By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera
Author: MacGibbon, David
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                           THE ARCHITECTURE


                       PROVENCE AND THE RIVIERA

                 _Printed by George Waterston & Sons_


                      DAVID DOUGLAS, EDINBURGH.

                LONDON         HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
                GLASGOW        JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS.

                          THE ARCHITECTURE OF



                              THE RIVIERA


                            DAVID MACGIBBON



                       EDINBURGH: DAVID DOUGLAS


                       [_All rights reserved._]


Having been called on, a few years ago, to make frequent journeys
between this country and the Riviera, the author was greatly impressed
with the extraordinary variety and abundance of the ancient
architectural monuments of Provence. This country was found to contain
not only special styles of Mediæval Art peculiar to itself, but likewise
an epitome of all the styles which have prevailed in Southern Europe
from the time of the Romans. It proved to be especially prolific in
examples of Roman Art from the age of Augustus till the fall of the
Empire. It also comprises a valuable series of buildings illustrative of
the transition from Classic to Mediæval times. These are succeeded by a
rich and florid development of Romanesque, accompanied by a plain style
which existed parallel with it--both being peculiar to this locality.
The remains of the Castellated Architecture are also especially grand
and well preserved; while the picturesque towns, monasteries, and other
structures of the Riviera have a peculiar charm and attraction of their

These Architectural treasures being comparatively unknown, it is
believed that a popular work bringing their leading features into notice
will be not unacceptable to all lovers of architecture as well as to the
numerous visitors to the south of France, and may be of use in directing
attention to a most interesting department which has hitherto been to a
great extent overlooked.

A proper history of Provence has unfortunately not yet been written. A
short account, derived from various sources, of the state of the country
from early times and during the Middle Ages is therefore prefixed to the
description of the Monuments, so as to explain the historical conditions
under which the Architecture of Provence was developed, and to show its
connection with that of other countries and times.

The author has to acknowledge the valuable aid he has received from the
excellent notes on the Architecture of the country by Prosper Mérimée in
his “Voyage dans les Midi de la France” (1835),--a work which, even at
the early date of its publication, anticipated many of the results more
recently arrived at.

The comprehensive and invaluable “Dictionnaire Raisonné” of
Viollet-le-Duc has also been of much service, and is frequently referred

Most of the illustrations are from drawings and measurements made by the
author on the spot, and these generally bear his initials. But where
thought advisable for fuller illustration some of the drawings are taken
from photographs; from Henry Révoil’s beautiful work on the
“Architecture Romane du Midi de la France” (1873); and a few from other
sources as mentioned in the text.

Special thanks are due to Professor Baldwin Brown for his kindness in
revising the proof sheets, and for the valuable suggestions he has made.

     EDINBURGH, _October 1888_.


Page  vi. line 11 from bottom, _for_ “les”            _read_  “le”
 “    5,   “  10   “   top,       “  “two thousand”      “     “three thousand.”
 “   27,   “   1   “    “        no (
 “   36,   “   7   “  bottom,  _for_ “Carée”             “     “Carrée.”
 “   93,   “  12   “    “         “  “Dioeletian”        “     “Diocletian.”
 “  126,   “   4   “    “         “  “length”            “     “width.”
 “  128, Title, Fig. 41,          “  “FETES”             “     “TETES.”
 “  147, line 7 from  bottom,     “  “apartmnts”         “     “apartments.”
 “  194, Title of Fig. 97,        “  “ST CÉSAIRE”        “     “ST TROPHIME.”
 “  211,   “  20 from  top,       “  “dypticks”          “     “dyptichs.”
 “  212,   “  14   “  bottom,     “  “Jocobi”            “     “Jacobi.”
 “  221,   “   6   “   top,       “  “bonnded”           “     “bounded.”
 “  462,   “  12   “  bottom,     “  “shews”             “     “shew.”



The Architecture of South of France comparatively little known, 1;
contrast of North and South in climate, buildings, &c., 3; Provence
a very ancient and independent State, 4; and scene of important
historical events, 5.


Colonised by Phœnicians, 1100 B.C.--Greek culture introduced, 7;
occupied by the Romans about 100 B.C., 8; became their favourite
province, 9; overrun by Visigoths in fourth century, 10; Roman and
Greek colonies were in cities, and the revived government also
municipal, 11; the Church the chief instrument of organised government,
12; monasteries established, 13; anarchic condition from fifth to
eighth century, 14; invasion of Saracens, 15; attempt to establish a
“Holy Roman Empire,” 16; revival under Charlemagne, 18; growth of the
monasteries, Cluny, 20; Citeaux, 22; the Crusades, 23; effects of the
above on Architecture, 24.


Fall of the Empire in fifth century. Kings of Provence from sixth to
tenth century, 26; Kingdom of Arles, 27; Raymond Béranger becomes Count
of Provence, 11, 12; independence of cities attacked, 27; Albigensian
crusade, 28; in 1245 Charles of Anjou becomes Count of Provence, 29;
Queen Joan; 1480, King René dies and Provence becomes part of France,


The Architecture of Provence naturally divided into a Classic and
a Mediæval period--which best considered separately, 32; the Roman
period, 33; Paris, Autun, capricious preservation of Classic
monuments, 34; Lyons, Vienne, 35; Temple of Augustus and Livia, remains
of Forum, 37; the pyramid, 38; Vienne restored, 39; Orange, 40; the
theatre, 42; triumphal arch, 45; other triumphal arches at Cavaillon,
47; St Remy, 48; mausoleum at St Remy, 50; Arles, history, 51;
amphitheatre, 52; mode of protecting spectators in ditto, 54; obelisk,
Place d’Hommes, Tour de la Trouille, 56; Alyscamps, 57; sculpture in
museum, 59; Nimes, history, 64; amphitheatre, 65; Maison Carrée, 68;
statue of Venus, 71; Nymphæum, 72; Tour Magne, 73; Roman gates, 74;
Pont du Gard, 76; the “Camargue” and the “Crau,” 77; St Chamas, Roman
bridge at, 77; Vernégue, temple at, 78; paucity of classic remains
at Marseilles and Narbonne, 79; Pomponiana, 80; Le Luc, 80; Fréjus,
history, 80; gate of Gaul, amphitheatre, theatre, aqueduct, 82; Via
Aurelia, 83; aqueduct of Clausonne, Antibes, Vence, 84; Cemenelum, 86;
Turbia, 87.


Transition from Classic to Mediæval Architecture, 90; principles of
Greco-Italian design, trabeate as opposed to the arch, 91; gradual
introduction and development of the latter, 92; trabeate features
dropped, 93; early Christian architecture a continuation of that
of Rome, 94; the basilica, 95; the baptistery, 96; San Vitale, 96;
Byzantine edifices, the dome, 97; St Mark’s, Syrian churches, 98; early
churches in the West--Romanesque varieties, 99; attempts to vault--San
Miniato, 100; Notre Dame du Pré, Le Mans; form of vaulting in Provence,
102; in Aquitaine, 103; St Front, Perigueux, 104; the dome and single
nave characteristic of the South, 105; varieties of style, influence
of Roman remains, 105; powerful in Provence, 106; shewn in campaniles,
baptisteries, and especially sculpture, 107; supposed Byzantine
influence--the pointed arch, 107; used for simplicity of construction,
108; Burgundian style, imitative of nature, 109; the severe style
of the Cistertians, 110; the second style of Provençal art; the two
periods described, 111; growth of lay element, 112; traditional
ecclesiastical forms abandoned and new natural forms adopted, 113;
Northern Gothic developed, 114; Gothic applicable to all requirements,
115; domestic and castellated Architecture, 116; origin and growth of
the latter, 117; peculiarities in the South, 118; recapitulation, 119;
place of Provençal Architecture, 120.


Description of Mediæval buildings--Lyons, the Ainay, 121; the
cathedral, 122; Vienne, St André-le-Bas, and St Pierre, 124;
cathedral, 126; ancient houses, 127; Valence, Maison des Fêtes,
127; castle of Crussol, monastery of Cruas, 128; church of Cruas,
132; Montélimar, Viviers--commencement of Provençal examples, St
Paul-trois-châteaux, 134; St Restitut, Pont St Esprit, 136; Courthézon,
Avignon, 137; history, 138; Notre Dame des Doms, 139; imitation of
Roman work, 141; palace of the Popes, 143; history, 144; description
of, 145; walls of town, 148; gates, 151; Pont St Bénezet, 151; tower
of Villeneuve, 154; castle of St André, 155; gatehouse, 156; curtains,
161; guard rooms on walls, 162; church of Villeneuve, 163; churches
of Avignon, the Beffroi, abbey of St Ruf, Priory of St Veran, 164;
Vaison, 165; Carpentras, Venasque, Pernes, Le Thor, Cavaillon, 167; Le
clocher de Molléges, 168; Tarascon, history, Ste Marthe, 168; castle,
170; houses, gateway, 172; Beaucaire castle, 173; triangular keep, 176;
oratory, 178; Les Baux, 179; the town--the bas-reliefs, 180; account
of the family, 181; St Gabriel, 182; Arles, St Trophime, 183; includes
examples of all periods of Provençal Architecture--the Cistertian
nave, 184; the west portal, 187; the cloisters, 188; the Alyscamps, St
Honorat, 191; prosperity of Arles after union to France--Renaissance
palaces, 192; Mont-Majour, Hermitage, 194; church, 196; cloister, 199;
chapel of Ste Croix, 199; the keep, 203; St Gilles, Abbey church,
204; interrupted by Albigensian crusade, 205; portal, 206; sources of
Provençal art, 210; Les Saintes Maries, 212; Marseilles, St Victor,
213; Aix-en-Provence, St Sauveur, 217; cloisters, 219; “Les Villes
Mortes du Golfe de Lyon,” 220; Montpellier, Maguelonne, 222; Béziers,
222; St Nazaire, 224; Fountain, 227; house in town, 228; Puisalicon, St
Pierre de Reddes, St Martin de Londres, 229; Narbonne, history, 230;
cathedral, 231; its fortifications, 232; Archbishop’s palace, 233;
the keep, 234; St Paul, the Lagunes, the Pyrenees, Perpignan, 235;
the castellet, cathedral, 236; citadel, &c., Elne, 239; cathedral,
240; the unfinished chevet, the campanile, 241; the cloisters, 244;
Carcassonne, 244; history, 245; towers of the Visigoths, 246; the
porte Narbonnaise--the barbican and its defences, 252; the walls and
towers, 254; St Nazaire, 257; Aigues Mortes, 260; Canal, 261; walls
and gateways, 264; Porte de Nimes, 266; Tour de Constance, 268; Tour
Carbonnière, 269.

Eastwards from Marseilles--Toulon, 270; Hyères, 271; castle, 272;
St Paul, 273; examples of Cistertian style, 274; Cannet, 275; abbey
of Thoronet, 276; the cloisters, 278; remarkable details, 280;
chapter house, 281; St Maximin, 282; Fréjus, cathedral and Bishop’s
palace, 281; fortified, 289; baptistery, 291; “Pantheon” at Riez,
293; the cloisters, Fréjus, 296; Brass lamp, 298; doorways in town,
299; district of Les Maures, how to visit, 300; St Tropez, fish
market, 301; Grimaud, castle, 302; La Garde Freinet, St Raphaël, the
Esterelle mountains, 304; Napoule, 305; St Peyré, Mont St Cassien,
307; Cannes, 308; history, Tour du Chevalier, 310; St Anne, 314; Notre
Dame d’Espérance, 317; Iles de Lérins, 319; St Honorat, cloisters,
320; Ste Trinité, 320; St Sauveur, 323; castle of St Honorat, 324;
style of lower cloister, 330; style of upper cloister, 334; additions,
340; Ste Marguérite, 343; Vallauris, 344; Le Cannet, 347; Mougins,
Notre Dame des Vie, 348; Auribeau, 350; Grasse, 351; cathedral, 353;
keep tower, 354; Renaissance, 357; l’Oratoire, 357; St Césaire, 359;
château de Tournon, 363; Montauroux and Callian, 364; Le Bar, 366;
Gourdon, 367; Tourettes, 369; Antibes, 371; two keep towers, 373;
Cagnes, castle, 376; castle of Villeneuve-Loubet, 378; history, 381;
tower of La Trinité, 382; Biot, 387; St Paul-du-Var, 392; approach to,
393; Architecture of shops and houses, 395; staircase, 397; gateway,
398; church, 400; remarkable keep-tower, 401; Vence, 407; cathedral,
409; keep towers, 411; column, 413; commandery of St Martin, 414;
destruction of the Templars, 417; Nice, history, 418; Cimiès Cross,
421; castle of St André, 422; Villefranche, Eza, 422; La Turbie,
428; gateways, 430; Monaco, 432; history, 433; Ducal Palace, 434;
Roquebrune, 437; Mentone, 438; Gorbio, Ste Agnes, Castellar, 441;
boundary of Provençal Architecture, 441; Ventimiglia, 445; Dolce Aqua,
445; Pigna, 448; San Remo, 449; Taggia, 450; Bussana, Oneglia, &c, 451;
Albenga, 452; Genoa, 455.


Details from Cathedral, Genoa,                               _Title-page_

Map of Provence and Riviera,                            _To face page_ 1

Details from Cathedral, Arles--_Headpiece_,                            1

Details from Arles Museum--_Headpiece_,                                7

Head in Arles Museum--_Tailpiece_,                                    24

Details from Cathedral, Genoa--_Headpiece_,                           25

   “     of Tomb of Cornelia, Arles--_Tailpiece_,                     31

   “     from Arles Museum--_Headpiece_,                              32

VIENNE, Temple of Augustus and Livia,                                 36

   “     Roman Forum,                                                 37

   “     The Pyramid,                                                 38

   “      Restored,                                                   39

ORANGE, Roman Theatre--_Exterior_,                                    41

   “            “            “        _Interior_,                     43

   “       Triumphal Arch,                                            46

ST REMY, Triumphal Arch and Mausoleum,                                49

ARLES, Amphitheatre--_Exterior_,                                      52

   “                “             _Interior_,                         53

   “     Roman Theatre,                                               55

   “     Place d’Hommes,                                              57

   “     The Alyscamps,                                               58

   “     From the Museum,                                             59

   “     Tomb of Cornelia,                                            60

   “     From the Museum,                                             61

   “         “               “                                        62

   “         “               “                                        63

NIMES, Amphitheatre--_Exterior_,                                      64

   “              “ _Interior_,                                       65

   “              “ Corridor,                                         67

   “     Maison Carrée,                                               69

NIMES, Statue of Venus,                                               71

  “    Nymphæum,                                                      72

  “    La Tourmagne,                                                  74

  “    Le Pont du Gard,                                               75

FRÉJUS, Amphitheatre,                                                 81

FRÉJUS, Aqueduct,                                                     83

CLAUSONNE, Aqueduct,                                                  84

CIMIES, (_Looking N.E._)                                              85

  “     (_Looking S. W._),                                            86

LA TURBIE, Monument to Augustus,                                      87

From Arles Museum--_Tailpiece_,                                       89

        “        --_Headpiece_,                                       90

SAN MINIATO,                                                         101

TOULOUSE Cathedral,                                                  106

From Piazza, San Matteo, Genoa--_Headpiece_,                         121

LYONS, The Ainay,                                                    122

  “    Arcades in Cathedral,                                         123

VIENNE, St André-le-Bas,                                             124

  “     St Pierre,                                                   125

  “     St Maurice,                                                  126

  “     House in,                                                    127

VALENCE, Maison-des-Têtes,                                           128

CRUSSOL, Castle,                                                     129

CRUAS, Abbey (_from S.W._),                                          130

  “    Monastery Church,                                             131

  “    Church,                                                       133

ST PAUL-TROIS-CHÂTEAUX, _Part of Exterior_ (_from Révoil_),          135

AVIGNON, Church of Notre Dame des Doms, and Palace of
            the Popes,                                               140

  “      Monument of Pope John XXII.,                                142

  “      Plan of the Palace of the Popes (from Viollet-le-Duc’s
            _Dictionnaire_),                                         143

  “      Portion of City Wall (_West side_),                         149

  “      Pont St Bénezet and Chapel of St Nicholas,                  152

VILLENEUVE, Tower,                                                   154

ST ANDRÉ, Oratory in Castle,                                         155

  “       Castle, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon. _Plan of Entrance
              Gateway_,                                              156

  “       Castle of, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon. _Exterior of
              Gateway_,                                              157

  “       Castle, _Interior of Gateway_,                             158

ST ANDRÉ, Castle, _Fireplace in Gatehouse_,                          159

  “      “   _Walls of Enceinte_,                                    160

  “ Guard-room on wall,                                              161

  “ Remains of a Guard-room on wall,                                 162

VILLENEUVE-LEZ-AVIGNON, Church,                                      163

Le Clocher de Molléges (from Viollet-le-Duc’s _Dictionnaire_),       168

TARASCON, Ste Marthe,                                                169

  “  Castle,                                                         171

TARASCON, House,                                                     172

  “  Gate,                                                           173

BEAUCAIRE, Plan of the Castle,                                       174

  “  Castle (_from S.-E._),                                          175

  “       “ (_from N.-E._),                                          175

  “  Plans of the Keep,                                              176

  “  Castle (_Interior of Courtyard_),                               177

LES BAUX, Fortress,                                                  179

ST GABRIEL, Church,    _West Front_. (From _Révoil_),                182

ARLES, St Trophime,                                                  185

  “  West Portal of St Trophime,                                     186

  “  Cloisters, St Trophime, (_Eastern Arcade_),                     189

  “ “Clocher” of the Church of St Honorat, (From _Révoil_),          191

  “  Renaissance House,                                              193

MONT-MAJOUR, Plan of Hermitage,                                      194

  “  Hermitage--Chapel of St Peter,                                  195

  “  The Church and Keep,                                            197

  “  Cloisters,                                                      198

  “  Chapelle de Sainte Croix,                                       200

  “  Mortuary Chapel,                                                201

  “  The Keep, Hermitage, etc.,                                      202

  “  Plans and Section of Keep,                                      203

ST GILLES, Portal,                                                   207

  “  South Doorway, (_Enlarged_),                                    208

LES SAINTES MARIES, Church. (From _Révoil_.)                         213

MARSEILLES, St Victor--_Exterior_,                                   214

  “      “   _Interior_,                                             215

  “ Monument in St Victor’s,                                         216

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, St Sauveur, Doorway,                                217

  “      “      “   _Interior_,                                      218

  “  Cloisters, St Sauveur,                                          219

BÉZIERS, From the Orbe,                                              223

BÉZIERS, Tower, South side of St Nazaire,                            224

  “  Apse, St Nazaire,                                               225

  “  Cathedral of St Nazaire,                                        226

  “  Fountain in Cloisters,                                          227

  “  House,                                                          228

  “  St Pierre de Reddes. (From _Révoil_.)                           229

NARBONNE, Cathedral of St Just,                                      231

PERPIGNAN, The Castellet,                                            237

PERPIGNAN, Cathedral of St Jean,                                     238

ELNE, Marble Gateway,                                                241

  “  Cathedral,                                                      242

  “  Cloisters,                                                      244

CARCASSONNE, general view,                                           245

  “  Towers and Castle,                                              247

  “  Outer and Inner Walls, North Side,                              249

  “  Porte Narbonnaise,                                              251

  “  Western Walls and Barbican,                                     253

  “  Interior of Walls,                                              256

  “  St Nazaire,                                                     258

AIGUES MORTES, “Tour de Constance,”                                  261

  “  Walls on East and North Sides,                                  263

  “  Interior of South Side of Walls,                                265

  “  Porte de Nimes,                                                 267

HYÈRES, Castle,                                                      272

  “  St Paul,                                                        273

CANNET,                                                              275

THORONET, Church from South-West,                                    276

  “      “  _Interior_,                                              277

  “   Cloister,                                                      279

  “   Caps in Cloister,                                              280

  “   Fountain in Grounds,                                           283

ST MAXIMIN, Church,                                                  284

FRÉJUS, Plan of Cathedral,                                           285

  “   Cathedral, _Interior_,                                         286

  “   Western Enclosure and Cathedral Buildings,                     287

  “   Cathedral, Eastern Tower and Bishop’s Palace,                  288

  “      “   South or Entrance Front,                                290

  “      “   Baptistery,                                             292

RIEZ, The “Pantheon,” _Plan_ (_From Texier and Pullan_),             293

  “      “   _Section_     “      “                                  294

FRÉJUS, Cathedral, Cloisters,                                        295

  “      “     “  _Interior_,                                        297

  “  Cathedral, Brass Lamp (_From a drawing by Mr R.
Burns Begg_),                                                        298

  “  Doorways,                                                       299

ST TROPEZ, general view,                                             300

  “  Entrance to Fishmarket,                                         301

GRIMAUD, From the Plain,                                             302

GRIMAUD, Castle,                                                     303

NAPOULE, Castle,                                                     305

  “      “                                                           306

MONT ST CASSIEN,                                                     307

CANNES, Bay of, and the Esterelle Mountains,                         309

  “  The Old Town,                                                   311

  “  Tour du Chevalier,                                              312

  “      “     “  Plan and Section,                                  313

  “  Church of St Anne,                                              315

  “      “     “  Plan,                                              316

  “      “     “  Doorway,                                           316

  “  Mont du Chevalier,                                              317

  “  Notre Dame d’Espérence,                                         318

ST HONORAT, Cloisters of Monastery, _Interior_,                      320

  “  Ste Trinité, _Interior_,                                        321

  “      “  Plan,                                                    322

  “      “  West End,                                                323

  “      “  East End,                                                324

  “      “  Doorway,                                                 325

  “  St Sauveur, Lérins (_from Révoil_),                             325

  “  Castle, Plan of Ground Floor,                                   326

  “      “  (_from N.-W._),                                          327

  “      “  Lower Cloister,                                          329

  “      “  Capitals and Bases,                                      330

  “      “     “     “  Base,                                        331

  “      “  Lower Cloister,                                          333

  “      “  (_from N.-E._),                                          335

  “      “  (_section from N. to S._),                               336

  “      “  Plan of First Floor,                                     337

  “      “  Upper Cloister,                                          338

  “      “  Upper Cloister, Details,                                 339

  “      “  Refectory,                                               341

STE MARGUÉRITE, Castle,                                              343

VALLAURIS, Abbot’s Summer Palace,                                    345

  “  Chapel of Abbot’s Summer Palace,                                345

  “     “     “     “     “                                          346

LE CANNET, “Maison du Brigand,”                                      347

  “  Notre Dame des Anges,                                           348

MOUGINS, Notre Dame de Vie,                                          349

  “  Gate to Town,                                                   350

AURIBEAU,                                                            351

GRASSE, View of Town,                                                352

  “  Cathedral, Plan of,                                             352

  “     “  West End,                                                 353

  “     “  (_Campanile at N. E. angle_),                             354

  “     “  _Interior_,                                               355

  “  Keep Tower,                                                     356

  “  Staircase,                                                      357

  “  Church of the Oratoire,                                         358

  “     “    “  Cap of Main Pier,                                    359

ST CÉSAIRE, Ancient Gateway,                                         359

  “  Carving over Doorways,                                          360

  “  Church, _Exterior_,                                             361

  “      “  _Interior_,                                              362

  “  Plan of Church,                                                 363

CHATEAU DE TOURNON,                                                  363

CALLIAN, Town and Castle,                                            364

LE BAR, South Doorway of Church,                                     365

GOURDON, View of,                                                    367

  “  Houses,                                                         368

  “  Château,                                                        369

TOURETTES, Church,                                                   370

  “  Font,                                                           371

ANTIBES (_from West_),                                               372

  “  Tower or Keep attached to Cathedral,                            374

  “      “      “  of the Castle,                                    375

CAGNES, Castle (_from the South_),                                   377

  “      “  (_from the N.-E._),                                      378

VILLENEUVE-LOUBET, Castle (_from the N.-W._),                        379

  “      “      “  (_from the S.-E._),                               380

LA TRINITÉ, Tower of (_Plan_),                                       382

  “      “  (_from the Chapel_),                                     383

LA TRINITÉ, Tower of (_from the S.-W._)                              386

BIOT, View of,                                                       387

  “ Church--_Exterior_,                                              389

  “      “  Plan of,                                                 390

  “      “  _Interior_,                                              391

ST PAUL-DU-VAR, (_from the East_),                                   393

  “      (“   _West_),                                               394

  “  Details,                                                        395

ST PAUL-DU-VAR, Old Shops and Houses,                                396

  “  Side Street,                                                    397

  “  Main Street,                                                    398

  “  Interior of North Gateway,                                      399

  “  Main Street,                                                    400

  “  Chimney-piece in the Maison Suraire,                            401

  “  Staircase in the Maison Suraire,                                402

  “  North Gateway,                                                  403

  “  Church, West End of,                                            404

  “      “  _Interior_,                                              405

  “      “  Plan of,                                                 406

 “  Tower or Keep,                                                   407

VENCE, Cathedral--_Interior_,                                        409

  “      “   Plan,                                                   410

  “      “   East End,                                               412

  “      “   Font,                                                   413

  “  Behind Cathedral,                                               414

  “  Ancient House,                                                  415

  “  Doorway,                                                        416

  “  Tower or Keep of the Consul,                                    417

ST MARTIN-LES-VENCE, Commandery,                                     418

CIMIES, Cross,                                                       420

NICE, Castle of St André,                                            421

  “  St André,                                                       423

EZA, (_from the Railway Station_),                                   424

  “  (_from the East_),                                              425

  “  Approach to the Town Gate,                                      426

  “  Entrance Gateway to Town,                                       427

  “  Interior of Entrance Gateway,                                   428

  “  House,                                                          429

  “  Doorway,                                                        430

LA TURBIE, Outer south Gateway,                                      430

LA TURBIE, Inner South Gateway,                                      431

  “  Eastern Gateway,                                                432

  “  Houses,                                                         433

MONACO, Ducal Palace,                                                435

  “     “     “  (_N. W. Bastion_),                                  436

ROQUEBRUNE, Entrance to Town,                                        437

  “  Font,                                                           438

  “  Castle,                                                         439

MENTONE, (_from the Harbour_),                                       440

VENTIMIGLIA, West Portal of Cathedral,                               442

  “  Interior of Cathedral,                                          443

DOLCE AQUA, Street,                                                  444

  “  Castle of the Dorias,                                           445

  “     “     “  (_from the S. W._),                                 446

SAN REMO, Street,                                                    447

  “  Houses,                                                         448

  “  San Siro (_North Doorway_),                                     449

TAGGIA, Gateway and Street,                                          450

  “  Doorway,                                                        451

  “      “                                                           452

  “  Cloisters, St Christofero,                                      453

ALASSIO, Church,                                                     454

ALBENGA, Towers and West End of Church,                              455

  “  (_from Railway Station_),                                       456

  “  Tower at North-East of Church,                                  457

GENOA, Cloisters, San Matteo,                                        459

  “  Doorway, Piazza San Matteo,                                     460

  “  Church, Cloisters, etc.,                                        461

  “  Campanile,                                                      462

Knocker, Elne Cathedral--_Tailpiece_,                                463

Lamp from Old Church, Monaco,                                        464

Details from Tomb of Cornelia, Arles Museum,                         467


Scale of English Miles]

[Illustration] I.

The beautiful buildings of the North of France are as well known to all
English lovers of architecture as many of the edifices of our own
country, and every one is more or less acquainted with them.

The various styles which have prevailed there--whether Gothic or
Renaissance, Ecclesiastical, Castellated or Domestic--have all been
fully illustrated and rendered familiar by numerous admirable works,
both French and English. Besides, being so near our own shores, and
lying as it does, between England and Paris, this part of the country is
easily accessible, and is much visited by English tourists and students
of architecture.

The various styles of Northern France, too, have many points of
resemblance to those on this side of the channel; and there thus exists
a feeling of sympathy between the two which renders the study of both,
and a comparison of their similarities and differences, particularly
interesting to the English observer.

All these circumstances have contributed to make the great cathedrals of
Amiens, Beauvais, Rouen, Rheims, and Chartres familiar and attractive;
while the picturesque towns of Northern France, with their quaint
half-timbered houses, and the no less picturesque costumes of the
inhabitants, are constantly brought before us in the charming
representations of our artists.

The ancient castles of Normandy and Northern France, such as the
Châteaux d’Arques, Gaillard, and Falaise, are as closely connected with
English as French history; and as the dwellings of our Plantaganet
Kings, and the scene of many important events in their lives, they claim
even more attention at our hands than they have yet received.

But the South of France is a comparatively unknown country. It is much
less frequented by our countrymen than the North, and its buildings and
scenery rarely form the subject of our artists’ paintings. It is indeed
true that a very large number of English people winter in the Riviera or
at Pau; but these visitors are all desirous to perform their migration
at a single flight, and to move, as by a magic spell, unconscious of the
horrors of the middle passage, from the gloom of the dreary winter of
England to the bright sunshine and lovely landscape of the South. That
this should be the case is perhaps scarcely to be wondered at, so many
of the visitors being themselves delicate or in company with invalids.
But for their own sakes it is much to be regretted, as they thus pass
through a great deal of fine and novel scenery without observing it, and
catch but a passing glimpse of some of the most ancient and interesting
cities, churches, and castles in Europe. It must, however, be confessed
that the intervening district between the North and South is not a
pleasant region in mid-winter. Between Lyons and Marseilles the cold is
frequently very intense, and the whole valley of the Rhone suffers from
the fierce and bitter “mistral” which sweeps down it from the region of
the Cevennes Mountains on the north-west. To enjoy a tour in the valley
of the Rhone on the way out to the Riviera one must start earlier than
usual, so as to make the October weather available, or delay till the
return journey in spring.

The Englishman travelling southwards for the first time is chiefly
struck with the entire change in the aspect of the scenery, the
vegetation, the style of the buildings, the colour of the soil and
hills, the brilliant sunshine, and the clear blue sky, which everywhere
meet the view in descending the Rhone. This is especially the case in
going south by the night train from Paris. Soon after leaving Lyons
daylight commences, when the traveller awakes to find himself in a new
zone. All the surroundings are transformed: instead of the sombre sun
and foggy atmosphere of the North, he enjoys the bright light and
breathes the clear air of the South, and finds around him, instead of
bare trees and frozen herbage, vineyards and gardens still rich with the
lovely tinted foliage of autumn.

The buildings in these gardens and fields particularly strike the eye of
the architect. They are so unlike what he has been accustomed to, and
left behind only a few hours ago. The houses of timber-framed work, with
their steep roofs covered with slates or flat tiles, and the snug
homesteads of England and the North of France, have entirely vanished;
and in their stead only small square or oblong erections are to be seen
scattered here and there through the fields, with plastered and tinted
walls, and covered with tiled roofs of the ribbed Italian pattern, all
laid at flat slopes, and generally having one side of the roof much
longer than the other.

At Avignon the change of aspect is even more complete. “On arriving at
Avignon,” says Prosper Mérimée, “it appeared to me that I had left
France behind. Landing from the steamboat I had not been prepared by a
gradual transition for the novelty of the spectacle which presented
itself; the language, the costumes, the aspect of the country,
everything appears strange to one coming from the centre of France. I
believed myself in the middle of a Spanish town. The crenellated walls,
the towers furnished with machicolations, the country covered with
olives and plants of a tropical vegetation, recalled Valencia, &c.”

Not less great than the differences in climate and in the aspects of
nature, are those of the arts of the North and South; and these
diversities in nature and art, although now all embraced within the
compass of one great and united country, are indications of the
political differences which, in former times, existed between the
various portions of it. The growth of France as a kingdom has been slow
and gradual. Not to refer to changes which have occurred in our own
times to modify the extent of her surface, it should be remembered that
Provence was no part of France till the fifteenth century. It was not
till 1481, in the time of Louis XI., that Provence passed under the rule
of the King of France.

During the earlier and more important epochs of the architectural
revolutions in that province, it formed an independent State, and was in
advance, in art and literature, of its northern neighbours. In
considering the history of its architecture, it is important that this
should be kept clearly in view. We shall see, as we glance rapidly over
the history of the Southern provinces, that, in most respects, the
development of the civilisation of the South differs from that of the
Northern kingdom, and that the growth of the architecture naturally
follows the progress of the respective countries. The art of the South,
although it reached maturity earlier than that of the North, was also
the first to decay; and, as the Northern Franks spread their arms over
the South, and bit by bit got possession of the land, so their noble and
vigorous style of architecture accompanied them, and, to a great extent,
superseded the older and more finished, but less expansive, styles of
the southern provinces.

But the country we are dealing with has a history which extends back for
hundreds of years before the names of Gaul or France were heard of. This
region has in all ages formed a centre for the reception of the culture
and arts of the various nations of the Mediterranean, and from which
these have again been radiated to the remoter countries of the West. Its
reminiscences thus carry us back to the dawn of history, some three
thousand years ago, when we find the coast in the hands of the Phœnician
navigators, by whose commercial and naval activity it could not fail to
be greatly influenced. To the Phœnicians succeeded the Greeks, who
colonised the country, and infused into it that spirit of Grecian
culture and art of which it was long the home. The Romans next took
possession of the land, and, under their dominion, it became a favourite
province, and was lavishly enriched with the productions of the
magnificent architecture of the Empire.

Amidst the horrors of the barbarian irruptions which followed the fall
of the Empire, this fortunate province succeeded in maintaining some
relics of Roman civilisation; and when the dawn began to appear after
the terrible night of the Dark Ages, it was amongst the first to show
signs of life and revival. In the South, song and literature, encouraged
by contact with the Saracens of Spain, sprang up and flourished ere, in
the North, the struggle for existence had produced a settled condition
in the land. Here too the Christian Church took an early and firm hold,
and has left interesting traces of its sacred edifices of very early
date. It was here also that the primitive monastic societies of the West
preserved the learning and enlightenment whereby the nations were
subsequently revived and illumined. During the Middle Ages we shall
likewise find that this remarkable region still retained its
distinctive attitude as a centre of artistic and commercial energy
between the East and the West. It occupied in this respect, during the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a very remarkable position, and was at
that time the scene of action of some of the chief political and
religious movements in the West of Europe.

While connected as a fief with the “Holy Roman Empire,” it was also in
close proximity to the growing power of France on the north, and to
Spain and Italy on the south. For a time indeed it was under the
suzerainty of Aragon, and was thus brought into contact with the science
and arts of the Moors in Spain. From Italy again it received an impulse
from the energy of the growing Republics of that country; while it also
felt only too terribly and effectively the sway and power of the Pope.
At the same time it became the chief _entrepôt_ of the growing traffic
from the East, and the highway by which the artistic and other products
of the Levant were dispersed through France and the North of Europe.

The importance of this region was at that period immense, but in course
of time it gradually diminished, until at length the tide of influence
became reversed. The increasing power of France overshadowed the South,
and the policy and arts of the North gradually encroached upon and
finally absorbed it.

Having to investigate the architecture of a region so rich in historic
and artistic records, it may be well, before considering its monuments
in detail, to glance a little more fully at the historic conditions
under which the various styles we shall meet with were produced and
developed. We shall thus be the better able to understand and appreciate
their place and significance in connection with the growth of the

[Illustration] II.

The history of the littoral of the Mediterranean goes back to the
earliest dawn of maritime enterprise.

The coast was visited by the Phœnicians, those first and adventurous
merchants and navigators of the Levant, who pushed their commerce even
as far as the shores of distant Britain. Carthage was one of the Tyrian
Colonies, and so also was Cadiz, founded about 1100 B.C.

The Phœnicians established many cities and ports on the coast, such as
Illiberris, Narbonne, and Marseilles, and carried on a considerable
trade with them. Some of these have entirely perished, while in the
remainder only a few traces have been found of their Phœnician origin.

The next navigators who explored the Riviera were the Greek colonists
from Phocæa, itself a Grecian colony on the coast of Asia Minor, the
inhabitants of which were forced to leave their country by the invasion
of the Persians under Cyrus.

These adventurers, after establishing themselves in Corsica, spread to
other parts of the coast. They settled about 600 B.C., by treaty with
the natives, at Massilia or Marseilles. Owing to its fine rock-sheltered
harbour, and from its proximity to the mouth of the Rhone, which then
formed the highway to the extensive and populous country lying to the
northwards, this colony soon grew into a flourishing seaport. In course
of time the Massiliotes became rich, and acquired extensive lands
around their town. They also spread their canvas over the neighbouring
seas, and established numerous colonies all along the coast, such as
Narbonne, Antibes, Nice, Monaco, &c.

The Phocæans brought with them from their native home, and introduced
wherever they went, their Greek tongue, together with their Grecian
culture and love of Art.

The government of their towns was founded on the pattern of that of
Phocæa, the people choosing a council of 600, a committee of whom formed
the executive.

They had also schools and colleges for the teaching of grammar and
letters, and the encouragement of science and art.

The language, civilisation, and culture of the whole of the Massiliote
towns were thus entirely Greek, and gave a Grecian character to the
first enlightenment of Southern Gaul; a circumstance which left a
distinct trace in the artistic style of the country, even under the
Empire, just as in Sicily and southern Italy, the settlement of the
Greek colonists in those countries produced a similar result.

The Massiliotes, being rivals of the Carthaginians as merchants and
navigators, naturally took part with the Romans in their Punic wars,
furnished them with ships, and became their allies.

In 154 B.C. the Ligurian tribes of South Gaul rose against the
Massiliote colonies, and the latter in their turn applied to their Roman
allies for assistance. This formed the first introduction of the Roman
Legions into Gaul. Other disputes with the native tribes arose, and in
123 B.C. C. Sextus Calvinus completed the subjugation of the Salyes, and
founded the first Roman settlement in transalpine Gaul at Aquae Sextiae
(now Aix), where he had found the warm springs attractive.

The road from Italy into Gaul by the sea-coast was thus secured, and a
way opened for further conquest.

In 118 B.C. Q. Fabius Maximus and C. Domitius Ahenobarbus defeated the
Avernes and Allobroges, and became masters of the Southern Celts. A
Roman colony was then established at Narbo Martius (Narbonne), to secure
the country and protect the road into Spain.

During the civil war Massilia espoused the cause of Pompey, a course
which led to the town being besieged and taken by Caesar. Massilia was
then Romanized and lost her colonies, but she still retained her letters
and arts, and her schools continued to flourish under the Empire.

By the year 50 B.C. the whole of Gaul had been subdued by Julius Caesar.
Colonies were established by him and his successors at Arles, Orange,
Vienne, and all the important Gallic towns, and the country was thus
brought under Roman rule and influence. Traces of the gradual passage
from Greek to Roman culture are to be found in the monuments of the
earlier centuries of the Christian era. This is observable in the change
from the Greek to the Latin language, the Greek names assuming a Latin
form and being inscribed in Roman characters.

Under Rome the towns of Gaul were adorned with the profusion of splendid
public buildings universal throughout the Empire, every town being
provided with its Forum and Temples, its Theatre, Amphitheatre, Baths,
Aqueducts and Triumphal Arches. The style of architecture adopted was
naturally that of the Romans, but in many buildings and sculptures of
the early centuries, a strong Greek feeling may be detected. This is
also the case at Pompeii, in Southern Italy, which was likewise
originally a Greek colony.

During the second and third centuries, South Gaul gradually became
entirely Romanized, and was the favourite province of the Empire, with
the seat of the prefect at Trèves. In the first brilliant period of the
Empire, her extensive conquests added to her strength, both in supplying
men for her armies, and wealth for the embellishment of her cities.
Hence the magnificent display of public buildings then erected
everywhere throughout the Roman world. But it also tended to her
enervation through luxury and superfluity. This gradually encouraged the
growing corruption of the Empire, and caused continually fresh demands
on the provinces to feed the central craving and consumption--while with
luxury the strength of Rome relaxed, and she became unable in return to
extend to the provinces the support they required.

This weakness went on, gradually increasing, till in the fifth century
the country fell an easy prey to the hordes of Barbarians who then
poured in upon it. In the fourth century the Visigoths had burst over
Southern Gaul, and settled in the fertile plains between the Pyrenees
and the Garonne. That part of the country being well peopled and
civilised, and the conquerors comparatively small in number, they were
in course of time, to a great extent, absorbed into the general
population. The civilisation and polity of the Romans thus continued to
preserve a comparatively uninterrupted course in the south-west of Gaul.

It is a peculiarity of all the Greek and Roman colonies, as compared
with those of modern times, that they were established in cities. In the
cities were centred all the life and movement of the ancient world. The
land of course had to be cultivated, but that was done by bands of
slaves led out from the towns. The open country was uninhabited, and
except within a short distance from the towns, lay waste and
uncultivated. The form of government exercised in the various states,
was founded on that of the towns. The supreme power of Rome herself,
with all her wide-spread command, was but an extended municipal
authority, and every town was in this respect a repetition of the
capital on a small scale. As the conquests of Rome extended, this form
of government was found inadequate to the control of the numerous
nations finally comprised under Roman sway.

The Empire, with its stronger grasp and centralised control, with its
multitude of functionaries, all appointed by and in constant relation
with a central will, alone enabled the existence of Rome to be continued
for some centuries.

But when the Empire also finally decayed and fell, the old municipal
principle again came to the front. As the colonies had been founded in
cities, so when the Imperial system gave way, the city again asserted
itself; and in Southern Gaul, where the barbarians had been civilised,
municipal authority prevailed, and each town became an independent
little State--the natural tendency of these municipalities being to
detach themselves, and to watch jealously the proceedings of their

This municipal principle is a leading characteristic of the Middle Ages
in Italy and Southern Gaul, and distinguishes these countries from the
Northern provinces. Traces of it are still very apparent in Italy and
Provence, and contribute greatly to the picturesque character of these
provinces. There even yet the soil is to a great extent cultivated by
peasants, who dwell together in crumbling old cities perched on the tops
of hills, and surrounded with ancient walls. Daily the men, women, and
mules descend to their labour in the fields, till the evening, when they
may be met toiling up the steep and rocky paths to a well-earned rest in
their ancestral town.

While in the Southern provinces the Empire was thus dying from
exhaustion, and the little isolated municipal states of the towns
remained the only representatives of civil government left in the land,
in Northern Gaul the invasions of the barbarians were much more frequent
and numerous, so that almost every trace of Roman civilization was
obliterated. But in the midst of all this decay and destruction of
general government a new organising and centralising power was arising,
in the form of the Christian Church. After passing through the fiery
trials of the first three centuries Christianity had been adopted by
Constantine in A.D. 313; and by the end of the fourth century the church
had become an extensive and united institution, with a well organised
hierarchy of clergy, revenues of its own, and provincial, national, and
general councils. The vigour of the administration of the church system
was conspicuous in the general laxity, and the control of affairs
naturally fell into the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities--the
priests and bishops. Their jurisdiction was officially recognised, and
under the codes of Theodosius and Justinian the control of municipal
affairs was remitted to the clergy and bishops, who were thus for a time
in their respective cities the representatives of government and order.

From the date of Constantine till the overthrow of society, Barbarism,
Paganism, and Christianity went on side by side. While civilisation
remained the schools continued, Christians of antique learning and Pagan
students discussed together the same problems of philosophy, and the
Fathers endeavoured to reconcile them with Christianity. But as
successive waves of Barbarians rushed over the land, drowning all before
them, almost every semblance of learning was swept away. Hence arose a
desire on the part of learned men to retire from the anarchy and
insecurity of the conditions around them to some safe retreat, where
they might converse on and study in peace those high problems which
occupied their minds. These societies, in the natural course of events,
were by degrees converted into monasteries. The celebrity of the Eastern
ascetics and devotees had penetrated to Western Europe, but the solitary
form of religious observance did not at first meet with much
encouragement there. Societies of recluses were then, however, also
common in the East, and the Eastern monastery was the form adopted by
the Western recluses as their model. But monasteries were not at this
time religious societies, nor were the monks in Holy orders. They were
simply associations of laymen who wished to retire from the confusion
and turmoil into which all civil government was thrown, and find peace
for study and quiet for contemplation. Such was the famous monastery of
the Lérins, founded early in the fifth century by St Honorat, on an
island off the coast near Cannes, which soon became the most celebrated
school of learning and piety in Southern Gaul, and was as great a
blessing to the countries of the Mediterranean as the similar colony of
St Columba at Iona was to the North of Britain.

It is easy, however, to fancy how, in the midst of the strife and unrest
of the fifth and sixth centuries, such societies tended to become
religious, and thus obtain protection from the Church. This they were
finally compelled to do, although at the sacrifice of their liberty, by
placing themselves under the authority of the bishops, where alone they
could find rest and safety. For the Barbarians, many of whom were
already Christians, stood in awe of the Church, and the Church strove to
secure her ascendancy by maintaining the independence of the spiritual
power, and the incapacity of the temporal powers to interfere with it; a
doctrine which afterwards led to the terrible struggle for supremacy
between the temporal and spiritual powers, represented on the one hand
by the Emperor, and on the other by the Pope, a struggle which lasted
so long, and involved so many cities in the horrors of the factions of
the Guelphs and Ghibellines.

During the fearful reign of anarchy and destruction which prevailed in
the sixth and seventh centuries, when all security for life and property
had disappeared, and the armed hand of the Barbarian bore down all rule
and order before it, the authority of the Bishops likewise gave way.
Their Sees were invaded by Goths and Franks, who assumed their titles
and drew their revenues. The fate of the monasteries was similar. The
invaders seized the seats of the abbots, and the recluses were
dispersed. Everywhere nothing but decay and disintegration prevailed. No
wonder then, that monuments of this period are rare; the marvel is that
any human structures should have survived the shock of universal ruin
and destruction. Only a few of the more massive Roman monuments, built
as if to last for ever, were able to withstand the tornado. The small
and modest Christian edifices have been almost entirely swept away; but
fortunately a few rare vestiges have been preserved within our district,
sufficient to indicate the nature of the early Christian Architecture
under the Empire.

By the eighth century the Barbarian invaders of Gaul had become somewhat
settled in their new possessions, and had abandoned their original
wandering mode of life. A certain nominal supremacy had always been
accorded to the Merovingian Kings of the Franks, but the royal power,
together with the title, had now passed into the stronger and more
active hands of the Carlovingians, under whom it grew into a distinct
royal authority.

At this time a new danger from an unexpected quarter threatened the
slowly reviving prospects of the West, and seems for the moment to have
had the effect of uniting all the otherwise discordant elements for the
purpose of resistance to the common foe. This was the invasion of the
Saracens from the South. These warlike zealots had, after over-running
and destroying the Roman civilisation of Northern Africa, passed over
into Spain, and in 719 they crossed the Pyrenees and invaded Southern
Gaul. The old Roman cities were at that time in a comparatively settled
and prosperous condition, when their tranquility was thus rudely
interrupted. The whole country was devastated by the Saracen invaders,
the towns were besieged, and in most cases taken and destroyed. We shall
find, as we proceed, that there is scarcely one which does not bear the
mark of the destructive hand of the Saracen. The overwhelming flood was,
however, at length stemmed by Charles Martel in 732 at Tours, when the
Moors were completely defeated and driven back beyond the Pyrenees. This
great victory gave repose for a time; and thinking men being weary of
the long night of Anarchy which had so long oppressed them, began to
look round for some principle by which rule and order might again be
restored. Any durable and fixed system would be better than the
fluctuation and uncertainty so long experienced. After so many changes
and so much diversity of government, the principle of unity naturally
presented itself to men’s minds. The tyranny of the Empire was forgotten
under the more crushing oppressions of all kinds which had since had to
be submitted to; while its unity and strength were remembered, and
people began to long for what now appeared to be “the good old times” of
the Empire. It was agreed that the only satisfactory form of government
was one which, like the Empire, should include the whole Roman world.
This was considered to be in accordance with the nature of things. As
there is one God, so there should be one Emperor to represent Him on
earth as temporal ruler, and one Pope to represent Him in matters
spiritual as the head of the Church. And by a remarkable coincidence
this idea came to be realised about A.D. 800, in the person of
Charlemagne, who extended his sway over nearly the whole of Western
Europe. What rendered possible at that time the apparent fulfilment of
the dream of universal temporal and spiritual government, was the fact
that during Charlemagne’s time these two powers recognised that they
could be of considerable service to one another, and were consequently
on very friendly terms. As Charlemagne was now the supreme temporal
Emperor, so the Bishop of Rome had also fully established his supremacy
in the Church. This had been brought about by various fortunate
circumstances--by his occupying the See of the great city whose name was
still a power, and where the Bishop held the old municipal authority and
rule which had there been less disturbed by the invasions of the
Barbarians than elsewhere; by his importance as a suzerain, being a very
extensive proprietor in Italy and Gaul; and by means of the influence of
missionaries sent direct from Rome by the Pope to Britain and Germany,
where the converts, being thus brought into immediate connection with
Rome, naturally gave their support to the Pope as head of the Church.

The Papal sanction had now become usual, and was considered necessary by
Kings, to their establishment on the throne--especially in Germany,
where Papal supremacy so fully reigned. But while the King required the
Pope’s countenance, the Pope also was most desirous to obtain the aid of
the temporal power, in order to overthrow the authority of the Lombards
in the North of Italy, and to obtain possession of the Exarchate.

Their requirements thus fitted in with one another, so that at the
coronation of Charlemagne as Emperor by Pope Leo, in the year 800, the
supremacy and unity of the two heads of affairs, in matters spiritual
and temporal, seemed to be complete, and the Holy Roman Empire to be
established on a secure and permanent basis.

After the time of Charlemagne, however, great disruptions of his empire
ensued; but the idea of a central power took root, and although not
developed according to the original conception, it led in time to the
formation of the various nations which now occupy the different
countries of Western Europe.

The idea of an universal Holy Empire deserves special attention in
connection with Architecture. The same causes as led to this conception
would also prevail with regard to the art, and especially the style of
Architecture to be followed in the Empire. This we shall find there is
reason to believe was the case, and that up to this time, and even till
the tenth century, the churches were apparently erected in one
traditional style, more or less followed in the whole of the Western
Empire; whereas after the above date the architecture diverges into
various national varieties in the different countries into which Europe
was then sub-divided.

Under Charlemagne a wonderful revival took place in Letters, Arts,
Schools, and Religion--the first dawn after the long night of anarchy.
In Italy, Provence, and Aquitaine, where the towns had preserved
something of the Roman municipal rule, and of the manners, letters, and
arts of the Empire, Literature and Art began slowly to improve and
revive. The relics of Roman culture which they possessed, together with
the constant intercourse of the dwellers in the towns with one another,
and the circumstance that here, as in Italy, the Nobles as well as the
Burghers dwelt within the walls, all helped to bring about a more
speedy revival in the South than in the North, where the Nobles dwelt
apart in their isolated castles. The reminiscences of Roman luxury, and
the warm and voluptuous climate, while they tended to enervate and
weaken, tended also to the growth of music, song and literature.
National poets arose, the predecessors of the Troubadours, who became so
prominent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

This enlightenment, combined with the nascent chivalry of the eleventh
century, which introduced the worship of Woman with gallantry and the
Courts of Love, formed a striking contrast to the rigid asceticism of
the Burgundians, and competed strongly with the expansion of the
Monastic institutions. It was the same spirit of freedom and progress
which in the following century excited the suspicion and hatred of the
clergy, and gave rise to the dreadful scenes of massacre amongst the
Albigenses of Aquitaine, and the horrors of the Inquisition.

Architecture naturally participated in the general advancement and
showed symptoms of new life. From the ninth century evidences exist of
this revival in the monuments still to be found in these countries.

Charlemagne’s relations with the East were of a friendly character, and
he is said to have sent to Byzantium for men of learning and science.
Amongst these were no doubt Architects and Sculptors, who would thus
bring with them the elements of the Byzantine influence so distinctly
manifested in the early churches of the Rhineland.

The revival of the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne, although it
paved the way for the new life which was to follow, was not in itself
that new life. Up to this time the shadow of old Rome was still upon the
nations. The Goths wondered at, and envied the great central government
of the Empire, and strove to imitate and revive its power in their own
persons; and for this purpose they caused the Roman Laws to be collated,
and they endeavoured to administer them. This too, as we have seen, was
Charlemagne’s idea. But the new life of the modern world did not look
back to Rome as its model. It was glad to borrow from Rome all the laws
and culture it could make available, but its central idea is not that of
universal empire, but of separate and independent kingdoms. Hence the
long struggle in the North between the Austrasians, who strove to impose
upon the provinces their missi and officials from a central head, and
the Neustrians, whose Germanic instincts of individual freedom led them
to contend for the independence and liberty of action of the hereditary
rulers of the various provinces--the principle which in the end
prevailed and determined the condition of modern European countries.

The dream of an universal spiritual and temporal Empire was only an
attempt to raise the ghost of old Rome, but the new principle now being
developed of independent kingdoms marks the birth of the new modern

The revival of the eleventh century was further greatly aided by the
Church, both secular and regular. The bishops and clergy being the best
educated class in the community, were the frequent advisers of those in
authority, thus leading to the proper position of the Church being
recognised and maintained. The monasteries also underwent the same
spirit of revival and reformation. Of this the history of the Abbeys of
Cluny and Citeaux form a remarkable illustration. The Abbey of Cluny was
founded about 909 A.D. by Guillaume le Pieux, duc d’Aquitaine, but Odon,
the second Abbot, was the real creator of the house. He introduced the
idea of subordination and order amongst monasteries, _i.e._, that there
should be one head Abbey, with numerous others subordinate to, and
dependent on it. This plan was also adopted by the House of Citeaux
(the Cistercians), founded about 1100, and others. The monasteries were,
however, as yet all subject to the rule of St Benedict--different
_orders_ had not hitherto been introduced, only different controlling
centres. Such control and superintendence were at this time only too
much needed, all discipline having been lost in the midst of the general
disorder. As has already been observed, many of the abbeys had become
mere castles in the hands of lay abbots, and were filled with armed men.
In other cases the clerical abbots acted as lay proprietors, and
commanded troops, and mixed in the quarrels of the nobles.

The Abbé Maïeul governed Cluny for the forty years preceding 994, during
which time a large number of monasteries from every part of Europe,
extending from Ravenna and Pavia in Italy to Tours in France, and
including the ancient monastery of St Honorat de Lérins in Provence,
adopted the rule of Cluny and became subject to its authority. Under
this reformed rule monastic institutions began to assume a great
importance and to exercise much influence in Western Europe. In the
midst of disorder they were the only representatives of a well regulated
government, and in fact produced the model from which modern society and
order sprung. Cluny now began to feel its power, and to long for
independence from the authority of the Bishops, desiring to hold from
the See of Rome alone.

Abbot Hugues and his friend Hildebrand (afterwards Gregory VII.) both
contended strongly for the independence of the spiritual power--a
struggle ending with the final victory of the Pope over the Emperor
Henry IV.

