Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 05/24/2014


Photo taken on August  1, 2013



See also...

Région Centre-Val de Loire Région Centre-Val de Loire


Eglises de France Eglises de France


gothic architecture gothic architecture



Keywords

scale
Psychostasia
Weighing of Souls
tympanum
Last Judgement
Highway to Hell
Bourges
Cher
Centre
Gothic
AC/DC
France
18
portal
Bourges Cathedral


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Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral
Late afternoon sun in Bourges. The "Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges" was erected as a replacement for a 11th-century structure. The construction started probably in the last quarter of the 12th century, around the same time, when the builders and bricklayers started in Chartres. The choir of the cathedral was in use by 1214, the nave was finished 1255. The cathedral was consecrated in 1324.

The western facade was finished by 1270. It is very wide (42m), as the four side aisles and central nave each have their own portal. This is the tympanum of the center-portal, the largest and most ornate and sophisticated one.

The "Last Judgment", a popular theme already on Romanesque churches (eg Conques, Autun, Moissac, Sangüesa) is seen on the tympanum in a delicate Gothic style.

Seen here are three levels. At the bottom souls arise from the open the graves. They all look young and healthy. Above Archangel Michael holds a scale. This is a Psychostasia, the "Weighing of the Souls". While the souls left of Saint Michael are escorted by angels, the souls to the right are tortured by devils. Above all Christ enthroned and flanked by angels.

There are a lot of astonishing (and explicit!) details to be seen on the "Highway to Hell" (AC/DC), so I will upload some of them next.

Since 1992 the cathedral is a "UNESCO World Heritage Site".

Ann Vdb has particularly liked this photo


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