were allowed to wait

    K A separate portal or doorway to cloisters

    L The cloister

    M The towers; often placed at the junction of transept and nave,
    instead of the later position, flanking the west façade

    N The baptismal font; usually in the central nave, but often in
    the aisle

    O Entrance to the crypt or confessional, where were usually preserved
    the _reliques_ of the saint to whom the church was erected

    P The tribune, in a later day often surrounded by a screen or _jubé_


VII

     _A brief definitive gazetteer of the natural and geological
     divisions included in the ancient provinces and present-day
     departments of southern France, together with the local names by
     which the pays et pagi are commonly known_


Gévaudan              In the Cevennes, a region of forests and mountains

Velay                 A region of plateaux with visible lava tracks

Lyonnais-Beaujolais   The mountain ranges which rise to the westward of Lyons

Morvan                An isolated group of porphyrous and granite elevations

Haute-Auvergne        The mountain range of Cantal

Basse-Auvergne        The mountain chains of Mont Dore and _des Dômes_

Limousin              A land of plateaux, ravines, and granite

Agenais               Rocky and mountainous, but with its valleys
                        among the richest in all France

Haut-Quercy           A rolling plain, but with little fertility

Bas-Quercy            The plains of the Garonne, the Tarn, and the Avéyron

Armagnac              An extensive range of _petites montagnes_
                        running in various directions

Landes                A desert of sand, forests, and inlets of the sea

Béarn                 A country furrowed by the ramifications
                        of the range of the Pyrenees

Basse-Navarre         A Basque country situated on the northern
                        slope of the Pyrenees

Bigorre               The plain of Tortes and its neighbouring valleys

Savoie                A region comprising a great number of
                      valleys made by the ramifying ranges of
                      the Alps. The principal valleys being
                      those of Faucigny, the Tarentaise, and the Maurienne

Bourbonnais           A country of hills and valleys which, as to general
                      limits, corresponds with the Department of the Allier

Nivernais             An undulating region between the Loire and the Morvan

Berry                 A fertile plain, slightly elevated,
                        to the northward of Limousin

Sologne               An arid plain separated by the valleys
                        of the Cher and the Indre

Gatinais              A barren country northeast of Sologne

Saintonge             Slightly mountainous and covered with vineyards--also
                      in parts partaking of the
                      characteristics of the _Landes_

Angoumois             A hilly country covered with a growth of vines

Périgord              An _ensemble_ of diverse regions, often hilly,
                      but covered with a luxuriant forest growth

Bordelais             (Comprising Blayais, Fronsadais, Libournais,
                      Entre-deux-mers, Médoc, and Bazadais.)
                      The vine-lands of the Garonne, La Gironde,
                      and La Dordogne

Dauphiné              Another land of mountains and valleys. It
                      is crossed by numbers of ranges and distinct
                      peaks. The principal subdivisions
                      are Viennois, Royonnais Vercors, Trièves,
                      Dévoluy, Oisons, Graisivaudan, Chartreuse,
                      Queyras Valgodemar, Champsaur.

Provence              A region of fertile plains dominated by volcanic
                      rocks and mountains. It contains
                      also the great pebbly plain in the extreme
                      southwest known as the Crau

Camargue              The region of the Rhône delta

Languedoc             Properly the belt of plains situated between
                      the foot of the Cevennes and the borders
                      of the Mediterranean

Rousillon             The region between the peaks of the Corbière
                      and the Albère mountain chain. The
                      population was originally pure Catalan

Lauragais             A stony plateau with red earth deposited
                      in former times by the glaciers of the Pyrenees

Albigeois             A rolling and fertile country

Toulousain            A plain well watered by the Garonne and the Ariège

Comminges             The lofty Pyrenean valleys of the Garonne basin


VIII

[Illustration: _Sketch map of the bishoprics and archbishoprics of the
south of France at the present day_]



IX

_Dimensions and Chronology_


CATHEDRALE D'AGDE

    Bishopric founded, Vth century
    Bishopric suppressed, 1790
    Primitive church consecrated, VIIth century
    Main body of present cathedral, XIth to XIIth centuries


ST. CAPRIAS D'AGEN

[Illustration]

    Former cathedral of St. Etienne, destroyed at the Revolution, 1790
    Apse and transepts of St. Caprias, XIth century
    Width of nave, 55 feet


ST. JEAN BAPTISTE D'AIRE

Cathedral begun, XIIIth century


ST. SAVEUR D'AIX

[Illustration]

    Eglise St. Jean de Malte, XIVth century
    Remains of a former St. Saveur's, XIth century
    Choir, XIIIth century
    Choir elaborated, XIVth century
    South aisle of nave, XIVth century
    Tower, XIVth century
    Carved doors, 1503
    Episcopal palace, 1512
    North aisle of nave, XVIIth century
    Baptistère, VIth century


ST. JEAN D'ALAIS

    A bishopric only from 1694 to 1790
    Remains of a XIIth century church


STE. CECILE D'ALBI

[Illustration]

    Begun, 1277
    Finished, 1512
    South porch, 1380-1400
    Tower completed, 1475
    Choir-screen, 1475-1512
    Wall paintings, XVth to XVIth centuries
    Organ, XVIIIth century
    Choir stalls, 120 in number
    Height of tower, 256 feet
    Length, 300 (320?) feet
    Width of nave, 88 feet
    Height of nave, 98 feet


ST. PIERRE D'ALET

    Primitive cathedral, IXth century (?)
    Rebuilt, XIth century
    Eglise St. André, XIVth to XVth centuries


ST. PIERRE D'ANGOULEME

[Illustration]

    City ravaged by Coligny, XVIth century
    Cathedral rebuilt from foundations of primitive church, 1120
    Western dome, XIIth century
    Central and other domes, latter part of XIIth century
    Episcopal palace restored, XIXth century
    General restoration of cathedral, after the depredations of Coligny, 1628
    Height of tower, 197 feet


ST. PIERRE D'ANNECY

    Christianity first founded here, IVth century
    Cathedral dates from XIVth century
    Tomb of St. François de Sales, 1622
    Tomb of Jeanne de Chantal, 1641
    Episcopal palace, 1784


ST. CASTOR D'APT

    Gallo-Romain sarcophagus, Vth century
    Tomb of Ducs de Sabron, XIIth century
    Chapelle de Ste. Anne, XVIIth century


ST. TROPHIME D'ARLES

[Illustration]

    Primitive church on same site, 606
    Foundations of present cathedral laid, 1152
    Nave completed, 1200
    Choir and chapels, 1423-1430
    Cloisters, east side, 1221
    Cloisters, west side, 1250
    Cloisters, north side, 1380
    Length, 240 feet
    Width, 90 feet
    Height, 60 feet
    Height of clocher, 137 feet


