Medieval Europe 814-1450: Architecture and Design - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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A New Vision: Saint-Denis and French Church Architecture in the Twelfth Century

Old and New at Saint-Denis.

As the history of pilgrimage churches suggests, the reconstruction of the monastery church at Saint-Denis, begun in 1135 under the direction of Suger (1081–1151), abbot of Saint-Denis, initiated a new age of French architecture. Now nearly 400 years old, the original Carolingian church was too small for the many pilgrims who came to visit the relics of the saints and for the monks who needed more altars to accommodate an increasing number of worship services. To alleviate the crowding at the abbey, the first phase of work focused on enlarging the entrance and extending the nave of the eighth-century structure. Although echoing the general form of the old Carolingian west block, Suger's front looked to more recent Norman examples, such as the abbey...

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This section contains 1,467 words
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Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Architecture and Design Encyclopedia Article
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