Hugues, like the other superiors of the monastic institutions, such as
the Abbé Suger and St Bernard, took part in all the great affairs of the
time (eleventh century). The Abbé of Cluny was invited by William the
Conqueror to regulate the religious affairs of England. In Hugues’ time
the dominion of Cluny extended over 314 monasteries. The Abbot-General
thus became the equal of any temporal prince, and owed his allegiance
only to the Pope. He struck his own coinage, and he appointed abbots to
all his subject monasteries, of whom he occasionally called together a

In the eleventh century the monastery, besides being a model of
centralised organisation, was the only place of repose for intellectual
minds. The monks also resuscitated the culture of the soil-establishing
small convents, or Obédiences, in remote and neglected territories,
where they cleared the ground, drained the marshes, enclosed fields, and
planted vineyards. They also constructed roads and established bridges
and ferries. Trades of all kinds were likewise practised and encouraged
in the monasteries, and the arts of the gold and silver smith, the
glazier and glass painter, the illuminator, and the carver were
specially subjects of the monks’ attention. The houses of the
inhabitants who carried on these trades clustered round the walls and
increased in number with the importance of the monastery. The workmen
consisted of tanners, weavers, curriers, and drapers, who manufactured
the produce of the live stock of the abbey. Where there were mines on
the property, the necessary labourers were employed; and all the
ordinary trades, such as those of bakers, butchers, shoemakers, smiths,
&c., were needed and supported. Schools were established, and the
education of all provided for. The sick were attended to, and all
travellers were welcomed and entertained.

It was natural that the monasteries, well regulated as they were, and
encouraging all kinds of industries, should speedily grow rich. But it
would be difficult to imagine how wealth could have been better made
available for the benefit of the community at that time, and under the
conditions then existing, than it was in the hands of the Benedictines.

The history of the Cistercian monasteries is similar to that of the
Clunisiens. In the end of the eleventh century some monks of Molesmes,
whose monastery had fallen into the greatest laxity, obtained from the
Papal Legate permission to found an Abbey on rules of great strictness.
Twenty monks established themselves in the forest of Citeaux, in the
diocese of Châlon, on a desert territory surrendered to them by the
Viscount of Beaune. The monks built an Oratory and established
Rules--one of which was that they should live by the work of their
hands. These monks were soon afterwards joined by St Bernard and his
companions, when the rule of Citeaux took a great start. In less than
twenty-five years after these twenty men began their labours in the
marshy forest by reclaiming and cultivating a small patch of ground,
they were represented by 60,000 Cistercian monks spread over every part
of Europe. They were called in by feudal lords from all countries to
clear the land, to establish industries, to rear flocks and herds, to
drain the marshes, and cultivate the soil. In a short time Citeaux ruled
over the incredible number of 2000 houses of both sexes, each house
possessing 5 or 6 granges.

Nothing can better illustrate the immense strides made in the West
during the eleventh century than the great development of these
establishments, and no part of the progress then made had greater
influence on Architecture. It is from this time that we may date the
revival of our art, after the almost total extinction of the Dark Ages.
It is evident that the very large number of new monasteries and churches
now required would have a great effect in stimulating the growth of
Architecture. The position of this and every other art was at that time
necessarily in the hands of the monks, who alone had sufficient
knowledge for the designing and decorating of any building. Under the
monastic influence, however, the designs naturally became subject to
rule and tradition, and tended to assume fixed forms, although these
varied somewhat under the regulations of the different orders, and in
different localities.

Another remarkable phenomenon, which was both an indication of the new
life and religions awakening of the epoch, and had also a very powerful
effect in increasing these movements, was the Crusades. The same
enthusiasm which prompted thousands to devote their lives to a holy and
useful existence in the cloister, stirred up in others through the
eloquence of Peter the Hermit and St Bernard, a resolve to sacrifice
everything to the righteous endeavour to rescue the places sanctified by
the great events in our Saviour’s Life from the hands of the Infidels.
Amongst the innumerable multitudes who joined in the Crusades, and
visited the East, there must have been many who were able to appreciate
the splendid architecture and decoration of Santa Sophia and the other
great churches and buildings of the Levant; and these travellers would
bring back with them fresh ideas which they would endeavour to import
into the structures of the West. Besides, the eyes of all were opened
and their minds enlarged by contact with the culture and refinement of
the Eastern empire, where the ancient Greek and Roman civilisation had
continued uninterruptedly during the centuries of darkness and barbarism
which had well nigh obliterated them in the West. They also saw at
Constantinople the great mart where the commerce between the East and
West was concentrated, and became acquainted with the rich fabrics and
beautiful art of Persia and India.

The transport of men and materials to the East, for the prosecution of
the war, likewise gave a great impulse to navigation and maritime
enterprise, while contact with the Saracens (then an enlightened and
scientific people) taught valuable lessons to the soldiers of the cross.
They especially acquired from them many improvements in the art of the
attack and defence of fortifications, and in the construction of
military engines, the results of which the Western nobles were not slow
to avail themselves of in the great castles which they erected on their
return from the Holy Land. The buildings of the Holy places themselves
were naturally adopted as models, and the circular churches of the West
are probably mostly imitations (although sometimes remote ones) of the
church of the Holy Sepulchre (which was itself rebuilt by the
Crusaders). It will be further pointed out in dealing with the history
of the Architecture how the ancient Greco-Roman art had been preserved
in Syria, and the direct influence it had on the Architecture of the

Such being the general condition of affairs, and their bearing on the
art of the West of Europe up to the twelfth century, let us now look a
little more closely at the progress of events in the province with which
we are specially concerned.


[Illustration] III.

A rapid glance at the political history of the country will further show
the extraordinary condition of fluctuation and uncertainty which existed
during the dismal period which followed the overthrow of the Roman rule,
as well as the gradual growth of the new state of things under which the
great revival of the twelfth century occurred. We shall also observe how
the early renewal of civilisation in the South, aided as it was by the
preservation of some relics of old Roman culture, ultimately yielded to
the more vigorous life and growth of the new political system of the

We have seen that Aquitaine was occupied by the Visigoths in the fourth
century, while Provence was still held by the Burgundians and

In 425 Aetius made a final stand for the Roman cause, but was defeated
by Theodoric, King of the Visigoths, and the last vestige of the Empire
was swept away. These two powers of the South afterwards united their
forces against Attila, their common foe, and drove back the Huns in 451.
In 480 Arles was captured by Euric for the Visigoths, who thus became
masters of Provence. In the sixth century the Franks extended their arms
southwards, and under Clovis, and Gundibald, King of the Burgundians,
defeated the Visigoths at Bouglé in 507.

In 511 Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths in North Italy, defeated the
army of Clovis while engaged in the siege of Arles, and thus preserved
the Mediterranean coast to Italy. But Provence was resigned in 536 by
his successor Witiges to Theodoric, King of the Franks, who had
overthrown the Burgundian Kingdom.

At the death of Clothair I. in 561, Provence was divided between his
sons, Sigebert, King of Austrasia obtaining Marseilles, and Gontran of
Burgundy, Arles. Under subsequent kings Provence was again reunited and
again divided.

In 719 the Saracens crossed the Pyrenees and took possession of
Languedoc. They subsequently united with Maurontis, the Byzantine
governor of Marseilles, for the purpose of driving out the Franks, but
were defeated by Charles Martel, who thus united Aquitaine and Provence
to the Frank kingdom.

These Southern provinces, which, as already mentioned, were governed by
municipal and ecclesiastical organisations, were too weak either to
resist the inroads of the Saracens, or to defend themselves against the
more vigorous discipline of the North.

At the division of the Carlovingian empire, after the death of
Charlemagne in 843, Provence fell to Lothaire, along with Burgundy. In
863 it was seized by Charles the Bald, and in 879 his brother-in-law
Boson, governor of Vienne, was elected King by the synod of Montale, and
Provence was thus converted into a separate monarchy.

In 932 Hugo obtained the Italian kingdom, and ceded Provence to Rudolph
II., who united the two Burgundies under the name of the Kingdom of
Arles. This kingdom existed as a name till 1032; but Provence had in the
meantime been governed by Princes whose power continually increased,
till, from being appointed Governors, they became hereditary holders of
the fief. Of these Princes there were several in the tenth century, who
reigned under the titles of Boson I. and II., William I. (who drove out
the Moorish pirates from the Fraxinet in 968) (as will be referred to in
the sequel), Rothbold, William II., &c.

In 1112 Raymond Béranger, Count of Barcelona, of the house of Aragon,
married the heiress of Provence, and obtained possession of the country.
But Raymond of St Gilles, Count of Toulouse, one of the great leaders of
the first crusade in 1096, claimed a part; and in 1130 possession of
Provence was disputed between his son and Raymond des Baux, of whose
family we shall hear more by-and-bye. In 1181 Raymond Béranger, who had
been invested in Provence by his brother Alphonso I. of Aragon, died,
and the fief reverted to Alphonso I. and II. till 1196.

In 1209 an attempt was made by Raymond Béranger, fourth Count of
Provence, to destroy the independence of the cities. These had all along
preserved their municipal freedom and Roman form of self-government. The
governing body was elected by the citizens, the chief magistrate being
originally nominated by the Byzantine Emperor, but latterly the office
became vested in certain families, or was held by the bishop. In the
twelfth century reforms were attempted in this as in everything else,
and the citizens followed in their reforms the example of the Italian
Republics, and chose a chief magistrate for life with the title of
Podestà. To this officer was entrusted the command of the troops, and
his chief duty was to maintain order in the town amongst the different
factions which were incessantly at war with one another. The power of
the Podestàs was thus considerable, and the Count found much difficulty
in subduing them. The Albigenses of Avignon capitulated in 1226; and
Nice, Grasse, Toulon, and Marseilles were also subsequently overcome.

The strength of the free towns had been shaken shortly before this by
the terrible crusade against the Albigenses of Aquitaine. The tenets of
the Christian Church in this province had always differed somewhat from
those of Rome, and the jealousy of the ecclesiastics had been excited by
the freedom of the life and language of this comparatively enlightened
region. The Pope having now completely established the principle of the
supremacy of the See of Rome, could not endure the idea of any want of
conformity to his rule; and he accordingly encouraged the Romanists of
the North to make war on these rebellious heretics. The enthusiasm of
the Crusaders against the Holy Land had now worn off; but a crusade
against the Heretics of Aquitaine had the charm of novelty, combined
with the advantages of easiness of access, and the probability of
abundance of booty. The crusades against the Albigenses were led by
Count Simon de Montfort, who attacked and, after encountering in most
cases a gallant and determined defence, destroyed the towns, and
massacred the inhabitants. At Béziers alone, which fell after a
protracted siege, the Abbot of Citeaux, in reporting to Innocent III.,
expressed regret that he had only been able to slay 20,000 heretics; but
it is believed that no less than 60,000 were destroyed in that
indiscriminate massacre.

The horrors of war were followed by the tortures of the Inquisition, and
in the holy hands of St Dominic and his order all dissent was either
exterminated or driven into other lands, there to sow the seeds which
should some day spring up as a crop, which no Papal sickle could cut

Raymond VII., Count of Toulouse, having espoused the cause of his
people, suffered with them and was compelled to do penance and to
surrender, by a definite treaty with Queen Blanche in 1229, all his
possessions in the Kingdom of France to her husband Louis VIII., and all
in the Kingdom of Arles to the Pope’s Legate. Only a small portion was
allowed him for life, and he was required to do penance by service in
the Holy Land. The Pope, however, declined to accept of the Kingdom of
Arles on account of its burdensomeness owing to famines. He therefore
handed it over to Queen Blanche, who entrusted the administration of it
to the Seneschal of the castle of Beaucaire. It was afterwards formed
into the Principality of Orange and the Countship of the Venaissin.

In 1243 Raymond VII. of Toulouse was finally obliged to yield up
everything to King Louis IX. The suzerainty of ancient Aquitaine was
thus acquired by the Crown of France, but Provence, east of the Rhone,
still retained its independence.

In 1245 the latter passed into the family of Anjou by the marriage of
Charles of Anjou, brother of St Louis, with Beatrice, heiress of
Provence. The towns thought this a favourable opportunity for making an
effort to recover their freedom, and accordingly Arles, Avignon, and
Marseilles joined in a league against Charles. Arles and Avignon
submitted on his return from the East in 1251; but Marseilles, which had
resisted Raymond Béranger, resolved to maintain its Republican freedom.
Four years later, however, it was compelled to submit, when its
fortifications were razed. In 1262 the town again rebelled, but was
blockaded and reduced by famine. The ancient liberties of Marseilles
were preserved, but Charles substituted in this and the other towns an
officer of his own instead of the electoral Podestà. He afterwards
acquired Ventimiglia and the Maritime Alps. Charles next carried his
arms into Italy, and in 1266 he drove out Manfred, and took possession
of the two Sicilies. He died in 1285, and left Anjou, Provence and
Naples to Charles II., whose son Robert (in 1309) left a troubled
heritage to his grand-daughter Joan of Naples. In 1343 Joan’s husband,
Andrew of Naples, having been murdered, and Joan being suspected of
complicity in the deed, her husband’s brother, Louis of Hungary,
attacked and took Naples in 1347. Joan fled to Provence, and being
desirous to raise money in order to recover Naples, and also wishing to
be acquitted of all connection with the crime of her husband’s murder,
she sold Avignon, where the Popes were then resident, to Clement VI.,
and obtained his acquittal.

Provence had long enjoyed a popular government with representatives in
the three houses of the Clergy, Nobles, and Commons, who had control
over the national purse. Queen Joan attempted to cut down these powers,
and appointed an Italian as Grand Seneschal. But the nation revolted
against this interference with its ancient constitution, and Louis of
Anjou pressing his claim on the province, supported by an army, Joan, in
order to escape from her difficulties, had to adopt him as her heir. He
succeeded to the Countship in 1382, but he and his son Louis II. (1384),
and grandson Louis III. (1417) were all unsuccessful in their claims on
Naples. Louis III. was succeeded in 1434 by his brother René, the well
known poet and painter King, who had also claims on the throne of
Aragon. He died in 1480, leaving one daughter, Margaret, married to
Henry VI. of England.

René bequeathed Provence to his nephew, Charles III. of Maine, who soon
after died, making Louis XI. of France his heir.

In 1486 Charles VIII. declared the country united to France.

Provence thus became at length part of the kingdom of France. But the
Emperor of Germany still continued his claim of suzerainty upon it, in
which he was supported by the Constable, Charles of Bourbon. In
pursuance of that claim, Charles V. of Spain invaded Provence in 1536,
but without success. The country continued to be frequently attacked in
the subsequent wars between France and Spain, but has remained part of
France since the days of Louis XI.

The boundary of the province on the east remained from that time till
our own day, the river Var. It was a frontier badly fortified, and ever
open to attack; and we shall see what efforts were made by Francis I. to
render it secure against the attempts of his enemy of Spain. In 1861 the
boundary between France and Italy was extended eastwards, as far as a
ravine spanned by the “Pont St Louis,” a short way beyond Mentone, thus
including Nice and Mentone, formerly part of Savoy, within the French

In treating of the architecture of this part of the country, we shall
find that it bears in its architecture unmistakable signs of its former
Italian allegiance.


[Illustration] IV.

The foregoing Sketch of the history of this region shews that its
architecture must belong to two entirely distinct epochs--the Roman
period and the Mediæval period. It is proposed in the following
description of the various edifices to treat of these two periods
separately,--taking up first the buildings of the Roman period in
regular sequence as they are met with in descending the Rhone from
Lyons, and in the various localities along the Riviera, both west and
east of Marseilles. Having thus exhausted the Roman monuments in the
province, we shall return to Lyons, and repeat the journey southwards to
Marseilles, and thence westwards and eastwards along the coast, taking
note of the more important of the many remarkable Mediæval structures in
which these localities abound.

This method will, we believe, be found to be much more satisfactory than
any attempt to deal with the architecture in chronological order. That
plan would be very confusing, the reader having under it to be
constantly transferring himself from one region to another. By the
system adopted he will at least always know where he is, and the
situation of the buildings will thus be fixed in the mind. The
disadvantage of this method admittedly is that structures of all the
Mediæval periods are described together as they occur in each locality;
but it is hoped that this disadvantage will be to some extent overcome
by the introduction to the Mediæval period, in which the historic
sequence and development of the architecture of the country in the
Middle Ages is considered.

Following the above arrangement we shall now proceed with the
description of the buildings, commencing with


In the North of France there are few remains of Roman buildings. This
probably arises from two causes:--_1st_, Because before the fifth
century Roman civilisation had not advanced so far in Northern as in
Southern Gaul, and consequently the towns were not adorned with the same
profusion of magnificent edifices;--and, _2nd_, Because the Northern
division suffered far more destruction than the Southern, from the
invasions of the Barbarians.

At Paris some Roman vaults, parts of a Palace or Baths, are still
preserved in the grounds of the Musée Cluny.

AUTUN is celebrated for its two fine Roman gateways, one of which (the
Porte d’Arroux) is decorated with Corinthian, and the other (the Porte
St André) with Ionic pilasters, features which afterwards produced a
strong influence on the Mediæval Architecture of the province of

Autun also possesses remains of two buildings called Roman Temples, a
splendid pavement of mosaic, a fine collection of statuettes, bronzes
and inscriptions,--all bearing testimony to the importance of the town
in Roman times. But we must pass these by without further notice, as our
district lies south of Lyons.

In exploring the remains of Roman Architecture in Southern Gaul, one
cannot help being struck with the extraordinary and capricious manner in
which they have been preserved,--small towns like Orange and Nimes
being full of Roman work, and important Roman cities like Marseilles and
Narbonne having nothing left but the fragments collected in their

Avignon, the ancient Avenio, was, before the Roman occupation, one of
the most important cities of the tribe of the Cavares; and under
Imperial rule was no doubt adorned with splendid Temples, Amphitheatre,
Theatres, and other public buildings like those of which the remains are
still to be seen at Arles and Nimes. But of all such structures there is
practically not a fragment now left at Avignon.

A large number of Roman antiquities from that town and vicinity have,
however, been collected in the Musée Calvet, so called after the
physician who founded it by bequeathing in 1810 his fine private
collection to the city. The museum contains some good Greek sculpture,
and a large number of coins, medals, and bronzes.

At LYONS there are a few subterranean remains of aqueducts, but no Roman

Some time after leaving Lyons, the railway, which follows the course of
the Rhone, enters a narrow pass amongst the mountains, where there is
little room for more than the river and the road between the precipitous
and rocky banks. The scenery is very grand, and the prospect is
especially fine at a bend of the river where the ancient town of VIENNE,
rising high upon a bold promontory surmounted by its ruined castle,
bursts upon the view.

The town itself is most interesting. Vienne was the ancient city and
capital of the Alobroges before the time of Cæsar. Under the Romans it
attained great splendour. Cæsar embellished and fortified it, and
Augustus and Tiberius bestowed favours on it. It was also the seat of a
Prætor, and had a Senate and Council, five legions, and a celebrated
school. The city increased to such an extent that it became necessary
to extend it on the other side of the Rhone. Vienne was divided into
three towns:--Vienne the strong, containing the citadel; Vienne the
rich, the town proper; and Vienne the beautiful, on the right side of
the Rhone (now called St Colombe), where many fine works of art have
been found. During the later Empire Vienne continued to be a place of
great importance, not unfrequently the residence of the Emperors, and
played a prominent part in the numerous revolutions of the times.

It was also the cradle of Christianity in the West, which, as tradition
relates, was there founded by St Paul on his way into Spain. The
Archbishops of Vienne became for a time Primates of Gaul.

But it was soon to encounter the usual series of disasters which
overtook the Roman towns of Southern Gaul, being conquered by the
Burgundians in 438, ravaged by the Lombards in 558, and destroyed by the
Saracens in 737.

Boson, King of the new Kingdom of Burgundy and Provence, made Vienne his
capital. But the second Kingdom of Burgundy perished in anarchy, and
Vienne became the capital of a feudal province ruled by a suzerain
called the Dauphin of the Viennois.

The town stands on the western slope of a hill facing the river, with
two steep heights above it, viz., that of Salonica, crowned with the
ruins of a Mediæval Castle, and the Mont Pipet, whose summit is
surrounded with an enclosing wall and towers, which occupy the position
of, and may have formed the citadel for, the Roman garrison, but the
buildings have been altered in later times.

Vienne possesses several interesting Roman relics, the most important of
which is the temple dedicated to Augustus and Livia (Fig. 1).

This building has in its time been dreadfully abused.


It was formerly converted into a church, and shockingly disfigured. The
columns surrounding the cella were blocked up with common masonry, and,
as if this was not Barbarism enough, the fluting of the columns was
scraped off to make them flush with the line of the enclosing wall. The
edifice has now been carefully and judiciously restored; and as a
complete specimen of a temple of the Romans in Gaul is only surpassed by
the “Maison Carrée” at Nimes. It is about 80 feet long by 50 feet wide.
In front are six Corinthian columns, crowned with entablature and
pediment, and on each side six detached columns with two pilasters in
rear attached to the cella. The whole is placed on a stylobate, to which
twelve steps ascend in front. The temple stood in a Forum, some of the
pavement of which has been recently uncovered, and the foundations of
the colonnade which surrounded it laid bare.

[Illustration: FIG. 2. ROMAN FORUM, VIENNE.]

A large number of antique relics are here collected--amongst others,
portions of shafts, and bases of columns of gigantic size, which must
have belonged to a building of immense proportions. The admirably
preserved and well known group of two children struggling for the
possession of a bird is one of the finest objects in the collection,
which also includes many interesting fragments of sculpture and
architecture. Vienne possessed at least one ancient theatre, some relics
of which still exist in the ranges of steps forming the seats of the

Remains of underground aqueducts and Roman ways are also to be seen in
the neighbourhood. Of the arcade of the ancient Forum there now only
remain two arches and part of a vault (Fig. 2). The Corinthian columns
are half buried in the soil, and the entablature has been heightened
with a mediæval upper storey, but the colossal proportions of the
original building are still very striking. Near this are some massive
sub-structures and a portion of an immense staircase, the stones of
which still fit as well as the day they were built.

[Illustration: FIG. 3. THE PYRAMID, VIENNE.]

A little way south of the town, and on the level ground near the river,
stands a remarkable though unfinished monument called the “needle” or
“pyramid” (Fig. 3). The upper part consists of a tall and partly hollow
square pyramid. The base is pierced with four arches, each flanked with
two engaged columns, the capitals of which are only roughly blocked out.
The Romans were in the habit of building thus, and executing the
sculpture afterwards. The masonry is beautifully jointed and put
together without cement; but the blocks have been cramped with iron, and
the holes made for the purpose of extracting these cramps are
unfortunately only too apparent here, as in so many other Roman
edifices. There is no inscription or other indication of the purpose for
which this monument was erected, but it has most probably been
commemorative, and the name of Alexander Severus has been generally
connected with it. Prosper Mérimée is of this opinion, and adds that
“the interruption of the work might be explained by one of the
revolutions so frequent in the Empire, which made men forget or denounce
the memory of the person to whom divine honours had previously been

[Illustration: FIG. 4. VIENNE RESTORED.]

The existing remains show that Vienne must have been a town of great
importance and splendour in Roman times. An attempt has been made by an
architect of the district to exhibit in a drawing an illustration of
what Vienne was like in the days of its glory, of which a reproduction
is given in Fig. 4. This restoration, although to a great extent
imaginary, at least serves to give some idea of the splendour of a Roman

The next Roman edifices of importance in descending the Rhone are found
at ORANGE, the ancient Arausio, the capital of the Cavares. It was taken
by Cæsar, and became an important Roman colony. On approaching the town
by the railway, one is struck by the appearance of an immense pile of
building which rears itself high above all the other structures of the
place, but is at too great a distance to allow its features to be
distinguished. On closer inspection this turns out to be the proscenium
wall of the famous Theatre of Orange. Everyone is acquainted with the
general outline of the Roman amphitheatre, but the form of the theatre
is probably not generally so well known. The seats were arranged in a
similar manner to those of the amphitheatre, and were almost invariably
cut out of the side of a hill, but they extended only round a
semicircle. These constituted the auditorium, the diameter of the
semicircle opposite them being occupied with a high wall which enclosed
the theatre and formed the scena, in front of which was the stage where
the actors appeared. This wall or scena was generally elaborately
adorned with architectural features, including a profusion of marble
columns with their entablatures, niches with statues, &c. Dressing-rooms
and other apartments for the actors were either within the scena, or in
spaces at the ends.

The theatre of Orange corresponds with this description. The seats,
rising in tiers, are hollowed out of a hill side, and where natural
support was awanting, at either end, it was supplied by building walls
and vaults in continuation of the rock-cut seats. The proscenium wall
(Fig. 5) is of great size, and is a splendid specimen of Roman
construction, being 335 feet long by about 112 feet high, and is built
with large carefully fitted blocks without cement. This example is
valuable, as the proscenium portions of

[Illustration: FIG. 5. ROMAN THEATRE, ORANGE.--_Exterior._]

ancient theatres are generally destroyed and the materials removed.
Externally the wall of the scena presents a very simple appearance, but
has an imposing effect from its size. The ground floor is designed with
a series of arches having pilasters between them. There is a large
central entrance, and two smaller side doors arranged symmetrically, and
all square-headed. These probably corresponded with the internal
entrances, the central one being known as the Royal doorway, because the
principal actor, called the king, entered by it. The first floor is
quite plain; the next floor has an arcade surmounted with an
entablature, above which is a row of large corbels, the use of which is
doubtful. Above these is a great gutter, then another row of corbels,
and the summit is crowned with a projecting cornice. The six corbels at
each end of the upper row are pierced, as if to form sockets to receive
the feet of poles from which a velarium or great awning might be
stretched over the theatre (as was the case at the Colosseum in Rome and
other similar structures), but if so intended they could never have been
used for that purpose, owing to the projection of the upper cornice.
Prosper Mérimée thinks that the highest portion of the wall above the
level of the upper corbel course has been an addition or early
restoration, which has rendered the lower range of corbels useless, as
well as the upper ones, owing to a change of plan and the introduction
of a wooden roof, instead of a velarium, for the protection of the
actors. At either end of the proscenium great blocks of buildings
contained staircases, halls, dressing-rooms for the actors, places for
the machinery, &c.

The interior of the scena (Fig. 6) was decorated with three storeys of
columns of polished granite and white marble, now entirely broken down,
but of which a large quantity of fragments is still visible, along with
various carvings

[Illustration: FIG. 6. ROMAN THEATRE, ORANGE.--_Interior._]

and other works. These are collected in the proscenium, and form an
interesting exhibition, giving some idea of the former richness of the
decoration. The upper part of the scena carried the roof above referred
to. The beams were embedded in the solid masonry, and projected over the
proscenium, the apertures formed in the walls to receive them being
distinctly visible. This roof has evidently been one source of the
destruction of the building, as the calcined and blackened appearance of
the upper part of the walls shews that it has suffered from a great
fire, the materials for which could only have been furnished by a wooden
roof over the proscenium.

The sketch (Fig. 6) shews some of the ranges of seats cut out of the
rock,--those at the bottom being in a fair state of preservation; and
also some of the built portion of one of the wings which united the
great proscenium to the part of the auditorium cut out of the hill

In the Middle Ages this theatre, as often happened with the massive
buildings of the Romans, was converted into a fortification, and formed
an outwork of the castle erected by the Duke of Orange on the summit of
the hill above. But so solid is its construction, being composed after
the Roman manner of building, of great blocks carefully fitted together
without cement, that it has been able to endure for at least 1500 years,
almost without change, all the destructive influences both of man and
the elements.

Immediately adjoining the theatre on the west was a hippodrome, the
outline of which is quite discernible from the high ground above. It
seems to have run nearly the whole length of the present town, and
remains of it may be traced at intervals among the houses. The length
and comparative narrowness of the structure shew that it was intended
for horse and chariot races, and not for gladiatorial combats and
similar spectacles. Of this immense building almost the only
architectural features now remaining are a large arch across one of the
streets, locally, but erroneously, called a triumphal gate, and some
portions of an arcade incorporated with the modern houses.

Almost everywhere in Orange antique fragments are to be found, and
several statues and mosaics have been discovered.

But by far the finest relic in an artistic point of view is the well
known Triumphal Arch (Fig. 7). It stands at the northern entrance to the
town, and, considering the hard usage it has received, it is in a
wonderfully good state of preservation. The arch is about 70 feet long
and 70 feet in height. Such a massive building was too tempting as a
fortress to be passed over in the Middle Ages, and we accordingly find
it used for that purpose by Raymond des Baux, who played an important
part in this country in the thirteenth century. The northern façade is
best preserved. The structure, as was usual in large monuments of this
nature, is pierced with a principal central arch and two smaller side
arches, and is adorned with four attached Corinthian columns between the
arches supporting an entablature with a central pediment. The east flank
has also four similar columns placed very close together. The archivolts
and frieze are enriched with sculptured figures, and the spaces over the
side arches contain trophies of arms. The upper panel over the central
arch is filled with a large bas-relief full of figures, but it is hard
to say what scene is represented. The shields are ornamented with
crescent-like forms, and on one of them the name of “Mario” can still be
read, while diverse names were formerly legible on others.

[Illustration: FIG. 7. TRIUMPHAL ARCH, ORANGE.]

Many are the theories and disputations to which these words and
ornaments have given rise, but nothing positive has been made out with
regard either to the date or origin of the Arch. It has been ascribed to
Tiberius, and its date fixed A.D. 21. But its style and ornament forbid
this conclusion.

Mérimée thinks that the great analogy of style between the various
Triumphal Arches of Provence, viz., those at Orange, St Remy, and
Carpentras (to be afterwards referred to), renders probable the
hypothesis which supposes them to have been erected at the same epoch
and for the celebration of the same event, viz., the victories of Marcus
Aurelius in Germany. The profusion of the ornament, the form of the
arms, and the incorrect and pretentious character of these monuments
agree well with the architecture of the second century. Mérimée also
draws attention to the maritime trophies at Orange, and points out how
picturesquely the rostra of the ships, the masts, oars, &c., are
grouped. He believes these probably refer to naval conflicts on the

Mr Ruskin also points to the execution of the sculpture of this arch as
a good example of _sketching_ in sculpture; the shields and other arms
and ornaments being surrounded with a deeply cut line, which defines
their outline clearly as an artist would do with his pencil in sketching
them. He considers such objects as unworthy of any more elaborate

The work of restoration has been executed with great care and success.
The west side has been almost rebuilt, but with plain stone, applied
merely for the purpose of preserving the rest. No attempt has been made
to imitate the old work, and what remains of the ancient structure is
not scraped and polished up, as so often happens in French restorations,
whereby the value of the monument as an example of ancient art is
entirely destroyed.

Not very far from Orange, as above mentioned, another Triumphal Arch is
found at CARPENTRAS. It is much simpler in design than that at Orange,
having only one arch supported by fluted pilasters with composite caps.
The whole of the upper parts above the arch are destroyed. Some
sculptures still survive on the ends, representing captives chained to
trophies. The very bold projection of the bas-reliefs is remarkable, and
also the fact that in the sculpture distant objects are marked with a
sunk line round them. This style of emphasising shadows and outlines,
and also the method of doing so by means of holes drilled round objects
is common in the sculpture of the lower Empire.

Part of another single arch, apparently also an arch of triumph, has
been preserved at CAVAILLON, but it is very sadly mutilated, and has
been restored at an ancient period, when stones carved with ornaments,
mouldings, and enrichments have been all mixed up in the masonry.

At ST REMY (which is easily accessible by railway from Tarascon) there
are also the ruins of a triumphal arch, together with a well-preserved
and most interesting mausoleum (Fig. 8).

These monuments are the sole surviving remains of the Gallo-Roman town
of Glanum Livii, a flourishing colony under the Romans, surrounded with
walls and adorned with temples, aqueducts, and public buildings, of
which some faint traces only now exist. The chief employment of the
inhabitants was to supply stones from quarries in the neighbourhood for
the buildings in Arles and elsewhere. The town was destroyed by the
Goths in 480.

The triumphal arch has only one opening, which is rather low in
proportion, and is flanked by fluted pillars of which the caps are gone.
On each side of the arch are well sculptured bas-reliefs representing
captives in chains accompanied by women. The flanks have niches, but no
statues remain.

Mérimée admires the archivolt of the archway, which he calls a garland
of fruit and flowers sculptured with the same perfection of imitation,
with the same taste and


variety of details, as is observed in the Gothic period. The arch is
about 40 feet long by 18½ feet wide and 25 feet to the under side of the

The mausoleum stands a few yards from the arch. The main part is square,
the lower portion forming a pedestal set upon a base, which measures
about 22 feet each way, and the upper portion being an open story with
four Corinthian engaged columns at the angles. The whole is crowned with
a circular top composed of ten Corinthian pillars, the entablature of
which supports a cupola originally covered with palm leaf scales. The
height of the monument is about 60 feet. The podium is ornamented with
fine bas-reliefs, which Mérimée describes as representing--(South) a
hunt; (East) a Battle of Amazons; (West) the death of Patrocles; (North)
a Cavalry engagement. The figures of the upper storys are also richly
carved. Under the dome stand two draped statues. The following
inscription is engraved on the architrave of the north side:


Sextus, Lucius, Marcus, Julii, Curaverunt fieri parentibus
suis--(Sextus, Lucius, Marcus, of the Julii, have caused this monument
to be constructed to the memory of their relatives).

Various dates are assigned by different authors to these monuments; but
probably Mérimée is right in considering the arch at least of about the
same date as that of Orange.

This mausoleum and similar monuments, as will be hereafter noticed, have
evidently had a considerable influence on the forms of the early
Mediæval church steeples of Provence.

ARLES.--We have now arrived at the capital of Roman Gaul--the famous
city of Arelate or Arles. It is supposed to have been founded by the
Greeks from Massilia as a trading centre, and had become an important
town before the time of Cæsar. The situation occupied was a very
advantageous one, being at the point of the Delta of the Rhone, where
the bifurcation of the river commences. The town is also supposed to
have been in communication with an interior navigable Lagoon in the time
of the Romans, so that commodities could be conveyed by water with great
facility in all directions. Arles thus formed a valuable mercantile
centre. The population is believed to have reached 100,000. Here Cæsar
had the galleys constructed which he required for the siege of Massilia.
After taking that town he sent Tiberius to establish a colony at Arles.
With Constantine Arles was a favourite city, and he made it the capital
of Gaul. The town was at that time divided by the river into two
sections, a part being on each side. These Constantine united by a
bridge of boats. An abundant water supply was brought by aqueducts from
the mountains, and conducted across the river by means of syphon pipes
of lead, several of which have been found with the name of the maker
stamped upon them, and are now to be seen in the Museum.

Ausonius calls Arles the “Gallula Roma Arelas,” and praises its
hospitable ports, which received the riches of the Roman world, and
spread them in turn to the cities of Gaul and Aquitania. So important a
city could not escape the successive attacks of the Goths, Franks, and
Saracens. By these invaders her splendid edifices were all nearly
destroyed, as was entirely the fate of those at Avenio and Massilia. But
Arles was not quite so unfortunate as the last named cities, and still
possesses some imposing though sadly ruined remnants of her former

Of the existing remains by far the most important is the Amphitheatre.
The walls forming the complete circuit and a large part of the seats of
the interior are still preserved. The exterior (Fig. 9), according to
the usual design of this class of erections, consists of two arcades
superimposed on one another--the arches being separated by attached

In this instance the arches are sixty in number on each story. The
attached columns of the lower arcade are square pilasters with Doric
capitals, and those of the upper range are round and of the Corinthian

[Illustration: FIG. 9. AMPHITHEATRE, ARLES.--_Exterior._]

The design may possibly have originally included an attic story; but
this, if it ever existed, which seems to be doubtful, as not a single
stone of it has been found, has entirely disappeared.

Mérimée points out that the mouldings and enrichments of the remainder
are all carefully finished, which would not likely have been the case
had the building not been carried up to its full height, as the Romans
were in the habit of executing all that class of carved work after
their buildings were completed--the stones for the ornament being only
roughly blocked out at first. We shall meet with a quantity of this
preparatory work in the Amphitheatre of Nimes, where it has been left

The Amphitheatre of Arles, as was to be expected in the capital, is the
largest building of its class in Gaul. It is built after the Roman
manner, with enormous blocks of carefully cut stone set without cement,
and the staircases, passages, &c., are strongly vaulted.

[Illustration: FIG. 10. AMPHITHEATRE, ARLES.--_Interior._]

The plan, as is usual in Roman Amphitheatres, is that of an ellipse, its
longitudinal axis measuring 459 feet, and its transverse axis 341 feet.
The seats, which were arranged in forty-three rows (Fig. 10), provided
accommodation for 26,000 spectators. There are four principal entrances,
at the North, South, East, and West, and eight other smaller doorways.

Originally this amphitheatre was probably built by Caligula or Hadrian.
In the Middle Ages it was transformed into a fortress, and became the
stronghold of some chief, or the citadel of the inhabitants. Four towers
were at that time erected on the top of the building--three of which
still remain.

The amphitheatre is said to have been restored by Charles Martel after
his victories over the Saracens; and some ancient stones have certainly
been used to repair the podium or barrier between the arena and the
auditorium (as may still be seen).

Mérimée discusses the question, how were the spectators in this and
similar buildings protected from the wild beasts which fought with one
another or with gladiators by a podium such as this, not exceeding 8 or
10 feet in height?

Had the podium been high enough to afford safety, it would have
prevented a large part of the audience, especially in the back rows,
from seeing what passed on their side of the arena; an inconvenience
which would certainly never have been endured; and his idea is, that
lions or similar animals which could spring must have been confined with
chains or in cages, and that only animals which do not leap, such as
wild boars, might be freely baited in the open arena.

The “Château des Arenes,” as the amphitheatre was called, was almost
entirely invaded and choked up with the houses of the poorer inhabitants
till 1825, when it was resolved to clear out the building,--a work which
required six years for its accomplishment. The structure is now in
course of “Restoration.”

Besides the amphitheatre Arles also possesses some remains of its Roman
Theatre. These are, however, extremely scanty, consisting chiefly of the
north and south entrance doorways, and two lofty marble pillars with
Corinthian caps (Fig. 11). The latter formed part of the ornamentation
of the scena, and, when considered along with the great wall of the
scena at Orange, may help to give some idea of the generally gorgeous
aspect of that feature of the Roman Theatre when perfect. The plan of
the orchestra, and a few rows of ruined seats, can still be discerned.

[Illustration: FIG. 11. ROMAN THEATRE, ARLES.]

A large number of marble fragments, composed of portions of columns,
capitals, entablatures, &c., have been collected in the precincts of the
theatre, and impress the spectator with a sense both of the great
magnificence of the building when complete, and of the terrible and long
continued series of disasters to which it has owed a demolition so
complete. It should, however, not be omitted to mention that it was
first dismantled by the Bishops, who carried off its marbles to decorate
their churches.

The remains of three parallel walls, with a space between them, under
the level of the proscenium, have given rise to various theories as to
their use. The most likely view seems to be that the apertures were used
for lowering the curtain into before the performances began, as was then
the custom, instead of raising it, as is done in modern times. The
theatre is supposed to have been seated for 16,000 spectators. Several
fine sculptures, now in the museum of Arles or the Louvre, have been dug
out of the ruins of this structure.

Arles possesses the only ancient Obelisk in Gaul. It stands in the
“place,” opposite the entrance to the cathedral, and is set on the backs
of four lions, raised upon a pedestal. It was elevated to this eminence
in 1676, after having lain for long in the bed of the river. The shaft
is of grey granite, 47 feet high, but it is not of an elegant form, and
tapers too rapidly towards the summit. It originally formed the spina of
a Roman circus, where it was found in 1389.

In the front wall of the Hôtel du Nord (in the Place d’hommes) are
inserted the fragments of two Roman granite columns with Corinthian
caps, and part of a pediment (Fig. 12). But unfortunately the traveller,
while enjoying the hospitality of the patron of the “Nord,” and sleeping
with his head perhaps within a few feet of these remains, cannot have
the satisfaction of imagining himself a dweller in a real Roman edifice,
as it is evident that they are not in their original position, but have
been brought from a distance at some remote time and set up here.

There are a few remnants, close to the river, of a building said to be
the Palace of Constantine, including a brick tower called “La tour de la
Trouille.” This is a palace which has had many and varied
occupants--passing from its Roman masters down to the Kings of the
Ostrogoths and Visigoths, the Kings of the Franks, and the Kings of
Arles, the “Holy Roman Emperors” (when they came here to be crowned
Kings of Arles), and the Counts of Provence.

[Illustration: FIG. 12. PLACE D’HOMMES, ARLES.]

In Roman times there was a space to the east of the town used as a
cemetery, and called the Elysii Campi, or Champs Elysées, now the
“Alyscamps.” This necropolis was by tradition supposed to have been
specially consecrated by our Saviour himself, and consequently became a
very favourite place of burial. Princes and dignitaries of Church and
State desired to rest here. Bodies committed to the river (along with
the suitable burial fees) were sure to reach the Alyscamps. It was
celebrated by the poets Dante and Ariosto, and became of world-wide
fame. Chapels and churches were erected in the vicinity, there being no
less than nineteen at one time. But the translation of the body of St
Trophime, A.D. 1152, from the Alyscamps to the cathedral of Arles,
seemed to take away the prestige of the former, and from that time it
gradually decayed.

[Illustration: FIG. 13. THE ALYSCAMPS.]

During its palmy days in the early centuries, this cemetery had become
greatly enriched with splendid monuments and sarcophagi, partly heathen
and partly Christian, but all designed and executed after the Roman or
Grecian manner. At the Renaissance these ancient classic monuments were
specially prized and admired, and many of them were removed. Sarcophagi
were distributed as specimens of early Christian art to Rome, Lyons, and
other towns; the place was gradually deserted and destroyed, and the
monuments were finally turned to common and ignominious uses such as
cattle troughs and bridges over the ditches in the fields. Now the few
remaining tombs have been collected and placed on each side of the road
leading to the chapel of St Honorat (Fig. 13), where they produce from
their position and their classic forms a striking resemblance to the
burial places of the Romans, which lined the wayside at the entrances to
their cities, such as the Appian way at Rome, and the approach to

[Illustration: FIG. 14. FROM ARLES MUSEUM.]

A large number of the finest sarcophagi have fortunately been preserved
in the Arles museum. Some of them certainly belong to Pagan times, but
most of them are of later date. Many are adorned with bas-reliefs,
representing the hunt of the Stag or Wild Boar, Apollo and the Muses,
and other classic and allegorical subjects.

[Illustration: FIG. 15. TOMB OF CORNELIA, ARLES.]

A museum has been established in the disused Gothic Church of St Anne,
in which some fine examples of classic sculpture are preserved. Besides
the Pagan sarcophagi above referred to it contains some Roman or rather
Greek sculptures of considerable purity and beauty; the Grecian descent
and culture of the country being distinctly observable in these
monuments--just as the same Greek feeling prevails in the paintings and
sculpture of Pompeii. The fragment of a statue of a female dancer (Fig.
14) is particularly graceful in pose and in the execution of the
drapery. The sarcophagus (Fig. 15), with an inscription and two well
carved festoons, is called the Tomb of Cornelia. Fig. 16 shews a finely
carved oak wreath and vase on the monument to the “good Goddess,” and a
beautifully sculptured though mutilated bust of the Empress Livia. Fig.
17 represents a fragment of very spirited carving of foliage said to be
from the frieze of the Arc de Triomph, an amphora and a Corinthian

[Illustration: FIG. 16. FROM ARLES MUSEUM.]

The Museum also includes a large number of early

[Illustration: FIG. 17. FROM ARLES MUSEUM.]

Christian monuments. That in Fig. 18, representing scenes from the life
of our Saviour, exhibits figures carved in the Roman manner, and wearing
the Roman costume, but degraded in style,--evidently the work of the Low
Empire. Christ occupies the central compartment, and four wide arches
contain figure subjects,--those on the extreme right and left
representing the Magdalene and Pilate, while the two central
compartments contain saints bearing palm branches.

[Illustration: FIG. 18. FROM ARLES MUSEUM.]

The arcade on this sarcophagus is supported on pillars with composite
caps and bases, and shafts ornamented with flutings and twists, similar
in character to the shafts of the early mediæval cloisters. The
archivolt is a veritable architrave with leaf enrichment carried round
the arch, and filled in with a scallop shell. It thus forms a distinct
and instructive example of the manner in which the late Romans dispensed
with the straight architrave, and adopted the arch springing directly
from the caps of the columns, as will be more fully explained further
on. It will then be shewn how this monument illustrates the transition
from the leading features of the Greek trabeated style to those of fully
developed Roman Architecture, and also the mode in which Roman art was
continued into Christian times.

Most of the early Christian sarcophagi are carved with Biblical subjects
symbolical of the new birth, the great Sacrifice, the Resurrection, the
Last Judgment, &c., such as the creation of Adam and Eve, Moses striking
the rock or raising the serpent, Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the
lions, the parables and miracles of our Lord, &c. These form as
interesting a series of early Christian sculptures, combined with late
Roman features, as is anywhere to be found.

On the east side of the town are the remains of some parts of the Roman
walls, built in their usual massive manner. These consist of portions of
the gate of the town, by which the Aurelian way entered, flanked by
ruined round towers.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.]

NIMES (Nemausus). Situated at no great distance from Arles, and at the
base of the hills which bound the plain of the Rhone, Nimes formed the
capital of the Volces Arecomiques (or inhabitants of the flat country).
In B.C. 121 it submitted voluntarily to Rome, and a few years B.C.
Augustus planted a colony there. Being enriched with baths, &c., by
Agrippa, Nimes soon became an important town surrounded with walls and
towers, and provided with all the usual public buildings. It had reached
the height of prosperity when it was ravaged by the Vandals in 407. In
472 it fell under the power of the Visigoths, who established themselves
in the town, and made the amphitheatre their fortress. After suffering
the usual course of sieges and destruction by the Saracens and Franks,
Nimes early declared itself a Republic. In 1185 it came under the
suzerainty of the Count of Toulouse, in which condition it continued to
flourish till it finally passed to France under Louis VIII., along with
the other domains of the Count of Toulouse after the Albigensian wars.

[Illustration: FIG. 20. AMPHITHEATRE, NIMES.]

Although Nimes was a comparatively obscure town in the days of the
Empire, the remains of its Roman monuments are the finest in Southern
Gaul. The Amphitheatre (Fig. 19) is not quite so large as that at Arles,
nor is the interior (Fig. 20) so well preserved, but the exterior is
more complete. It measures 437 feet by 332 feet, with thirty-two rows
of seats which contained about 20,000 spectators. The amphitheatre is
now well seen, owing to the removal of the paltry buildings which had
invaded it both within and without. Like all such Roman works it is
constructed with the most massive materials, built without cement, and
all bound together with solid stone lintels and arches. Fig. 21, a view
in the corridor on the first floor, gives some idea of the colossal
strength of the masonry. But these great stone lintels, massive as they
are, indicate a vicious form of construction, many of them being cracked
and shattered by the weight of the arches resting upon them. The
exterior is of the usual design of such edifices having two arcades
superimposed one on the other, with upright pilasters, or engaged
columns, between the arcades supporting horizontal entablatures. Each
arcade has sixty arches. The pilasters of the ground tier are square,
and have no base, while the engaged columns of the upper tier are round
and of the Doric order; above the latter is the attic, partly
demolished, but still containing 120 bold consoles with holes to receive
the masts which supported the velarium or awning.

There are four principal entrances at the four cardinal points; that of
the North ornamented with a cornice resting on two bulls’ fore quarters.
Similar ornamental bulls were introduced in the Temple which stood where
the Cathedral is now built, and on the fine gate of Augustus of this
city. Some therefore think it a kind of coat of arms given by the
Emperors to the town. Others imagine that these features were adopted in
order to flatter the Emperor Augustus, some bulls’ heads having been
sculptured on the house in which he was born. A few sculptures are still
visible on the amphitheatre, including two gladiators, and the Roman

A very large part of the ornament is left in block, only the western
division being finished, the carving of the remainder never having been
completed. The podium surrounding the arena is low, as at Arles, thus
confirming Mérimée’s views as to the provisions which required to be
adopted for the safety of the audience.

[Illustration: FIG. 21]

The interior has been greatly restored, so as to make it available for a
large modern audience, and the amphitheatre is now used, amongst other
exhibitions, for the annual branding of the young bulls of the Camargue,
which, from the lively description of it given by Alexandre Dumas, seems
to be a stirring spectacle, not unworthy of this classic arena.

In ancient times the lowest or first series of seats was set apart for
the senators; the second series for the knights; the third for
plebeians; and the top rows for the slaves. The last being the most
quarrelsome it was considered desirable to endeavour to prevent
squabbling by marking off each person’s seat. This was effected by means
of lines cut in the stone, some of which are still visible _in situ_.

Some years ago there existed in the first precincts divisions similar to
those of boxes in modern theatres.

The celebrated Maison Carrée at Nimes (Fig. 22) is probably the purest
piece of Roman work to be found north of the Alps, and cannot fail
strongly to impress the beholder, especially if he here sees for the
first time a genuine Roman temple. The design doubtless owes much of its
beauty and purity to the Grecian spirit of the locality. The building is
small, being only about 80 feet by 40 feet. The portico, with its ten
Corinthian columns, and enriched pediment, is very fine; but the effect
of the flank view, in which the columns attached to the cella are
visible, is not so satisfactory. The temple is surrounded by thirty
columns in all, including those of the portico, which stand free, and
the engaged columns of the flanks and rear. This is what is called the
_pseudo-peripteral_ plan--the true peripteral temple having the columns
detached so as to form an ambulatory all round the cella. The former is
the arrangement usual in Roman temples, which, according to Fergusson,
never follow the genuine peripteral type. It is,

[Illustration: FIG. 22. MAISON CARREE, NIMES.]

however, worthy of note, that the PLAN of this building with its deep
porch is rather Italo-Etruscan than Greek, and thus adheres to the
traditional type observed by the Romans.

The cornice is perhaps rather over-enriched and is indicative of a late
date, when classic art was in decadence; but the frieze is beautifully
designed, and the style as a whole is remarkably pure and elegant.

Various ingenious attempts have been made to decipher the letters of the
bronze inscription (which were originally fixed on the frieze of the
portico), by means of the holes formed by the bolts which attached them
to the stone work. The reading which seems most probable from its
agreeing with the style of the building, indicates that it was dedicated
to two nobles distinguished with the title of “princes of youth.” It is
as follows:--


This inscription necessarily places the Temple in the age of the
Antonines, since the only princes known to whom the above names and
title of Principes Juventutis will apply, after the sons of Agrippa,
were Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus, adopted sons of Antoninus Pius.

From excavations around the edifice it has been ascertained that the
Temple formed a centre from which colonnades extended on either hand. It
thus probably stood at the end of a Forum, the colonnades around which
enclosed shops and places of business or pleasure. This edifice has
passed through many vicissitudes; and it is marvellous how it has
survived all the various uses or abuses to which it has been subject. It
was naturally in the course of events first changed from a Pagan Temple
into a Christian Church; in the eleventh century it formed the council
chamber of the municipal body; and at a later time it was degraded into
a stable, when the flutings of the columns were grated off to allow
carts to pass between them. It then became attached to an Augustinian
Convent, and was used as a mausoleum and place of burial. More recently
it was occupied as the Hall of meeting of the revolutionary tribunal,
and still later as a corn market. Now it has been put in good order, and
contains the local museum of antiquities. This Museum comprises some
good sculpture, especially a fine statue of Venus (Fig. 23), and
numerous antiquarian fragments,--many for want of room being ranged
round an enclosure in the open air. Portions of Roman mosaics and
foundations of an earlier Roman building have been discovered under the
soil of the Maison Carrée, thus shewing that it has been erected at a
later period than the first occupation of the site by the Romans.

[Illustration: FIG. 23. STATUE OF VENUS.]

According to Mérimée the style accords with the time of the Antonines,
when the decadence had begun, and when richness and multiplicity of
details replaced the simple majesty of the first century. He also points
out various irregularities in the structure which would never have been
tolerated in the earlier period,--such as, that the columns are not
equally spaced, that there is an unequal number of modillions on the
opposite sides, that the caps are too low, and the shafts of the columns
too long (being 10¼ diameters in height). But notwithstanding these
defects the Maison Carrée is a building of which Nimes and France may
well be proud.

[Illustration: FIG. 24. NYMPHÆUM, NIMES]

The Nymphæum or Temple of the Nymphs at Nimes (Fig. 24), with its
accompanying fountain, is another charming and quite unique structure.
The fountain bursts forth in great abundance at the base of a hill
called Mont Cavalier. It is enclosed in a space which was formerly a
Roman Bath, and is then led away through wide open conduits or canals,
all lined with stone and faced with pilasters. The whole is situated in
a pretty public garden to which the fountain gives a special character.
In this garden too, are found the ruins of the above temple, formerly
called of Diana, which, however, is now supposed to have been a
Nymphæum, or Temple dedicated to the Nymphs, and forming part of the
Baths. The interior contains twelve niches of good design, and the roof
was constructed with large stone arches or transverse ribs, between
which the space was filled in with a plain waggon vault or flags of
stone. This kind of vaulting was also adopted, as will be further
explained afterwards, in the construction of the early Christian
churches of Syria, and had undoubtedly great influence on the design of
the first vaulted churches of Provence. The Nymphæum now contains a
museum of busts and statues. This temple is shewn, by an inscription, to
have been built along with the Baths in the time of Augustus. The
variety and elegance of its details are further evidence of the Grecian
taste of the people of the district. The aqueduct from the Pont du Gard
terminated in a reservoir near this point.

The Tour Magne (Fig. 25), on the top of the hill above the Fountain of
the Nymphs, is a Roman building, the object of which has given rise to
much discussion, without any definite conclusion being arrived at. It
seems, however, most likely to have been a mausoleum. The plan is
octagonal, and the walls are built with rough ashlar. The structure is
hollow, and from 90 to 100 feet high. It was attached to the walls of
Augustus, and in later times was converted into a fortress by the Count
of Toulouse. The general resemblance of the design of this monument to
that of Augustus at La Turbie, which we shall meet with further on, is
very striking.

Two of the Roman gates of Nimes remain. The Porte d’Auguste, founded
B.C. 16, has a double arch for vehicles, and two side openings for foot
passengers flanked by two towers. Like the Roman gates of Autun these
two towers contained stairs leading to the walls, and formed posts of
observation. The other gate, the Porte de France, lies to the west of
the amphitheatre, and has one wide archway.

[Illustration: FIG. 25. LA TOURMAGNE, NIMES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 26. LE PONT DU GARD.]