STE. MARIE D'AUCH

    Ancient altar, IVth century
    First cathedral built by Taurin II., 845
    Another (larger) by St. Austinde, 1048
    Present cathedral consecrated, 1548
    Additions made and coloured glass added, 1597
    West front, in part, XVIIth century
    Towers, 1650-1700
    Episcopal palace, XIVth century
    Length, 347 feet
    Height to vaulting, 74 feet


NOTRE DAME DES DOMS D'AVIGNON

[Illustration]

    Territory of Avignon acquired by the Popes from Joanna of Naples, 1300
    Popes reigned at Avignon, 1305-1370
    Avignon formally ceded to France by Treaty of Tolentino, 1797
    Palais des Papes begun, XIIIth century
    Pope Gregory left Avignon for Rome, 1376
    Cathedral dates chiefly from XIIth century
    Nave chapels, XIVth century
    Frescoes in portal, XIVth century
    Height of walls of papal palace, 90 feet
     "     "  tower "  "     "      150 feet
    Length of cathedral, 200 (?) feet
    Width of cathedral, 50 (?) feet


NOTRE DAME DE BAYONNE

    Foundations, 1140
    Choir and apse, XIIth century
    Destroyed by fire, 1213
    Choir rebuilt, 1215
    Completed and restored, XVIth century


ST. JEAN DE BAZAS

    Foundations date from Xth century
    Walls, etc., 1233
    West front, XVIth century


CATHEDRALE DE BELLEY

Gothic portion of cathedral, XVth century


ST. NAZAIRE DE BEZIERS

    Primitive church damaged by fire, 1209
    Transepts, XIIIth century
    Towers, XIVth century
    Apside and nave, XIVth century
    Glass and grilles, XIVth century
    Cloister, XIVth century
    Height of clocher, 151 feet


ST. ANDRE DE BORDEAUX

    Three cathedral churches here before the XIth century
    Romanesque structure, XIth century
    Present cathedral dates from 1252
    North transept portal, XIVth century
    Noailles monument, 1662
    Length, 450 feet
    Width of nave, 65 feet


NOTRE DAME DE BOURG

    Main body dates from XVth to XVIIth centuries
    Choir and apse, XVth to XVIth centuries
    Choir stalls, XVIth century


ST. ETIENNE DE CAHORS

[Illustration]

    Bishopric founded, IVth century
    Cathedral consecrated, 1119
    Cupola decorations, 1280-1324
    Choir chapels, XVth century Choir, 1285
    Tomb of Bishop Solminiac, XVIIth century
    Choir paintings, 1315
    Cloister, XIIth to XVth century
    Cupolas of nave, 50 feet in diameter
    Cupolas of choir, 49 feet in height
    Height from pavement to cupolas of choir, 82 feet
    Height from pavement to cupolas of nave, 195 feet
    Portal and western towers, XIVth century


ST. NAZAIRE DE CARCASSONNE

    Present-day cathedral, St. Michel, in lower town, 1083
    Restored by Viollet-le-Duc, 1849
    Visigoth foundation walls of old Cité, Vth to VIIIth centuries
    Cité besieged by the Black Prince, 1536
    Château of Cité and postern gate, XIth and XIIth centuries
    Outer fortifications with circular towers of the
      time of St. Louis, XIIIth century
    Length inside the inner walls, 1/4 mile
    Length inside the outer walls, 1 mile
    Saracens occupied the Cité, 783
    Routed by Pepin le Bref, 759
    Viscountal dynasty of Trencavels, 1090
    Besieged by Simon de Montfort, 1210
    Romanesque nave of St. Nazaire, 1096
    Choir and transepts, XIIIth and XIVth centuries
    Remains of Simon de Montfort buried here (since removed), 1218
    Tomb of Bishop Radulph, 1266
    Statues in choir, XIVth century
    High-altar, 1522
    Crypt, XIth century
    Sacristy, XIIIth century
    The "Pont Vieux," XIIth and XIIIth centuries


ST. SIFFREIN DE CARPENTRAS

    A Roman colony under Augustus, Ist century
    St. Siffrein, patron of the cathedral, died, XVIth century
    Edifice mainly of the XVIth century
    Paintings in nave, XVIIIth and XIXth centuries
    Tomb of Bishop Buti, 1710
    Episcopal palace built, 1640
    Arc de Triomphe, Ist or IId century
    Porte d'Orange, XIVth century


ST. BENOIT DE CASTRES

Cathedral dates mainly from XVIIth century


ST. VERAN DE CAVAILLON

[Illustration]

    Cathedral consecrated by St. Veran, in person, 1259
    Tomb of Bishop Jean de Sade, XVIIth century


ST. ETIENNE DE CHALONS-SUR-SAONE

    Cathedral completed, XVIth century
    Rebuilt, after a disastrous fire, XVIIth century
    Remains of early nave, dating from XIIIth century
    Bishopric founded, Vth century
    Height of nave, 90 feet
    Length of nave, 350 feet


CATHEDRALE DE CHAMBERY

[Illustration]

    First bishop, Michel Conseil, 1780
    Main body of cathedral dates from XIVth century


NOTRE DAME DE CLERMONT-FERRAND

[Illustration]

    Choir and nave, 1248-1265
    Urban II. preached the Crusades here, 1095
    Sanctuary completed, XIIIth century
    Nave completed, except façade, XIVth century
    Rose windows, XVth century
    Western towers and portal, XIXth century
    Height of towers, 340 feet
    Height of nave, 100 feet


ST. BERTRAND DE COMMINGES

[Illustration]

    First monastery here, VIth century
    Present cathedral mainly XIIth to XIVth centuries
    First bishop, Suavis, VIth century
    Monument to Bishop Hugh de Castellane, XIVth century
    Length, 210 feet (?)
    Width, 55 feet (?)


