information resourcesChildren and television violencelink to document abstractslink to short briefings documents link to news zone Click for an introduction to cathedrals and stained glass in France. news resources at abelard.org interesting site links at abelard's news and comment zone socialism, sociology, supporting documents described quotations at abelard.org, with source document where relevant
site map Energy - beyond fossil fuelsLoud music and hearing damageWhat is memory, and intelligence? Incautious claims of IQ genes economics and money zone at abelard.org - government swindles and how to transfer money on the net technology zone at abelard.org: how to survive and thrive on the web France zone at abelard.org - another France visit abelard's gallery rssxml

back to abelard's front page

click to return to the France Zone home page

Cathedrals 2a:
Dax and church iconography

medieval East porch at Dax cathedral

 

france

new : lantern towers of Normandy and elsewhere

fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes illustrated

cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France illustrated
using metal in gothic cathedral construction illustrated

paying at the péage (toll station) .

Germans in France .
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France

click to return to the France Zone home page

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago, Rochefort-Martrou illustrated
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux illustrated
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge illustrated

France’s western isles: Ile de Ré
France’s western iles: Ile d’Oleron

Ile de France, Paris: in the context of Abelard and of French cathedralsillustrated
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

la Belle Epoque illustrated
Grand Palais, Paris

Click to go to pages about Art Deco at abelard.org

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64 illustrated
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city illustrated

Futuroscope
Vulcania
Space City, Toulouse

the French umbrella & Aurillac

50 years old: Citroën DS
the Citroën 2CV: a French motoring icon

the forest as seen by Francois Mauriac, and today illustrated
Les Landes, places and playtime illustrated
roundabout art of Les Landes

Hermès scarves

Hèrmes logo

bastide towns
mardi gras! carnival in Basque country
country life in France: the poultry fair

what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock

Tour de France 2017
Le Tour de France: cycling tactics illustrated

 

new :Click to go to pages about Art Deco at abelard.org

on first arriving in France - driving

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

France is not England

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

the calendar of the French Revolution

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

the 6th bridge at Rouen: Pont Gustave Flaubert,
new vertical lift bridge

Click for gothic cathedral and church construction in France.

Futuroscope

Vulcania

the French umbrella & Aurillac

the forest as seen by francois mauriac, and today

places and playtime

roundabout art of Les Landes

50 years old: Citroën DS

the Citroën 2CV:
a French motoring icon

la belle époque

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64

Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city

Grand Palais, Paris

Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps

the calendar of the French Revolution

le pique-nique

Hermès scarves
Hèrmes logo

bastide towns

mardi gras! carnival in Basque country

what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock

country life in France: the poultry fair

Tour de France 2017

short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

 

New translation, the Magna Carta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

index
church iconography
 background facts
end notes

related pages:

Cathedrals 2b : Bazas - iconography and architectural styles photo

church iconography

mediæval west porch, indoors
at Dax cathedral, south-west France
[ click for larger version]
mediaeval East porch at Dax Cathedral, south-west France Medieval west porch at Dax cathedral, south-west France, click to go to larger version Statues of saints to the left of the mediaeval east porch at Dax cathedral, click to go to larger version Statues of saints to the right of the mediaeval east porch at Dax cathedral, click to go to larger version
Statues of saints to the left of the mediaeval east porch at Dax cathedral, click to go to larger version Statues of saints to the right of the mediaeval east porch at Dax cathedral, click to go to larger version

The ancient portal [12 metres high and 8 metres wide] shown in this photograph is an anomaly. The porch probably originated in Northern France, having similarities with portals to be found as part of the cathedrals at Chartres, Amiens and Notre-Dame de Paris.

However, this doorway has ended up in a small cathedral in south-west France. As a result, and despite damage through neglect down the centuries, this porch has been practically unaffected by by the awful deterioration seen in much cathedral architecture of northern France, caused by the traffic and industrial pollution in modern times. On the other hand, the small town of Dax and its surrounding area are little industrialised, and the portal was moved inside (probably about a hundred years ago) before the worst pollution started.

Like much mediæval church iconography, this porch revels in the seriously scary stuff of hellfire and damnation. You can even see some of the damned souls being tormented in a cauldron of boiling oil.

The devil's cauldron
The devil’s cauldron
You can see this carving at the far right
of the archivault, in line with the lintel.