PONT DU GARD (Fig. 26). This magnificent specimen of Roman engineering
is situated at a distance of about 13 miles N.E. from Nimes, on the way
to Avignon, and can now be reached by rail. It formed part of an
aqueduct (partly in tunnel and partly in open canal) of about 25 miles
in length, which brought an ample supply of water to Nimes. This work is
said to have been built by M. Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, 19 years
B.C. It has thus for 1900 years defied all the attacks of man, both
barbarian and civilised, as well as the elements, to which so many other
Roman monuments have succumbed, and still stands almost as perfect as at
first. The arcades abut at either end on the slope of the hills at the
base of which flows the river Gardon. The aqueduct measures 160 feet in
height, and 882 feet in length on the top. It is composed of three
stages, all built with enormous blocks of stone placed together without
cement, and presents probably the most stupendous example of the
solidity of Roman workmanship in Gaul. But it is roughly and irregularly
constructed, as if utility alone had been considered, and no regard paid
to beauty; the arches are unequal in span, and the structure itself is
bent in its length. The arches are constructed, those of the two upper
arcades with three, and those of the lower arcade with four distinct
courses in the breadth of the structure. These courses are composed of
stones of immense size, placed side by side, but not otherwise joined
together. Above the upper tier lies the conduit for the water, 5 feet
high, and 2 feet wide, covered over with immense flags, which even the
Goths seem to have despaired of being able to destroy. The conduit is
lined with strong Roman cement, which still remains sound and good. The
projecting blocks observed on the flanks and under the arches were
intended to receive scaffolding for the execution of repairs, should
these ever be required in a work so simple and substantial. “What a
grand faith,” exclaims Mérimée, “must the constructors of this aqueduct
have had in the eternal duration of the Roman Empire, when they made
provision for _repairing_ this gigantic and enduring work!” The bridge
placed alongside the lower arches is of modern construction, having been
erected in 1743.

Leaving Arles for Marseilles we traverse a country as bare and
uninteresting as an African desert. To the right, on the western side of
the Rhone, lies the great plain of the Camargue, the delta of the river,
composed of mingled salt mud and stagnant pools, the result of the
contest between the waters of the Rhone and the sea; the former
constantly pouring down immense volumes of _débris_, and the latter,
obeying the impulse of the wind, as constantly driving it back upon the
land. But the railway, keeping on the eastern side of the river, runs
through a different but not less remarkable plain called the “Crau.”
This consists of an immense accumulation of shingle, composed of
water-worn and rounded stones of all sizes--the fabled scene of the
fight of Hercules with the Ligurians, when Jupiter rained down these
stones to provide the hero with ammunition. This extensive plain was a
barren wilderness until a system of irrigation was introduced by the
construction of the Canal de Craponne, whereby the water of the Durance
is brought down for its fertilisation. Having at last crossed the Crau
we arrive at ST CHAMAS, where the eye is relieved by the bright and
peaceful prospect over the Etang de Berre, an extensive branch of the
Mediterranean almost entirely surrounded with land. St Chamas is a
quaint old town, with some of its houses hollowed out of the rock and
traces of ancient ramparts. About half-a-mile distant may be seen an
interesting Roman Bridge called the Pont Flavia. It is constructed with
the usual solid masonry, and spans the river Touloubre with one arch,
which is abutted by the rocky banks. The entrance at either end to the
roadway over the bridge is through an arch, decorated with Corinthian
columns and entablature. These archways are well preserved and are
illustrated in Fergusson’s “Handbook of Architecture.” The columns are
surmounted with lions, and the frieze bears an inscription shewing that
the structure was erected by one of the Flavii.

Some distance north from this, on the slope of the chain of the
Vernégues, which divides the valley of the Durance from that of the
Rhone, are to be found the relics of a small Corinthian temple,
originally preceded with a peristyle of four columns in front, and
pilasters of return on each side, of which, however, only one single
pillar now survives. This was doubtless the site of the ancient

In early Christian times this temple seems to have been converted into a
church, and a circular-headed window opened in the wall of the cella. A
chapel dedicated to St Césaire was in the tenth century erected against
the north wall, with a door into the main church, now built up. The
temple is well illustrated in Texier and Pullan’s “Byzantine
Architecture,” and is said to be “full of the sentiment of pure Greek
art.” The carving of the capital, as shewn in Texier’s drawing, is in
the best style. “The proportions of the entire column, which are
excellent,” says Texier “and the foliage of the capital, which seems to
have been inspired by that of the monument to Lysicrates, prove that
this little building, concealed amongst the mountains of Provence, was
the work of a Greek artist of the colony of Massilia.”

It has already been pointed out how capriciously the Roman remains have
been preserved in Southern Gaul. While a small provincial town like
Nimes possesses so many splendid examples, the great and ancient cities
of Marseilles and Narbonne have scarcely a single relic of their Greek
or Roman civilisation left. At Marseilles some fragments of walls with
an archway and some subterranean vaults under the Church of St Sauveur
are the only remains of the splendid edifices which no doubt once
adorned this ancient and important city.

All along the coast between the Rhone and the Pyrenees, many towns
existed and flourished under the Empire, but there is now scarcely a
fragment of Roman work to be found in the whole province.

Leaving therefore for the present this south-western district, we shall
now follow the great Aurelian way which conducted from Spain and Gaul
eastward into Italy. This road passes through the celebrated Riviera,
the favourite winter resort of the delicate from every country in
Europe, and even from America. It consists of a narrow strip of land
between the lower spurs of the Alps and the sea; but this level strip is
frequently interrupted by branches or roots sent down from the mountains
which run out as Capes into the Mediterranean, enclosing in their arms
beautifully sheltered sunny bays, each having a town or village of its
own. The Roman road clung to the mountains, the engineers finding it
easier to span with bridges the higher rugged ravines of the torrents
than the broad channels of the rivers near their mouths, where the
shingly and shifting foundation was found insecure. Of the towns and
stations which existed along this route in Roman times, some vestiges
may still be traced.

TOULON, now the great naval arsenal of France in the Mediterranean
(formerly Telo Martius), contains no Roman buildings; but some miles to
the eastward, on the road by the coast leading to Hyères, the ruins of
an ancient Roman town called POMPONIANA have been discovered and partly
excavated--exposing to view portions of the walls of houses, vaults,
walls of enceinte, frescoes, fragments of sculpture, aqueducts, baths,
&c. The wall of a quay presents the peculiarity of being built above a
basement formed of large cubes of stone, superimposed, but not united
with cement, which seems to be of Cyclopean work.

Moving eastward we pass LE LUC (Forum Voconii) in the middle of the
fertile “garden of Provence,” where one Roman sculpture of a boar hunt
has been preserved; and following the course of the river Argens, with
the rocky mountains of Les Maures on the right we arrive at FRÉJUS, an
important sea-port in Roman times, and then known as Julii Forum.

This town is supposed to have been first occupied by the Phœnicians, and
afterwards by the Greek colonists. It was enlarged and improved by
Julius Cæsar and Augustus. It then possessed a valuable harbour at the
mouth of the river Argens, to which Augustus sent the fleet of galleys
which he took from Anthony at the battle of Actium; but the sediment of
the river has now silted up the harbour, and formed a flat plain of
about a mile in breadth between the ancient port and the sea. The
protecting walls of the harbour, with a solid obelisk at the end, which
no doubt marked the entrance, still remain, but are now high and dry on
the plain. Adjoining these are the walls of a strong fort or castellum
for the protection of the port, built with Roman masonry of small sized
cubic stones. The “Porte dorée,” is an archway close to the railway,
built with similar masonry, divided with courses of brick work, now
greatly restored and renewed. It is

[Illustration: FIG. 27. AMPHITHEATRE, FRÉJUS.]

supposed to have been the gate between the port and the town. Some ruins
of the baths have been discovered adjoining this. Considerable remains
of the ancient Roman city walls, enclosing five times the extent of the
present town, still remain. Close to the railway station relics of the
“gate of Gaul,” and other Roman works are observable. Following these
from the railway station towards the left, the ruins of the Roman
Amphitheatre (Fig. 27), through which the public road passes by a
picturesque archway, are soon reached. The interior is fairly preserved,
together with the arches which sustained the seats, staircases, &c., but
the exterior walls and arcades (if the building ever had an ornamental
exterior, which is doubtful) are now completely awanting. The
Amphitheatre is 375 ft. long by 273 ft. wide. The east side rests on the
slope of a hill, so that little building was required in that position,
but the west side of the structure is raised from the level plain.

Continuing round the old walls of the town to the eastward, we find in a
garden the ruins of a Roman Theatre. The dimensions of this building,
which was of small size compared to those we have met with at Orange and
Arles, are quite traceable, but the scena is gone all but the
foundations, and only some walls and ruined arches of the auditorium
remain above ground.

A little further round the walls, traces are observed of the great
aqueduct which brought the water of the river Siagnolles to Fréjus from
a distance of above 20 miles. On turning the north-east angle of the
walls, the ruined piers of the aqueduct are seen stretching across the
plain. At the above point the conduit is in a canal owing to the height
of the ground. On reaching the main road leading from Fréjus to the
eastwards, the aqueduct takes a sudden bend to the east, and follows the
road for a considerable distance. At this bend was an entrance gate of
the town, called the gate of Rome, a portion of which still exists. From
here a branch canal took the water to the port. In its long course the
aqueduct is sometimes in cutting, and sometimes carried on lofty piers
and arches 87 feet wide. Those near the town (Fig. 28) are amongst the
finest specimens, but some portions in the more remote valleys also
still retain their arches, and at one place the aqueduct is carried in
two parallel canals on separate arches.

[Illustration: FIG. 28. AQUEDUCT, FRÉJUS.]

Between Fréjus and Cannes, the Roman Via Aurelia passes inland through
the chain of the Esterelle mountains, whence the Romans obtained much of
the granite and porphyry found in their monuments. At Cannes and
neighbourhood there are a few Roman relics. A bridge over one of the
small streams which descend from the hills through the town is said
(but this is doubtful) to be of Roman origin. A delightful walk of an
hour from Cannes over the hills leads by Vallauris to CLAUSONNE, where
the well preserved remains of the Roman aqueduct (Fig. 29) which
conveyed the water supply to Antibes are still to be seen.

[Illustration: FIG. 29. AQUEDUCT OF CLAUSONNE.]

At ANTIBES, the ancient Roman Antipolis, there are no Roman remains; but
according to M. Lenthéric, a stone has been found here with a Greek
inscription, giving proof of the ancient worship of the Hellenes in this
region in the fifth century B.C.

At VENCE, the ancient Ventium, a town some seven miles inland, a number
of Roman inscriptions are built into the wall of the Cathedral, and two
granite columns are preserved, which are supposed to have been

[Illustration: FIG. 30. CIMIÈZ (_Looking N.E._)]

presented to the town by the city of Marseilles (_see_ Part VI.)

Crossing the wide and dangerous channel of the Var (formerly the
boundary between France and Savoy) we arrive at Nice.

[Illustration: FIG. 31. CIMIEZ (_Looking S.W._)]

NICE (or Nizza), although now the most important town on the Riviera,
possesses no ancient buildings. In Roman times Cemenelum (now Cimièz),
the chief city of the Maritime Alps, stood on a lofty site about three
miles up the river Paglione from the modern town. This ancient city has
almost entirely disappeared, its only relics being the ruins of a small
amphitheatre (Figs. 30 and 31), through the centre of which the public
road now passes, and some excavated hypocausts in the garden of a villa
adjoining. The amphitheatre measures 214 feet long by 178 feet wide, and
it has been calculated that it was capable of containing about 8000
spectators. The form of the arena and the slope of the first series of
seats can be distinctly seen, but otherwise the building is a complete
ruin. A few of the perforated corbels for the support of the poles which
carried the velarium may, however, be still observed on the exterior.
But the want of architectural features is to some extent compensated by
the grandeur of the views obtained from the walls, comprising the whole
of the coast from Bordighera on the east, to the Cap d’Antibes on the
west. Proceeding in that direction, a drive along the magnificent
Cornice-road soon brings us to the ancient boundary between Gaul and
Italy at


LA TURBIE (Turbia or Trophæa), a small town standing on an inland pass
formed by a notch in the mountains, which here rise in great precipices
directly from the sea. On this neck a trophy was built in commemoration
of the victories of Augustus over the Alpine tribes. The monument (Fig.
32) has been of great size, and is built with large blocks of stone. It
probably stood on a square base, on which was erected the great circular
mass above. It was adorned with statues, and a colossal figure of the
emperor crowned the top. The design would thus resemble a great many of
the splendid mausoleums erected about that time in Italy. As above
noticed this edifice bears a strong likeness to the Tour Magne at Nimes.
The massive Roman work is still traceable in the lower parts filled in
with rubble between. Fragments of an inscription have been found in the
ruins commemorating the triumphs of the divine Emperor and High Priest
Augustus. In mediæval times this monument was, as usual, converted into
a fortress, as the work of the upper part still shews. It is executed in
inferior masonry, and the cornice is Italian in character. The fortress
was blown up by Marshal de Villars in the seventeenth century. The
gateways of the town (_see_ Part VI.) and other structures have been
built with massive stones from the ruins of the trophy, which, as so
often happens, has been used as a convenient quarry.

A splendid view of the coast is obtained from the summit, including
Monaco, Monte Carlo, Mentone, and point after point to the eastward
leading into Italy. But though we now stand on the borders of Italy, we
should still have far to travel through the land ere we encountered such
a fine series of Roman structures as those we have just been
contemplating. Not till we reach Verona, or Rome itself, are monuments
to be found comparable with the amphitheatres of Arles and Nimes, or the
theatre of Orange; and there is probably no temple even in Rome so
complete and striking in its unity and spirit as the Maison Carrée at
Nimes. But our way lies not across this border. We must now turn back
and follow in the later edifices the course of Roman Art after the Fall
of the Empire, and the growth and development of the new styles which
sprung from it.


[Illustration] V.

The transition from the architecture of Rome to that of mediæval times
forms one of the most interesting and instructive epochs in our art. The
whole history of Roman art is that of a transition from the external
trabeated style, with its horizontal entablature, which was common to
the early races of Greece and Italy, to the complete development of the
internal arched architecture, which was the final outcome of Roman
constructional forms.

The leading features of that Italo-Greek architecture contain a
reminiscence or survival of the primitive elements of wooden
construction, from which they were doubtless traditionally derived,
although in the course of time their origin had been lost sight of. Thus
the upright pillars with their flutings are idealised descendants of the
Egyptian column, which again represents a bundle of reeds tied together.
The horizontal entablature is derived from the beams laid across the
heads of the pillars, in accordance with the earliest and most natural
mode of wooden construction. The pediment is the evident continuation
(both in place and time) of the couples and ties of a wooden roof of the
simplest and most primitive design; while the side cornice represents
the projection of the eaves, and the triglyphs and modillions are the
imitative survivals of the ends of the cross beams or ties and the
sloping rafters of the wooden roof. For centuries this trabeated
principle prevailed in Rome; but together with it there existed a
disturbing element, which at first appeared to be small and
insignificant, but which nevertheless contained the elements of the
greatest revolutions in architecture which the world has yet seen. That
little feature was the arch, the distinguishing principle of true stone
construction--the seed containing the germ from which, through Roman
cultivation, have sprung all the great families of mediæval
architecture, whether Byzantine, Gothic, or Saracenic.

The earlier architecture of the Romans was doubtless chiefly derived
from that of the Etruscans, who, like the Greeks, followed the trabeated
principle. This origin is distinctly traceable in the plans of the Roman
temples, which are never truly peripteral, or surrounded with a detached
colonnade, like those of the Greeks, but have a deep portico at one end
only, in front of the cella. Of this arrangement we have seen a
beautiful example in the Maison Carrée at Nimes. But the Central
Italians must have early received some impressions from the Hellenic art
of Magna Grecia, and the way would thus be opened for the introduction
at a later period of the finer developments of Greek architecture which
were so universally followed during the Empire. Meanwhile the arch, the
antagonistic element to the trabeated principle, was gradually
progressing; and from its primitive obscure use in substructures,
conduits, and similar engineering situations, it had forced itself into
notice above ground, and had gained recognition in the elevations as a
proper architectural element. Hence arose the combination, so
conspicuous in the architecture of the Romans, of trabeated features,
such as pilasters and entablatures, with the arched method of
construction which they had adopted from an early period, and of which
they ultimately shewed themselves such masters. The amphitheatres and
the triumphal arches of the empire well illustrate this mixture of
arched construction, as shewn in the round-headed wall openings,
combined with trabeated decoration, in the form of horizontal
entablatures supported on engaged columns or pilasters. This mixed style
long prevailed, and examples of it are to be found in every part of the
Roman world. But in later times, when purity of taste had begun to
decay, the Romans gradually gave fuller scope to their noble
constructive powers, and allowed them to find a worthier expression in
their designs. This took place chiefly in their engineering works, such
as the Pont du Gard, and in their interior architecture, as, for
instance, in the great halls of the Baths of Diocletian and Caracalla,
the Basilica of Constantine (or Maxentius) and other similar works, in
some of which immense intersecting vaults were successfully executed.
The simple barrel or tunnel vault is of very ancient origin, and was
adopted by the Romans from the earliest times. They also freely employed
round intersecting vaults for covering spaces of all sizes up to the
great examples above referred to. But the most astonishing feat of the
Romans in connection with vault construction is their adoption and
application of the dome. In the Pantheon at Rome we have an example of
that species of vault introduced at once in its perfect form in the
largest example in the world. The portico of this temple belongs to the
age of Augustus, and it is therefore thought by many that the rotunda
and dome are of the same date. It is very remarkable that no smaller
Roman domes of earlier date are to be found, and that this style should,
as it were, be born in perfect manhood without having passed through the
stages of infancy and growth. These no doubt existed, although we have
as yet been unable to trace them. Possibly, as Professor Baldwin Brown
suggests, the dome is of eastern origin, and its enlarged construction
may have been worked out in some of the Hellenistic cities, such as
Alexandria, where the earlier examples have now perished.

Along with the introduction of the above new and splendid development of
vaulting in their interiors, the Romans still adhered in the decoration
of their exteriors to the Italo-Grecian portico, with its entablature
and pediment. It was not till the time of the Lower Empire that these
elements came to be modified and slowly abandoned. The stages by which
the trabeated forms were by degrees stripped off can, however, be
distinctly traced. The arches and vaults employed in the baths, tombs,
&c., no doubt conduced to that result. In these the arch became the
important feature internally, and naturally in course of time it assumed
a more prominent position externally also. Archivolts, or curved
architraves running round the arches, such as were in common use in
buildings like the Colosseum, had gradually intruded themselves amongst
the Greek pilasters and entablatures of the exterior elevations; while
in later edifices, such as the palace of Diocletian at Spalatro, the
straight architrave was omitted, and only the arched one retained. The
early Christian sarcophagi shew the same important step. In these a
common design consists of an arcade containing the figure of an apostle
in each arch, and these arches or archivolts spring directly from the
caps of the columns, without any straight architrave being employed. Of
this a good example has been given above, page 63.

In all transitional styles it is difficult, and indeed scarcely
possible, to draw the line where one style terminates and another
begins. This is especially difficult in connection with the passage from
Roman to mediæval architecture. The latter was in fact for centuries
not a different style but simply a continuation of that of the Empire.

After the adoption of Christianity the purposes to which the Christian
buildings were applied was certainly very different from that of their
prototypes, but the architecture was the same. The circular domed
edifices raised by the Romans as mausoleums were imitated by the
Christians in their circular baptisteries; while the style of
construction employed in the great basilica or pillared hall lighted by
a clerestory, was exactly copied in the nave or large vessel of the
Christian Church. The continuity of style is complete; there is no
break. The same Corinthian or Ionic pillars, the same entablatures, the
same roofs and vault are used in both. So close is the resemblance
between the Christian circular baptisteries (several of which we shall
meet with in Provence) and Roman circular monuments, that the former are
generally regarded as Roman temples converted to Christian uses. The
early churches are usually called basilicas, and have hitherto been
supposed to be derived from the Roman basilica. But Professor Baldwin
Brown, in his recent interesting and learned work “From Schola to
Cathedral,” endeavours to prove that this is not the case. The basilica
had no doubt the form of a pillared hall with central and side aisles,
the former lit by a clerestory, but it had no apse, or if there was one
it did not occupy the prominent position of that feature in the early
churches. The origin of the apse, which was an essential feature in all
churches, containing as it did the seat of the Bishops in the centre and
those of the presbyters on either side, is attributed by Professor
Baldwin Brown to the memorial cellae erected by Pagans and Christians
alike in the cemeteries. These often assumed a domed or apsidal form,
and were much resorted to on saints’ natal days, for commemorative
festivals and religious ceremonies, held in the cemeteries above the
spot where the martyr’s bones reposed in the catacomb below. At a later
time, when these relics had been transferred to crypts below the altars
of the churches, the apse was a feature naturally introduced to complete
the resemblance to the original tomb. As regards the nave, the scholae
or halls of meeting of private societies are regarded by Professor
Baldwin Brown as the principal model of the early church. Under the
emperors the Christians were allowed to form burial guilds, and these,
like other guilds, had their scholae. The schola often had an apse
containing the seat of the president; and the above author is of opinion
that the large churches built after the conversion of Constantine are
rather enlarged scholae than copies of basilicas.

However this may be, the type of the early Christian church or basilica
presented to view an elongated hall with two or four rows of pillars,
dividing it into three or five aisles, with a lofty triumphal arch at
the end of the central nave, leading into a wide open space raised some
steps higher than the nave, and in which stood the altar. Beyond this
was the invariable apse with its semi-domed ceiling adorned with
mosaics, and containing, elevated by a few steps above the floor, the
throne of the Bishop, and the seats of the Presbyters. The whole
building was covered with an open wooden roof.

Some of these early churches have been preserved or restored in
Rome--such as San Paolo fuori le Mura, Sta Maria Maggiore and San

There is every reason to believe that the above was the usual form of
early churches in the West. At Ravenna, which was the principal city in
Italy during the Lower Empire, being the seat of the Exarch, the
representative of the Emperor in the West, there are fine examples of
the various kinds of early Christian religious edifices, dating from the
fifth to the seventh century. The great Church or Basilica, used for the
assembly of the whole congregation, is represented in St Apollinare
Nuovo. It has the usual row of columns on either side of the nave,
separating it from the side aisles, and supporting a flat upper wall
splendidly decorated with mosaics, the whole being ornamented with Roman
details. The upper portion of the wall is pierced with clerestory
windows, and at the east end is the great apse.

The Baptistery or Ceremonial Church is as usual octagonal and is domed.
Here also the walls are covered with fine mosaics.

Another extremely interesting building at Ravenna is the church of San
Vitale. This edifice (whether designed as a monument or as a church is
uncertain) is octagonal and domed, very much after the style of the
temple of Minerva Medica and similar Roman structures.

San Vitale has a special interest from its having formed the model
adopted by Charlemagne for the church which he erected at
Aix-la-Chapelle, to serve also as his own mausoleum. It thus constitutes
an example of a Roman design reproduced in Ravenna, under the late
Empire, as a Christian structure, and again serving as a model for a
mediæval mausoleum as late as the eighth century. This shows distinctly
the continuity of Roman design and its direct influence on the art of
later times.

The above three edifices at Ravenna present fully developed examples of
the three chief buildings required in connection with the church
services up to the ninth century, viz., the church, the baptistery, and
the mausoleum. As we proceed we shall meet with proofs that the same
classes of edifices were in use and were carried out in a similar
manner in other parts of the Western Empire. The circular or octagonal
baptistery is of frequent occurrence in Southern Gaul. Examples of
circular churches are also not awanting, but there is every ground for
believing that the basilican form of church, like that of St Apollinare,
was the plan most generally adopted in Western Europe.

At Ravenna, an early circular tower or campanile, generally similar to
the square ones at Rome and elsewhere, still exists. This is a feature
the origin of which has not yet been accurately determined. The
prevailing opinion, however, now is that these towers were at first
erected as places of observation and defence, being in that respect
somewhat similar in their conception to the round towers of Ireland. As
in San Vitale, one form of a Roman octagonal-domed building is followed,
so at San Lorenzo in Milan another design of a somewhat similar
character is carried out, showing that the basilican form, although
general, was not universal.

In consequence of the destruction caused by the invasions of the
Barbarians, by fire or otherwise, very few edifices now exist in Western
Europe of the time between Justinian and Charlemagne. During all that
time of disaster in the West, the Eastern Empire still maintained itself
in splendour, and gave encouragement to architecture and the fine arts.
From an early time the Byzantine architects showed a preference for the
dome over the intersecting vault, and it is possible to follow in the
still existing edifices, the mode in which the domical form of roof was
gradually worked out, until in the great church of Sta. Sophia, erected
under Justinian, in the sixth century, the largest and noblest building
of the style was successfully completed.

In the details of the style of the Lower Empire, as practised in the
East, there is considerable evidence of Greek taste. The sharp
thistle-like sculpture of the foliage is designed in a manner not unlike
that of the Corinthian capitals of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates
at Athens. The Byzantines also excelled in flat and delicate carving,
such as that generally executed in ivory or fine wood, and in ornamental
metal work and jewellery. When the West began to revive, this Byzantine
art naturally produced some influence on it. A very remarkable example
of this occurs in the church of St Mark’s at Venice, erected about A.D.
950, which in every feature--in plan, in distribution of parts, in the
use of the dome, and in its mosaic decorations,--is a distinct
importation from Constantinople.

But the art of the East was destined to produce, at a later period, a
much stronger effect, as we shall afterwards see, in Provence and
Aquitaine. Besides the domical structures of Constantinople, another
series of Christian buildings which had a great influence on Western
architecture exists in the East. A large number of churches have been
brought to light in Syria by the work of Count Melchior de Vogüé. These
correspond in general features with the early churches of the West. They
comprise a central nave and side aisles, separated by rows of piers,
with nave arches thrown longitudinally between them. The nave is also
crossed transversely with arches cast between the piers, and these are
abutted by arches thrown over the side aisles. The latter, in order to
resist the thrust of the central arch, require to be placed at a
considerable height. The side aisles are thus rendered unnecessarily
lofty, and are therefore divided into two storys with a floor which
forms a gallery. The nave piers and their transverse arches are placed
pretty close together in order to carry the great flag stones of which
the roof is frequently composed, and which are supported upon them.
Although the roof is in some cases flat, the general system of
construction of these Syrian churches is very similar to what is found
in the oldest churches of Southern Gaul; and which, as already
mentioned, was also used in the Nymphæum at Nimes. There can be little
doubt but that the Syrian structures were carefully studied by the
numerous monks who visited the East in the eleventh century, while
Palestine was in the hands of the Crusaders, and that they were thereby
helped forward in the enterprise which was then absorbing the attention
of the Western architects, viz., how to roof their churches with stone

Hitherto the Western basilicas had been roofed with timber. A few
examples of these early basilicas have escaped the universal
destruction, and serve to indicate what the other churches which existed
before the eleventh century were like.

The Basse Œuvre at Beauvais is a well known specimen. It has a row of
square piers on each side of the nave, separating it from the side
aisles and carrying, on round arches, the upper walls containing the
windows of the clerestory--the whole being covered in with a wooden
roof. It was probably terminated to the east with a semicircular apse,
and at the west with a narthex or porch.

These early churches were no doubt all of very simple construction, the
only ornaments being the marble columns and carved work which in some
localities were available from Roman buildings. Where these existed the
style adopted naturally followed the Roman forms, but in districts where
they were absent the style gradually passed into the Romanesque, under
the influence of the new elements imported by the Northern invaders. We
have seen how Charlemagne attempted to follow a Roman structure in his
great church at Aix, and that is a distinct indication of the general
tendency. The chief object at this period of transition was to produce
an effective internal design, the exterior being invariably very simple.
In this also the system by which Roman architecture had been developed
continued to be carried out.

When the new political conditions of the different divisions of Europe
had become somewhat settled, these principles were worked out separately
and independently in each country and province, and produced a great
variety of styles, all comprehended under the general title of
Romanesque. They were in reality all derived from ancient Roman
architecture, but by their very variety they indicate the new spirit
which was now beginning to express itself.

As above mentioned the great desideratum in the eleventh century was a
simple form of stone roof. The earlier wooden roof had been found so
liable to destruction by fire, that great efforts were now made to
provide a fire-proof covering.

At San Miniato, near Florence, there still stands a very fine basilica
of the beginning of the eleventh century, which shews one method in
which this was attempted to be done, and which recalls the mode of
construction of the Syrian Churches above referred to.

San Miniato is divided into three long bays in its length by circular
stone arches, springing from clustered piers, thrown across the nave,
each bay being again subdivided by three longitudinal archivolts resting
on simple pillars.

The above great transverse arches do not, as in the Syrian examples,
carry the roof, which is in this instance of wood, and is thus not quite
fireproof; but even if the timbers were destroyed by fire, the three
transverse arches would tend to bind the structure all together, and
prevent further ruin.

[Illustration: FIG. 33. SAN MINIATO.]

In the church of Notre Dame du Pré at Le Mans in the north-west of
France, there is another example of a similar form of roof, constructed
in the middle of the eleventh century.

In Provence the system of vaulting generally adopted was of a more
complete character, derived in all probability, as already mentioned,
from the Roman system (as used in the Nymphæum at Nimes), and perhaps
also aided by the examples of the vaulted churches seen by the Crusaders
in Syria. When the revival of the eleventh century took place, the
Provençal churches were usually erected on the basilican plan, which
doubtless was the traditional one. These churches are small, but they
generally embrace a central nave with two side aisles, each terminated
to the eastward with an apse. The roof is almost invariably composed of
a pointed barrel or tunnel vault, with strengthening transverse ribs
springing from the caps of pilasters carried up from the nave piers, as
for instance in St Trophime at Arles.

The side aisles are also arched, each with one half of a pointed vault
thrown against the upper part of the nave wall, so as to abut the
central vault. The roof consists of tiles laid directly on the extrados
of the arches, after the Roman manner, so that there is here nothing
liable to suffer from fire. There is, however, it will be noticed, one
remarkable divergence from the Roman model, in which the vaults and
arches are always round. In Provence they are invariably pointed. This
form of vault, as mentioned by Mérimée, Fergusson, and others, was
adopted, not from choice but as a necessity, or at least a convenience
of construction. The pointed form was found to have several advantages
over the round. It was easier of construction, a matter of great
consequence in those rude times; it exerted less thrust on the side
walls, and was therefore more stable; and it fitted better the slope of
the tiled roof covering.

It is evident that the roof of the side aisles, in order properly to
abut the central vault, had to be carried up to a considerable height.
This height being more than was necessary in the aisles, is sometimes
divided into two storys, the upper one forming a gallery--an arrangement
which was frequently adopted in Lombardy and the Rhineland, and also, as
we have seen, in the Syrian churches above referred to. One great
objection to the Provençal system of vaulting is that the churches are
very dark--a clerestory being obviously impossible consistently with
safety. Numerous expedients were adopted to provide more light, such as
by introducing windows in the gables, and by heightening the side walls
so as to admit of a small clerestory over the roof of the aisles. But
the latter was found to be a very unsafe course, and at the best only
clerestory windows of very small size could be introduced, so that the
long barrel vaults still remained dark and gloomy.

In Aquitaine an entirely different system of vaulting was accidentally
introduced, and threatened at one time to spread itself over the whole
of Southern Gaul. The story of the importation of this style, and the
various modifications arising out of it, is somewhat strange and
remarkable. Owing to the pirates who infested the Straits of Gibraltar,
the trade from the Levant with the West of France and Britain, was
carried on by means of caravans, which conveyed the goods across the
country, from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay. The goods landed
at Marseilles or Narbonne were thus carried by Limoges to La Rochelle
and Nantes, where they were again shipped for the North of France and
Britain. The town of Perigueux, situated in the centre of Aquitaine, at
that time probably the richest country in Gaul, became the
head-quarters of the Venetian merchants, by whom this traffic was
chiefly carried on. These Venetians, as they had in the tenth century
imported the plan and decorations of St Mark’s at Venice, from the East,
so they soon afterwards resolved to carry the same model with them into
Aquitaine. At Perigueux they erected a church exactly after the plan of
St Mark’s, being in the form of a Greek cross, crowned with one dome
over the central crossing, and four domes over the four arms of the
cross. The general idea of this church of St Front at Perigueux is
undoubtedly borrowed from St Mark’s, but the execution seems to have
been entrusted to a native artist; for, although the conception is
Eastern, the style of workmanship, is that of the locality. In the
original the arches and domes are spherical, while here they are
polygonal and pointed, which we have seen was the Provençal system of
construction. The pendentives which fill up the angles under the domes
are rudely executed in horizontal corbelling, not dressed as portions of
a spherical vault, as they would have been by a scientific Eastern

The church of St Front at Perigueux had great influence on the
subsequent architecture of Aquitaine and the West of France. The _plan_
of St Mark’s was not followed in other examples, the old traditional
basilican plan being preferred and adhered to; but the dome raised upon
pendentives, as introduced at St Front, became the common form of
vaulting in Aquitaine and the West of France in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries. In the churches thus constructed the side aisles are
frequently omitted, and the building consists of a single hall, roofed
with a series of domes resting on transverse arches, which are abutted
with large internal buttresses. We thus find in Aquitaine and the South
generally two important derivations from St Front, viz., 1st, the domed
system of vaulting, and 2nd, the single or aisleless nave,--the latter
being sometimes vaulted with domes and sometimes with groined arches. As
late as the thirteenth century the influence of the dome made itself
felt in the churches of Aquitaine, Poitou, and Anjou; while the
influence of the plan of the single aisleless nave continued to be
prominent in the churches of Languedoc long after the dome was
abandoned, and even after the Gothic of the North had invaded the
Southern provinces.

It thus happens that early churches such as the Cathedrals at Toulouse
(Fig. 34) and Fréjus (_see_ Part VI.) present a mixture of these ideas,
being sometimes found designed on the plan of the aisleless hall, but at
the same time roofed with groined vaulting. The buttresses in all these
single nave churches are frequently internal, and form deep recesses,
which are utilised as side chapels.

At a distance from Perigueux as a centre, domes are sometimes used, as
is the case, for instance, in Auvergne, but in Provence the dome is
generally limited to the space over the crossing.

In the latter locality the Byzantine influence exhibits itself in a
different direction, being chiefly confined to details and subordinate
features. But here another factor comes into play. The presence of the
Roman monuments still existing in Provence has evidently tended to
impress a Roman character on the architecture of the district. So
strikingly indeed does some of the Provençal architecture resemble Roman
work, both in general design and detail, that it has frequently been
maintained that it is actually the work of the Lower Empire.

The style of Provence in the twelfth century differs on this account
considerably from that of the other Romanesque styles. The revival which
took place all over Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries
occurred in Provence also, but the result there was somewhat peculiar,
the effect of the Roman remains being to produce in many of the features
of Provençal architecture a closer resemblance to the Romanesque style
of Rome and Italy than to that of the Rhineland and the North.

[Illustration: FIG. 34. TOULOUSE CATHEDRAL.]

The towers and campaniles of Provence also either correspond in design
with those of Italy or are imitated from Roman monuments in the country.

The circular baptisteries, of which a good many examples survive, are
like those in Rome, constructed with columns and caps from ancient
buildings, or are wrought in imitation of them.

Sculpture also abounds in Provence, being inspired by the abundant
remains of ancient work in this favoured province of the Empire. Along
with the imitations of Roman work, there is also, as already remarked, a
considerable infusion of Byzantine influence. This, according to
Viollet-le-Duc, may be observed in the polygonal form of the apses; in
the polygonal cupolas supported on a series of corbelled pendentives; in
the flat arcades employed to decorate the walls; in the mouldings with
small projection and numerous members; in the flat and delicate
ornament; and in the sharp and toothed carving of the foliage. Other
writers, however, are of opinion that too much weight has been
attributed to the influence of Byzantine art, and that almost all the
above elements may be accounted for by the Roman traditions of the
locality. It is doubtful in how far the Roman buildings which survived
in Provence and the imported classic taste of Byzantium were beneficial
to the arts in that country. They no doubt gave an impetus and motive
which would otherwise have been awanting, and thus assisted the
Provençals in making the early start they did in the revival of their
architecture. But on the other hand they acted prejudicially to that
revival, in impressing on it the stamp of the classic trabeated style,
which in their absence it would have escaped, and might probably have
been developed in the freer and more natural manner which occurred at a
later date in the North.

The early use of the pointed arch in the vaulting of the Provençal
churches is another striking feature of the architecture of the
district. Much has been written about the origin of the pointed arch
and the date of its introduction into Western Europe. In the North of
France its first use occurred in the twelfth century, and it was at one
time maintained that the Provençal churches, from their having pointed
vaults, must necessarily be later than that date. There is now, however,
no question as to the greater antiquity of many of the Southern
buildings, thus proving that the use of the pointed arch was adopted in
the South considerably earlier than in the North.

We have already seen that that form of arch was first used in Provence
as a constructional expedient, and not from any preference for the
pointed form. The original idea may possibly have been derived from the
Moors in Spain, amongst whom the pointed arch was common from early
times, and was employed as a decorative feature. In Provence its use was
limited to the vaulting, the round arch being preferred for all the
ornamental parts of the architecture, and it continued to be so employed
till the thirteenth century. It is a striking circumstance, observes
Mérimée, that at the moment when the round arch was entirely abandoned
in the North the pointed arch experienced the same disgrace in the
South. In the North the pointed arch became the decorative form, when in
the South the round arch was preferred. The position of the pointed arch
is thus completely reversed in the North and in the South. The greater
part of the vaulted constructions of the thirteenth century in the South
are exclusively round, the advancement in skill, both in execution and
in the use of materials, having rendered that form more generally
available. Numerous examples of this employment of the round arch will
be found in the following pages.

The Roman and Byzantine influences were naturally strongest where the
ancient remains and Eastern ornaments were most frequently met with. As
we retire from the Mediterranean northwards and westwards the Roman
buildings become less numerous and the signs of Byzantine commerce
diminish. In those various countries different styles were naturally
developed. These are divided by Viollet-le-Duc into the schools of
Toulouse, Poitou, Auvergne, Burgundy, &c., all having distinct
characteristics in plans, elevations, form of towers, ornament,
sculpture, and every detail. Of these various schools the Burgundian
was, during the twelfth century, in advance of all the others, not only
in the size and magnificence of its buildings, but also as regards
progress in design--efforts being there made to free the ornaments from
the conventional and stereotyped patterns of classic art.

Viollet-le-Duc endeavours to account for this advancement in Burgundian
architecture by the suggestion that it possibly arose from the study of
the paintings of Byzantine MSS., which were numerous in the monasteries,
and therefore more frequently under the eyes of the monks than the
purely architectural forms of buildings. These paintings preserve
considerable freedom of treatment both as regards natural expression in
the features and dramatic action in the figure, and are much less bound
and fixed by traditional and conventional rules than the architectural
forms and ornament.

The artist monks of the Burgundian convents were thus led to look to
nature as their model in sculpture, and their attention was gradually
turned to natural objects as their guide in the representation of
foliage, as well as figures. This process, in course of time, opened the
way for an entire departure from ancient precedent, and led to the
wonderful development of the natural school of the Royal Domain, which
took place in the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth

At the head of the Burgundian school stood the great Benedictine Abbey
of Cluny. (_See ante_, p. 20). The church of this Abbey was the largest
building of its time, although unfortunately not one stone of it now
remains upon another. Cluny had numerous dependencies and offshoots
which were all animated with the same spirit, and spread a taste for
richness and magnificence in architecture, wherever they were planted.

But the period we are now considering was one of awakening and
expansion, not only in the direction of architectural art, but also in
every department of intellectual and religious development. It is not
therefore to be wondered at that all men were not actuated by the same
feeling of admiration for splendid buildings and paintings. Many of the
religious rather sympathised with the severity of the old ascetics. It
appeared to these reformers that all this sumptuous and splendid mode of
life was not in accordance with the fundamental principles of their
religion, and they longed to return to the simplicity of the primitive

Amongst those who raised their voices most strenuously in this behalf,
was the great St Bernard, who even went the length of separating from
the Clunisians, and devoted his energy to the encouragement of the new
order of the Cistertians, which was destined to play an important part
in the future history of the Church and its architecture. Of the severe
rules of this order, those relating to the erection of buildings, were
amongst the most stringent. These were required to be of the simplest
form, and to be entirely free from ornament and decoration of every
kind. At first this maxim was strictly adhered to in all the buildings
of the Cistertians, which are therefore of the baldest possible
description, as the numerous examples hereafter illustrated in Provence
and elsewhere show. But this very severity of style seems to have had
great influence in clearing the way for the introduction of a new and
more natural art, by sweeping away the last remains of the ancient
traditional forms, and leaving the course clear for the invention of
novel ornamentation derived from natural objects. This may be regarded
as the second phase of Provençal art. The first comprised all those
primitive structures, the style of which was founded on Roman or classic
design. But this second phase discarded all such ornament, and retained
only the structural elements which had up to this time been developed.
These of course included the use of the pointed arch, which is always
employed in the vaulting and all the important structural features,
while the round form is frequently retained in the minor arches. Of this
bare but vigorous style no finer example can be cited than the Abbey of
Thoronet (to be afterwards described), but the whole country abounds (as
we shall find) with examples, both large and small, of this reformed or
second period of Provençal architecture. After a time the Cistertian
strictness was gradually relaxed. The more ornate style of the
Clunisians was found to be more in accordance with the feelings and
taste of the times; and the Cistertians ultimately came to vie with them
in the beauty and richness of their edifices. But, as above pointed out,
the traditional Roman and Byzantine elements were entirely banished, and
a new and natural system of ornament adopted.

Up to the date which we have now reached the progress of the great
monastic centres of Burgundy and the cities of the South had been in
advance of that of the Royal Domain, and the Northern provinces
generally. But from the end of the twelfth century many circumstances
combined to reverse that position. The country of the Franks had become
settled--the restless spirit of that people, which had found expression
in the Crusades, had exhausted itself; the idea of the one great and
holy Roman Empire had passed away, and the various countries of modern
Europe were gradually consolidating themselves and forming separate

The Feudal system, which tended to break up all general authority, was
gradually being subjected to the growing power of a central supreme
ruler. Trade and commerce were reviving. The towns and corporations
which had grown up under the fostering care of the monasteries, or under
the shadow of the great castles of the nobility, were now assuming a
more prominent and independent position. They perseveringly pressed
their claims on their superiors, whether lay or ecclesiastical, and were
by slow degrees obtaining charters and liberties. The Bishops whose sees
were connected with the towns encouraged the citizens in this course,
with the view of strengthening their own power and importance, so as to
enable them to keep pace with and if possible overcome the great
influence of their rivals the monasteries. This growth of the popular
element in the towns naturally led to the employment of laymen in
connection with the designing and execution of the works of the
cathedral and other ecclesiastical edifices attached to the various

The monks, who had hitherto been the sole possessors of the requisite
knowledge and practical skill, had by their schools, and by the guilds
of tradesmen which they had encouraged, sown the seeds which were now
springing up in a form they had not looked for, and producing a crop of
lay artists, who were soon to leave their old masters behind. The
monastic system of carrying on everything according to rule had long
held architecture in bondage. Under the new impulse all conventional
rules were abandoned, and the artists trusted to the inspiration of
nature for their guidance. Hence it followed that whether in planning,
in construction, or in ormamentation, the forms so long reverently
followed by the architects of the monasteries, were speedily dropped by
the lay artists of the towns, and a new art sprung up with the most
marvellous rapidity. To the new school of artists nothing which would
naturally and logically suit their requirements came amiss. The round
arch was the traditional form of the ecclesiastics, but, the lay
architects of the North finding (as the builders of the South had long
previously done) that the pointed arch was more flexible and amenable to
their requirements, forthwith adopted it. This enabled them to overcome
what had hitherto been the great difficulty with the round arch, viz.,
to erect intersecting vaults over spaces of any form, whether square or
oblong, and at the same time to keep the apex of all the vaults at any
desired height. The transverse arches and the wall arches being thus
pointed, soon led in the most natural manner to the window arches within
the latter being also made of a pointed shape, so as to conform to the
outline of the wall arch, and by an easy transition the pointed arch was
soon adopted for all the wall openings as the most flexible, and most in
accordance with the spirit of the new style.

In like manner the old conventional forms of decoration, derived from
Byzantine carvings and MSS. or from Roman remains, were entirely
abandoned, and inspiration in decorative design was sought in the
natural flowers and plants of the soil.

The intellectual development, no less than the artistic, of this great
period of revival was boldly represented in its architecture. The timid
forms of traditional construction were soon left behind, and scientific
methods were introduced. The clumsy mode of sustaining the central
vault by the half vault of the side aisles was superseded by the bold
and beautiful form of the flying buttress, loaded with pinnacles where
needed to secure stability. This scientific invention enabled the
architects to dispense with heavy walls and to bring the whole pressure
of the vaults on to points, where they were discharged by the flying
buttresses. The side walls were only required as enclosing screens, not
as supports, so that there was free scope and every inducement for the
expansion of the windows, which rapidly progressed till the whole
building became, in striking contrast to the dark and gloomy structures
of the monastic regime, an edifice of marvellous lightness and elegance,
illuminated from floor to vault with walls of glowing glass.

The rapid and extensive development of the Gothic style of the North is
one of the most remarkable facts in the history of architecture. Within
the century following the first appearance of the style in the pointed
vaulting of the abbey church of St Denis, erected under the Abbé Suger
in 1144, this style reached its highest point. During that period it
found expression in most of the great cathedrals of the North of France,
such as Paris, Chartres, Sens, Amiens, Beauvais, &c. This occurred
contemporaneously with the long and brilliant reign of Philip Augustus,
under whom the royal power became consolidated, and the royal domain
extended to an extraordinary degree.

As the royal domain extended, its Gothic architecture extended with it,
and even passed beyond it, and produced a striking effect on the
provinces, such as Provence, not yet absorbed into the kingdom of
France. Of this we shall meet with several remarkable examples, as in
the cathedrals of Carcassonne and Narbonne, where the designs are pure
Northern Gothic, and were furnished by a northern architect. But these
and similar structures always strike one as having the appearance of
exotics; they are evidently imported plants, not native to the soil.
There are also, as we shall see, many other buildings in the South in
which some of the features only of the Gothic style are adopted, and
which exhibit various attempts to ingraft its details on the native art.
But even this is not successful, the buildings having neither the
lightness and elegance of the Gothic, nor the massive grandeur of the
native style.

In later times, when Provence and a great part of the Riviera had passed
into the kingdom of France, its period of vigour and independence had
faded away, and its architecture only presents a picture of the various
foreign influences under which it lay. This is seen in the examples of
the flamboyant work of the French, and in the Italian Gothic introduced
by the Genoese, who were long masters of the Riviera. All other
architecture, however, soon yielded to the revival of the classic style,
which here, amongst so many Roman relics, found a congenial soil.

The great development of Gothic architecture in the North was not
limited to churches and other ecclesiastical structures, but extended to
every species of building. For it is one of the leading characteristics
of Gothic, that it is available for every variety of architectural
requirement. It is a free and natural style, not subject to the
arbitrary rules of monastic or academic systems, but ready to apply
itself in the simplest and most direct manner to all human wants in the
way of building. The Gothic lay architects therefore naturally directed
their skill to the proper development of Domestic and Castellated
Architecture, as well as Ecclesiastical and Monastic. Of the former,
many most interesting examples are to be seen in the Southern towns; and
of the castellated architecture, we shall meet with not only such
splendid examples as the Pope’s Palace at Avignon, and the great castles
of Villeneuve and Beaucaire; but we shall also have an opportunity of
examining, at Carcassonne and Aigues Mortes, the towns which possess
probably the completest and best preserved specimens, now extant, of the
military architecture of the Middle Ages.

That kind of architecture was, as was natural, especially in the South,
to a considerable extent founded on that of the Romans. This will be
more fully explained and illustrated, when we come to treat of the
fortifications of Carcassonne, which are partly Roman or of Roman
foundation. In the North the early fortresses consisted of earthen
mounds, protected by palisades and ditches. Such were the defences of
the native Gauls, which Cæsar found so boldly defended. To these
succeeded the strong towers of masonry, of which the Norman keep is the
well known type. Stone-built towers of that description gradually
superseded the wooden fort set upon the top of an earthen “motte” or
mound which formed the central stronghold of the earlier fortresses.
Masonry then, step by step, took the place of wood in the defences;
first, as we have seen, in the keep, and then in the enclosing walls. As
the science of attack improved, the latter were made stronger, and were
further fortified by the construction in connection with them of
numerous strong towers. These were generally round in the North and
square in the South. The means of active defence were chiefly from the
parapet. At first the parapets of the walls and towers were armed in
time of war with wooden enclosures, called “hoards” or “brétêches,”
projected on short wooden beams. These enabled the defenders to overlook
and protect the base of the works, which were then the weak points of
the fortifications, and were liable to attack by sapping or mining. The
assailants carried out this kind of assault by rolling up their sappers
to the walls in “cats” or “sows” (small wagons strongly constructed and
defended on the top with bags of wool and wet hides), which could only
be destroyed by great stones and beams, hurled down from the projecting
“hoards” above. The sockets for this wooden armature of the walls still
exists unaltered in the thirteenth century fortifications of Carcassonne
and Aigues Mortes. By degrees the wooden hoards were abandoned, being
found liable to destruction by the fire balls or “Greek fire,” which the
crusaders had learned the use of in the East. Parapets of masonry were
then substituted for them, projected on bold stone corbels, which left
intervals between the parapet and the face of the wall, called”
machicolations,” through which the defenders could rain missiles on the
assailants. In the fourteenth century these corbelled parapets are
amongst the most prominent and picturesque features of the castles and
fortifications of the period. In course of time the stone parapets were
further improved and heightened into several storys, the lower ones
being covered, and the upper forming an open crenellated walk. In the
fifteenth century this system reached its height, and produced in the
lofty towers and walls, crowned with their numerous boldly overhanging
works, some of the most magnificent works of the military architecture
of the Middle Ages. We shall have occasion to refer to the various
systems of defence adopted in the different castles and towns to be
visited, when attention will also be drawn to the differences of the
systems adopted in the North and South. We shall also find a remarkable
application of castellated features in the churches of the South, where,
after the twelfth century, almost every ecclesiastical structure is
carefully fortified. This produces in the churches of the South one of
their most striking peculiarities, and gives them, instead of the light
and gracefully aspiring character of the Northern Gothic structures, a
reflection of the grim and stern aspect of the feudal castle. The
peculiar church architecture just referred to, no doubt derived its
origin from the constant state of alarm and disturbance in which the
Southern provinces were kept by the Albigensian wars, and the attacks of
the Moors and Corsairs by sea and land. Some place of refuge and defence
was required by the harassed inhabitants, who naturally fled to the
church and fortified themselves therein. Frequently the cathedrals were
comprised within the precincts of the Bishop’s Palace, which was
fortified like a feudal castle. The cathedral being the largest building
was eagerly seized upon as an important part of the fortifications, and
even when the design was in Northern Gothic, had externally at least to
adopt many of the defensive features of the South. Of this remarkable
illustrations occur at Narbonne, Béziers, and Fréjus.

We have now rapidly sketched the various steps by which Roman
architecture was gradually transformed, from being in its decorative
features an imitation of the classic trabeated style, into an embodiment
of the true principles of arcuated or genuine stone construction, as
exhibited in the fully developed Gothic of the thirteenth century. We
have seen that this was by no means a simple process, and that it was
only accomplished by the ordeal of the destructive though purifying
dissolution of the Dark Ages, whence the true spirit of Roman
construction emerged, cleared to a great extent of the extraneous
elements with which it had been so long encrusted. But although the true
features of arcuated architecture now slowly began to be developed,
they were both aided and retarded by the surviving relics of Roman art
which existed in the West, as well as by the influence of the classic
taste which continued to prevail, although in a modified and expanded
condition, in the East. The country through which we are about to travel
is remarkably favourable for the study of the effects of these various
influences. We have already seen how rich it is in genuine Roman
structures. In our further progress we shall note how these examples
served as models for the revival of the architecture; for so closely
were the ancient designs frequently followed that the new structures
were almost complete resuscitations of the style of the Lower Empire.

We shall also have many opportunities of observing the influence of the
modified classic art imported from Byzantium. Thence came the dome which
forms one of the most important elements in the mediæval architecture of
Aquitaine and the South, as well as numerous details and ornaments which
served as the foundation or motive for much of the architectural
decoration of the West, especially in Provence. How strongly these
influences produced their impress on the architecture of the region we
are to traverse, will be apparent; and it will probably be agreed by all
that although the art of Provence was thereby advanced at first, the
chief tendency of these classic reminiscences was to encourage an
adherence to traditional forms, which prevented such a free growth and
development as was afterwards displayed in the Northern districts, where
the classic elements were less abundant. But in one respect at least the
architecture of Provence deserves our gratitude and admiration, for,
amidst all its classic surroundings, it boldly adopted and adhered to
the true principle of arcuated construction, and introduced the use of
the pointed arch. Although in its earlier stages this important feature
was accompanied and encumbered with the revived details of Roman work,
still, as we shall see, in its later phase, it entirely and completely
discarded them; and in the twelfth century, under the guidance of the
Cistertians, Provence produced a simple and natural style of arcuated
architecture in which every feature is regulated by strict adherence to
the genuine principles of stone construction. Of this simple but strong
and impressive style we shall meet with many fine examples.

Up to this time the Provençal architects had led the way, but the period
had now arrived when their principles were to be taken up and carried
out with the boldness and energy of the Northern kingdom of France, then
in its youthful prime. The lay architects of the North, seizing on the
Provençal principle of the pointed arch, which they at once perceived to
be so flexible and easy of application to every requirement, soon
developed from it the magnificent system of the perfected Gothic of the
thirteenth century. This was at once felt and acknowledged on all hands
to be an immense step in advance of anything hitherto attempted in the
West, and was speedily allowed to overshadow, and finally to supersede
all other varieties of mediæval development. Of this result numerous
illustrations will occur in the course of our journey; but we shall also
observe how tenaciously the original forms of construction and plan were
adhered to in the South, even after the Northern Gothic had been
accepted as supreme in all minor details.

[Illustration] VI.

Having now glanced rapidly at the general history and various phases of
the architecture of Provence during the Middle Ages, we shall recommence
our journey at Lyons, and visit the various places on our route
southwards to Marseilles, and thence westwards and eastwards along the
Riviera, where architectural subjects are to be found, giving a more
detailed account of each in its turn, and specially noting those of the


At LYONS the traveller is at once introduced to the local style in the
Church of the Ainay, which however is much modernised and restored. Some
portions of the walls may be as old as the tenth century, but the
consecration of the existing building (barring subsequent restorations)
took place in 1107. The four granite columns of the choir are possibly

The church has the Basilican form, with central nave and side aisles.
The square lantern over the crossing, which forms a dwarf tower
externally and cupola internally, is peculiar to this part of the
country. The square tower at the west end (Fig. 35) with its successive
stages of small windows, has a far-off resemblance to the ancient brick
campaniles of Italy--a resemblance which we shall find more strikingly
illustrated in more Southern examples. The peculiar incrustations in red
and other coloured stones, which have a pleasing and Eastern effect, are
a feature of common occurrence in the churches of the Auvergnat, not
far distant from Lyons towards the south-west. The pointed doorways are
modern, but are reproductions of a restoration of the twelfth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 35. THE AINAY, LYONS.]

