Idea #692 – Visiting the gothic cathedrale of Bourges
Under the leadership of Henry de Sully, archbishop of Bourges, began the construction of the Saint-Etienne cathedral in 1195. The chevet, the choir and the double ambulatory were completed in 1215. The nave and the facade were made between 1225 and 1255 and the cathedral will be consecrated in 1324. The relics of Saint-Etienne are exhibited in a gold and glass box.
The tower, collapsed in 1506, is rebuilt and achieved in 1542. It was nicknamed “butter tower” because of the nature of its funding: fasting exemptions granted against payment. Its terrace is accessible by a staircase of 396 steps and offers, at 66 meters high, an exceptional view of the nave of the cathedral, the city of Bourges and its marshes. The crypt of the cathedral of Bourges, built in 1195, is not buried, but serves as a base for the choir of the cathedral to compensate for a drop of six meters. It follows the plan of the choir above. It served as a workshop for stonecutters during the construction of the building, and it is still possible to see the rosette lines in real scale, on the ground. The crypt also houses the ruins of the thirteenth century rood screen, destroyed in 1758, the recumbent statue of Duke Jean de Berry and a monumental 16th century tomb. It also contains the tombs of the archbishops of Bourges, who died since the Revolution.
Saint-Étienne is considered by its exceptional dimensions as a summit of Gothic architecture: 118 meters long, 41 meters wide and 37 meters high, under the vault of the central nave. The absence of a transept, the five naves to which the five outer portals and the double ambulatory correspond correspond, characterize the innovative evolution of this construction, all of which have earned it its inscription in 1992 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where is it ?
Bourges Cathedral, France