CATHEDRALE DE DAX

    Main fabric, XIIIth century
    Reconstructed, XVIIIth century


NOTRE DAME DE DIE

    A bishopric in 1285, and from 1672 until 1801
    Porch, XIth century
    Romanesque fragments in "Porte Rouge," XIth century
    Restored and rebuilt, XVIIth century
    Length of nave, 270 feet
    Width of nave, 76 feet


CATHEDRALE D'EAUZE

    Town destroyed, Xth century
    Gothic church (not, however, the former cathedral), XVth century


STE. EULALIE D'ELNE

    Cathedral rebuilt from a former structure, XVth century
    Cloister, XVth century


NOTRE DAME D'EMBRUN

    North porch and peristyle, XIIth century
    Romanesque tower rebuilt, XIVth century
    The "Tour Brune" XIth century
    High-altar, XVIIIth century
    Painted triptych, 1518
    Coloured glass, XVth century
    Organ and gallery, XVIth century


NOTRE DAME DE GRENOBLE

    Foundations of choir, XIth century
    Tabernacle, XVth century
    Tomb of Abbé Chissé, 1407
    Former episcopal palace, XIth century
    Present episcopal palace, on same site, XVth century
    Eglise St André, XIIIth century
    "La Grande Chartreuse," founded by St. Bruno, 1084
    "La Grande Chartreuse," enlarged, XVIth to XVIIth centuries
    Monks expelled, 1816 and 1902


ST. LOUIS DE LA ROCHELLE

    City besieged unsuccessfully, 1573
    City besieged and fell, XVIIth century
    Huguenots held the city from 1557 to 1629
    Present cathedral dates from 1735


NOTRE DAME DE LE PUY

[Illustration]

    First bishop, St. Georges, IIId century
    Primitive cathedral, Vth century
    West façade of present edifice, XIIth century
    Choir, Xth century
    Virgin of Le Puy, 50 feet in height
    Aguille de St. Michel, 250 feet in height,
      50 feet in circumference at top, 500 feet at base


ST. ETIENNE DE LIMOGES

[Illustration]

    Nave, XVth and XVIth centuries
    Romanesque portion of nave, XIth century
    Lower portion of tower, XIth century
    Clocher, XIIIth century
    Choir, XIIIth century
    Transepts, XIVth and XVth centuries
    Choir-screen, 1543
    Coloured glass, XVth and XIXth centuries
    Tomb of Bishop Brun, 1349; de la Porte, 1325; Langeac, 1541
    Crypt, XIth century
    Height of clocher, 240 feet
    Enamels of reredos, XVIIth century


ST. FULCRAN DE LODEVE

    City converted to Christianity, 323
    Earliest portion of cathedral, Xth century
    Main portion of fabric, XIIth century
    Cathedral completed, XVIth century
    Tomb of Bishop de la Panse, 1658
    Height of nave, 80 feet


CATHEDRALE DE LUCON

    Ancient abbey, VIIth century
    First bishop appointed, 1317
    Richelieu bishop here, 1616-1624
    Main fabric of cathedral dates from XIIth to XVIIth centuries
    Fabric restored, 1853
    Cloister of episcopal palace, XVth century


ST. JEAN DE LYON

[Illustration]

    Bridge across Saône, Xth century
    Earliest portions of cathedral, 1180
    _Concile générale_ of the Church held at Lyons, 1245 and 1274
    Portail, XVth century
    Glass of choir, XIIIth and XIVth centuries
    Great bourdon, 1662
    Weight of great bourdon, 10,000 kilos
    Chapelle des Bourbons, XVth century
    Astronomical clock, XVIth and XVIIth centuries


STE. MARIE MAJEURE DE MARSEILLES

    First bishop, St. Lasare, Ist century
    Ancient cathedral built upon the ruins of a temple to Diana, XIth century
    New cathedral begun, 1852
    Practically completed, 1893
    Length, 460 feet
    Height of central dome, 197 feet


ST. JEAN DE MAURIENNE

    Relique of St. Jean Baptiste, first brought here in VIth century
    Cloister, 1452


ST. PIERRE DE MENDE

    First bishop, Xth century
    Main fabric of cathedral, XIVth century
    Restoration, XVIIth century
    Towers, XVIth century
    Organ-case, 1640
    Height of western towers, 203 and 276 feet


ST. PIERRE DE MONTPELLIER

    Bishopric removed here from Maguelonne, 1536
    Pope Urban V. consecrated present cathedral
      in a former Benedictine abbey, 1364
    Length of nave, 181 feet
    Width of nave, 49 feet
    Length of choir, 43 feet
    Width of choir, 39 feet


NOTRE DAME DE MOULINS

    Towers and west front, XIXth century
    Choir and nave, 1465-1507
    Coloured glass, XVth and XVIth centuries
    Choir restoration completed, 1885
    Sepulchre, XVIth century
    Height of western spires, 312 feet
    Château of Ducs de Bourbon (facing the cathedral) XIVth century


ST. JUST DE NARBONNE

[Illustration]

    Choir begun, 1272-1330
    Choir rebuilt, XVIIIth century
    Remains of cloister, XIVth and XVth century
    Towers, XVth century
    Tombs of bishops, XIVth to XVIth centuries
    Organ buffet, 1741
    Height of choir vault, 120 (127?) feet


ST. CASTOR DE NIMES

    St. Felix the first bishop, IVth century
    St. Castor as bishop, 1030
    Cathedral damaged by wars of XVIth and XVIIth centuries
    Length of grande axe of Arena, 420 feet
    Capacity of Arena, 80,000 persons


STE. MARIE D'OLORON

    Earliest portions, XIth century
    Completed, XVth century
    Length of nave, 150 feet
    Width of nave, 106 feet


NOTRE DAME D'ORANGE

[Illustration]

    Oldest portions, 1085
    Nave, 1085-1126


CATHEDRALE DE PAMIERS

    Clocher, XIVth century
    Nave rebuilt, XVIIth century
    Ancient Abbey of St. Antoine, XIth century
    First bishop, Bernard Saisset, 1297


ST. FRONT DE PERIGUEUX

[Illustration]

    Primitive monastery founded, VIth century
    Cathedral dates from 984-1047
    Cathedral rebuilt, XIIth century
    Cathedral restored, XIXth century
    Pulpit in carved wood, XVIIth
    Confessionals, Xth or XIth century
    Paintings in vaulting, XIth century
    Length of nave, 197 feet
    Height of pillars of nave, 44 feet
    Height of cupola of clocher, 217 feet
    Height of great arches in interior, 65 feet


ST. JEAN DE PERPIGNAN

[Illustration]

    Tower, XIVth century
    Rétable, XIV century
    Altar-screen, XIVth century
    Bishop's tomb, 1695


ST. PIERRE DE POITIERS

[Illustration]

    Eglise St. Hilaire, Xth and XIth centuries
    Baptistère, IVth to XIIth centuries
    St. Radegonde, XIth and XIIth centuries
    Cathedral begun, 1162
    High-altar dedicated, 1199
    Choir completed, 1250
    Western doorway, XVth century
    Coloured glass, XIIIth and XVIIIth centuries

[Illustration]


NOTRE DAME DE RODEZ

[Illustration]

    Dates chiefly from 1275
    Choir, XIVth century
    Nave, XVth century
    Cross-vaults, tribune, sacristy door, and façade, from about 1535
    Clôture of choir designed by Cusset
    Terrace to episcopal palace designed by Philandrier, 1550
    Episcopal palace itself dates, in the main, from XVIIth century
    Rose window of façade is the most notable in
      France south of the Loire, excepting Poitiers