The cathedral is a fine specimen of the mixed style of this part of the
country, the choir being partly Romanesque of the end of the twelfth
century. The flat arcades of the interior (Fig. 36), composed of large
trefoiled arches, resting on fluted pilasters, are very characteristic
of the Burgundian style. The idea of these pilasters is derived from
those of the Roman gates at Autun. In the cathedral there as well as at
Tournus, and other towns of Upper Burgundy, such pilasters are of
frequent use. The form of the clerestory windows seems to have been
borrowed from these arcades. The choir has an apse, but no aisle running
round it, as invariably happens in the North. Externally it presents a
curious gallery with twisted shafts and inlaid coloured stones, like
those of the Ainay. The towers at the transepts are a remarkable
feature. The nave is Nothern Gothic work of the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries,--but the vaulting is sexpartite, a form entirely
abandoned in the North at that date. Some of the carving on the west
front is very vigorous and fine, recalling the splendid work on the
portals of the north and south transepts of Rouen.


Altogether this building presents in the choir and transepts a singular
mixture of the styles of Upper Burgundy, with those of the Rhine on the
East, and Auvergne on the West; while the nave is an example of a
transplanted design of Nothern Gothic.

In descending the Rhone the valley soon narrows, and we pass into the
gorges amongst the mountains. On one of the rocky heights which jut out
into the valley, the ancient spires of Vienne, and the summit of Mont
Pipet, crowned with its Roman citadel, stand boldly out against the sky.

The town occupies a strong position and commands the pass, hence it was
occupied as a fortress by the Allobroges from early times. Afterwards an
important city under the Romans (as already mentioned in Part IV.), it
continued so during the Middle Ages. But it suffered severely from the
attacks of invaders, being first ravaged by the Lombards, and afterwards
by the Saracens.

In the ninth century Boson, King of Burgundy and Provence, made Vienne
his capital. After the fall of that kingdom, the city declined, and
became the possession of the Dukes of Albon, who governed under the
title of Dauphins of Viennois, till 1349, when Humbert II. ceded the
country to the King of France.

[Illustration: FIG. 37. ST ANDRÉ-LE-BAS, VIENNE.]

The towers of the two most ancient churches, viz., St André-le-bas and
St Pierre (Figs. 37 and 38), are very fine examples of the
campanile-like designs of the South, and strikingly resemble that of the
Ainay at Lyons. The former is ornamented with the arcading so
characteristic of the churches of the Rhine and Lombardy, some of the
miniature arches resting on corbels carved with grotesque heads. The
tower of St Pierre has the large trilobed arch, also common in the
region to the eastward.

St Pierre is very ancient and shews masonry constructed somewhat after
the Roman manner, with courses of brickwork dividing the rubble. The
west entrance is preceded by a porch or narthex in an early style.

St André-le-bas was the chapel of the Duke of Burgundy. This church has
a single nave (in the style of the south-west provinces), with groined
vaulting and heavy buttresses, but the interior has been completely
restored. An inscription fixes its date as 1142. There are also some
remains of a fine cloister adjoining.

[Illustration: FIG. 38. ST PIERRE, VIENNE.]

The cathedral of St Maurice is, like that of Lyons, a mixture of
different styles, and has few of the merits of any. It was begun in the
eleventh century, and not completed till the sixteenth. The plan is that
of a basilica with an apse at the east end of the choir. There are a
central nave and side aisles, but the latter stop at their eastern
extremity with square ends, and are not continued round the central
apse. The eight eastmost pillars of the nave belong to the twelfth
century, and are partly decorated with fluted pilasters in the style of
Upper Burgundy. The caps are “historied,” or carved with

[Illustration: FIG. 39. ST MAURICE, VIENNE.]

figures after the Romanesque style; while the arches are pointed and
ornamented with billet mouldings. Above and below the triforium gallery
is a course of red stone containing sculptures of all sorts of subjects,
like the inlaid work of Auvergne. The vaulting is of the fourteenth
century. In the sixteenth century the proportions of the cathedral were
found defective, the building being considered too short for its length,
and several bays were then added to the west end in the florid Northern
style of the period. The west portal (Fig. 39), with its richly carved
tracery and sculpture, standing as it does at the top of a lofty flight
of steps, rendered necessary by the slope of the ground to the westward,
must have been a fine example of its style before the statues and
carving, which so profusely adorned it, were destroyed during the wars
of religion, by the Baron des Adrets, in 1562. The cathedral is 300 feet
long by 100 feet wide, but, owing to the mixed character of its design,
it is somewhat heavy in effect.

A remarkable example of a double round tower of Renaissance art (Fig.
40) stands close to the ancient Forum, and several specimens of antique
houses of all ages are to be seen in the busy and picturesque streets.

[Illustration: FIG. 40. HOUSE IN VIENNE.]

The next town of importance reached is VALENCE, which, however, is not
very rich in architectural subjects. The cathedral (St Apollinaire) is
of the twelfthcentury, and shews some special features indicative of the
influence of the style of Auvergne, such as an arcade on the outside of
the nave, with alternate round and straight sided arches. The caps of
the nave piers are very Corinthian in character, and the roof is a
tunnel vault. The apse is round, and is strengthened with buttresses in
the form of small shafts, a feature very common in Auvergne. But this
and the other churches have all been reconstructed in Renaissance times.
The Maison-des-Têtes (Fig. 41), near the Place des Clercs is a well
preserved and telling specimen of a florid domestic façade of 1534.

[Illustration: FIG. 41. MAISON-DES-FETES, VALENCE.]

In descending the Rhone the traveller cannot fail to notice that the
precipitous mountains which bound the plain on the west side of the
river are frequently crowned with the shattered remains of mediæval
castles. Of these one of the most striking is the CASTLE OF CRUSSOL
(Fig. 42) opposite Valence. This great castle, now reduced to a mere
fragmentary heap of ruins, was formerly the stronghold of the family of
Crussol, Ducs d’Uzès. It forms a fine feature in the landscape, and
commands a splendid view of the course of the Rhone and the valley of
the Isère, with the Alps to the eastward. But it is now so ruined that a
closer inspection is somewhat disappointing to the architect.

A few miles lower down the very interesting ruins of the MONASTERY OF
CRUAS are seen on the same side of the river. This may be conveniently
reached by the railway on that side, or from Montélimar. The latter
course forms a beautiful drive, without taking the traveller going south
far from his direct line. Crossing the Rhone by the bridge of boats not
far from the station, the ruins of what once was the powerful castle of
Rochemaur meet the view, crowning the rocky height in front, and
extending great walls of enceinte down to the village at the base. The
detached tower forming the keep, which could only be approached by a
draw-bridge, now stands a shattered ruin on its isolated peak.

[Illustration: FIG. 42. CASTLE OF CRUSSOL.]

A drive of a few miles along a level road, above which on the left rise
great masses of basaltic rock forming fantastic figures not unlike the
ruins we have just passed, brings us to the village of CRUAS, where we
discover two architectural subjects of some importance. On the hill
above the village stand the ruins of the ancient monastery, now greatly
dilapidated, and having the space between the walls choked up with the
steep and irregular streets of a small town.

The monastic buildings have almost entirely disappeared, the materials
having doubtless served for the construction of the shabby houses which
now occupy their place. Some portions of the enclosing walls, however,
still survive, together with one very interesting edifice, which

[Illustration: FIG. 43. ABBEY OF CRUAS FROM S.-W.]

[Illustration: FIG. 44. MONASTERY CHURCH, CRUAS.]

tolerably entire. This is the ancient chapel of the abbey, originally a
building of the twelfth century, but which in the fourteenth century was
engulphed by the enclosing walls and fortifications then erected, and
heightened so as to be converted into a keep (Fig. 43). The interior
has, however, been preserved untouched, and shews the simple style of
the Cistertians of the twelfth century (Fig. 44). The plan consists of a
single nave with plain pilasters set against the side walls, from which
spring the flat transverse arches which strengthen the _round_ tunnel
vault. The east end is terminated with a semi-circular apse roofed with
a spherical dome, and ornamented with the small arcaded pattern so
common at that period. On the left or northern side wall arches are
introduced, as if for a side aisle, but there is no appearance of any
aisles ever having existed. The plain round arched west doorway still
exists, and the line of the original gable above it is distinctly
observable in the masonry (_see_ Fig. 43).

The keep built round and over the church is of remarkable design. Large
round buttresses have been added at the outer angles, with square
buttresses at the sides, and both are carried up so as to receive the
arches which support the parapet on the top. These arches spring from
bold corbels projecting from the buttresses, and are set well forward
from the face of the walls, so as to leave a space between the main wall
and the parapet. This space forms a long opening or machicolation, by
means of which the base of the walls could be defended against hostile
operations. We shall see by and by that this is the same form of
machicolation as was adopted in the Pope’s Palace at Avignon, and
elsewhere in the South.

The parapet is crenellated, and, from the beam holes still visible in
the walls, we may infer that it was provided with wooden hoardings for

The church in the village at the base of the hill (Fig. 45) has also
some points of special interest. It is of early twelfth century design,
and has a vaulted subterranean crypt with numerous sculptured caps. The
upper church has a square tower at the west end, and a transept with
three circular apses opening out of it to the east,--the central apse
forming the choir, and the side apses lateral chapels. Over the crossing
rises an octagonal lantern, containing a dome crowned with a smaller
circular lantern. The

[Illustration: FIG. 45. CHURCH AT CRUAS.]

whole composition and style of ornamentation strongly recall the
architecture of the Rhineland and Lombardy. The thin strips of pilasters
on the apses and lantern, with small arcade-enrichment between, together
with the general form of the lantern, strikingly recall the churches of
Bonn and Cologne. The western tower again is similar to those we have
left behind at Vienne and Lyons. This church, like many others we shall
encounter, illustrates what has above been stated as to the universality
of the one style which prevailed over the “Empire,” before it was broken
up into separate nationalities.

Soon after leaving Montélimar with its frowning citadel, in which there
are some ancient Romanesque details, and a great tower of the fourteenth
century called the “Tour de Narbonne,” we observe on the opposite side
of the Rhone the picturesque town of VIVIERS, clustering on a pyramidal
rock, and appropriately crowned with the cathedral and spire. The church
is of the fourteenth century, a single nave without aisles. It is said
that the crowded and narrow streets contain some old houses, but the
place is apparently more picturesque than architectural.

We now approach the country in which the peculiar elements of the
Provençal style become distinctly apparent. About four miles north-east
from Pierrelatte, the ancient town of Garde Adhémar may be seen towering
aloft on the crest of a bold promontory about 500 feet high. This town
contains a Romanesque church with an eastern and western apse, after the
German fashion, a rather remarkable feature here, but showing, like the
ornaments already referred to, an influence from the Rhine. The side
aisles are vaulted with quarter-circle arches, and the exterior is
finished with a small belfry and steeple.

About six miles to the south-east of Pierrelatte lies the village of ST
PAUL-TROIS-CHÂTEAUX, where another very remarkable church is found. The
town was of some importance from Roman times downward, and retained its
bishop’s see till the Revolution. Several fine Roman sculptures have
been found in the locality, and are preserved in the Calvet museum at
Avignon; and a few remains of Roman structures and columns are still to
be seen. But the most interesting edifice in the town is the ancient
cathedral of the twelfth century. As this is the first building we have
met with which is characteristically Provençal in style, so it is also
one which preserves in a very distinct and marked manner the traditional

[Illustration: FIG. 46. ST PAUL-TROIS-CHATEAUX. _Part of Exterior (from

features of that style. The annexed geometric view of one of the
exterior bays (Fig. 46.) shews how close is the imitation in the
Provençal architecture of the twelfth century of that of the Roman
structures which no doubt then existed on the spot. The pilasters,
crowned with their complete entablature of architrave, frieze, and
cornice, and filled in with an intermediate arcade, might be part of a
Roman amphitheatre (such as those at Nimes and Arles); and indeed it is
supposed that traces of an ancient amphitheatre have been discovered at
St Paul. Every detail might belong to the Lower Empire. The ornaments of
the cornice are directly imitated from the modillions and leaf
enrichments of Roman work; and the egg and dart, and other classic
details are freely used throughout. The interior ornament is equally
Roman in design. The east end is terminated with an apse, which has
eight fluted columns. The two side aisles are covered with half wagon
vaults, and the nave, which is unusually high, with a simple tunnel

This locality brings us for the first time into contact with a tradition
of which we shall find many traces in various parts of Provence, viz.,
that the Gospel was introduced into this country by the family of
Lazarus, and some other contemporaries of Christ, who had been driven
hither by persecution. At St Paul the story goes that the first bishop
was the blind man whose sight was restored, and who assumed the name of

About three miles from St Paul may be seen the monument of this saint,
said to be of very ancient and curious construction. It is partly built
into the church, and is ornamented with a remarkable frieze, containing
a rude representation of the last supper.

The station of La Croisière is the nearest to a very remarkable specimen
of mediæval construction, the PONT ST ESPRIT. This celebrated bridge was
planned and begun in 1265 by Jean de Tensanges, the abbot of the order
of Cluny, in the district of St Savourin du Port, which belonged to the
abbey. It was thirty years in building, but we have proof that the work
was well planned and skilfully executed, in the fact that it subsists
till the present day. The length of the bridge is about 3000 feet, and
the width of the roadway is 16 feet. There are twenty-two arches, all
semi-circular in form, and constructed with carefully wrought courses of
arch stones, forming separate rings set together side by side, but not
bonded into one another. This mode of construction was probably borrowed
from the bridge of St Bénezet at Avignon, which again derived it from
the Roman Pont du Gard. Over the piers are smaller arched openings to
allow the water of the high floods of the Rhone to pass freely through.
Like the Pont St Bénezet at Avignon the Pont St Esprit does not run
straight across the river, but is bent at an obtuse angle against the
current so as to resist its pressure. The bridge was fortified at both
ends by castles erected by the suzerains on the opposite sides of the
river. These remained till the seventeenth century, when one of them was
brought into connection with the citadel of the town constructed by
Louis XIII. This was the last bridge erected by the “Frères hospitaliers
pontifes” (of whom we shall hear more at Avignon). After the thirteenth
century neither Communes nor Nobles found it necessary to apply to the
monks for their aid as architects and engineers. By that time the lay
architects had superseded them, in the manner above described (Part V.)

Passing next close under the rocky heights crowned with the picturesque
ruins of the castles of Montdragon and Mornas, the massive wall of the
theatre of Orange rising high above the plain arrests the eye.

A little further on the ramparts and gates of the small walled town of
COURTHÉZON are visible close to the railway; soon after passing which,
the bold outline of the great Palace of the Popes discovers itself to
view towering on its rock above the town of AVIGNON.

On nearer approach, the city walls and gates, surmounted with bold
corbels and machicolations, and the numerous towers and spires of the
churches, unite to give a striking first impression of the city. As it
is _chef-lieu_ of the department of Vaucluse, and the See of an
Archbishop, Avignon is a town of some business and prominence. The
traveller will here find better accommodation than he generally meets
with in the country towns. This may therefore be regarded as a good
place to establish one’s headquarters for a few days, both for the
purpose of seeing the very splendid monuments of the town, and also as a
convenient centre from which excursions may be made to the interesting
Provençal churches of early date, which abound in the vicinity.

Although Avignon was an important Roman colony, it has already been
remarked how barren it is in Roman remains. After the fall of Rome, it
passed successively through the hands of the Burgundians, the Franks,
and the Visigoths: it was twice taken by the Saracens (730 and 737), and
twice delivered by Charles Martel. Afterwards it became part of the
Kingdom of Arles, and subsequently capital of the Marquisate of

In the twelfth century the community declared itself a free and
independent city, and erected new walls and fortifications. Avignon
ranged herself on the side of the Albigenses; and, as previously
mentioned, she was besieged and taken, and in 1251 became subject to the
Count of Provence.

In 1308 an event happened which had a very important bearing on the
subsequent history of the city. Pope Clement V., finding his position in
Italy insecure amidst the dreadful factions which rent that country,
judged it prudent to retire to Avignon, where he would be under the
protection (if also under the power) of the King of France. Avignon
thereafter continued for more than a century the Holy See, and during
that time seven Pontiffs and two Anti-Popes reigned in this new Rome.

As already narrated, Pope Clement VI. purchased the suzerainty of
Avignon and the control of the Venaissin from Jeanne, the Queen of
Naples and Countess of Provence, in 1348. Successive Popes used every
exertion to render the place secure, and especially built themselves,
on the Rocher-des-Doms, the immense Palace, which still forms the most
prominent feature of the town. The walls and fortifications were begun
in 1349, and finished in 1368.

When the Popes returned to Rome, Avignon was governed for them by a
Legate, who was displaced in favour of the Republic in 1797.

The Palace of the Popes is well situated for defence. It stands on the
top of an abrupt rock, round the base of which, on the north, sweeps the
deep and rapid current of the Rhone. The rock is perpendicular all round
the east and south sides, and is thus cut off from the town; while on
the west, where alone the site is approachable, the access is steep, and
is protected by the lofty and menacing walls of the Palace (_see_ Plan,
Fig. 49).

The Church of Notre Dame des Doms (A) occupies the summit of the rock,
and is of much older date than the Pope’s Palace. The porch of this
church (Fig. 47) is extremely interesting as an example of Provençal
architecture so strikingly ancient in character as to have been long
held to be a classic structure of the Lower Empire. It exactly resembles
a Roman design in its general idea, forming, as it were, a compartment
of a classic edifice, with a fluted Corinthian column at each side, and
an arched doorway or opening between. On the columns rests an
entablature, and the whole is crowned with a triangular pediment. The
Corinthian capitals, the cornices with egg and leaf enrichments, the
mouldings, imposts, &c., are all strikingly Roman in character. The
inner doorway to the church is similar. Mérimée points out that the size
of the stones used in this porch does not correspond with Roman work,
being smaller than Roman large work and larger than Roman small work.
Also that the stones of which the columns are composed are


wrought with tails bonded into the wall (alternating right and left),
which he regards as contrary to classic practice. The bull’s-eye of the
tympanum is also not Roman, but might be an addition. It is probable
that the sides of the porch were originally open.

The date of this porch has been the subject of much discussion; but it
seems most likely that it belongs to the early part of the eleventh
century. It was at that date that architecture began slowly to revive;
and this is probably one of the first efforts. Designers would then
naturally fall back on the classic forms, of which examples were
abundant around them. There are many instances in which the early
mediæval architecture can be traced to Roman structures found in their
vicinity. We have already met with one striking example at St
Paul-trois-Châteaux; and it was previously shewn how the gates of Autun
influenced the architecture of a large district, in which pilasters,
copied from those of the Porte d’Arroux, are universally used instead of
round shafts. We shall also presently see how the dome-topped campaniles
of Provence are also copied from Roman monuments, such as that at St
Remy; and how in almost all the churches throughout Provence Roman
columns, caps, cornices, mouldings, and enrichments are freely imitated.
But these imitations are generally incomplete, and invariably contain
defects or omissions, which shew that they are imperfect copies, and not
real Roman work. Such imperfections affect the details rather than the
general style. In the instance before us, it is stated that the cornice
of the antique part of the tower above the porch is copied exactly from
that of the attic of the Arch at Orange.

The interior of Notre Dame des Doms is an example of an early Provençal
church, but not a very favourable one, as it has been frequently altered
and added to. The choir is of 1671, and the lateral chapels are of the
fourteenth century, while Renaissance balconies in marble have been
added in front of the gallery, over the side aisles.

In the choir is a remarkable chair of the twelfth century, in white
marble, which was the seat of the Pope; and the tomb of John XXII. (Fig.
48), in one of the side chapels, is a fine specimen of the imported
Northern Gothic style.

The tower, partly destroyed in the fifteenth century, was repaired in
1430; and the colossal statue of the Virgin was added in 1859.

The walls of the interior were once decorated with frescoes by Simone
Memmi, but they are now almost obliterated; and the interior is so dark,
that the few fragments remaining cannot be seen.

[Illustration: FIG. 48.


Originally the church consisted of a single nave, without aisles,
vaulted with a pointed barrel-vault, strengthened with transverse ribs
and internal buttresses, being, as above explained, one of the
arrangements common in Provence. The east end terminated with an apse,
the bay in front of which is vaulted in a remarkable manner. A dome is
frequently introduced in this position; but in the present instance,
owing to the width of the bay being small compared to the width of the
church, a square space on which to raise the dome could not readily be
obtained. To

Viollet-le-Duc’s _Dictionnaire_.]

accomplish this, successive arches are thrown across between the
transverse ribs, rising with the curve of the latter and advancing over
one another, till the central space becomes a square, on which a
lantern, with eight Roman-looking columns, is raised and supports an
octagonal dome above.

In the twelfth century the rock, on the summit of which stands the
Church of Notre Dame des Doms, was covered with habitations and gardens,
which were dominated by the ancient castles of the Podestà and the
Bishop. Pope Clement V., on his first arrival at Avignon, occupied the
Convent of the Dominicans; and John XXII., in 1316, lived in the
building which existed in his day where the Pope’s Palace now stands. In
1336 Benedict XII. demolished what his predecessors had erected, and
rebuilt the northern part of the existing Palace (Plan, Fig. 49--from
Viollet-le-Duc’s _Dictionnaire_), being the side next the Cathedral, on
a grand scale, from plans by the architect Pierre Obreri. His works
terminated at the “Tour de Trouillas,” or the great donjon (B) at the
N.-E. angle, and is marked by another immense tower (B) at the west end
of the range, called the “Tour de la Gache.”

The south face (E) of the northern courtyard, and the southern walls of
enceinte were constructed under Pope Clement VI. It was also he who
acquired the suzerainty of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin from Queen
Jeanne in 1347.

The southern front of the palace was completed by Pope Innocent VI.,
including the great Chapel, or Consistorial Hall (G), a building about
170 feet long by 50 feet wide, roofed with pointed and groined vaulting.
The great tower (H) adjoining to the south contains the sacristy, &c.
Urban V. levelled the space which forms the _Cour d’honneur_ (D),
excavating the platform out of the solid rock. Owing to the slope of
the ground, this court is about one story lower than the older northern

The same pontiff further erected the east wing, and added the seventh
tower, called the Tour des Anges. Gregory XI. left Avignon and returned
to Rome in 1376.

Avignon was thus occupied by the Popes from 1316 to 1376, or sixty
years, during which time there reigned six Popes. They were all Southern
Frenchmen, a circumstance which probably had considerable influence on
the style of the architecture, which is undoubtedly quite that of
Provence, and has small affinity with the style then in use in Italy,
notwithstanding that the name of the architect Obreri sounds somewhat
Italian. The construction, mouldings, vaults, and defences, are all in
the style of Southern French work, and do not recall Italian features.
The only Italian details are the paintings on the vaults and ceilings,
said to have been executed by Giotto and Simone Memmi. Of these there
are unfortunately only a few fragments left. The vault of the great
Consistorial Hall was completely painted, but the building having been
cut up into several floors in order to convert it into barracks (in
which occupation it still remains), the faded and damaged condition of
the paintings can well be conceived.

The Anti-Popes Clement VII. and Benedict XIII. occupied Avignon from
1379 to 1403. The latter was besieged in the palace by General Boucicaut
in 1398. The Pope fled, but the palace did not capitulate till 1411. The
buildings suffered severely from fires which occurred in 1378 and 1413.

The principal entrance to the palace is on the west side, and opens from
an esplanade which commands the surroundings, and was formerly divided
into several baileys or courts, with walls, towers and gates. The
entrance gateway was defended with two portcullises, with folding gates
and double machicolations. It had originally an advanced work in front,
which was replaced in the seventeenth century by a crenellated wall. The
appearance of the building, whether it be regarded externally or from
the courtyard, is grand and imposing from its vastness and height. The
towers and walls are, even in their present crippled condition, most
commanding from their magnitude, the former being about 150 feet in
height, while the walls rise to about 100 feet. On entering the great
courtyard (D), evidence presents itself of the difference in level
between it and the older northern court (C), in the rugged foundation on
which the south front of the latter stands, the rock having been cut
down, as above mentioned, to the level of the lower court. The frowning
machicolations of that side, which look somewhat out of place in a _Cour
d’honneur_, are explained when we remember that under Pope Benedict XII.
this formed the exterior of the south face of the palace, before the
south courtyard was added by Clement VI. and Innocent VI.

The most striking feature of the architectural details of the palace is
the machicolations of the parapet. These consist in long grooves opening
between the inside of the parapet and the external face of the walls,
the parapet being carried on pointed arches thrown between buttresses
which project at intervals (_see_ Fig. 47). This form of machicolation
(which we have already observed at Cruas) is much used in the southern
provinces, perhaps from the prevalence of such works in the churches,
most of which were fortified, and where the buttresses which existed for
other reasons, were found convenient, and were thus utilized. These long
machicolations have the advantage of allowing beams, and other lengthy
missiles to be thrown down on assailants; but the frequently recurring
broad buttresses or wall spaces, which have no defence immediately over
them, are a drawback.

In the North these long grooves are very rarely used; a continuous
series of machicolations between bold corbels being the form almost
invariably preferred. At Avignon the towers were crowned with the latter
kind of defences, as the relics of the broken corbels still shew.

The _Cour d’honneur_ communicates freely with every part of the
structure. To the right, on entering, is observed the arcade which
contains the great staircase leading in two flights to the principal
apartments on the first floor. Two posterns open from this courtyard,
and these are carefully masked in the re-entering angles by buttresses,
and defended with a portcullis. A staircase also leads to the upper

The most ancient part of the palace is the Tour de Trouillas, at the
north-east angle, an immense mass which towers above all the other works
and formed the Keep.

The Pope’s apartments in the time of Urban V. were on the first floor of
the buildings surrounding the _Cour d’honneur_. From the landing of the
great staircase, which gave access to the principal apartments, passages
were carried round the building in the thickness of the wall next the
courtyard. These were carefully constructed and finished with pointed
and groined vaults. They communicated with the various rooms, and also
with several staircases which connected the different floors, and led to
the defences on the roof. The apartments of the south court were also
joined to those of the north court by these passages. The great kitchen
was situated on the first floor of the building next the keep. It has a
high pyramidal vault, which gives it a mysterious look, and perhaps led
to its being long regarded as the chamber of torture and hall of
execution of the Inquisitors. The banqueting hall was in the north
court, near the kitchen and the keep. The smaller tower (M) in the
centre of the east flank (now called the Salle de la Justice) contains
in two floors some admirable paintings of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, which are in a fair state of preservation.

The entire building is of the most massive masonry--the whole of the
basement being vaulted and constructed so as to defy destruction.

Commencing with the great keep at the north-east angle, and proceeding
round the palace by the west, south, and east, the towers occur in the
following order:--north-east--Tour de Trouillas; north-west--Tour de la
Gache, followed by the Tour de St Jean, Tour de St Laurent, Tour de la
Cloche, Tour des Anges, Tour d’Estrapade.

One circumstance specially noticeable about the design of the palace of
the Popes is the entire absence of effort after symmetry in the
elevations, such as is generally aimed at in the case of the large
palaces or halls of the late Gothic and Renaissance periods. Here the
various blocks of building are simply placed where they are required,
and the different levels and irregularities of the ground are made
available in the most natural and convenient manner, with the result
that the effect is delightfully varied and impressive from every point
of view, and at every turning.[A]

The rock on the north side is almost perpendicular, but here also the
access had a defence called the Tour St Martin, which is now removed.
From this point slopes led down to the gate of the châtelet which
protected the bridge over the Rhone.

The walls, with their gateways, which still encircle Avignon, were
erected between 1348 and 1364 during the residence of the Popes in the
city. These walls (Fig. 50.) do not represent a very important defensive
work, even for the time when erected; they are neither sufficiently high
nor are the towers of suitable construction for a really strong
enceinte. They are rather an outwork in front of the palace, which was
itself a citadel of impregnable strength.

[Illustration: FIG. 50. PORTION OF CITY WALL, AVIGNON. _West side._]

At Avignon, as in the South generally, and also in Italy the towers are
square, and they are constructed with the side next the town left open,
so that in case of being taken by an enemy they could not be held
against the inhabitants. They are not built, as the towers on the walls
of enceinte of the great castles were, of size and strength enough to
stand an independent siege.

The large square towers occur at pretty wide intervals, and intermediate
smaller turrets are occasionally introduced to strengthen the curtains
between them. These are composed of two plain buttresses with a pointed
arch thrown across between them near the parapet, behind which there is
a long machicolation on the same principle as those of the Palace.

At the base of the wall, and between these buttresses, a bold slope or
talus is introduced, with the double object of thickening the wall at a
point where it might be attacked by sap, and also to intercept any stone
balls or other projectiles thrown from the machicolation, and cause them
to ricochet obliquely against “cats” or other engines brought up to
assail the wall. The talus would of course be designed in every case of
such a slope as might be best suited for defence, according to the
nature of the lower part of the fortifications, whether a ditch or a
rocky escarpment. The walls of Avignon were entirely surrounded with a
wet ditch above 20 yards wide, and 15 feet deep below the crest of the
counter-scarp. The ditch was supplied with water from the Rhone, the
Sorgue, and branches of the Durance. Of the two last rivers the former
joins the Rhone above and the latter below Avignon. The bottom of the
ditch was paved to enable the sludge to be cleaned out. The ditches have
now been completely filled up, and the spaces outside the walls
converted into a public promenade.

The towers, as above remarked, are for the most part of the square form
generally adopted in the South, as distinguished from the round form
which was usually employed in the North. The latter was considered
safer, from its not presenting, like the square towers, any flat surface
unprotected by the adjoining curtains against which miners could operate
in comparative safety.

The parapet is carried on very bold corbels of four and five courses in
height, with pointed arches between them. The corbels at the angles
being set diagonally, have a rather greater projection than those at
right angles to the wall, and have therefore an additional course in the
height. The arches adjoining the angles would naturally be wider than
those on the faces, but to obviate this the corbels next the angle ones
are slightly inclined towards them, so as to equalise the width of the
openings. This is the general rule in all square towers of this

The gates of the town are simple arched passages passing through square
towers, being a type of gateway of frequent occurrence in the South.
They are not protected with flanking towers or angle turrets, such as
are invariably employed for greater security in the North. The
gate-towers were defended with châtelets on the outer side of the fosse.
Of these, the “Porte St Lazare” on the north-east side of the town is
the best preserved. This had a forework attached to the gateway which
protected the drawbridge. The latter descended on a landing which formed
a detached square barbican, fortified with a parapet and angle turrets,
and surrounded with a ditch. From this outwork another drawbridge in one
of the sides, and therefore at right angles to the main gateway, gave
access to the exterior roadway. This gateway was destroyed by an
inundation of the Durance in 1358, and was reconstructed in 1364 by
Pierre Obreri, the architect of the Papal Palace.

The gateways of Provence, such as those of Orange and Marseilles, were
usually similar in design to those of Avignon. At Carpentras and Aigues
Mortes examples still exist of gateways pierced in square towers without
flanking towers or turrets.

PONT ST BÉNEZET.--The two opposite banks of the Rhone were generally in
ancient times in the hands of different superiors. Thus, in the
fourteenth century, while the Comtat Venaissin on the east belonged to
the Popes, the opposite side of the river formed part of the kingdom of
France. In order to protect the different domains castles were erected
at both ends of the bridge which connected them.


The bridge of St Bénezet (Fig. 51), which united Provence with the west
side of the Rhone opposite Avignon, is said to have been built by Petit
Benôit, a shepherd of the Vivarais, who believed himself inspired with a
mission to carry out this great project. Benôit became the chief of a
society of “hospitaliers,” instituted in the twelfth century for the
purpose of building bridges, establishing ferries, and assisting
travellers. He had already constructed a bridge at Maupas, when in 1178
he instigated the great undertaking of bridging the Rhone opposite
Avignon. This he began in 1178 and finished in 1188. The bridge was
almost 1000 yards long, and the roadway is about 16 feet wide including
the parapets. Like the Pont St Esprit it forms an obtuse angle against
the stream, and the centre rests on a flat island in the middle of the
river. There were 18 arches in all, including those on the island. The
piers are of a long low form, and their sharp beaks project a
considerable way up and down the river beyond the bridge, giving the
whole, as seen from the heights of the Rocher des Doms, very much the
appearance of a bridge of boats. The alternate piers seem to have had
recesses for allowing vehicles to pass, and all had archways above the
level of the beaks to allow the passage of the flood waters of the Rhone
which are sometimes excessive. The arches are slightly elliptical, or
egg-shaped, which renders them stronger at the apex than the semicircle
would be. They are constructed with four rings of arch stones in the
width of the bridge, formed with carefully cut voussoirs--each ring
being separate from, but placed close alongside of, the others. This
idea was probably derived from the system adopted in the Roman Pont du
Gard (as above explained), which is not far distant.

The bridge was cut for defensive purposes in 1395, during the siege of
Avignon. It was probably thereafter imperfectly repaired, and in 1602
three of the arches fell; in 1633 two other arches gave way, and in 1670
two more. It is now reduced to the three arches adjoining the châtelet
on the side next the town.

On the pier nearest the land still stands a picturesque chapel dedicated
to St Nicholas (Fig. 51). The floor of this chapel being on the level of
the top of the pier was considerably below that of the roadway of the
bridge; but the building was so contrived that passengers on the bridge
could see down through an arcade into the interior. Access to the chapel
was provided by steps corbelled out on one side of the bridge. At a
later period the structure has been raised and modernised.

[Illustration: FIG. 52. TOWER OF VILLENEUVE.]

The passage of the bridge was defended on the right bank by the TOWER OF
VILLENEUVE, (Fig. 52), erected in 1307 by Philippe le Bel, under his
architect Rodolphe de Meruel.

Like most of the work of this period, the walls are faced with stones
square-dressed, but with the surface left rough. The tower is finished
with the usual bold corbelling, machicolations, and angle bartizans, and
is surmounted by a lofty watch-turret. It will be observed that the
style of this French tower is that of the North, and differs materially
from the towers of Avignon above described.


In order more completely to protect this part of his domains, Philip
constructed, in the end of the thirteenth century, the important
fortress of ST ANDRÉ, immediately opposite Avignon, and close to the
small town of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon. This citadel enclosed a large
space occupying the summit of a rocky hill, and comprised numerous
buildings, including a monastery. The extent of the fortress may be
conceived, when it is noticed that enclosed within the walls, in
different parts of the large space of vacant ground, may still be seen a
convent, with its gardens, and a small town. A portion of the more
ancient buildings still survives in the form of a small oratory (Fig.
53) of the twelfth century, with polygonal apse, having a circular
arcade, and a cornice containing modillions after the classic manner.
This great castle had but one gate, which opened to the southwards, on
the only accessible side of the site. That gateway (Fig. 54) is a
splendid specimen of military architecture, having a vaulted archway 13
feet in width, with finely moulded jambs and arches (Fig. 56). On either
side is a large round tower, crowned with a machicolated parapet (Fig.
55). The vaulted passage through the gatehouse was defended at each end
with a portcullis and folding gates. The apartments in the towers with
round fronts, are large and finely vaulted with pointed groins, and the
floors are all paved. The platform on the top is also of pavement
resting on the vault below. The whole building is thus put out of danger
from fire.


_Plan of Entrance Gateway._]

_Exterior of Gateway._]

[Illustration: FIG. 56. CASTLE OF ST ANDRÉ. _Interior of Gateway._]

[Illustration: FIG. 57. CASTLE OF ST ANDRÉ. _Fireplace in Gatehouse._]

Over the central gateway, and above the towers, rises a large square
turret, which was also vaulted and flagged on the top, and provided with
a machicolated parapet. This platform, as well as those over the towers,
were thus well adapted to receive the large catapults, mangonels, and
other military engines in use in the fourteenth century. The diagonal
walls which fill up the angles next the walls of enceinte contained
staircases, &c., and are set at an angle so as to present a front
against assailants approaching from the flanks. The round wells of the
staircases were continued above the roof with round enclosures, which
were visible above the parapet in the form of crenellated turrets.

[Illustration: FIG. 58. CASTLE OF ST ANDRÉ. _Walls of Enceinte._]

The rooms in the gatehouse are well finished in ashlar work, and have
ornamental chimneys, of which Fig. 57 is a specimen. That over the
entrance gateway contained the apparatus for working the portcullis.
These chambers have been used as political prisons at various times; and
the unfortunate occupants have relieved their weary hours by carving all
kinds of memoranda on the walls and floor, amongst which religious
symbols and pictures mingle with armorial bearings, initials, and scraps
of verse. These carvings are often well executed, and they form a very
interesting, although melancholy exhibition.

[Illustration: FIG. 59. GUARD-ROOM ON WALL, ST ANDRÉ.]

Some remains of the outer barbican which protected the approach to the
gateway may still be observed.

The walls of enceinte of St André present some interesting and
picturesque details. The great round tower at the south-west angle (Fig.
57) and the plain curtains adjoining it are very characteristic of the
period, and have more of a Northern than a Southern aspect.


The interior of the walls, with their parapets and parapet walks, are in
good preservation, and form fine illustrations of these features. In the
long stretch of the north wall, in which there are no towers to protect
the parapet walks or to contain guard-rooms or posts for reliefs of
sentries, small chambers were formed at intervals for that purpose on
the top of the wall (Figs. 59, 60). These now present a very quaint
appearance, and are suggestive of many a cold and weary watch. They were
only large enough to hold half-a-dozen men, but they constituted points
which guarded the circulation on the “chemins de rondes.” They were
provided with a fireplace and loops to the exterior, and had little
spy-holes looking along the parapet walks. The latter are widened
towards the interior of the walls with corbelling, and follow the slope
of the ground, with steps at intervals.


There are several interesting architectural relics in the town of
VILLENEUVE. The church, a Gothic edifice of the fourteenth century, is
designed on the Southern plan of a wide hall, but is executed with
Gothic details, and pointed vaulting. The tower at the east end (Fig.
61) is a good specimen of the massive fortified type of church towers so
common in the South.

From the ramparts of the castle the ruins of the “CHARTREUSE DU VAL DE
BÉNÉDICTION” are seen in the valley beneath. This monastery was founded
in 1356 by Pope Innocent VI., who was buried there, and over whose grave
a splendid monument in the style of the Northern Gothic was erected.
After being sadly neglected and abused for many years, it has now been
removed to the chapel of the hospital.

The CHURCHES OF AVIGNON are mostly on the Southern plan of a single wide
nave with internal buttresses containing chapels between them, while the
ornamental features are almost all derived from Northern Gothic. They
are all of the fourteenth century, and that of St Pierre has an
elaborate Gothic front in the flamboyant style practised in the North in
the sixteenth century.

The “beffroi” of the ancient Hôtel-de-Ville, the emblem of the city’s
independence, built in 1354, still exists, but is so surrounded with
buildings as not to be properly visible.

In the vicinity of Avignon, or at least more easily got at from there
than any other comfortable resting-place, are many most interesting
examples of early Provençal architecture. In the immediate neighbourhood
are the ruins of the ABBEY OF ST RUF--situated about one mile to the
southward. The church has a good apse, and is partly fortified. Two
miles to the north-east of the town are found the remains of the PRIORY
OF ST VÉRAN, founded 1140, and still containing some traces of early
paintings. Both are figured by Révoil.

At a greater distance from Avignon many more very primitive and
picturesque illustrations of early Provençal architecture are to be met
with. Of these several may be visited together as they lie in the same
easterly direction, such as Carpentras, Pernes, and Le Thor.

VAISON is also a place of considerable architectural interest, but it is
somewhat remote from Avignon, and may be best reached from Orange. In
the days of the Empire the town of Vaison, which was of great antiquity,
stood on the plain of the river Ouvèze, where the soil still abounds in
relics of Roman sculpture, tiles, mosaics, hypocausts, and other works.
Some good statues have also been found and conveyed to the museum at
Avignon. The cathedral was originally founded at an early period in the
same low situation, but the town being exposed to frequent assaults, the
inhabitants found it necessary in the twelfth century to remove their
houses to a securer site on the hill above. The two divisions of the
town are united by a Roman bridge of one span of over sixty feet, which
is built, with the usual solidity, across the Ouvèze.

Connected with the old town are two very ancient churches, St Quinin,
and the cathedral, which have survived the many attacks of the
Barbarians, and the final demolition of the town by the Count of
Toulouse in the twelfth century. These churches are illustrated by
Révoil, and shew in all their details a close adherence to Roman design.
St Quinin is so very Roman in many of its features that it has been
frequently supposed to belong to the sixth century, but from the
ascertained dates of many parallel instances it is now regarded as a
remarkable example of the mode in which the builders of the eleventh
century copied the ornament of the Roman works they saw around them,
while they at the same time added features of their own invention. Thus
the caps are mainly Corinthian in design, but have some figures mixed
with the acanthus leaves, in the manner of the Romance “storied”
carvings, the foliage being well executed after an existing pattern, and
the figures rudely cut according to the original design of the period.

The plan of St Quinin is very remarkable, the apse being triangular
externally, and semi-circular, or rather triapsal, internally. The
vaults are of the usual pointed wagon form.

The cathedral is a church with central nave and side aisles, terminated
with three apses. The central one is semi-circular in the interior, but
is enclosed in a square envelope on the exterior. The latter is an
addition made at a period subsequent to the original construction, and
may have been in connection with defence; an arrangement of which we
shall find similar examples at Fréjus and elsewhere. The central nave is
roofed with a pointed wagon vault, and the side aisles with truncated
wagon vaults, having a long curve towards the outer wall, and a short
one towards the nave, and thus acting as flying buttresses against the
latter. The cloister and tower, or campanile, are noteworthy; and a very
rare feature is here found in the original bishop’s throne, which is
preserved in the centre of the apse, as at Torcello and other primitive
churches. From historical data, it seems most probable that this
cathedral existed in its present state before the destruction of the
town in 1160; and as the square envelope of the apse and the vaulting
are probably a restoration of a still earlier structure, it seems likely
that the oldest portions belong to the previous century.

After the destruction of the Gallo-Roman town, the bishop built himself
a castle on the summit of the hill on which the new town was erected.
The chapel of the castle served as his cathedral till the fifteenth
century, when the existing church of the new town was constructed in
lieu of the chapel, which was found too small for the growing

The excursion to CARPENTRAS may be made by rail, and from that point the
ancient architectural remains at Pernes and Venasque may be easily
reached. At Carpentras, besides the Roman arch already described, the
church of St Siffrein and the Gothic gateways of the town are well worth

VENASQUE contains a very ancient baptistery covered with a dome, and
ornamented with marble columns and classic capitals. The whole structure
is believed to belong to the Roman period.

At PERNES there is a church partly Romanesque and partly Gothic, with a
cupola over the choir supported on pendentives, and a crypt of the
eleventh century.

LE THOR, a small village about 12 miles east from Avignon on the road to
Aix, contains, in the church of Ste-Marie-au-lac, a most interesting
example of the mixture of Roman and Romanesque features in Provençal
architecture. The nave consists of a single hall roofed with a tunnel
vault, strengthened with transverse ribs, except the bay next the apse,
which is covered with an octagonal dome, formerly surmounted by a
belfry. The west façade and porch are very fine, and bear a striking
resemblance in style to Notre Dame des Doms and St Gabriel.

CAVAILLON, besides its Roman remains, contains an interesting early
church. It consists of a single nave finished with an apse, which is
semi-circular within and hexagonal externally.

The original side aisles have been converted into chapels, and the
pointed tunnel vault is carried on great piers, with twisted or fluted
shafts in the angles towards the top (as at Aix and Arles).

Amidst the marshes, about half way between Cavaillon and St Remy, is
found the small church of Molléges, formerly the chapel of a Cistertian
monastery. The belfry of this church (Fig. 62) is cited by
Viollet-le-Duc as a striking example of the influence of Roman
monuments, such as that at St Remy, on the design of some of the
Provençal steeples. It is certainly remarkable that this telling
illustration should occur so near the original (see p. 49).

In approaching TARASCON, we again observe the opposite banks of the
Rhone occupied by two castles representing the dominating powers on
either side. The massive rock on the right bank, crowned with high
crenellated walls and lofty keep, is the royal castle of Beaucaire; and
the lower but more solid looking pile close to the left bank of the
Rhone is the castle said to have been finished and occupied by King René
of Provence.

[Illustration: 62. LE CLOCHER DE MOLLÉGES.

from Viollet-le-Duc’s _Dictionnaire_.)]

The history of Tarascon is similar to that of the other towns on the
Rhone. Originally a market, established by the Greek colonists of
Marseilles, it was converted into a Roman settlement, and retained some
of its municipal institutions and liberties under the suzerainty of the
Counts of Provence, till they were gradually lost under the feudal
system. The church of St Martha, originally built in the twelfth
century, on the ruins of a Roman temple, was

[Illustration: FIG. 63. STE MARTHE, TARASCON.]

reconstructed in the fourteenth century, and is of the usual Southern
plan with Gothic details.

The south porch of the twelfth century church however still exists, and
is a very beautiful example of the Provençal style (Fig. 63). In general
character it corresponds with the finer instances we shall meet with at
Arles and St Gilles, although on a reduced scale. The round and
octagonal nook shafts have caps partly copied from the Corinthian, and
partly carved with Romanesque figures. The numerous fine mouldings of
the arch contain a curious mixture of Roman and Mediæval ornaments, in
the classic egg combined with the Gothic dog-tooth enrichments. The
small arcade above, with alternate fluted pilasters and round shafts,
all finished with enriched caps resting on a cornice supported on carved
heads, have an advanced Romanesque character.

This church is dedicated to Martha, the sister of Mary, who along with
Lazarus and other primitive saints, are traditionally supposed to have
converted the south of Gaul to Christianity. Martha is said to have
endeared herself to the people of Tarascon, by delivering the town from
the power of a hideous dragon, which feat is celebrated annually by an
extraordinary procession, in which the _Tarasque_ (a pantomimic dragon)
makes a great figure, followed by representatives of all the members of
the holy family, and attended by multitudes of people.

The Castle of Tarascon (Fig. 64) stands on a rock which rises but little
above the level of the river. Begun by Louis II. of Provence in the
fourteenth century, it was finished by King René in the fifteenth. It is
now a prison, so that the interior is not easily accessible.

There is here a curious mixture of the Southern square tower with the
Northern round form, while the smaller details are all of the Northern
Gothic style. The general

[Illustration: FIG. 64. CASTLE OF TARASCON.]

effect is fine, although somewhat heavy, and the details of the entrance
gateway, with its separate drawbridges for carriages and foot
passengers, and its ornamental parapet and corbels are particularly

[Illustration: FIG. 65. HOUSE IN TARASCON.]

Tarascon has some good bits of architecture in its narrow but somewhat
picturesque streets,--the winding stair and projecting turret being very
effectively treated in one instance (Fig. 65). The gateway of the town
(Fig. 66) on the east is also simple but good, and quite Northern in
style, having two round towers flanking the entrance archway.

BEAUCAIRE.--Crossing the bridge of boats from the castle of King René,
the bare limestone rock surmounted by the Castle of Beaucaire meets the
view (Fig. 68). This castle was anciently a possession of the Counts of
Toulouse. During the Albigensian crusade it was besieged by Simon de
Montfort, and an interesting account of the siege operations _by
himself_ still exists. While engaged in the siege he was attacked and
defeated by Raymond VII. (1216). Although now a complete ruin
internally, the walls exist all round and shew the great extent of the
fortress (Fig. 67). The outer enceinte, and its long approach by wide
flights of stairs from the west, can still be traced, as also the
outline of the outer and inner bailey. The gateway of the latter, in a
fragmentary state, still survives. The immense strength of the fortalice
is distinctly apparent, owing to the height and steepness of the naked
rock on which it stands (Fig. 69).

[Illustration: FIG. 66. GATE OF TARASCON.]

Almost the only defensive building in fair preservation


is the remarkable donjon which rises high above the walls. This tower
(Fig. 70) is of the very unusual form of a triangle in plan; that shape
having probably been adopted in order to fit a projecting spur of the
rock. The basement floor (not accessible) was doubtless entered from a
trap door in the floor above. It has no openings to the outside. The

[Illustration: FIG. 68. CASTLE OF BEAUCAIRE FROM S.-E.]

[Illustration: FIG. 69. CASTLE OF BEAUCAIRE FROM N.-E.]

to the first floor is straight and is carried up in the thickness of the
wall. The first floor forms a triangular hall with groined vault of
peculiar form, has a fireplace in one angle, and is lighted with small
loops. From this floor the staircase is carried up as a wheel in the
south angle of the walls. The top floor has a segmental vault which
carries the flat stone roof. This is formed of stone flags all
overlapped and laid in regular courses, each slightly higher than the
others as they rise towards the centre.

[Illustration: FIG. 70. PLANS OF THE KEEP.]

The staircase turret stands independently upon this platform, and has a
sloping stone roof. The parapet is very perfect, and is, as usual,
projected on bold corbels (Fig. 71). Owing to the sharp angles of the
plan, the inclination of the corbels near the angles towards one another
(in order to keep the arches over them as equal as possible) is much
greater than usual--more marked than that, for instance, of the corbels
at Avignon (above

[Illustration: FIG. 71. CASTLE OF BEAUCAIRE. (_Interior of

referred to, p. 150). The corbels at the angles which are right angles
have the usual additional courses in the height. A bold ovolo moulding
runs round beneath the corbel-course, the object of which is to keep the
inner face of the machicolation well clear of the front of the wall, so
that stone balls or other missiles thrown down would run no risk of
being diverted from their course by striking any of the projections of
the rough-faced masonry with which the tower is built. The parapet is
provided with large embrasures, and the merlons or spaces between are
pierced with loops of the crossed shape adopted in the fourteenth

The parapet wall partly carried on corbels is seen winding round the
summit of the wall of enceinte (_see_ Fig. 71), with steps where the
heights vary; and in the south-east angle of the inner courtyard
adjoining the ruined gateway from the outer to the inner courtyard,
there still stands the very interesting twelfth century chapel of the

This oratory is generally similar in design to the one within the castle
at Villeneuve (_ante_, Fig. 52). The doorway at the west end is
round-arched, and contains details which are remarkably characteristic
of Provence, the purely Roman egg and leaf enrichments being mixed with
dogtooth and other ornaments of Romanesque design. The small square
tower which crowns the west gable is peculiar, being more in the style
of the belfries further North and East, than those of the South.

From Tarascon a branch railway runs to St Remy (the Roman ruins at which
have already been described), and from that point the strange old town
of Les Baux may be reached.

LES BAUX.--This ancient but decayed fortress is one of the most
picturesque and remarkable objects in the district. It is situated on
the top of a rocky height (Fig. 72), not far from where the Alpines
begin to rise from the plain of the Rhone, over which it has a
commanding and extensive prospect. Formerly a considerable fortified
town, it is now deserted, save by a few wanderers and beggars, and
presents the melancholy appearance of an abandoned city, of which the
empty houses are fast falling into ruin. This, however, as we shall
hereafter notice, is by no means a solitary example of a Southern town
overtaken by a similar fate. But Les Baux has this striking peculiarity
to distinguish it, that it is a city _not built_, but excavated out of
the rock. It is not uncommon to find houses cut in the rock in several
parts of France, where a dry and soft formation renders such an
operation suitable, and, as is well known, rock-hewn temples, tombs, and
other buildings abound in Egypt, Syria, and the East. Possibly some of
the great chiefs of the family of Les Baux (who were distinguished
Crusaders) may have adopted the idea from examples they saw in the Holy

[Illustration: FIG. 72. FORTRESS OF LES BAUX.]

The town is now almost a heap of ruins, although some façades of good
Renaissance design still adorn the silent streets.

The castle, which covered a large part of the site, had walls composed
of solid rock, the superfluous material being cut away both on the
inside and outside. In some cases the rock, which is a soft limestone,
and decays by exposure, has given way quicker on one side than another,
with the result that large masses of “wall” have fallen either flat on
the ground, or in solid blocks down the cliffs. In other instances
towers have toppled against towers, like trees cut at the foot,
producing a most confused and overturned appearance, as if the result of
siege or earthquake.

With respect to the architecture, says Mérimée, “The exceptional
situation of the town of Les Baux has given rise to a style which
scarcely furnishes any indications of the ancient epochs of its history;
however, I have seen nothing which appeared to be older than the twelfth
century. A church in fair condition seems to be of the epoch of
transition. In the right aisle are seen a cornice and transverse arch
enriched with dog-tooth and zig-zag ornaments. The rest of the church
has been repaired in the fifteenth century, and several very elegant
chapels have been added to it.” This church is illustrated by Révoil.

On the south side of the town a bas-relief of three large figures and
part of a Latin inscription, carved to a great scale on the face of the
rock, have given rise to some extraordinary theories. The figures are
called Les Trois Maries or Tremaié. Many observers regard them as Roman,
and suppose that they represent Marius (the conqueror of this district,
about 100 B.C.), his wife Julia, and a Syrian prophetess or sorceress
called Martha, who accompanied the great leader and foretold his
victories. But M. Lenthéric, in his interesting work on the _Villes
Mortes de la Méditerranée_, already referred to, takes an entirely
different view. He contends that these figures represent Lazarus and the
two Marys; and considers the existence of the church dedicated to the
“Saintes Maries” (which we shall reach by and bye), together with the
above figures and inscription, and the traditions of the country,
sufficient proof that the family of Lazarus and their companions were
really the first missionaries of Christianity in Southern Gaul.

There is another large inscription and two more figures on another rock,
but they are too much decayed to be accurately interpreted.

There seems to be no doubt that a town has existed here from the time of
the Romans, although no Roman architecture can now be detected. In
mediæval times it was the home of the famous family of Les Baux, whose
history (written by Jules Canonge) comprises much of that of Provence
from the tenth to the fifteenth century.

In the tenth century Les Baux was already one of the largest towns of
the country, and was for long the seat of a famous Court of Love. In the
thirteenth century the “Seigneurs des Baux” possessed seventy-nine free
burghs. They were amongst the most powerful and boldest barons of the
land, and acquired great titles and possessions, being in turn the
Princes of Orange, the Counts of Provence, Kings of Arles and Vienne,
and Emperors of Constantinople. They commanded fleets and armies, and
became podestàs of the free towns. They also distinguished themselves as
Crusaders, and joined Charles of Anjou in his conquest of Naples. In
following the history of this distinguished race one gets a more lively
and impressive idea of the life and manners of those stirring mediæval
times in Provence than can easily be found elsewhere.

But the family lost their prestige when Barral des Baux, podestà of the
free town of Arles, betrayed the republic to Charles of Anjou. Les Baux
from this time declined, and the castle was finally dismantled by the
Duke of Guise; the town was abandoned and the fine mansions fell into
decay, a process which is still in progress, both by the action of
nature and at the hands of the peasantry of the neighbourhood. Les Baux
may be got at either from Fontvieille (famous for its quarries of “Arles
stone”), to which there is a railway from Arles, or from Tarascon, in
either case driving to Paradou (six kilometres from Fontvieille, and
sixteen from Tarascon), or from St Remy.

