Friday, September 14, 2012

Bourges Cathedral - France

Another french cathedral, Bourges Cathedral, a missing Unesco site!! The card was sent by Ulla "mirabelle".

The Cathédrale St-Étienne in Bourges, near the Loire Valley, is a magnificent early Gothic cathedral on par with its more famous neighbors to the north. It is based on the Notre-Dame in Paris but with improvements in design, which can be seen especially in the astonishing height of the aisles. For its unique feats of architecture, impressive sculptures and glorious 13th-century stained glass windows, Bourges Cathedral has been designated a World Heritage Site.

M. G. Editions
This has been a site of Christian worship since the 3rd century, when the Roman city of Avaricum sheltered the first Christian community in Gaul. Successive monumental crypts were built here in the 3rd, 4th and 9th centuries.
The first cathedral of Bourges was a Romanesque edifice, built in the 11th century by Archbishop Gozlin, the brother of Robert II of France. A century later, this was determined to be too small; rebuilding in the brand-new Gothic style began in 1195. Funding was provided in large part by a donation from Henri de Sully, Bishop of Bourges (and brother of the Bishop of Paris).
Construction began in 1195. The lower church was built about 1200, followed by the choir above it in 1214. Glazing of the windows in the ambulatory was underway between about 1215 and 1225. The nave was finished by about 1230, then work slowed down considerably.
The west facade was constructed throughout the latter half of the 13th century. In 1313, great cracks began to appear in the southern tower, which had to be supported by extensive buttressing. The structural problems are such that it has never been able to carry bells and is dubbed a "deaf tower."
The new Cathedral of Bourges was finally dedicated on May 13, 1324, but the north tower was still incomplete. This was finished by the end of the 15th century, but then came crashing down in 1505. The north tower was rebuilt in 1542 in a Gothic style harmonious with the much older facade, although some Renaissance elements crept in. It is known as the Tour de Beurre (Butter Tower), since it was funded by offering donors an exemption from fasting during Lent. - in:

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