Of course, in mediæval times you didn’t switch on the light or pop out to the supermarket; you struggled to survive disease, starvation and war. Indeed, Dax Cathedral was smashed by the English in 1295, to be replaced by a gothic edifice, which in turn was replaced in the late 17th/early 18th century by the present building. I think it probable that this was a West portal incorporated into the gothic building that was begun in the early 14th century, it having been transported from elsewhere.

The mediæval population was mainly illiterate, the stained glass and statuary in churches being the ‘books’ by which the people were taught their culture. The cathedrals were the centre of the community, serving as meeting houses, markets, places of pilgrimage (tourism) , education and much else.

The statuary was usually painted in bright colours, not left as the dull grey or beige stone of Victorian romanticism, fashionable to this day. The floor would slope, enabling easy hosing down after animal markets. Towns vied to build bigger and better cathedrals than their neighbours, often on the local highest point.[1]

French cathedrals were places of life and bustle, a matter of civic pride. Between approximately 1170 and 1270, a great building craze was under way, producing about 80 cathedrals and at least 500 large churches. It is said that this effort took up about one-third of France’s gross national product. Now they remain the glory of France, and one of the great wonders of the world.

I am no expert in architecture, or of stained glass iconography. My main interest, as usual, is as a psychologist and, in the case of stained glass, as a painter. So this introductory area on cathedrals and their stained glass follows my interests, while serving as an general orientation and guide to further study. For further, detailed and more local information, look at the Michelin Green Guide books on France (available in English), and other sources. The Michelin Green Guides have a useful introduction to church architecture, complete with labelled diagrams.

Here are excellent pages for helping to recognise different saints. The first discusses saint symbols in general, and the second lists saints and their associated symbols.

Background facts
DaxDax coat of arms approximate population : 20,860
average altitude/elevation : 12 m
cathedral dimensions
overall length : 72 m
overall width: 39 m
height, vaults: 33 m
height, towers: 96 m

Marker at abelard.org

Some reference keywords/tags:

Dax Cathedral,Cathedrale,photos,image,images,photograph,picture,pics,France,Gothic architecture,saints,apostles,martyr,statue,iconography,symbol,Amiens,Notre-Dame de Paris,Chartres,Dax Cathedral,photos,image,images,photograph,picture,pics,France,Gothic architecture,saints iconography,Amiens,Notre-Dame de Paris,Chartres,

 

end notes

  1. The cathedrals of France were involved with townships, whereas in Britain the cathedrals were more associated with monasteries. Another geography-associated difference is that the further south, the less vicious is the weather and winds. Thus, to the south, buildings with more height and verve were possible.

This page helpful? Share it!


 

 

 


advertising disclaimer

 

marker cathedrals – introduction: reading stained glass
marker gothic cathedral and church construction
marker lantern towers of Normandy and elsewhere
marker cathedrals, an illustrated glossary
marker Chartres - wonder of the world
marker history of ugly stained glass: Auch, Bazas, Dreux
marker Auch cathedral choir and stalls
marker Rouen and Monet
marker at France pages Dax and church iconography marker photographs, Dax
marker Bazas - iconography and architectural styles
marker Poitiers, neglected masterpiece marker photographs, Poitiers / photos 2
marker Angers, heart of the Angevin Empire marker photographs, Angers
marker Laon, the midst of the gothic transition, with added oxen marker photographs, Laon
marker Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon
marker Notre Dame of Lausanne
marker Senlis - how a typical cathedral changes through the ages
marker Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges - the cathedral of the Pyrenees
marker Le Mans and Bourges cathedrals - medieval space technology
marker Lausanne rose window - photo-analysis
marker cathedrals in Lorraine - the Three Bishoprics
marker cathedral giants - Amiens and Beauvais
marker Clermont-Ferrand and Agde - from volcanoes to cathedrals

marker Germans in France - Arras cathedral
marker Germans in France - Reims cathedral
marker Germans in France - St. Quentin cathedral
marker Germans in France - Noyon cathedral
marker Germans in France - Cambrai cathedral
marker Germans in France - Soissons cathedral

marker cathedral plans, and facts
marker using metal in gothic cathedral construction illustrated
marker cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France illustrated
marker cathedrals and cloisters of France by Elise Whitlock Rose
abstracts briefings information headlines   loud music & hearing damage children & television violence what is memory, and intelligence? about abelard

email abelard@abelard.org

© abelard, 2004, 16 october


all rights reserved

the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/france/cathedrals2-dax.php