[Illustration: FIG. 73. CHURCH OF ST GABRIEL. _West Front._ (From

A few miles from Tarascon, on the road to Arles, the ancient church of
ST GABRIEL rises amidst the ruins of the still more ancient Roman city
of Ernaginum. A large number of tombs, similar to those we shall
presently meet with at the Alyscamps near Arles, but of the plainest
form, are here found along with fragments of inscriptions, statues, and
other antique relics. The church of St Gabriel, like so many others in
Provence, comprises in its design a mixture of classic and Romanesque
features. The west front (Fig. 73) is one of the finest of its kind. The
entrance doorway, with its fluted column, its imitated Corinthian
capitals, and high pitched pediment full of classic enrichments, might
easily pass for a structure of the Lower Empire. The bas-reliefs
represent the creation and the visit of the angel Gabriel to the
Virgin,--the personages being identified by their names inscribed beside
them. The upper part of the front exhibits a great archivolt springing
from imposts on each side of the portal, above which is a straight
cornice supporting a second pointed archivolt. The latter contains a
small circular window richly ornamented with classic leaves and other
enrichments, and having the symbols of the four evangelists placed
around it. The church has a single nave, covered with a pointed tunnel
vault. The buttresses are more pronounced than usual, which may indicate
a transition towards the later Provençal style, and seem to point to the
date of the building being late in the twelfth century, notwithstanding
its very classic features.

A short journey now brings us to ARLES, the ancient capital of the
province, and one of the chief architectural centres of our district,
both as regards classic and mediæval art.

The principal mediæval edifice of Arles is the church of St Trophime,
the patron saint. It is a large and important structure, containing
specimens of all the peculiarities of Provençal architecture on a
complete and extensive scale. The nave of the church was erected in the
twelfth century, and is quite distinct in character from the beautiful
western porch and the splendid cloisters which belong to the older and
more ornate period of Provençal architecture. The choir and apse were
rebuilt in 1430 in the Northern style. The nave (Fig. 74), like that of
all the Southern churches of the same age is very simple internally.
This is the first fine example we have met with of the second period of
Provençal architecture--in which the plain and rigid Cistertian style
superseded the earlier and richer architecture of which we have observed
so many remarkable specimens. Thus the piers (Fig. 74) are merely square
blocks of masonry, with flat projections or pilasters on each face,
carried up to receive the small mouldings or imposts from which spring
the wall arches on each side of the nave (between it and the side
aisles), and the transverse arches, which strengthen the pointed barrel
vault of the central nave. The latter consist of two rings, the inner
arch springing from the main pier, and the side orders from fluted
classic-looking columns introduced in the angles of the main piers to
receive them. The side aisles are very narrow and lofty, and are roofed
with one half of a pointed vault thrown as an abutment against the upper
part of the nave wall. The nave windows are flanked by twisted columns
with Romanesque caps. The pointed arches, resting on four strong piers,
which carry the central tower, are seen at the crossing of the church,
with a lofty plain wall forming the lower part of the tower, resting
upon them. This partially cuts off the view of the choir from the nave,
and indicates that the vault of the original church was much lower than
that of the existing nave, the roof of which is nearly twice the height
of the arches of the crossing. The latter, forming the support of the
tower, could not be removed when the nave was rebuilt and enlarged. The
tower (Fig. 11) rises high above the roof

[Illustration: FIG. 74. ST TROPHIME, ARLES.]

of the church. It extends to three full storys and an attic crowned with
a pointed roof having a very flat slope. The two lower storys have the
arcaded Romanesque ornament so common in Lombardy and Germany, while the
upper story shews three Corinthian pilasters on each side. The tower is
heavy, but recalls the general effect of the Italian campanile, and
corresponds in style with the earlier work of the portal and cloisters.


The elaborate and beautiful western portal (Fig. 75) is fortunately well
preserved. It has the appearance of having been added in front of the
plainer wall of the nave, and is thus generally stated to be of more
recent construction than the nave, but we believe that the portal is
much more likely to be part of an older building, which has been
preserved in the re-construction of the nave. Portals being generally
highly ornamental features, were frequently so preserved. We have met
with good examples of this at Notre Dame des Doms and at Tarascon, and
others will occur as we proceed. The central arch is almost insensibly
pointed; but whether intentionally or accidentally it is difficult to
say,--most likely the latter, from its being so indistinct. This porch
is probably an imitation on a small scale of the much grander one of St
Gilles (to be referred to immediately). The engaged pillars, with their
carved caps and bases so strongly akin both to classic and Romanesque
work, stand on a high stylobate approached by a wide flight of steps.
The space between the pillars is formed into a series of niches,
bordered on each side with an enriched pilaster and filled with the
figure of an apostle or an early saint. The sculpture of these figures,
although Roman in general character, shews a leaning towards Byzantine
design, especially in the rich carving of the jewels and ornaments on
the dresses. The tympanum over the central doorway, which is divided
into two openings with a central shaft, contains the figure of Christ in
glory surrounded with the emblems of the four evangelists, and in the
soffit of the arch are two tiers of half length adoring angels. On the
lintel are sculptured the twelve apostles seated; while the frieze on
the right hand of Christ contains the just, clothed and received by
Abraham, and that on the left the unjust, represented as naked and being
dragged by a demon with a chain backwards through flames. The leaf,
egg, and other enrichments are quite classic, while the modillions
supporting the cornice of the gablet over the porch have the usual
Romanesque character. This porch strikes one at a glance as being of a
totally different style from the body of the church. The latter belongs,
as already mentioned, to the reformed Cistertian style of the twelfth
century, while the former is in the older and more florid Provençal
style of Romanesque, although probably earlier in the same century.

But the most delightful structure connected with this very interesting
church is the cloisters. The oldest portions of these belong to the
commencement of the twelfth century. The four arcades enclosing the
cloister garth are complete. That adjoining the church wall (the north
side) is the oldest, while the eastern side (represented in the sketch
Fig. 76) is not much later in date. The other two sides are Gothic
restorations of the thirteenth century.

The two first galleries are splendid specimens of the florid style of
Provençal art. They are constructed with piers of considerable size and
solidity, which occur at the angles and at regular intervals, the
intermediate spaces being filled with round arches resting on coupled

The roof is covered with a barrel vault, built with carefully wrought
arch stones, and strengthened with boldly moulded transverse ribs thrown
between the solid piers and consoles on the inner wall. The latter and
the string course between them are about two feet higher than the
cornice on the side of the arcade from which the vault springs, thus
giving an awkward shape to the transverse ribs. This arrangement
probably arose from the original construction of the roof, which was
composed of tiles laid on the outside of the vault, and formed a
“lean-to” against the church, like that of the cloisters

[Illustration: FIG. 76. CLOISTERS, ST TROPHIME, ARLES. (_Eastern

of Mont-Majour, to be treated of presently. In the thirteenth century,
when the two other sides of the cloister were restored, the outer wall
was raised so as to convert the sloping roof into a level promenade,
furnished with stone seats along the parapet.

The angle piers are so designed as to receive the springing of three
transverse ribs--one at right angles across each of the adjoining
galleries, and one diagonally under the line of the junction of the two
barrel vaults. The intermediate piers are strengthened with an external
buttress in the shape of a square classic-looking pilaster, fluted and
provided with a capital imitated from the Corinthian. The piers are all
adorned with sculptured figures of large size. Those in the original
work are well preserved, having been cut in the solid, while the statues
in the two Gothic arcades, which were executed in separate stones, have
been removed and destroyed. The coupled columns and caps are all
executed in grey marble, and the latter are amongst the finest examples
of the “storied” carving of the period, every cap containing a subject
from sacred history. The wall of the church next the north cloister
contains a beautiful Romanesque arcade, with fluted pilasters (Fig. 76.)

The Gothic parts of the cloister have piers alternating with coupled
columns, and the details have evidently (as sometimes occurs) been
executed so as to correspond in design with the older work. Of the
bas-reliefs on the piers the best are the most ancient. The same general
remarks on the style apply here as in the case of the porch; there being
a great mixture of classic and Romanesque influence in both.

In this great structure we thus find an epitome of Provençal art. The
cloisters and porch, representing the richly decorated Provençal form of
Romanesque; the nave, the plain reformed style of the Cistertians;
while the choir exhibits the weak sort of Northern Gothic imported in
the fifteenth century, which is entirely without interest beside the
more impressive examples of genuine Provençal architecture. It will be
observed that in the main structural features the pointed arch is
employed, while in the portal, cloisters and windows the round arch is

(From _Révoil_.)]

At the “Alyscamps,” the famous cemetery of Arles (described in Part
IV.), several remains of the numerous churches and chapels formerly
connected with it may still be seen. The church of St Honorat is the
most important. It is of very ancient foundation, but has been
frequently repaired and restored. The west doorway, with its zigzag and
other enrichments, is evidently of the twelfth century. The tower or
“clocher” (Fig. 77) also appears to be of that date, and bears the usual
character of Provençal Romanesque. The dome which covers it is, however,
a somewhat unusual feature.

A few other ancient churches are to be seen at Arles, but they are all
much decayed or altered.

The churches of Notre Dame la Majeure and Ste Magdeleine, are very
ancient foundations, but there is little of the old work left. St
Césaire is also ancient, but is converted into private houses, and there
are only scraps of the original structure remaining.

After being united to France, and thus delivered from the incessant
struggles maintained in earlier times between the Bishops, the Podestàs
and the counts of Provence, Arles exhibited numerous signs of growing
prosperity. The union with an established power seems to have imparted a
considerable impulse to the prosperity of Provence, which began to
revive under a settled government; and Arles, as the chief town,
naturally benefited greatly from the improvement. Indications of this
amelioration are met with at every turn in the narrow streets, which
abound in fine examples of Renaissance work. The early picturesque style
of French Renaissance, so usual in Anjou and on the banks of the Loire,
is of frequent occurrence here. Of the above tendency Fig. 78 may be
taken as an example, shewing by the striking arrangement of the
staircase in the courtyard, how picturesque this style may be made when
suitably and naturally treated. We may also observe in the midst of the
abundant ruins of the ancient Roman architecture of this city, numerous
palaces in the classic style of the sixteenth century; the revival of
which the ancient works had lived to witness, and probably had also
helped to forward with suggestions for their design.


The buildings of this period in Arles are particularly rich in
tabernacles or niches at the corners of the streets, filled with the
image of a saint, before which hangs a lamp. These are not uncommon in
most continental towns, but here some of them are very finely designed
and add much to the generally quaint and striking character of the

Of the Renaissance buildings of Arles the Hôtel de Ville is worthy of
observation. The Tour de l’Horloge (1550), is a good specimen, and the
vaulting and general effect of the pillared hall and staircase are fine

About three miles from Arles stand the ruins of the great monastic
establishment of MONT-MAJOUR, which comprise a most interesting series
of structures, illustrative of Provençal architecture in all its stages,
from the primitive rock-hewn hermitage of St Trophime to the fully
developed church of the Cistertian style, concluding with a rich and
luxurious edifice of the time of the Renaissance.


This monastery is situated on a rocky hill which rises out of the flat
plain of the Rhone, and which, in Roman times, was undoubtedly an island
surrounded by the waters of the river. Near the base of the south-east
side of the rock, a cave is said to have formed the hermitage of St
Trophime, the patron saint of Arles (Fig. 79). To preserve and
consecrate this hermitage it was converted into a chapel, and enclosed
with an arcade (the inner one) cut in the rock. To this again at a later
time an outer wall has been added so as to form a chapel, dedicated to
St Peter, on the exterior of the cave. Beyond the east end of the
chapel there are three additional rude chambers hollowed out of rock.
One of these, which is nearly filled with a great stone seat, is called
the confessional of St Trophime. At the west end there is a space
forming a kind of entrance porch or narthex.

The ancient chapel or hermitage is entirely excavated in the rock, and
has a seat left along the inner side, which being continued round the
east end forms a step up to the choir. This chapel may be of a very
early date, but it is impossible to fix its age from the total absence
of architectural features.


The outer chapel (Fig. 80) is not of so great antiquity, but the
ornament of the caps and form of the tunnel vault belong to the
earliest period of the Provençal style--probably the ninth or tenth
century. The exterior is seen at the bottom of Fig. 85.

The monastery was erected on the upper part of the rock, and was
surrounded like a feudal castle with a fortified wall of enceinte. It
was also protected by a keep or citadel, such as frequently occurs in
these Southern monasteries, exposed as they were to attack on all hands.

The church of the monastery of Mont-Majour is an example of the severe
style of the twelfth century, and likewise of the aisle-less plan of the
Southern provinces. This church was founded in 1016, and was conceived
on a very large scale, but little seems to have been done during the
following hundred years, the most of the work being in the style of the
twelfth century. It consists of an upper church and a lower church or
very large crypt. The latter extends under a large part of the space
occupied by the upper church, and, like it, is in the form of a Latin
cross. The nave of the church is very short, owing to the works having
been stopped for want of funds to complete it on the extensive scale on
which it was originally projected. The crypt is all vaulted with
circular arches, and is extremely dark, the only light admitted being
what can penetrate into it from the small windows in the apse.

The arrangement of the choir of the crypt is peculiar. The altar stands
in the centre, and round it runs a wall with five wide arches opening on
a gallery which follows round the apse, and from which chapels radiate
in the various faces of the octagon. The chief altar is thus visible
from almost any part of the choir.

The upper church forms one great hall with a transept and apse, and is
roofed with pointed tunnel vaults strengthened with transverse ribs, but
is entirely without ornament.


It has, however, an effect of simple grandeur and spaciousness owing to
its size; but from the shortness of the nave, there is a want of due
proportion in the various parts. The choir, as is usual in Cistertian
churches of this date, is very short, the apse beginning almost at the

[Illustration: FIG. 82. CLOISTERS, MONT-MAJOUR.]

The whole building is solidly constructed with good ashlar work. The
west doorway is round arched, and is surmounted with a large pointed
window from which the principal light in the church is obtained. The
exterior is as unornamental as the interior. The east end (Fig. 81) is
finished with a polygonal apse, the windows of which in the upper church
are simple round arches springing from shafts recessed in the jambs. The
exterior of the apse of the crypt is peculiar, owing to the form of the
segmental depressed arches, enclosing deep recesses, at the inner end of
which are the small windows of the crypt. The depressed form of arch was
probably adopted owing to the want of height and the desire to admit as
much light as possible. The same segmental form is also employed in the
cloister arcades. The apse has been heightened at a late period and the
interior made circular. An enriched Gothic chapel has been added to the
north transept in the fourteenth century, and extensive Gothic
buildings, now in a state of total ruin (_see_ Figs. 81, 82) have been
extended to the south of the church.

The Abbey of Mont-Majour contains a cloister (Fig. 82) with the same
style of ornament and sculpture, but much simpler in design than that of
St Trophime. The cloister walk is covered with a plain barrel vault
constructed with carefully wrought stones, strengthened with transverse
ribs resting on “storied” consoles built into the wall. The arcade is
formed with segmental arches springing from solid piers, and fluted
pillars, with the simplest cornice. Each large arch is filled in with
three small round ones, springing from light shafts with elaborately
carved caps. The buttresses are fluted like those of St Trophime. The
original lean-to roof, covered with stone flags and provided with large
rude gargoyles and corbels, is here preserved, and shews what that at
Arles was like when first constructed. The cloister here, as at St
Trophime, is in the original Provençal style, and is probably a relic of
an older series of structures which existed before the present church
was erected in the second Provençal style of the twelfth century.

A remarkable specimen of a plan more common in the East than the West
occurs in the chapel of STE CROIX (Fig. 83), which seems to have been
the mortuary chapel of the monks. The main building consists of four
apses arranged in the form of a Greek cross, and crowned over the


FIG. 83.]

crossing with a square dome. This is preceded by a square porch with
simple barrel vault, separated by a door from the chapel. The whole
aspect (Fig. 84) and arrangements of the edifice have a strange and
foreign appearance, and recall the architecture of the East. At the same
time the high triangular pediments of the exterior, and the cornices,
egg mouldings, modillions, and the simple circular arch of the doorway,
are all features characteristic of the late Empire; while the ornamental
cresting and other details are illustrative of the Eastern character
impressed on Roman work at Byzantium, and thence transported into
Western Europe. In the porch is an inscription attributing the
foundation to Charlemagne, but Mérimée clearly proves that this is a
forgery, and that the date of the building is 1019. The chapel is only
lighted with three small windows, which open upon a little enclosure
where numerous shallow graves have been excavated in the rock. A door in
the south apse also opens into this graveyard, so that the bodies might
be carried into it from the chapel after the service had been performed.
Several similar graves are cut in the rock in front of the porch. These
excavations are all very


small, some no more than 3 feet long, and do not appear ever to have
been occupied. Mérimée is of opinion that in order to give their shrine
as much appearance of antiquity and sanctity as possible, and especially
to enable it to compete with the very successful cemetery of the
Alyscamps at Arles, the monks had not only put up the fabricated
inscription above referred to, but had also caused these trenches to be
cut in the rock to represent the graves of martyrs.



We have already seen that this monastery was fortified and surrounded
with walls. But it was chiefly strengthened with a great donjon, such as
the abbots, who were also great feudal lords, frequently constructed for
their own security, and that of the monks and their treasures, in case
of extremity. This keep (Fig. 85) was erected in 1369 by Pons de l’Orme.
It is very substantially built with square-dressed stones, the surface
being left rough or bossy, as was the custom at that time. The building
(Fig. 86) is a simple parallelogram, 48 feet by 32 feet, with a slight
projection at one angle to contain the staircase. The doorway gives
direct access to the ground floor, which is vaulted with a pointed
tunnel vault, ornamented with ribs springing from corbels (_see_
section). A cellar occupies part of a lower story, which also contains a
well. The vault over the ground floor may possibly have formed a
separate dark loft or store, for storage of provisions, &c. The lower
portion of this floor has one window only. The hall, or chief living
room, was on the first floor. It is provided with fire-places and
cupboards, and is lighted by two windows on one side, furnished with
stone seats. The height of the tower from the basement to the parapet is
about 80 feet, and the top forms a platform supported on a pointed arch.
The space between the lower and upper vaults was divided into three
floors, with wooden beams and joisting. The corbels for these still
remain, but all the woodwork is destroyed. The platform on the top is
surrounded with a parapet supported on bold corbels. At the angles the
parapet is rounded off, so as to give the effect of projecting angle

From the corbels seen on the exterior of the south side of the tower, at
the first floor level, it seems probable that some kind of wooden
platform was constructed between the keep and the outer wall, from which
the passage between them, which formed a principal access to the abbey,
might be vigorously defended. One cannot help being struck with the
peculiarly military aspect of the tower, and its strange proximity to
the more sacred structures of the abbey.

The ruins of some Gothic erections and of the sumptuous edifice, begun
by the Benedictine monks of the eighteenth century, but interrupted by
the breaking out of the Revolution, are visible in Fig. 81.

A short run by rail westward from Arles takes to the ancient town and
abbey church of ST GILLES. This church, which is unfortunately but a
fragment, possesses the finest portal in Provence, in the same style as
that of St Trophime at Arles. The town stands on the branch of the Rhone
called Le Petit-Rhône, which bounds the delta on the west. It bore
originally the name of Vallis Flaviana, and is supposed to stand near
the site of an ancient Roman city. An abbey was founded here by St
Ægidius (or St Gilles) in the sixth century, around which the town
gradually clustered.

St Gilles was the chief priory of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem,
and became a place of such importance that the Count of Toulouse took
one of his titles from it, being also called the Count of St Gilles. It
was here that Raymond VI., Count of Toulouse, in 1209, did penance for
the murder of the Papal legate, Pierre de Castelnau, and for the part he
took on the side of the Albigenses.

The church of St Gilles was designed on a grand scale, befitting the
condition of the place at the time, but seems never to have been
completed, the works having been interrupted and destroyed during the
crusades of the Northern Franks against the Albigenses of the South.
These wars formed a sort of sequel to, or continuation of the invasions
of the barbarians. The South of Gaul, having preserved much of its Roman
civilisation and municipal institutions, had become sooner settled, and
had more quickly revived from anarchy than the North. This led to an
independent intellectual and religious development, which did not
conform to the ideas of religious unity then prevalent. Crusades against
the Infidels in Syria and Africa had now become somewhat stale and
unprofitable; but a crusade against the rich provinces of the South had
great attractions, and was heartily supported by the restless and
unsettled people of the North. Hence arose (as already pointed out) the
long and cruel war in Aquitaine and Languedoc--the Crusaders being led
by Simon de Montfort, and the people of the South by the Count of

In these disastrous and bloody campaigns the whole country suffered
terribly. The towns were besieged and sacked, and the buildings
destroyed. Amongst others, St Gilles dates its decline from the
devastation then inflicted on it, and from which it never recovered.

The following inscription, said to be copied from an older one now lost,
occurs on the wall near where the ancient cloister stood:--“ANNO DOMINI,

The church of St Gilles was thus begun in 1116 by Alphonse Jourdain, son
of Raymond IV. of Toulouse. There still remains a portion of a
subterranean church, which formed the substructure of the intended great
building above, and which dates from the first half of the twelfth
century. It is well lighted, and divided into two with a row of columns
supporting two low cross vaults, ornamented with dog-tooth enrichments.

In the midst of the outline of the greater works, which can still be
traced, rises the existing small church, which has all the appearance of
a temporary erection. It is in a late style and of small importance
architecturally, but it marks the decline of the wealth and prosperity
of the town from its state at the time when the great church was

The really great and valuable work, however, at St Gilles is the
splendid triple portal (Fig. 87), which is by far the largest and
richest example of Provençal decoration. Every part of the surface is
covered with work, either sculptured with figures or enriched with
ornament, and although the remainder of the building

[Illustration: FIG. 87. PORTAL OF ST GILLES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 88. SOUTH DOORWAY OF ST GILLES. (_Enlarged_).]

is incomplete, every detail of the portal is finished in the minutest
manner. At the top of a wide flight of steps rises an elevation
consisting of six pillars (five plain and one fluted) with capitals
closely imitated from the Corinthian model. The bases are of unequal
height, shewing that the shafts have been possibly borrowed from an
ancient source. The columns sustain an architrave, frieze, and cornice,
which, however, are interrupted by the round arches of the three
doorways. The arches of the two side entrances rest on the two end
pillars, while that of the central doorway, which is wide and is divided
into two openings by a central pilaster, springs from two smaller
columns set upon pedestals, and also provided with Corinthian caps. On
the bases of the columns of the lateral doors (Fig. 88) bas-reliefs
represent David as shepherd and conqueror of Goliath. The shafts
supporting the lintels of the doors rest, as was generally the case in
Romanesque designs, on lions. The abbot, sitting in the gate to render
justice, was placed between these lions; hence Charters given by him are
sometimes dated “inter leones.”

A stylobate of the height of the pedestals is continued along behind the
principal columns, on which rests a series of pilasters dividing the
background into recesses or niches containing large statues of the
apostles. The figures are executed with some freedom after the Roman
manner, and have not such a mediæval aspect as those of Arles. There is,
however, evidence of Byzantine influence in the thin folds of the
drapery, and the jewels and embroidered ornaments carved upon the
dresses. The pedestals, architrave, cornice, and arch mouldings are
enriched with Roman leaf and egg and bead ornaments, mixed with fanciful
Romanesque carvings of heads of animals &c., in the modillions. The
frieze is covered with sculptures in bas-relief of Scripture subjects.
The central tympanum contains the figure of Christ in glory surrounded
by the emblems of the four Evangelists--that of the north doorway the
Virgin and Child in the centre, with the adoration of the Magi on one
side, and the annunciation of the birth of Christ to the shepherds on
the other. In the south doorway is represented the crucifixion. This
portal was probably completed before the breaking out of the Albigensian
conflict, about 1150.

The portals of St Gilles and Arles are the most splendid productions of
Provençal art. They stand almost alone as portals amongst the Romanesque
work of the period, which has given rise to the impression that they are
importations from a distance rather than a natural sequence from simpler
preceding forms out of which they might have grown.

It has been above pointed out that in Syria many churches were built in
the early centuries of the Christian era in which the Greco-Roman style
was perpetuated and received new developments. Many of these churches
exist between Antioch and Aleppo, in which the general design and
details of mouldings are very similar to those of the Provençal portals,
the only difference being that in the Syrian examples there are no
statues, as all such images were forbidden in the East. That country was
taken by the Crusaders in 1098, and remained, as the kingdom of Antioch,
under Western government till 1268. The seaports of Provence being the
natural centres of communication between the Frank kingdoms of the East
and West, it seemed natural that some new and foreign ideas should be
imported there. Hence it is maintained by some that Syrian models had
considerable influence on the architecture of Provence, and that it is
to that connection that much of the art expressed in the portals of St
Gilles and Arles is due. There is, however, really no necessity to go so
far afield for the models on which Provençal art in general, and these
portals in particular, were based. We have had several striking
opportunities of observing how closely the Roman examples were followed
in Provençal architecture; while innumerable instances of the Romanesque
spirit which pervaded it before and during the twelfth century, might be
adduced from the many beautiful cloisters (similar in style to those of
St Trophime and Mont-majour) which abound all over the South of France.
These have been preserved, while the churches have in many cases been
enlarged and reconstructed in the later and plainer Provençal style. One
of the most prominent elements in the older style is the figure
sculpture, and there can be no question but that the idea of the statues
was derived from the remains of ancient art so plentifully scattered
throughout the country. Statues being entirely prohibited by the Eastern
iconoclasts, that element can have had no connection with the East,
although the treatment of the ornament may be to some extent influenced
by Byzantine feeling.

The trade between the Levant and the West of the Mediterranean was
considerable, and included all kinds of artistic articles, such as
furniture, ornamental boxes, dypticks, wooden cases for manuscripts, and
carved ivory and goldsmith’s work. These were all covered with exquisite
carvings, which, no doubt, served as models to the Western nations, and
from which they acquired a taste for the special kind of sculpture known
as Byzantine.

It is from the above sources that the complete and elaborate Provençal
art displayed in the portals of St Trophime and St Gilles sprang.
Viollet-le-Duc remarks of it that it is rich and striking, but gives the
idea of an art either fixed by traditional maxims or in its decadence.
He states further, that it only succeeded in producing a curious mixture
of diverse imitations of other styles. The originality and vigour of the
Northern art was entirely awanting. The former style was satisfied with
the imitation of works already done, while the latter borrowed from
anterior art only the general idea, and created for itself a new
development. As already pointed out, the presence of the Roman remains
acted on Provençal architecture both favourably and prejudicially; in
the first place, by stimulating it into a kind of _early classic
revival_, and in the second place, by thus preventing the free and
healthy development of a natural and untramelled style, such as took
place in the North. But, so far as the Romanesque style is concerned,
that of Provence is probably quite as interesting and instructive as any
other. The connection with the art of Rome is continued almost without a
break, while the conversion of “Roman” into “Romanesque” is carried out
with a refinement and completeness which is not to be found elsewhere,
and to which the later Northern styles are considerably indebted,
especially in the matter of sculpture.

St Gilles is the most convenient point from which to visit the solitary
and now desolate town of LES SAINTES MARIES. Situated near the mouth of
the Petit-Rhône it was formerly a place of some distinction. Here
landed, according to tradition, corroborated by the investigations of
Lenthéric, Mary Jacobi, sister of the Blessed Virgin, Mary Salome,
Mother of the Apostles James (the Greater) and John, their servant
Sarah, Lazarus, Martha, Mary Magdalene, and St Maximin (who had received
his sight by the word of Christ), having all been driven from Jerusalem
by persecution. Mary Jacobi and Mary Salome remained here, and were here
buried, whence the name and fame of the town and the crowds of pilgrims
who at one time frequented it.

The church (Fig. 89) is a very remarkable one. It was built in the
twelfth century on the site of one destroyed by the Saracens, and
consists of the usual single nave, having seven bays in its length,
roofed with a pointed barrel vault, and finished with an eastern apse.
Externally the whole building is surmounted with a crenellated and
machicolated parapet, and presents the appearance of a strong
fortification, with a keep tower rising above the eastern end. The
latter includes the apse, which comprises three chapels, one over the
other. The lowest, or crypt, contains the tomb of Sarah; the middle apse
forms the choir of the church; while above this there rises a third
chapel in the tower above the roof, containing the relics of the
“Saintes Maries.” Rudely sculptured lions adorn the south entrance door,
and in the nave there is a well, to supply water to the congregation,
who would likewise form the garrison in case of siege. This remarkable
structure may be regarded as a typical example of the defensive style so
much practised in the South-West of France.

[Illustration: FIG. 89.


MARSEILLES.--Few relics are preserved in this ancient city of its Roman
or mediæval structures; of the latter the most remarkable is the church
of ST VICTOR. We have here an instance of the partial adoption of the
Gothic style in the South, and an attempt to combine Gothic details with
Southern structural features. This curious church, which stands near the
ancient port, is all that remains of the once extensive buildings of the
famous monastery founded in the fifth century by St Cassien. Some
portions of the primitive masonry are still to be seen in

[Illustration: FIG. 90. ST VICTOR, MARSEILLES.]

the crypt. The buildings were several times destroyed by the Saracens,
but they were finally rebuilt in their existing form about the year 1350
by Pope Urban V. (formerly abbot of this monastery), who also caused to
be erected the great square towers and crenellated parapets which give
the building externally the appearance of a fortress (Fig. 90). Some
relics of the early Romanesque work are still visible in the entrance
porch. The general design of the interior (Fig. 91) is that of a
basilica, with central nave and side aisles, the former roofed with a
pointed tunnel vault strengthened with transverse ribs, and originally
without a clerestory, although openings have more recently been cut in
the vault. These general dispositions are common in Provençal
architecture. But the details of the nave piers, with their numerous
small shafts and foliated caps and bases are all borrowed from the
Gothic of the North; while the tomb erected in the west-most bay of the
south aisle (Fig. 92) is a completely Northern design.

[Illustration: FIG. 91. ST VICTOR, MARSEILLES.]

The fortification of the exterior is a feature of almost universal
occurrence in the churches of the South, as has been already noticed,
and we shall meet with other instances. This peculiar characteristic
probably dates from the time of the crusades against the Albigenses in
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the inhabitants were glad to
adopt every means in their power to obtain protection, and had to turn
even their churches, which were not sacred in the eyes of their
assailants, into fortresses for their defence.


The frequent attacks of the Saracens may also have had some influence in
producing this style of exterior in the churches near the sea-coast.

[Illustration: FIG. 93. ST SAUVEUR, AIX-EN-PROVENCE.]

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, which is easily reached from Marseilles by a delightful
railway route through the mountains, retains few marks of its
distinction as the first settlement of the Romans in Gaul. A few Roman
walls and pillars from the temple of Apollo, together with some
fragments in the Museum, are all that Aix can shew of the original Aquæ
Sextiæ. But the ancient church of St Sauveur and its octagonal
baptistery exhibit the Roman influence, extending down to a
comparatively late date. The baptistery is of the sixth century, but the
upper portion has been restored in the style of the eighteenth century,
and has thus completely lost its proper character. It is octagonal on
plan, with eight monolithic granite columns taken from the ancient
temple of Apollo set in the angles.

[Illustration: FIG. 94. ST SAUVEUR, AIX.]

The church of St Sauveur was erected in 1103, and is supposed to have
been built on part of the cella of the temple of Apollo. It now forms
the south aisle of the enlarged cathedral erected in the fifteenth
century. But


this old church (according to Mérimée) is itself a restoration of a
still more ancient building, of which some remains are yet preserved in
the western portal (Fig. 93), the architecture of which strongly recalls
that of Notre Dame des Doms at Avignon. Here we have the same fluted
Corinthian columns and cornice with Roman enrichments, and arched
opening between. The small engaged columns with twisted and fluted
shafts and straight arched lintel are, however, restorations of the
twelfth century. To that date also belongs the interior (Fig. 94), with
its pointed tunnel vault strengthened at intervals with transverse
arches. The arches which carry the dome over the original central
compartment are round. The dome itself is octagonal, the angles being
filled with arched pendentives. The piers are simple pilasters, with
small classic-like pillars introduced in the angles near the top, to
carry the springing of the transverse arches. This was a common
arrangement in Provençal churches, as, for instance, at St Trophime,
Arles. The cloister of St Sauveur (Fig. 95) is a fine specimen of the
twelfth century erections of that description, so numerous in this part
of France. It is built in white marble, and enriched with a great
variety of the Romanesque or Lombardic sculpture which distinguished the
work of the Northern races. The shafts are particularly remarkable from
the great variety of their forms and ornament. Some are octagonal, while
others are twisted and fluted, and some are actually knotted together,
and nearly all are covered with carved ornamentation. In these and
similar works we have very palpable examples of the innovations on the
older traditional forms for which the twelfth century is so much noted.
Of the later church, the carved Gothic west doors (executed 1503),
containing figures of theological virtues, prophets, &c., mingled with
Gothic canopies and traceries, are worthy of careful inspection.

       *       *       *       *       *

In his exhaustive work, entitled “Les Villes Mortes du Golfe de Lyon,”
Mons. C. Lenthéric gives a full and interesting account of the ancient
towns of Southern Gaul between the Rhone and the Pyrenees. Their origin
and fall are shewn to be both attributable to causes arising from the
natural configuration of the coast. The land in this locality is flat,
and the beach shallow and sandy, while at the same time it is exposed to
the full force of the violent storms raised by the east winds which
sweep over it from the Mediterranean. The rivers emptying into this
shallow sea bring down large quantities of sand and mud, which, being
driven back by the tides and storms, have in the course of ages formed
bars or long lines of sandy dunes at some distance from the land. Within
these sand banks are thus enclosed long lagunes, similar to the shallow
sea, bounded by the well known Lido, in the midst of which Venice

These lagunes formed convenient and safe harbours for the early
Phœnicians and other navigators, and were suitable in depth for the size
of the craft then in use. But gradually the floods of the rivers brought
down more deposits, and even in Roman times threatened to block up the
passages through the lagunes to the open sea. It was only by building a
strong wall for the purpose of forcing the river Aude to keep in a
certain channel, so that when in flood it might scour out the passage,
and by the erection of beacons in the lagune to mark the navigable
course, that the Roman port of Narbonne could be kept open. In 1320 a
great flood destroyed the retaining wall and changed the course of the
river, after which the ruin of Narbonne as a seaport was complete. The
town is now 8 miles from the sea, and is connected with “la Robine”
branch of the Canal du Midi, which unites the Mediterranean with the Bay
of Biscay. A similar process to that at Narbonne has contributed to the
ruin of several other ancient towns in this province,--a district which
has also suffered more severely than any other at the hands of the
Saracens. Forming as it does the easiest access from Spain into
Provence, it necessarily lay open to constant attack. Besides, the
Moors, although driven across the Pyrenees, were still masters of the
sea, and as corsairs or pirates they scoured the Mediterranean for many
centuries after the time of C. Martel, attacking and plundering the
smaller towns all round the coast, and in some instances fortifying
themselves on land in strong places whence they could issue to plunder
the more inland country. Such was their establishment at the Grand
Fraxinet, in the mountainous district lying to the east of Toulon, which
is still known as the “chaine des Maures.”

We shall have occasion to observe some architectural effects resulting
from their invasions, particularly how the inhabitants were forced to
seek refuge on the rocky heights, and to build their towns on the top of
almost inaccessible mountains. The Moors have also left traces of their
presence both in the general design and details of several of the
edifices of the Western Riviera.

Proceeding westwards from Marseilles by rail and passing St Gilles, we
reach Montpellier, the architecture of which is chiefly modern. The
ancient church of Maguelonne, situated on the outer boundary of the
lagunes, may however, be visited from here. It was fortified and not
unlike that of the Stes. Maries. Omitting for the present the wonderful
town of Aigues-Mortes, to which we shall again return, we continue our
journey amongst the lagunes, past the crowded modern seaport of Cette,
and the ancient town of Agde, with its dark church crowned with frowning
fortifications, and at last reach Béziers, a place whose architecture
claims our attention.

BÉZIERS is an ancient Roman town, which has still a few relics in the
shape of Roman walls, but no classic buildings of any importance. It
stands upon a steep hill with almost perpendicular faces towards the
river Orbe, which flows round its base. The town was strongly fortified,
and held a prominent place as a fortress in the Middle Ages. Large
masses of these fortifications are still observable to the right of the
terrace at the west

[Illustration: FIG. 96. BÉZIERS, FROM THE ORBE.]

end of the cathedral (Fig. 96), now crowned with a large block of
building occupied as a House of Detention.

The spacious main street of the town ascends the hill from the
south-east, and presents on either hand indications of the chief
industry of the place in the immense and cavernous-looking cellars
filled with innumerable barrels of alcohol, which, being in many cases
too numerous for the cellars to contain, encumber the street in great
piles. The effect of a street composed of these great vaulted caves is
unique and remarkable.

The Cathedral of St Nazaire stands on the summit of the hill. It was
surrounded with a fortified enceinte, and, forming the chief citadel of
the town, it was strongly built and designed for defence. The transept
is the oldest portion, dating from the twelfth century. The southern
angle buttresses are crowned with a parapet, pierced with flanking
loop-holes, angled so as to send missiles in every direction. The
cornice of these parapets is remarkable, and presents a good
illustration of the Oriental or Saracenic influence above referred to
(Fig. 97). The south transept commands the cloister, the walls of which
were crenellated.

[Illustration: FIG. 97.


Béziers suffered more, perhaps, than any other place during the
Albigensian Crusades. On one occasion, when the town was taken, every
human being was put to the sword, to the number, it is said, of 60,000
souls. The buildings and defences were in great measure destroyed, and
the cathedral was partly rebuilt and re-fortified in the fourteenth

The west end commands the walls which crown the escarpments above the
Orbe, and is strongly defended with two crenellated towers, and by a
wide arched machicolation surmounting the west doorway and Rose window
above it (Fig. 96). An embrasured parapet is placed above this, and
three ornamental corbels jut out from the face of the wall, to enable
the defenders to approach the parapet and man it. These corbels are,
however, not joined to the parapet, although they divide the long arched
machicolation into four smaller ones. The embrasures and machicolations
are all provided (as usual in fourteenth and fifteenth century work)
with bold beads or mouldings, to prevent arrows and bolts from
ricocheting within the parapet.

[Illustration: FIG. 98. APSE, ST NAZAIRE, BÉZIERS.]

The eastern apse was also rebuilt in the beginning of the fourteenth
century. Here also (Fig. 98) wide machicolations are formed by arches
thrown across between the buttresses, while the parapet above is
finished with an open arcaded balustrade, which, in an ecclesiastical
building, is more appropriate than an ordinary crenellation, and serves
the same purpose equally well. These defences protect the large windows
below from being taken by escalade, while, for still further security,
the windows themselves are completely covered with strong ornamental
iron grilles.


The interior (Fig. 99) exhibits a fine instance of Gothic design
engrafted on the Southern ground plan.

The choir is a simple wide hall, terminated with an apse of the full
width, and containing nine bays; while the groined and ribbed vaulting,
and all the details of the windows, arches, and shafts, with their
ornamentation, is entirely Gothic. The lower part has been finished at a
much later period with Renaissance woodwork. In the manner in which the
apse vaulting is carried out there is a strong reminiscence of the
domical form; while the upright wall above the vaulting, with its
circular eye at the junction of apse and choir, is a feature which
recalls many Provençal examples.


The cloisters are situated to the south of the church, and are in good
preservation. Their design is completely Northern, of the somewhat cold
style of the fifteenth century. The arcade is open, and without
tracery, with large buttresses between, carried up with pinnacles above
the balustrade. The fountain in the centre of the cloister-garth is
simple but effective (Fig. 100).

The view of the town and cathedral from the river (Fig. 98) is very
fine. The great mass of the cathedral is seen towering above the huge
remains of the ancient fortifications; while in the foreground the Orbe
is dammed up, and forms the motive power of a number of picturesque
mills in the form of towers. An ancient bridge spans the river lower

[Illustration: FIG. 101. HOUSE IN BÉZIERS.]

Near the cathedral is a house of the fifteenth or sixteenth century,
with a quaint bow window (Fig. 101). The great corbels over the window
to the left have no doubt been for the purpose of supporting some kind
of balcony in connection with the defence of the entrance doorway below.

In the district we are now traversing many interesting examples still
exist of the ancient Provençal style similar to those already

At Puisalicon, near Béziers, there occurs a remarkable specimen of a
campanile, with three tiers of arched openings, like those of Italy
(_see_ Fergusson’s Handbook).

At St Pierre de Reddes, near Bedarieux, the ancient church consists of a
long nave with barrel vault, strengthened with transverse ribs, which
spring from a series of double columns, of which the arrangement is
evidently borrowed from the Antique (Fig. 102).

[Illustration: FIG. 102. ST PIERRE DE REDDES. (From _Révoil_).]

St Martin de Londres (Herault) may also be mentioned as having a
tri-apsal east end, while the exterior is ornamented with the arcaded
pattern so common on the Rhine and in Lombardy.

NARBONNE.--When the Romans, B.C. 118, became masters of Southern Gaul,
they established, under the leadership of an enthusiastic young
patrician called Licinius Crassus, a colony in the ancient Phœnician
port, dedicating it to Mars, and giving it the name of Narbo Martius. A
principal object of this colony was to secure the road into Spain. After
a time the first foundation became weak, and, B.C. 45, a new colony was
led out from Rome by Tiberius Claudius Nero. Narbo Martius was then
capital of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, which extended from
the Alps to the Pyrenees.

Under the Empire, there arose in this favoured colony, on the banks of
the Atax or Aude, a complete image on a small scale of Imperial Rome,
with its curia, duumvirs, consuls, pretors, questors, etc., and it was
adorned with a Forum, Temples, Markets, Baths, and Amphitheatre.

Of these fine Roman edifices not one remains. Such of them as escaped
the devastations of the Goths and Saracens are said to have been
demolished by Richelieu, that the materials might be used in the
construction of the new fortifications of the town erected by him. The
engineer of these works seems to have had more reverence for ancient art
than his princely master, for he collected all the sculptured fragments,
and built them into the walls where they could easily be seen. The
fortifications thus formed a kind of open air museum of ancient
sculptures and inscriptions; but they have now, in their turn, been
removed to make room for the expansion of the town. The Roman monuments,
however, have been preserved, and are placed in the mediæval Episcopal
Palace, which has been partly converted into a museum.

The important architectural works which still exist are all concentrated
round the Cathedral of St Just (Fig. 103). As at Béziers, the Cathedral
formed part of the fortifications of the Archbishop’s Palace. It is one
of those designs in Northern Gothic which look as if transplanted into
Southern soil. The whole character of the buildings is Northern. Whether
we regard the steep roofs and gables, the sub-divided forms of the
vaulting, the sections of the mouldings, the character of the cloisters,
the shape of the windows, the dispositions of the plan, or the defensive
arrangements, the whole design appertains to the style of the Royal


M. Viollet-le-Duc shews the very close resemblance between the plans of
St Just and those of the Cathedrals of Limoges and Clermont, in
Auvergne. These he regards as the three most splendid and remarkably
similar examples of the Gothic of the fourteenth century, and he thinks
that they have probably all been designed by the same man. The
Cathedral of Narbonne is distinguished by the beauty and skill of its
construction. In the fourteenth century the Gothic architects had
arrived at great perfection in the art of building. The various forces
in connection with the vaulting had become perfectly understood, and
here the architect has endeavoured to shew how accurately he could
calculate them. All the mouldings are carefully profiled, and the
penetrations and junctions admirably managed; but sculpture is almost
entirely dispensed with, even the caps of the columns having no foliage.

As a piece of architectural engineering the building is perfect, and has
stood without a flaw; but it rather wants interest owing to the absence
of ornamentation. It was begun on a great scale, but, owing to want of
funds, only the choir has been erected. The vault is nearly as high as
those of Beauvais and Cologne. The absence of decoration in the building
itself is, to some extent, compensated by the richness and beauty of the
tombs and monuments inserted between the piers of the choir. That of
Archbishop Pierre de la Jugée is specially rich in sculpture, and still
retains some fine painting.

Like most of the churches in the South, St Just is fortified, and, along
with the Archbishop’s Palace, formed the citadel of the city, and
occupied the site of the Roman Forum. The fortifications consist in a
double tier of crenellations, which take the place of the usual
balustrades over the chapels, and are continued round the apse, with
arched passages which rest on piers brought up from the chapels of the
“rond point,” and are crowned with turrets which, as well as the
connecting bridges, are all provided with crenellated parapets. These
airy provisions for defence give an unusual and very singular appearance
to the exterior of the apse (_see_ view, Fig. 103).

In the twelfth century Narbonne was a place of great importance, but,
owing to the silting up of the harbour in the fourteenth century, its
commerce and revenues were greatly diminished.

The Archbishop’s Palace was an immense castle, somewhat after the type
of the Pope’s Palace at Avignon. The ancient city of Narbonne
preserved, till the twelfth century, much of its Roman municipal
administration--the Commune having councillors with the title of _probi
homines_, afterwards changed to that of consuls, who not only carried on
the internal affairs of the city, but negotiated treaties with Genoa,
Pisa, and other powers. As invariably happened, however, these rights
were encroached upon by the feudal superiors. At Narbonne the Archbishop
claimed the superiority, and in 1212 he declared himself Duke, and
received the homage of the Count, who was the lay superior. These
different powers in the town were naturally in a state of constant
warfare, and, in accordance with the usage of the times, the Archbishop
resolved to fortify himself within a castle of strength and dignity
commensurate with his importance as Primate of Gaul--a title assumed by
the prelate who was in office in 1096. A few portions of the palace of
the twelfth century remain, but it has nearly all given way to works
erected at later periods. The building is now converted into the Hôtel
de Ville and Museum; and, in order to carry out the alterations
required, together with the new works (which were executed under the
superintendence of Viollet-le-Duc) some of the old buildings and
foundations had to be cleared out. This new work occupies the central
space between the two old towers (_see_ Fig. 103). The architect had
thus an excellent opportunity of ascertaining the exact form and
arrangement of the ancient palace, and of preparing the plan of it given
in his “Dictionnaire.”

At the south-east angle stands the great tower or keep (to the left in
the view), commanding the canal and the “place,” and overtopping the
tower of the Count, which stood opposite to it. This tower was built by
Archbishop Gilles Ascelin in 1318, and forms an independent redoubt. It
is four storys in height. The basement is circular internally, and, as
usual, has no openings to the exterior, being only reached from the
floor above by an aperture in the vault. The first floor is octagonal
internally and vaulted. It is intended for defence, and is provided with
passages in the thickness of the walls, from which diverging loopholes
command the exterior in all directions. The third floor is square
internally, and has been the living room, being furnished with windows
on three sides and a fireplace, and had a wooden ceiling. The top story
is also square, and is covered with a pointed vault. It has three
windows, and chambers in the wall provided with loops for defence. The
construction of the roof and angle turrets is somewhat remarkable. The
central platform of the roof is some feet lower than the parapet walk,
and is connected with it by a series of steps rising along each side.
The angle turrets are three storys in height, and access is obtained to
the different stages, 1st, from the platform roof; 2nd, from the parapet
walk; and 3rd, by steps up from the latter to the parapet on the top of
the turrets. The tower was fortified on its three angles next the
outside, with the above formidable turrets, which were probably further
armed with some kind of wooden machicolations in time of danger. The
fourth angle, next the inner courtyard, contained the staircase with a
watch turret carried up above it.

The other portions of the palace comprised an immense hall, and the
numerous living apartments of the archbishop and his retainers. The
entrance was by a long open passage well defended from high walls on
either side. Within the fortified enclosure were also the cloisters and
chapter house. These are of a somewhat late and cold design, dating from
1375. The roof, which is flat, formed an agreeable promenade within the

The Church of St Paul, beyond the canal, is an example of the mixture of
the Gothic and Southern styles. The piers are light and lofty, and
exhibit a Gothic character mixed with souvenirs of the heavier preceding
style, in the small and few windows, the “historied” caps, &c.

On the way between Narbonne and Perpignan ample opportunity is afforded,
as the railway runs along between the lengthy lagunes and through the
dreary salt marshes, of observing the process of silting up which has
here been in progress for centuries, and which has had such a marked
influence in changing the character of the country, and in affecting the
fortunes of the various cities which formerly flourished on the
prosperous banks of these inland seas, now so desolate and pestiferous.

After passing the lagunes we reach the wide and fertile plain of
Roussillon, where the process of silting up has long been completed, and
where fruitful gardens now take the place of marshy wastes. Here too the
snow-capped Pyrenees, surmounted by the lofty peak of Mont Canigou, come
into view, bounding the prospect to the south, and pointing to the
vicinity of the Spanish frontier. The language and architecture of the
province also emphasise its Spanish character.

PERPIGNAN, which stands near the rapid river Tet, has many points which
distinguish it from the towns we have just passed further north. A
prominent feature of the architecture, doubtless Moorish in origin, is
the enormous size of the voussoirs of the arches. In one old building,
called the Bourse, the voussoirs of the circular arch of the doorway are
quite 6 feet in length. Numerous fragments of this peculiar style, and
of walls built with the herring-bone work characteristic of the country,
are to be met with in the town, but there are no really good and
complete specimens. Some of the interior courtyards, with their wooden
balconies, are very foreign looking and picturesque examples of the
Spanish influence.

The castellet (Fig. 104) which defends the gate of the city close to the
river, has quite a different aspect from that of French castellated
work. It is entirely built in brickwork, even the great corbels of the
parapet being of that material. This small castle was erected by Charles
V., and formed the original gateway of the town. It consists of two
nearly round towers, with projecting circular turrets on their faces,
and a double curtain wall between, through which the double gates no
doubt formerly passed. The structure is surmounted with an octagonal
tower, having a boldly overhanging parapet, which recalls the military
architecture of the North of Italy, as exhibited in buildings such as
the Badia at Florence and the Castle of Ferrara. The inner archway with
its enormous voussoirs still exists. The gateway now in use adjoins the
castellet on the east side (on the left in the sketch), and is provided
with a drawbridge. This was probably erected when the system of
fortification was altered, and the outer works shewn in the sketch and
containing embrasures for cannons were erected.

In the Cathedral of St Jean (Fig. 105) we have a very characteristic
example of the Southern style. It consists, as usual, of one great hall
or nave, without side aisles, and with a series of lofty chapels,
between the buttresses, which are thus enclosed within the building.

The church has a vault of fully 60 feet in width, and

[Illustration: FIG. 104. THE CASTELLET, PERPIGNAN.]


is lightly and boldly spanned with pointed and groined vaulting.

The apse is similar in character to that at Béziers. The vaulting of
this part was completed under Charles V., and indicates its late date by
its interpenetrating ribs. There is almost no ornament, the architects
of the time giving their attention chiefly to the scientific
construction of their edifices. St Jean was founded by Sancho II., King
of Majorca, in 1324. This was long before Roussillon came under the
direct influence of France, which only took place under Louis XI. The
style of the building is thus not affected by the importation of the
style of the North, as at Narbonne, except as regards the vaulting,
which is of a much later period. Some relics of a more ancient Church of
St Jean (le Vieux) adjoin the cathedral, and contain some interesting
Romanesque work. St Jacques (thirteenth century) has a remarkable tower,
and the ruins of the Dominican convent and church contain good
cloisters, two sides being Romanesque, and the others fourteenth century
work, with caps bearing shields, etc.

The citadel, which occupies the site of the castle of the kings of
Minorca is now a powerful fortress, _a la Vauban_. It contains the ruins
of an ancient church with a doorway, the voussoirs of which are large,
and composed of alternate red and white stone in the style of Catalonia.

A very interesting and agreeable excursion may be made from Perpignan to
Elne, a few miles further south.

ELNE, IN ROUSSILLON, stands on a height in the midst of the great plain
which extends to the base of the Pyrenees near the frontier of Spain,
and is a town of great antiquity. It was in ancient times a seaport, but
is now separated from the sea by a wide and level expanse of country.

Elne, or as it was anciently called, Illiberris, was a Celtic city
before it was frequented by the Phœnicians as one of their ports. The
first Phœnician colony was destroyed before we have any detailed history
of the country. It was rebuilt by the Illiberians, and again ruined.
Once more restored by Constantine the Great, it continued, so long as
its connection with the sea lasted, an opulent and populous place. But
when, through the silting up of the water-way, it ceased to be a
seaport, its prosperity departed, and the town has gradually declined,
till it is now reduced to a mere village perched on the top of a rock.
Constantine gave it the title of Castrum Helenæ, whence its present name
is derived.

In 1285 and 1474 Elne was again besieged and destroyed. These events
helped to hasten its decay, and finally its Bishop’s See, which had
existed from the fifth century, was removed to Perpignan in 1602. Some
portions of the ancient walls, built with the herring-bone work so
common in this district, have not yet entirely crumbled away, and the
town is still entered through a pointed gateway (Fig. 106) built with
white marble, the passage through which is provided with a portcullis

The ancient church occupies the highest part of the rocky site. It is
very plain externally and shews the marks of many alterations. The
cathedral had been twice built in the plain, but was destroyed by the
Saracens. This led the Bishop Béranger in 1019 to transfer it to its
present securer site within the walls of the castle. The existing
structure is of the twelfth century. The masonry is roughly built,
partly with herring-bone work, and in some cases the arches of the
windows are distinguished with dark-coloured stones. The interior is
divided into a nave and two aisles, the tunnel vault of the nave being
pointed and strengthened with round transverse ribs. The side aisles are
vaulted with a half arch thrown against the walls of the nave like a
continuous flying buttress. The vaults next the west end have, however,
been reconstructed with cross ribs, a restoration probably of the
fourteenth century. The whole of the work is of the simplest character
and almost without ornament.

[Illustration: FIG. 106. MARBLE GATEWAY, ELNE.]

At the east end (Fig. 107) the ancient apse with its circular arcade is
visible, rising above the foundations of a larger choir which was begun
in the sixteenth century, but still stands unfinished, the works having
evidently been interrupted before they had reached the height of 10 feet
from the ground. The new choir is designed on the plan of a Northern
“chevet” or apsidal east end, with radiating chapels. The campanile is
noteworthy as a design of that class of edifices closely imitated from
those of Italy.

