La cathédrale romane, ses fonctions, sa place dans la cité

De la cathédrale paléochrétienne à la cathédrale romane

In Gaul the ecclesia constitutes the architecture of a triumphant faith. Given the number of churches present in an episcopal seat, it is not always possible to identify the principal cathedral, which could vary with the changing prerogatives of successive bishops. The buildings, at the beginning of basilican type, were adapted to ongoing architectural, liturgical and topographic development, though, except at some sites, the transformations of the Merovingian period remain poorly known. Thereafter, one observes across Europe from the end of the eighth into the eleventh century the rebuilding of the majority of the old cathedrals. In Gaul, the archaeology of the great episcopal sites has elucidated certain stages of this process as manifested by interior transformations related to the liturgy or to structural advances. Furthermore, continuing progress in the archaeological study of buildings has permitted the identification of construction phases hitherto ignored that clearly define the processes that generated the third great renewal of the cathedrals in the twelfth century.

D’Angoulême à Poitiers, la voûte en majesté pour l’évêque (1110-1167)

Very similar aisleless naves are vaulted with a file of domes, each of them above a bay. I shall confine myself to great surviving ones: three cathedrals and three abbey churches. They are posterior to the first crusade; their patrons were acquainted; their builders created an original type with new technical means. We can clarify the question with the best supported case: Angoulême, which is the most ambitious. I cannot pretend to throw a sudden light on the archaeological matter; a debate is necessary but unsatisfying because of the drastic restorations. More, it often leads to a closed and specious system. Beyond, we must try to understand the transepts as well as the naves, and consider the famous cross-in-square buildings, from Constantinople to Venice and Périgueux: an apostolic meaning is conceivable. At the end of the filiation, the Early Gothic cathedral of Poitiers shows the contribution of ciborium like vaults to the space effect.

La cathédrale Saint-Trophime d’Arles. Réflexions sur les antécédents de l’église romane et de son espace claustral

The recent discovery of a huge paleochristian church, on duty until the sixth century, on the presumed site of the first cathedral of Arles, in the southeastern corner the ancient city walls, asks in a new light the question of the date of transfer of the episcopal seat in its current location near the old forum. This paper attempts to reflect on the very few monumental history items before the Romanesque cathedral and its cloister, since the two vaulted rooms due to late antiquity or the early Middle Ages that lined the ancient cardo maximus. The data review provides an opportunity to return to the beginning of the monastic buildings. The unusual position of the south transept and apse of the cathedral building already in place is probably due to the use of southern space of the nave by another monument. Indeed, the probable existence of a monumental high door on the floor of the southern wall of the Romanesque transept is due to an access from outside, prior to the implementation of the current cloister. Only a comprehensive program of archaeological excavations would assess or reassess the archaeological potential of the basement of the cathedral.

Gerardo BOTO, Marc SUREDA
Les cathédrales romanes catalanes. Programmes, liturgie, architecture

Even if only three romanesque cathedrals (Urgell, Roda and Elne) have been preserved, the romanesque centuries have left determinant traces in the configuration of the cathedral landscape in the Catalan counties along more than two hundred years (beginning of 11th c.-mid-13th c.). The different rythms of the conquest to Al-Andalus, the previous archaeological realities and the everyday and liturgical needs of the canon chapters determined the configuration of church and buliding ensembles differently organised and conceived. Apart from the case of Urgell, where a multiplicity of churches was preserved and even enlarged, the trend was to concentrate liturgical functions in a single episcopal church that could become quite complex from a topoliturgical point of view. Other data related to the spatial morphogenese processes, technical and architectonical concretions and disposition and spacialisation of visual programmes are also analysed.

Emmanuel GARLAND
Construire une cathédrale dans le piémont pyrénéen à l’époque romane : défis, contraintes et solutions

Sixteen dioceses cover the Pyrenees. In almost all of them a cathedral has been built during the Romanesque period. Major changes occur both in the civil society (with the development of feudalism), and in the Church (with the Gregorian reformation). In such context building a new cathedral was considered as a major achievement by bishops keen to take advantage of it for asserting the power of the Church in front of feudalism power, as well as in front of other religious institutions which managed to escape to their control. The natural partitioning of the Pyrenees into valleys led to highly differentiated dioceses. As a result there is a great diversity in the cathedrals built during that period, in their architecture (which introduced no innovation) and in the design of their painted or carved decor, much more elaborated, used to magnify the Church and its leader, the bishop. The decoration of the cathedrals attracted painters and sculptors who influenced afterwards the local and regional art.

De nouvelles cathédrales dans la ville, du nord au sud de l’Italie, XIe-XIIe  siècles

One aspect not often considered in the question of the cathedrals in the West and in particular in the Italian peninsula is their urban situation. The city in Italy between the eleventh and twelfth century doubles and sometimes triples its population and the reconstruction of the walls testifies to this rapid enlargement. At the same time we see the rebuilding of the cathedrals, often in the same places of the early Christian basilicas located outside the city walls, that is outside the Roman walls. The reconstruction of the cathedrals emphasis different consciousnesses : continuity between the early Christian world and the world of the Reformation; transformation of the site from a negative church tied to the Empire, in a re-consecrated place, as in the case of cathedrals in the north : Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Cremona; reorganization of the access paths and, in the north, specialization of squares, a square tied to the power of the Bishop with the Cathedral and the Episcopal Palaces, the other square whith municipal buildings (Piacenza, Parma). The essay begins by considering some symbolic places of the Reformation, such as the Cathedral of Salerno or that of Capua, but also analyzes Sant’Agata dei Goti, a little-studied case, where the size of ancient urban planning has been well preserved and where the re-using or the imitation of antiques, even the Roman floor mosaics, testify to a conscious cultural project. Therefore, the reconstruction of the cathedrals outside the ancient walls assumes, as in the south to the north of Italy, a strong symbolic and political purpose.

