(active 1137-1158 in Pays de la Loire)

Interior view

Cathedral of Saint-Julien, Le Mans (Sarthe)

The cathedral of Saint-Julien in Le Mans combines a Romanesque nave and a High Gothic choir. It is notable for its rich collection of stained glass and the spectacular bifurcating flying buttresses at its eastern end.

The cathedral was originally built in the late 11th century with a flat roof. It had burnt down several times, the last time being in 1137, when it was decided to vault the nave in stone. In the course of this work the whole clerestory of the nave was rebuilt, while the old arcade area below was largely left alone as it carried the weight of the existing aisle vaults. The uniformity of the row of arches was destroyed by the installation of the new responds to support the nave vault.

The photo shows the nave wall. We can clearly see above the new, pointed, rhythmic arcade the old round arches still running along the wall, behind the new piers. A slight difference in the colour of the stone emphasizes the contrast between the older and the newer parts.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.