new : fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes
cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France
using metal in gothic cathedral construction
paying at the péage (toll station)
Germans in France
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France
on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England
Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago,
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge
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 cathedrals
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard
Marianne - a French national symbol, with French definitive stamps
la Belle Epoque
Grand Palais, Paris
Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city
Space City, Toulouse
the French umbrella & Aurillac
50 years old:
the Citroën 2CV:
a French motoring icon
the forest as seen by Francois Mauriac, and today
Les Landes, places and playtime
roundabout art of Les Landes
mardi gras! carnival in Basque country
country life in France: the poultry fair
what a hair cut! m & french pop/rock
Le Tour de France: cycling tactics
This page is a subsidiary
page to Germans
cathedral of St Gervais St Protais
cathedral of St Gervais St Protais
Construction of Soissons cathedral started in about 1180 and is regarded as finally completed
in 1479. During the 18th century, the cathedral was restored.
It was in Soissons in 1118 that Pierre Abelard was forced
to burn Theologia at Soissons after a first trial
for heresy. For more details, go to Pierre
Abelard, introduction and short biography.
During the French Revolution, it was used as a warehouse, suffering heavy damage.
1798: the remaining parts of the portal statuary was destroyed.
1799: restoration was started, but in 1815 two nearby powder factories exploded destroying
much glass except that in the chancel.
1840: new restoration supervised by Edouard
Corroyer, including new south transept buttresses.
was built to imitate the tower on the
cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. It was originally intended
to be balanced by a matching tower on the west facade, but that
was never built.
The west facade, Soissons cathedral
Further extensive damage occured during the First World War, from
German bombardments over several years. The tower’s upper
section and the nave’s first three bays were completely
destroyed. Many windows were also broken, though the rich north
transept windows and choir windows escaped the blast of the bombing
and rested undamaged.
1928: Émile Brunet, architect
of Historic Monuments, supervised a very successful restoration
of both the tower and nave.
After Soissons cathedral
was bombarded in early to mid 1918
the interior of Soissons cathedral after
Floor plan of Soissons cathedral. Nave length:
height under nave vaults: 33.3 metres
Founded in 1076, Saint-Jean-des-Vignes
Abbey was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries of
the Middle Ages. The generosity of kings, nobility and middle
classes paid for the erection of a large abbey-church and monastery
buildings. The monastery lands included 30 hectares of vineyards,
whence the monastery’s name.
Although despoiled during
the Hundred Years War, and later during the Wars of Religion,
the abbey continued to flourish until the French Revolution. Then,
the monks were expelled, the furniture sold and silverware sent
to Paris for melting down. The abbey-church was used as a bakery
and garrison. Statues beheaded, stained glass broken were amongst
the ruination of this once fine abbey where Thomas à Becket
The West facade of the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,
In 1805, an imperial decree ordered the
abbey-church be dismantled so the stones could be used to repair
Soissons cathedral, also ravaged by the Revolutionaries. Local
priests induced the Bishop of Soissons to preserved the main front,
the West facade, of the abbey-church.
Its doorways were
damaged by fire in 1870, during the war with Germany. German shells
set fire to a store of hay housed under the porches.
The West facade in 1918
both spires were stuck by German shells, truncating both to different
degrees, while the whole facades was pitted by shell splinters.
The damage in 1918 was considerably greater. Much stonework,
including fine and delicate carvings on the towers, was smashed.
A breach in the north tower caused the upper part of its spire
to crash to the ground.
West facade restored, 2005
Photo credit: Thierry Bézecourt
average altitude/elevation : 46 m
- cathedral dimensions
exterior length : 116 m
external nave width : 26 m
interior width of the nave: 21.5 m
western facade width : 32 m
height, choir vaulting : 31 m
- Some reference keywords/tags:
Brunet,Canada,St Gervais,St Protais,Abbaye Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,Abbey,