[Illustration: FIG. 107. ELNE CATHEDRAL]

But the most truly attractive and remarkable part of the antiquities of
Elne is the beautiful cloister (Fig. 108), which, fortunately, is still
complete and in fine preservation. Each side of the enclosure has,
besides the angle piers, three intermediate square piers, the spaces
between them being each divided into a triple arcade, supported on
coupled columns, the shafts of which are ornamented with all kinds of
twists and foliated decoration. The whole is executed in white marble,
and finished with great delicacy, forming the richest example remaining
of this class of cloister, of which so many fine specimens occur in the
South. The work is of various periods, from the twelfth to the
fourteenth century. The oldest portions exhibit, in their ornament, a
strong Byzantine feeling, which the artists of the later periods have
endeavoured to imitate in the portions of the cloisters subsequently
built. The shafts and caps of the later columns are as richly carved as
the older ones, but they are covered with ornament of a much less
conventional character, and more in the style of the natural foliage
universally employed in the North in the fourteenth century. To a later
period also belong the groined and ribbed vaults with which the cloister
is roofed, and the corbels in the walls from which the ribs spring and
which are formed as panels containing figure subjects finely executed.
The doorway from the cloister into the church is pointed, and has
voussoirs of white and red marble alternating--a style of decoration
very usual in the South, and which may perhaps be the result of the
proximity to the Moors in Spain.

Several interesting bas-reliefs and other ancient fragments have been
preserved by being built into the walls.

CARCASSONNE.--An architectural description of the edifices of Provence
and the Riviera would be incomplete without some account of the two most
perfect examples of

[Illustration: FIG. 108. CLOISTERS AT ELNE.]

Mediæval castellated architecture which still exist in the towns of
Carcassonne and Aigues Mortes. These are, from their excellent state of
preservation, quite unique, and far surpass in extent and interest the
remains of the fortifications of any of the other cities of Western

The town of Carcassonne is situated on the river Aude, which is spanned
by two bridges, one of them dating from 1184. The portion on the left or
north bank was a “bastide,” or detached town, laid out in the time of St
Louis; the streets being all drawn at right angles, as was usual in the
towns then erected on new sites. Such were the numerous _villes-neuves_
constructed by Edward III. in the South-west of France, and which he
endowed with certain privileges, in order to induce men to settle in
them, and thus increase the population and strength of the country.

[Illustration: FIG. 109. CARCASSONNE.]

The ancient _cité_ of Carcassonne stands on the summit of a hill on the
right bank of the river. It is still surrounded by its double wall of
enceinte, studded with round and square towers, and dominated by the
masses of the ancient castle, which rise boldly above the steep and
rocky hillside, and present a sight as novel and picturesque as can well
be imagined (Fig. 109). The site is naturally a strong one, and was
doubtless occupied from a very early period as a primitive fortress. It
afterwards became a Roman town, and was surrounded by the Romans with

The Visigoths, who were absorbed into the native population and
continued the Roman civilisation, rebuilt the walls, some of which still
survive, apparently on the Roman foundations and after the Roman manner.
The Roman system of fortification consisted in erecting two walls to
form an outer and inner face, the space between which was filled up with
earth and stones. The level of the ground on the inside of the fortress
was kept much higher than that on the exterior, and a broad parapet
walk, easily accessible from the interior level, ran round the top of
the wall, and was protected towards the outside with a parapet.

At Carcassonne the more ancient parts of the curtains are composed of
two walls built with small cubic masonry, alternating with courses of
thin bricks (Fig. 110), the central space being, however, filled, not
with earth, but with rubble masonry and mortar. The level of the ground
is much higher next the town than towards the exterior.

Some of the towers of the Visigoths still remain, and rise considerably
above the curtains. These, like the towers of the Romans, are circular
to the exterior and square next the city, on which side they are also
open, both for the purpose of admitting of munitions being easily
hoisted up to them from below, and also to render them useless in the
hands of an enemy as against the town. Externally they are furnished
with embrasures at the top, which were provided with a swinging wooden
shutter for defence, to support the pivots of which stone hooks are
inserted at the eaves. The top is covered with a pointed roof (_see_
Fig. 110).

The towers were detached from the curtains by


a pit or gap in the parapet walk where it adjoined them, so that each
tower might form a separate post, and be defended independently. The
lower part of the walls, being below the interior level of the ground,
was peculiarly liable to be attacked by mining and battering, against
which the defenders could make no direct resistance. The besiegers, as
they knocked out parts of the wall, supported the superstructure in a
temporary manner with wooden props, and when they had completed their
mining operations, they set fire to the props, and the wall above fell
and formed a breach.

Like the Roman permanent camps, these fortified cities had a castle or
citadel, which was almost invariably placed on the highest point of the
site, and adjoined the enceinte so as to command and defend the town,
and, at the same time, be in a position to receive supplies and
reinforcements from without. Within the castle, again, was a still
further security in the donjon, or redoubt, which was detached from the
other works, and often had a ditch and an enclosing wall, or _chemise_,
of its own, and could be held after all the other defences had
succumbed. Such walls as those of the Visigoths at Carcassonne were
sufficient to resist the means of attack employed from the fifth to the
eleventh century. At that period of revival a great improvement took
place all round, and there can be no doubt that the early Crusaders
learned much in the East with regard to the science of attack and
defence of strongholds. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, towers
like those of the Normans were erected, which depended for their
security on the natural strength of the site, and the great height and
thickness of the walls--their height protecting them against assault by
scaling, and their mass and position against the mine and battering ram.
They were further strengthened with outer walls and ditches.


A very interesting description, illustrative of the manner of carrying
on and resisting siege operations, is quoted by Viollet-le-Duc from a
report rendered by Guillaume des Ormes, Seneschal of Carcassonne, to
Queen Blanche, on the raising of the siege of that town by Trenceval in
1240. The report details how the besiegers and defenders battered one
another with mongonneaux; how they mined and countermined; how part of
the wall was sapped, and a breach formed, inside of which the defenders
raised a wooden _bretêche_, crowned with hoards, and armed with archers.

On St Louis’ return from his first crusade, he was desirous to
strengthen his position in the newly-acquired dominions of the Count of
Toulouse. He, therefore, resolved to make a strong citadel of
Carcassonne. For this purpose the houses in the suburbs were cleared
away, and a new town, or bastide, was established, as above mentioned,
for the ejected inhabitants on the opposite side of the river, where the
new town now stands.

Under King Louis the outer enceinte of Carcassonne was rebuilt (Fig.
111). Between this and the inner wall of enceinte a space is left,
called the “lices,” in which troops can circulate, and patrols and
sentries move in safety. The ground of the “lices” is nearly on the same
level as the present parapet of the outer wall, while the wall is about
thirty feet above the soil outside. The towers are built with an open
side next the “lices,” so that, even if taken by the enemy, they could
not be held by him against the inner walls. St Louis also erected an
immense barbican, or round redoubt, at the base of the hill, between
Carcassonne and the Aude, so as to command the river, and allow of
sorties being made on the level ground adjoining it.

Philippe le Hardi continued the works of the fortifications


till his death in 1285, his operations being chiefly on the east and
south sides.

There are two principal gateways in the walls, the Porte de l’Aude and
the PORTE NARBONNAISE (Fig. 112), both strongly defended with towers and
other works. There are also six posterns, all placed in angles so as to
be masked by the towers, and generally several feet above the level of
the ground. These were useful for relieving sentries, and for the
movement of troops in the “lices.” Opposite some of the posterns the
outer walls are provided with large barbicans (Fig. 113), in which
soldiers might be concentrated for sorties. As above mentioned, the
great circular barbican at the base of the hill was also employed for
this purpose. Nothing could give a better idea of the multiplicity and
complication of the means of defence then employed than the mode of
connection between this barbican and the castle. The rampart or passage
which led to the castle above was especially well fortified. It was
steep, and the ascent was interrupted with several cross walls with
doors, approached by steps which were all commanded from the walls and
curtains above, and from a great tower at the top, all armed with
_bretêches_ or hoards. Towards the upper end the passage turned to the
right, and was flanked by the defences above. A small gate was then
reached, within which the passage doubled back again to the left, and
was stopped by another gate, beyond which it entered a narrow covered
way of three storys in height, each commanding the one below by means of
machicolations or apertures in the floor, so that, if the first floor
was gained, the assailant found himself in a trap, and was battered from
above. If all these defences were surmounted, the besieger was only the
length of the “lices,” and had still above him the lofty walls and
towers of the castle, and the strongly-fortified


postern, with its movable bridge, double machicolations, loop-holes,
portcullis, and gates. Even within this, the entrance to the castle was
impeded by a sloping and turning passage, furnished with numerous doors,
and rising for twenty-three feet before the level of the courtyard was

Such defences were almost impregnable, and are a good illustration of
the intricacy of the fortifications adopted at that period. At a later
time such contrivances were found to be a mistake, as they impeded the
movements of the garrison. They proved a weakness rather than a strength
by preventing men from being moved rapidly to a critical point at the
required time. The leading idea, at this period, was to render every
point of the defences independent of the rest. Each tower is, therefore,
a separate fort; the castle and barbican are independent of the city
walls, and could hold out although the town was in the hands of the
enemy; and within the castle there are two independent towers or
donjons, which might still form a refuge for the garrison for some time
after the castle was taken.

The lofty square tower (_see_ Fig. 110), which was crowned with a
_bretêche_, was carried up to a sufficient height to dominate the town
and the whole surrounding country. This structure and some of the
adjoining walls date from the twelfth century. The other buildings on
the north side of the castle are of the time of St Louis. The inner
enceinte of the castle with its towers and gates built by Philippe le
Hardi (the latter part of the thirteenth century) are splendid examples
of the military works of the period.

The walls of the towers surrounding the town are built with solid
masonry in regular courses, with the face left rough. The lower part of
the curtains is pierced with the long loops, sometimes 11 or 12 feet in
length, then in use, and the top was fortified with hoardings or
projecting wooden galleries, from the floor of which the defenders could
drop stones and other missiles on the assailants, so as to keep them off
from the base and prevent mining. All the walls and towers were
furnished with these hoardings. The square holes in which the beams were
inserted for carrying the galleries are still visible both in the outer
and inner walls (Figs. 110-113).

The towers are placed at suitable intervals to enable the curtains to be
defended from them by lateral fire, and some of them are strengthened
with a projecting beak to prevent the sappers from approaching when the
angle could not be well commanded from the adjoining parapets, as is the
case in the tower at the N.W. angle of the walls seen in Fig. 111. One
large square tower (shown in Fig. 111) called the “Tour de l’Evêque”
joins the outer and inner enceintes together by bridging over the space
between them. It has thus complete control over the lices both from
apertures in the vault, and from the hoardings which were projected on
the flanks. This tower derives additional interest from having been used
by Viollet-le-Duc as his studio while superintending the work of
restoration, and it contains a number of fine plaster casts prepared by

The parapet walk of the inner wall runs all round the battlements. In
some cases it is interrupted by the towers (Fig. 114), and passes
through them; in other cases it is carried round the exterior of the
towers on the side next the town,--the former towers being posts for
guards and sentinels, and the latter being intended to serve as
independent posts for defence. Access to the walls is provided by good
open stairs on the side next the town, as shewn in Fig. 114, which
represents the interior of the walls at the same place, as Fig. 113
shews the exterior.


The ramparts of Carcassonne have been to a large extent restored within
recent years; but still remain untouched on the eastern side (_see_ Fig.
112), where houses have been erected against the inner and upon the top
of the outer walls, so as to convert the “lices” into a street. On this
side the walls of the town are separated from the surrounding land,
which here is rather high, by a wide and deep ditch. The high ground
beyond the ditch was originally fortified with a large round tower (now
destroyed) which is supposed to have communicated with the town by a
subterranean passage.

Above the old houses on the walls are seen rising the great towers of
the Porte Narbonnaise, each strengthened with a salient beak. Between
these towers is the gateway. It had no drawbridge, but was defended in
front by a great chain, a wide machicolation, a portcullis, and folding
gates. In the centre of the vault over the archway there was a large
opening, and the inner gateway was strengthened with a wide
machicolation, a second portcullis, and a second gate. Besides these the
towers were of course provided with their hoardings and a _bretêche_
projected over the gateway. The great angle tower, called the “Trésau,”
and a large angle bartizan further protected the approach of the
gateway, as seen in the sketch.

Such were the fortifications of Carcassonne, the chief frontier fortress
on the side of Aragon, and there can be little doubt that against the
means of attack then employed, they were practically impregnable.

The ancient Church of St Nazaire at Carcassonne may be taken as an
example of the ruder form which the Romanesque style assumed in a
district not far removed from Provence. It occupies the highest point of
the height on which stands the ancient fortified _cité_ of Carcassonne.

[Illustration: FIG. 115. ST NAZAIRE, CARCASSONNE.]

The church is placed near the walls of the city, and the west end is
elevated and fortified so as to form part of the defences. The entrance
to the nave is by a twelfth century doorway in the north aisle. The
building consists of two portions, which form a striking contrast with
one another (Fig. 115); the nave of the eleventh century, and the
Romanesque choir of the fourteenth, the former of a massive and gloomy
design, the latter of the lightest and most elegant Gothic.

The older portion consists of a central nave and two side aisles,
separated by enormous piers, which are alternately plain cylinders and
squares with an engaged column on each face. The bases of the piers vary
greatly in form--none of them being of Roman design, but all set upon a
great square block. The caps of the cylindrical piers differ
considerably, but consist of large mouldings, with corbels and billet
ornaments. The pier arches are circular, and the aisles lofty, and
vaulted with round arches. Rising from the caps of the cylindrical piers
are short columns, the caps of which carry the pointed transverse ribs
of the tunnel vault of the nave, which is also pointed, and probably
belongs to the twelfth century. The caps of these short columns, and of
the attached shafts of the square piers, are all very large and bold,
and seem to be founded on Roman designs.

The light Gothic work of the choir, with its tall slender shafts, and
walls composed almost entirely of mullions and stained glass, forms a
brilliant termination to the vista of the ponderous nave. It belongs to
a much later period than the latter, having been erected by Bishop
Pierre de Rochefort, 1320-30. It is a palpable instance of the extension
of the Gothic style of the Royal Domain along with that of the Royal
Power, having been erected shortly after Carcassonne was united to

Viollet-le-Duc considers this choir one of the most instructive
instances of the scientific method of construction adopted by the Gothic
architects of the fourteenth century; and he points out that the
architect has endeavoured to keep up the idea of the ancient nave in the
new work by preserving in the choir the plan of the nave piers--those of
the central compartments being square, with attached shafts, while the
others are round on plan.

We shall now return to Aigues Mortes, which, it will be remembered, was
reserved for consideration along with Carcassonne.

AIGUES MORTES is another town of the age of St Louis and his son Philip
the Bold, the fortifications of which have, by great good fortune, been
preserved almost untouched since the date of their erection. This
probably arises from the fact that Aigues Mortes presents one of the
most striking instances of the “villes mortes,” whose history is so
feelingly depicted by M. Lenthéric. It stands in the midst of the
lagunes and marshes which here cover a large extent of country connected
with the delta of the Rhone. The origin of the town dates from the time
of St Louis. At that period the Kingdom of France had not as yet
extended to the Mediterranean, but King Louis, being a devoted Crusader,
was very desirous that his country should possess a port on that sea,
from which his armies might embark in their expeditions against the
Infidels. This there was some difficulty in obtaining, the harbours on
the coast being almost wholly subject to the Count of Béziers or the
Count of Provence. It happened, however, that a small portion of the
sea-coast, including a lagune and a navigable canal, which belonged to
the ancient and wealthy Abbey of Psalmodi was available, and this King
Louis secured from the monks in the year 1248, in exchange for other
lands near Sommière. At


this place there existed an ancient tower, called the “Tour de
Matafère,” said to be of the time of Charlemagne, who had bestowed it on
the abbey.

The Tower of Matafère was rebuilt by St Louis, and renamed the “Tour de
Constance” (Fig. 116). It is of great size, and was designed to form the
citadel of the projected town of Aigues Mortes. It has frequently been
supposed that, in the time of St Louis, this tower was washed by the
waters of the Mediterranean, and that the sea, which is now some miles
distant, has receded since then. But M. Lenthéric shews most distinctly
that this is a complete mistake, and that the coast line was, in the
thirteenth century, precisely where it now is. At that time, however,
the town was surrounded with the waters of an inland lagune, through the
shallows and marshes connected with which a canal had to be kept open
for access to the sea, as was formerly the case at Narbonne, and still
is in the lagune of Venice. The canal by which St Louis embarked on his
crusades was called the Canal Viel. It was about five miles in length
from the town to the opening in the sand dunes, called the “Grau Louis,”
where it debouched into the sea. Since that time the canal from the town
to the sea has three times changed its course. For about a century after
the time of St Louis this port was greatly frequented by merchants from
Genoa, but it has long been little used, and all the commerce of Aigues
Mortes has now died away.

The walls of Aigues Mortes were traced out by St Louis, but the
superstructure was executed by his son, Philip the Bold. The latter in
1272 took possession of the country of Toulouse and arranged with the
Genoese Boccanera to construct the walls of Aigues Mortes for a sum
equal to 88,500 francs. The town is laid out as a regular parallelogram
with streets at right angles,


like the bastide of Carcassonne on the north side of the Aude. The walls
are built with solid masonry, having the natural surface left rough or
bossy. Fifteen towers surround the city and strengthen the curtains at
the angles and on the flanks. There are nine gates, two principal ones,
and the others smaller.

Being only a fortification of the second order the defences of Aigues
Mortes are not nearly of so complete a type as those of the important
fortress of Carcassonne. The towers are generally round, though some of
them, following the Southern fashion, are square and project only
slightly (Fig. 117). The gateways pass directly through the square
towers, which, as we have seen at Avignon, was a decidedly Southern
custom; and none of the circular towers have strengthening beaks. The
towers are so placed with reference to the walls that some of them, as
at Carcassonne, interrupt the parapet walk, while in others it is
carried round the outside of the inner face of the tower, and is
supported on large mouldings which form a continuous corbelling. This is
shewn in the view of one of the towers above a gateway taken from within
the walls (Fig. 118). The stairs giving access to the walls and the
interior of the loopholes are also seen in this view.

The walls of the town, which are about 30 feet high, are all provided
with a crenellated parapet, having long loops in the merlons between the
embrasures. The wall heads have also been defended with wooden
hoardings, the holes for the beams which carried them being very
distinctly visible all round the fortress. The lower part of the wall is
perforated with very long narrow slits. The interior recesses connected
with these are formed with wide splays like window bays, and are
provided with stone seats for the defenders (_see_ Fig. 118). Probably
the great


length of the loops was to enable bowmen to operate both while standing
on the floor and on the seats, or even on temporary wooden platforms at
different heights, and also to aim their arrows either high or low. The
open staircases leading to the walls are carried up on the side next the
town in the same way as those of Carcassonne.

In approaching the town from the north the PORTE DE NIMES (Fig. 119) is
first seen in front, while a long vista of the northern wall with its
towers stretches to the left, and the Tour de Constance terminates the
view to the right. This gateway has as usual a large strengthening round
tower on each side, containing guardrooms, &c., and is so arranged as to
form an independent post.

Till the fourteenth century, gateways of this description were defended
with folding gates, portcullis, machicolations (or apertures in the
vault over the entrance passages), and with _bretêches_ or hoardings
projecting over the entrance, pierced with single, double, or even
triple tiers of loopholes from which to attack the assailants. But there
were as yet no drawbridges. At the Porte de Nimes evidences may be
observed of a drawbridge, wrought with long balanced beams or levers
passing through the wall, having been used; but it has evidently been
introduced at a later time.

The walls of Aigues Mortes were entirely surrounded with a wet ditch (a
few indications of which still remain), but it has for the most part
been filled up and converted into a promenade. The ditch would be
crossed with moveable wooden bridges which could be easily removed or

A projecting stone balcony is corbelled out from one of the round towers
of the Porte de Nimes. This was no doubt a station from which audience
could be given to heralds or others wishing to communicate with the

[Illustration: FIG. 119. PORTE DE NIMES, AIGUES MORTES.]

town without the necessity of opening any of the gates or other
defences. The fortifications present on plan a right angled
parallelogram about 600 yards from east to west, by 150 yards from north
to south, with a curved portion cut out of the north-west angle. At this
point stands the donjon, or Tour de Constance (_see_ Fig. 116), built by
St Louis, as above mentioned, on the site of the ancient Tour de
Matafère in order to form the citadel of the town. This tower is of the
simplest possible design, being a plain cylinder about 70 feet in
diameter, with a talus or slope near the base. It is about 100 feet
high, and was no doubt originally crowned with overhanging hoardings,
and when fully equipped would present an appearance not unlike the well
known great Keep of Couci Castle.

The Tour de Constance was surrounded with a special ditch, and was
connected with the town walls by means of narrow wooden gangways, which
could be easily removed. The top has been altered in the sixteenth
century, and made into a platform, and provided with a parapet suitable
for guns. Above the circular staircase in the thickness of the wall the
watch turret rises to a considerable height, and is crowned with the
iron grille which for long contained the fire which illumined the canal,
and served as a beacon to the ships.

Simple as is the exterior of this keep, its interior is full of interest
and beauty. The walls, as high as the first floor, are 20 feet in
thickness. The basement contains the storage and has a well in the
centre, over which an eye in the vaults above allows water to be raised
to every floor.

The entrance door is on the first floor on the side next the town, and
there is also a postern on this floor on the side next the country. From
the landing at the former, a staircase leads to the second floor, and is
so contrived that the lower part is completely overlooked and commanded
from the upper part. At the landing where the staircase gives access to
the great apartment on the upper floor, a beautifully arched and groined
lobby is constructed, and is decorated with Gothic shafts and enriched

The great hall on the first floor is vaulted in one span, with large
pointed ribs springing from finely-carved caps. On the level of the
floor there are recesses in the thick walls, giving access to long loops
which descend far below the floor, so as to enable the defenders to
shoot down as close as possible to the base of the tower. The postern is
also seen from the inside (although now built up externally), with its
portcullis (or rather a modern imitation) _in situ_. The interior is lit
only by the narrow loop-holes, and is, therefore, very dark. A gallery
runs round in the thickness of the upper part of the walls of the hall,
with windows looking into the apartment from which it might be watched
and commanded. Between the recess of one of the loops and the postern a
fireplace is introduced, with an oven in the wall behind it. The hearth
is covered with a boldly projecting hood, supported on two brackets
carved with foliage. The angles of the hood have ornamental crockets,
and the hood itself is carved in imitation of tiles. The whole work is
massive and yet fine, and specially recalls, both in construction and
ornament, the style of Couci. It has evidently been the work of a
Northern architect brought with him by King Louis.

About two miles to the north of Aigues Mortes stands the “Tour
Carbonnière,” which formed an outpost of the town. It was erected at the
same time as the fortifications, and was placed so as to command the
approach, which was only practicable by one course through the marshes
and canals. It is a good example of a detached thirteenth century
tower, and in style strongly resembles that of Villeneuve, at the west
end of the bridge of St Bénezet, at Avignon.

       *       *       *       *       *

We shall now return to Marseilles, and strike eastwards by the
Mediterranean Railway, along the Riviera.

For a considerable distance no architectural remains of importance are
met with. The line passes through a rocky and mountainous country, the
bare summits of the lofty peaks contrasting strongly with the rich
verdure and luxuriant growth of the valleys below them, in which the
subtropical vegetation of the Riviera now begins to shew itself.

After penetrating a mountain range by tunnel, the seacoast is reached,
and some lovely bays are passed before sighting the lofty peaks of the
mountains, each crowned with its fort, which surround and protect
Toulon, the great arsenal of France on the Mediterranean.
Architecturally there is little of interest in the town, but the harbour
with its narrow antique quay, lined with houses fronting the basin,
which is crowded with the peculiarly rigged trading vessels of the
district, is well worthy of a visit. It recalls in some respects the
Riva de’ Schiavoni at Venice, with its bustle and varied interest.

The railway to Hyères branches off the main line at La Pauline Station.
Just before reaching this, the ancient and picturesque town of La Garde
is passed. Its houses are clustered on the slope of a basaltic rock, the
summit of which is crowned with the ruins of an ancient castle, and a
church. The aspect of this old place forms a good introduction to the
picturesque and decayed character of the numerous ancient towns to be
met with all along the Riviera.

HYÈRES is the first reached in travelling eastwards of the great health
resorts of the Riviera. It stands on the southern slope of a hill facing
the sea, which is visible at a distance of about three miles off. The
rocky summit of the hill is crowned with the ruins of an ancient castle,
from which the steep and narrow streets of the old town radiate
downwards. The town was formerly surrounded with walls, which have now
been removed, and the space converted into a wide promenade, on which
flourish the palms, oranges, and other tropical plants for which Hyères
is famous. The modern houses and hotels are also situated on this fair
terrace, while some remains of the gateways connected with the old
ramparts are still preserved. Hyères stands high above the level of the
sea and the plain which extends between it and the foot of the hill. It
thus commands an extensive view to the south and south-west over the
peninsula of Giens, and the Mediterranean dotted with the groups of
Islands named after it, “les Iles d’Hyères.”

There is nothing remarkable in the history of Hyères. In Roman times a
fortress existed here called Castrum Aræarum.

In the thirteenth century the place was held by the Count of Fos, who
was dispossessed by Charles of Anjou. Thereafter the castle and town
passed through the usual assaults and changes, and during the sixteenth
century was in possession of the Catholics and Protestants in turn.

The enceinte of the castle (Fig. 120) is well preserved, many of the
towers which strengthen it being almost entire. These are for the most
part square and lofty, and have thus quite a Southern aspect. The
original crenellations still exist, together with the holes for the
short beams which carried the wooden hoardings for defence at the
summit. The openings are generally long narrow slits, but in the eastern
angle tower three small pointed windows occur. The keep is almost
entirely demolished. It occupied the summit of the rock, and from its
ruins a commanding and extensive prospect is obtained. The walls are
probably not older than the thirteenth century. Within the enceinte the
ground is laid out as a private vineyard.

[Illustration: FIG. 120. HYÈRES CASTLE.]

In the middle of the old town stands the picturesque church of St Paul,
approached from a terrace commanding a beautiful view seawards, by a
wide staircase crowned with a corbelled tower. It is originally of the
twelfth century, but has been altered. The walls of the east end have
had to be brought up from a considerable depth, owing to the great slope
of the ground, and the lower part of the buttresses shew work like that
of the thirteenth century, but the upper part is later. Internally the
church has four bays and an apse--all late--the caps of the piers being
of Renaissance work. The central nave and aisles are all groined. A wide
chapel crosses the building at the west end, and is surmounted with a
plain square tower (Fig. 121) of the type of the Italian campanile, of
which numerous specimens are to be met with at Grasse and elsewhere
along the Riviera. The upper round arched doorway, with its immense
voussoirs, indicates a style of work of which several examples are to be
met with in the town, and which is doubtless of Moorish or Spanish

[Illustration: FIG. 121. ST PAUL, HYÈRES.]

The Hôtel de Ville, on the place Massillon in the old town, occupies the
chapel of a Commandery of the Templars. It has been much altered and
renovated, but with its picturesque round tower at one side it has a
good deal of character. A few portions of old houses present some good
fragments of Mediæval Architecture here and there.

The main line of railway between Toulon and Fréjus makes a great curve
inland, so as to pass through the level and fertile valley lying between
the detached and rugged district of “Les Maures” on the south, and the
Alpines on the north. Half way along this valley is the station of Le
Luc, about six miles to the northward of which stands a structure of
great interest to the student of Architecture.

We have already explained the ascetic sentiments which actuated the
early Cistertians in the construction of their buildings. Without some
knowledge of the principles of these primitive reformers it would be
difficult to understand the origin and meaning of much of the
architecture of Provence. In the midst of the usually ornate structures
of the country, we come occasionally on some important and remarkable
churches, which, from the plainness and simplicity of their style,
present a complete contrast to the former. Such are the three early
daughters of Citeaux erected during the twelfth century at Senanque,
Silvacanne, and Thoronet. The churches of these monasteries are all
remarkably similar in design, and carry out to the letter the plainness
and absence of decoration required by St Bernard.

Of this Thoronet is a striking example. This abbey is situated in a
retired rural valley, about six miles north from Le Luc Station. On
leaving the station, the road, after passing a large monastery with its
chapel and cypresses, ascends by a steep footpath the hill on which
stands the ancient town of CANNET (Fig. 122) still partly surrounded
with its mediæval walls. A delightful walk of two or three miles through
a narrow and rocky valley clad with olives leads to the village of
Thoronet, two miles beyond which the monastery is reached. It stands
concealed by olive groves on the western slope of a narrow valley,
through which flows a small stream, a tributary of the Argens. The
church, with its plain apse and little spire, first meets the view,
followed, on near approach, by the ruinous but extensive buildings of
the monastery which disappear amongst foliage down the slope of the
hillside. The public road now runs through the upper part of the
enclosure of the abbey, and close along the south side of the church;
while part of the monastic buildings to the west are occupied as a
tavern or farmhouse.

[Illustration: FIG. 122. CANNET.]

[Illustration: FIG. 123. THORONET--CHURCH FROM S.W.]

THE MONASTERY OF THORONET was founded in the beginning of the twelfth
century, on ground granted by Raymond de Béranger, Count of Provence, to
the monks of Citeaux, and continued to be occupied by that order till
their property was secularised and sold at the Revolution. The plan is
that usual in Cistertian buildings of the period. The church has a nave,
with central and side aisles, crossed at the east end by a large
transept, from which, in the centre, a short choir having a circular
apse, and two smaller chapels with altars in each transept, extend
towards the east. At Thoronet the choir and chapels have apsidal
terminations, but in some Cistertian churches the east end is square.
Nothing could exceed the unadorned nature of the design, both externally
and internally. The west end (Fig. 123) shews the principal entrance,
which is a plain round-headed doorway, without even a moulding. The tall
windows and the round one in this gable are treated equally simply.
These, and a round

[Illustration: FIG. 124. ABBEY CHURCH OF THORONET.]

window over the apse, give the principal light in the church, which,
like the other Southern churches vaulted on the same principle, has no
clerestory. There is an alcove for a tomb in the exterior of the wall of
the south aisle, but it is now empty. The interior (Fig. 124) presents,
as it were, the bare skeleton of the other churches of Provence which we
have already considered, without any of their ornamentation. The piers
of the nave are simply portions of a side wall set on square slabs as a
base, with a plain break to sustain the inner member of the nave arch.
Above these rises the perfectly plain, pointed, barrel vault,
strengthened with simple square-cut transverse arches, which spring from
round attached vaulting shafts, resting on the plainest possible
corbels, and having caps of a very simple form.

The vault of the central nave is buttressed by half vaults in the side
aisles, which are of the same design.

The tiles of the roof, both of the central nave and the side aisles,
rest directly on the outside of the vaults without any wooden
construction. This, as we have seen, is the usual arrangement in the
churches of Provence, such as Notre Dame des Doms, Avignon, and St
Trophime, Arles.

The cloister, and some of the monastic buildings adjoining, are well
preserved. A similar simplicity reigns throughout these. The cloister
consists, as usual, of four arcades enclosing a garth on the north side
of the church. The arcade next the nave is on a higher level than the
other three, owing to the slope of the hill, and is only one story high,
there being no rooms on this side for an upper gallery to give access
to. The other three sides of the cloister had originally an upper floor,
with open arches next the garth, and an open timber roof. These
galleries gave access to the dormitory and other apartments on the upper
floor. The arcades of the cloisters (Fig. 125) are of a very

[Illustration: FIG. 125. THORONET--CLOISTER.]

[Illustration: FIG. 126. THORONET--CAPS IN CLOISTER.]

simple form, consisting of plain round arches in the wall, filled in
with a single solid shaft supporting two smaller round arches, and a
circular eye above. The arches are absolutely without mouldings. The
caps and bases of the central shafts (Fig. 126) are of very simple
design--a small leaf or uncarved set-off being all that is allowed to
cover the passage from round to square, and any such enrichments are
most elementary, both in design and execution. It will, however, be
observed that these primitive ornaments, although simple, are
_original_. They show no trace of Roman traditions, which, as formerly
pointed out, were entirely renounced by the Cistertians in their
reformed Provençal art. These very elementary forms are thus the
prototypes of the new and natural style of ornamentation above referred
to in Part V. as having been introduced by the Cistertian Order. The
small arches rest on an impost formed of a plain string course, which,
together with the plain splay of the base, are cut off at the outer face
of the wall, and do not return round it. This mode of cutting off
strings, etc., is of frequent occurrence in buildings of this type.

The cloister walks are covered with plain, pointed, tunnel vaults,
strengthened at intervals with square transverse ribs resting on plain
corbels, which are inserted in a string course, formed of a simple

At the intersection of the cloister walks the pointed vaults meet, and
the junction is covered with a pair of square diagonal ribs intersecting
one another in the angle.

Opening from the north side of the cloister is a hexagonal chamber,
which served as the lavatory of the monks. It projects into the garth
from the arcade (_see_ Fig. 125), and has five windows, three of which
are plain round-headed openings, and the two others are each finished
with two small arches and a circular eye like those of the cloisters. A
double doorway gives access from the cloister walk. The basin or vase
for washing, which formerly stood in the centre, now lies broken in the

The chapter-house opens into the eastern side of the cloisters by a
doorway with a pointed arch, and two side windows, with three openings
in each. These openings were for the purpose of enabling the monks in
the cloister to hear what passed in the chapter-house. The latter is
vaulted with groined-pointed vaults--the ribs being square with bead on
angles, supported by two short and dumpy pillars, with spurred bases and
remarkable caps, somewhat more ornamental than the others. In the east
wing, over the chapter-house, the dormitory still exists, roofed with a
wide barrel vault, strengthened with transverse ribs.

From the simple design of the cloister it is apparent how completely the
Cistertians renounced the fine shafts and delicate carving of the
cloisters of the early Provençal type like those of Aix, with their
light wooden roofs, and gave preference to vaults, as being more
enduring, while at the same time they rejected all sculpture and
ornament. Although simple and plain to a degree, there is a unity of
purpose and an originality of character in this new and vigorous style
which commands respect if not admiration.

Senanque, Silvacanne, and Thoronet were all built in the severe style of
the first fervour of the Cistertians early in the twelfth century. By
the end of the century this first enthusiasm became an affectation of
simplicity and was gradually tempered by the preponderating influence of
the Clunisiens, who were more in harmony with the spirit of the times
than the rigid Cistertians,--the general tendency of the age being to
great richness in architecture.

At a later period the monastery of Thoronet seems to have been enclosed
with walls, within which the grounds were laid out with taste and
elegance. Few examples of this refinement have escaped destruction; but
a fountain, with its basin set in an alcove in the outer wall, still
survives (Fig. 127), and serves to refresh the traveller on the dusty
highway which now passes through the pleasure gardens of the monks.

At ST MAXIMIN, which lies considerably to the west of Thoronet and is
most conveniently approached by the railway between Aix and Carnoulles
by Brignoles, there exists a church of a totally different character. It
is said to be the most perfect specimen in Provence of a building in the
pure Gothic style. The design has evidently been imported directly from


North, and is precisely such an edifice as one would expect to meet with
in the Ile de France. Its presence here therefore strikes one with
surprise, and with a sense of incongruity with its surroundings. This
church was begun towards the end of the thirteenth century by Charles of
Anjou, but was not finished till the close of the fifteenth

[Illustration: FIG. 128. CHURCH OF ST MAXIMIN.]

century. The plan shews a central nave with side aisles, each terminated
to the east with an apse. There is no transept. The vaults are pointed
and simple in form. The central vault (Fig. 128) is lofty, being about
90 feet to the apex. When complete the aspect of the church must have
been extremely light and fairy-like. The lofty windows of the clerestory
and apse, which are all pointed, fill up with their traceries nearly the
whole visible space, the masonry being reduced to its smallest limits.
The same idea was carried out in the side aisles, where the windows were
originally brought down almost to the pavement. When these windows were
all filled with stained glass, as they are believed to have been
(although it is now completely gone), the effect must have been very
fine, and all the more splendid from the remarkable contrast it would
present to the usually somewhat dark and gloomy character of Southern
churches. Side chapels have now been added, and the aisle windows shut
up by them; and it is stated that the structure is generally very much
destroyed. Unfortunately the west façade has never been completed.

From Le Luc the railway follows the course of the wide and fertile
valley of the River Argens to Fréjus, the ancient Roman _Forum Julii_,
so rich, as we have already seen, in Roman remains; and its Mediæval
buildings will be found to be not less interesting.

[Illustration: FIG. 129. PLAN OF FRÉJUS CATHEDRAL.]

The Cathedral of Fréjus, erected probably in the twelfth century, is a
prominent example of the adoption in Provence of the “single-hall” style
of church, which (as explained in Part V.) was so universal in the south
and west of France. The original church (Fig. 129) consists of

[Illustration: FIG. 130. FRÉJUS CATHEDRAL.]


a nave of three divisions or bays, each covered with round intersecting
vaults, strengthened with large square groins, and terminated at the
east end with a circular apse, the whole extending to 120 feet in length
by 28 feet in width. The vaults spring from piers, which are really
large internal buttresses, with recesses between them 7 feet deep (Fig.
130). The north side wall has, however, been cut out, and a side aisle
added at a later date, with still later chapels beyond. The string
courses, caps, etc., are all of the same simple forms employed in so
many buildings of the period. Nothing could be plainer or more devoid of
ornament than


this massive and impressive edifice. The exterior of the cathedral has
undergone many changes. The Bishop’s Palace adjoins it on the south, and
covers a large part of the south wall. The whole series of buildings
connected with the cathedral, have at one time been enclosed with a
strong wall, built in regular courses, left rough on the surface. Some
portions of this work are visible in the outer wall next the street at
the west end. There, intermingled with a great deal of modern addition
and alteration, may still be traced the remains of two windows (Fig.
131) of the twelfth or early thirteenth century, with circular arches
springing from carved caps. In the jambs of one of these windows the
caps still surmount projecting shafts standing on corbels, but they have
disappeared from the other. The details are given in Fig. 133. Several
of the original small windows of the basement, however, remain
unaltered. They have the circular heads and the deeply splayed external
ingoing of the period.

The east end of the cathedral (Fig. 132) is very remarkable. The apse,
which is circular within, is only slightly rounded externally, and is
carried up to a considerable height as a tower of defence, and armed
with an embattled parapet at the top, supported on bold corbels with
machicolations between them.

Fréjus Cathedral is thus another instance of the numerous fortified
churches so characteristic of the South, and formed part of the general
fortified enclosure which protected the Bishop’s Palace and the other
ecclesiastical buildings connected with the see. Adjoining the apse
considerable remains of the ancient Bishop’s Palace may still be traced,
shewing (amidst modern alterations) work similar to that of the west
end, and containing coupled pointed windows and doors with round arches.
The enclosing and fortifying of the precincts seem to have been carried
out at a time subsequent to the erection of the cathedral. This explains
the peculiar form of the tower over the apse, and likewise the manner in
which the ancient baptistery is enclosed in a similar mural envelope.
The work was probably executed, to judge from the style, early in the
thirteenth century. In that


century too the tower at the west end of the church seems to have been
erected over what was probably the original narthex or anti-church.
Internally the lower portions are executed in the style of the Gothic of
the North, and the heavy tower above (Fig. 133) may possibly be of the
same date. The coloured tiles, which give the spire a special character,
are no doubt much more modern. We also find here other examples of work
of different kinds and various periods. Of these the ancient baptistery
(Fig. 134) is a structure of great interest. It stands at the west end
of what seems to have been originally, although now covered in, a small
open court, such as generally existed in front of the western entrances
to the early churches. The plan of the baptistery is octagonal, being
the same as that adopted for the primitive baptisteries in Italy.
Octagonal or circular edifices such as this are frequently called Roman
temples; but, although they very closely resemble Roman work, they are
found, on an examination of the details, to be only imitated from
classic design, and are clearly of Christian origin.

At Fréjus, the baptistery is ornamented with a granite monolithic column
in each of its eight angles, provided with caps of white marble. The
caps and bases (Fig. 134) are varied in design, and are all closely
imitated from the Corinthian, although none of them are exactly after
that pattern. The massive fragment of stone, moulded on the front, which
is placed over each, is probably a survival or reminiscence of the
entablature which was always thought necessary in classic times. The
upper portion, which was most likely an octagonal dome in the original
building, is now modernised. The plan shews an attempt to make the floor
as square as possible, by means of four deep niches introduced in the
four angles. The central font is peculiar in form, and stands on a
fragment of an ancient column.

In connection with this baptistery it may be interesting here to call
attention to the fact that a monument in the same style, but superior in
size and design, still exists at


RIEZ, an ancient Roman colony instituted under the patronage of
Augustus, some distance to the north-west of Draguinon. The original
town was built on the plain watered by the river Colastre (a tributary
of the Verdon), but the inhabitants have long abandoned the low ground,
and the houses now stand an the slope of the Mont Saint-Maximin above.
In the deserted plain are to be found four Corinthian columns of grey
granite from the Esterel with caps, bases, and architraves of marble.
These, according to Texier and Pullan, formed the façade of a prostyle

[Illustration: FIG. 135. THE “PANTHEON,” RIEZ (_From Texier and

The numerous fragments of pottery and mosaics which are constantly dug
up, and a large quantity of portions of columns and architraves built
into the modern walls, shew that the Roman works here were at one time

[Illustration: FIG. 136. THE “PANTHEON,” RIEZ (_From Texier and

In the chapel of St Maxime six Roman columns have been utilized. But the
most remarkable monument of the place is the so-called “Temple” or
“Pantheon.” This consists externally of a plain square structure, 37
feet each way, but internally it is octagonal in plan (Fig. 135), with
four deep niches in the sides opposite the angles of the square. Within
the octagon are eight columns standing detached, so as to form an aisle
all round, while they support an octagonal drum (Fig. 136), roofed over
with a dome. The aisle is vaulted, with an irregular form, composed of
about three-fourths of a pointed arch. The columns are ancient, but they
have evidently been removed from their original position, being unequal
in the length of the shafts, and the size and design of the capitals,
and have no doubt been collected from various sources. Texier


and Pullan believe that this was an ancient Roman structure converted to
Christian uses in the sixth century; but excavations in the floor have
revealed the remains of a large baptismal basin, similar to the original
Italian ones, thus leaving no doubt as to the primitive destination of
the structure. The pointed arch over the aisle is also a sign of its
belonging to post-Roman times. It is certainly one of the most
interesting of the early Christian edifices in Provence.

Returning to Fréjus, we observe that the cloisters, which are on the
north side of the small court or lobby adjoining the baptistery, were
erected at a somewhat later date than the tower, in a style strongly
recalling the Italian-Gothic of Florence and Genoa, which we here meet
with for the first time in our eastward progress (Fig. 137). The arcades
of the cloisters are plain, and rest on coupled columns, with caps
carved in the style of the Italian-Gothic of the fifteenth century, the
whole being carefully and elegantly executed in white marble; and,
though now sadly built up and mutilated, they still possess a
wonderfully picturesque and charming effect. The coupled columns were
evidently not intended to support vaulting, but to carry the unique and
effective wooden roof (Fig. 138), part of which still exists, but is so
greatly decayed that it has to be supported with rough props and wedges.
At a still later period the entrance front of the cathedral has been
altered and finished in its present ungainly form (Fig. 133). The floor
of the cathedral, owing to the slope of the ground, is several feet
below the present level outside, and has to be approached by descending
steps. Originally the entrance to the narthex was no doubt on the level
of the cathedral floor. The outside level has apparently, however, been
heightened before the present entrance doorway was built, as it


conforms to the level of the “place” on the south of the church. The
late Gothic style of this doorway, in which Renaissance details are
mixed with Gothic forms, belongs to the sixteenth century. The wall
adjoining has been rebuilt and heightened at the same date, and an
attempt has been made to bring the whole façade into a symmetrically
balanced design, in accordance with one of the leading principles of the
classic style then beginning to be revived. The wooden doors are
beautifully carved with Scripture subjects mingled with Gothic details.

This building is a specimen of the imperfect and fragmentary manner in
which the Northern Gothic style was employed in Provence. We have here
also an example (and we shall meet with more frequent instances as we
proceed eastwards) of the spread of the Italian-Gothic style beyond its
ordinarily understood boundary. But as all the country between Genoa and
Toulon was for long either under the sway of Genoa or of the Grimaldi of
Monaco, it is only natural to find traces of Italian taste in the
Riviera, which indeed is in all respects far more Italian than French.

Fig. 139 shews an ancient lamp of brass work suspended in the centre of
the cathedral.

[Illustration: FIG. 139.


(_From a Drawing by Mr R. Burns Begg_).]

The houses in the town of Fréjus possess many quaint bits of
architectural detail, amongst which the woodwork of the old doorways
may be specially mentioned (Fig. 140). Similar telling and original
specimens of wood and iron work, it may be remarked, are not uncommon
throughout the Riviera.

[Illustration: FIG. 140. DOORWAYS IN FRÉJUS]

St Raphaël, a small town a few miles to the eastward, now forms the port
of Fréjus. The mountainous district of “Les Maures,” which lies along
the coast between Toulon and Fréjus, may either be visited from Hyères
on the west (by diligence), or from St Raphaël on the east (by steamer).
The latter mode forms a long but very pleasant day’s excursion. A small
trading steamer leaves St Raphaël on certain days (mentioned in the
“Indicateur”) at 8.30 a.m., and reaches St Tropez about 10.15, after a
pleasant voyage round the headlands between the Gulf of Fréjus and that
of Grimaud. St Tropez occupies the site of the ancient Heraclea
Caccabaria, an important naval station in Roman times. The town has
several times been destroyed by the Saracens and Corsairs, who in the
ninth century took possession of the whole of the detached chain of
mountains still called after them by the name of “Les Maures.” The
sheltered gulf of Grimaud formed a fine harbour for their ships, and the
port St Tropez was then a place from which a considerable trade was
carried on with the African coast. In the later centuries it suffered
the usual disturbances under Charles of Anjou, and in the wars of

[Illustration: FIG. 141. ST TROPEZ.]

The town still possesses some trade, and there is a fair number of
coasting vessels in the harbour, to which, with their large brown sails,
they give a peculiar and pleasing effect (Fig. 141). Some of the houses
shew signs of having seen better days, but the whole place has a
somewhat decayed and crumbling appearance. The town is surmounted by a
castle, which was constructed in 1793, on the top of the hill to the
south. It is surrounded with high walls loopholed for musketry and
strengthened with bastions. The traffic in fish seems to be
considerable, and is carried on in a dark vaulted market place, where
the fish are exposed for sale, and where they are kept cooler than in
the open air. The entrance to this fishy cave is somewhat picturesque
(Fig. 142).


[Illustration: FIG. 143. GRIMAUD FROM THE PLAIN.]

A daily omnibus runs from St Tropez to Cogolin at the upper end of the
Gulf of Grimaud, forming a very pretty drive of an hour and a quarter.
At Cogolin the road to Hyères branches off to the left, and that to Le
Luc to the right. A daily diligence runs each way between Cogolin and Le
Luc. There is time, after the arrival of the omnibus from St Tropez, to
walk on to Grimaud and wait for the diligence there. In crossing the
plain the towering ruins of the castle, crowning a lofty pyramidal hill,
are seen rising about two miles off, and give promise of a splendid
subject. From the base of the hill (Fig. 143) the white houses of the
town clustering round the grey walls of the castle have a commanding
appearance, and even when seen close they form some fine and picturesque
combinations. But from an architectural point of view the castle is
disappointing, being reduced to a mere skeleton of two towers, connected
by a ruined wall of enceinte (Fig. 144). It was built in the fifteenth
century by Italian architects for the Grimaldi, to whom this country
then belonged, and it was occupied till the middle of last century.

[Illustration: FIG. 144. CASTLE OF GRIMAUD.]

Many of the houses of the town are new, but there are also some very old
and picturesque streets, bordered with rude arcades. The church, though
modernised, has retained its old tunnel vault, with transverse ribs, and
simple Provençal mouldings. It has also a semi-circular apse, and a
round arched door, with very deep voussoirs, like that of
Hyères--possibly a survival of the art of the Moors.

The diligence passes here at 2 P.M., and reaches Le Luc about 4.30,
after a very fine drive through a mountainous country, covered with
noble old forest trees. These consist chiefly of chestnuts and cork
oaks, which have grown to a great size, the latter furnishing the
materials for the chief industry of the country. The road consists of a
long hill up to the Col or pass, on which stands LA GARDE FREINET, and
then a long descent down to the plain of the Argens. La Garde Freinet is
a small town occupying the site of the famous Fraxinet, or chief citadel
of the Moors, which gave its name to all their other settlements in
Provence. The Moors took possession of this lofty district in the ninth
century, and from it, as a secure centre, they made their predatory
descents on the surrounding fertile plains. But in 973, after a severe
struggle, they were driven out by a combination of the Christian
inhabitants of Provence.

The ancient Fraxinet stood on the summit of a perpendicular rock to the
north of the village; but there are almost no vestiges left of the
fortress, save a square cistern for water. The town, as seen from the
descent on the north side, with its background of precipitous rocks and
the deep wooded valley in front, presents one of the most striking and
remarkable pictures in this singular locality. The drive down to Le Luc
is delightful; the pine woods and rocky glens recalling the peculiar
scenery characteristic of our Scottish Highlands.

After passing St Raphaël, the railway has to cut its way through the
rocky promontories which here terminate the Esterel range, and jut
boldly out into the Mediterranean. In alternate tunnels and viaducts it
sweeps round the Cap Roux, passing, on its way, the lovely bay of Agay,
and the wonderfully coloured rock masses of the red porphyritic
mountains, which contrast so admirably with the rich green pine woods
filling the ravines which furrow the hillsides. These mountains were
quarried by the Romans, and furnished them with supplies of red and blue
porphyry for the adornment of their buildings. They are

[Illustration: FIG. 145. CASTLE OF NAPOULE.]

still worked, and yield a considerable quantity of hard materials used
for street paving. On rounding the point of the Cap Roux, the wide and
beautiful bay of Cannes opens to view, with its long range of white
villas, backed by the dark pine-covered hills, beyond which the snowy
peaks of the Basses Alpes are visible in the distance. The prominent
mass of the Mont du Chevalier marks the centre, while the picture is
bounded on the left by the valley of the Siagne, and on the right by the
Iles de Lérins, with the Castle of St Honorat rising boldly from the sea
on the furthest point. In the hollow of the bay, near the mouth of the
Siagne, and commanding a fine view of Cannes, stands the ancient Castle
of Napoule (Fig. 145), where some fragments of old work still survive;
but a new château occupies the principal portion of the old site. Two of
the original square towers are in fair preservation, and, together with
the chapel and crenellated walls, form an interesting group (Fig. 146).
The style seems to have been partly that of the castellated buildings of
Italy, with V-shaped merlons between the embrasures, while the voussoirs
of the arches are of the deep form observed at Grimaud and Hyères.

[Illustration: FIG. 146. CASTLE OF NAPOULE.]

Napoule is supposed to have been a Roman port, having a depôt for grain
connected with it. The castle was built by the Counts of Villeneuve in
the fourteenth century. It belonged to that branch of the family called
Villeneuve Franc, and afterwards to the family of Montgrand.

Close to Napoule rises the conical hill of St Peyré, on the top of which
are the scanty ruins of a castle and a chapel with an apse. At the base
of the hill, and close to the public road, may be seen the remains of
another apsidal chapel. Beyond this various branches of the Siagne are
crossed, when a small conical hill crowned with

[Illustration: FIG. 147. MONT ST CASSIEN.]

wood rises abruptly on the left, to which the distant towers of Grasse
and Mougin, with the mountains beyond, form a background. This hill is
the Mont St Cassien, where a famous hermitage existed, and where a great
popular festival is still held annually on the 23rd of July. An
entrenched post was formed here under the Romans, for the defence of
the Aurelian Way. On this spot was also erected a Temple of Venus
surrounded with a sacred grove called the Ara Luci (hence the modern
Arluc, a small town in the vicinity). In the seventh century this
heathen temple was demolished by the religious of the Lérins, and a
convent erected instead, which, in its turn, was destroyed by the
Saracens. A chapel with an open arcaded porch now marks the spot (Fig.
147), which, surrounded as it is with ancient cypresses and pines, is
one of the best designed structures of the kind in the district. Small
open-air chapels or shrines of this description, with arcaded porches,
are very common all over the Riviera, and often form very pleasing
objects in the landscape, occupying, as they frequently do, somewhat
prominent sites. They are almost invariably in a late Renaissance style
of architecture.

CANNES is the one of the health resorts which has perhaps made the
greatest progress within the last fifty years, having developed from the
small fishing village which Lord Brougham found it in 1831, when he
erected the first English villa, into a town of fine residences and
splendid hotels extending for about four miles along the coast, and
rising on the wooded hills, or nestling in the sheltered ravines which
seam their flanks.

Like most of the towns on the Riviera, Cannes owed its first existence
to a rocky eminence in the middle of a bay, forming at once a naturally
sheltered harbour and a suitable site for a fortification for its
defence (Fig. 148). It is therefore probably a place of very ancient
origin, and was in all likelihood the primitive Ligurian settlement of
Ægitna, where the Roman Consul Quintus Opimius obtained a victory over
the Ligurian tribes B.C. 155. The town was then handed over to the
Massiliotes, the allies of the Romans, and went by the name of Castrum


Massiliorum during the Middle Ages. Sometime before the tenth century it
became a fief of the powerful Abbey of the Lérins, to which the whole of
the adjacent country had gradually become subject. The ecclesiastical
suzerain was represented on the mainland by a “chevalier,” who occupied
the castle of Cannes, which crowned the rock above referred to, and was
surrounded with walls. On the slopes of the castle hill and round the
harbour at its base were erected the houses of the ancient town, and in
the same position still stand the dwellings of the native population,
approached by steep and narrow alleys (Fig. 149).

The summit of the hill is crowned with the only buildings in Cannes
having any claim to antiquity. These consist of the “Tour du Chevalier,”
the ancient Church of St Anne (formerly the chapel of the castle), and
the more modern parish church of the seventeenth century, the whole
being surrounded with the remains of walls, towers, and bastions of
various periods, enclosing open spaces and courtyards, and presenting a
very varied and picturesque _ensemble_.