ST. PIERRE DE SAINTES

    Eglise St. Eutrope, 1081-1096
    Primitive cathedral, 1117
    Cathedral rebuilt, 1585
    First two bays of transept, XIIth century
    Nave completed, XVth century
    Vaulting of choir and nave, XVth to XVIIth centuries
    Height of flamboyant tower (XIVth century), 236 feet


CATHEDRALE DE SARLAT

    Benedictine abbey dates from VIIIth century
    Cathedral mainly of XIth and XIIth centuries
    Sepulchral chapel, XIIth century


CATHEDRALE DE SION

    First bishop, St. Théodule, IVth century
    Choir of Eglise Ste. Catherine, Xth or XIth century
    Bishop of Sion sent as papal legate to Winchester, 1070
    Main body of cathedral, XVth century


ST. PIERRE DE ST. CLAUDE

    Abbey founded by St. Claude, Vth century
    Bishopric founded by Jos. de Madet, 1742
    Bishopric suppressed, 1790
    Bishopric revived again, 1821
    Main fabric of cathedral, XIVth century
    Cathedral restored, XVIIIth century
    Length, 200 feet (approx.)
    Width, 85 feet       "
    Height, 85 feet      "


ST. ODILON DE ST. FLOUR

    Bishopric founded, 1318
    Present cathedral begun, 1375
    "           "     dedicated, 1496
    "           "     completed, 1556
    Episcopal palace, 1800
    Château de St. Flour, 1000


ST. LISIER OR COUSERANS

    Former cathedral, XIIth and XIIIth centuries
    Bishop's palace, XVIIth century


STE. MARIE MAJEURE DE TOULON

    Main body of fabric, XIth and XIIth centuries
    Façade, XVIIth century
    Length of nave, 160 feet
    Width of nave, 35 feet


ST. ETIENNE DE TOULOUSE

[Illustration]

    Nave, XIIIth century
    Tower, XVth and XVIth century
    Choir, 1275-1502
    Bishopric founded, IIId century
    Archbishopric founded, 1327
    Width of nave, 62 feet


ST PAUL TROIS CHATEAUX

[Illustration]

    Chapel to St. Restuit first erected here, IVth century
    Town devastated by the Vandals, Vth century
    "     "         "  "   Saracens, 736
    "     "         "  "   Protestants, XIVth century
    "     "         "  "   Catholics, XIVth century
    Former cathedral, XIth and XIIth centuries


CATHEDRALE DE TULLE

    Benedictine foundation, VIIth century
    Cloister, VIIth century (?)
    Bishopric founded, 1317
    Romanesque and transition nave, XIIth century


ST. THEODORIT D'UZES

    Inhabitants of the town, including the bishop,
      mostly became Protestant, XVIth century
    Cathedral rebuilt and restored, XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries
    Tour Fénestrelle, XIIIth century
    Organ-case, XVIIth century
    Height of the "Tour Fénestrelle," 130 feet


CATHEDRALE DE VAISON

    Cloister, XIth century
    Eglise de St. Quinin, VIIth century

[Illustration]


ST. APOLLINAIRE DE VALENCE

    Cathedral rebuilt and reconsecrated by Urban II., XIth century
    Reconstructed, 1604
    Bishopric founded, IVth century
    Foundations laid, XIIth century
    Cenotaph to Pius VI., 1799
    Height of tower, 187 feet


CATHEDRALE DE VABRES

    Principally, XIVth century
    Rebuilt and reconstructed, and clocher added, XVIIIth century


NOTRE DAME DE VENCE

    Fabric of various eras, VIth, Xth, XIIth, and XVth centuries
    Rétable, XVIth century
    Choir-stalls, XVth century


ST. MAURICE DE VIENNE

    Bishopric dates from IId century
    St. Crescent, first bishop, 118
    Cathedral begun, 1052
    Reconstructed, 1515
    Coloured glass, in part, XIVth century
    Tomb of Cardinal de Montmorin, XVIth century
    Metropolitan privileges of Vienne confirmed by Pope Paschal II., 1099


CATHEDRALE DE VIVIERS

    Choir, XIVth century
    Tower, XIVth and XVth centuries



INDEX


    Abbey of Cluny, 59, 61.
    Abbey of Montmajour, 230.
    Acre, 56.
    Adelbert, Count of Périgueux, 38.
    Adour, River, 417.
    Agde, 53, 358, 359.
    Agde, Cathédrale de, 358-360, 520.
    Agen, 42, 429.
    Agen, St. Caprais de, 429, 431, 520.
    Agout, River, 471.
    Aigues-Mortes, 228, 319, 320.
    Aire, St. Jean Baptiste de, 469, 470, 521.
    Aix, 36, 230, 283, 293, 323, 324.
    Aix St. Jean de Malte, 324.
    Aix, St. Sauveur de, 323-327, 521.
    Ajaccio, 47.
    Alais, 249-251.
    Alais, St. Jean de, 249-251, 521.
    Alberoni, Cardinal, 240.
    Albi, 27, 41, 53, 54, 61, 95, 98, 274.
    Albi, Ste. Cécile de, 363, 482-489, 522.
    Albigenses, The, 365, 485, 486.
    Alet, 42.
    Alet, St. Pierre de, 350, 351, 522.
    Amantius, 330.
    Amiens, 60, 62.
    Andorra, Republic of, 373.
    Angers, Château at, 66.
    Angers, St Maurice d', 97.
    Angoulême, 55, 61, 73, 120, 124.
    Angoulême, St. Pierre de, 73, 120-125, 523.
    Anjou, 45, 71.
    Anjou, Duke of, 40, 44.
    Anjou, Henry Plantagenet of, 39.
    Anjou (La Trinité), 56.
    Annecy, 252-254, 256.
    Annecy, St. Pierre de, 252-254, 523.
    Antibes, 330, 339, 341.
    Aosti, 268.
    Apt, 289-291.
    Apt, St. Castor de, 523.
    Aquitaine, 38, 62.
    Aquitanians, The, 38.
    Aquitanian architecture, 54, 55, 66.
    Arc de Triomphe (Saintes), 115.
    Architecture, Church, 50-56.
    Ariosto, 235.
    Arles, 28, 33, 61, 217, 228-235, 283, 293.
    Arles, Archbishop of, 46.
    Arles, St. Trophime de, 37, 202, 228-235, 524.
    Arnaud, Bishop, 354.
    Auch, St. Marie de, 432-438, 524.
    Auch, College of, 438.
    Augustus, 221.
    Autun, Bishop of (Talleyrand-Périgord), 46.
    Auvergne, 29, 62, 72-74.
    Auzon, 221.
    Avignon, 33, 41, 53, 54, 241.
    Avignon, Papal Palace at, 377, 485.
    Avignon, Notre Dame des Doms, 204-220, 525.
    Avignon, Ruf d', 36.