Rome, Naples et le rôle du Mont-Cassin : des politiques architecturales entre la papauté et de puissants évêques locaux

In this paper we examine the changes to which the cathedral of Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano, and the cathedral of Naples, the church of the Salvatore or Stefania, were submitted during the twelfth century. Both buildings had been founded in the fourth century, during the great flowering of architectural Constantinian period. In Rome, the Lateran Basilica was transformed with the insertion of a continuous transect, the type of that of ancient St. Peter’s basilica, in Naples, you probably stepped on the structure of the arch of the apse and created a new pictorial decoration. In both cases, the reasons for these transformations are identified in the will of their clients to refer ornamental and architectural forms of the abbey church of Monte Cassino, entirely rebuilt between 1066 and 1071. It is right in the basilica of Monte Cassino that you can in fact identify the prestigious model that looked to decide the reintegration of the transept both in San Giovanni in Laterano, and in several other churches in Rome, it is the same basilica which he referred in Naples at the turn of the eleventh and twelfth century to redecorate the Early Christian apse of the cathedral, and it is still in Montecassino when we turned he built the great cathedral of Salerno, in the late eleventh century. So it was a abbey church to serve as a model for churches and cathedrals of the Romanesque period.

Périégesis et ekphrasis : les descriptions de la cathédrale de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle entre la cité réelle et la cité idéale

The Romanesque cathedral should be understood as a living organism which coincides in most cases with the emergence of cities between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The Cathedral of Saint-Jacques de Compostela is no exception to this process, since its construction (1075-1211) coincides with the urban development of a city that is built around it, in a typical interaction of doors , places and course. With some texts contemporary of its erection – like Book V of the Codex Calixtinus, the Historia Compostelana or some literary descriptions - we can understand how was received and then transmitted the experience of a monument. In these texts, in fact, ranging from the type ofperiegesis tho ekphrasis, are, in fact, some keys to better understand the process of construction of the building, its urban function, the motivations of its sponsors, together with its adaptation and its effect on the pilgrims.

Les cathédrales normandes d’Angleterre : Lanfranc et la cathédrale monastique

With one exception, every medieval cathedral in England was either founded or completely rebuilt between c. 1070 and c. 1140. The importance of this for English Romanesque architecture can scarce be overstated, but from a European perspective what is most distinctive about the English Romanesque cathedral is the number that were monastic. Seven out of fifteen dioceses with single cathedrals supported Benedictine communities, while the two dioceses with co-cathedrals were provided with one monastic and one secular collegiate cathedral each. This was a significant advance on the number of monastic cathedrals that existed before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the credit for developing the monastic cathedral almost certainly belongs to Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 until his death in 1089. This paper will consider the status, planning and architecture of the monastic cathedral in England over the course of the 11th century.

La liturgie cathédrale au miroir des commentaires liturgiques du XIIe  siècle

Besides the descriptive texts, exegetical documents are useful to specify the forms and to understand the meanings of the cathedral liturgy. Brief commentaries on the Mass or long comments of the ritual cycle, these kind of texts are numerous in the twelfth century. Among the authors stands out the Anglo-German monk known as Honorius Augustodunensis. His wide Gemma animae allows one to perceive the cathedral as a structured space, both in an east/west orientation of the fundamental orientation principle, and on a secondary north/south axis. The liturgical place is also a decorated place, where the profusion of ornaments mobilizes all precious resources and dedicates them to the glory of the Creator. Finally, the cathedral is the heart of a system of polarizations, as compared to other urban churches than in the building itself, centered on the altar “place of the real sacrifice”.

Le « cloître de  Montréjeau », un ensemble pyrénéen remonté aux Bahamas

It is surprising to find a medieval cloister in the gardens of a luxury hostel on Paradise Island, edged with the turquoise sea of Caribbean. At the south of a private property, a French medieval cloister was assembled in 1962 at the direction of George H. Hartford. The cloister was purchased on 1924 from the Parisian art dealers, the Stora brothers, by William R. Hearst, newspaper magnate who inspired the famous character of Citizen Kane. His intents were to used them for the decoration of a villa, but the Great Depression interrupted his architectural projects. After several sales, this cloister were eventually reinstalled in Bahamas. However, here, the “cloister” should be understood not as an unique monument but as an modern ensemble constituted of original various monastic sculptures coming from different monasteries. A stone plaque installed near the monument suggests that this ensemble could come from the Pyrenean monastery of Montréjeau, a putative provenance given by the art dealers. French historiography, represented by Alphonse Dumail and Elie de Comminges, demonstrated that the sculptures of the Bahamas cloister could not come from this Augustinian monastery. Based on first-hand observation and archival research, we offer to complete these pioneering works of both scholars by formulating new hypotheses on the origins.

Une tentative d’interprétation du cloître de Cuixà

Quitterie CAZES

Anscari Manuel Mundó i Marcet (1923-2012)

Clemens KOSCH,
Les cathédrales romanes au bord du Rhin : architecture et topographie religieuse, résumé
Ce texte figurera dans le tome XLV (juillet 2014) et sera disponible en téléchargement gratuit sur notre page web www.cuxa.org à la même date.

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