ARCHITECT, French
(active early 11th century in Burgundy)

Interior view

1002-16
Photo
Abbey church of Saint-Bénigne, Dijon

In 1001, William of Volpiano, the abbot of Saint-Bénigne in Dijon, commissioned a replacement for the huge basilica which had been built in 535 over the tomb of St. Benignus (d. ca. 274).

By 1002, the construction began on a new Romanesque structure, consisting of a subterranean church round the sarcophagus of St. Benignus, a ground floor church for worship, and a rotunda, 17 metres in diameter, on three levels in the place of the apse, linking the two. Dedicated in 1016 by Lambert I, this suite of buildings was decorated in the ornate Cluniac style, of which only a few traces survive.

It is only the rotunda that remains of the construction dating from the beginning of the eleventh century, as the nave was damaged in 1137 and 1271 and was replaced by more modern structures.

The photo shows the interior of the rotunda.

View the reconstruction of nave and cross-section through the rotunda.




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