    Baptistère of St. Siffrein de Carpentras, 222.
    Baptistère, The (Poitiers), 95, 96, 101.
    Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière, 185.
    Bayonne, 28, 57, 373, 387, 405-407, 410, 411.
    Bayonne, Notre Dame de, 405-410, 525.
    Bazas, St. Jean de, 411, 412, 526.
    Bazin, René, 229, 235.
    Bearn, Province of, 395, 406.
    Beauvais, Lucien de, 37.
    Becket, Thomas à, 111.
    Belley, 267.
    Belley, Cathédrale de, 526.
    Benedict XII., Pope, 211, 216.
    Bénigne, 171.
    Berengarius II., 371.
    Berri, 71, 72.
    Besançon, 267, 274.
    Besançon, Lin de, 36.
    Béthanie, Lazare de, 36.
    Bézard, 431.
    Béziers, 53, 363-365.
    Béziers, Bishop of, 365.
    Béziers, St. Nazaire de, 363-367, 526.
    Bichi, Alexandri, 224.
    Bishops of Carpentras, 221.
    Bishop of Ypres, 48.
    "Black Prince," The, 418, 453.
    Blois, Château at, 66.
    Breakspeare, 230.
    Bretagne, Slabs in, 64.
    Bridge of St. Bénezet, 219.
    Bordeaux, 57, 384, 387, 396, 397, 401.
    Bordeaux, St. André de, 94, 396-401, 526.
    Bossuet, Bishop, 420.
    Bourassé, Abbé, 83, 89, 328, 354, 433.
    Bourbons, The, 126, 127. 130.
    Bourg, 277-279.
    Bourg, Notre Dame de, 277-279, 526.
    Bourges, 41, 62.
    Bovet, François, 281.
    Boyan, Bishop, 247.
    Buti, Bishop Laurent, 224.

    Cæsar, 171.
    Cahors, 42, 44, 425, 428.
    Cahors, St. Etienne de, 425-428, 527.
    Cairène type of mosque, 55.
    Calixtus II., 189.
    Canal du Midi, 367.
    Canova, 194, 334.
    Capet, Hugh, 38, 39.
    Carcassonne, 28, 53, 319, 449-457.
    Carcassonne, St. Nazaire de, 57, 319, 449-460, 527.
    Carpentras, 221-226.
    Carpentras, St. Siffrein de, 221-225, 528.
    Carton, Dominique de, 224.
    Castres, 42, 471.
    Castres, Sts. Benoit et Vincent de, 471-473, 528.
    Cathédrale d'Agde, 358-360, 520.
    Cathédrale de Belley, 526.
    Cathédrale de Chambéry, 255-257, 529.
    Cathédrale de Condom, 420, 421.
    Cathédrale de Dax, 530.
    Cathédrale d'Eauze, 531.
    Cathédrale de Lectoure, 402-404.
    Cathédrale de Luçon, 85, 86, 533.
    Cathédrale de Montauban, 422-424.
    Cathédrale de Pamiers, 461-463, 536.
    Cathédrale de Sarlat, 540.
    Cathédrale de Sion, 302-304, 540.
    Cathedral of St. Michel, Carcassonne, 451, 452.
    Cathédrale de Tulle, 118, 119, 542.
    Cathédrale de Vabres, 543.
    Cathédrale de Vaison, 226, 227, 543.
    Cathedrale de Viviers, 195, 196, 544.
    Cavaillon, 226.
    Cavaillon, St. Veran de, 200-203, 528.
    Cevennes, 30, 72, 76-79, 136.
    Chalons, Simon de, 247.
    Chalons-sur-Saône, St. Etienne de, 170-173, 529.
    Chambéry, 28, 253, 255-257, 264, 267, 270.
    Chambéry, Cathédrale de, 529.
    Chapelle des Innocents, Agen, 431.
    Charente, River, 115.
    Charlemagne, 58, 59, 214.
    Charles V., 40, 45, 323.
    Charles VIII., 65.
    Charles the Great, 304.
    Charterhouse, near Grenoble, 62.
    Chartres, 60, 62, 232.
    Chartres, Aventin de, 37.
    Chartreuse, La Grande, 48, 162, 531.
    Chavannes, Puvis de, 102, 342.
    Chissé, Archbishop, 260.
    Chrysaphius, Bishop, 281.
    Church of St. Saturnin (Toulouse), 440-444.
    Church of the Jacobins (Toulouse), 440, 441, 443, 444.
    Clairvaux, 62.
    Clement V., Pope, 33, 211, 398, 400.
    Clement VI., 219,
    Clermont-Ferrand, 29, 33, 52, 57, 73, 74.
    Clermont-Ferrand, Notre Dame de, 144-151, 530.
    Clermont (St. Austremoine), 37.
    Cluny, Abbey of, 51, 59.
    Coligny, 121.
    Comminges, 464.
    Comminges, Roger de, 496.
    Comminges, St. Bertrande, 62, 464-468, 530.
    Comté de Nice, 256.
    Condom, 42.
    Condom, Cathédrale de, 420, 421.
    Conflans, Oger de, 271.
    Conseil, Michel, 256.
    Constantin, Palais de, 230.
    Corsica, Diocese of, 47.
    Coucy, Chateau at, 66.
    Coulon, 291.

    Danté, 134.
    Daudet, 165.
    Dauphiné, 30, 161, 162, 297, 298.
    Dax, 495.
    Dax, Cathédrale de, 530.
    Delta of Rhône, 168.
    D'Entrevaux, 280.
    De Sade, Laura, 204, 207, 208.
    Deveria, 250.
    Dié, Notre Dame de, 287, 288, 531.
    Digne, 281, 283-286.
    Dijon, 171.
    Dijon, St. Bénigne of, 63.
    Dioceses of Church in France, 39, 40.
    Diocese of Corsica, 47.
    Domninus, 259.
    Dordogne, 29.
    Duclaux, Madame, 25, 229, 235.
    Ducs de Sabron, Tomb of, 290.
    Duke of Anjou, 40, 44.
    Dumas, Jean, 433.
    Durance, River, 162, 292.
    Dürer, Albrecht, 325.

