"Admire the Cathedral's Romanesque Nave" Top 5 Page for this destination Bayeux Things to Do Tip by hquittner
Bayeux Things to Do: 103 reviews and 274 photos
After the East end was finished, it was decided to vault the Nave (about 1250). This could easily be accomplished with the new Gothic technics and it offered a better clerestory. The old Nave was an ideal base. Once again the designers broke with the developing trends and omitted a triforium. Instead they created a balconied clerestory passage at the base of very tall broad clerestory windows (note the peculiar heads studding the linear balcony element). Since they already had sturdy double walls they minimized the flying buttresses. On the nave sides they added small pleasant entry doors. Thus the magnificent Norman Romanesque Nave arcade remains. The arcade columns have triple-bud capitals. The spandrels above and the mouldings of the arches are all of different designs. This is a creative substitute for Oriental tilework or Byzantine mosaic while using local skills and materials. We have never seen its equal. In the point of each spandrel is a symbolic figure in a decorated frame. Thus the medieval compulsion for infinite variety is satisfied while retaining balance. It is a tour-de-force! It must be remembered that this was done in the 1060's when Southern French primitive mason-sculptors were doing the cloisters of Moissac and modern stonework was in its infancy.
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