The “Tour du Chevalier” (Fig. 150) is a structure of peculiar interest,
being the first we have met with of a series of similar towers which, we
shall find as we proceed, were erected in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries for the defence of the towns and churches of this district.
These towers are generally, like that at Cannes, square on plan (Fig.
151), and have walls built with courses of square dressed stones, having
the faces left rough. The ground floor is vaulted, and is entered only
from the first floor by an aperture in the vault. The entrance doorway
to the tower is on the first floor, at a considerable height above the
ground; being so placed for security and being only approachable by a
moveable ladder. The projecting step

[Illustration: FIG. 149. THE OLD TOWN OF CANNES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 150. TOUR DU CHEVALIER, CANNES.]


to receive the top of the ladder is visible in the Tour du Chevalier,
beneath the entrance door. The latter has a straight lintel recessed
within a plain round arched opening. From the first floor level a stone
stair corbelled out from the interior of the wall and running round the
sides of the apartments led to the upper floors, which were originally
formed of timber, although now vaulted with flat arches of more recent
construction, probably of the sixteenth century. The roof was no doubt
flat and was provided with a crenellated parapet, projected on corbels
with machicolations between them. This parapet was only destroyed some
years ago, when the tower was struck by lightning. The openings for
light are small square apertures in the masonry without splay or
ornament. They have no internal bay, but are mere oblong holes passing
through the walls. These holes might almost be supposed to have been
used for projecting beams through, on which to rest wooden hoardings for
defence, but there are no doors for access to such works. According to
the Abbé Allier, in his History of the “Iles de Lérins,” this tower was
begun in 1073 by the Abbé Aldebert II., partly on Roman substructures.
The parapet was, however, not completed till 1395 by the Abbé Jean de
Thornafort. This tower and the other similar towers of this district (of
which more hereafter) occupied in their design an intermediate position
between the keeps of the North, such as that of Montmajour, and the
lofty towers of the Italian cities, of which those of Sienna and Verona
are well known examples. The courtyard of the castle was enclosed with
walls fortified with towers, of which some portions still remain, but
the enceinte has been greatly altered in later times, and converted into
bastions with platforms for guns, and parapets loopholed for musketry.
This was probably done during the Spanish wars of the sixteenth century.
Within the walls there were no doubt buildings for the residence of the
Chevalier and the garrison, the tower being only used for watching, and
as a keep or last resort in case of siege. Of the original structures
the only one besides the tower now remaining is the church of St Anne,
which, according to the Abbé Allier, was erected towards the end of the
twelfth century. This church forms an example of the simple style of
Cistertian architecture, which, as already remarked, was largely adopted
in Provence--especially, as we shall see, in many of the smaller
churches. In these we find the Cistertian plainness combined with the
plan of a simple nave without aisles, terminated with an apse at the
east end.

The Church of St Anne (Fig. 152), although erected in connection with
the castle, also served originally as the Town Church. It is of the same
simple type as Thoronet, but on a much smaller scale. The plan (Fig.
153) consists of one long nave, 87 feet in length by 20 feet wide, with
a round apse at the east end; and it has no aisles

[Illustration: FIG. 152. CHURCH OF ST ANNE.]

or transept. The walls are perfectly plain, both internally and
externally, and the roof is constructed with a pointed vault,
strengthened with square transverse ribs, which spring from simple
pilasters in the wall. The cornice between the wall head and the arch
consists of the same plain ovalo moulding as at Thoronet, and the part
of it forming the impost of the transverse ribs is “cut off” at the
sides, like the impost of the cloister arches at that abbey. Some of
these imposts, adjoining the central door, have a few rude and scarcely
intelligible carvings on them--apparently

[Illustration: FIG. 153. PLAN OF ST ANNE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 154. DOORWAY OF ST ANNE.]

of human heads. The apse is semi-circular, with a very short choir
raised one step, and covered with a semi-dome as at Thoronet, but there
is no round window above the choir arch. The original doorway (Fig. 154)
enters from the north side, where, probably, the outer bailey of the
castle was situated. It is composed of a simple outer and inner round
arch, forming one nook. The impost is a plain cavetto, the portion
supporting the inner arch being “cut off” at the sides. The doorway is 5
feet wide; but, in later times, this was found too large, and it has
been partly built up and reduced. It was probably placed near the centre
of the church, and made of the above width for the convenience of the
town’s people. There is a door in the west bay of the chapel, placed on
a high level, which may have been used for access from the castle to a
gallery or upper floor, such as was frequently introduced in similar
castle chapels.

[Illustration: FIG. 155. MONT DU CHEVALIER, CANNES.]

At a comparatively recent date the walls of the chapel have been raised
(Fig. 155), and the top of its vault used to form a platform for guns,
to aid in the defence of the town and castle.

The existing parish Church of Notre Dame d’Espérance occupies a
prominent position on the Mont du Chevalier. It is a heavy building of
the eighteenth century. The only redeeming feature it possesses is the
west doorway (Fig. 156), which is a good example of the Renaissance work
of the seventeenth century. The tower at the north-east angle of the
church (seen in the above view) has been raised in comparatively recent
times on the substructure of one of the original towers of the castle.
The lower portion with its round archway is certainly ancient. The upper
part, which is now the clock tower of the town, forms a prominent and
telling feature in all the views of Cannes.


In the bay, opposite Cannes, lie the two Iles de Lérins, dedicated
respectively to Ste Marguérite and St Honorat.

Architecturally speaking, the Island of St Honorat possesses the most
interesting series of buildings in the Riviera, combining, as it does,
some features of the architecture of every period and style of Provençal
art, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil.

This island, which is the outer and smaller of the two, held, for some
centuries, an important and honourable position in the West of Europe.
It was originally occupied as a post by the Romans, the materials of
whose buildings, in the form of broken bricks, etc., are scattered over
the soil. We shall also find that some Roman columns have been preserved
and utilised in the castle, while numerous Latin inscriptions may be
seen built into the walls of the modern cloisters. In the fifth century
the island seems to have been deserted when St Honorat retired to it,
and there founded a monastery, which was destined to become famous. It
constituted for long the chief repository of all the learning and
education which remained in Southern Gaul; and, like Iona, became a
centre from which missionaries issued to enlighten the surrounding
countries, and spread religion amongst the Barbarians. Besides many
other celebrities, St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is said to
have been educated here.

A monastery was erected in the centre of the little island, which is
only about half-a-mile in length. Some remains of a church of the
eleventh century were still extant in 1836, when Mérimée visited the
island. It was a simple basilica, having a nave of six bays, covered
with a pointed barrel vault, and side aisles with abutting vaults, like

But, in 1876, these remains were swept away, and a new church erected in
the Provençal style, but without any special features. The only ancient
portion now remaining is the cloister (Fig. 157), built in the simple
Cistertian style, with a circular vault, strengthened with transverse
ribs. The side next the cloister garth is enclosed with a wall, in which
only small openings or windows are perforated--not the usual wide

[Illustration: FIG. 157. CLOISTERS, ST HONORAT.]

Of the antique structures of the island an extremely interesting example
still survives in the chapel of the Ste Trinité (Fig. 158), situated at
the eastern point of the island, opposite the islet of Ferreol. It is
very peculiar in design, and is undoubtedly one of the earliest
buildings in Provence.

The plan (Fig. 159) shews a nave of two bays, having one transverse arch
supported on simple columns, with rude caps of the same section as the
string courses or imposts of the arches, beyond which is a triapsal
choir, crowned with a small and rudely-formed dome. The apses have their
semi-domed vaults fairly well constructed, but the central dome is not
raised from any definite pendentives,

[Illustration: FIG. 158. STE TRINITÉ, ST HONORAT.]

but as best it could be done by the workmen of the time out of a lower
dome which fills in the angles between the apses.

[Illustration: FIG. 159. PLAN OF STE TRINITÉ.]

The original exterior (Figs. 160 and 161) is extremely plain, the quoins
and doorway with its square lintel being constructed with large stones,
probably derived from a Roman building (Fig. 162). The upper part of the
walls was raised by the Spaniards, in the sixteenth century, to form a
platform for guns. The earlier form of the western gable is visible in
Fig. 160.

We have evidently, in this primitive structure, a rude attempt to
imitate the triapsal and domical forms originally used in the early
Christian architecture of the cemeteries at Rome, and afterwards more
fully developed in the East. Viollet-le-Duc attributes its erection to
the seventh or eighth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 160. WEST END OF STE TRINITÉ.]

Of the seven chapels which once extended round the island, and formed
the object of many pilgrimages, those of Ste Trinité (just described),
and St Sauveur near the centre of the north side, alone survive. The
latter (Fig. 163) is octagonal on plan, with niches on each of the
sides, and a larger central one, forming an apse opposite the door. This
apse alone is visible on the outside. The chapel is unfortunately
greatly modernised.

In course of time the monastery naturally became rich, and formed a
tempting bait to the Corsairs of the Mediterranean, whether Saracen or
Christian, who attacked and plundered it several times. It is said that
on the occasion of one of these descents in 725 St Porchaire and five
hundred monks were massacred. A restored chapel to the south of the
convent still bears the name of that martyr.

[Illustration: FIG. 161. STE TRINITÉ, EAST END.]

To provide a safe place of retreat in case of similar attacks in future
it was resolved to erect a keep or castle on a promontory of rock which
juts out into the sea at the south side of the island. Here a perpetual
look-out could be kept over the sea from the watch-tower on the summit,
and notice of danger given by ringing the bell (the belfry for which
still exists) in time to enable the monks to take refuge with their
valuables within the keep. The castle is stated to have been begun about
1073 by the Abbé Aldebert II., partly on Roman substructions and partly
on the rock, and the chapel was consecrated in 1088 (_see_ “Les Iles de
Lérins,” by the Abbé Allier.) In fifteen years the second floor was
commenced, and in 1190 the tower was finished. Having been frequently
sacked and destroyed there is some difficulty in making out the original
plan. Besides, containing as it does, an open cloister, it differs so
greatly otherwise

[Illustration: FIG. 162. DOORWAY, STE TRINITÉ.]

[Illustration: FIG. 163. ST SAUVEUR, LÉRINS

(_from Révoil_).]

from the feudal castles of the time, that their plans give little aid in
deciphering that of the monastic keep. It seems, however, to have been
originally (Fig. 164) an oblong building measuring 85 feet from east to
west, and 58 feet from north to south, with a wing projecting to the
southwards. This block was divided into two portions by a central wall
running north and south, and contained in the eastern division an open
cloister, formerly three, though now reduced to two storys in height,
and in the western division the refectory, dormitory, and other
apartments. To the east a small projection or tower contained on the
first floor the lavatory and latrines, and at the top was carried up as
a watch-tower above the parapet, and

[Illustration: FIG. 164.]

surmounted by the belfry for the alarm bell. The space at the north end
of the cloister is (as we shall presently see) a

[Illustration: FIG 165. CASTLE OF ST HONORAT (_from N.-W._)]

later extension of the original keep. The entrance door is in the north
wall (Fig. 165), several feet above the level of the ground. It has a
square lintel, with a round saving arch over it, and the door was
strengthened with a sliding bar. A narrow passage at right angles,
furnished with a second door, leads by a few steps up to the level of
the principal floor and opens on the cloister. This is the most striking
and remarkable part of the castle. It is 40 feet long by 27 feet wide,
and is surrounded with a vaulted gallery (Fig. 166), supported on six
columns--three on each side--leaving open to the sky a central space of
19 feet by 10 feet. The first view of this cloister is most impressive.
The ancient appearance of the granite columns, with their quaint caps
and bases, surmounted by bold pointed arches, above which rises an upper
and lighter arcade; the rich colour of the walls; the sombre effect of
the dark arcades contrasted with the bright light of the open central
court; and the unusual character of the structure, all combine to
produce a powerful and lasting effect on the mind. Nor does a closer
inspection diminish the interest. Some of the pillars are found to be
genuine Roman ones, brought from some ancient building, and here
utilised in a very matter-of-fact though telling manner. The columns
being generally too short, some of them have been pieced up with the
yellow limestone of the district, while others have been elevated on
bases of extra height. Three of the ancient shafts are of granite, one
of red marble, and the remaining two of limestone. On one of the former
(that at the south-west angle) can be read part of an inscription in
honour of Constantine. This shaft has the appearance of having been long
exposed in the open air, and many of the letters are worn away, so that
some parts of the inscription are difficult to decipher. The following
is the rendering of the

[Illustration: FIG. 166. LOWER CLOISTER, ST HONORAT.]

Abbé Allier; the letters within brackets being, however, illegible:--

    IMP [CÆS]
    FL VAL


[Illustration: FIG. 167^{_a._} CAPITALS AND BASE, CASTLE OF ST HONORAT.]

Another interesting point connected with these pillars is the form and
decoration of their capitals and bases (Figs. 167 and 167^_a_). At first
sight they look very rude and primitive, but on careful examination they
are seen to possess certain characteristics which belong to a
comparatively late period, thus raising a suspicion as to their
antiquity, which the evidently late vaulting of the cloister tends to
confirm. One is therefore somewhat puzzled how to regard them, and what
date to assign to them. But a comparison of the caps and bases of St
Honorat with those of the cloister of Thoronet at once removes all
difficulty. Original and quaint as both are, they are evidently (with
the exception of some which are later, and will be afterwards referred
to) the product of the same style and period. The Abbé Allier informs us
that in 1295 the Abbot Gancelme de Mayreris did much work in the
interior of the tower, and in 1315 a general chapter granted certain
fines in order to raise funds for its completion. To this period
probably belongs the first construction of the cloister. But in 1400 the
monastery was attacked by Genoese pirates, commanded by one Salageri,
who took the castle by assault, imprisoned the monks, and pillaged the
monastery. These Corsairs kept possession of the castle for about a
year, and were only got rid of by a general muster of the nobility of
Provence, with their retainers. The invaders probably greatly destroyed
the building; for we learn that after 1400 the cloisters, “L’Escalier
tournant,” and other works were commenced, and carried on by one
Gastolius de Grasse, who died in 1422. These facts indicate two periods
of considerable operations at the castle, one in the beginning of the
fourteenth and the other of the fifteenth century. Some of the caps
(such as A, D, and E), which so strikingly resemble those of the
cloisters of Thoronet, probably belong to the first of these periods;
while others (like B) have been executed in imitation of them, but
contain details which are undoubtedly of the period of the later work.
The capital (B) and most of the bases are clearly of the fifteenth
century; the style of the ogee and other mouldings, and the foliage of
the griffes or claws at the angles and on the cap B, being of a late
character. The form of the vaulting (Fig. 168), with its thin groins all
dying away to one sharp point at the springing, and without caps or
corbels to rest on, also corresponds with that date. The cloister arches
are pointed, but have no mouldings. It was in 1394, shortly before the
second of the above periods, that the body of St Honorat was


brought to the island from Forcalquier. Altogether, at this time the
monastery seems to have been in great activity, and extensive works
appear to have been then carried out at the castle. The portion
adjoining the north side of the cloister was at that time extended, so
as to form a projection to the northward, containing the “Escalier
tournant” above mentioned. The elliptical arch of the doorway to this
wheel-stair (_see_ Fig. 166) is evidently a late work, and a wide joint
or crack in the masonry, shewing the point from which the extension
northward took place, can be distinctly seen in the exterior of the east
wall (Fig. 169), where it extends from top to bottom of the castle. The
style of the masonry of this portion is also smoother than the original
work, which is left rough or “bossy” on the surface. The object of this
addition has probably been to provide a space for a guard-room near the
entrance to the castle with a wide staircase, and a broad platform on
the roof for defensive purposes. Beneath the cloister is a large cistern
or tank, stated by the Abbé Allier to have been constructed by Gastolius
de Grasse early in the fifteenth century; it contains a supply of good
water. A steep stair opposite the entrance door leads down to some small
cellars, arranged in two storys (Fig. 170), under a portion only of the
western part of the tower.

Ascending the “Escalier tournant,” the steps of which are four feet
long, we arrive at the upper cloister (Fig. 171). This contains a
gallery all round, with a parapet next the open court, on which stand
twelve octagonal columns supporting as many pointed arches (Fig. 172).
The whole is built in fine white marble, and the design is in the
Italian-Gothic style, somewhat similar to that of the cloister arches at
Fréjus. Some of the shafts and caps are evidently restorations in
imitation of older ones (Fig. 173).

Allier states that the arms of the Grimaldi family

[Illustration: FIG. 169. CASTLE OF ST HONORAT (_from N.-E._)]

[Illustration: FIG. 170. CASTLE OF ST HONORAT (_section from N. to S._)]

could be traced on one side of this cloister, two members of that house
having been Abbots commendatory of the Lérins. This probably marks the
date of the restoration--fifteenth century--but the original pillars
seem to be at least a century older. Some of the tiles of the floor,
which are of a plain red colour and square, still remain. Although the
cloister is now roofed in over the first floor, the section (_see_ Fig.
170) indicates that there was formerly a third story. The corbels in the
wall to support the beams of the roof are distinctly visible. The roof
may have formed a platform nearly on the level of the battlements. The
two upper floors were not vaulted, but arches were thrown across at the
four angles (_see_ Fig. 172) against the outer wall so as to strengthen
and steady the whole structure. On the first floor (Fig. 171) the
northern addition forms a recess, covered with a plain circular vault,
and lighted by a wide window provided with stone seats. The east
projection also forms a recess with a small window and a locker in the
wall. This was probably the sacristy, as it adjoins the chapel in the
south wing.

[Illustration: FIG. 171. CASTLE OF ST HONORAT, LÉRINS.]

The southern wing or projection seems to be of the same date as the
original castle, and to have formed part


of it. On the ground floor it is covered with a plain semicircular
tunnel vault similar in construction to that of the northern projection,
but there is no indication on the exterior of there having been any
extension of the masonry, such as above indicated at the northern end.

The first floor of the south wing contains the chapel, 25 feet by 26
feet with a groined vault about 28 feet high (_see_ Fig. 170). The ribs
are large and of a square section, and rest on plain corbels in the
angles, the construction of the whole being very simple. The windows are
small and have the same recesses deeply splayed towards the outside, as
occur in the old part of the east wall in the upper cloister, and which
indicate an early date.


The chapel was probably part of the original design, and was restored in
the fourteenth century. We read that in 1342, the Abbot Geoffrey had the
“choir” constructed in Toulon. This no doubt refers to a wooden gallery
or stalls, which were then fitted up, but have now entirely

The western portion of the castle was divided in the centre by a wall
running east and west. The northern division seems to have contained the
kitchen, and the other half the original refectory. The stone sink still
exists in the kitchen window to the north. The windows looking to the
west are small and high, the sill being stepped up. The upper floors in
this wing would contain the dormitories, being provided with fireplaces
and garderobes in the walls. But this part of the building was much
altered in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, and Mérimée mentions
that when he visited the Island in 1834, the place was divided up into
small rooms with plaster partitions, and, he adds, “some of the chambers
are still painted in the style of the eighteenth century, several of the
panels over the doors representing shepherds and shepherdesses in the
style of Van Loo, decorations one would scarcely look for amongst the

At a period subsequent to the original erection of the castle, the angle
contained between the southern projection and the main building was
enclosed with a wall and added to the structure. The walls of this
addition are much thinner than the old ones, being only about 4 feet,
while those of the original castle are from 8 to 10 feet thick. That
this portion is an addition is evident from the style of the masonry of
the old southern wall, which is visible in the interior of the
extension, and corresponds with the rough ashlar of the exterior walls
generally (_see_ Fig. 174, right side).

The principal floor of this addition, entering off the lower cloister,
was used as the refectory (Fig. 174). It is 47 feet long by 16 feet
wide, and is roofed with a round tunnel vault strengthened with
transverse ribs. This structure must belong to a comparatively late
period--probably the fifteenth century--but it is noteworthy that the
old Provençal style of tunnel vaulting, strengthened with transverse
ribs, having a simple ovalo for the string course or impost, and “cut
off” corbels, is still maintained.


The custom of reading to the monks during meals by one of their number
was evidently observed here, from the semi-circular recess or pulpit,
raised a few steps above the floor, which is formed in the wall at the
north-east angle.

The basement of this addition may have been used as cellars and stores,
and was reached by a wheel stair in the thickness of the wall. The upper
floor (now destroyed) was the library, which contained a large number of
valuable MSS., now dispersed and lost.

At the restoration of the fifteenth century, the top of the castle on
the sides next the land (Figs. 165 and 169) was crowned with a stone
parapet projected on bold corbels, with wide machicolations or apertures
for defence between them.

In 1524, and again in 1536, the castle was attacked and taken by the
Spaniards, who, on the latter occasion, were commanded by the famous
Genoese Captain Andrea Doria, on the part of Charles V. Some additional
buildings were added by the Spaniards to render the castle more
defensible according to the ideas of the sixteenth century. A narrow
gangway only 4 to 5 feet wide was built, by which alone access could be
obtained to the entrance doorway; and this was defended by a double
doorway at its outer end, where also it could only be reached by a
narrow stair placed at right angles. To the north of this was a ditch
and drawbridge. An outer wall seems also to have enclosed the castle on
the west side, and some additional buildings were erected at the
south-west angle, but these have now almost entirely crumbled away.

This ancient ruin, so interesting historically and architecturally, is
not less so artistically. Whether we regard the venerable aspect of the
antique cloister or the rich golden colour of the exterior, contrasting
so beautifully with the dark-green of the pines and the deep blue of the
southern sea and sky, nothing could be more charming or delightful.

After the above dates the castle seems to have been garrisoned by the
Crown of France, and was frequently taken and retaken by the Spaniards
and the French. It was at this period that the Chapel of Ste Trinité was
heightened, and fortified with two cannons; while, at the same time,
other batteries were erected at different points round the island.

Meanwhile the monastery had dwindled away, but the monks still retained
their suzerainty over Cannes, Vallauris, Napoule, and other villages on
the mainland. Finally, in 1788, the number of monks had become reduced
to four, when, on the request of the Bishop of Grasse, the monastery was
secularised. Thereafter the island has several times changed hands, and
now it is occupied by a body of Cistertian Monks, who cultivate the soil
and superintend an orphanage.

[Illustration: FIG. 175. CASTLE OF STE MARGUÉRITE.]

The adjoining island of STE MARGUÉRITE has but little interest
architecturally. The fort, which is built on the precipitous rock on the
north side of the island, facing the Croisette point at the eastern
extremity of the bay of Cannes, was erected by Richelieu. Scarcely
finished, it was attacked and taken by the Spaniards in 1635, who
enlarged it, and after being recovered by the French, was repaired by
Vauban. The view of the castle from the Croisette is picturesque and
pleasing (Fig. 175); but the only point worth inspecting close at hand
is the prison in which the “man with the iron mask” was confined by
Louis XIV. for seventeen years. The extreme thickness of the walls
(above 12 feet), the window defended by three successive gratings in
the depth of the wall, the double doors covered with iron studs and
secured with iron bars, give some idea of the importance of that
mysterious prisoner.

In the environs of Cannes there are numerous delightful walks and
excursions amongst the olives and vines of the valleys, or by footpaths
over the pine-clad hills. One of the most favourite of these is to the
town of VALLAURIS, famous for its fine pottery ware. It may be reached
by a road through a rocky valley, which branches off the main road to
Antibes, at Golfe Juan, or by a footpath, forming a pleasant walk of
some four miles across the hills, past the wayside chapel of St Antoine,
which crowns the “col” between the two valleys. From this point a
splendid view is obtained over Vallauris and its surrounding hills,
above which, in the distance, rise the snowy peaks of the Maritime Alps.
At Vallauris there still exists an interesting architectural relic,
being the original chapel of the summer palace of the Abbot of the
Lérins. This residence, situated as it is amongst the hills some way
inland from the sea, enjoys in summer a more temperate climate than the
Island of St Honorat, which is said to be the hottest place in Provence.
The property was acquired by the monastery in 1042, under a charter of
Aldebert, Bishop of Antibes, and here the abbots built their seignorial
castle. The chapel probably dates from the thirteenth century. The
remainder of the palace was demolished in the end of the fourteenth
century by a famous brigand, Raymond de Turenne, who devastated the
whole coast of Provence. In the beginning of the sixteenth century one
of the monks of the Lérins, Régnier de Lascaris, rebuilt the town on a
regular plan, with good streets placed at right angles, presenting a
very striking contrast to the network of



narrow tortuous lanes which form the usual streets of Provençal towns.
The houses were constructed for the accommodation of the workmen
employed at the celebrated potteries of the valley, which were well
known even in Roman times, and are still of world-wide fame. The palace
was probably rebuilt about the same time, and possesses some picturesque
features (Fig. 176). The chapel is (Fig. 177) like that of Cannes, a
simple nave,


31 feet long by 16 feet wide, with round apse about 10 feet deep. It is
roofed in two bays (Fig. 178), with a pointed barrel-vault, having one
square transverse rib in the centre, supported by a simple pilaster on
each side, with a string course at the wall-head, and impost “cut off,”
all as at the Mont du Chevalier. The apse is round, and has a pointed
semi-dome instead of a round one, as at the latter. The windows are
small and pointed, and have the deep external splay so common in all
these buildings. There are two doors, also pointed, one of which enters
at the south side from the castle court, and the other at the west end
from the outside. The pointed arches in the doors and windows probably
indicate a somewhat later date than the round ones of the “Mont du

The chapel is now occupied as an oil mill.

[Illustration: FIG. 179. “MAISON DU BRIGAND,” LE CANNET.]

A wide boulevard has recently been constructed, leading from the centre
of Cannes straight northwards for a distance of about two miles, through
the only ground near the town which is at all level, to the village of
LE CANNET. Here an ancient machicolated tower (Fig. 179), called the
“Maison du brigand” (now crowned with a

[Illustration: FIG. 180. NOTRE DAME DES ANGES, LE CANNET.]

peaceful photographer’s studio), contrasts strangely with the new houses
rapidly rising around it, along the recently constructed and improved
roads; but on the higher ground some of the more antique houses and
narrow lanes are still preserved near the quaint old church of Notre
Dame des Anges (Fig. 180). Le Cannet forms an agreeable promenade from
Cannes; and it is well worth while to continue the walk or drive
northwards for about two miles through the magnificent groves of olives
which here clothe the valley, as far as the base of the hill, on the
summit of which stands the ancient town of MOUGINS. Whether viewed from
below, or from the hill above on the right close by the ancient and
picturesque church of Notre Dame de Vie (Fig. 181), the effect of the
old town crowning its rocky and olive-clad height is always striking.
The climb up the steep and many-stepped mule path to the habitations on
the summit is no small task, but the labour is well repaid by the

[Illustration: FIG. 181. NOTRE DAME DE VIE AND MOUGINS.]

views thence obtained in all directions, especially towards Grasse, and
by the picturesque vistas which meet the eye at every turn in the
ancient narrow streets. One of the original gateways of the town (Fig.
182) is still preserved, with its machicolated parapet and the grooves
for the portcullis behind its plain pointed arch. It is supposed that
Mougins is the Mons Ægitna to which the native tribes retired, and where
they fortified themselves after being driven from Cannes (or Ægitna) by
the Romans. In returning to Cannes, the route may be delightfully varied
by a walk over the hills, past Notre Dame de Vie, and along the footpath
beside the aqueduct, which brings the water supply from the sources of
the Siagne (some twenty miles off by road, but double the distance
measured round the windings of the canal) to Cannes and Antibes.

Castellaras, about a couple of miles north from Mougins, is another
splendid point of view. An ancient castle here occupies the summit of a
hill, and is partly surrounded with its old wall of enceinte, but the
most of the buildings connected with it are modern.

[Illustration: FIG. 182. MOUGINS, GATE TO TOWN.]

The most important place, however, lying a few miles inland from Cannes,
is GRASSE, an ancient town of some celebrity, and still a place of
considerable business and movement. It lies about ten miles north from
Cannes, and may be approached by several roads or by railway. One road
goes to the westward, by the plain of Laval and the valley of the
Siagne, passing through the little town of Pégomas, and within a short
distance of AURIBEAU (Fig. 183), an ancient city perched on the crest of
a lofty hill. From this point the road steadily ascends, till, after a
long climb, Grasse, which stands about 1000 feet above the sea, comes
into view, its houses clustering round the old cathedral, and rising in
the form of an amphitheatre (Fig. 184), tier over tier up the hillside
on which it is built. From the height at which the town stands, the view
over the luxuriant lower ground between it and Cannes is very commanding
and delightful, the whole of the valley being laid out as gardens for
the cultivation of the roses, violets, and other sweet scented flowers,
from which the perfumes for which Grasse is famous are distilled.

[Illustration: FIG. 183. AURIBEAU.]

From an early time Grasse was an industrious and commercial town. It
thus became rich, and its wealth brought upon it frequent attacks from
the Saracens while they had their headquarters at the Great Fraxinet.
Early in the twelfth century the inhabitants followed the example of the
Italian towns with which they had commerce by constituting themselves a
free republic. Their consuls formed treaties with Pisa and Genoa, and
unfortunately the town got mixed up with Italian politics and the
disputes of the Guelphs and Ghibellines. This led to the usual unhappy
result of dividing the people into violent factions, and enabled Raymond
Béranger, Count of Provence, in 1226, under pretext of aiding the
Guelph party, to render himself master of the town. In the sixteenth
century Grasse shared the unhappy fate of the rest of this part of
France, when Francis I. found himself unable to defend it against
Charles V., and therefore laid the whole country waste. The town also
suffered greatly during the religious wars of the seventeenth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 184. GRASSE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 185. PLAN OF GRASSE CATHEDRAL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 186. GRASSE CATHEDRAL, WEST END.]

The most important building in Grasse is the cathedral. It is the first
church we have seen, on our way eastwards, which represents a type
essentially different from that of Provence, and markedly akin to the
architecture of Italy--a characteristic which we shall find more and
more strongly developed in our progress along the Riviera. The plan
(Fig. 185), like that of most of the churches of Italy, consists of a
central nave and side aisles, all originally terminated with eastern
apses, the

[Illustration: FIG. 187. GRASSE CATHEDRAL (_Campanile at N.E. angle_).]

existing choir, which is square, being a late addition. The character of
the exterior is essentially Italian (Fig. 186), being similar in its
forms and ornament to the churches of Pisa and Genoa, with which towns,
as above-mentioned, Grasse had commercial relations. The arcaded
ornament at the eaves is very Lombardic, and the doorways of the west
front and north side (Fig. 187) are of the ordinary Italian design of
the thirteenth century, with low pitched roof. The tall and simple
square campanile is also Italian in conception. The design of the
interior (Fig. 188) is somewhat remarkable, the massive circular piers
with their cushion caps having more of the character of a Northern than
of a Southern edifice. They remind one, however, of those of
Carcassonne. The solid square groins of the vault, springing from very
simple corbels, are of a usual Provençal form--such, for instance, as
those of Fréjus Cathedral. Close to the cathedral stands one of the
square towers (Fig. 189), similar to that of the Mont du Chevalier at
Cannes, which we have noticed as being common in the towns of this

[Illustration: FIG. 188. GRASSE CATHEDRAL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 189. KEEP TOWER, GRASSE.]

province. It is built with the usual rough-faced ashlar work, but its
other distinctive features are now lost, the interior being occupied as
dwelling-rooms. This tower adjoins the ancient Bishop’s Palace, now the
Municipal Buildings. Near this--and, indeed, scattered everywhere
through the narrow and busy streets of Grasse--are

[Illustration: FIG. 190. STAIRCASE, GRASSE.]

to be seen many fragments of the massive architecture of its ancient
palaces. These are easily distinguished from their being built with the
same rough-faced, solid masonry as the tower; and they often still
retain a door or window of pointed form, recalling the older palaces
occasionally found in the similar crowded lanes of Genoa. There are also
some examples in Grasse of the great houses of the merchant princes of
the Renaissance period, so distinctive of the Italian cities. The
picturesque staircase of one of these is still preserved (Fig. 190).
This building stands at the east end of one of the charming open
“places,” surrounded with arcades, planted with trees, and enlivened
with fountains, in which Grasse abounds, and which form such attractive
subjects for the artist. In one of the narrow streets stands the Church
of the “Oratoire,” (Fig. 191), the strikingly Italian façade of which at
once arrests attention. It is evidently a building of the fifteenth
century, and is exactly such a design as may be found in any of the
cities of Northern Italy. The annexed sketch (Fig. 192) of one of the
caps of the main piers is suggestive, and corresponds with similar
details of the same period in Italy.


From Grasse several very interesting excursions may be made, and a
number of ancient buildings investigated. A very fine, although a long
day’s expedition, is the drive to St Césaire and Callian. The former is
reached by a side road, which branches off the main road to Draguignon,
about six miles west of Grasse, and after a climb of three miles further
up amongst the mountains finally arrives at St Césaire, beyond which all
progress westwards is stopped on the crest of the great cliffs which hem
in the gorge of the Siagne.

[Illustration: FIG. 192.


[Illustration: FIG. 193. ST CÉSAIRE, ANCIENT GATEWAY.]

It is therefore necessary to return to the main road, itself
sufficiently winding and romantic, along which a further course of eight
to nine miles conducts to Montauroux and Callian. The whole journey
there and back to Grasse thus extends to about thirty-seven miles, but
can easily be accomplished in one day with a pair of the hardy ponies of
the country.

The main road from Grasse descends by numerous wide loops towards the
valley, and skirts the lofty mountains on the right, where several
picturesque looking villages are seen clustering on the hillsides.

At Tignet the ruins of an ancient commandery of the templars are passed,
but there is nothing of architectural interest sufficient to detain the
traveller till St Césaire, amongst its remote and snow-clad hills, is

[Illustration: FIG. 194. AT ST CÉSAIRE.]

The town of ST CÉSAIRE is charmingly situated about nine miles west from
Grasse. It stands on the edge of a lofty precipice overlooking the
valley of the Siagne, which is here full of remarkable scenery and
interesting grottoes and fountains, forming a romantic region, from
which starts the aqueduct which supplies fresh water to Cannes and
Antibes. St Césaire possesses still some remains of its ancient walls
and gates (Fig. 193), some quaint pieces of carving over doorways etc.
(Fig. 194). But its most interesting feature architecturally, is the
ancient church which stands in its quiet churchyard outside the town,
relieved against a background of snowy mountains (Fig. 195). It is
similar in its Cistertian simplicity to those of Cannes and Vallauris,
and differs only in having, instead of plain pilasters, rounded vaulting
shafts, with simple caps and bases (Fig. 196), the former very similar
to those of Thoronet. The church is 45 feet long by 20 wide (Fig. 197),
divided into three bays, with apse 9 feet deep to the eastward. As at
Vallauris there are two doors, one at the west end and one in the south
side, the latter pointed externally and round internally. The windows
have round arches, with the usual deep external splay, at the inner edge
of which the opening is narrowed by two half roll mouldings, probably
with a view to prevent draughts in this lofty and exposed region. For
the same reason there are only three very small windows, two on the
south side and one in the apse.

[Illustration: FIG. 195. CHURCH OF ST CÉSAIRE.]

This church probably dates from the early part of the thirteenth
century. Both the exterior and the interior are well preserved. The
walls have been heightened at a later date, but why is not clear. As the
alteration does not affect the interior, it has probably been done to
make the slope of the roof harmonise with the west front, which has been
altered and a belfry added.

[Illustration: FIG. 196. CHURCH OF ST CÉSAIRE.]

As in all the churches of the style, the tiles of the roof rest directly
on the outside of the arches.

An ancient carved front (shewn in Fig. 194) is lying outside the

[Illustration: FIG. 197. PLAN OF CHURCH, ST Césaire.]


The main road, from the point where the branch to St Césaire leaves it,
continues westwards and descends with many wide and bold sweeps till it
reaches the Siagne, which it crosses at Les Veyans, and again ascends
the steep and wooded valley on the opposite side. Soon the rugged ruins
of the castle of Tournon (Fig. 198) are seen frowning over the pass from
their rocky eminence, which can only be reached after a hard climb
through the thick wood and thorny heath which clothe the hillside. But
that trouble is rewarded by the discovery of a rude and remarkable
edifice. This consists of a Keep of semi-circular form built on the
edge of a precipice which forms the diameter of the circle, and has
apparently been considered a sufficient defence of the structure on that
side. A semi-circular lofty wall of enceinte surrounds the keep on the
side next the hill. The entrance gateway was doubtless in this wall
where there is now a ruinous gap. The building is reduced to bare and
shattered walls, so that its interior arrangements cannot be determined,
but it must have been a very singular and unique structure.

[Illustration: FIG. 199. TOWN AND CASTLE OF CALLIAN.]

Near the highest point of the road, in continuing westwards, the village
of La Colle-Noire stands across the way, and in olden times stopped all
passage by means of gates in its walls. Beyond this, an open country
rich in vines and olives is traversed, from which another long ascent
leads to the town of Montauroux, standing on a promontory, crowned with
the ruins of the Fort St Barthélemy, destroyed in 1592. A wide curve of
the road, round a fine amphitheatre of terraced lands, leads from
Montauroux to Callian, another little town perched on the hillside, and
commanded by the immense ruins of an old castle (Fig. 199), which like
all the others in the province, was sacked in 1792, and of which only
the shattered shell remains. It would appear from the mullioned windows
and round tower, to have been built in the fifteenth century, and has
evidently been altered in the seventeenth, by the insertion of numerous
large oblong openings. In the sixteenth century this pile was inhabited
by Jean de Grasse.

[Illustration: FIG. 200. LE BAR, S. DOORWAY OF CHURCH.]

From Grasse another excursion of surpassing interest, not only on
account of the magnificent natural scenery passed through, but also from
the variety of the architectural remains, may be made to the eastward
leading by Le Bar and Vence to Cagnes, where the Paris, Lyons, and
Mediterranean Railway is reached. The whole distance is about
twenty-five miles. The first place of note arrived at after leaving
Grasse is LE BAR, about six miles to the eastward. It stands on a
platform at a considerable height and enjoys a fine view to the
southwards. The church, not remarkable otherwise, has a Roman
inscription built into the tower, and a fine Italian Gothic doorway
(Fig. 200) in the south side. This doorway, with its twisted nook shafts
and arch mouldings, plain caps, and enclosing notched weather table,
might have been found in almost any part of Italy. Wooden doors covered,
like this one of Le Bar, with elaborate carvings, are a feature of
common occurrence in every part of the province, and are often of much
interest and beauty. The church contains two remarkable Mediæval
paintings which were thought worthy of notice at the great Exhibition of
Paris, to which they had been sent. The town is still dominated by the
relics of a great castle of the Middle Ages, of which some towers
remain, but it is now greatly ruined and shorn of its grandeur. Some of
the old walls of the town also still survive, and give this quaint old
place, perched as it is on the steep slope of the hill, an unusual and
striking aspect.

From Le Bar the main road descends in wide curves towards the valley of
the river Loup, but long before reaching the bottom of the gorge the eye
is attracted by the unusual appearance of towers and pinnacles rising
from the summit of a lofty pyramidal mountain to the northwards (Fig.
201). These distant peaks are found on nearer approach to be the
edifices of the town of GOURDON, an eyrie built for security from the
assaults of the Corsairs on this inaccessible and naturally fortified

[Illustration: FIG. 201. GOURDON.]

A post road, branching off the main road at Le Bar, passes, after many
windings and ascents round the rocky sides of the opposite cliffs,
within a short distance of Gourdon; but for those who intend going on to
Vence, the latter course is too great a deviation from the route. Their
only way of reaching Gourdon is by the steep and stony footpath which is
seen rising to it in innumerable zig-zags from near the bridge over the

It is a splendid ascent, although a somewhat arduous one, and affords a
lovely series of views; but it may be questioned whether one is
sufficiently rewarded by the specimens of architecture which he finds in
Gourdon. It is now a melancholy and deserted village, occupied
apparently only by a few women and children. Some of the houses are
picturesque in their grouping, like those in Fig. 202, but there is
nothing fine about the place except the magnificent view to the south,
east, and west from the terrace in front of the old church. One very
large building seems to swamp all the rest of the little town. This is a
great château (Fig. 203), built by the family of Lombard in the style of
the seventeenth century, and which, we believe, is still occupied in
summer, when the cool breezes of this elevated pinnacle form a grateful
change from the heat of the plains.

[Illustration: FIG. 202. HOUSES IN GOURDON.]

From the point where the main road crosses the Loup, a delightful
excursion may be made up the gorge amongst the mountains, as far as a
famous waterfall called the “Saut du Loup.”

[Illustration: FIG. 203. CHÂTEAU, GOURDON.]

The road now gradually ascends the northern side of the valley of the
Loup, which is seen flowing at some distance below on the right through
a richly cultivated plain. In some of the cuttings by which the road is
carried round the rocks, numerous oyster and other fossil shells may be
observed, characteristic of the tertiary limestone which here occurs of
great thickness, and forms the immense cliffs which at some parts of the
coast overhang the Mediterranean.

On approaching TOURETTES the road sweeps round the abrupt side of a
gorge where the rock is hollowed out into caverns, some of which are
occupied as houses and stores. From this point a fine view is obtained
of the grey old town of Tourettes, with its crumbling walls and houses
rising from the margin of precipitous rocks of the same sad dusty
colour. There seems to be nothing of special interest in the town, but
outside the walls on the north side there is a wide open “place,” on
which stand the Hôtel de Ville and the church of the fourteenth century.
The latter is a specimen built on the plan of the simple hall without
aisles. In this instance it is vaulted with groined arches (Fig. 204),
the ribs having the unusual form of a plain bead, and springing from
small primitive looking corbels, such as are common in Provençal

[Illustration: FIG. 204. CHURCH, TOURETTES.]

The font (Fig. 205) in this church is of a rather remarkable design.

A few miles’ further drive through fine mountain scenery brings us to
the ancient city of Vence (described further on), whence the railway
station of Vence-Cagnes is about six miles distant.

[Illustration: FIG. 205. FONT, TOURETTES.]

We shall now return to Cannes and follow the route eastwards along the
coast of the Mediterranean. This takes us first by the fine sheltered
roadstead of Golfe Jouan to the city of ANTIBES, which stands upon a
rocky peninsula jutting out into the sea, and enclosing a sheltered bay
and harbour, defended on the opposite point by a great star-shaped
fortification called the Fort Carré, erected by Vauban. The town itself
is surrounded with walls, and strongly fortified in the style of the
seventeenth century, of which it is a good and little altered specimen.
The views of the town from the sea coast are charming (Fig. 206).
Surrounded on the land side with its great stone ravelins and bastions,
and protected on the south by its rocky seaboard, with the snowy peaks
of the Maritime Alps forming a background, and the bright blue of the
Mediterranean in the foreground, a finer picture can hardly be imagined.

The town of Antibes is of very ancient origin. According to M.
Lenthéric, a sacred stone of the Phœnicians has here been found, with a
Greek inscription, giving proof of the ancient worship of the Hellenes
having been observed in this locality in the fifth century B.C. This
town was also an important station under the Romans. In very early
Christian times it became the see of a bishop,

[Illustration: FIG. 206. ANTIBES (_from W._)]

but being greatly exposed to the attacks of the Saracen Corsairs, from
whom it suffered severely, the see was in 1243 removed for security to
Grasse. There were originally four bishoprics in this part of the
Riviera, viz.:--Nice, Antibes (afterwards Grasse), Vence, and Fréjus.
The whole are now comprised in the two dioceses of Nice and Fréjus.

As a frontier town Antibes was necessarily much damaged during the wars
between Francis I. and Charles V., being frequently attacked and
pillaged. Its ancient buildings have thus been almost entirely
demolished, either by the direct effects of war or in the construction
of the fortifications, so that scarcely a trace of Roman occupation
remains, save in some tombs, inscriptions, and urns which have been dug
up. The oldest existing structures stand on the highest point of the
rock facing the sea. Here we find some parts of the cathedral of the
thirteenth century, and two towers in the style of those of the Mont du
Chevalier at Cannes. The church is very simple in design, and seems to
have been originally similar to that of Vence, but it has been greatly
altered and a new front added in the seventeenth century (Fig. 207). The
two towers at Antibes are of peculiar interest. At Cannes there is only
one tower or keep, which was attached to the castle of the Chevalier. At
Antibes one of the towers (Fig. 208) is in connection with an old palace
(now a barrack), which doubtless occupies the site of the ancient
castle, being on the summit of the rock, and suitably placed for keeping
a look-out seawards. The other tower is close to the cathedral (Fig.
207), and is still connected with it by a covered way on the first
floor. It seems probable that the first was the keep of the temporal
Commandant and the other that of the spiritual Lord. The frequent
incursions of the Corsairs would render such a place of security
desirable in


connection with the cathedral, and would also enable the bishop to be
independent of the temporal power. Both keeps are constructed in the
same manner as that of the Mont du Chevalier with rough faced ashlar
blocks, and in both the entrance doorway is on the first floor. That of
the castle (Fig. 208) is recessed under a plain round arch, and has a
moulded step to receive the ladder or moveable stair by which it was
approached. There are also two corbels, one on each side of the doorway,
as if for the purpose of carrying a pent house roof. The stair is
carried up round the inside of the walls and supported on corbels as at
Cannes. The castle tower has in modern times been lowered and covered
with a sloping roof. The bishop’s tower is now used as the belfry of the
church, and has had large round headed openings cut in it near the top
to let out the sound of the bells.


On the left of this tower in the sketch (Fig. 207) may be observed some
remains of similar workmanship in the masonry, which indicate the
position of another ancient structure above which a modern house has
been erected. Some fragments of ancient walls, and a gateway with two
large round towers, may be observed on the eastern side of the Rue
Aubernon, and these, together with the arcades on the opposite side, and
the double row of trees which line the boulevard, form a striking and
picturesque promenade. These walls doubtless enclosed the ancient
_cité_, and the Rue Aubernon occupies the position of the original
ditch. The fortifications of the existing town extend a long way beyond
this ancient boundary.

In passing along the coast eastwards from Antibes a fine view is
obtained on the right over the sea towards Nice, while on the other hand
glimpses occur between the olive groves and up the valleys to the
mountains beyond. The first of these openings, the valley of the Brague,
shews the interesting old town of Biot in the distance, set as usual on
a rocky height. A little further on the tower of the castle of
Villeneuve-Loubet rises above the river Loup, and immediately thereafter
the town of Cagnes bursts suddenly upon the view. This town consists as
usual of a series of houses clustering in terraces round the sides of a
detached and precipitous hill, crowned with an ancient castle on its
summit. The station of Vence-Cagnes is easily reached by railway either
from the direction of Nice or Cannes, and from it several pleasant
excursions may be made to the places above referred to, which have just
been passed, and also to the ancient towns of St Paul-du-Var and Vence,
already mentioned.

CAGNES is a place of some industry, being the point of export for the
products of the valleys of the Loup, the Malvan, and the Cagne. On
leaving the railway station and approaching the town, the lower part of
the hill on which it stands is seen to be richly clad with the dark
green foliage of the orange trees, enlivened with their golden fruit,
planted in stone-built terraces rising steeply one over the other up to
the walls of the town.

[Illustration: FIG. 209. CASTLE OF CAGNES (_from the S._)]

Entering at the south end of the hill a steep and narrow street leads
straight up to the top at the north end, where stands the old castle of
the Grimaldis (Fig. 209). This is evidently an ancient structure, having
the bold machicolated parapet of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
But it has been greatly altered in the seventeenth century, when large
windows have been opened in the walls, the machicolations being in
numerous places cut away to receive them (Fig. 210); while at the
entrance front a wide outer staircase with double ramp and marble
balustrade has been introduced leading up to a principal entrance
doorway on the first floor. From this access is obtained to a small
inner courtyard surrounded with Renaissance columns forming a staircase
and corridor above of two storys in height, which, adorned as it is
with beautiful plants by the present proprietor, has a peculiarly
pleasing effect. Some of the apartments are finely decorated. That of
the “Belle Cheminée” has a sculptured marble fireplace and a ceiling
painted with the fall of Phaeton, said to be by Carlowe. From the
platform lying to the north of the château a magnificent view is
obtained to the northward up the valley of the Malvan towards St Paul
and Vence, and the lofty precipices of St Jeannot beyond, backed to the
right with the snowy ridges of the distant Alps.

[Illustration: FIG. 210. CASTLE OF CAGNES (_from the N.E._)]

The nearest place of prominence from Cagnes is the Castle of
VILLENEUVE-LOUBET--about two miles to the north-west. This castle has
been modernised and nearly rebuilt, but enough of the original work
remains to render a visit very interesting. On nearing it, the edifice
(Fig. 211) is seen to consist of a central castle strengthened with four
towers at the angles, and surmounted by a lofty, quaint, and
Moorish-looking watch-tower, the whole being enclosed with a strong wall
of enceinte, defended with round towers at the angles (Fig. 212),
provided with large port-holes for guns, and separated from the
surrounding county by a deep ditch. The entrance gateway consists of an
iron grating, guarded by two round towers, and furnished with a
drawbridge over the moat. The round towers and walls of enceinte are by
no means modern; they probably belong to the sixteenth century, but they
have been shorn of their proud battlements, and thus present a very
squat and subdued appearance.

[Illustration: FIG. 211. CASTLE OF VILLENEUVE-LOUBET (_from the N.W._)]

The central castle is in part much more ancient, but also for the most
part greatly altered and modernised. The

[Illustration: FIG. 212. CASTLE OF VILLENEUVE-LOUBET (_from the S.E._)]

original plan was probably not dissimilar to the existing one,
comprising a central courtyard with buildings surrounding it. The
exterior walls are modern, but those of the interior of the courtyard
are partly ancient, although altered. They are built with the
rough-faced ashlar of the thirteenth century, and contain some decayed
coats of arms on which may still be traced the lances of the Villeneuves
and the star of Les Baux. Externally, the east face (Fig. 212) presents
two noteworthy features in the apse of the chapel and the tall
watch-tower. The chapel, although now converted into apartments, still
retains the outlines and buttresses of an apse which seems to belong to
the fifteenth century. The watch-tower is one of the most perfect
examples of those characteristic features of the Maritime Alps. It is of
the same nature as the keep towers we have met with at Cannes, Grasse,
and Antibes, having the same rough ashlar facing, but instead of being
square on plan like them, it has the eastern side projected in the form
of a sharp angle (like the tower of La Trinité in the same locality, to
be described immediately, and of which a plan is given). The access to
the top is by a narrow wheel-stair on the side next the quadrangle. The
important point about the tower is that it preserves its battlemented
top almost unaltered. It is carried up to the height of about 90 feet,
and near the summit has several courses of a dark-coloured stone, which
give it a Moorish or Italian character. These may at one time have been
enriched with carving, of which one fancies some traces may still be
observed, but they are so completely weather-worn that no forms can be
distinguished. The level platform on the top is defended with a simple
crenellated parapet without machicolations. From this lofty station a
wide outlook could be kept over sea and land.

This castle and tower belonged in the thirteenth century to Romée de
Villeneuve, the chief of that powerful family and the guardian of
Beatrix, daughter of Raymond Béranger IV., the last of the Counts of
Provence of that line. It was through the marriage with the heiress
Beatrix that Charles of Anjou, the brother of St Louis, succeeded to the
title and estates of the Count of Provence. The estate was sold at a
later period to the Lascares of Ventimiglia, and is now the property of
the Count of la Panisse-Pacy. In 1538 this castle entertained an
illustrious guest in the person of Francis I., who stayed here while
Pope Paul III. carried on negotiations between him and Charles V. The
latter had landed at Villefranche in order to meet the French king; but
so great was the antipathy and distrust of the two monarchs for each
other, that they could not be brought to encounter a personal interview.
These negotiations ended in the signature, by Francis in the Castle of
Villeneuve-Loubet, of the Treaty of Nice (_See_ “The Maritime Alps and
their Sea Board.”)

[Illustration: FIG. 213. TOWER OF LA TRINITÉ (_Plan_).]

From the top of Romée de Villeneuve’s tower another similar tower is
observed rising above the pine wood about a mile up the valley to the
north-west. To reach it we descend from the castle so as to gain the
bridge across the Loup, and in doing so the steep streets of the old
town of Villeneuve, terraced in tiers on the slope of the

[Illustration: FIG. 214. TOWER OF LA TRINITÉ (_from the Chapel_).]

hill, are traversed, and the old church on its fine platform is passed
on the left. The road up the valley is easy and agreeable, but the
ascent of the conical hill, the summit of which is crowned with the
tower of LA TRINITÉ, is no light work. From a distance this tower looks
like a lofty pedestal erected to support the colossal statue of the
Virgin and child which now surmounts it. But on closer inspection it is
found to be a remarkable example of a keep, defended with that
accumulation of obstacles with which the old builders used to block up
the access to their strongholds. After the steep hillside has been
climbed, one finds himself at the base of the pointed rock on which the
keep is set (Fig. 213). From here a sloping path leads up to the ruins
of the chapel, of which only the vestiges of wall shewn in the sketch
(Fig. 214), mingled with the scattered fragments of the font and other
relics, now remain.

The ruins of a strong gateway in the outer walls which closed the access
are passed just before reaching the chapel, and a lower bastioned
terrace is continued round the northern part of the eminence at this

From the chapel, when one turns his eyes upwards to the tower (as in
Fig. 214), he discovers such a series of winding stairs interrupted at
frequent intervals with walls and gateways as must certainly have
rendered a hostile approach in that direction impracticable, while
perpendicular rocks and lofty walls made the access equally hopeless on
the other sides. Besides this, on the side next the hill, which was
perhaps the least invulnerable point, stands the keep (Fig. 215),
strengthened with a projecting beak of similar form to that of the tower
of Romée de Villeneuve. The lower story is original, and contained the
doorway at the level of the top of the rock. This inaccessible point, on
which there is a small platform, was probably reached by a rude stair
cut in the rock (as indicated on the plan) and was defended with
outworks, the approach to which was overlooked from the upper platform.
The doorway, it will be observed, is placed on the opposite side of the
tower from the platform, at a point where the foothold is narrow, and
the door therefore all the more secure.

The upper portion of the tower dates from 1863, when, as the following
inscription, which is carved on a marble slab let into the wall,
announces, the old tower was reconstructed by the Comte and Comtesse de
la Panisse-Pacy, and dedicated to the blessed Virgin:--


The tower alone has been restored in the manner shewn by the sketches;
all the other portions remain undisturbed in their ruins. The rooms in
the tower are only 10 ft. 6 in. long by 7 ft. wide, and there is no
indication of any other habitation connected with the fort.

The place has all the appearance of a typical robber’s stronghold, and,
as James V. said of a similar Scottish keep, “He that built it was a
thief in his heart.” According to tradition, La Trinité was originally a
keep of the Templars. That order had extensive possessions in this part
of Provence, and they may have erected this tower as a post for watching
and giving notice of the approach of an enemy. After the suppression of
the order La Trinité passed into the possession of the Mathurins or
Redfriars. They were also called the Order of the Trinity, and their
special duty was to succour prisoners. The name of the tower may
possibly have been derived from them. The chapel is 29 ft. long by 14
ft. wide, and the raised step at the east end is still traceable. The

[Illustration: FIG. 215. TOWER OF LA TRINITÉ (_from the S.W._)]

walls have been about 8 ft. 6 in. high to the plain ovalo forming the
string course from which sprung the semi-circular barrel vault of the
roof. From the upper platform of the fortress a splendid view is
obtained (Fig. 215), especially to the northwards, comprising St
Paul-du-Var in the middle distance, and Vence backed by the towering
precipices of St Jeannet. Beneath these stood the powerful Commandery of
the Templars at St Martin (to be afterwards described), from which a
signal at their watch-tower of La Trinité would be easily observed.

[Illustration: FIG. 216. BIOT.]