    Eauze, 495, 496.
    Eauze, Cathédrale de, 531.
    Edward I., 400.
    Edwards, Miss M. E. B., 24.
    Eglise de Brou, 277.
    Eglise des Cordeliers, 207.
    Eglise de Grasse, 339, 340.
    Eglise de la Grande Chartreuse, 263.
    Eglise de St André, 260, 351.
    Eglise de St. Claire, 208.
    Eglise de St. Pol, 75.
    Eglise de Souillac, 55.
    Eglise Notre Dame du Port, 145.
    Eglise St Nizier, 179.
    Eglise St. Quinin, 227.
    Eleanor of Poitou and Guienne, 39.
    Elne, 369, 372, 373.
    Elne, Ste. Eulalia de, 372-374, 532.
    _Emaux_ de Limoges, 104-107.
    Embrun, 230, 283, 285, 292-295, 300.
    Embrun, Notre Dame de, 292-295, 531.
    Escurial of Dauphiné, 62.
    Espérandieu, 348.
    Etats du Languedoc, 251.
    Eusèbe, 300.
    Evreaux, Taurin d', 37.

    Farel, Guillaume, 298.
    "Félibrage," The, 204, 218.
    Fénelon, 438.
    Fère-Alais, Marquis de la, 251.
    Fergusson, 99.
    Flanders, 30.
    "Fountain of Vauclause," 221.
    François I., 65, 120, 124, 354.
    Freeman, Professor, 95, 99.
    Fréjus, 330, 335, 336.
    Fréjus, St. Etienne de, 335-338.
    Froissart, 417.

    Gap, 296-299.
    Gap, Demêtre de, 36.
    Gap, Notre Dame de l'Assomption de, 296, 299.
    Gard, 29.
    Gard, Notre Dame de la, 346, 347.
    Garonne, River, 44, 388, 389.
    Gascogne, 390.
    Geneva, 252.
    Geraldi, Hugo, 427.
    Gervais, 365.
    Ghirlandajo, 133.
    Glandève, 280.
    Gosse, Edmund, 29.
    Gothic architecture, 60-65.
    Grasse, 330, 339.
    Grasse, Eglise de, 339, 340.
    Grasse, Felix, 24, 384.
    Gregory XI., Pope, 213.
    Grenoble, 28, 258-264.
    Grenoble, Notre Dame de, 258-264, 531.
    Guienne, 41, 389, 390.
    Guienne, Eleanor of, 39.

    Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 159, 160, 170.
    Henri IV., 353, 406, 416.
    Honoré, 334.
    Hôtel d'Aquitaine (Poitiers), 102.
    Humbert, Archbishop, 180.
    Humbert, Count, 271.

    Ingres, 423, 424.
    Innocent IV., 201.
    Innocent VI., 225.
    Issiore, 75.

    Jaffa, 56.
    Jalabert, 250.
    James, Henry, 25.
    Janvier, Thomas, 26.
    Joanna of Naples, 209.
    John XXII., Pope, 41, 216, 428.
    Jordaens, 401.

    L'Abbaye de Maillezais, 81.
    Lackland, John, 40.
    La Cathédrale (Poitiers), 96.
    La Chaise Dieu, 62, 75.
    Lac Leman, 252.
    L'Eglise de la Sède Tarbes, 417-419.
    "La Grande Chartreuse," 48, 162, 531.
    Lake of Annecy, 252.
    La Madeleine, Aix, 324.
    Lamartine, 176.
    Languedoc, 32, 40, 44, 390, 391.
    La Rochelle, 73, 82, 83.
    La Rochelle, St. Louis de, 82-84, 532.
    La Trinité at Anjou, 56.
    Laura, Tomb of, 33.
    Lavaur, 497, 498.
    Lectoure, 402.
    Lectoure, Cathédrale de, 402-404.
    Les Arènes, 240.
    Lescar, 413.
    Lescar, Notre Dame de, 413-416.
    Lesdiguières, Duc de, 298.
    Les Frères du Pont, 220.
    Le Puy, 61, 134-136, 327.
    Le Puy, Notre Dame de, 97, 134-143, 532.
    Limoges, 57, 79, 80, 104, 105.
    Limoges (St. Martial), 37.
    Limoges, St. Etienne de, 104-111, 532.
    Limousin, 71, 72.
    Lodève, 246.
    Lodève, St. Fulcran de, 152-155, 533.
    Loire valley, 30.
    Lombardy, 33.
    Lombez, 496.
    Lot, 44.
    Loudin, Noel, 110.
    Louis IV., 240.
    Louis VII., 39.
    Louis XI., 295.
    Louis XIII., 353.
    Louis XIV., 210, 224.
    Louis XV., 210.
    Louis Napoleon, 397.
    Lozère, 28.
    Luçon, 42.
    Luçon, Cathédrale de, 85, 86, 533.
    Lyon, 28, 177, 178, 259, 267, 273.
    Lyon, St. Jean de, 177-185, 533.

    Macon, St. Vincent de, 174-176.
    Madet, Joseph de, 273.
    Maguelonne, 353, 354.
    Maillezais, 42.
    Maillezais, L'Abbaye de, 81.
    Maine, Henry Plantagenet of, 39.
    Maison Carée, The, 240.
    Mansard, 290.
    Marseilles, 36, 314, 318, 342.
    Marseilles, Ste. Marie-Majeure de, 318, 342-349, 534.
    Maurienne, 269-271.
    Maurienne, St. Jean de, 256, 269-271, 534.
    Memmi, Simone (of Sienna), 211, 216.
    Mende, 42, 246, 490, 492.
    Mende in Lozère, 27.
    Mende, St. Pierre de, 490-494, 534.
    Mérimée, Prosper, 26, 30, 224.
    Metz, Clement de, 36.
    Midi, The, 383-395.
    Midi, Canal du, 386.
    Mignard, 250, 282, 290.
    Mimat, Mont, 494.
    Mirabeau, 46.
    Mirepoix, 501.
    Mirepoix, St. Maurice de, 501.
    Mistral, Frederic, 163, 165, 218, 228.
    Modane, 270.
    Mognon, 84.
    Moles, Arnaud de, 436.
    Monastery of La Grande Chartreuse, 260.
    Montauban, 422.
    Montauban, Cathédrale de, 422-424.
    Mont de la Baume, 282.
    Mont Doré-le-Bains, 74.
    Monte Carlo, 213.
    Montfort, Simon de, 455, 459.
    Montmajour, Abbey of, 230.
    Montpellier, 40, 352-354.
    Montpellier, St. Pierre de, 352-357, 534.
    Mont St. Guillaume, 295.
    Morin, Abbé, 36, 37.
    Moulins, Notre Dame de, 126-133, 534.

    Nadaud, Gustave, 455-457.
    Naples, Joanna of, 209.
    Naples, Kingdom of, 45.
    Napoleon, 27, 210, 240.
    Narbonne, 42, 53, 54, 241, 375, 376.
    Narbonne, St. Just de, 375-379, 535.
    Narbonne (St. Paul), 37.
    Nero, Reign of, 36.
    Neiges, Notre Dame des, 223.
    Nice, St. Reparata de, 328-331.
    Nîmes, 28, 33, 40, 61, 218, 228, 229, 236-242.
    Nîmes, St. Castor de, 236-244, 535.
    Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Gap, 296-299.
    Notre Dame de Bayonne, 405-410, 525.
    Notre Dame de Bourg, 277-279, 526.
    Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand, 144-151, 530.
    Notre Dame de Dié, 287, 288, 531.
    Notre Dame de Doms d'Avignon, 204-220, 525.
    Notre Dame d'Embrun, 292-295, 531.
    Notre Dame de la Gard, 346, 347.
    Notre Dame de la Grande (Poitiers), 95.
    Notre Dame de Grenoble, 258-264, 531.
    Notre Dame de Le Puy, 97, 134-143, 532.
    Notre Dame de Lescar, 413-416.
    Notre Dame de Moulins, 126-133, 534.
    Notre Dame des Neiges, 223.
    Notre Dame d'Orange, 197-199, 536.
    Notre Dame de Rodez, 363, 474-481, 539.
    Notre Dame et St. Castor d'Apt, 289-291.
    Notre Dame de Vence, 300, 301, 544.
    Notre Dame du Port, 57.
    Noyon, 60.

    Obreri, Peter, 212.
    Oloron, 498, 536.
    Oloron, Ste. Marie d', 498, 536.
    Orange, 28, 33, 61, 225, 229.
    Orange, Notre Dame d', 197-199, 536.
    Orb, River, 366, 367.
    Order of St. Bruno, 260, 261, 263.

    Palais de Justice (Poitiers), 102.
    Palais des Papes, 54, 209.
    Palais du Constantin, 230.
    Palissy, Bernard, 117.
    Pamiers, 461.
    Pamiers, Cathédrale de, 461-463, 536.
    Paris, 29, 37, 46, 62, 232, 270.
    Parrocel, 290.
    Pascal, Blaise, 150, 151, 160.
    Paschal II., 189.
    Pas de Calais, 30.
    Pause, Plantavit de la, 154.
    Périgueux, 55-57, 61.
    Périgueux, St. Front de, 56, 87-91, 97, 537.
    Perpignan, 28, 368, 369, 373.
    Perpignan, St. Jean de, 368-371, 537.
    Petrarch, 204, 207-209, 211, 213, 221, 264.
    Peyer, Roger, 242.
    Philippe-Auguste, 40.
    Philippe-le-Bel, 41.
    Piedmont, 270.
    Pierrefonds, Château at, 66.
    Pius VI., 194.
    Pius, Pope, 210.
    Plantagenet, Henry (of Maine and Anjou), 39.
    Poitiers, 42, 73, 95-97, 327.
    Poitiers, Notre Dame de la Grande, 95.
    Poitiers (St. Hilaire), 61.
    Poitiers, St. Pierre de, 92-101, 538.
    Poitou, 71-73.
    Poitou, Eleanor of, 39.
    Polignac, Château de, 75, 76, 135, 143.
    Port Royal, 45.
    Provence, 32, 62, 163-167, 313.
    Provençal architecture, 54, 55, 57, 66.
    Ptolemy, 159.
    Puy, Bertrand du, 422.
    Puy de Dôme, 29, 73, 74.
    Puy, Notre Dame de la, 97, 134-143, 532.
    Pyrenees, The, 393-395.

    Religious movements in France, 23-48.
    René, King, 323, 326.
    Révoil, Henri, 348.
    Rheims, 60, 62, 229.
    Rheims, Sixte de, 37.
    Rhône valley, 28.
    Richelieu, Cardinal, 85.
    Rienzi, 211.
    Rieux, 497.
    Riez, 280, 281.
    Riom, 73.
    Riviera, The, 313-320.
    Rochefort, 73.
    Rocher des Doms, 213.
    Rodez, 29, 42, 274.
    Rodez, Notre Dame de, 363, 474-481, 539.
    Rouen, 60.
    Rouen, Nicaise de, 37.
    Rouen (St. Ouen), 52.
    Rousillon, 368, 369, 372.
    Rousseau, 256.
    Rovère, Bishop de la, 492.
    Rubens, 340.
    Ruskin, 63.

    St. Albans in Hertfordshire, 230.
    St. André de Bordeaux, 94, 396-401, 526.
    St. Ansone, 121.
    St. Apollinaire de Valence, 190-194, 543.
    St. Armand, 474, 481.
    St. Armentaire, 339, 341.
    St. Astier, Armand de, 119.
    St. Aubin, 226.
    St. Auspice, 289.
    St. Austinde, 433, 435.
    St. Austremoine, 37, 150.
    St. Ayrald, 271.
    St. Bénezet, 219.
    St. Bénigne of Dijon, 63.
    St. Benoit de Castres, 471-473, 528.
    St. Bertrand de Comminges, 62, 464-468, 530.
    St. Bruno, Monks of, 260-263.
    St. Caprais d'Agen, 429, 431, 520.
    St. Castor d'Apt, 523.
    St. Castor de Nîmes, 236-244, 535.
    Ste. Catherine, Church of, 303.
    St. Cécile d'Albi, 363, 482-489, 522.
    St. Clair, 489.
    Ste. Clara de Mont Falcone, 217.
    St. Claude, 272-274.
    St. Claude, St. Pierre de, 272-274, 540.
    St. Crescent, 37, 186, 296.
    St. Demetrius, 296.
    St. Denis, The bishop of, 37.
    St. Denis, 51.
    St. Domnin, 285.
    St. Emilien, 253.
    Ste. Estelle, 218.
    St. Etienne, 230.
    St. Etienne d'Auxerre, 407.
    St. Etienne de Cahors, 425-428, 527.
    St. Etienne de Chalons-sur-Saône, 170-173, 529.
    St. Etienne de Fréjus, 335-338.
    St. Etienne de Limoges, 104-111, 532.
    St. Etienne de Toulouse, 439-448, 541.
    St. Eulalie d'Elne, 372-374, 531.
    St. Eustache, 268.
    St. Eutrope (Saintes), 115-117.
    St. Felix, 241.
    St. Flour, St. Odilon de, 112-114, 540.
    St. François de Sales, 253.
    St. Fraterne, 280.