From La Trinité a rough footpath leads across the pine-clad hills to
BIOT, a distance of about two and a half miles as the crow flies, but
about an hour’s walk over the heath-covered heights, and through the
deep ravines which have to be traversed. Some extensive quarries are
passed on the way at Les Aspres. After a hot tramp over these rocky and
barren hills, it is refreshing to reach the fertile and cultivated
valley of the Brague with its steep and terraced banks richly clad with
olive and orange trees. A very steep descent leads to the bottom of the
valley, from which the walls and towers of Biot are seen rising on the
crest of the hill above (Fig. 216). This is one of the most primitive
old towns in the district. A very circuitous post road has now been
constructed up to it, but the old accesses by long flights of wide
steps, on which the peasants and their mules are constantly ascending
and descending, are still preserved, and are in their way amongst the
most picturesque streets in the Riviera. Climbing patiently up flight
after flight, and winding round the narrow streets, we at length reach
the highest point, on which stands the church. The following inscription
is carved in the interior wall:--“Hanc Ecclesiam consecravit Illus,
primus et reveredismus Inxpo P.D.D. Isnædus D. Grassa Episcopus Grassen,

               1472 [Illustration: round symbol] DIE 19.


thus shewing that the church was consecrated by the bishop of Grasse at
the above date. Some of the work corresponds with that period, _e.g._,
the doorway in the west end (Fig. 217). But the south doorway (Fig. 217)
has an earlier character. The exterior is all altered, and the interior
has also been modernised in a very extraordinary manner, but some traces
of the original building are still observable. Biot belonged to the
Templars in 1247, and afterwards to the knights of Malta. In 1470 the
bishop of Grasse brought hither forty-eight Genoese families, probably
to help to re-people the town after the plague or some destructive
assault of the Corsairs. This was evidently the occasion on which the
bishop re-consecrated the church, which then no doubt required to

[Illustration: FIG. 217. CHURCH OF BIOT.]

be to a great extent rebuilt. But some of it bears the signs of having
been erected at an earlier date by the Templars. The plan (Fig. 218) is
very unusual. A simple oblong divided into three aisles with three
terminal apses such as we see here is common enough, but the plain round
columns which separated the nave and aisles are very uncommon. The bases
and caps are of a simple and early character (Fig. 219). The pillars are
too light to have been intended to carry vaulting, and the original
church would thus seem to have had a row of plain arches on each side,
with perhaps a clerestory wall above supporting a wooden roof. The
building would thus have originally the characteristics of a primitive
basilica, somewhat like San Miniato at Florence (Fig. 33, p. 101). But
this design has now been ingeniously altered and destroyed, and the
whole character of the interior degraded from being one of the most
interesting churches of Provence into a commonplace Renaissance chapel.
By means of stucco the old round pillars have been converted on the side
next the nave into flat

[Illustration: FIG. 218. PLAN OF CHURCH OF BIOT.]

pilasters which are carried up and finished with Ionic caps, supporting
an entablature which runs along each side of the church above the old
arches. A groined vault in plaster springing from the top of the cornice

[Illustration: FIG. 219. CHURCH OF BIOT.]

thrown across the nave. The old pillars with their caps and bases have,
however, been allowed to remain unchanged on the side next the aisles,
where their archaic forms contrast strikingly with the modern plaster
work on the other side. An attempt has been made to Italianise the apse
also, but the pilasters and entablature fit lamely into the old apse. A
wide flight of steps at the west end leads _down_ from the doorway into
the church, and has a rather peculiar effect. This no doubt arose from
the irregularity of the site. To the west of the church lies the public
_place_, surrounded with plain houses, all arcaded on the ground floor,
and presenting a pleasing example of that picturesque feature of the
towns of the Riviera. A walk of about three miles through the olive
gardens of the valley of the Brague leads to the Antibes Railway
station. Biot may of course be visited directly from the latter; there
is a good carriage road.

One of the most delightful excursions from Cagnes is that to ST
PAUL-DU-VAR, and VENCE, two of the most interesting old towns of the
Riviera. The distance to St Paul is from three to four miles, and to
Vence two to three miles further. This may be accomplished either by
driving or on foot. A carriage may be hired near the Cagnes Railway
Station. The route in driving goes by a rather circuituous road round
the west side of the valley of the Malvan, passing within a short
distance of the castle of Villeneuve-Loubet. The most direct road is
either along the base of the hill on which Cagnes stands, or through the
town. For the pedestrian the latter is by far the most agreeable.
Starting from the terrace of the old castle (already described), a rough
footpath is followed along the ridge which separates the valley of the
Malvan from that of the Cagne, and affords a delightful prospect of
both. The rich colour of the russet leaves of the forest trees, mingled
with the dark green of the pines and the grey tint of the olives, gives
a special charm to the walk. Looking northwards the towns of La Gaude
and St Jeannet stand out prominently on their rocky heights against the
lofty and precipitous mountains immediately behind them; while in the
distance the white peaks of the Maritime Alps close the valley of the
Var. To the south there is a splendid view of Cagnes with the
Mediterranean on the horizon. After half an hour’s walk the footpath
joins the main road

[Illustration: FIG. 220. ST PAUL-DU-VAR (_from the E._)]

opposite St Paul, and near the point where the mule path branches off to
descend to the Malvan, before again ascending by a rough and steep track
to the town. From the main road a fine view is obtained of St Paul (Fig.
220), surrounded with its massive walls, and standing on a detached
promontory, with steep terraced slopes descending to the river. Other
pleasing and varied prospects of the town and valley occur at intervals
amongst the ancient olives in following the above footpath (Fig. 221).
About half way up the path on the side next the town an outwork on a
detached peak is passed, then a ruined fortification bars the road, and
finally the ancient gateway and barbican, and the cemetery just outside
the walls, are reached, and the main street of the town, which is but a
narrow lane, is before us. The architectural interest of the place is at
once apparent. On every hand are evidences of genuine ancient and

[Illustration: FIG. 221. ST PAUL-DU-VAR (_from the W._)]

unaltered work. The doorways (Fig. 222) are of old and varied forms,
almost every one having a panelled lintel, supported by corbels, many of
the former containing carved shields and ornaments, and the latter being
enriched with leaves and scrolls. Most of these doorways are of the
beginning of the sixteenth century, and indicate early Renaissance work.
Others again are carved and moulded with the double curvature of the
late Gothic style, and a few shew marks of a simpler and earlier design
(Figs. 223 and 224). The windows also contain many specimens of Gothic
shafts and mullions, but they are much more altered than the doorways.
Even the ancient woodwork of the latter is in many instances retained,
and the unpainted oak or walnut give, in addition to the picturesque and
fanciful designs, a rich and antique character. One of the most
interesting points connected with the main, and almost the only street
in the town, is the preservation of its

[Illustration: FIG. 222. DETAILS FROM ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

ancient shops. At almost every step one meets with the wide arch which
contained both the door and window of the shop, the former being cut
down to the door step, while the latter had the stonework built so as to
form a sill about 2 feet high, on which the goods were exhibited. These
sills are sometimes projected and moulded on the edge. At St Paul many
of the shop fronts are now built up, but several are still in use (Fig.
223), and when piled up with their complex store of vegetables and
fruits, mixed with the quaint and richly coloured jars of the country,
present very tempting subjects for the artist. The street floor


of the houses adjoining the north gateway (Fig. 226) is amongst the
oldest and least altered examples. Numerous narrow lanes branch off the
main street and descend by steps and arcades to the roads which run
round the walls. In other cases arches are thrown across the street, and
picturesque effects are thus produced (Figs. 225 and 227). Most of the
buildings in the main street date from the time of Francis I. After the
destructive invasion of Provence by Charles V., Francis found that his
frontier in this quarter was insufficiently protected, and employed an
engineer from Arles called Mandon to inspect the locality and fix on the
best site for a fortress. Mandon chose the isolated hill on which stood
the ancient town of St Paul as the best suited for this purpose; and it
was accordingly fortified and surrounded with the walls and bastions
which still subsist almost in their entirety. St Paul was thus raised
into a place of some importance and security, and became the residence
of a governor and several families of distinction. This no doubt led to
the improvement of the architecture of which we have seen so many
examples. Of the town houses of the governor and nobility some specimens
still remain--one well preserved mansion of a somewhat later period is
seen in sketch, Fig 225, and relics of others are also to be found,
though in a sadly degraded and dilapidated state.

In the Maison Suraire (formerly Du Port), remains of ancient
magnificence still exist in two richly decorated mantelpieces, of which
Fig. 228 is one.

The original staircase of this house is also still in use; its
richly-carved and ornamental balustrade of marble (Fig. 229) forming a
strange contrast with its present humble position as an access to
peasants’ houses. The mode of junction of the pedestals at the turn of
the staircase by placing a boldly cut lion rampant between them is novel
and effective.

[Illustration: FIG. 224. SIDE STREET, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

This house stands in the very diminutive and only little “place” in the
town, where also is the fountain, and whence branches off the way to the
church, which stands on the highest point of the site. The main street,
and all the side alleys, are but continuations of the mule paths of the
country, interrupted here and there with steps, and all too narrow to
admit a cart or carriage of any kind. They are thus often so completely
swept by the loads of firewood and brushwood on the mules’ backs, that
passengers have to seek shelter in the recesses of the doorways. The
walks round the walls are in part wider, and the small gardens of the
houses sloping down to them, with the dark foliage and golden fruit of
their orange groves, form a fine foreground to the lovely prospects
visible in every direction.

[Illustration: FIG. 225. MAIN STREET, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

The gateway (Fig. 230) at the entrance to the town from the north has an
older character than the fortifications of Mandon. This gateway seems to
have formed the ancient entrance through a square tower placed for
defence on the neck of land which joins the promontory to the mainland.
It presents the same character as the square gate towers of Avignon,
having a plain pointed archway and portcullis groove on the exterior,
defended by a machicolated parapet above, the interior of the tower
being left open towards the town, so that, if captured, it could not be
turned to account against it (_see_ Fig. 226).


This tower has been incorporated by Mandon in his works, and is
strengthened externally by a bastion with another portcullis, and a
narrow passage commanded from above.

[Illustration: FIG. 227. MAIN STREET IN ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

But St Paul possesses memorials of a much older time even than this
fourteenth century tower, in the ancient church and keep which crown the
summit of its rocky site. The church is a small but remarkable monument.
Externally the west front (Fig. 231) shews a central portion of plain
ashlar work, with a simple pointed doorway, and a small pointed window
above. There are also some corbels remaining, which probably supported
the wall plate of the lean-to roof of an outer porch or narthex. The
adjoining walls at the sides, and above the corbels, are all evidently
much more modern than the central portion. The lofty square tower
attached to this front appears, from an inscription it bears, to have
been erected in the seventeenth century. On entering the building, the
lowness of the central nave (Fig. 232), and the extreme simplicity of
its construction and vaulting, are seen to correspond with the style of
the central part of the exterior. The plain character of the whole
recalls the work of the early Cistertian school. The church has probably
been originally a simple nave, like Fréjus on a small scale. The aisles
appear to have been added afterwards, the side walls having been cut
through to give access to them (_see_ Plan, Fig. 233). But so devoid is
the building of ornament or features whereby a date may be determined,
that the aisles may possibly have been original, although altered at a
later date. The vaulting of the aisles, with its rounded or octagonal
ribs, is certainly of more recent date than the plain intersecting vault
without ribs of the central nave.


Close to the church stands a very interesting example of the tower-built
keeps of the Maritime Alps (Fig. 234). It is similar in general
character to those of the Mont


du Chevalier, Grasse, and Antibes, but has some peculiar and remarkable
features of its own. The original masonry is of the usual rough-faced
kind, but it has been repaired in several places with work of a smoother
description. The top has evidently been modernised, and is covered with
a tile roof instead of the proper crenellated parapet. Windows of an
antique character are provided to light the apartments on the upper
floors, instead of mere square holes in the wall like those of the Tour
du Chevalier. Indeed, this keep seems to have been more of a habitation
than the others we have met with, and was apparently connected with an
ancient building of the same description of masonry, a few remains of
which are visible to the left in the sketch. But the most remarkable
features about this tower are the entrances and their defences. The
lowest doorway is on the first floor level.

[Illustration: FIG. 230. NORTH GATEWAY, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

It is semi-circular and is now built up. This doorway seems to have
given access only to a guardroom on the first floor, from which the
vaulted basement would be entered in the usual manner by an aperture in
the floor. At the level of the doorway there was evidently a wooden
platform projected outside of the door, from which a wooden overhanging
stair led up to the chief entrance to the principal apartments of the
keep on the floor above. The stone-work shews a projecting ledge at the
line of junction of the wooden stair with the wall. The corbels, which
supported a level platform above this stair, still remain, and it will
be observed that there is no corbel opposite the place where the stair
would pass through, as no floor would be required at that point.

[Illustration: FIG. 231. WEST END OF CHURCH, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

The two string courses on the next floor were no doubt inserted, one for
the purpose of carrying the struts of a sloping roof, and the other to
cover the junction of the roof with the stone-work. Although partly cut
away, these strings are yet fairly preserved. The sloping roof

[Illustration: FIG. 232. CHURCH OF ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

would cover the wooden gallery or hoarding which, we have seen,
protected the principal doorways and staircase.

[Illustration: FIG. 233. PLAN OF CHURCH, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

The outer approaches to this keep were thus most carefully defended. An
assailant, who managed by scaling ladders to get up to the first floor
or guardroom level and overpower the guard, would find no access from
the interior to the upper floors. To reach these he would have to climb
a steep stair, enclosed within a wooden casing with trapdoor shut, and
would thus be exposed to attack with all kinds of missiles from the
platform above, where the defenders stood within the shelter of their
projecting hoarding or gallery.

[Illustration: FIG. 234. TOWER OR KEEP, ST PAUL-DU-VAR.]

A somewhat similar wooden balcony for the defence of the doorway existed
at Preston Tower in Scotland, but so far as we have observed, that of St
Paul is quite unique in the Riviera. The refinement shewn, both in the
defensive features and in the windows of this tower, indicate a somewhat
later date than those of Cannes or Antibes. The defensive works here
correspond with the hoardings so common in France in the thirteenth
century, such as those at Carcassonne and Aigues Mortes.

VENCE.--A walk of about three miles along a good road gradually ascends
from St Paul to Vence on either side of the Malvan Valley. That on the
eastern side is the nearer, if the direct old mule path is taken about a
mile from Vence, instead of the carefully engineered but winding modern
roadway. Should the visit be made in December or January, a fine
opportunity will probably present itself of witnessing the olive harvest
on the way. Large sheets are spread out into which the ripe blackberries
are showered down by shaking the branches. Men, women, and children all
unite to expedite the work, and help to gather up the fruit which may
have dropped upon the ground.

The road on the western side of the valley is more winding than the
other, in consequence of a great gorge in the rocky mountain side having
to be compassed and crossed. The descent to the point, where bridging it
is practicable, also adds to the length and steepness of the ascent to
the town. But the rugged way is interesting, the rocks being full of
natural caves, evidently the result of the waves of a previous
geological epoch. The town consists of two distinct parts--the old town
enclosed within a circular or oval enceinte (now represented by a line
of houses), and a circle of houses built outside the ancient ramparts.
The position of the latter is now occupied by a wide street or boulevard
running all round between the old and new divisions. One or two ancient
gateways (similar to that of Mougins, Fig. 182) are still preserved, but
they are small and unimportant. In the narrow streets specimens of old
shop fronts, like those of St Paul, may be detected here and there, and
in the newer part of the town some fair Renaissance designs are
observable in the houses, that of the Hôtel de Ville being the finest.

[Illustration: FIG. 235. VENCE CATHEDRAL.]

Vence is a very ancient city. It was the Ventium of Roman times, of
which period numerous inscriptions and relics are preserved and built
into the northern wall of the cathedral. In mediæval times Vence was
originally the see of a bishop, but was afterwards joined to that of
Fréjus. The town suffered the usual casualties from the attacks of the
Saracens and assaults during the wars of

[Illustration: FIG. 236. PLAN OF VENCE CATHEDRAL.]

religion. The cathedral, which is evidently very old, is supposed to
have been rebuilt after the destruction of the original one by the
Saracens in the ninth or tenth centuries. Owing to the simplicity of its
style internally (Fig. 235), it has a most archaic appearance.
Unfortunately, the exterior cannot be well seen in consequence of the
chapels, houses, &c., which are built against it. Originally the church
has consisted (Fig. 236) of a central nave 18 ft. 6 in. wide, with two
side aisles each about 10 ft. wide. The chapels shewn projecting beyond
the aisles are comparatively modern, and are lighted from the roof. The
nave piers are (as regards design) simply portions of the side walls
left standing, while the remainder is omitted so as to form round arched
openings into the aisles. The side aisles are carried (as was often
done) to a sufficient height to abut the central vault of the nave, and
are divided into two storys--the upper story being a gallery--an
arrangement very common in Lombardy and Germany. A more total absence of
anything like ornament can scarcely be conceived. This plainness, taken
in conjunction with the somewhat similar work at St Paul’s, seems to
indicate that the design here owes its origin to the reign of the early
Cistertian principles in the twelfth century. The choir and the tower at
the north-east angle (Fig. 237) are evidently of a more recent date. The
choir, with its circular apsidal termination, internally, converted into
a square east end externally, is somewhat remarkable. It may be observed
that the eastern termination of the churches of Antibes and St Paul are
also square externally. There is a certain Italian character about the
east end of Vence Cathedral with its single very small pointed window
and its cornice enriched with modillions. The impost of the eastern door
(Fig. 236) is also quite Italian, and judging from the style of this
part of the church, it probably belongs to the thirteenth century.

The campanile adjoining the church likewise recalls those of the Italian
cities. At Vence, as at Antibes, there are two such towers or keeps for
defence, one being

[Illustration: FIG. 237. EAST END, VENCE CATHEDRAL.]

attached to the church, while the other was formerly connected with the
castle, and now with the Hôtel de Ville (_see_ Fig. 242). The ground
floor of the former tower enters from the church, and forms a chapel
where are deposited two very finely carved Gothic doors, which no doubt
once served as the doors to the church. The font (Fig. 238) stands in a
small chapel at the west end. Its design is peculiar and striking, and
it is said to be very ancient. Adjoining the cathedral on the north are
some ruinous remnants of the bishop’s palace, now converted into other
uses (Fig. 239). In the “place” at the east end of the cathedral (_see_
Fig. 237) stands a granite column raised on a pedestal, and said to have
been the gift of the city of Massilia to her sister of Vence. In the
same place some picturesque fragments of old houses are still preserved
(Fig. 240), the late Gothic doorway on the right being given on a larger
scale in Fig. 241.

[Illustration: FIG. 238. FONT, VENCE CATHEDRAL.]

There are several small “places” in the old town all containing a few
relics of olden times. The tower of the Consuls (for Vence, like the
other towns in the province, had her consuls and an independent
government), has already been mentioned, and is shewn in Fig. 242,
adjoining a gateway leading into a “place” with a fountain on one side,
and the Hôtel de Ville on the other. This tower is of the same style of
masonry as those we have met with in other towns, but it is now cut up
into shops and houses, and has lost its primitive features.

[Illustration: FIG. 239. BEHIND CATHEDRAL, VENCE.]

From the wide terrace in front of the Hôtel de Ville, a magnificent view
is obtained of the mountains to the northwards. At the base of their
lofty precipices the ruins of the Commandery of St Martin may be
observed. It seems to be a very short way off, but is found to be a good
half hour’s walk and a stiff climb. However, the trouble is repaid, for
the view presented, when the lofty point on which the Commandery stands
is attained, is magnificent, extending over Vence, St Paul, and Cagnes
to the sea, and embracing the whole coast from the Cap d’Antibes to the
headlands beyond Nice. The Commandery itself is a shapeless ruin (Fig.
243). The eastern wall and the great gateway, with its wide
machicolation in the style of the Pope’s palace, are the only parts
sufficiently entire to

[Illustration: FIG. 240. ANCIENT HOUSE, VENCE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 241. DOORWAY IN VENCE.]

give any indication of the nature of the buildings, which from these
seem rather to have resembled a castle than a monastery. This was the
chief house of the Templars in the district, and overlooked numerous and
extensive lands with which the order was enriched. The tower of La
Trinité, as already mentioned, formed one of the outlying forts of the
Templars, and is well seen from the Commandery. When violent hands were
laid upon the order by Philip the Fair, Hugorian was Master of St
Martin-les-Vence. He was seized in 1308, and carried off to prison in
Tarascon. This country was then under the dominion of Charles II. of
Naples and Duke of Provence, whom Philip had persuaded to join in the
destruction of the Templars. But in Provence the greater number of the
Knights were allowed to escape, only forty-eight in all being captured.
Their lands were chiefly bestowed on the Knights Hospitallers, who thus
acquired great possessions in this part of Provence.



A short railway journey conducts from Vence-Cagnes to NICE, across the
Var, the “dyke” or wall which keeps the floods of this impetuous river
within bounds being one of the most notable of French Engineering Works.
The existing town of Nice is almost entirely modern. The streets, with
their rows of shops and lines of trees, look like a small piece of Paris
transported to the south. The wide promenade des Anglais by the shore,
however, commands a prospect which nothing in Paris can match. The old
town, with its narrow streets crowded round the port, is of ancient
origin, being one of the original Phocæan colonies, and in the modern
“Nice” may still be recognised its original Greek name of Nike
(victory). But it became a place of secondary importance under the
Romans, who made Cemenelum, an ancient town of the Ligurians on the hill
which overlooks Nice from the north, the chief city of the Maritime
Alps, to which Nice acted merely as the port. Being so near the
frontier, both Cemenelum and Nice were exposed to attack on all hands,
and suffered severely from the invasions of the Barbarians. In 578 the
Lombards destroyed the strong city of Cemenelum or Cimiès, an event
which, to some extent, restored the ancient importance of Nice. In 617
Nice joined the other towns of the coast in a league to free themselves
from the Frankish kings. The town was frequently attacked by the
Saracens, and more than once taken and destroyed. But after the Moors
were driven from the Great Fraxinet in 975, the inhabitants of the town
were comparatively free from their inroads. Although Nice stoutly
defended her independence, she was, like the other towns of Provence,
forced to yield to the Counts of Provence, who rebuilt the Castle both
as a defence and menace to the inhabitants. Charles of Anjou was greatly
indebted to Nice for ships to enable him to carry out his designs upon
Naples. The incessant struggles between the powerful Nobles in the
neighbourhood, the Grimaldi of Monaco, the Lascaris of Tende, and the
Dorias of Dolce Aqua devastated the land, and brought famine and plague
in their train. In the wars which followed the death of Queen Jeanne,
the Niçois took the side of Ladislaus of Hungary, and called in the
Count of Savoy to aid them against the King of Naples. Under the
protection of Savoy, Nice soon regained her prosperity. The Counts of
that house strengthened the Castle by every means in their power, and
for this purpose the ancient Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace were removed.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Nice was exposed to damage
from the armies both of the French and the Emperor, and suffered
severely--so much so that the merest fragment is all that remains of the
ancient castle

[Illustration: FIG. 244. CROSS AT CIMIÈS.]

which gallantly withstood so many sieges, and not a single ancient
building is preserved.

[Illustration: FIG. 245. CASTLE OF ST ANDRÉ, NEAR NICE.]

The environs of Nice, although full of natural beauties, are remarkably
destitute of architectural interest. The few Roman relics at Cemenelum
have already been described. Near these is an old convent, where from
the churchyard a fine view of the lofty and rugged banks of the valley
of the Paillon (which runs through Nice) may be obtained. In the Parvis
in front stands a remarkable cross (Fig. 244), bearing the image of the
crucified seraph who appeared to St Francis of Assisi. The cross bears a
quatrefoil on each of its three upper points, with the figure of a
Bishop and a Monk carved in the side quatrefoils, and that of the
emblematic Pelican on her nest feeding her young in the top quatrefoil.
The cross is supported on a twisted marble shaft, some 9 or 10 feet
high, having a composite capital, containing a shield bearing the arms
of the founder. An inscription runs along the abacus, in which 1477 is
legible. This date quite corresponds with the character of the design.

Descending by a steep mule path from the height of Cimiès to the valley
of the Paillon past some great monasteries, or similar establishments,
including that of St Pons, all surrounded with walls and studded with
cypresses, we reach the high road. Following this road for three miles
up the valley brings us in view of the Castle of St André, the sketch of
which (Fig. 245) gives some idea of the nature of the scenery. Passing
through the village of St André, and penetrating a short way further up
the gorge of the torrent of the same name, Falicon is reached, famous
for its grotto and natural bridge. The view looking back upon St André
(Fig. 246) is strikingly picturesque.

From Nice the railway proceeds eastwards by a long tunnel under the
ridge, formerly dominated by the old Castle, on emerging from which we
find ourselves in one of the most charming scenes in the Riviera, the
land-locked bay of VILLEFRANCHE. On the margin of this sheltered and
beautiful arm of the sea stands the old “Free-town,” surrounded with
fortifications, and reflected in the quiet waters, on which, too, there
are generally afloat one or two majestic representatives of foreign
fleets. Between this and Monaco the railway passes along the narrow
strip of shore which lies between the sea and the lofty precipices of
tertiary limestone which here tower above it. At one of the sharp turns
round the rocks, a first distant glimpse is caught of the old town and
Castle of EZA (Fig. 247), set like an eyrie on the summit of its bare
and lofty pyramidal peak. There is a railway station at the base of the
mountain, and one feels tempted to alight and scale

[Illustration: FIG. 246. ST ANDRÉ, NEAR NICE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 247. EZA, FROM THE RAILWAY STATION.]

the height, the buildings look so enticingly picturesque. But it is no
easy task; there is scarcely any track for part of the way, and when
visible, the path is rough and full of running stones, as well as steep
and winding. One is glad to take a rest occasionally, and enjoy the
various fine views of the town on its lofty pinnacle, and the extensive
seaboard visible from this elevation. Fig. 248 gives some idea of the
character of one of these prospects. When at last the ascent is scaled,
the result, as regards the architecture, is, it must be confessed, on
the whole rather disappointing. The entrance gateway to the town is
interesting from the remarkable and strong way in which its defences

[Illustration: FIG. 248. EZA (_from E._)]

[Illustration: FIG. 249. APPROACH TO THE TOWN GATE, EZA.]

arranged. The outer approach (Fig. 249) is by a passage faced by a
cannon port-hole. From this access a gate at right angles leads to a
second narrow enclosed passage commanded by a machicolated tower,
through which a winding and ascending vaulted way conducts into the town
(Fig. 250.) The view of the interior of this gateway is very picturesque
(Fig. 251.) The town itself consists of a few narrow tortuous lanes
bordered by decaying houses, chiefly tenanted by donkeys, pigs, and
poultry. On the top of the bare rock, and approached by great steps cut
in the solid limestone, a few scanty and unintelligible fragments of the
castle are yet visible, but the greater portion has been entirely swept

[Illustration: FIG. 250. ENTRANCE GATEWAY TO TOWN, EZA.]

Eza was the Arisium of Antonine’s Itinerary, and it formed, like
Gourdon, during mediæval times, a pretty secure retreat from the
assaults of the Corsairs. The castle was, however, demolished by the
Turks under Barbarossa in 1543. The arcaded tower house, and the door
lintel, shewn in Figs. 252 and 253, were the only objects of
architectural interest discoverable in the place.


Between Eza and Monaco the railway continues to run along the base of
the immense cliffs which overhang the sea, or through the frequent
tunnels which penetrate them. One station short of Monaco we arrive at
that for LA TURBIE; from which, by a very steep and zig-zag path, one
may ascend the bare and nearly vertical hill above the railway, whence a
pleasant walk of a mile or two through the pine forest leads to the town
of La Turbie. This elevated situation is, however, more easily
approached by a long well-paved but steep mule-path from Monaco. The

[Illustration: FIG. 252. HOUSE IN EZA.]

monument to Augustus, which here marks the limit between Gaul and Italy,
has already been described (_ante_, p. 87). This monument has provided a
quarry, out of which the more important buildings of the town have been
constructed. This is apparent from the great size of the stones used in
the erection of the outer gateway to the

[Illustration: FIG. 253. DOORWAY IN EZA.]


south (Fig. 254.) Passing through this archway, an inner encircling
street is entered, from which another picturesque and pointed gateway
(Fig. 255) gives access to the centre of the town. There is also a third
gateway of pointed form, with a long machicolation over it at the
eastern entrance (Fig. 256), and some further fragments of the olden
time are to be seen in the streets (Fig. 257). The great trophy of
Augustus, from which the place derives its name, was converted in


times into a fortress, when the upper part has been rebuilt. The double
tier of pointed arcade-ornaments (Fig. 32), which formed the support of
the parapet, have quite an Italian character. They remind one of the
similar ornament on Grasse Cathedral. This tower was blown up by
Marshal Villars at the end of the seventeenth century.

[Illustration: FIG. 256. EASTERN GATEWAY, LA TURBIE.]

In descending by the steep and well-paved footpath from La Turbie to
Monaco, delightful glimpses are obtained from amongst the luxuriant
olives and citrons of the latter town on its isolated rock. Most of the
towns on the sea-board have a prominent rock for their site, but that on
which Monaco is built is the most detached and sea-girt of them all. It
is of considerable height, and has perpendicular faces on all sides. On
three sides these plunge sheer down into the sea, and on the fourth or
northern side of the peninsula the precipitous rock is only joined to
the mainland by a narrow strip of low-lying sandy beach. On the
inaccessible platform above these precipices stands the ancient town,
surrounded with its walls and bastions, and giving shelter and
protection to the quiet harbour on its eastern flank. Of all these
features we have a commanding prospect as we descend from the heights of
the Cornice road, which passes by La Turbie.

The history or traditions of Monaco extend further back than those of
most of the localities of the Riviera. It derives its name from
Hercules, who is supposed to have touched here on his way into Spain,
and to have gained a great victory over the native tribes. Hence the
name of Portus Herculis, by which the place was known in the early
centuries of our era. This was afterwards changed to Portus Herculis
Monœci, and finally into Monaco. The rocky fortress subsequently fell
into the hands of the Saracens, who are said to have been expelled from
it in the tenth century by the same Grimoald or Grimaldi who dislodged
the Moors from the Grand Fraxinet, and whose successors became the
Princes of Monaco.

[Illustration: FIG. 257. HOUSES AT LA TURBIE.]

In the eleventh century the place seems to have been abandoned, and in
1162 the Emperor Frederick I. presented it to the Republic of Genoa, who
took possession, and rebuilt the fortifications in 1215. During the
struggles of the Italian Republics, and the wars of the Guelphs and
Ghibellines, Monaco several times changed hands, but was most frequently
in the possession of the Grimaldi, and sometimes became the shelter of
bands of pirates who scoured the Mediterranean. The Grimaldi sided with
the French in the Italian wars of Charles VIII. and Louis XII., and
through the influence of the latter became the governors of the whole of
the Western Riviera.

During the struggle between France and Spain in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Monaco was alternately under the protection of
each. The boundaries of the principality then included Mentone and
Roquebrune, but in 1848 Mentone declared itself a free town. Since the
annexation of the county of Nice by France, the principality, which is
about three miles long by about half a mile wide, is entirely surrounded
by the French Canton of “Menton.”

A comparatively easy drive to the town has now been made up the east
side of the rock, but the original approach was by a steep flight of
steps, carefully defended with strongly fortified gates, and commanded
by the battlements above (_see_ sketch, Fig. 258). The existing works at
this point are evidently of the seventeenth century. The north side,
which overlooks the mainland, was fortified with a large circular
bastion at the western angle (Fig. 259), and a square one at the eastern
angle. The former still retains some of the large corbels which carried
the original parapet of the fifteenth century; but the bastions have
been heightened and made suitable for artillery at a later date. On
arriving at the top of the entrance to the town, a wide open staircase
ascends to the front of the Ducal Palace (Fig. 258). This edifice is a
picturesque assemblage of buildings of several dates, chiefly of the
Renaissance period. Some of the old towers retain their forked
battlements, a form common in the North of Italy. The whole place is
vast and palatial, and from its lofty site and splendid background,
composed of a rugged mountain called the Tête de

[Illustration: FIG. 258. DUCAL PALACE, MONACO.]

Chien, has a noble and impressive appearance. The courtyard of the
palace is also a fine though somewhat peculiar specimen of Italian
design, the fresco paintings on the walls giving it a rich and southern

[Illustration: FIG. 259. DUCAL PALACE, MONACO (_N.W. Bastion._)]

The town consists of three parallel streets, and contains some good bits
of old work. A large new church in the early Romanesque or Provençal
style of architecture has recently been erected. The old church
contained specimens of capitals, and other details very similar to those
of the lower arcade in the Castle of St Honorat. The gardens of the
palace, which extend round the western side of the rock, where every
chink and crevice is filled with fig trees, aloes, pears, and palms,
form a delightful promenade; and the views from the walls towards Monte
Carlo and Mentone,


with the mountain ranges behind them, are most charming. Only a few
miles off (about an hour’s walk) the remark remarkable town of
ROQUEBRUNE is seen embosomed in orange groves on the slope of the
mountain. The ascent from the railway station is by a steep and narrow
path, which penetrates into the town by a long vaulted and stepped
passage, the entrance to which is through a small arched gateway,
defended by a wide overhanging machicolation (Fig. 260). The church of
St Margaret is then reached, in which the old font (Fig. 261) is worthy
of note. The peculiarity of this town arises from the huge masses of
rock which stand up amongst the houses, and at a short distance present
the appearance of a great castle. These give the town its name, and one
of them, larger than the rest, is actually crowned with the remains of
the ancient fortress of the Lascaris (Fig. 262), which, however, is now
but an empty shell. One or two open “places” amongst the great rocks
form beautiful terraces, commanding fine and extensive prospects.

[Illustration: FIG. 261. FONT, ROQUEBRUNE.]

The railway, after leaving Roquebrune, sweeps round the Cap Martin, and
enters the bay of MENTONE, which is only about four miles off. This
town, like all the others on the coast, had its castle on the summit of
a promontory which juts out into the sea, and divides the coast into two
portions, called the eastern and western bays. The Counts of Ventimiglia
and the Genoese had, at different times, possession of the town and
castle, but it was for the most part an appanage of Monaco, and followed
its fortunes. In 1848 the inhabitants formed themselves into a free
Republic, and enjoyed autonomy for thirteen years, after which Mentone
became the “chef lieu” of a French Canton. The town was at one time
surrounded with walls, which rose straight up from the sea. It thus
completely occupied

[Illustration: FIG. 262. ROQUEBRUNE CASTLE.]

the narrow strip of land between the shore and the hill on which the
castle stood, and barred the way along the coast. The eastern gate of
the town, and the “Long Street,” which is also a very narrow one,
leading through it, still remain, but a new and wider roadway, which
forms part of the Cornice Road, has been constructed along the back of
the houses in the eastern bay, and now encloses the harbour on the side
next the town. An old square tower at the extreme point of the
promontory is one of the few relics of the fortifications of the town.
Above the “Long Street” the houses are built in terraces, rising rapidly
tier above tier on the hillsides, and approached by long flights of
steps and narrow vaulted lanes. In the midst of these stand the
churches, buildings of the seventeenth century, of clumsy character. The
towers and spires, however, form a picturesque group (Fig. 263); and
along with the houses, as seen from the harbour, together with the
magnificent background of lofty and partly snow-clad mountains which
shelter Mentone on the north, they compose a splendid picture.

[Illustration: FIG. 263. MENTONE (_from the Harbour_).]

The old castle which formerly crowned the summit, has been entirely
demolished, and its site is occupied as a cemetery, from which very fine
views are obtained both of the coast line and of the mountains on the
north. Numerous narrow valleys and gorges run up from the sea towards
the mountains, forming beautiful and interesting promenades and
excursions, but there is little to attract the student of architecture.

At GORBIO, beautifully situated about five miles from Mentone to the
west, and some distance up a charming valley, there are an old church
with a dark nave, and the remains of a castle of the Lascaris. The
houses here are united by arches thrown across the narrow streets, an
arrangement very common in this district, and supposed to be for the
purpose of resisting to some extent the effect of earthquakes.

STE AGNÈS, not far from Gorbio, is also a favourite excursion. It is a
lofty and beautiful spot, with the remains of an old castle said to be
of Saracenic origin.

The ascent to CASTELLAR forms another delightful walk of about an hour
and a-half, giving a fine idea of the richness of the valleys of Mentone
in lemons, in the growth of which they excel every place north of
Palermo. The town of Castellar is of some extent, and its situation on a
“col” at the top of a steep ascent is fine, but there is no architecture
of importance. It is clumsily built, and has been at one time surrounded
with walls, which now form the exterior of houses. Some remains of
ditches and towers--one of the latter being converted into the belfry of
the church--also still exist.

About a mile eastwards from Mentone the Cornice Road crosses by the bold
arch of the Pont St Louis the ravine which now forms the boundary
between France and Italy. Since 1861 the limits of France have been
extended considerably further eastwards than in ancient times, when La
Turbie marked the boundary of Gaul. In the course of our journey we have
observed that as we approach the frontier, the towns possess a good deal
of the Italian character, and that both historically and architecturally
they have much in common with Italy. The architectural styles of France
and Italy were observed to overlap each other in the district we have
just examined. But when we pass the modern boundary of France at the
Pont St Louis, we may


be said to have left nearly all trace of French and Provençal
architecture behind, and in our further progress eastwards we shall meet
with almost nothing which is not entirely Italian in style. We shall
therefore in concluding our journey give only a rapid sketch of some of
the more important buildings between Mentone and Genoa.


The railway eastwards from Mentone follows the coast line, and cuts
through some lofty rocks at the mouth of the

[Illustration: FIG. 266. STREET IN DOLCE AQUA.]

torrent of St Louis, famous from containing the caves in which have been
discovered human remains, associated with the bones of extinct animals,
such as the mammoth, the great bear, the elk, &c.


About seven miles from Mentone, the line passes

[Illustration: FIG. 268. DOLCE AQUA (_from the S.W._)]

[Illustration: FIG. 269. STREET IN SAN REMO.]

through a tunnel, on emerging from which the frontier town of
VENTIMIGLIA is seen towering above the plain of the river Roya. It
stands on a bold rocky headland, defended on one side by the sea, and on
the other by the river. Like all border towns, its possession was
constantly disputed by the neighbouring suzerains, and it endured many
sieges, but was generally under the authority of the town of Genoa. The
streets are narrow and tortuous, and have the usual picturesque
staircases and arches. The porch of the cathedral seen in the sketch
(Fig. 264) is old, and is decidedly Italian in character, but the rest
of the front is modern. The interior again (Fig. 265) might be a
Provençal Cistertian design, such as that of Thoronet.

Two miles eastwards from Ventimiglia, the valley of the Nervia opens to
the left. An easy and agreeable walk of about five miles up the valley
leads to the very quaint old town of DOLCE AQUA. On the way we pass
through the decaying but picturesque town of Campo Rosso with an open
“place” lined with arcaded footways.

[Illustration: FIG. 270. HOUSES IN SAN REMO.]

The most ancient part of Dolce Aqua lies on the left side of the river,
which is crossed by an old bridge of one span, having the roadway
stepped up on each side, and showing traces of old fortifications. Above
this the houses rise in tiers, forming a dense and confused labyrinth of
narrow lanes and dark tunnels--many of the former

[Illustration: FIG. 271. SAN SIRO, SAN REMO (_N. Doorway_).]

crossed by strengthening arches thrown between the houses on each side
(Fig. 266). Dominating the whole stand the proud ruins of the castle of
the Dorias (Fig. 267), a family famous in the history of Genoa and the
Riviera. It is a building of a late date (seventeenth century), and has
been defended with great bastions mounted with cannons (Fig. 268),
surrounded with walls, and provided with a drawbridge. The castle has
evidently contained large and sumptuous apartments, but the interior is
now reduced to total ruin. The town has also been provided with
fortifications, of which one tower near the river has been appropriated
and heightened into a church steeple (Fig. 268). The castle has been
abandoned since the wars of 1748, and the descendants of the Dorias now
occupy a mansion, situated under the walls, in which there is a finely
carved chimney piece, and an interesting collection of family portraits.
The town of PIGNA, about ten miles further up the valley, is said to
contain a good church of the fifteenth century, with pointed arches, and
a fine painting of the sixteenth century.


Passing the ancient republic of Bordighera, with its arcaded streets and
splendid palm gardens, we soon reach SAN REMO. This ancient town,
originally independent, came ultimately, like the rest of the Riviera,
under the authority of Genoa. It consists as usual of one principal
street along the narrow strip of ground between the base

[Illustration: FIG. 273. DOORWAY IN TAGGIA.]

of the hill on which the old town stands and the sea. The town consists
of the ordinary pile of terraced houses with narrow tortuous streets and
steep flights of steps leading up to them. There is here an
extraordinary profusion of the arches, of which we have met with
examples elsewhere, thrown across the narrow streets, in order to
strengthen the houses against the shocks of earthquake to which this
region is liable. These features sometime produce, together with the
stairs and tall houses, extraordinary combinations and effects (Figs.
269 and 270).

The cathedral of San Siro, which stands detached in a small “place,” has
some good Italian features still preserved,--amongst which are the north
and south doorways (Fig. 271), the remainder having been greatly
modernised and spoiled.

In the main street there are some fair specimens of Renaissance palaces,
somewhat in the style of those of Genoa.

[Illustration: FIG. 274. DOORWAY IN TAGGIA.]

From the railway station of Arma di Taggia, some miles east of San Remo,
an expedition may be made about five miles up the valley to the
exquisitely quaint old town of TAGGIA. It concentrates in itself all the
various remarkable features of the towns of the Riviera in its arcaded
streets and vaulted footpaths, narrow lanes crossed with arches, and
approached by steep stairs and dark tunnels; and these features are here
all combined in so profuse and picturesque a manner as to present an
epitome of those of all the rest. In the midst of these striking


[Illustration: FIG. 276. CHURCH AT ALASSIO.]

effects, so captivating to the artist, it is difficult, however, to pick
out anything which may be regarded as really good architecture. Fig. 272
gives some idea of the picturesqueness of the arcaded streets and
gateways, while Figs. 273 and 274 give a few good architectural details.
The first (Fig. 273) might, from its style, be the lintel of any
fifteenth century house in Genoa (a splendid example of a similar style
of doorway at Genoa being shown in Fig. 281), and the other (Fig. 274)
is a Renaissance doorway in black marble ornamented with raised
arabesques. Close to the town is the monastery of San Cristofero, where
the ancient cloister and tower (Fig. 275) are good specimens of early
Italian work. The vaulting of


the cloister is late, the original roof being probably of timber. The
tower is a good Italian campanile, with string courses of the arcaded
ornament so common in Lombardy and the Rhineland.

[Illustration: FIG. 278. ALBENGA (_from Railway Station_).]

We are now in the centre of the district which suffered so severely from
the earthquakes of 1887. BUSSANA is passed on the right in returning to
the railway. The towns of PORTO MAURIZIO (which stands on a solitary
rock), ONEGLIA, and DIANO MARINA, all names too well known in connection
with the above catastrophe, are reached in succession before arriving at
ALASSIO, the furthest east of the health resorts of the Riviera. The
tower of the church here (Fig. 276) has the usual form of the Italian

A few miles further east bring us to ALBENGA, which is, architecturally
speaking, the most interesting town on this part of the coast. It lies
in a hollow near the mouth of the river Acosia, and is defended from the
cold winds of the North by an amphitheatre of lofty, snow-clad
mountains. The general view of the town from the


railway station (Fig. 278) shews the peculiar preponderance of square
towers for which it is remarkable. On closer inspection these are found
to be no less surprising than when seen from a distance. They are
generally quite plain and are built of brick. The view of the west end
of the church (Fig. 277) shews four of these towers crowded close
together, exhibiting examples of several different designs. That over
the north entrance to the church has a strong resemblance to the
campaniles of Lombardy, such as that of Mantua, and is thoroughly
Italian in every detail, while the plain square towers adjoining recall
similar examples at Bologna and elsewhere in Italy. That again at the
east end of the church, which has the figure of the lion at its base
(Fig. 279), with its plain brick shaft, its triple arcaded top, and
fork-shaped battlements, is almost identical with those of Verona. The
church has originally been an Italian design of the thirteenth century.
Although now much altered and spoiled it has evidently had the same
arcaded ornament at the eaves as we have observed at Grasse, San Remo,
and elsewhere. The doorways also correspond in style with the above
churches. To the north of the church is a very interesting baptistery,
which reminds one of those of Fréjus and Aix. It is of octagonal form,
28 feet long by 26 feet wide, with a vault supported on Corinthian-like
pillars, and has a very ancient but dismal and neglected appearance. One
of the windows is filled with stone tracery of a Byzantine or Moorish

In moving eastwards we pass in succession CERIALE, with its
fortifications, and LOANO with its great monasteries, VEREZZI with one
good campanile, and FLNALMARINO with two. From the latter a view is
obtained of FINALBORGO in the distance (about two miles off), where
there are evidently the remains of a fine castellated structure. At

[Illustration: FIG. 280. CLOISTERS, SAN MATTEO, GENOA.]


Noli there is an ancient entrance tower with an archway through it.
Savona retains its fortifications of the Vauban School, and Verazze the
shattered ruins of an old castle.

[Illustration: FIG. 282. CHURCH, CLOISTERS, ETC., GENOA.]

It is not intended to attempt to describe the architecture of GENOA.
That has already formed the subject of special works, and would require
a volume to itself. Only, in closing this account of the architecture of
the Riviera, one or two examples from Genoa are given, in order to make
more distinct the analogies to which attention has been drawn between
the architecture of a large part of the Riviera and that of the famous
Republic, as well as the style of Italy generally. Thus the side doorway
of the cathedral exhibits, in a remarkable manner, the same imitation of
Roman architecture (_see_ Vignette on title page, and Heading p. 25),
modified by the introduction of Romanesque or Teutonic ornament, which
we observed at St Gilles, Arles, and other churches of Provence. This
doorway is part of the original building of the eleventh century,
although the greater part of the cathedral was restored about 1300.

[Illustration: FIG. 283. CAMPANILE, GENOA.]

The façade of San Matteo, on which are engraved so many inscriptions in
honour of the various distinguished members of the family of Doria and
that of San Stefano, shew the arcaded caves, and the inlaid moulding
under the cornice which exist at Grasse, San Remo, Ventimiglia, &c. The
doorways of these churches have the same flat porch, with small
projection, and plain pointed gable, and the same sort of arch and
shafts as several of the examples we have met with in the Riviera. San
Matteo dates from 1278. The cloister (Fig. 280) which adjoins that
church is of the beginning of the fourteenth century, and contains the
monuments of the Dorias, which have been brought here from the
suppressed church of Santa Dominica. The cloisters of San Matteo, and
also those of San Lorenzo, present shafts and caps in the same Italian
style as we have observed extended as far westwards as the cloisters at
Fréjus, and the upper cloister of the castle of St Honorat. The
sculptured lintel in the Piazza San Matteo (Fig. 281), exhibiting the
combat of St George and the Dragon, although more elaborate, is similar
in style to the lintel of the house at Taggia (Fig. 273); while the
campaniles and arcades of other churches in Genoa (Figs. 282 and 283)
recall the Italian style, of which we have met with so many examples in

[Illustration: FIG. 284. KNOCKER, ELNE CATHEDRAL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 285. LAMP FROM OLD CHURCH, MONACO.]


Aegitna, 308.

Aigues Mortes, 206.

Aix-en-Provence, 217.

Alassio, 454.

Albenga, 456.

Albigensian Crusades, 27.

Antibes, 84, 371.

Arles, 50, 183.

Autun, 33.

Aurelian Way, 79.

Auribeau, 380.

Avignon, 3, 34, 137.

Barbarians, Invasions of, 14.

Beaucaire, 173.

Béziers, 222.

Biot, 387.

Burgundy, Style of, 109.

Bussana, 456.

Byzantine Architecture, 97.

Cagnes, 376.

Callian, 364.

Camargue, The, 77.

Cannes, 83, 308.

Cannet, 275.

Carcassonne, 243.

Carpentras, 47, 167.

Castellar, 441.

Castellaras, 350.

Castellated Architecture, 116.

Cavaillon, 48, 167.

Cemenelum (Cimiès), 86, 421.

Ceriale, 458.

Charlemagne, Revival under, 17.

Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction, 164.

Christian Buildings, Early, 95.

Church, Early Organisation of, 12;
  Revival of, 19.

Cistertian Architecture, 110, 274.

Citeaux, Monks of, 22.

Clausonne, 84.

Cluny, Abbey of, 19.

Cogolin, 302.

Courthézon, 137.

Crau, The, 77.

Cruas, 128.

Crusades, 23.

Crussol, 128.

Dolce Aqua, 448.

Dome, The use of, 105.

Elne, 239.

Esterel, 304.

Eza, 424.

Feudal System, 112.

Finalborgo, 458.

Finalmarino, 458.

France, Northern Architecture, 1.

“  Southern  “, 3.

Fraxinet, le Grand, 304.

Fréjus, 80, 285.

Garde Adhémar, 134.

Gaul, Southern, History, 5, 9.

Genoa, 461.

Gorbio, 440.

Gothic, Northern, 114.

Gourdon, 366.

Grasse, 350.

Greek and Roman Colonies--in Towns--10.

Grimaud, 302.

Holy Roman Empires, 15.

Hyères, 270.

Iles de Lérins, 319.

La Garde Freinet, 304.

Lagunes, The, 221, 235.

La Trinité, Tower of, 382.

La Turbie, 87, 428.

Le Bar, 365.

Le Cannet, 347.

Le Luc, 80.

Le Thor, 167.

Les Baux, 178.

Les Maures, 299.

Les Saintes Maries, 212.

Loano, 458.

Lyons, 34, 121.

Marseilles, 79, 213.

Mediterranean, Littoral of--History, 7.

Mentone, 440.

Molléges, 168.

Monaco, 432.

Monasteries, Origin of, 12.

     “       Growth of, 19.

Mont Majour, 194.

Mont St Cassien, 307.

Mougins, 348.

Municipalities of the Middle Ages, 11.

Musée Calvert, 34.

Napoule, 305.

Narbonne, 230.

Nice, 86, 418.

Nimes, 64.

Noli, 461.

Notre Dame de Vie, 349.

  “    “   du Pré, Le Mans, 102.

Oneglia, 456.

Orange, 40.

Pernes, 167.

Perpignan, 235.

Phocæans in Gaul, 7.

Phœnicians do., 7.

Pigna, 449.

Pointed Arch, 107, 113.

Pomponiana, 80.

Pont du Gard, 76.

 “  St Bénezet, 151.

 “  St Esprit, 136.

Porto Maurizio, 456.

Provence, History of, 25.

    “     passed to France, 30.

Provençal Architecture, 105, 118, 211.

Puisalicon, 229.

Ravenna, 96.

Riez, 292.

Riviera, The, 79.

Roman Architecture, Early, 90.

  “         “       The Arch in, 91.

Roman Architecture, Continued under Christianity, 94.

Roman Architecture, Remains in Provence, 33.

Roquebrune, 437.

Ste Agnès, 441.

St André, Castle of, 155, 421.

“ Césaire, 359.

“ Chamas, 77.

“ Front, Perigueux, 104.

“ Gabriel, 182.

“ Gilles, 204.

“ Honorat, Castle of, 323.

“    “     Island of, 319.

“ Mark’s, Venice, 98.

Ste Marguérite (Lérins), 343.

St Martin de Londres, 229.

“     “   les Vences, 418.

“ Maximin, 282.

“ Paul-Trois-Châteaux, 134.

“  “  -du-Var, 392.

“ Peyré, 306.

“ Pierre de Reddes, 229.

“ Raphäel, 299.

“ Remy, 48.

“ Ruf, 164.

“ Sauveur (Lérins), 323.

Ste Trinité (Lérins), 320.

St Tropez, 300.

“  Veran, 164.

San Miniato, 100.

“  Remo, 450.

Saracens, Invasion of, 15.

Saut du Loup, 369.

Savona, 461.

Sculpture in Provence, 107.

Single-nave Churches, 105.

Syrian Churches, 98, 210.

Taggia, 452.

Tarascon, 168.

Thoronet, 274.

Toulon, 79.

Tourettes, 369.

Tournon, 363.

Vaison, 165.

Valence, 127.

Vallauris, 344.

Vaulting, Introduction of, 100.

    “     in Provence, 102.

Vaulting in Aquitaine, 103.

Venasque, 167.

Vence, 84, 408.

Ventimiglia, 442.

Verazze, 461.

Verezze, 458.

Vernégues, 78.

Vienne, 34, 124.

Villeneuve, Town of, 154.

     “      Church, 163.

Villeneuve-Loubet, 378.

Villes Mortes, 220.

Visigoths, 10.

Viviers, 134.

[Illustration: FINIS]


                   *       *       *       *       *


                       CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC


                              OF SCOTLAND



                    DAVID MACGIBBON and THOMAS ROSS


     _With about 1000 Illustrations of Ground Plans, Sections, Views,
     Elevations, and Details. In 2 Volumes. Royal 8vo. Four Guineas

“One of the most important and complete books on Scottish architecture
that has ever been compiled. Its value to the architect, the
archæologist, and the student of styles is at once apparent. It consists
almost exclusively of what may be called illustrated architectural
facts, well digested and arranged, and constituting a monument of
patient research, capable draughtsmanship, and of well sustained effort,
which do the authors infinite credit.”--_Scotsman._

“Their descriptions are good, and their arguments always worth attention
and generally convincing.... The plans ... are clear and good, and by
themselves make the book a most valuable addition to the library of any
man who wishes to study and understand the defensive architecture of the
Middle Ages. The book has another value in that it preserves a record of
so many buildings in the state they are now. Many are neglected and
daily falling more and more into ruin.”--_Athenæum._

“No one acquainted with the history of Great Britain can take up this
neatly-bound volume ... without being at once struck by its careful
completeness and extreme archæological interest, while all students of
architectural style will welcome the work specially for its technical
thoroughness.”--_Building News._

“The authors merit the thanks of all architectural readers, professional
and amateur, for the production of a very well studied and illustrated
hand-book of a most interesting class of ancient buildings.”--_The

“Careful observation and accurate description appear to specially
characterise this work.”--_British Architect._

“In its complete form the merits of the work are more apparent, and we
have no hesitation in saying that we consider it to be far superior to
any of the preceding books on the subject.”--_The Architect._

“A learned, painstaking, and highly important work.”--_Scottish Review._

“The best authority upon the architecture of Scottish Castles yet
issued.”--_Dundee Advertiser._

“To the intelligent readers of all classes, we can cordially recommend
it as a very interesting and suggestive book.”--_Daily Free Press,

“Messrs. MacGibbon and Ross now show in sketches of ground plans and
elevations such a series of domestic structures as not only indicates
the gradual progress of Scottish architecture from times comparatively
rude, but permits the development to be traced in such a way as
determines the stages of progress or ‘Periods’ into which its history
may be naturally divided.”--_Glasgow Herald._

“Highly interesting and picturesque work.”--_Edinburgh Review._



[A] Elevations and details are given in Viollet-le-Duc’s
_Dictionnaire_, to which we are also indebted for most of the above

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.