    St. Front de Périgueux, 56, 87-91, 97, 537.
    St. Fulcran de Lodève, 152-155, 533.
    St. Gatien (Tours), 37.
    St. Genialis, 201.
    St. Georges, 137.
    St. Gilles, 232.
    St. Hilaire, 61, 95, 96.
    St. Honorat des Alyscamps, 231.
    St. Jean d'Alais, 249-251, 521.
    St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire, 469, 470, 521.
    St. Jean de Bazas, 411, 412, 526.
    St. Jean de Lyon, 177-185, 533.
    St. Jean-de-Malte, Aix, 324.
    St. Jean de Maurienne, 256, 269-271, 534.
    St. Jean de Perpignan, 368-371, 537.
    Ste. Jeanne de Chantal, 253.
    St. Jerome de Digne, 281, 283-286.
    St. Julian, 413.
    St. Juste de Narbonne, 375-379, 535.
    St. Lizier, 499, 540.
    St. Lizier, Eglise de, 499, 500, 540.
    St. Louis de La Rochelle, 82-84, 532.
    St. Marcellin, 285.
    St. Marc's at Venice, 56, 87-89, 346, 425.
    Ste. Marie d'Auch, 432-438, 524.
    Ste. Marie d'Oloron, 498, 536.
    Ste. Marie Majeure de Marseilles, 318, 342-349, 534.
    Ste. Marie Majeure de Toulon, 332-334, 541.
    St. Mars, 287.
    Ste. Marthe, 134.
    St. Martial, 37, 107.
    St. Martin (Tours), 61.
    St. Maurice, 304.
    St. Maurice d'Angers, 97.
    St. Maurice de Mirepoix, 501.
    St. Maurice de Vienne, 179, 184, 186-189, 193, 544.
    St. Maxine, 324.
    St. Michel, 142.
    St. Nazaire de Beziers, 363-367, 526.
    St. Nazaire de Carcassonne, 57, 319, 449-460, 527.
    St. Nectaire, 73, 74, 92.
    St. Odilon de St. Flour, 112-114, 540.
    St. Ouen de Rouen, 52.
    St. Papoul, 496, 497.
    St. Paul (Narbonne), 37.
    St. Paul Trois Châteaux, 305-309, 542.
    St. Phérade, 430.
    St. Pierre d'Alet, 350, 351, 522.
    St. Pierre d'Angoulême, 73, 120-125, 523.
    St. Pierre d'Annecy, 252-254, 523.
    St. Pierre de Mende, 490-494, 534.
    St. Pierre de Montpellier, 352-357, 534.
    St. Pierre de Poitiers, 92-101, 538.
    St. Pierre de Saintes, 115-117, 539.
    St. Pierre de St. Claude, 272-274, 540.
    St. Pons, 42.
    St. Pons de Tomiers, 500, 501.
    St. Pothin, 179.
    St. Privat, 491, 494.
    St. Prosper, 281.
    St. Radegonde (Poitiers), 95-98.
    St. Rémy, 235.
    St. Reparata de Nice, 328-331.
    St. Restuit, 305.
    St. Saturnin (Toulouse), 37.
    St. Sauveur d'Aix, 323-327, 521.
    St. Siffrein de Carpentras, 221-225, 528.
    St. Taurin, 433.
    St. Théodorit d'Uzès, 245-248, 542.
    St. Théodule, 303.
    St. Thomas, 134.
    St. Trophime, 230, 232.
    St. Trophime d'Arles, 37, 202, 228-235, 524.
    St. Valentin, 221.
    St. Valère (Trèves), 37.
    St. Venuste, 359.
    St. Véran, 301.
    St. Véran de Cavaillon, 200-203, 528.
    St. Vincent de Macon, 174-176.
    St. Vincent de Paul, Statue of, 285.
    St. Virgil, 230.
    Saintes, Eutrope de, 37.
    Saisset, Bernard, 463.
    Saône, River, 170, 174, 181.
    Sarlat, 42, 500.
    Sarlat, Cathédrale de, 540.
    Savoie, 30, 252, 256, 271.
    Scott, Sir Walter, 51, 58.
    Senez, 280.
    Senlis, 60.
    Sens, Savinien de, 37.
    Sévigné, Madame de, 392.
    Sion, Cathédrale de, 302-304, 540.
    Sisteron, 281.
    Sterne, 126, 184.
    Stevenson, R. L., 23, 30, 135, 249.
    Strasbourg, 51.
    Suavis, 464.
    Suger, Abbot, 51.

    Talleyrand-Périgord (Bishop of Autun), 46.
    Tarascon, Castle at, 66.
    Tarasque, The, 134.
    Tarbes, 417. 418.
    Tarbes, L'Eglise de la Sède, 417-419.
    Tarentaise, 256, 268, 270.
    Tarn, River, 422.
    Thevenot, 113.
    Toulon, 330, 332.
    Toulon, St. Marie Majeure de, 332-334, 541.
    Toulouse, 42, 439-441.
    Toulouse, Musée of, 441, 447.
    Toulouse, St. Etienne de, 439-448, 541.
    Toulouse, St. Saturnin, 37.
    "Tour Fenestrelle," 247.
    Touraine, 29, 71, 72.
    Tours, 29.

    Tours (St. Gatien), 37.
    Tours (St. Martin), 61.
    Treaty of Tolentino, 210.
    Trèves (St. Valère), 37.
    Tricastin, 305, 306.
    Trinity Church, Boston, 141, 346.
    Tulle, Cathédrale de, 118, 119, 542.
    Tuscany, 33.

    Unigenitus, Bull, 45.
    Urban, Pope, 33.
    Urban II., 145, 149, 150, 191, 458.
    Urban V., 354.
    Uzès, 245-248.
    Uzès, St. Theodorit de, 245-248, 542.

    Vabres, 42, 499.
    Vabres, Cathédrale de, 543.
    Vaison, 226, 227.
    Vaison, Cathédrale de, 226, 227, 543.
    Valence, 29.
    Valence, St. Apollinaire de, 190-194, 543.
    Vaucluse, 208.
    Vaudoyer, Léon, 348.
    Vehens, Raimond de, 112.
    Venasque, 222.
    Vence, 300, 301.
    Vence, Notre Dame de, 300, 301, 544.
    Vendée, La, 72.
    Veronese, Alex., 401.
    Veyrie, Réne de la, 85.
    Veyrier, 334.
    Vic, Dominique de, 434.
    Vienne, 29, 61, 229, 253, 259, 273, 296.
    Vienne, St. Maurice, 179, 184, 186-189, 193, 544.
    Villeneuve-les-Avignon, 213.
    Villeneuve, Raimond de, 339.
    Viollet-le-Duc, 88, 131, 146, 377, 442, 452, 455.
    Viviers, Cathédrale de, 195, 196, 544.
    Voltaire, 273.

    Werner, Archbishop, 51.
    Westminster Cathedral, London, 345.
    William of Wykeham (England), 51.
    William, Duke of Normandy, 39.
    Wykeham, William of, 51.

    Young, Arthur, 24, 208, 256, 273, 464.
    Ypres, Bishop of, 48.





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